I have never watched HBO’s new show “Girls.” Not because I don’t want to — I’m actually excited to see a new female-centered TV show that allows actresses to play rich and diverse characters. But unfortunately, the current role I play in real life, that of a struggling comic/actress, does not afford me the opportunity to indulge in the many simple pleasures of life such as HBO. Although I have not seen the show, I have seen and heard much of the praise and criticism the show has garnered — especially around the all-white cast. Keep reading »
Ashton Kutcher is in trouble. Again. The “Two and a Half Men” star recently filmed an ad for PopChips which spoofed online dating. In the ad, Kutcher dons “brown face” to play an Indian man, amongst other characters. The ad sparked immediate controversy when it was unleashed on the web yesterday, with many critics saying the portrayal was stereotypical and racist, and PopChips has since pulled the ad and apologized. I will never ever ever understand how blatantly offensive ads like this make it all the way through the creative process without someone saying, “Uh, guys? Maybe this is a bad idea?” As for Ashton? Sorry, but dude is as dumb in real life as his character on “That ’70s Show.” This is hardly the first time he’s said or done something totally stupid. Remember when he got all pissy on Twitter about Joe Paterno being fired? Ugh. [MTV]
Two black men are taking ”The Bachelor” and ”The Bachelorette” to court with a lawsuitthat claims the reality shows are blocking contestants of color from starring roles.
Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson filed a federal lawsuit in Nashville Wednesday against the popular TV shows claiming they are engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination that intentionally excludes people of color. The Nashville men said at a casting call in August that they were given scant consideration compared to white men seeking a leading role for “The Bachelor.” Read more…
“I know that this show hasn’t had an African-American in the office and I know that comes with a lot of responsibility as to how I portray this woman, but I can’t think about that. I can only go in and do what I think this woman would do. I try not to think, ‘Oh, I have to represent every single black person in the world that was there in the ’60s.’ I have to tell this one woman’s story and what that was for her. I’m kind of on the fence because as a black actress, there aren’t a lot of roles out there for us, and so you see a great show and it’s like, ‘Oh wow, I would love to be on that show. Oh, but there are no black people on it.’ So that part is frustrating and I understand that, but at the same time I don’t expect to be a part of everyone’s story if it’s not true to the story that they’re trying to tell.”
– Teyonah Parris, who plays Don’s new secretary, Dawn, on “Mad Men,” opens up about playing the first black employee at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. Creator Matt Weiner spoke really eloquently on the PBS news program “Charlie Rose” recently about how he wants civil rights issues on “Mad Men” to be historically accurate. But for Teyonah Parris’ sake, she doesn’t get stuck having to “represent every single black person in the world that was there in the ’60s.” It’s all too easy to assume one person’s story is supposed to speak for everybody. [NYMag.com]
Last month, the world imploded (for a little while anyway) when ESPN writer Anthony Frederico penned a headline about Asian-American basketball player Jeremy Lin with the phrase “chink in the armor.” He said he simply meant that Lin had screwed up his winning streak for the Knicks, but was promptly fired amid cries of racism. Federico said he didn’t realize “chink” was a racist slur, certainly didn’t intend to use it that way, and had used the phrase “chink in the armor” a bunch of other times when referring to non-Asian players messing up their game. If you missed the giant-ass kerfluffle in the media, you must have been in a coma.
This Tuesday, Jeremy Lin took Frederico out to lunch to chat. ”It went incredible,” Federico told Newsday. “The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule … He’s just a wonderful, humble person. He didn’t have to do that, especially after everything had kind of died down for the most part.” Keep reading »
Did you see “The Hunger Games” this weekend? What did you think? I really loved it. I thought it could have been, well, gorier and more horrifying — after all, we’re talking about children fighting to the death for society’s entertainment here. But overall, I was super impressed especially with the casting. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson were totally on point as Katniss and Peeta, while Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Wes Bentley, and Donald Sutherland completely nailed their supporting characters. And even though we didn’t get to know them as closely in the film as we did in the book, I was also psyched with the actors who portrayed the other Tributes.
Not everyone who saw the movie was, however. Specifically racists! Keep reading »
Forget for a second that every guest on “Charlie Rose,” a PBS news program for wonks, looks like they’re struggling to stay awake. The cast of “Mad Men” appeared last night with guest host Gayle King and she pressed the show’s creator, Matt Weiner, with a good question: where are the black folks? “As you move through time, I’m wondering will we see some black people?” Gayle asked. Matt Weiner’s response is worth a listen in its entirety. Keep reading »
Friday morning, Geraldo Rivera was on “Fox News and Friends” to discuss the Trayvon Martin shooting case. He claimed that Trayvon’s hoodie was actually equally to blame for his death as “nutty neighborhood watchguy” George Zimmerman, and urged parents — especially parents of black and Latino children — to ban their kids from wearing hoodies.
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So much WTFery in one little flier: an elementary school class in Waxhaw, North Carolina, sent home this grammatically incorrect flier with students asking them to dress in “African American attire” for Black History Day on February 28. What exactly is “African American attire”? Well, that part isn’t clear. A Flava Flav grill, perhaps? Fur-lined Kanye West booties? (Something tells me it this teacher didn’t mean the J.Crew cardigan worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, a noted black person.) However, if students don’t have any “African-American attire” in their closet, the flier helpfully suggests kids come to school in animal print clothing or shirts with animals native to Africa like “zebras, giraffes, lions and elephants.” Nothing says Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not die in vain quite like a leopard-print dress or a shirt with a zebra on it, right? Keep reading »