“I wasn’t getting much work before the incident, which was one of the reasons I was ding-donging around in those clubs late at night, unannounced — coming in and working on material. I thought I would try to reinvent myself. … What happened in the club? Oh, that’ll never happen again. I know how to behave, to consciously behave. When something like that comes up, I don’t let the heat of anger burn me up as it did. When you’re under the helm of anger, watch out, ’cause it’ll take you down. It’s like being possessed by a demon. [I was angry] at the act, angry that it wasn’t funny, angry that I was being interrupted, angry that I’m not as good as I would like to be. You know, I was frustrated that night, and so I turned on everybody.”
Remember back in 2006 when the actor who played Kramer on “Seinfeld” was doing standup in a club and he got mad at a heckler and started screaming the N-word? Well, Michael Richards is headed back to TV on Kirstie Alley’s new sitcom and he’s spoken with TIME magazine about the incident. It is actually one of the most honest apologies that a celebrity has ever given for bad behavior. He also said that after the incident, he took a break from show business to do personal work on himself and reconnect with his family and that helped him stop being a douchebag. It doesn’t excuse the harm Richards caused, of course. But it does illuminate how people who are unkind act out in racist or homophobic or sexist ways because have huuuuge underlying issues. Are you listening, Alec Baldwin? [TIME via Gossip Cop]
Dear Todd Kincannon,
I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but we’re breaking up. You’re the former executive director of the your state’s Republican Party. I can appreciate a strong fiscal policy. You live in South Carolina. I hear Charleston is lovely at any time of year. You know how to use Twitter. That’s always a plus for a social media user like myself.
But then you tweeted a whole buttload of racist tweets about Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager who was shot to death last year. And that shit ain’t cool. Keep reading »
Update 9/27/12: Following the controversy over these earrings, Dolce & Gabbana has given an explanation: the jewelry is “a reference to Sicily’s traditional Moorish-inspired artifacts.” Vogue UK explains, “The show jewellery is reminiscent of ornate ceramics that often appear in Sicilian homes, restaurants and hotels. The head is inspired by traditional Moorish people, a term used to describe the Medieval Muslim inhabitants of Sicily.” [Vogue UK]
Lots of conversation in The Frisky offices just now about whether these Dolce And Gabbana earrings of a black woman with a basket of fruit on her head are straight-up racist or just … odd. On the one hand, the earrings depict a very stereotypical, some might say colonialist, idea of a black woman: very dark skin, a head scarf wrapped on her head, the basket of fruit. The earrings are worn by a model who appears at first glance to be Caucasian and Dolce and Gabbana is a European luxury company, which makes it seem as if wearing “black women’s heads as earrings” is a fashion statement about how “exotic” black people are. (Another “exotic” example? Victoria Secret’s “Sexy Little Geisha” outfit.) And it’s not just the earrings that raised eyebrows; style blog Refinery 29 reports Dolce and Gabbana’s spring 2013 collection included “burlap dresses” and “fruit cornucopias” which suggested an ode to “a long-lost colonial era.” Keep reading »
Sometimes brands are so dopey that you almost feel bad for them for not realizing they were being racist. (Almost.) First Paul Frank were ding-dongs with their Native American tee-pees-and-tomahawks party on Fashion’s Night Out. And now Victoria’s Secret is selling an outfit called “Sexy Little Geisha” featuring an “Oriental” patterned fan and hair sticks with tassles to put in your hair. Keep reading »
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 »
Jeremy Lin is not just the basketball player who has launched a thousand bad “Lin” puns — and prompted a refresher course on why the word “chink” is unacceptable for an ESPN headline.
His sudden emergence in pop culture has also underscored how strangely acceptable it is in America to make make racial comments about Asians, whether they are considered complimentary (like “all Asians are good at math” or “all Asian women are hot”) or insulting (like “Asian men are not sexy.”)
The thing is, if you’ve never seen an attractive, sexy Asian man, you probably ought to check either your eyes or your prejudices — like all hot men, they’ve been all around us all along.
Keep reading »
“The black artist cannot live in a revisionist place. The black artist can only tell the truth about humanity, and humanity is messy. People are messy. Caucasian actors know that. … We as African-American artists are more concerned with image and message and not execution, which is why every time you see your images they’ve been watered down to the point where they are not realistic at all. My whole thing is, do I always have be noble? As an artist, you’ve got to see the mess.”
– Actress Viola Davis responds to journalist Tavis Smiley regarding their roles in “The Help,” which has been criticized for being a “Hooray, White People Solved Racism” movie. Smiley told his guests, Viola and Octavia Spencer, that “I want you to win [an Oscar], but I’m ambivalent about what you’re winning for.” Whether you agree with Viola’s reply or not, it was earnest and, in my opinion, a refreshing response to the litany of complaints about “The Help” that have dogged it since the film came out. She’s probably sick of people saying this to her face and knowing people are saying it behind her back, too. [New York Times via YouTube]
“Mrs. YoMama” actually won’t be catching on as a new nickname for Michelle Obama, a Kansas politician has found after an awkward email forwarding incident. KS House Speaker Mike O’Neal forwarded an email to fellow Republicans which said, “I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation — at our expense or, course,” and depicted the First Lady next to the Grinch. Comparisons to a Dr. Seuss character? Oh, burn! You Kansans play rough! The pol has apologized for the vaguely racist forward, saying he didn’t actually read the body of the email he forwarded and just thought the picture of the Grinch and the First Lady was incisive social commentary he simply had to share with the world. (No, he didn’t really say that last part.) In any case, between this and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (W-WI), who was overheard in a D.C. airport saying Michelle Obama had a “large posterior,” I am sure she is having a very lovely Christmas vacation indeed. [Kansas.com]