Things We Saw Today: Tiffany Haddish Is Winning at Life

Image: Shutterstock.com

Tiffany Haddish’s star has been on a continued rise since her amazing role in Girls Trip the amazing comedy that if you didn’t see, you better get that digital download, girl. She is about to host SNL on November 11th and just today released an amazing PSA about the importance of washing your hands. The video is not able to be embedded anymore, but we’ve linked to it here. Not only is Haddish pitch perfect in her timing, but just thinking about all the times you’ve seen people in the bathroom not wash their hands and wishing you could have said half of these things.

Some of my favorite out of context-quotes are:

“Looking like Jon Snow’s thick cousin.”

“This is your inner sister girl.”

“I bet you didn’t know your conscience was urban?”

“I might eat off dem hands.”

“Please world wash your hands.” (via The Hollywood Reporter)

  • Everyone’s favorite zaddy Mark Hamill speaks on his return to Star Wars and the franchise that started it all for him. (via CBR)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks on musical inspirations for Moana and connections to The Kingkiller Chronicles as only he can. (via Vulture)
  • Another season of Gotham another Poison Ivy, as Peyton List takes on the role in the 3rd stage of…Ivy Pepper’s journey from girl to sex symbol. (via Nerdist)

Have you found your tribe today?

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(image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com, tumblr)

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Netflix Cancels House of Cards Following Anthony Rapp’s Allegations Against Kevin Spacey … Well, Sort of – When it’s convenient.

kevin spacey house of cards cancelled (Netflix)

After the publication of Anthony Rapp’s Buzzfeed interview, in which he accuses Kevin Spacey of assaulting him when he was 14 years old—Kevin Spacey’s coming out  fueling of hateful, ignorant misconceptions that equate homosexuality with pedophilia, Netflix announced they would be cancelling House of Cards, which Spacey stars in as well as executive produces. It was the kind of swift, unequivocal consequence we all hope to see sexual predators face. Well, sort of.

What Netflix actually said was that they’ll be cancelling the show after season six, which, as far as I can see–as of just a week or two ago—hadn’t even been officially announced yet. Production is in the early stages and the new season reportedly began filming only two weeks ago. (A statement from Netflix and producers Media Rights Capital says that “as previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time.”)

So essentially, they used this announcement as an easy cancellation for a show that many fans agree has run its course over the last five seasons while also promoting that show and garnering some good wokeness publicity in the process.

It seems relevant to mention how silent Netflix executives have been on the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The only statement I’ve seen issued is chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ claim that their business with the Weinstein Company is “pretty arm’s distance.” But that’s not really accurate. The Weinstein Company has produced multiple Netflix productions, and the two companies have co-hosted Golden Globes parties together the last few years.

If Netflix wants to actually make a statement about their relationships with sexual predators, the opportunities are piling up.

(image: Netflix)

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Lupita Nyong’o Is Starring in a Zombie Movie

Lupita Nyong’o has signed on to star in Little Monsters, a zombie comedy from Abe Forsythe. Nyong’o stars as Miss Caroline, a plucky kindergarten teacher who has to protect her students after a zombie outbreak hits during a school field trip. I mean, a teacher hero? Lupita Nyong’o fighting zombies? This premise already sounds like my new favorite thing.

The rest of the plot, though, sounds a little more suspect. A washed-up musician named Dave (Alexander England) develops a huge crush on Nyong’o’s Miss Caroline. In order to spend some time with her, he volunteers to chaperone his nephew’s kindergarten class field trip, but when a spectacularly famous kids’ show star, Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad), shows up, his plan is initially foiled.

Then the zombie outbreak hits, and Dave and Miss Caroline must band together to protect the children.

I’m not super excited about watching another “shlubby, unsuccessful dude wins ridiculously beautiful and competent woman” plot, but how can I not get excited about Lupita slaughtering zombies to protect the children? It would take a whole lot to really ruin such an awesome premise for me. But I do worry that a bunch of LULZ-male-competition, woman-as-prize bro humor could deeeefinitely come close.

I’ll have to wait for the trailer to see what sort of tone Forsythe is aiming for, but whatever my opinion about the movie overall ends up being, I can’t wait to see footage of Lupita Nyong’o slaying zombies. From her Black Panther turn to her buddy movie with Rihanna, I just want her to slay all the things on the big screen.

Little Monsters is currently listed with a 2019 release date on IMDB, but given that it’s still in pre-production, this timeline isn’t certain.

(Via Deadline; image via Shutterstock)

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Adam Driver Lets a Possible Last Jedi Spoiler Slip During Interview With British GQ

Usually, when we hear about “reveals” or “spoilers” from Star Wars cast members, we usually discover that it actually wasn’t all that much. However, Kylo Ren may have actually let a juicy tidbit of information slip during a recent interview!

When talking to British GQ about The Last Jedi (it’s so close, and yet so far!), he talks about the concept behind Kylo Ren and how when J.J. Abrams was creating the character, he talked about him as a young person coming-of-age, rather than as a fully-formed man. Driver explains, “I remember the initial conversations about having things ‘skinned,’ peeling away layers to evolve into other people, and the person Kylo’s pretending to be on the outside is not who he is. He’s a vulnerable kid who doesn’t know where to put his energy, but when he puts his mask on, suddenly, he’s playing a role. J.J. had that idea initially and I think Rian took it to the next level.”

It’s what Driver says next that contains the possible spoiler, so if you want to go into The Last Jedi completely unsullied, DO NOT SCROLL PAST THE PORG GIF!

Awww!

Anyway, Driver goes on to say:

“You have, also, the hidden identity of this princess who’s hiding who she really is so she can survive and Kylo Ren and her hiding behind these artifices.”

I’m sorry, princess did you say?

If Driver is speaking truthfully about Rey, it seems that we have one more clue about who Rey’s parents are. We know that she’s not just some poor scavenger girl from Jakku, but someone from a royal lineage. What’s more, we know that for the entirety of The Force Awakens, Rey was consciously pretending to be someone else to protect herself from someone or something. But what?

I now need to rewatch The Force Awakens with this new info in mind. Now if you’ll excuse me…

In the meantime, what does this tell you about Rey? Any thoughts on who her parents might be with this new tidbit? Any fan theories confirmed or smashed for you? Tell us below!

(image: Lucasfilm/Disney)

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John Oliver Describes Why Flood Damage Is so Devastating and Fights Off Seagulls on Last Week Tonight

In the most recent Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on Trump’s non-plan to address the opioid crisis (“Trump’s fix for our opioid epidemic essentially boils down to: here’s two pennies, go throw then in a fucking mall fountain and wish your addiction away”), the awful homophobic Roy Moore who’s running to fill Jeff Sessions seat in Alabama, and more.

The main story, however, was about floods—the natural disaster we saw a lot of this summer and will likely see more due to climate change. Oliver shelves the climate change debate for the current moment, as “We might not have proof until the late 1980s”, and focuses on how flood damage is actually often within our control.

Fighting off seagulls, the host talks about how the Insurance Act of 1968 made flood insurance more affordable but with the presumption that those affected would move with the knowledge that they are at risk. The problem? They didn’t. And that’s only a small portion of the many things that are wrong with the way the National Flood Insurance Program deal with floods and flood damage. Oliver describes the well-intentioned program like so: “everything about it, from who participates, to where the money goes, to the incentive it creates, needs fixing.”

Without “serious, thoughtful reform”, he says, we have “an unstable, unsustainable program that is indirectly harming some of the people it was designed to help.”

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Watch Rep. Maxine Waters Lead the Women’s Convention Crowd in a Demand to “Impeach 45” – Reclaiming our time.

maxine waters reclaiming our time women's convention

This weekend, the Women’s Convention took place in Detroit, put on by the team behind the Women’s March. The keynote speaker was our national hero, Rep. Maxine Waters, who inspired the convention’s slogan, Reclaiming Our Time. And in her speech Saturday, she did just that.

If you’ve ever heard Maxine Waters say words about just about anything, you probably have an idea of how straight-up fire her speech was. Waters takes her job seriously, she sees no point in hiding her hatred from Donald Trump, and she does not have time to mince words about the current state or the future of American politics. She opened her speech by declaring that “Donald Trump is the most dishonorable and despicable human being to ever serve in the office of the president.”

She also led the crowd in a chant of “Impeach 45!”

It’s no surprise that sexual harassment and assault were main topics of conversation this weekend. Waters, like so many of us, see a clear connection between what is happening in Hollywood and what is happening everywhere, including in the White House.

“It is very fortuitous that we are gathered here this afternoon in Detroit as we continue to witness a record number of women who are boldly coming forward to reveal disturbing and grotesque acts of sexual harassment, assault, and rape, oftentimes at the hands of men who believed they were too rich and too powerful to ever be confronted or held accountable,” she said (via Vox). “We’ve learned that it’s not only Hollywood actresses and entertainers who have been targeted and assaulted by such perverted and disgusting people.”

She told the crowd, “At the top of our agenda at this convention, there must be an effort to strengthen women’s courage and inspire them to continue to come forward and reveal the abuses that they have silently endured.”

Waters struck a fierce nerve by referencing Hillary Clinton’s memoir, What Happened–specifically the passage in which Clinton reflects on what it was like to be stalked across a stage by Donald Trump. Most women have had the experience of a man attempting to intimidate us and disrespect us and make us look and feel small. When that happens, let’s play Waters’ words in our heads.

“You know how you feel,” she said. “And you when you have been violated. You know when you have been mistreated.”

“When anybody does that to you and any of these men try and intimidate you, just remember what Hillary should have said: ‘Creep, get off my back!’”

(image: YouTube)

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We Want to Hear Your Stories, Mary Sue Rejection Hotline Users!

Last week at The Mary Sue, we set out to create a hotline that would give women another option when it comes to dealing with the men who won’t respect their wishes or space. “The Mary Sue Rejection Hotline” is a service that lets a man know exactly how he made a woman feel, when saying it outright doesn’t feel like an option.

Since then, we have received an outpouring of support. Our social media is bursting with thankful women. Women who have found themselves in uncomfortable situations with men, which—let’s face it—most have. Moms who have passed on the numbers to their daughters. Even brothers to their sisters. Other outlets have joined us in our efforts of spreading the word. Needless to say, the line has been ringing!

At first, people just wanted to see if it actually worked. We received many a “test” message. But those died down and we started to receive messages that were clearly from guys who had been given the number. Lots of the standard, “Hey boo,” “U up,” “Hey sexy,” “DTF,” “Netflix and chill.” Some were more aggressive, texting over and over until they received a message back. There was even an unsolicited NSFW picture in the mix. After receiving the canned response, though, some apologized, some got angry, some were confused, some denied they did anything wrong, and some just simply didn’t get it.

Clearly, though, women have been handing out the number. So if you are one of those women who has made use of the hotline, would consider sharing your story with us? Why did you feel the need to use it? How did it play out? Was it helpful? We would love to know if it’s working and what your experience has been.

If you feel comfortable enough to share it on social media with your own handle, then you can do that with #TMSRejectHotline. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can email your stories to marysuerejection@themarysue.com (and we’ll reach out for permission before sharing any anonymous story). Remember to use an email that doesn’t tie to your identity if you want to stay super-secret.

Do we think this will magically make men change their ways and stop making women feel unsafe? No. But if it helps even one woman in a situation where she feels uncomfortable or unsafe, or if it plants a seed in the mind of a single man who realizes his actions and makes a conscious effort to change, then it’s all worth it.

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Women of the Art World Rally Around Victims of Alleged Sexual Harassment at the Hands of Artforum Publisher

Photo by Cindy Sherman at The Broad Museum in Los Angeles

As most women know, and as the world is becoming increasingly aware, sexism and sexual harassment and assault are not limited to the entertainment industry. Everywhere, from tech to government to sports, there are predators, mostly men, who feel so entitled to sex that they use their positions of power to take it from people. This time, it’s the art world.

As reported by The New York Times last week, Knight Landesman, publisher of Artforum, one of the art world’s premiere magazines, resigned from his position in light of a lawsuit brought against him by nine women who’ve either worked for him or met him at art events and been sexually harassed or assaulted by him, sometimes followed by him retaliating against them if they spurned his advances.

Today, over 500 female artists, writers, curators, and filmmakers have signed a letter standing with the women of the lawsuit and “pledging to fight against sexism in the art world.”

The letter began in a WhatsApp chat with only ten members of the arts community on October 24th. By the next day, the group increased to 125 participants and kept growing. Says Vanessa Carlos, a co-founder of the London gallery Carlos/Ishikawa, who was on the original group chat:

“The idea came very quickly to draft this letter. It was amazing to witness this huge group of people across different continents formulating this letter together. There are a lot of stories that women shared in the WhatsApp group, and a lot of them are not ready to come forward publicly. It was really hurtful to know that they still didn’t feel they could come forward, even in the current conversation.”

Since the letter was released today, 1800 cis and trans female and gender-nonconforming artists like Laurie Anderson, Cindy Sherman, and Lynn Nottage had signed. Other signers include Phyllida Barlow, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Tania Bruguera. The letter uses text from artist and co-signer Jenny Holzer’s work, “Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise:”

“We are not surprised.

We are artists, arts administrators, assistants, curators, directors, editors, educators, gallerists, interns, scholars, students, writers, and more—workers of the art world—and we have been groped, undermined, harassed, infantilized, scorned, threatened, and intimidated by those in positions of power who control access to resources and opportunities. We have held our tongues, threatened by power wielded over us and promises of institutional access and career advancement.”

The letter goes on to stress that open secrets will no longer be tolerated in the art world saying, “Your actions will no longer be a secret, whispered amongst us for fear of ostracization, professional shunning, and recrimination. Where we see the abuse of power, we resolve to speak out.”

It also announces the start of an online campaign, Not Surprised, across social media. Ruba Katrib, signer on the letter and curator at MoMA PS1, said, “This is really an initial step of what most people have expressed desire to be a longer-term engagement. There’s a real recognition that needs to take place that this is an actual problem and affects a huge percentage of people working in the contemporary art industry.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the staff at Artforum and its sister publication, Bookforum, have signed their own letter condemning not only Landesman’s actions, but how his co-publishers Anthony Korner, Charles Guarino and Danielle McConnell, have handled it and represented them. They say:

“We, the undersigned staff of Artforum and Bookforum, condemn the way the allegations against Knight Landesman have been handled by our publishers and repudiate the statements that have been issued to represent us so far. We are committed to gender justice and to the eradication of sexual harassment in the art community and beyond. We are now gravely aware of the work that needs to be done at our own publication, and call on the publishers to work with us to create radical and lasting change. There is much more to be said, and in the future we will be addressing these events in greater depth. Our intent right now is to state our position unequivocally.”

And that’s the kind of unequivocal statement we need. We don’t need phony apologies dressed up as coming-out moments, we don’t need faux attempts at “rehab,” and we certainly don’t need people continuing to make excuses for or turning a blind eye to the abuses in their industry. We need people to be brave. We need people to have integrity. We need people to tell the truth, and stand in solidarity with the truth-tellers.

Because here’s the secret about powerful people: they’re only as powerful as everyone around them allows them to be. It’s like Negan on The Walking Dead. If people didn’t listen to him, or decide they needed someone to take power in the way that he did, he’d just be some dude with a baseball bat. Money is only valuable, because we’ve all agreed on a system that makes it valuable. Otherwise it’s just paper and metal, or digits in a computer system. Power is taken, but power is also given, and it doesn’t have to be.

So sure, people can “threaten people’s careers.” But what if the rest of us hired those people, ignoring abusers’ “blacklists?” What if we all decided to take the power we so willingly bestow on heads of companies, or those with lots of money, and instead chose to bestow it on the employees, the marginalized, the abused? Think of what could happen.

(via Jezebel, image: Teresa Jusino/artwork by Cindy Sherman)

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Video Manip That Shows the Trump Team’s Perp Walks Is the Best Thing Ever

Before the reality of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort (and associates) being indicted came to pass, director Ava DuVernay tweeted a short video that I promptly sent to everyone I know with the message “This is the best thing I’ve ever seen.”

On Sunday, while the world awaited Mueller Monday, DuVernay tweeted out the two-minute video, crediting the user @1oneclone. On their account, @1oneclone calls the masterpiece of video editing their “Trump Admin Season Ending,” and honestly, it’s hard to imagine anything more perfect or satisfying to watch while we wait for the real thing to happen. (Much of the round-up footage is taken from Marvel’s Netflix superhero shows, which makes this even better.)

DuVernay, the director of Selma, 13th, and the forthcoming A Wrinkle in Time adaptation, calls the video’s creator “a genius” who “made millions of American dreams come true. If only for two minutes.” When Ava DuVernay cites someone as a genius with film, you’re gonna click on their video.

Watching this is super-cathartic. It really is put together extraordinarily well, with little details that ring true like Ivanka staring blankly and with a big fake smile while her husband Jared Kushner is arrested, Kellyanne Conway continuing to chatter on as she’s carted away, and the end, which is everything I’ve ever dreamed it could be.

Set to the soaring notes of Matt Monro singing the 1963 James Bond theme “From Russia With Love” from the movie of the same title, it’s hard to imagine a more finely matched song. And the editing is so well done that, if you squint, it really does look like Mike Flynn running from a squad of agents. I could watch this all damned day.

I’m thinking about making this Twitter user’s screengrab my background picture, well, everywhere:

https://twitter.com/DreaminNTheRain/status/924987210604130304

There are also some great little easter eggs mixed into the background—see if you spot them. I’ll start us off:

(via Twitter, image: screengrab)

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Joy Reid Shut Down a Trump Mouthpiece’s Lies With That Thing We All Miss: Facts – Fake news.

The Trump presidency has been unusual and infuriating for a lot of reasons, but one of the most baffling has been his and his administration’s total lack of interest in facts. From straight-up lies and inaccuracies to coining the term “alternative facts,” they just don’t care about reality. And why should they? The media rarely holds them accountable for their doublespeak untruths in any way that actually matters. Do you remember how maddening it was to watch the election debates or campaign interviews and hear Trump spew his outright lies, then see the moderators just move on?

MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid has now proven that it is possible to hold Trump and his spokespeople accountable for their statements, and to do so in real time. And yes, it’s just as satisfying as you’d imagine.

Leading up to today’s hotly anticipated indictments, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation dominated this weekend’s news. Well, unless you were watching Fox News.

Trump (and, by extension, Fox) instead attempted to shift the focus to, among other things, Hillary Clinton’s supposed involvement in President Obama’s 2010 Uranium One deal, in which a Russian energy company bought a controlling stake in a Toronto-based uranium company.

In addition to being an obvious deflection from the investigation into his own administration, this story is utter bullshit. Hillary Clinton had no involvement in the Uranium One deal. This was a transaction between a private company and a foreign government. The closest this deal got to Clinton was when it was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, of which she is and was not a member, meaning she never got close to it at all. Also, Trump loves to scare the public by throwing out the word “nuclear,” while omitting the subsequent word “power.”

Basically, Trump is trying to convince us that Hillary Clinton gave away 20% of our country’s uranium supply so that Russia could make bombs. Not one part of that is true, but it’s the kind of blatantly false claim that the media so often has trouble shutting down.

When talking to Jen Kerns, a former GOP spokesperson and contributor for the conservative Washington Examiner, Reid had no such trouble. I’ve never had such a strong reaction to basic fact-checking, but this clip is making me feel all warm inside.

“I want to ask you a couple fact-based questions” is my new favorite phrase in the English language.

What makes this extra maddening is that Kerns has all the information Reid asks for. She knows that her talking points are misleading; she’s obviously just hoping she doesn’t get called on her BS. These people are lying to us, plain and simple, and we need more Joy-Ann Reids in the world, letting them know we see their lies for what they are, and we won’t stand for it.

(image: screencap, MSNBC)

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