Well, hello Tuesday! It’s gorgeous here in Texas which for some reason just pisses me off more about what happened last week. I know, I need to let it go, but I AM STILL SO ANGRY.
Let’s look at this polar bear, Blizzard, who actually likes the snow, and try to calm down:
We’re going to begin today by taking a little peek behind the scenes at Foolish so you can understand how I organize my thoughts and this blog. The past four years have been tumultuous in political and cultural ways that have had major impacts on the entertainment business: #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and Former President Cretin have each had their moments when they were the only things we were talking about. They continue to have an impact on the subjects we discuss on this blog, but over time, #MeToo, BLM, and Former President Tang have taken up fewer and fewer headlines. As a result, to save myself time and mental energy, I decided to dedicate a particular day of the week to each of those topics, rather than mention them every single day. I save up the #MeToo stories for Tuesdays, BLM stories for Thursdays, and in theory, political stories for Wednesdays. (We’ll see how well I stick to that one.)
And so when friendly commentator Lisa pointed out nearly two weeks ago that I had missed the Charisma Carpenter story, in which the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel actress accused Buffy creator Joss Whedon of bullying and abuse, I replied that I hadn’t missed it, I was just waiting until the next Tuesday to write about it. In part, I was sitting on the story because I was saving it for #MeToo Tuesdays (Oh no … should I call it #MeTuesday?)
… and in part, because I knew a bunch of other people in the Joss Whedon world would be coming out to respond to Carpenter’s story between it breaking and the next week. And at the time, I didn’t realize that on the next #MeTuesday (… still not sure …) I would be thrust into the 18th century and struggling to avoid hypothermia.
Now that I’ve returned to the 21st century, it turns out that a number of people have, in fact, come out to support Ms. Carpenter in her accusations against Joss Whedon. You can read Ms. Carpenter’s statement here:
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
Now, what I found baffling about Carpenter’s statement was that anyone was surprised — that this is what it took for people to finally agree that Joss Whedon was an asshole, because I thought this was already common knowledge.
Back when the #MeToo movement first broke in 2017, Whedon’s ex-wife came forward, accusing the feminist icon of cheating on her with his “actresses, co-workers, fans and friends.” Fortunately for Whedon, there were so many Harvey Weinsteins and Jeffrey Epsteins and R. Kelleys who had done so much worse, and Ms. Cole’s accusations against her ex-husband went mostly unnoticed, I suppose. But they shouldn’t have been ignored, as a powerful producer having sex with his actresses … that is a fraught power dynamic that suggests something much worse than just a feminist man failing to live up to his own ideals.
Soon after, footage of Carpenter hinting at a 2009 convention that Whedon was unhappy with her on the set of Angel for becoming pregnant reemerged and was re-evaluated, and I just assumed that everyone was on the same page with me: that Whedon was a bullying, sexist creep who might not have raped anyone, but who certainly shouldn’t be upheld as a feminist hero any longer.
And then, of course, there was the whole Ray Fisher/Justice League drama that has been going on for LITERALLY HALF A YEAR now, which is what prompted Carpenter to come forward and make her statement in the first place.
But apparently, Carpenter had to be very explicit to get everyone’s attention. It seems to have worked because the floodgates have opened:
“I am here for you to listen and support you. Proud of your strength,” — David Boreanaz to Carpenter on Twitter.
I know you’re there for me, David. I appreciate all you’ve done to demonstrate that support privately as well. Especially since Wednesday. -Thank you so much. ♥️
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 15, 2021
While I will always be honored to have played the character of Spike, the Buffy set was not without challenges. I do not support abuse of any kind, and am heartbroken to learn of the experiences of some of the cast. I send my love and support to all involved.
— James Marsters (@JamesMarstersOf) February 12, 2021
Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later. #IStandWithRayFisher #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter https://t.co/WJAmDGm76C
— Amber Benson (@amber_benson) February 10, 2021
For what it’s worth, I believe and stand with @allcharisma, @ray8fisher, @amber_benson and others who have the strength to come forward with their truth. A lot of this industry needs a reset….. #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter #IStandWithRayFisher
— Clare Kramer (@ClareKramer) February 10, 2021
"Casually cruel" is a perfect way of describing Joss. He thought being mean was funny. Making female writers cry during a notes session was especially hysterical. He actually liked to boast about the time he made one writer cry twice in one meeting. #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter https://t.co/SgPF1rgRby
— Jose Molina (@JoseMolinaTV) February 13, 2021
recently wrote about some of our own experiences in the business and what we think can be done to help make it better (see below). https://t.co/3tdviBubjF
— NOX NOX WHO’S WEARING A MASK? (@martinoxon) February 12, 2021
Joss Whedon is gross and abusive and because it is Joss Whedon, the creator of one of the greatest feminist characters of our generation, it hurts more. Like the situation with Louis C.K., it is much more painful when a man who has disguised himself as a feminist ally is revealed to be another misogynistic bully. It taints everything you loved that he made, it leaves a lingering bitterness on the tongue.
We are hardly done with #MeTuesday (I’m coming around … ), so settle in:
On Sunday, HBO debuted their documentary limited series Allen v. Farrow which tells Dylan Farrow’s accusations of sexual abuse by her father, Woody Allen, in her own words, and the story of the war that erupted between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in the early 90s after Farrow discovered that he was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi. The documentary which includes interviews with a now-adult Dylan, Mia, and Ronan Farrow, as well as a number of family friends and witnesses, is very much focused on the Farrows’ version of events, and clearly one-sided. But it is unquestionably powerful and disturbing, and the Farrows and their witnesses tell a dark, but believable story.
Thank you to everyone for their kind words, the outpouring of support means more to me than I can say ♥️ Speaking the truth is so difficult, but I hope any fellow survivors who watched last night know they are not alone. The truth is something that cannot be changed.
— Dylan Farrow (@RealDylanFarrow) February 22, 2021
“These documentarians had no interest in the truth. Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods. Woody and Soon-Yi were approached less than two months ago and given only a matter of days ‘to respond.’ Of course, they declined to do so.
“As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false. Multiple agencies investigated them at the time and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place. It is sadly unsurprising that the network to air this is HBO – which has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow. While this shoddy hit piece may gain attention, it does not change the facts.”
And Allen’s publishing house is threatening to sue HBO for unauthorized use of his audiobook — which is the only audio the documentary uses to have Allen tell his side of the story.
As for Mia Farrow, she was so reluctant to take part in the documentary that she had to be forced to swap shirts with the documentarian after Farrow arrived at the interview wearing a dirty sweatshirt as an act of passive-aggressive resistance. She’s terrified of Allen and what he’s capable of, which she says at the end of the documentary. In fact, despite what you might think, Mia Farrow didn’t speak publicly about this story until 2013.
“What astounds me,” said Ziering in an interview, is that for the past nearly three decades, people assume that this has been a matter of “he said, she said”—meaning Allen’s word versus Farrow’s. But after Ziering and codirector Kirby Dick began their research, they realized, “Actually, it’s been a ‘he said, he said’ situation. Mia didn’t even speak until the Vanity Fair interview [in 2013]. Never. She is such a private person. That’s really important to know. And she was sort of blindsided by all these events that happened to her. And kept trying to navigate the best that she could just to protect her children and family.”
Over in the #FreeBritney sphere, the news is improving for the popstar: a court ruled that a financial institution be appointed co-conservator to her estate along with her father, over his objections. It could be the first step towards her eventual independence from Jamie Spears.
— Britney-Online.net – Britney Spears Fansite (@BritneyOnline) February 9, 2021
Following the Framing Britney documentary, people have been coming out of the woodwork to apologize to Spears for how they treated her.
Sarah Silverman on her podcast: “Britney, I am so sorry. I feel terribly if I hurt you. I could say I was just doing my job but that feels very Nuremberg Trial-y, and I am responsible for what comes out of my mouth.”
Better late than never, I suppose.
The Britney story is also opening old wounds about how the media treated other young women: Kate Winslet discussed the “straight-up cruel” way her weight was covered in the media with The Guardian, and David Letterman has come under recent criticism for this interview with Lindsey Lohan:
This Lindsay Lohan interview on David Letterman in 2013 is horrifying to watch now. pic.twitter.com/lZxKVvbVB0
— 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐚𝐲𝐥𝐨𝐫 (@treytylor) February 13, 2021
In Shia LaBeouf news — and I know this is so shallow and nothing new, but MY GOD is his name stupid — La Beouf has been dumped by both his agency, and by his girlfriend Margaret Qualley, thank God.
Qualley broke up with LaBeouf and posted this on her Instagram following FKA Twigs’ interview in which she detailed the abuse she endured in the relationship with LaBeouf. She also gave her first TV interview with Gayle King, in which she dropped this wisdom:
Gayle King asks FKA Twigs why she didn't leave Shia LaBeouf:
"I think we have to stop asking that question. I'm going to make a stance and say that I'm not going to answer that question… because the question should really be to the abuser: Why are you holding someone hostage?" pic.twitter.com/qG84auSHV2
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 19, 2021
Marilyn Manson is being investigated by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department over multiple sexual abuse allegations. Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco has come forward with her own allegations against Manson. And Greg Nicotero has no regrets about pulling Manson’s episode of Creepshow.
Gérard Depardieu has been charged with rape and sexual assault in relation to an incident that took place in 2018.
James Franco has reached a settlement agreement with two students who accused him of sexually exploiting them.
Steve Schmidt has resigned from The Lincoln Project over the organization’s mishandling of the John Weaver sexual harassment claims. In his statement, Schmidt revealed that he too is a sexual assault survivor.
Olivia Wilde celebrated her boyfriend Harry Styles for being a male actor who is willing to play a supporting role in a female-led film. It’s pitiful that this is remarkable and something worthy of praise, but here we are.
Courtney Love claims that sexual harassment drove her from acting.
Kevin Cosculluela, who once was an instructor on Dance Moms, has been arrested for sexual battery of underage students.
All Other TV News
Remember how I mentioned cable consumers are becoming angry that Discovery networks are shuttling all — or most — of their new content onto Discovery+? Yeah, that could potentially get them in trouble with the cable companies that they are hosted on.
Disney is keeping 80% of revenue from the older shows it streams thanks to some questionable reading of “home video” distribution laws. Methinks Bill Nye needs to get this case in front of a judge who understands what streaming is.
I don’t watch the new Fox game show Cherries Wild, but apparently, the giant slot machine is not actually a slot machine and all of the outcomes from the giant slot machine that is not a slot machine are predetermined? Confused.
A Los Angeles waitress spills some tea on celebrity politeness. MORE OF THIS, PLEASE:
Everybody hates Ted Cruz — except for late-night hosts because he’s the gift that keeps giving:
And this is rich — Ted Cruz calling OTHER PEOPLE out for being assholes: “’It’s a sign of how ridiculously politicized and nasty and just… Here’s a suggestion: Just don’t be assholes. Just treat each other as human beings. Have some degree, some modicum of respect,’” Cruz said on the ‘Ruthless’ podcast.”
All of this is to say, don’t live your life in such a way that people want to make an effigy of you to beat with a baseball bat.
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) February 23, 2021
President Biden’s tribute to the 500,000 Americans who have died from coronavirus was moving, cathartic, empathetic, and presidential. It’s such a relief to have a man who actually gives a shit about the American people back in the White House.
If you missed the speech:
A coronavirus variant that emerged in mid-2020 and surged to become the dominant strain in California not only spreads more readily than its predecessors, but also evades antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines or prior infection and it’s associated with severe illness and death, researchers said
The U.K. and California variants are each armed with enhanced capabilities, and the likelihood that they could circulate in the same population raises the specter of a return to spiking infections and deaths, Chiu said. It also opens the door to a “nightmare scenario”: That the two viruses will meet in a single person, swap their mutations, and create an even more dangerous strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The new evidence that the California variant could make people sicker, and vaccines less effective, should spur more intensive efforts to drive down infections, Chiu said. Those should include both public health measures, such as masking and limits on public activities, and a campaign of rapid vaccinations, he added.
Dr. Fauci spoke the truth about our failure to contain this virus: “We’ve done worse than most any other country, and we’re a highly-developed rich country.” GEE, I WONDER WHY. COULD IT BE THERE WAS AN ADMINISTRATION IN PLACE WHO DENIED THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE VIRUS FOR A YEAR?
Speaking of Dr. Facui, look at this dumb idiot:
The View co-host Meghan McCain calls for Dr. Fauci to be replaced with someone who “maybe does understand science.”
"I'm over Dr. Fauci, I think we need to have more people giving more opinions."pic.twitter.com/9pIriLu2Uq
— The Recount (@therecount) February 22, 2021
— blaire erskine (@blaireerskine) February 22, 2021
She literally said President Biden should remove Dr. Fauci and replace him with someone “who does understand science” because she is mad she can’t get her celebrity hands on a vaccine. The entitlement of this asshole. At least her hairstylist hates her, too.
Tucker Carlson claims Bill Gates controls “what you can and cannot do with your own body”https://t.co/uqJmDkie35
— Media Matters (@mmfa) February 23, 2021
Fernando Hidalgo, the host of El Show de Fernando Hidalgo, has died of COVID-19.
After being postponed last year because of COVID, the National Spelling Bee will return in person this July. It will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida and broadcast on EPSN2.
The Critics Choice Real TV Awards was also canceled last year and will return in June, though the format has yet to be determined.
And New York City will be reopening movie theaters at 25% capacity, which is a start for the theater business.
- Holey Moley has been renewed at ABC for two more seasons.
- The Oval has been renewed at BET for season three.
- Gaslit, a Watergate-based anthology series starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn — but not Armie Hammer — has been ordered at Starz.
- Frogger is being turned into a competition series at Peacock. I hope they make the contestants wear frog costumes.
- Promised Land, a multi-generational Latinx drama, has been given a pilot at ABC.
- George Clooney is producing a documentary about the Ohio State sexual abuse scandal.
- Lena Waithe is producing Birth of Cool, a half-hour dramedy about a predominately Black high school for BET+.
- Mayor Pete, a documentary about Pete Buttigieg on the campaign trail, is coming to Amazon.
- Multiple projects set in Disney’s Magic Kingdom are being made for Disney+ by Ronald D. Moore.
- Clean Slate and Loteria, both Norman Lear projects, are coming to IMDb TV.
- Eternity Springs, an 18-part novel series, is being turned into a TV series by Phylicia Rashad.
- Twisted Metal is being turned into a TV series by Sony.
- Gillian Anderson is your new Eleanor Roosevelt.
- Mila Kunis will star in the Luckiest Girl Alive on Netflix.
- Hope Davis has signed on to Succession on HBO.
- Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Gina Rodriguez, Scott Eastwood, Manny Jacinto, and Clark Backo will star in I Want You Back on Amazon.
- Kit Harington, Anna Paquin, Minnie Driver, Miranda Richardson, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Susan Blackwell, Lucy Boynton, Tom Burke, Zoe Chao, Maria Dizzia, Grace Edwards, Dominique Fishback, Kathryn Gallagher, Garrett Hedlund, Telci Huynh, Nikki M. James, Aparna Nancherla, Larry Owens, Zane Pais, Isaac Powell, Ben Rappaport, Milan Ray, Jack Reynor, Marquis Rodriguez, James Scully, Zuzanna Szadkowski, Lulu Wilson, Don Wycherley, and Jeena Yi have all been cast in Modern Love on Amazon.
Mark Your Calendars
- The Irregulars will debut on Netflix on March 26.
- Mayans MC will return on FX on March 17.
- The Real World Homecoming: New York will debut on Paramount+ on March 4.
- Jupiter’s Legacy will debut on Netflix on May 7.
- Persona will debut on HBO Max on March 4.
- A Week Away will debut on Netflix on March 26.
- Mama June: Road to Redemption will debut on WE tv on March 19.
- HBO released a teaser roll of upcoming projects:
- YouTube announced a number of projects for YouTube Kids:
- Operation Varsity Blues will premiere on Netflix on March 17.
Martha Ruth Stewart, Actress who starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in In a Lonely Place
Gary Gunas, Broadway producer and manager
Superman & Lois: Clark Kent and Lois Lane are parents of teenagers. That’s it. That’s the show. Series premiere. 7 p.m., The CW
Pelé: The story of the extraordinary Brazilian soccer player who is considered the greatest of all time. Premiere. Netflix
MTV Unplugged Presents: BTS: BTS is doing the unplugged thing, I guess. 8 p.m., MTV
- Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Tom Holland, Andra Day, Mary McCartney
- Late Night with Seth Meyers: Colin Jost, Harvey Guillen, Raghav Mehrotra
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Billie Eilish, Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Drew Barrymore, Storm Reid
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Soleil Moon Frye, Lord Huron
- The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
- Conan: Colin Quinn
- Watch What Happens Live: Ricki Lake, John Waters
- A Little Late with Lily Singh: Tracee Ellis Ross
|ABC||To Tell the Truth
|To Tell the Truth
|FBI: Most Wanted
|CW||Superman & Lois
|This Is Us