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Green Book Wins Best Picture, Spike Lee and Others React

Green Book won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, prompting backlash. The film had been criticized in the past for its portrayal of race relations in the 1960s. Spike Lee called the win a “bad call.” Green Book Wins Green Book won the coveted Best Picture award during Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony, a victory […]

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  • Green Book won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, prompting backlash.
  • The film had been criticized in the past for its portrayal of race relations in the 1960s.
  • Spike Lee called the win a “bad call.”

Green Book Wins

Green Book won the coveted Best Picture award during Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony, a victory that received backlash from some viewers.

The film tells the story of Dr. Don Shirley, a renowned black pianist, and his relationship with Tony Lip, who acts as his driver and valet as Shirley does a tour in the South in the 1960s.

Along with Best Picture, Greenkbook picked up awards for Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.

The whole story is about love,” said Director Peter Farrelly during the acceptance speech. “It’s about loving each other despite our differences and finding the truth about who we are. We’re the same people.”

Some viewers praised the film’s win on social media.


Backlash to Win

However, despite Farrelly’s speech emphasizing themes of love and acceptance in his speech, the film has come under fire for its depiction of race relations in the 1960s. Because the lead character is white, many claimed the film white-washed this aspect of the film.

Dr. Shirley’s family also allegedly did not want the film to be made, and the family of Tony Lip made the film against their will. Dr. Shirley was also not thanked in the acceptance speech.

Spike Lee Responds

One of the most notable critics against the film was Director Spike Lee. Reporters in the Dolby Theatre said that Lee was visably upset when Green Book was announced as the Best Picture winner and that he tried to leave the theatre. Lee’s Blackkklansmen was also up for Best Picture.

While speaking in the Oscars Press Room, he said the win was a “bad call.”

See What Others Are Saying: (KTLA) (A.V. Club) (Variety)

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Sydney Sweeney Says There is a “Stigma” Against Actresses Doing Nudity. Other Stars Have Called Out This Double Standard Too.

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“I’m very proud of my work in Euphoria,” Sweeney said. “I thought it was a great performance. But no one talks about it because I got naked.” 


Sydney Sweeney Talks Nudity Double Standard

“Euphoria” actress Sydney Sweeney said there is a “stigma” against actresses who do nudity on screen.

Sweeney plays Cassie, a high schooler trying to reckon with her relationships with sex and romance. As a result, Sweeney finds herself doing her fair share of scenes involving sex and nudity on the HBO drama. 

“Euphoria” is known for having a copious amount of scenes with naked bodies, but Sweeney told The Independent this week that creator Sam Levinson is open to cutting back when necessary. 

“There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.’ He was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it,’” she told the outlet. “I’ve never felt like Sam has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. When I didn’t want to do it, he didn’t make me.”

On other sets, she has not felt that level of respect.

“I’ve had experiences where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel disgusting,” she said.

But even with her comfort on “Euphoria,” she still believes there is a double standard when it comes to female nudity on television. Sweeney said she did not feel she earned critical attention until her role on “The White Lotus,” where her character has no undressed scenes. She does not think that is a coincidence. 

“With The White Lotus, I felt like people were finally recognising the hard work I’ve been doing. This is something that has bothered me for a while,” Sweeney explained. “I’m very proud of my work in Euphoria. I thought it was a great performance. But no one talks about it because I got naked.” 

“I do The White Lotus and all of a sudden critics are paying attention. People are loving me. They’re going, ‘Oh my God, what’s she doing next?’ I was like, ‘Did you not see that in Euphoria? Did you not see that in The Handmaid’s Tale?’”

She went on to tell The Independent that she believes there is “a stigma against actresses who get naked on screen.” 

“When a guy has a sex scene or shows his body, he still wins awards and gets praise,” she said. “But the moment a girl does it, it’s completely different.”

Women in Hollywood Grapple With Nudity Stigma

Sweeney is far from the first actress to address this issue. Stars have long pointed out that Hollywood treats female nudity and male nudity differently. According to a report from Mount Saint Mary’s, women were three times more likely than men to appear partially or fully nude in films in 2014. 

Even though women are generally more expected to undress for the camera, they still get flack for it. At the 2013 Oscars, host Seth MacFarlane sang a controversial song called “We Saw Your Boobs” where he teased actresses who had gone topless. Numerous actresses have also expressed regret for doing nude scenes, either because they felt uncomfortable or because their nudity was treated as something for audiences to ogle at rather than as an artistic choice. 

Oscar-winner Natalie Portman said she does not like the “misappropriation of” nude scenes. Some of her’s have ended up on porn sites.

“It’s meant to be a dramatic scene and part of a story,” she told MTV in 2011. “That really makes me angry.”

Emelia Clarke has been vocal about her opposition to some of the nudity on “Game of Thrones.” She told the “Armchair Expert” podcast in 2019 that there was a “fuck ton of nudity” early in the show because she was new to the industry and did not know how to refuse. As she gained more confidence, she fought for her right to say no.

“I’m a lot more savvy [now] with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am okay with doing,” Clarke explained. “I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up,’ and they’re like, ‘You don’t wanna disappoint your ‘Game of Thrones’ fans.’ And I’m like, ‘Fuck you.’”

Even before actresses make their way to set, they can be subject to grotesque remarks after being forced to strip down. While speaking at Elle‘s Women in Hollywood in 2017, Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence said she experienced this during an audition.

“A female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much, thinner than me,” she said. “We stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”

When Lawrence tried to tell another producer she thought this was inappropriate, she claims he said that “he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat; he thought I was ‘perfectly f*ckable.’”

See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Variety) (Los Angeles Times)

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D.A.R.E. Accuses HBO’s “Euphoria” of Glorifying Drug Use

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The organization believes the drama series could have “negative consequences on school-age children who today face unparalleled risks and mental health challenges.


D.A.R.E. Slams “Euphoria”

HBO’s “Euphoria” has become synonymous with its explicit depictions of teen sex, violence, and addiction. The substance abuse awareness organization D.A.R.E. condemned the series for its lurid content, arguing that it glorifies drug use. 

While drugs can weasel their way into any aspect of the show at a moment’s notice, the primary storyline around addiction follows Rue, a high schooler who often resists the help she needs to recover. Zendaya won an Emmy for portraying the struggling protagonist in 2020. 

D.A.R.E., also known as Drug Abuse Resistance Education, told TMZ on Wednesday that “Euphoria” is reckless in its handling of such weighted subject matter.  

“Rather than further each parent’s desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world,” a representative for the group told the outlet. 

“It is unfortunate that HBO, social media, television program reviewers, and paid advertising have chosen to refer to the show as ‘groundbreaking,’ rather than recognizing the potential negative consequences on school-age children who today face unparalleled risks and mental health challenges,” the representative continued. 

“Euphoria” Cast and Creator Speak on Heavy Subject Matter

Ahead of the season two premiere, Zendaya warned her followers that much of the content in “Euphoria” is not suitable for all viewers. 

“I know I’ve said this before, but I do want to reiterate to everyone that Euphoria is for mature audiences,” she wrote on Instagram. “This season, maybe more so than the last, is deeply emotional and deals with subject matter that can be triggering and difficult to watch. Please only watch it if you feel comfortable.”

Sam Levinson, the creator of “Euphoria,” has been open about his own experience with addiction. Now over a decade sober, Levinson struggled with substance abuse as a teenager, much like Zendaya’s Rue. He feels a personal connection to the story, and therefore, a responsibility to honestly represent the tribulations of addiction.

“The hardest thing about portraying a drug addict is — there are a lot of cautionary tales, there are a lot of after-school specials — but what I really wanted to get to the core of is the pain and the shame about what you’re doing and you’re inability to get clean despite the havoc and destruction you’re wreaking around you,” Levinson said of the show during the ATX Television Festival in 2019, per Deadline.

Levinson noted that he does have to be “mindful of” the risk of glamorizing drug use “just by the sheer nature of it being on screen.” 

“We have to be authentic about it,” he explained. “If we’re pulling our punches and we’re not showing the relief that drugs can bring it starts to lose its impact. Drugs are not the solution but they can feel like it at times, and that’s what makes them so destructive.”

Drug Use on Euphoria

Still, D.A.R.E. is far from the first group to express concern over the impact “Euphoria” might have on younger viewers. Before the second season debuted earlier this month, the Parents Television and Media Council released a statement warning of the show’s “imminent threat to the health and well-being of children.”

Before each episode of “Euphoria” airs, HBO flashes a warning to alert viewers of the drug abuse, language, violence, nudity, and sex that will appear in the program. The show might be cavalier in the casual and frequent manner it depicts drug use and other dangerous behavior, but more often than not, characters await the consequences of their actions. 

In the most recent episode of “Euphoria,” Rue’s addiction lands her in a visceral screaming match with her sister. The scene underscores the tragic and harsh reality of substance abuse.

While critics push back against the show for a variety of other reasons, they generally praise Rue’s arc, largely thanks to Zendaya’s gripping performance. 

But D.A.R.E. argued that the show goes a bridge too far and offered to meet with HBO to hash out the issues. 

“We would welcome the opportunity for our team, including members of our high school-aged Youth Advocacy Board, to meet with individuals at HBO who are involved with producing Euphoria to present our concerns directly,” D.A.R.E.’s representative told TMZ.

HBO has not publicly responded to the criticisms.

See what others are saying: (TMZ) (Vanity Fair) (Complex)

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Neil Young Asks For His Music to Be Removed From Spotify Over Vaccine Misinformation

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The “Harvest Moon” singer told his representatives that the streaming service “can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” 


Neil Young Wants Music His Off Of Spotify

Musician Neil Young wrote an open letter to his management and record label demanding that his music be taken down from Spotify over concerns about vaccine misinformation. 

The “Heart of Gold” singer initially posted the letter on his website, but it has since been removed. According to Rolling Stone, which reported on the document before it was taken down, Young specifically took issue with podcast host Joe Rogan. 

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he wrote. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” 

“The Joe Rogan Experience” is exclusive to Spotify and was the most popular podcast on the platform in 2021. Rogan has regularly received criticism for spreading COVID-19 misinformation that contradicts public health recommendations, specifically when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. 

Rogan previously said that young people should not worry about getting vaccinated against the coronavirus. He has also regularly cited faulty studies questioning their efficacy and interviewed controversial medical personalities who are known for promoting conspiracy theories about the vaccine. 

Young said he is afraid of the ramifications of these kinds of remarks.

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” the singer wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

Concerns About Joe Rogan’s Vaccine Comments

Young’s manager, Frank Gironda, conf​​rimed the authenticity of the letter to The Daily Beast.

“It’s something that’s really important to Neil,” Gironda said.  “He’s very upset about this disinformation. We’re trying to figure this out right now.”

Young is far from the first person to express frustrations over the anti-vax views on the audio streaming service platforms. Earlier this month, a group of doctors and other medical professionals wrote a letter to Spotify urging the company to implement a policy to fight disinformation.

“We are calling on Spotify to take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform,” the letter said. “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, [The Joe Rogan Experience] is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

“This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform,” the expert cautioned. 

Spotify has not made a public statement regarding Young’s letter.

See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (The Daily Beast) (The Verge)

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