- Influencer and beauty YouTuber Ayesha Malik accused Indian actress Priyanka Chopra of supporting a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.
- Malik’s accusation was in reference to a tweet Chopra posted in support of India after they launched airstrikes on Pakistan in February.
- Meanwhile, tensions between India and Pakistan have risen in recent days after India revoked Kashmir’s special autonomous status.
- Kashmir is currently under a security lockdown and communications blackout enforced by Indian military forces.
Ayesha Malik Questions Priyanka Chopra
Influencer and beauty YouTuber Ayesha Malik accused Indian actress Priyanka Chopra of encouraging nuclear war between India and Pakistan during a question and answer session led by Chopra at BeautyCon on Saturday.
“So it was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity, because as your neighbor, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite,” Malik said in the now-viral video.
Malik went on to read a tweet posted by Chopra amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan in February, which read, “Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces.” The phrase “Jai Hind,” loosely translates to “Hail India” or “Long Live India.”
Copra’s tweet was referring to the fact that India had just launched airstrikes on Pakistani soil, prompting Pakistan to retaliate with airstrikes on Indian soil.
At the time, Chopra received backlash for cheering India’s airstrikes on Pakistan, especially after she condemned Pakistan for responding by doing the same on Twitter.
“You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace, and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan,” Malik continued. “There’s no winner in this. As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business of Bollywood and you want nuclear war.”
Malik then had the microphone taken from her by security personnel.
Chopra responded to the allegations first by asking Malik if she was “done venting.”
“Whenever you’re don’t venting”. Sorry, didn’t realize that speaking on a humanitarian crisis was “venting” pic.twitter.com/OqCLgjDNa1— Ayesha Malik (@Spishaa) August 11, 2019
“I have many, many friends from Pakistan. And I am from India,” she continued. “And war is not something that I am really fond of, but I am patriotic. So I’m sorry that, if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me.”
“But I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk,” she added. “Just like you probably do as well, the way you came at me right now.”
“I love India as much as I love Pakistan,” Malik said.
“No, don’t yell, we’re all here for love,” Chopra responded. “Don’t yell, how embarrassing.”
After the interaction at BeautyCon, Malik took to Twitter to address what happened, and why she chose to speak to Chopra.
“It was hard listening to her say, ‘we should be neighbors and love each other’ — swing that advice over to your PM,” she wrote. “Both India and Pakistan were in danger. And instead she tweeted out in favor for nuclear war.”
“It took me back to when I couldn’t reach my family because of the blackouts and how scared/helpless I was,” Malik continued. “She gaslit me and turned the narrative around on me being the ‘bad guy’ — as a UN ambassador this was so irresponsible.”
Rogue Rocket interviewed Malik about the interaction, and she expanded on the same sentiment struck in her tweet.
“You can’t be an extremist patriot and also a U.N. Ambassador trying to build bridges between countries. It doesn’t make sense,” she said.
“Before the mic was snatched from me, what I was going to ask her was, ‘Will you relinquish your as the U.N. Ambassador for Peace, or will you denounce your tweets against nuclear war?’”
Others also addressed the incident on Twitter, criticizing how Chopra responded to Malik.
Some said that Chopra had talked down to Malik and embarrassed herself.
Others said Chopra was condescending and did not act like a U.N. ambassador.
A number of people also defended Chopra, with some saying her tweeting “Jai Hind” was just out of respect for Indian soldiers and did not mean she supports nuclear war.
The Situation in Kashmir
Meanwhile, tensions between the two nuclear powers increased recently, after India announced that it was taking away the special autonomous status given to the state of Kashmir.
Kashmir is a contested region that both India and Pakistan claim complete control over, and now many experts and global leaders have described the move by India as a power-grab and are concerned the two countries will be drawn into a conflict.
Since India announced they were taking away Kashmir’s special status, Indian military forces have been enforcing a widespread security crackdown and communications blackout on the 4 million people in the territory.
The crackdown has left the Kashmiri’s without the internet or the ability to contact their families, and forced many to stay in their homes by imposing a near-constant curfew.
According to Al Jazeera, razor wire coils and steel barricades have been set up to maintain the blockade, and drones and helicopters are hovering over the region.
People in Kashmir defied the lockdown this week when hundreds took to the streets to protest. This came after military forces used tear gas to break up about 8,000 anti-government protestors in a demonstration over the weekend.
While it has been reported that some schools and businesses that had previously been closed are now open again, the entire territory is still being patrolled by tens of thousands of military forces.
Meanwhile, many in the international community have said the lockdown is concerning and will likely increase tensions.
Malik told Rogue Rocket that her intention was always to bring what is happening in Kashmir to the forefront of mainstream media.
“Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris, and I want that message to be louder than anything else because there’s a lot of focus on me for some reason when the focus should be on the message that I was trying to yell across the stage where we need to bring attention to Kashmir,” she said.
“I remember as a child, Kashmir has always been an issue, but nobody else has been talking about it except for Pakistanis, Indians, and Kashmiris,” Malik continued.
“And for the first time in my life, I’m seeing Kashmir headline worldwide, thank God, but I want the attention to be directly towards the Kashmiris that are going through this humanitarian crisis and not me.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The Guardian) (Al Jazeera)
TikTok and Twitter Are Now Deleting Videos That Expose Closeted Olympians on Grindr
On top of outing people who may not be ready to have their sexuality revealed to the world, these videos could have endangered LGBTQ+ athletes from countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Closeted Olympians Being Doxxed
Openly LGBTQ+ Olympians are currently more visible than they have ever been before, but unfortunately, so are closeted ones.
That’s because some people have been using the LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr to try and find Olympians. They’ve been doing so by using the app’s “Explore” feature, which allows people to search and see users in specific locations (ie. Olympic Village).
But some aren’t content with just discovering which athletes belong to the LGBTQ+ community. They’re also sharing that information on platforms like TikTok and Twitter.
“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself [an] Olympian boyfriend,” one TikTok user said in a post that had been viewed 140,000 times, according to Insider.
That video reportedly went on to show the poster scrolling through Grindr to expose over 30 users’ full faces.
As many have argued, not only does this potentially out already-stressed Olympians who may not yet be comfortable sharing their sexuality, it also could put some users at serious risk if they live in countries where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.
In fact, the video cited by Insider seemingly did just that, as it reportedly shows the face of a user who appears to be from a country “known for its anti-LGBTQ policies.”
Grindr Responds, TikTok and Twitter Take Action
In response, Grindr said the posts violate its rules against “publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information” from the app. It then asked the posters to remove the content.
Ultimately, it was TikTok and Twitter themselves that largely took action, with the two deleting at least 14 posts scattered across their platforms.
Twitter says it’s taking steps to remove the posts flagged by Insider showing Grindr’s explore page at the Olympic Village. TikTok has yet to give an on the record response. pic.twitter.com/r11pNL6Lwu— Benjamin Goggin (@BenjaminGoggin) July 28, 2021
A Highly-Visible LGBTQ+ Presence at the Games
According to Outsports, at least 172 of around 11,000 Olympians are openly LGBTQ+. While that number is still well below the statistical average, it’s triple the number of LGBTQ+ athletes that attended Rio’s 2016 Games.
In fact, if they were their own country, openly LGBTQ+ athletes would reportedly rank 11th in medals, according to an Outsports report published Tuesday.
Among those winners is British diver Tom Daley, who secured his first gold medal on Monday and used his platform to send a hopeful message to LGBTQ+ youth by telling them, “You are not alone.”
After winning a silver medal on Wednesday, U.S. swimmer Erica Sullivan talked about her experience as both a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a person of color.
Still, the Olympics has faced criticism for its exclusion of intersex individuals, particularly those like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, who won gold medals in both 2012 and 2016. Rules implemented in 2019 now prevent Semenya from competing as a woman without the use of medication to suppress her testosterone levels.
Jake Paul Launches Anti-Bullying Charity
The charity, called Boxing Bullies, aims to use the sport to give kids confidence and courage.
Jake Paul Launches Boxing Bullies Foundation
YouTuber Jake Paul — best known as the platform’s boxer, wreckless partier, and general troublemaker — has seemingly launched a non-profit to combat bullying.
The charity is called Boxing Bullies. According to a mission statement posted on Instagram, it aims to “instill self confidence, leadership, and courage within the youth through the sport of boxing while using our platform, voice, and social media to fight back against bullying.”
If the notion of a Paul-founded anti-bullying charity called “Boxing Bullies” was not already begging to be compared to former First Lady Melania Trump’s “Best Best” initiative, maybe the group’s “Boxing Bullies Commandments” will help connect the dots. Those commandments use an acronym for the word “BOX” to spell out the charity’s golden rules.
“Be kind to everyone; Only defend, never initiate; X-out bullying.”
Paul Hopes To “Inspire” Kids To Stand Up For Themselves
Paul first said he was launching Boxing Bullies during a July 13 interview following a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley.
“I know who I am at the end of the day, which is a good person,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to change this sport, bring more eyeballs. I’m trying to support other fighters, increase fighter pay. I’m starting my charity, I’m launching that in 12 days here called Boxing Bullies and we’re helping to fight against cyberbullying.”
It has not been quite 12 days since the interview, so it’s likely that more information about the organization will be coming soon. Currently, the group has been the most active on Instagram, where it boasts a following of just around 1,200 followers. It has posted once to Twitter, where it has 32 followers; and has a TikTok account that has yet to publish any content. It also has a website, though there is not too much on it as of yet.
On its Instagram, one post introducing Paul as the founder claims the rowdy YouTuber started this charity because he has been on the receiving end of bullying.
“Having been a victim of bullying himself, Jake experienced firsthand the impact it has on a person’s life,” the post says. “Jake believes that this is a prevailing issue in society that isn’t talked about enough. Boxing gave Jake the confidence to not care about what others think and he wants to share the sport and the welfare it‘s had on him with as many kids as possible.”
It adds that he hopes his group can“inspire the next generation of kids to be leaders, be athletes, and to fight back against bullying.”
Paul Previously Accused of Being a Bully
While fighting against bullying is a noble cause, it is an ironic project for Paul to start, as he has faced no shortage of bullying accusations. While Paul previously sang about “stopping kids from getting bullied” in the lunchroom, some have alleged he himself was actually a classic high school bully who threw kids’ backpacks into garbage cans.
This behavior allegedly continued into his adulthood, as a New York Times report from earlier this year claimed he ran his Team 10 house with a culture of toxicity and bullying. Among other things, sources said he involved others in violent pranks, pressured people into doing dangerous stunts, and destroyed peoples’ personal property to make content.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto)
Director Defends Recreating Anthony Bourdain’s Voice With AI in New Documentary
The film’s director claims he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent, but on Thursday, Bourdain’s widow publicly denied ever giving that permission.
Bourdain’s Voice Recreated
“You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” Anthony Bourdain says in a voiceover featured in “Roadrunnner,” a newly released documentary about the late chef — except Bourdain never actually said those words aloud.
Instead, it’s one of three lines in the film, which features frequent voiceovers from Bourdain, that were created through the use of artificial intelligence technology.
That said, the words are Bourdain’s own. In fact, they come from an email Bourdain reportedly wrote to a friend prior to his 2018 suicide. Nonetheless, many have now questioned whether recreating Bourdain’s voice was ethical, especially since documentaries are meant to reflect reality.
Director Defends Use of AI Voice
The film’s director, Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, has defended his use of the synthetic voice, telling Variety that he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent before inserting the lines into the film.
“There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud,” Neville said. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony’s words come alive.”
Bourdain’s widow — Ottavia Bourdain, who is the executor of his estate — later denied Neville’s claim on Twitter, saying, “I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that.”
In another interview with GQ, Neville described the process, saying the film’s creators “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.”
“The bigger the quantity, the better the result,” he added. “We worked with four companies before settling on the best.”
“If you watch the film,” Neville told The New Yorker, “you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know. We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”
The Ethics Debate Isn’t Being Tabled
But many want to have that discussion now.
Boston-based film critic Sean Burns, who gave the film a rare negative review, later criticized it again for its unannounced use of AI, saying he wasn’t aware that Bourdain’s voice had been recreated until after he watched the documentary.
Meanwhile, The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner wrote that the “seamlessness of the effect is eerie.”
“If it had been a human voice double I think the reaction would be “huh, ok,” but there’s something truly unsettling about the idea of it coming from a computer,” Rosner later tweeted.
Online, many others have criticized the film’s use of AI, with some labeling it as a “deepfake.”
Others have offered more mixed criticism, saying that while the documentary highlights the need for posthumous AI use to be disclosed, it should not be ruled out altogether.
“In a world where the living could consent to using AI to reproduce their voices posthumously, and where people were made aware that such a technology was being used, up front and in advance, one could envision that this kind of application might serve useful documentary purposes,” David Leslie, ethics lead at the Alan Turing Institute, told the BBC.
Celebrities Recreated After Death
The posthumous use of celebrity likeness in media is not a new debate. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac took the stage 15 years after his death. In 2014, the Billboard Music Awards brought a hologram of Michael Jackson onstage five years after his death. Meanwhile, the Star Wars franchise digitally recreated actor Peter Cushing in 2016’s “Rogue One,” and unused footage of actress Carrie Fisher was later translated into “The Rise of Skywalker,” though a digital version of Fisher was never used.
In recent years, it has become almost standard for filmmakers to say that they will not create digital versions of characters whose actors die unexpectedly. For example, several months after Chadwick Boseman’s death last year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed Boseman would not be digitally recreated for his iconic role as King T’Challa.