- Troye Sivan called a phone interview he did with New Zealand LGBTQ+ magazine Express invasive and inappropriate after the interviewer asked: “Top or Bottom?”
- An editorial by Out Magazine then called Sivan hypocritical for the comments, saying Sivan has openly discussed sexual themes in his latest album.
- Sivan later criticized the editorial by arguing that talking about “sex in my music on my terms” does not “give anyone a pass on basic manners and allow them to ask about the ins and outs of what i do in bed.”
Sivan’s Interview With Express
Troye Sivan criticized an interviewer who asked him about his preferred sexual position, calling the question “invasive.”
In a phone interview with LGBTQ+ New Zealand magazine Express, Matt Fistonich plays a lightning round with the singer, ending the interview by asking, “Top or bottom?” in relation to Sivan’s sexual position with his boyfriend, Jacob Bixenman.
Sivan follows by answering, “Ooo… definitely passing!”
Sivan then shared a tweet of the interview from a fan, expressing his disdain for the question.
“I thought about asking the interviewer about his absolute fave sex position after that last question,” Sivan said in a tweet, “but then i remembered how wildly invasive, strange and innapropriate that would be. Didn’t stop him though!”
“Next time I’ll just do a Twitter q&a,” Sivan continued.
Fistonich also asked Sivan earlier in the interview whether Bixenman would give Sivan a “hall pass” for Shawn Mendes, who is straight. A “hall pass” is an agreement some couples make allowing one partner to be intimate with certain people.
Sivan previously stated his celebrity crush was Mendes in an interview with Vogue for “73 Questions with Troye Sivan.”
Sivan then goes on to say that if the opportunity presented itself, he would not act on it even if he had permission from Bixenman.
“But the strange thing is when you end up meeting your hall pass, it ends up becoming very real very quickly and suddenly you’re like, ‘no, no, never mind, no hall passes,” Sivan said in the interview.
Fistonich then continues, asking, “So when you met Shawn Mendes nothing got too steamy?”
“No, no, not at all!” Sivan answered.
In an editors note, the magazine states “Matt threw some pretty outrageous questions at Troye, but Sivan took it all in his stride.”
The magazine has also disabled Instagram comments for their post on the story.
Reaction to the Interview
Following the interview, many online expressed their concern over the nature of Fistonich’s sexual questions, with a major concern being the nature of Sivan’s sexuality in relation to the questions about his private life.
Those people argued straight artists do not face the same sort of hyper-sexual questions that LGBTQ+ artists are asked.
An editorial from Out Magazine, however, described Sivan as “hypocritical,” pointing to the sexual imagery presented throughout Sivan’s album, Bloom.
“Do queer journalists have to adhere to the same respectability politics as straight ones?” the opinion piece reads. “It’s 2019, talking about anal sex shouldn’t be taboo, especially in queer media.”
Regarding the album, Sivan has been open with discussing its more sexual themes — including a now-deleted tweet where he used the hashtag #BopsBoutBottoming.
“I just wanted to be as real as possible about it and for me, that’s a really tender and sweet experience,” he said in an interview with Paper Magazine. “I wanted to explore it in that perspective, and ultimately I was writing a love song from my experience. I wanted it to be sweet and candor and have all that stuff with fear and curiosity — everything packed in there.”
Sivan Challenges Out Editorial
Thursday, Sivan responded to the op-ed on Twitter, saying it was “disappointing” to see the LGBTQ+ magazine “miss the mark so much on the reporting of this.”
Sivan then posted a series of tweets explaining both his album and its relation to sex, including a rebuke of Out’s assertion “he wrote a whole ass album about bottoming.”
“Firstly, Bloom is about love,” Sivan said. “I said that in every single interview i did about the album. Suggesting that i made the entire album about bottoming is over sexualising me + my work, and is reductive.”
“I speak about sex in my music on my terms, when I’m in control, and writing music that is going to be close to my heart forever,” Sivan continued. “That does not open the flood gates + give anyone a pass on basic manners and allow them to ask about the ins and outs of what i do in bed.”
Firstly, Bloom is an album about love. I said that in every single interview i did about the album. Suggesting that i made the entire album about bottoming is over sexualising me + my work, and is reductive— troye (@troyesivan) August 29, 2019
I speak about sex in my music on my terms, when I’m in control, and writing music that is going to be close to my heart forever. That does not open the flood gates + give anyone a pass on basic manners and allow them to ask about the ins and outs of what i do in bed— troye (@troyesivan) August 29, 2019
Sivan then echoed many of the sentiments his fans expressed over what they called a divide between the way straight and LGBTQ+ people are seen in media.
“I highly doubt anyone would ask any of my straight peers explicit questions about who does what to who in their relationship, no matter the content of their music,” Sivan said.
I highly doubt anyone would ask any of my straight peers explicit questions about who does what to who in their relationship, no matter the content of their music. I don’t think artists should have to expect to be asked about that when they show up to work in the morning— troye (@troyesivan) August 29, 2019
There’s no shame in anal sex or any kind of sex – i just don’t want to talk about it over the phone to a complete stranger— troye (@troyesivan) August 29, 2019
Since Sivan’s series of tweets, Out has removed the comments many viewed as controversial.
“This piece has been updated since its original publish time due to the editorial team’s determination that it did not meet our standards,” an edit to the article now reads. “We have condensed and revised the piece accordingly.
The singer ended his message by liking a tweet that read, “i’m not a top or a bottom. i’m just tired.”
See what others are saying: (INSIDER) (Hollywood Life) (PopCrush)
D.A.R.E. Accuses HBO’s “Euphoria” of Glorifying Drug Use
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)
Neil Young Asks For His Music to Be Removed From Spotify Over Vaccine Misinformation
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, confrimed 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)
Ana de Armas Fans Sue Universal For Removing Actress From “Yesterday” Film
The fans argue that because there were no scenes with de Armas as promised in the trailer, “consumers were not provided with any value for their rental or purchase.”
Ana de Armas Scenes Cut From “Yesterday”
Two fans of Ana de Armas are suing Universal Pictures for including the actress in a trailer for the 2019 film “Yesterday” even though she does not appear in the final cut of the picture.
In a class-action lawsuit filed in California, Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza said they each spent $3.99 to watch the film after viewing the accompanying trailer on Amazon. They argue the studio’s “advertising and promotion of the movie Yesterday is false, misleading, and deceptive.”
The Danny Boyle-directed comedy follows a man, played by Himesh Patel, who wakes up in a world where no one knows who The Beatles are but him, so he starts playing their music and claiming it as his own. De Armas appears briefly in the trailer as a character competing with the primary love interest, played by Lily James. Writer Richard Curtis said they had to cut de Armas’ part to strengthen the character arcs.
“That was a very traumatic cut, because she was brilliant in it,” Curtis previously told Cinema Blend. “I mean really radiant. And [that] turned out to be the problem…I think the audience did not like the fact that his eyes even strayed. Because then some people would go, ‘Oh, he really doesn’t deserve her. He really doesn’t deserve Lily.’ You know, it’s one of those things where it’s some of our favorite scenes from the film, but we had to cut them for the sake of the whole.”
For Woulfe and Rosza, the choice to cut de Armas is a dealbreaker. They are seeking $5 million on behalf of all impacted consumers.
Fans File Lawsuit Against Universal
“Because consumers were promised a movie with Ana De Armas by the trailer for Yesterday, but did not receive a movie with any appearance of Ana De Armas at all, such consumers were not provided with any value for their rental or purchase,” the lawsuit states.
Patel and James each had credits of their own prior to the release of “Yesterday.” Still, the fans believe that Universal instead used the star power of De Armas, who had recently appeared in “Blade Runner 2049,” to “entice viewership.”
“Unable to rely on fame of the actors playing Jack Malik or Ellie to maximize ticket and movie sales and rentals, Defendant consequently used Ms. De Armas’s fame, radiance and brilliance to promote the film,” the suit continued.
Just a few months after the release of “Yesterday,” de Armas would go on to receive critical acclaim for her role in “Knives Out.” She has since appeared in the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die.”
Now a much bigger name than in spring of 2019, the lawsuit claims de Armas still appears in trailers on services like Amazon and Google.
“Despite knowing that Ms. De Armas was not in the released version of the movie Yesterday, Defendant has consistently promoted Ms. De Armas as a character starring in the film, by including her scenes in Yesterday’s movie trailers,” the suit states. “Indeed, Defendant continues to promote Ms. De Armas as appearing in the film more than two years after its initial release, in advertisements for movie sales and rentals.”
Universal has not released a statement in response to the lawsuit.