Women Booed and Asked to Leave NY Event After Confronting Harvey Weinstein
- At least three women confronted disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein at a New York City event for artists and performers Wednesday.
- Video shows one comedian being booed and told to “shut up” after commenting on his presence during her set.
- Another woman was asked to leave the venue for pointing at Weinstein and shouting: “Nobody’s going to say anything?”
- Weinstein’s team issued a statement saying, “This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public.”
Comedian Booed for Addressing Weinstein
A comedian was booed and another audience member was asked to leave an event for artists and performers in New York City Wednesday after confronting disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein, who has been accused of sexually abusing or harassing over 80 women, was invited to Downtime Bar in Manhattan to watch a variety show sponsored by Actor’s Hour. When comedian Kelly Bachman hit the stage to perform, she felt she had to address “the elephant in the room.”
In a viral video that has been posted all over social media, Bachman also referred to Weinstein as “Freddy Kruger” before adding, “I didn’t know we had to bring our own mace and rape whistles to Actor’s Hour.”
In the video, some men in the audience can be heard booing. “Shut up,” one voice is heard shouting at Bachman. “This kills at group therapy for rape survivors,” she responded as a few other women cheered her on.
“I have been raped, surprisingly by no one in this room, but I’ve never got to confront those guys. So just a general ‘fuck you’ to whoever.”
Though the movie mogul has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women – revelations which later sparked the massive #MeToo movement, Weinstein maintains that all of his sexual encounters have been consensual.
He is currently facing criminal charges of predatory sexual assault, criminal sexual act, first-degree rape, and third-degree rape, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Audience Member Kicked Out After Confrontation
Another audience member joined Bachman in confronting Weinstein. The woman, Zoe Stuckless, shouted during the show’s intermission: “Nobody’s going to say anything?”
“I’m gonna stand four feet from a fucking rapist and nobody’s gonna say anything?”
Another comedian who was at the event, Amber Rollo, published a Twitter thread about the incident saying that Stucklass “was shoting and crying and seemed to be the only sane person in there,” but was ultimately the one who was kicked out. Bachman later explained that she had already been looking for an excuse to leave and joined Stuckless on her way out.
In her Twitter thread, Rollo added, “Then I went in and called him a fucking monster and told him he should disappear. His friend/body guard/goon/family member called me a cunt and I really really wanted to lunge over the table and strangle him.”
Weinstein’s Team Issues Statement
A spokesperson for Weinstein told The Hollywood Reporter that no one from his group asked the women to leave. Instead, they said was actually the venue’s personnel who made that request.
His spokesperson also said Weinstein “was out with friends enjoying the music and trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public, trying to take it away in the courtroom too.”
The bar addressed concerns from patrons in a Facebook post, explaining their decision to remove Stuckless. “A company called Actors Hour rented our bar for a private event, with a guest list all their own. Shortly into the evening, one guest began heckling another, causing a disturbance to everyone in attendance. After several requests to stop were ignored, we kindly asked the heckler to leave.”
“Please know that our goal at Downtime is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome. We respect the privacy of our patrons and event partners, and want to ensure that all guests are treated equally, with the same service and respect. In keeping with this goal, we made a decision that would allow the evening to continue as planned.”
Bachman has received mixed responses for the comments she made during her performance. Despite some blowback that night, she said that by the next morning she received a wave of support and praise for actions.
Stucklass too explained in a Facebook post that after leaving the venue frustrated and in tears, she was quickly surrounded by women who expressed her same feelings. She wrote, “They thanked me for speaking up.”
See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Hollywood Reporter) (NBC News)
Twitch Tightens Policies on Explicit Deepfakes
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said in a blog post.
New Rules Regarding “Synthetic NCEI”
Twitch is cracking down on explicit deepfake content and will indefinitely suspend users who share or promote it after a first offense.
“The existence of this content, and its presence and distribution on various sites, is personally violating and beyond upsetting. Deepfake porn isn’t a problem on Twitch, but it’s a terrible issue that some streamers (almost exclusively women) may face on the internet at large,” Twitch said in a Tuesday blog post, explaining it wants to “help streamers protect themselves” in any case this issue arises.
Twitch referred to this content as “synthetic non-consensual exploitative images,” or “synthetic NCEI,” but many of the platform’s users have casually referred to it as deepfake porn. Synthetic NCEI involves someone taking the face of another person and editing it into a pornographic video to make it appear as though that person filmed themselves demonstrating those sexual acts. The new rise in access to this technology has concerned many, as it is easy to use it to exploit others.
While synthetic NCEI is already banned on Twitch, the company took a more actionable step against it in its Tuesday post by creating an Adult Sexual Violence and Exploitation policy. The new rule prohibits the intentional sharing, promoting, or creation of synthetic NCEI and those acts can result in an indefinite suspension on the first offense.
Twitch also updated its Adult Nudity policy to include synthetic NCEI. Even if it is only shown briefly, that content will still be taken down and result in an enforcement.
In addition to the policy changes, Twitch made available a list of resources for those who might be impacted by or wish to learn more about synthetic NCEI.
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said closing its blog post.
Growing Concerns About Explicit Deepfakes
Twitch’s updates come as synthetic NCEI and deepfakes have become a primary topic of concern for social media platforms. Earlier this year, Twitch was home to a major deepfake controversy after a streamer known as Atrioc was caught with an open tab to a website that hosted these videos. That site specifically hosted deepfakes of female Twitch streamers, some of whom were Atrioc’s colleagues.
Many women featured on the page spoke out against these deepfakes, explaining the trauma they endured knowing their face, image, and likeness were used in a sexual manner without their consent. It’s an issue that extends far past Twitch creators. Some fear they could be used for revenge porn, and there are already several cases where the technology is used to create sexual videos of celebrities.
On Tuesday, NBC News published a report finding that Facebook and Instagram ran suggestive ads featuring deepfakes of actresses like Emma Watson and Scarlett Johansson. The ads were for a deepfake app that told users they could “replace face with anyone.”
While the ads did not show explicit pornographic content, one ad featuring Watson was clearly meant to mimic the start of an explicit video, suggesting a sexual act was about to start. The face of the “Harry Potter” actress was seen looking into the camera before bending down.
The report found that 127 ads with Watson deepfakes and 74 with Johansson deepfakes ran across Meta’s platforms on Sunday and Monday, but have since been removed. The app in question was also removed from the Apple app store after NBC News contacted the tech giant for comment.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Engadget) (Kotaku)
Fans Defend Pedro Pascal After Actor Refused to Read Thirst Tweets: “It’s Sexual Harassment”
Pascal has been dubbed the Internet’s “daddy,” but many think the joke has gone too far.
Pascal’s Heartthrob Status
Fans are defending actor Pedro Pascal after he refused to read thirst tweets on the red carpet, arguing that it is inappropriate and disrespectful to ask him to do so.
Pascal, the star of HBO’s “The Last of Us” and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian,” has become a major Hollywood heartthrob. He has even been widely dubbed as the Internet’s “daddy” by those posting about his handsome looks. The running joke grew last year when he did a Vanity Fair lie detector test and said he considered himself a “bigger daddy” than “Star Wars” star Oscar Isaac.
“Daddy is a state of mind, you know what I’m saying? I’m your daddy,” he quipped during the interview.
Since then, TikTokers have started posting thirst trap edits of Pascal, journalists have called him “daddy” on the red carpet, and interviewers have shown him tweets where fans call him a “cool, slutty daddy.”
Pascal has been a good sport about the public displays of lust for him, but many think the joke may have crossed a line. During last week’s red carpet premiere for season three of “The Mandalorian,” an Access Hollywood reporter went viral for asking Pascal to read thirst tweets to the camera. Pascal politely declined.
“No. Dirty! Dirty!” he told the reporter after reading through the tweets.
“For your enjoyment only,” she responded.
“Thank you very much,” Pascal said before exiting the interview.
Fans Condemn Thirst Tweet Interviews
In response, many who watched the clip condemned this treatment of Pascal, arguing it promoted constant objectification.
“I think it’s time for the internet to leave Pedro Pascal alone,” one person wrote. “It’s sexual harassment, but no one seems to care bc he’s a man + is graceful about it. It’s really gross and I would never want to be treated like that.”
“These jokes have gone way too far and he’s visibly uncomfortable,” another fan added.
Some claimed that while the Internet’s love of Pascal “started as harmless fun…the constant public objectification and sexualization must be terrible” and should stop.
“Being attractive, banking on it, selling it, and even at times enjoying some of the attention, doesn’t give everyone wholesale permission to sexualize you,” someone else argued.
See what others are saying: (IndieWire) (The Gamer) (BuzzFeed News)
Conservatives Pledge to #BoycottHershey After International Women’s Day Campaign Featured a Trans Woman
“I hope this campaign shows trans girls they can dream big and change the world too,” activist Fae Johnstone said in her Hers for She video.
Hershey Highlights Fae Johnstone
Step aside, Green M&M. Conservatives have a new candy that they’re mad at: Hershey bars.
On Wednesday, Hershey Canada unveiled its “Her for She” International Women’s Day initiative, which aims to celebrate “women changing the future.” Conservatives were quickly outraged by the company’s choice to highlight Fae Johnstone, a trans woman and LGBTQ+ rights activist, as part of this effort.
“We can create a world where everyone is able to live in public space as their honest and authentic selves,” Johnstone said in a “Her for She” video.
In addition to Johnstone, the campaign features gender equality activists, a climate tech researcher, and an indigenous rights activist, all of whom have fought for progress in their respective fields. The women will appear on Hershey’s websites, in marketing promotions, and in artistic renderings on Hershey bar wrappers.
Johnstone wrote on Twitter that she hopes Hershey’s campaign will “give more young women and girls role models” who can demonstrate how to “change the world, together.”
“It also means a lot to be included, as a young(ish?) trans woman,” Johnstone continued. “I grew up with few trans role models. Many young trans folks haven’t met a trans adult. I hope this campaign shows trans girls they can dream big and change the world too.”
A Swift Transphobic Backlash
This decision, however, prompted right-wing Twitter users to accuse Hershey of hating “real” women. Many of the posts included blatantly transphobic rhetoric, as well as promises to boycott the company because it went “woke.”
The outrage was so prominent that #BoycottHershey was one of the top Twitter trends on Thursday morning.
This backlash comes just a little over a month after conservative media figures like Tucker Carlson slammed M&M for making the green mascot character, well, less sexy.
In response to Mars changing the green candy’s outfit, Carlson accused the Mars company of making its characters “as unattractive as possible because when you’re intentionally repulsive, it’s clear you’ve got the right politics.”
Not long after the right-wing backlash, M&M opted to replace its “spokescandies” with actress Maya Rudolph.
The conservative outrage targeted at both Hershey and M&M is part of a larger culture war against any company that makes changes to address diversity, climate change, or other social issues. Brands like Xbox, “Sesame Street,” and more have at one point provoked the ire of Fox News hosts and other Republican figures.
In fact, their outrage against these progressive changes has become so common that once #BoycottHershey was trending, some tweeted that they did not even have to click on the hashtag “to know that they must have done something compassionate that the right hates.”