- On Sunday night, “American Idol” aired 16-year-old Claudia Conway’s audition.
- Claudia is the daughter of Kellyanne and George Conway. She has posted several videos alleging mistreatment from her mother.
- Many viewers were upset that her audition segment included clips of her parents giving words of encouragement, as they believe it helped her mother rehabilitate her public image, an opportunity many think she does not deserve.
- Others accused “American Idol” of exploiting Claudia in an attempt to get more viewers.
Claudia Conway Auditions for “American Idol”
Many are accusing “American Idol” of exploiting Claudia Conway after the show’s Sunday night season premiere included a nine-minute-long audition segment about the teen and her family.
Claudia, 16, gained popularity on TikTok for posting about the political rifts in her household. Her mother, Kellyanne, was an adviser to former President Donald Trump and her father, George, is an attorney and critic of the ex-president. However, Claudia’s posts have shown that political disagreements have been far from the only issue in her household.
In January, Kellyanne was accused of posting a topless photo of Claudia on Twitter fleets. Previously, there have been numerous concerns about their relationship and allegations of abuse.At one point, Claudia unsuccessfully tried to emancipate herself from her parents.
Her appearance on “American Idol” has prompted many to once again raise these concerns, as some believe it is unfair to put a teenager struggling with her parents in even more spotlight.
When she walked into the audition room, judge Katy Perry immediately asked Claudia, “Are you okay?”
“With your mom being the figure that she is, do you still, like, does she still hug you?” Perry later asked.
“Yeah I mean, she loves me, I love her,” Claudia responded. “Just, I feel like, just our relationship, I feel is a little iffy.”
In several interview clips, Claudia discussed the difficulties of publicly disagreeing with her parents while they were at the center of national politics. Both of them appeared in the segment. George went to the audition with his daughter in-person and at one point, teared up while talking about how much this moment meant to her. Kellyanne appeared virtually, giving her daughter a pep talk via video chat before she met the judges.
“I’m really really nervous,” Claudia said to her mother.
“Well, you should be nervous. It’s a humbling experience,” Kellyanne responded.
“Idol” Faces Backlash
After singing two songs, Claudia secured a golden ticket to Hollywood. Both her parents cheered her on when she got the good news, but it’s not Claudia’s vocal chops or advancement to the next round that is generating conversation online.
Many are upset that during her audition, the show seemingly worked to rehabilitate Kellyanne’s image by showing her as a supportive mother. In addition to her tumultuous relationship with her daughter, Kellyanne has been widely condemned for spreading blatant lies during her time in the Trump Administration.
“Laundering the reputation of someone as horrible as Kellyanne is gross,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Remember, everyone, decent people don’t threaten their daughter with a mental health hold and support and excuse every attack on America by their boss.”
Others claimed the show was exploiting the trauma and pain of a teenager to boost its ratings. “American Idol” had been advertising Claudia’s upcoming audition for over a week and teased it repeatedly during the premiere. While the audition was taped in November, two months before the controversy surrounding the topless photo, the public was still well aware of issues within the Conway family.
“Claudia Conway’s appearance on “American Idol” — the worst sort of exploitation of a minor that reality TV has done in memory — ought to prompt real soul-searching among ABC executives,” Variety’s Chief TV Critic, Daniel D’Addario, wrote.
“Using this snapshot as the story of the family’s life in public is both incomplete and unfair to the girl herself,” he continued in his column.
Claudia has yet to respond to the backlash but posted a TikTok suggesting that she was at least aware of the criticism, or potentially felt exploited herself. In the video, she wrote text insinuating that the judges asked her what it was like growing up in an abusive environment, but instead of listening to her, demanded she just sing.
Upcoming “Karen” Movie Slammed as Rip-Off of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”
The horror film follows a Black couple that moves into a house next door to a white woman named Karen.
“Karen” Trailer Goes Viral
The viral “Karen” trope is getting the Hollywood treatment, and people on Twitter would like a word with the film industry’s manager.
“Karen” has become a term used to describe entitled, and often racist, white women who are quick to call the cops or complain about customer service when things don’t go exactly their way. The upcoming movie, called “Karen,” is a horror picture that follows a Black couple that moves into a new house next door to a pearl necklace-wearing and Pinot Grigio-drinking white woman. Any guesses on what her name is?
The film, a BET Original, was written and directed by Coke Daniels and stars Taryn Manning as the titular “Karen.” Cory Hardrict and Jasmine Burke play the couple that’s new in town. The trailer was released on Thursday but started gaining traction online this week.
Throughout the trailer, Manning’s character is seen threatening to call the manager at a restaurant, setting up security cameras that look at her new neighbors’ house, and calling the cops on a group of teenagers while they record her in that now-familiar viral format.
She also says that Burke’s character is “slaving away in the kitchen” upon entering her home and tells a group of Black people, “you people are very angry.” It also appears that she owns a soap dispenser with the Confederate flag on it.
In case people watching were unable to put the glaringly obvious puzzle pieces together, a small child eventually says, “She doesn’t like Black people,” in the trailer.
Because the hammer is perhaps hitting the nail a little too harshly on the head, many wondered if it was even a real movie or some kind of “Saturday Night Live” parody.
Twitter Compares Film to “Get Out”
Others thought it looked like the film was ripping off Jordan Peele’s hit horror movie “Get Out,” which is about a Black man meeting his white girlfriend’s family.
“Get Out” was praised for using the horror genre to provide nuanced commentary and observations on racism in America. Peele won an Academy Award for the film’s original screenplay, and it was also nominated for Best Picture. “Karen,” on the other hand, is not likely to wind up part of the awards conversation come 2021.
Daniels ended up sharing an article comparing his upcoming project to “Get Out” on his Instagram story, also apologizing for bringing Peele into the online discourse.
Daniels previously told Deadline that he wrote this film in 2020 as discussions about race relations in the United States were reaching a boiling point.
“Last year during the global pandemic and civil unrest, I — like many of us — felt anger, despair and hopelessness,” he said. “The overwhelming amount of support from people around the globe, who want to see change, has been such an inspiration.”
“Karen” does not yet have a release date.
See what others are saying: (Esquire) (CNN) (Independent)
Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player To Come Out as Gay
While making his announcement, the athlete also pledged a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
Nassib Comes Out
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, made history on Monday as the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in an Instagram video, along with a longer written statement.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for,” he said in the post.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he continued.
“I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project.”
He also noted that he was thankful for the support from his NFL coaches and fellow players. “From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he wrote.
Praise From Sports Community
Nassib’s announcement was met with praise from his team on social media, as well as other athletes and the NFL itself.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on behalf of the league, saying that it “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth.”
Several football fans and commentators, including sports reporter Jemele Hill, also pointed to the potential impact his bravery could have.
“Carl Nassib likely isn’t the only active gay player in the NFL, but him coming forward will be huge for those who haven’t gotten there yet,” HIll tweeted. “Very courageous decision that will not only help other players but so many young people in this country.”
See what others are saying:(ESPN)(The New York Times)(NBC News)
Billie Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Racist Slur in Old Clip
Eilish said she is “appalled and embarrassed” to have mouthed along to a song containing the term, which she did not know was a slur at the time.
Video Shows Billie Eilish Using Slur
Singer Billie Eilish apologized Monday night for mouthing an anti-Asian racial slur in an old video that recently resurfaced on social media.
The clip was featured in a compilation that went viral on TikTok. In it, she was mouthing along to the song “Fish” by Tyler the Creator, which contains the slur. The compilation also showed her speaking in a voice that many interpreted as her mocking foreign accents or languages.
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this,” Eilish wrote on her Instagram story. “And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”
Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Term
The “Bad Guy” singer said she was 13 or 14 at the time the video was taken, and claimed she had no idea the word was a derogatory term at the time.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” Eilish wrote. “This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
Regarding accusations that she mocked foreign accents and languages, the singer said she was speaking a “silly gibberish” that she made up as a child and uses around her pets, family, and friends in a joking manner.
“It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST,” she added. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
“Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” she continued.
The Grammy Award-winner said that she wants to use her platform to promote “inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality.” She closed her statement by telling her followers that it is important for people to listen and learn when it comes to conversations about these subjects.
Read her full apology below.