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Mental Health Group Slams Upcoming Will Forte Show on Peacock for Dealing With Suicide in Plot

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  • Bill Smith, the founder of a mental health advocacy group named Inseparable, slammed an upcoming Peacock show starring Will Forte as “wildly irresponsible” for having a plot that deals with a man contemplating suicide.
  • The show, titled “Expiration Date,” was announced last week, and its complete plot details are unknown, but Smith argued that it will “no doubt, endanger countless viewers.”
  • This prompted criticism online from those who said that it is unfair to police a show that has released very little information to the public and has yet to be seen.
  • Meanwhile, others agreed with Smith and argued that shows about suicide should be off-limits, especially following backlash that shows like “13 Reasons Why” faced for their dangerous portrayals of suicide.

Mental Health Advocate Slams “Expiration Date”

The founder of a mental health non-profit is slamming an upcoming Peacock show starring Will Forte as “wildly irresponsible” because it will deal with suicide.

The show, titled “Expiration Date,” was first announced last week. According to Deadline, it will follow Forte’s character who, “consumed by grief, finds a life insurance policy that covers suicide, provided that the individual doesn’t carry out the deed within one year. Content that his family will be provided for, Robin sets his expiration date and contemplates how he will spend his final year. It’s going to be a long twelve months.”

No information on specific plot details, other characters, additional cast members, or a release date have been made available. “Expiration Date” is still in the development stage, with “Fleabag” producers Harry and Jack Williams working alongside Forte.  

However, on Monday, the founder of an organization that fights for mental health policy denounced the prospect of this show.

“What a wildly irresponsible and callous concept that will, no doubt, endanger countless viewers,” Inseparable founder Bill Smith said in a statement to Variety.

“Glamorizing suicide leads to contagion, that is a fact. At a time when our country is already suffering a mental health crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left Americans’ mental wellbeing at a two-decade low, the last thing we need is a reckless show hinged on the question of ‘will he or won’t he’ succumb to the devastation of depression — an all too real and painful experience for millions of Americans.”

“NBCUniversal would do well to rethink such a dangerous idea that could lead to an increase in suicide among viewers,” Smith continued. 

Debate Sparked on Policing Art

His remarks were met with backlash by some in the entertainment industry who felt it was unfair to vilify a show that has not yet been made. 

“They haven’t even seen a script! Stop policing/criticizing art you haven’t even seen,” comedian and actor Billy Eichner wrote. “I have nothing to do with this show btw. This just drives me CRAZY!”

“Good thing no one cancelled Breaking Bad prior to seeing it for “glorifying” the dangerous behavior of drug manufacturing,” writer and producer Kim Carmele also said. “Hey, how bout we give proven creators the benefit of the doubt that they MIGHT handle delicate topics with respect and nuance before we leap to outrage?”

Many others also criticized Smith’s swift inclination to condemn “Expiration Date,” arguing that if the writers and producers handle it correctly, the show may even help people struggling with depression. 

Concerns Regarding “13 Reasons Why”

Smith was not alone in his concerns. Some people were likewise upset with Peacock for making a show that deals heavily with suicide, citing the controversial Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” as a cause for worry. 

The show, which premiered in 2017, follows the story of a high school girl who commits suicide. It was slammed by critics and mental health advocates for depicting suicide in a potentially harmful way to a largely teenage audience. A report eventually found that in the month after the show’s debut, there was a nearly 30% spike in teen suicides across the United States. Netflix was even pushed to remove a graphic scene that showed the main character taking her own life.

Critics fear that a show like “Expiration Date” could cause a similar phenomenon, however, with little details on how the show will handle its protagonist’s struggle with depression, it is unclear if those concerns are valid or not. NBC has not yet responded to these concerns.

If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help the National Suicide Hotline can be reached at 800-273-8255 and provides free, confidential, 24-hour support to those who need it.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Deadline) (The Wrap)

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Joe Rogan Holds Spot As Top Podcaster on Spotify in 2022

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Earlier this year, some threatened to boycott the platform over Rogan and the health misinformation he shared on his show. 


For the third year in a row, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the number one podcast on Spotify, the company revealed in its yearly “Wrapped” feature on Wednesday. 

“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify in 2020 after the host signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming platform. “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper, also a Spotify exclusive, followed Rogan on the charts. “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” which will become exclusive to the service next year, came in third.

Rogan’s podcast has made several headlines over the last year as the podcaster faced backlash from medical professionals and major musicians for touting COVID-19 misinformation. Niel Young asked to have his music removed from Spotify in protest of the company’s deal with Rogan, and several other artists soon followed. 

Just a few days later, several clips resurfaced of Rogan using a racial slur. Many called to boycott Spotify for platforming Rogan, but his popularity did not seem to fade by the year’s end. 

There are over four million podcasts available to stream on Spotify and over the last year, the platform has expanded into new markets. 

It also has started launching podcasts from several high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian’s “The System,” and Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes.” Both of those debuted mid-year and did not crack the annual top-five list.

See what others are saying: (Spotify) (Variety) (Forbes)

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Comedian Gives David Beckham Ultimatum: Exit Role at Qatar World Cup Or £10K in Donations Gets Shredded

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“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” Joe Lycett said in a video.


Pressure on Beckham

Comedian Joe Lycett posted a video on Sunday saying he would shred £10,000 if soccer star David Beckham does not pull out of his deal to be an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup. 

Ahead of the event, which kicks off on Nov. 20, many have been raising concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. The country criminalizes homosexuality, and it can be punishable by death. 

Beckham’s deal to represent the country was reportedly worth £10 million, and many are frustrated that the athlete took such a big check from a country with known anti-LGBTQ laws. In his video, Lycett noted that Beckham has been openly supportive of his gay fans and was the first premiere footballer to do a photoshoot with a gay magazine. 

In an attempt to get Beckham to bow out of his role, Lycett, who is pansexual, offered an ultimatum.  

“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he stated. “However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder.” 

“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.” 

Beckham’s Reputation “Shredded”

Lycett said he would livestream the money shredding if that’s what the situation comes to. If Beckham does not back out of the World Cup, Lycett noted he will be forced to “commit what might be a crime,” as destroying legal tender is against the law in the U.K.

“Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha,” Lycett quipped.

Lycett then linked to a website titled https://benderslikebeckham.com/, which includes a written version of his message, as well as a countdown to when he will either shred the cash or send it to a non-profit. 

Lycett is not the only U.K star to raise concerns about issues in Qatar. Singer Dua Lipa shut down speculation that she would be performing at the World Cup over the weekend by saying she has no intentions to visit the country until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host” the event. 

Other stars, however, including BTS’s Jung Kook, are slated to take the stage. 

See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Hollywood Reporter) (BBC News)

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Federal Judge Dismisses Dave Portnoy’s Lawsuit Against Insider

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The online personality called the decision “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.” 


Lawsuit Tossed

A federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed a defamation lawsuit Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy filed against Business Insider, several outlets reported on Monday. 

According to a report from The Washington Post, Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV decided that Portnoy did not successfully prove that the news outlet acted with “actual malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth” when it published two articles about his sexual relationships. 

The first article, published in Nov. 2021, detailed stories from women who said they had “violent” and traumatizing sex with Portnoy. A second piece was published in Feb. 2022 and includes sources who said Portnoy filmed sexual encounters without consent.

Portnoy has repeatedly denied the allegations and maintained that the sexual encounters were consensual and positive. He sued Insider in February following the publication of the second article. 

Per The Post, Saylor tossed the complaint because it did “not allege that Insider’s anonymous sources were fake, or that the articles misrepresented what the women told [Insider’s reporters].”

“Furthermore, plaintiff admits that Insider investigated its first article for months, requested an interview with him, sought his comment before publication, included his denials, and hyperlinked to his news conference and his lawyer’s full denial letter,” the judge’s decision continued. 

Saylor also noted that Insider corroborated their sources’ claims with photos, texts, medical reports, receipts, and accounts from their friends. 

While Portnoy argued that these stories were an invasion of privacy as they pertained to his private sex life and the women involved were not his employees, Insider held that their claims were relevant.

“When a rich, famous, and powerful person uses their power in a way that is harmful to other people, it is newsworthy,” Nicholas Carlson, Insider’s Global Editor-in-Chief, previously wrote in an editor’s note. 

Saylor largely agreed with that, saying that issues of consent and power are part of “legitimate public interest,” including in instances that arise outside “the employment context.”

Portnoy Responds

An Insider spokesperson told The Post that the outlet is “pleased and gratified that the judge dismissed his complaint.”

“We knew from the start that our reporting was careful, fair, and accurate, but it’s gratifying to see that validated in court,” Julia Black, one of the reporters named in the lawsuit, tweeted in response to the news. 

For his part, however, Portnoy has criticized the judge’s decision, calling it “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.” 

“Every single lawyer said it was an uphill battle, every legal expert said it was an uphill battle, that it’s almost impossible for a public figure to prove defamation,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “The laws are stacked against me.”

Portnoy said that he turned in texts and other evidence he believed would prove the sexual encounters were positive but claimed “the judge didn’t even really look at the evidence.” 

He later read an excerpt from the judge’s decision that said Portnoy “can’t seek to prove actual malice by challenging statements that defendants did not publish.” 

“In other words: Business Insider did not publish any of my shit, I can’t talk about it, it’s not part of the case,” Portnoy explained. “It’s inadmissible.” 

He said he could appeal the decision if he wanted, but added he was not optimistic about how that would turn out for him. He floated the idea of suing the sources themselves, noting he thinks he would stand a better chance in such a case.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post)

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