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Celebrities Open Up About Personal Struggles as Mental Health Awareness Month Comes to a Close

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On Wednesday, both Ryan Reynolds and Naomi Osaka shared candid statements about their own mental health issues.


Ryan Reynolds Opens Up About Anxiety

As Mental Health Awareness month is coming to a close, both actor Ryan Reynolds and tennis champion Naomi Osaka opened up about their own experiences with mental health issues. 

In an Instagram statement, Reynolds acknowledged that his own struggles with anxiety are part of the reason his post on the subject was so late in the month. 

“One of the reasons I’m posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip,” he said. “And one of the reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety. 

“I know I’m not alone and more importantly, to all those like me who overschedule, overthink, overwork, over-worry and over-everything, please know you’re not alone,” he continued. “We don’t talk enough about mental health and don’t do enough to destigmatize talking about it.”

Stars like Hugh Jackman and Kerry Washington uploaded Reynolds for sharing his story. This is not the first time he has spoken about mental health. In 2018 he told The New York Times that anxiety has always taken a toll on him. 

“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” he shared. “Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”

Naomi Osaka Speaks on Athletes’ Mental Health

Osaka’s post similarly addressed mental health, though it did not directly acknowledge that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In her post, she specifically addressed how media events can negatively impact the mental health of athletes, revealing that for this reason, she will not do press conferences during the French Open. 

“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” she explained on Instagram. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me. 

“I’ve watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well,” she continued. “I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they’re down.”

Osaka claimed that this choice is nothing personal against the tournament and added that she does generally have a friendly relationship with the press. 

Athletes can be fined for not attending press conferences. According to ESPN, the fine can be as high as 20,000 for a major tournament like the French Open. Osaka said she hopes her fine gets donated to mental health charities. 

“If the organizations think that they can just keep saying, ‘do press or you’re gonna be fined’ and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are at the centerpiece of their corporation then I just gotta laugh,” Osaka wrote. 

In addition to her statement, Osaka shared two videos: one where a young Venus Williams was being pressed by a reporter on her confidence in her playing abilities until her dad finally intervenes, and another of former NFL player Marshawn Lynch answering every question at a press event by saying “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”

Williams was one of many who commented on Osaka’s post praising her for standing up for herself. 

Other Stars Honor Mental Health Awareness Month

Reynolds and Osaka are not the only stars who have been vocal about the importance of mental health throughout the month of May. Ariana Grande previously shared lists of mental health resources to her fans, while Selena Gomez launched an initiative called Mental Health 101, which is aimed at supporting mental health education and services. Gomez promised to match $200,000 in donations throughout the month. 

Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey also brought mental health discussions front and center with their AppleTV+ docuseries “The Me You Can’t See.” In the series, Prince Harry got candid about his struggles with depression himself, as did other stars like Lady Gaga.

See what others are saying: (People) (ESPN) (Jezebel)

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“Emancipation” Producer Apologizes, Hopes He Did Not “Distract” From Film’s Message By Bringing Photo of Enslaved Man to Premiere 

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He said he plans on donating his collection of historical images to appropriate institutions.


McFarland Brings “Whipped Pete” Photo to Premiere 

“Emancipation” producer Joey McFarland apologized on Sunday after facing backlash for bringing the original 1863 photo of the enslaved person the film is based on to the premiere. 

“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter to the Emancipation premiere,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram. “My intent was to honor this remarkable man and to remind the general public that his image not only brought about change in 1863 but still resonates and promotes change today.”

The photo, frequently dubbed “Whipped Peter,” is one of the most famous images depicting the gruesome realities of slavery in America. He is facing away from the camera, revealing the severe scarring all across his back. According to the Library of Congress, the formerly enslaved man was actually named Gordon. Will Smith plays him in “Emancipation,” which follows his escape from slavery.

While walking the red carpet of the film’s premiere, McFarland carried the photo with him.  

“I have the photo. This is the original photograph from 1863,” he told Variety. “I wanted it to be here tonight. I wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight.”

While lamenting the fact that so many historical artifacts have not been properly preserved, McFarland told Variety that he “took it upon [him]self to curate and build a collection for future generations.” He said his collection will be donated after he dies. 

His remarks were met with swift criticism from those who thought it was inappropriate for McFarland to not just own the picture, but to bring it to a Hollywood event. 

“Why do you own the photograph? Why did you bring it to a movie premiere if the intent is to preserve it respectfully?” The Black List founder Franklin Leonard tweeted.

“I don’t know, man, but bringing ‘a piece of Peter’ that you ‘own’ to the red carpet of a movie that’s personally enriching you so that you can collect more slave memorabilia that you’ll keep until your death,” he added along with a giphy of Kenan Thompson saying “yikes.”

McFarland Acknowledges Historical Photos “Belong to the World”

Others argued that the photo should belong to Gordon’s family. 

“Being in possession of a symbol that reflects our trauma is exactly what our oppressor would do. He is his ancestor’s child,” another person added. 

In his apology, McFarland said that he hopes his actions “don’t distract from the film’s message, Peter’s story and just how much impact he had on the world.”

Throughout the development of “Emancipation,” McFarland said he discovered many photos of overlooked individuals with important historical stories. He said he always planned to donate them and believes “there is no better time to begin that process than now.”

“These photographs, which existed before me, will be around long after I am gone; they belong to the world,” he wrote.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Daily Beast)

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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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