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Allegations Against David O. Russell Resurface After Taylor Swift Gets Role in His Next Film



Fans are urging the singer to drop out of the project, as the director has been accused of sexual misconduct and fostering a hostile work environment on set.

Twitter Users Resurface Allegations Against David O. Russell

After several outlets confirmed Tuesday that singer Taylor Swift will be appearing in David O. Russell’s latest film, many Twitter users began resurfacing old allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct previously made against the director. 

Swift will be joining the likes of Margot Robbie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldana, Christian Bale, Rami Malek, and John David Washington in the movie, the plot and title of which remain under wraps. 

Russell, who is known for directing films like “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle,” and “The Fighter,” has been the subject of debate and criticism for several years. In early 2012, his 19-year-old transgender niece filed a police report against him, claiming he groped her chest while at a gym. 

TMZ reported that he and his niece, who is not related to him by blood, were discussing her transition and the hormones she was taking before he “put his hands under [her] top and felt both breasts.” She said she felt “uncomfortable” at the time but “did not ask him to stop.”

Russell reportedly confirmed to police that this did happen but claimed he had permission to do this. According to TMZ, he alleged that his niece “is always causing drama” since transitioning and has become “very provocative and seductive.”

Actors Describe Hostile Work Environment

Many actors have also described his management style as hostile and aggressive. Amy Adams told GQ that he made her cry every day on the set of “American Hustle.” She told the outlet she was almost always “devastated” on set and often went home still feeling that devastation. She added that she was concerned she would bring that feeling home to her daughter, and because of this, she has no plans on working with him in the near future. 

When asked if the typically successful outcome of his pictures justifies his methods, she told GQ, “No. It’s not OK with me. Life to me is more important than movies.”

While filming “Three Kings,” George Clooney and Russell got into a physical altercation, though both have since blamed the other for starting it. Clooney furthered the allegations in a 2000 interview with Playboy, saying this behavior was common from Russell. Clooney claimed that the director made a script supervisor cry, pushed an extra, and embarrassed a camera-car driver.

“You can yell and scream and even fire him, but what you can’t do is humiliate him in front of people,” Clooney said he told Russell on set.  “Not on my set, if I have any say about it.”

There is also a very famous video of Russell using derogatory language while yelling at actress Lily Tomlin, referring to her as both a b**ch and a c*nt. In 2004, The New York Times reported that Russell was once mad at director Christopher Nolan for casting Jude Law in a movie when he wanted to cast the actor, resulting in him putting Nolan in a headlock at a party and demanding he “give up” Law. In emails that were leaked during the Sony hacking, a top executive called Russell a “loon” and claimed he once saw the director bring Sally Field to tears at a party. 

Fans Urge Taylor Swift to Drop Out of Russell’s Film

Because of these accusations, some fans are urging Swift to bow out of the project. Many began sharing old articles and videos while tagging the star, asking for her to reconsider. 

“Is anybody in Hollywood not willing to work with an abuser?” another person asked. 

Swift herself has spoken up about the Me Too movement, showed support for survivors, and even publicaly detailed her own experience with sexual assault. Some found it hypocritical for her to use her platform in this way, but still work for someone like Russell. 

“How are you gonna be an advocate for victims of abuse and then work with an abuser,” one person wrote. 

“It’s all about feminism and advocacy until a bag is involved,” they continued. 

Another person shared the statement Swift released celebrating Pride Month on Tuesday, saying it was “wild” for her to post that on the same day it was announced she would be in Russell’s film. 

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Daily Dot) (Mirror)


Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him



“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.

Theater Named Announced

Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title. 

The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. 

A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”

Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.

The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”

Chappelle Defends Controversial Special 

According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students. 

“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.

Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda. 

“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said. 

“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special. 

According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready. 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)

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Chris Evans Says People Upset With Same-Gender “Lightyear” Kiss Are “Idiots”



The kiss was previously removed from the film until a surge of backlash from Pixar employees prompted Disney to reinstate it. 

Chris Evans Supports “Lightyear” Scene

“Lightyear” star Chris Evans is standing against people who have criticized the same-gender kiss scene in the upcoming Pixar film. 

“The real truth is those people are idiots,” the actor told Reuters this week when discussing negative reactions to the scene’s inclusion. 

“The American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good,” he continued. 

Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and more have banned the release of “Lightyear” over the kiss, which is between two women. Right-wing pundits in the U.S. have also slammed it, and user reviews for the picture on websites like IMDB have claimed that movie-going has “become an avenue for political propaganda.”

Evans argued those opinions are outdated. 

“There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs,” he said. “I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”

“Lightyear” hits theaters on Friday starring Evans as the titular Buzz Lightyear. Evans, however, is not playing the action figure made famous in the “Toy Story” movies and is instead playing an animated human astronaut who inspired the toy.

Kiss Scene Almost Never Made it to Big Screen

According to outlets that have reviewed the film, the same-gender kiss is between Alisha Hawthorne, a character voiced by Uzo Aduba, and her wife. 

Multiple reports have stated that Disney was always supportive of depicting a gay couple in the picture, but was more hesitant about showing an on-screen kiss between the two. The studio previously had the scene removed from the film until a swell of backlash prompted it to reinstate the kiss.

The decision came in March amid criticisms over Disney’s slow response to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. At the time, a group of Pixar employees wrote an open letter claiming that they have pushed for more inclusion in their films, but “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest.” 

Now that the scene made the final cut of “Lightyear,” it has been a large topic of conversation leading up to the film’s release. On Monday, Evans told Variety that the inclusion of the scene makes him “happy,” but he hopes one day, scenes like this will be considered standard. 

“It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion,” he said. “That it is this kind of ‘news.’ The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.”

See what others are saying (Reuters) (Variety) (IndieWire)

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YouTube Shorts Hits 1.5 Billion Monthly Logged-In Users 



The company says the success of Shorts is bringing more viewers to its long-form content.

YouTube Shorts Reaches Milestone

Less than two years after its launch, YouTube Shorts is reaching 1.5 billion logged-in users every month, according to reports from TechCrunch and Variety on Wednesday.

YouTube launched its Shorts feature to compete with TikTok, the social media app that has taken over the internet with its bite-sized content. Its effort appears to be successful, as these new numbers put YouTube Shorts on track with the Gen Z-beloved app. 

In September 2021, TikTok announced it had reached one billion monthly users. It has not released updated data since, but analysts projected it could reach 1.5 billion sometime in 2022. 

While Shorts were created to rival the trending content on TikTok, YouTube has remained committed to the long-form content that has served as the platform’s bread and butter. In its announcement, the company touted that Shorts served as an entryway for viewers to watch more of this long-form content and discover new creators along the way. 

In a release, YouTube said the synergy built by this expansion has allowed for “the rise of the multiformat creator.”

“Long-form content remains the best way for creators to deeply engage and develop long-term relationships with their audiences,” Tara Walpert Levy, YouTube’s Vice President of the Americas, said in a statement. “But Shorts offer an exciting, new way to be a part of a viewer’s journey and to introduce themselves and their whole portfolio to new audiences. This approach is yielding real results; channels uploading both short and long-form content are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth than those uploading only one format.”

The Competition Posed by TikTok

For its part, YouTube put a lot of effort into making Shorts thrive on its platform. Among other measures, the company created a $100 million fund incentivizing creators to make the quick videos. 

The Google-owned video giant is far from the only social media company to try to wrestle with TikTok’s success. Facebook and Instagram began rolling out Reels two years ago while TikTok was experiencing a surge of pandemic users. 

In turn, TikTok has also made changes to its app to keep up with other social platforms. Recently, it extended its maximum video length to ten minutes, meaning its short-form content may not always be so short. 

By using short videos to drive more power behind longer content, YouTube is hoping to cover both bases. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, said that even though the company is only at “the beginning” of its journey with Shorts, he knows “the product will continue to be an integral part of the YouTube experience moving forward.”

See what others are saying: (TechCrunch) (Variety) (The Verge)

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