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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)


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)

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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)

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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.”

See what others are saying: (The Daily Beast) (MarketWatch) (Bloomberg)

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