Connect with us

Entertainment

Friendlyjordies Producer Arrested and Charged With Stalking New South Wales Deputy Premier

Published

on

The arrest is the latest escalation in a feud stretching back to Nov. 2019.


Friendlyjordies Producer Arrested

Popular YouTuber friendlyjordies posted a video on Monday that shows his producer, Kristo Langker, being arrested by plainsclothes Australian officers.

The police, part of a counter-terrorism branch known as the “fixated persons unit,” were acting upon a formal complaint filed by New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who accused Langker of stalking and harrassment related to two separate incidents. 

Langker’s lawyer has called his client’s bail conditions “utterly extreme” as they prohibit him from possessing images or caricatures of Barilaro. Langker is also barred from speaking on Barilaro’s “personal appearance or behaviour.”

Langker, who has been charged with stalking and intimidating Barilaro, will appear in court on June 24. 

The Feud Between Friendlyjordies and Barilaro

Langker’s arrest can be traced back to an ongoing feud between Barilaro and friendlyjordies, whose real name is Jordan Shanks, that began in late 2019.

In November of that year, Shanks —  a political satire YouTuber with about half a million subscribers — blasted NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for the state’s response to Australia’s devastating bushfire season. In fact, he even dubbed her a “Koala Killer” in reference to the numerous animals that died during the fires. 

Later, her Deputy Premier, Barilaro, criticized the use of the phrase on Sydney radio.

On June 18, Shanks posted a video where he said he must continue to “trigger” Barilaro “for the good of the state.” During that video, Shanks, who’s known for over-the-top impressions of politicians, went on to impersonate Barilaro, adopting a heavily exaggerated Italian accent and repeatedly swearing.

Following that video, Barilaro denounced Shanks’ impression as “very offensive” and “racist.” To note, both of Barilaro’s parents are Italian immigrants to Australia. Meanwhile, Shanks has some southern European ancestry, though no known Italian ancestry.

The back and forth between Shanks and Barilaro didn’t stop there. In September, Shanks rented an Airbnb property owned by Barilaro, and while there, Shanks accused him of corruption and environmental vandalism — while continuing to do an exaggerated accent. 

In May, Shanks then revealed that Barilaro had sent him a letter in Dec. 2019 threatening to sue him for defamation.

“The deputy premier of [NSW] really likes destroying [NSW’s] environment and he’s using his office to enrich himself,” Shanks said. “I make fun of him for this, so naturally his response was to call me racist for putting on an Italian accent while doing so.”

In that same video, Shanks shows a clip of him confronting Barilaro while dressed as Luigi from Nintendo’s Mario series.

“John, you silly calzone!” he says while running up to the lawmaker. “Why you threaten to sue me? Why you threaten to sue? Why you do this?”

Shanks is then guided away by guards, but his producer, Kristo Langker, stays and begins to argue with other guards and staffers while trying to speak with Barilaro.

“John, I’ve got some documents you might like to see,” Langker jokes. “I’ve got an Italian club.” 

As Langker continues to try to push through to Barilaro, the situation becomes noticeably tenser. One guard can briefly be seen lunging to move Langker back. Eventually, Langker finds his way to Barilaro. 

 “Just go,” Barilaro says in the clip. “Why don’t you just bugger off?”

“I want to know why you are threatening to sue,” Langker says. 

“I’m not threatening to sue. I am suing,” Barilaro responds. “Because you guys are liars.” 

At the end of May, Barilaro launched official defamation proceedings against Shanks. 

Clip of the Arrest

Langker was arrested for both his actions at the event where Shanks was dressed as Luigi and for a second incident on June 4 where he approached Barilaro as the lawmaker was returning to his car following the funeral of rugby star Bob Fulton. 

“Deputy premier, why are you suing my boss?” Langker asked at the time.

Hours later, the fixated persons unit appeared at Langker’s doorstep and arrested him while his family filmed the interaction. 

Shanks shared several clips of the incident in his Monday video. In those clips, Langker can be seen trying to give his cell phone to his mother before the police intervene to seize the phone. The camera then goes dark, but an officer can be heard saying, “They’re trying to give away evidence to try to run away with it. Don’t throw the evidence, okay?!”

Following that scuffle, Langker’s mother accused an officer of assaulting her, saying, “You hurt a 51-year-old woman! You knocked me over!” 

The officer then repeatedly says he tripped over her as she tried to pass the phone off to another, unidentified female. 

“You pushed me down in my own home!” Langker’s mother continues to allege.

At one point, she even accuses the police of killing the family dog. Though that dog wasn’t actually dead, the family is still accusing the police of nearly killing it.

Shanks has also condemned the arrest and referred to the fixated persons unit as an “extra-legal mafia.” This isn’t the first time the unit has faced criticism. Independent Australia has described it as Orwellian and as looming in the shadow of Big Brother. 

Barilaro has declined to comment on the arrest.

See what others are saying: (ABC Australia) (The Sydney Herald) (The Guardian)

Entertainment

Netflix Reinstates Employee Who Crashed Director-Level Meeting After Criticizing Dave Chapelle

Published

on

Terra Field had publicly accused Chappelle of making transphobic remarks in his new stand-up special “The Closer” just days before she was suspended.


Netflix Reinstates Terra Field

Netflix reinstated a transgender employee who was critical of Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special after suspending her for attending a director-level meeting without an invitation. 

Terra Field tweeted on Tuesday that she was reinstated once the company determined “there was no ill-intent in” her decision to attend the meeting.

“I’m going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I’m at,” she added. “At the very least, I feel vindicated.”

Field also shared an email Netflix sent her regarding her suspension being lifted. 

“Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting,” the email said. “Additionally, when a Director shared the link it further supported that this was a meeting you could attend.”

Field’s suspension came just days after she tweeted a viral thread criticizing Chappelle’s latest program on Netflix, “The Closer.” She was one of many activists who claimed Chappelle’s set was transphobic and encouraged Netflix to take action. Field wrote that his comments attacked “the very validity of transness.” Netflix insisted those tweets had nothing to do with her suspension. 

Field reportedly attended the director-level meeting with two other employees who were also suspended. A spokesperson for Netflix told Deadline that those two staffers have likewise been reinstated and the company “will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people.”

Netflix’s Response to Dave Chappelle Controversy

Netflix, for its part, has defended Chappelle and rejected calls to remove “The Closer” from the streaming service.

“It never feels good when people are hurting, especially our colleagues,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Srandos wrote in an internal memo. “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”

“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line,” he added. “I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”

Among other things, Chappelle took time in his special to defend author J.K. Rowling, who previously faced backlash over a series of transphobic remarks she made. Chappelle said he agreed with Rowling.

“I’m team TERF,” he added. “I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”

Chappelle went on to make jokes about Caitlyn Jenner before comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.

Many employees at Netflix are still frustrated with the way the platform has handled the controversy surrounding “The Closer.” According to The Verge, a trans employee resource group is planning a walkout on Oct. 20.

“Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter,” the group said in a memo. “And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!”

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Deadline) (The New York Times)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch May Have Abandoned Plans To Participate In TikTok NFT Program

Published

on

Lil Nas X’s TikTok NFT was scheduled to debut a week ago and is still not available to the public.


Creators Allegedly Leave TikTok’s NFT Program

Musicians Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch may have quietly exited TikTok’s new NFT collection, according to a report from Rolling Stone.

TikTok first announced the line, which is called “TikTok Top Moments,” at the end of September. It involves a series of creator-led NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are unique and tradeable digital assets. TikTok’s NFTs can be purchased with the cryptocurrency Ethereum. According to a press release, the money will “largely go directly to the creators and NFT artists involved.”

TikTok said that creators like Poarch, Lil Nas X, Grimes, Curtis Roach, Brittany Broski, and more would be participating in the program. The company called NFTs an “empowerment tool” that will allow these creators to “be recognized and rewarded for their content.” It planned to debut the collection on Oct. 6 with Lil Nas X’s NFT, but that token has still not been made available. A source told Rolling Stone that it may never be released. 

NFT Rollout Described as “A Mess”

The outlet also reported that Poarch is “actively contemplating pulling out of the program due to worries about its execution.” According to Rolling Stone, three sources familiar with the rollout of the program have described it as “a challenge,” “a mess,” and “a complete joke.”

Those sources claimed that in order to secure Poarch’s initial participation, TikTok offered her marketing support worth potentially $4 million for her next release. The company also allegedly promised to use one of her songs in an end-of-year campaign. A spokesperson for TikTok, however, described these claims as “not accurate.”

Neither Poarch nor Lil Nas X has commented on their participation yet. Meanwhile, TikTok declined to answer Rolling Stone’s questions about the status of their NFTs. 

Some of TikTok’s announced NFTs have gone public, though. Throughout Tuesday, Roach’s “Bored in the House” video was up for auction on the platform Immutable. 

NFTs took the internet by storm in early 2021, but their popularity peaked in May and declined throughout the summer. Celebrities, tech moguls, and everyday people featured in viral memes have hopped on the trend and made millions doing so. 

According to Rolling Stone, TikTok has valued some of its own NFTs at $1 million. Now, it’s unclear if those tokens will ever hit the market.

See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Dexerto)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, and Others Honor World Mental Health Day

Published

on

A slew of stars acknowledged the day by sharing personal stories and making hefty donations to organizations that offer mental health resources.


Celebrities Donate to Mental Health Organizations

Major celebrities honored World Mental Health Day on Sunday by speaking candidly about their mental health struggles and donating to nonprofits.

Singer Ariana Grande announced that she is donating $5 million worth of free therapy through the online counseling platform Better Help. The star previously partnered with the company over the summer to give $1 million in therapy to fans and opted to throw more money at the program following its success. 

“I acknowledge that there are very real barriers when it comes to accessing mental health resources, and while this is only one small gesture (and a much larger systemic problem remains) I wanted to do this again with @betterhelp in hopes of bringing access to a few more people and perhaps inspiring a few of you to try something new and prioritize your own healing,” Grande wrote on Instagram. 

Those interested can sign up for a free first month of Better Help and get an additional 15% off the second month. 

Model Bella Hadid also pledged to donate to mental health resources. She teamed up with the beverage company Kin Euphorics, which will donate 10% of its October sales to Gurls Talk, a nonprofit that gives adolescent girls a space to talk about mental health, along with various educational tools to aid those discussions. Hadid will match those donations.

“Dealing with mental illness for most of my life, bringing awareness to the education of mental health through my platform is something that I will continue to do until our mental is just as respected as our physical,” Hadid wrote. “I want everyone who struggles daily to know that you are not alone.”

Stars Share Resources and Personal Stories

Meanwhile, actress and singer Selena Gomez used her new makeup brand Rare Beauty to share statistics about the prevalence of mental illness and the efforts to combat it. The company, which has previously focused on several mental health initiatives, shared that just 1.3% of philanthropic investments go towards supporting mental health.

The company additionally cited information from an American Psychological Association report, which revealed that young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health struggles. It found that seven out of 10 Gen Z adults are more likely to report experiencing depression symptoms compared to other generations. 

Gomez shared Rare Beauty’s post to her own story as well. 

Singer Olivia Rodrigo similarly opened up about mental health and therapy during an interview with CBS that aired Sunday. In it, she said she has been in therapy since she was 16, which she believes has helped her both personally and professionally.

“That was a really big, life-changing moment,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about myself.” 

“I think there’s sometimes a stigma around it, too, like I was saying,” the singer continued. “Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, you don’t need that. You have so much. Your life is so great. What are your problems?’ I think that’s definitely a thing that sometimes older people can do to younger people to kind of trivialize what they’re going through.” 

See what others are saying: (Billboard) (E! News) (Complex)

Continue Reading