Many argued it was tone-deaf for wealthy individuals to reenact a show that follows people living in poverty gambling their lives to get out of debt.
Chrissy Teigen Throws “Squid Game” Party
Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen is facing backlash for hosting a party themed after the hit Netflix series “Squid Game.”
The Korean drama series depicts people who are dealing with financial hardships playing life-or-death children’s games in hopes of getting out of debt. It has been praised for its sharp criticism and examination of social inequality.
Teigen posted photos over the weekend of her and her party guests, which included celebrities like Shay Mitchell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, dressed as characters in the show. Teigen went as the famous Red Light Green Light girl, while most other attendees wore the tracksuits dawned by Squid Game contestants. Other photos of the event showed Teigen’s husband, musician John Legend, wearing a robe and panther mask similar to the one worn by a wealthy businessman who bet on the deadly competition in the series.
Decoration for the affair included gold piggy banks and set recreations. Meanwhile, waiters dressed as the masked game staffers served cocktails. One video Teigen shared showed a winner receiving flights to Napa Valley and dinner at The French Laundry, a three-Michelin star restaurant, as a prize.
“Where do I even begin!!” Teigen wrote in her caption. “What an absolutely epic night. my dream came true of watching my friends fight to the death! dunk tank, musical chairs, hide and seek followed by a very riveting final game of pin the tail on the donkey.”
Twitter Users Accuse Teigen of Being Tone Deaf
On Twitter, many argued that it was out of touch for a group of wealthy people to throw a lavish party based on a show about the desperation of poverty. Some wrote that it was especially “tone deaf” for Teigen to reenact the show “in her mansion.”
“Did you even watch the show?” another person wrote. “You understand you’re the problem right?”
Another person compared her to the “gross rich American VIPs betting on the murder games” shown in the series.
Others did defend her, arguing that “Squid Game” has become so popular that tons of people are throwing events inspired by it or wearing costumes based on the show. Someone also asked, “what exactly [do] people want from rich people engaging with art criticizing capitalism?”
“Should they pretend it doesn’t exist? Should they solemnly report that they ‘got it’ and are very sorry for their insane wealth?” that person continued.
MrBeast Faces Similar Backlash
Teigen has not responded to the backlash, but she is not the first star to be slammed for staging a “Squid Game” event. YouTuber MrBeast similarly recreated the setup so he could have contestants compete in games for prizes. He recently announced that the ordeal cost $3.5 million in total: $2 million to build and produce the games and another $1.5 million for prizes.
Some argued the price tag was too high and that the money would have been better spent directly helping those in need.
Y'know instead of doing this bullshit you could've just given $3.5mil to poor people who actually need it instead of spending it to build something that you're just gonna use to give your friends, who already have quite a bit of money, more money.— Jay 🎗 (@JayBray2006) November 14, 2021
Others defended MrBeast, claiming he already gives money and resources to people who need them. Many shared examples of him giving away food, scholarship funds, and more.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
MrBeast has a reputation for hosting charitable efforts and massive giveaways. Most recently, the YouTuber partnered with Mark Rober in an effort to raise $30 million to clean oceans worldwide. He also operates a food pantry, which has given out over one million meals to people in need.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Jezebel) (Dexerto)
Recording Academy CEO Defends Nominations After Controversial Nods to Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K.
CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the Academy is not “in the business of restricting people” from getting nominated.
Recording Academy CEO Defends Nominations
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. defended Tuesday’s Grammy nominations after artists like Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K. received nods for their work.
Manson was nominated for his appearance on Kanye West’s album “Donda,” which landed in the Album of The Year category. Earlier this year, Manson was accused of sexual assault, rape, and psychological abuse by multiple victims.
C.K., who previously admitted to sexual misconduct, was nominated for Best Comedy Album.
While speaking to The Wrap, Mason argued that the Recording Academy should not consider an artist’s personal life in its nomination process.
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,” he told the outlet when specifically asked about Manson’s nomination. “We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration.”
Even though Mason believes artists with serious accusations levied against them should not be excluded from nominations, he did say the Academy will consider those factors when it comes to performances and other on-camera appearances.
“What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,” he explained. “We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.”
Other Controversial Nods
Manson and C.K. were not the only controversial figures who received nominations. Comedian Dave Chappelle was nominated in Best Spoken Word Album for his special “8:46.” Last month, he faced severe backlash for transphobic comments he made in a separate special titled “The Closer.” Chappelle was slammed by several major LGBTQ+ organizations over the special but has defended himself against criticisms.
Rapper DaBaby was also condemned by LGBTQ+ groups this summer after he made homophobic remarks during her performance at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami. He received Grammy recognition for his work on “Donda” and Justin Bieber’s “Justice.”
The Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2022.
See what others are saying: (The Wrap) (Pitchfork) (Rolling Stone)
Kevin Spacey Ordered To Pay “House of Cards” Studio $31 Million for Losses After Sexual Misconduct Claims
The studio argued that Spacey cost it millions after multiple sexual harassment and abuse claims against the actor forced it to suspend production, fire him, and shorten the show’s final season.
Arbitration Between MRC and Spacey Becomes Public
Actor Kevin Spacey and his production companies have been ordered to pay nearly $31 million dollars for breach of contract to MRC, the studio behind the Netflix series “House of Cards.”
The ruling was actually made by an arbitrator more than a year ago but was only made public Monday when MRC’s lawyers petition a California court to confirm the award.
Spacey was a centerpiece of the hit series and also served as one of its executive producers. However, during filming for its final season in 2017, an actor named Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when Rapp was 14 in 1986.
Netflix suspected production in the wake of Rapp’s claims, but soon after, others came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Spacey, including several former and then-current crew members of “House of Cards.”
Netflix eventually fired Spacey, whose list of accusers grew to at least 15 people.
MRC Blames Spacey for Production Losses
In the secret arbitration last year, MRC argued that Spacey “repeatedly breached his contractual obligations.” It added that he and his companies are liable for his behavior, which allegedly caused the studio to lose millions given what it had already invested in developing, writing, and shooting the final season.
MRC also said the Emmy-winning series brought in less revenue when it finally aired because it had to be shortened from 13 to 8 episodes to write out Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood.
According to Variety, Spacey filed a counterclaim, alleging that he was owed money after he was dropped from the series and did not breach his contract. That claim was later rejected and the arbitrator ultimately agreed with MRC, issuing the massive reward, which includes compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees.
Spacey and his team have not commented on the news as of Tuesday, though the studio has since issued a statement saying, “The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability.”
See what others are saying: (Variety) (CNN) (The New York Times)
Netflix Staffers Who Criticized Dave Chappelle Rescind Labor Complaint, One Resigns
Two employees previously accused Netflix of trying to stop staffers from speaking out against the company.
Employees Rescind Labor Complaint
Two former Netflix employees who were critical of Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special have rescinded a labor complaint that they filed against the company, according to a statement released by their lawyer on Monday.
Terra Field and B. Pagels-Minor were outspoken about their issues with Chappelle’s special “The Closer,” which was widely accused of transphobia. Both protested the company’s decision to support Chappelle amid the controversy. They were also members of a resource group for transgender employees that staged a walkout in which staffers took to the streets of Los Angeles to call on Netflix to do more to support its LGBTQ+ employees.
Field and Pagels-Minor filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in October claiming that Netflix was punishing its staffers for speaking up about Chappelle and LGBTQ+ related issues at the company.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the two staffers accused Netflix of attempting “to quell [them] from speaking up about working conditions including, but not limited to, seeking to create a safe and affirming work environment for Netflix employees, speaking up about Netflix’s products and the impact of its product choices on the LGBTQ+ community, and providing support for employees whom Netflix has treated in an unlawful and disparate manner.”
On Monday, Netflix released a statement saying the complaint had been rescinded.
“We have resolved our differences in a way that acknowledges the erosion of trust on both sides and, we hope, enables everyone to move on,” the statement said.
A lawyer representing Field and Pagels-Minor confirmed that the complaint was voluntarily withdrawn.
Terra Field Resigns From Netflix
Both Pagels-Minor and Field were subject to some level of disciplinary action during the Chappelle controversy. Pagels-Minor was fired from Netflix for allegedly leaking internal information, though Pagels-Minor denies ever doing so. Field was suspended from the company after reportedly attending a meeting she was not invited to. That suspension was quickly lifted after it was revealed that a miscommunication led to the incident.
On Monday, Field released a statement announcing that she had resigned from Netflix.
“This isn’t how I thought things would end, but I am relieved to have closure,” Field wrote. “Shortly after B. was fired for something I did not and do not believe they did, I made a decision: sink or swim, I was going to walk side by side with B. as they had for so many of us while they led the Trans* ERG.”
In a tweet, she added that she was “not happy that this is how things turned out” but believed “this outcome is best for all parties involved.”
Why Did Dave Chappelle Spark Backlash?
Chappelle faced backlash for defending author J.K. Rowling, who was previously accused of being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) after releasing a series of statements many found to be transphobic.
“I’m team TERF,” Chappelle said during “The Closer.”
“I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact,” he added.
Chappelle made a series of other jokes aimed at the transgender community in the special, including one about Caitlyn Jenner and another comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
The comedian has defended himself against criticisms. According to The Daily Beast, he also recently continued to make transphobic jokes at screenings of his new documentary. The outlet reported that while Chappelle aired the film in New York, he made jabs about pronouns and “said the f-slur.”