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Academy Expresses “Outrage” Over Will Smith Slap in Update to Members



The organization says their review of the incident could take a few weeks. 

Academy Frustrated By Will Smith Overshadowing Winners

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent a letter to members Tuesday saying it is “upset” that Will Smith’s slap overshadowed the accomplishments of filmmakers at the 94th Academy Awards. 

Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage after he made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. In a statement on Wednesday, The Academy said Smith “was asked to leave the ceremony but refused.” He accepted his Best Actor trophy under an hour after the televised debacle. 

The Academy condemned Smith’s actions and launched a review into the incident. In the letter Tuesday, sent by President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, the group again denounced the “King Richard” star. 

“Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year,” the letter, which was obtained and published in full by The Hollywood Reporter, stated. “We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee.”

Using the Academy’s bylaws, the group said it plans to make a “determination on appropriate action” following the review, though the letter noted the process “will take a few weeks.” 

Rubin and Hudson promised to keep members updated, but also asked for respect as the process unfolds.

“Please trust that the Board of Governors will conduct this process in a manner that is both expedient and respectful of all involved while maintaining the standards of the Academy,” the letter closed. 

History Made At the Oscars

The Academy’s assertion that other standout moments were “overshadowed” has proven true in the coverage of the ceremony over the last several days. History was made in a number of ways during the broadcast, yet headlines about Smith, the fallout of his actions, and other reactions have dominated headlines. 

Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color to win an acting Oscar. When accepting her award for “West Side Story,” she told people who might question their identity that “there is indeed a place for us.”

Rita Moreno who cheered her on from the crowd. Moreno made history 60 years ago by winning an Oscar for the very same role, making her the first Latina to take home the statue. 

Jane Campion became the third woman to win Best Director for Netflix’s “Power of the Dog.” This year marked the first time women won the award in consecutive ceremonies following Chloé Zhao’s win for “Nomadland” last year. 

Troy Kotsur was also the first deaf man, and only the second deaf person ever, to win an acting Oscar. The only other deaf actor to receive the accolade is his “CODA” co-star, Marlee Matlin, who picked up Best Actress back in 1986 for “Children of a Lesser God.”

In his moving speech, he paid tribute to his father, who he said was the “best signer” in his family until “he was in a car accident and he became paralyzed from the neck down and he no longer was able to sign.” 

“I’ll always love you,” he said. “You are my hero.”

In addition to “CODA” bringing increased representation for the deaf community, the Apple TV+ film also became the first Best Picture winner from a streaming service.

Still, according to Variety, Smith’s name was searched on Google 25 times more than the top prize winner following the end of the show. 

Other moments were also seemingly erased from viewers’ minds as they reeled from the slap. Best Documentary was handed out right after the moment, going to Questlove’s “Summer of Soul.”

“This is just a stunning moment for me right now,” he said in his speech while Twitter began to blow up with responses to Smith. “But this is not about me. This is about marginalized people in Harlem that needed to heal from pain.”

Smith even eclipsed his own first Oscar win. After decades in the industry, his widely expected win had been one of the most anticipated events of the night. Fans and audience members thought the moment would be one to celebrate the actor’s career and legacy, but instead, people watched stunned as his teary speech was largely influenced by the slap. 

Smith has since apologized to Rock, the Academy, and those involved in the making of “King Richard.”

This article was updated to reflect the recent statement from the Academy claiming Will Smith refused to leave the ceremony.

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


“Dahmer” Series Breaks Netflix Records Amid Backlash For Exploiting Victims’ Stories



Family members of some of the murderer’s victims say the program is “retraumatizing.”

“Dahmer” Lands Successful Week on Netflix

While criticisms mount against “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” the true crime series broke Netflix’s record as the most-watched first week for a series debut.

According to data provided by the streaming giant, the Evan Peters-led show was watched for over 196 million hours between its release on Sept. 21 and Sept. 25.

“Dahmer” is the newest of several pieces of fiction and media based on the famous serial killer. Created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, the series quickly generated a lot of attention online, primarily from those concerned the show is exploiting a gruesome true story. 

Critics have echoed those fears, giving the show a mixed 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The “Critic’s Consensus” blurb on the site states that while the show is “seemingly self-aware of the peril in glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer” the story still “tilts this horror story into the realm of queasy exploitation.”

Victims’ Families Speak Out

The family of Errol Lindsey, one of Dahmer’s victims, has also spoken out against the series. In a viral tweet, Lindsey’s cousin Eric Perry said his family is “pissed about the show.”

“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what?” he wrote. “How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”

In much of the promotion for the series, Netflix claimed it would be told from the perspective of the victims. Perry slammed that narrative, noting that his family was never even contacted by the streamer about the project.

“So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families’, no one contacts them,” he wrote. “My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”

Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, echoed that claim in an essay she wrote for Insider, noting that Netflix did not notify her of the show, or ask her any questions about her brother. 

She said that watching the show “felt like reliving it all over again.”

“It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then,” she wrote. 

“It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed,” she continued. 

Obsession With Dahmer

Controversy has also grown from some of the responses to the series, as many viewers have posted fan edits of the show that romanticize Dahmer. Some pair clips of Peters’ Dahmer with his victims to love songs or pop ballads, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of those who do not understand why someone would make content glorifying the killer. 

Others have responded to the show by calling Dahmer “hot” or posting thirst tweets about his mug shot. This has resulted in a backlash of its own. 

“Jeffrey Dahmer molested and murdered people, mostly black men and boys,” one person wrote. “So to see people making edits and thirst traps of him is a little off putting.”

“if I see anyone tweeting thirst tweets about Jeffrey Dahmer I’m immediately unfollowing,” another person said. “That’s so fuckin nasty.”

Concerns that this kind of media results in more people admiring Dahmer are also mounting in Milwaukee, where many of his crimes took place. According to TMZ, the city is considering creating something to honor the victims, but officials fear a physical memorial would turn into a “mecca” for Dahmer’s fans. 

See what others are saying: (Insider) (IndieWire) (Vox)

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YouTube Removes Age Restriction From Nicki Minaj Video After Singer Calls Company a “Bogus Platform”



Even though her video can now be viewed by all YouTuber users, Minaj made it clear she was upset that the age-gate tanked its view count in the first 24 hours.

Nicki Minaj Vs. YouTube

Nicki Minaj called out YouTube on Monday after the platform age-restricted her new music video for “Likkle Miss Remix” featuring Skeng. 

By age-restricting a video, YouTube blocks users who are under 18 or not logged into a Google account from viewing the content. 

Minaj’s video features close-up shots of people in skimpy outfits twerking, but several videos on YouTube with similar imagery have not been gated. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video is available for everyone, as is Minaj’s own “Anaconda” video. 

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Minaj accused YouTube of being inconsistent and playing favorites. 

“They restricted my fucking video but have things a million fucking times worse on their BOGUS FKNG PLATFORM,” she wrote in a post that included a screenshot of YouTube’s age-restriction notice. “This is what they do to keep you from winning while doing ads for another ppl and posting fake fkng stats. Because the same ppl who run YouTube are in bed with a certain record label and mngmnt company.”

Minaj further alleged that YouTube’s actions were done to prevent her from getting a significant number of views in the video’s first 24 hours, which is often the most crucial timeframe for a video’s success. She continued to assert that the Google-owned company has a bias toward certain music labels.

YouTube Walks Back Restriction

“How long have yall been playing the numbers game to lie & pretend ppl r doing ‘good’ when they r not?!?!!” Minaj continued in another post. “How much ad space did these duds purchase to be promoted on my channel in the last 5 years?!??!!!!”

Later on Monday, YouTube removed the restriction from Minaj’s video, per Variety. The company said the content in it did not violate its rules and guidelines. 

While Minaj ended up deleting her Instagram posts calling YouTube out, she made it clear she was still frustrated by the debacle. 


As of Monday afternoon, her video had been viewed over one million times.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Independent) (Billboard)

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“Don’t Worry Darling” Tops the Box Office Amid Bad Press



Audiences are already giving the film higher praise than critics did.

Young Women Flock to “Don’t Worry Darling” 

Weeks of controversies and rumors did not prevent “Don’t Worry Darling” from finding victory at the box office, with the Olivia Wilde-directed thriller debuting at number one over the weekend and raking in $19.2 million. 

Wilde also acted in the mid-century mystery, which starrs Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan.

Women led ticket sales for the picture, comprising 66% of the audience, according to several reports. At least partially due to the appeal of Styles, crowds also skewed young, with over half under the age of 25.

Overseas, the film made over $10 million, bringing its total for the weekend to $30 million. That number is especially impressive since the R-rated drama had a budget of $35 million.

“Don’t Worry Darling” had been plagued with weeks of rumors about behind-the-scenes drama leading up to its release. Among other bouts of gossip, many online speculated that Pugh and Wilde had riffs on set, leading to Pugh’s refusal to promote the project. One report alleged the two got into a screaming match, but sources on set denied it. 

Wilde and Shia LeBeouf, who was originally cast in the picture, also got into a public he-said-she-said about whether he quit the film or was fired. 

The drama hit a boiling point during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival when Twitter users circulated a video they claimed showed Styles spiting on Pine, though both parties have denied that allegation. 

A Film Riddled With Rumors 

Furthering the bad press were the bad reviews. Critics largely panned the film, sticking it with a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. After this first weekend, moviegoers seem to have a more favorable outlook, as it has a 79% audience score as of Monday. 

Jeff Goldstein, the distribution chief for Warner Bros., told the Associated Press that “the background noise” caused by these controversies “had a neutral impact” on its box office haul. The studio released a statement saying it was pleased with the movie’s earnings. 

Some analysts believe that, if anything, the online gossip and fodder may have aided the film’s box office performance.

In a tweet recapping the weekend’s box office, Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, said the “drama sparked a huge wave of interest.”

See what others are saying: (Associated Press) (Box Office Mojo) (New York Times)

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