Trump looks on as a White House aide reaches for CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s microphone during a news conference in November. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock Over the past few weeks, as they fell even further behind with women voters across America, Republicans and the White House have begun appropriating the language of the #MeToo movement. Galling as it is, it’s not surprising — just another Orwellian turn among many. But the clumsiness of this latest hijacking, involving doctored tapes, hoaxes, and more than the usual quota of lies, is based on several wrong assumptions about the press. First, the GOP seems to think that biased reporters will jump at just about any #MeToo story, even ones dangled with poisoned bait. They don’t understand that facts are still the currency of journalism, and that the press’s role in the #MeToo movement has been that of careful authenticator. The recent yanking — and provisional reinstatement — of a … [Read more...] about The GOP Thinks #MeToo Is a Chance to Exploit the ‘Biased’ Press
Last year there was a perceptible backlash against award shows for being too political, be it the groaning over Meryl Streep’s charged—if polarizing—Golden Globes speech condemning the newly elected president, or the anti-Trump rhetoric of Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue at the Oscars. This year, however, the question isn’t whether awards shows will be too political, but just how political they will be—and already there seems to be a palpable desire to make them as political as possible. That the extermination of sexual predators infesting Hollywood would affect awards season was obvious. Films are removing predators’ names from the credits as weak antidotes to their poison (a la Wind River, which Harvey Weinstein co-produced), or being shelved because of allegations against their creator (a la Louis C.K.’s I Love You, Daddy). One has reshot an entire role because of the newly tarnished name of its star—Kevin Spacey being swapped out for … [Read more...] about Hollywood Stands Up for #MeToo on Red Carpets. #BlackLivesMatter Deserves the Same.
Few auteurs push the cinematic envelope like Steven Soderbergh. Having helped initiate the modern Amerindie movement (and put Miramax on the map) with his 1989 debut sex, lies and videotape, the 55-year-old filmmaker has spent the past three decades working in a multitude of modes, from Oscar-winning dramas (Traffic, Erin Brockovich) and big-budget crowd-pleasers (Ocean’s Eleven, Contagion) to stylish crime sagas (Out of Sight, The Limey) and idiosyncratic efforts (Bubble, The Girlfriend Experience). It’s his latest work, however, that may be his most risky and experimental yet: Mosaic, a murder-mystery that can be watched in linear fashion on HBO beginning Jan. 22, or experienced in a far more interactive way via a free iOS and Android app. Mosaic is yet another sterling expedition to the technological frontier for Soderbergh, a whodunit (starring Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund, Beau Bridges, and Paul Reubens) that, on a smartphone, employs a branching narrative to provide … [Read more...] about Steven Soderbergh Fears a #MeToo Backlash: Men May ‘Stop Hiring Women’
(CNN)"Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" is another story about a wealthy and famous man allegedly becoming a sexual predator, but it's also a look inside an organization he founded where the devotion can only be described as cultish. As such, it's an especially effective look at how such abuses have been allowed to fester, exploiting protective institutions as well as the allegiance and hunger of those involved. As director Eva Orner's Netflix documentary makes clear, Bikram Choudhury was, among other things, a world-class marketer and name-dropper, rattling off a client roster as varied as Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley, George Harrison and Frank Sinatra. Clips show him appearing on talk shows not long after arriving from India in the 1970s, and celebrities touting his "hot yoga," a myth which Bikram fed and twisted as nimbly as he did his limbs. Pushing his clients while usually wearing, it's noted, only a tiny Speedo and a Rolex watch, the core of the business was built around … [Read more...] about ‘Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator’ adds another twist to #MeToo movement
Photo: Amanda Demme for New York Magazine On Friday, New York published a harrowing account from author and longtime Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in which she recounted being raped by Donald Trump in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s. Carroll’s story, which is excerpted from her new book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, has already been read more than a million times. Below is a roundup of the response thus far, including wild accusations from the president, commentary from pundits, politicians, and readers — as well as the debate over what might come next. On Friday night, Carroll appeared on MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, where she shared the story again, in person instead of on paper: She also went deeper into how she — as many victims of sexual assault do — felt she was responsible for the attacks. “I blamed myself and I was silent and I felt guilty,” she told the Washington … [Read more...] about How Readers, Pundits, and President Trump Are Responding to E. Jean Carroll’s Allegations