Tag Archives: celebrities

Indigenous Feminism and Cultural Appropriation

by Guest Contributor Jessica Yee

Last year, a friend of mine told me that actress Juliette Lewis started up a band and that their sound was seriously a rockin’.

I was like “Really? Cool!” since I’d always appreciated the versatility Lewis demonstrated in her acting craft with movies like “The Other Sister,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” or even “Old School.”

Off to Google I went searching for her website, when I came up with this image:

Oh no, not again.

Another appropriator.

A quick glance at their website and various other fan photo materials reveals even worse.

Continue reading

My new obsession: The Wendy Williams Show

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

For the past week or so, I’ve spent every night watching Tivo’d episodes of The Wendy Williams Show. It’s been my new secret obsession and (yay!) I just found out that the show has officially been picked up by Fox. (Hat tip to Stereohyped.)

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about the show that I like so much, and last night it finally dawned on me that there are two factors that are particularly appealing.

First, it’s the first TV talk show I’ve ever seen that captures the authentic essence of social media. Wendy makes no pretense that she’s a TV pro. When she’s not picking synthetic wig hairs off her outfit, she’s barely holding back her belches. When she’s not asking the producer how much time there’s left in the segment, she’s messing up the pronunciation of people’s names. And just like here at Racialicious, comments from her viewers are an integral and seamless part of the show’s content.

Second, it’s so refreshing how her show completely normalizes queerness among people of color. So many of her audience members, mostly black and Latino, are casually open about their sexuality. Plus when she had Margaret Cho on the show, they actually touched on trans issues.

At a time when other prominent TV personalities *coughTyracough* only include gay people in the most stereotypical or exploitative situations (drag queen pageants! down low homothugs! Mr. and Mrs. Jay!), and mainstream media pretends that all African-Americans are vehemently homophobic, there’s something quietly subversive about demonstrating that gay people of color are just a fact of life, and no big deal.

Have any of you been following the show? What do you think?

Jay Brannan Sings the N-Word

by Guest Contributor Joanna Eng, originally published at DJ Jojo

Last week I went to the Jay Brannan show at the Highline Ballroom on 16th Street. It was a fun show, complete with great performances of “Housewife” and “Soda Shop” and Jay’s (mostly endearing) talking-too-much routine.

Toward the end of the show, Jay busted out with a cover of N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton.” (See the video and Logo’s glowing review here.) Although I was surprised to hear him say the “n-word” twice, unflinchingly, during the song, the cover was nicer than it could have been—it was actually quite a beautiful rendition, and it didn’t really even seem like he was making fun of the song or gangsta culture.

He could have left it at that, and I might not have thought too much about it.

But right after the song ended, he had already started defending himself. “Now, before you all email me to complain,” he started; and went on to explain that he was just covering a cover of the N.W.A. song by Nina Gordon. “If you don’t like the lyrics… I didn’t write them!”

Then he said something like, “Before you say that I’m making fun of black culture…. I think I know some black people who would take issue with you equating black culture to gang violence.” The audience clapped at this, but I was left uncomfortable. It’s an interesting point, but did he really just pull the “I have black friends” card?

I was also left wondering if Jay really would have felt comfortable doing that song if there were many (or any) black people in the audience.

All that aside, I did really enjoy the show. He did a very nice cover of my favorite Joni Mitchell song, “All I Want.” And he was decidedly cute and gay as usual. I think he should tour with Girlyman.

Sex and the City Mega-Post

by Latoya Peterson

Y’all knew we had to do it, eventually. Sex and the City is an event, and though none of the Racialicious staffers have seen the movie yet, we got enough tips and articles sent in we decided to do a post. (Carmen and I are both opting to catch the film on DVD.)

Random Trivia

In the July 2008 issue of Marie Claire, Willie Garson (who played Stanford Blatch) said this about his character:

I didn’t audition for the role of Stanford at all the way he’s played in the show. I just read it as a guy who happened to be homosexual. Then when we went to shoot the pilot, I remember Darren shouting at me, “Gayer!” You know, to the point where it felt really kind of artificial to me. But people loved it.

The Women Themselves

Dodai from Jezebel breaks down why the movie was all kinds of wrong:

To be honest, I was a fan of the TV show when it first aired. A female writer living in New York and dealing with messy relationships? Of course I could relate. Of course I was attracted to the glitter, the nightlife, the search for love and the dating psychodramas. And what the show did really well was to tell those modern urban love legends: The Guy With The Funky Spunk, The Guy Who Died Before The Second Date, The Time The Writer Fell On The Runway, The Time Your Friend Had A Brazilian Lesbian Lover For Like A Week. But the movie made me want to cut myself. It was a showcase for how hollow and soulless these characters were. Do they have hobbies, aside from shopping? Interests? Do they read anything beyond Page Six? They are just rich bitches who don’t even have the decency to be over-the-top, and therefore amusing, like Absolutely Fabulous. I was seriously offended when Charlotte wouldn’t eat anything except packaged chocolate pudding on their trip because “It’s Mexico.” I was also offended by Miranda’s rudeness to her nanny and Samantha’s “Honey, we can pay people to do the stuff we don’t want to do” attitude. Then it dawned on me: These women are assholes. [...] Continue reading

Open Thread: The R. Kelly Verdict

by Latoya Peterson

Looks like the Pied Piper of R & B will continue to walk the streets.

Gina from What About Our Daughters notes some of the comments on predominantly black websites, like Essence:

I think justice was served. We have several of our black men in jail for these crimes, that they actually do commit, but without knowledge. The teenagers today look and dress like grown ups, and there parents see this and don’t care. I don’t think people should do time, when they do not know the person is a minor. Another thing the girl denied that it was her, even if it was her you can only go by what she says. The problem is R Kelly is making to much money doing him and people are jealous. Kelly keep doing you. I’m

-Mona Harris

I know R.Kelly did it but so what! He likes young love oh well!!! She allowed herself to be done like that. Why was she at a grown ass man house anyway.EXACTLY!! She wanted it…they wanted it and it doesnt really matter because he was found not guilty so get over it.Im sure he will do it again i just hope next time he leaves the camera at home…Go R. Kelly!!!yeaaaa

-Queenipoo

JUSTICE WAS SERVED !!!! IT’S PROVEN THE MAN IS INNOCENT…I BELIEVED ALL ALONG THAT TAPE WAS CORRUPT.AND SO WAS THE TESTIMONY OF SPARKLE AND THE LIL MONEY HUNGRY TRAMP WHO JUST WANTED MONEY FROM ANY AND EVERY SOURCE SHE COULD GET IT FROM. THE MOLE ON R.KELLY BACK COULDN’T BE EXPLAINED, WHY IT WAS NOT IN THE TAPE.

-REAL JUSTICE

I think that only God knows what happen.And what does it matter what happened anyway.Its not like R.Kelly forced the girl to have sex and I am so sick of people giving young woman the freedom to do what they want and blame the man for their inpurities. That girl knew exactly what she was doing!Furthermore, not only Kelly should’ve been on trial, but her aunt and mother should be too. Why is a girl that young at R. Kellys home in the first place???It’s neglegence on the parents part as well.So don’t blame Kelly for taking a

-Crystal J.

Gina calls this ignorance personified, I am inclined to agree. Continue reading

Of Race and Historical Dramas

by Latoya Peterson

When events in history are adapted for the silver screen, how accurate do we expect them to be? And what version of history does that present?

Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee have apparently gotten into a tiff about the historical accuracy in Eastwood’s films. New York Magazine’s Vulture blog summarizes:

At Cannes a few weeks ago, Lee blasted Eastwood for not including any black actors in his duo of World War II movies, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. “Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total and there was not one Negro actor on the screen,” Lee said. “If you reporters had any balls you’d ask him why. There’s no way I know why he did that — that was his vision, not mine. But I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It’s not like he didn’t know.”

Today Eastwood fires back in an interview with the Guardian, in which the director snaps, “A guy like him should shut his face.” He defends his movies by noting that no black soldiers were among the ones who raised the flag at Iwo Jima, which is true, but not exactly the point — Lee wasn’t demanding that Eastwood change a real-life person’s race. Those movies had plenty of soldiers in them, not all of whom were based on actual people (say, Marines 1–4 in Letters From Iwo Jima) — couldn’t one or two of them have been played by black actors?

The actual Guardian article alluded to in the blog post clarifies Eastwood’s position a bit more:

“Has he ever studied the history?” he asks, in that familiar near-whisper. Continue reading