Welcome back to Going Downs, a weekday newsletter about the intersection of celebrity and politics.
🤠 Today is Tuesday, which means it’s time for my weekly round up of all the ways celebrities and politics collided this week. 🤠
This week in the Kanyidate (Ye’s run for office)…
It’s honestly been hard to keep up. I’ve said it before but Kanye’s struggles with mental health are playing out in a very public way, it’s just worth noting that it’s through the lens of the 2020 election.
Note: I bring all this up not to snark on someone who is possibly in the midst of a bipolar episode, I bring it up to give context. Who the President is deeply affects all of our lives, especially as C-19 rages. In America, it clearly does not matter if you are healthy or fit enough to run. It only matters if you have enough money. I believe Kanye’s run, along with Trump’s presidency, is a symptom of a breakdown of democracy. For the uber rich, wanting to run for president is a fleeting hobby, just as another billionaire might suddenly desire a sushi dinner flown in from Osaka or spontaneously exclaim they are competing in Olympic horse dancing.
Last weekend, Kanye started petitioning to be on the November ballot in South Carolina and held a rally in Charleston. His first ever public remarks included belittling the legacy of Harriet Tubman, crying while claiming that he and Kim considered aborting their baby North (once again confusing Plan B pills for actual abortion), and a vague proposal to boost families with children a federal payment of between $50,000-$1M.
Unsurprisingly, this gathering did not bolster his support enough to appear on the SC ballot. Kanye remains on the ballot in Oklahoma, and yesterday filed to be on the Illinois ballot, presenting 2,500 signatures. If you’re keeping score, his attempts to file in Michigan and Florida have also been unsuccessful.
Yeezy has also been taking to Twitter to post some, frankly, disturbing personal content. He’s hinted at divorce with Kim, said “Kris Jong-Un” wanted him to place him in a “5150 hold” for his mental health, a wellness visit from Dave Chapelle, accused Kim of sleeping with Drake and Meek Mill, and accused Shia LaBoeuf of skipping out on a Gap/Yeezy photoshoot. Most relevant to us in all of these tweets, was the announcement that he wants Jay Z to be his running mate.
Hedging their bets, Madame Tussaud’s says they have completed a “Presidential Bust” of Kanye “just in case.”
Here’s How Hollywood Interfaced with the Biggest Headlines:
Gray’s Anatomy is already whipping up a “coronavirus episode” for next year, citing it as a way to honor the doctors they consult with for the show. I personally don’t want to relive this moment in a 45 minute programming block split up by 23 commercial breaks, but that’s just me.
Hilary Duff says that her son Luca will be the one to decide if he can go back to in-person learning this fall; he’s evidently an epidemiologist. “If it's just strictly learning and no social interaction I guess I would let him make the choice,” she said on Instagram live. Not sure how that works. Most Cali schools, even private ones, have been mandated to do online learning this fall.
Celebs are coming out for Biden - there’s a “zoom fundraiser” this weekend hosted by Jay Leno (kill me), featuring Barbra Streisand, John Legend, Julianne Moore, and Rob Reiner. You know, all the hip, down with the cause celebs that get the young people voting!! There’s also a Lily Tomlin / Jane Fonda “TedWomen” talk to support Biden coming up. If you’d like to hear “my TedWoman talk” on Joe Biden, you’ll have to wait until bars open again but trust me it will be long.
Columbian drug traffickers used monikers and clues from the movie John Wick: 2 to transport 150 grams of cocaine hidden in 500 coffee beans to Florence, Italy. Unforch, local polizia are also big Keanu fans and pieced it together.
Hollywood’s Reflections on the Fight for Racial Justice:
A former Australian Bachelor producer is speaking out about reality TV when it comes to having BIPOC cast members. In an interview with HuffPost Australia, the anonymous source said that systematic racism extends to the shows, citing that diverse casts “don’t sell.”
Shows like ‘The Bachelor’ don’t necessarily “set out to cast a token diversity contestant”, but it’s often perceived by the major networks that “casting a BIPOC in an intimate role is making a statement and isn’t going to sell”.
“One thing in casting is they try to match the suitor’s preferences, so often you do get some filler cast that doesn’t align with those preferences,” said the producer, who requested to remain anonymous. “Unfortunately we’ve seen the pattern that produces.”
Colin Kaepernick’s charity, Know Your Rights, gave $1.75M to “black and brown communities,” for c-19 relief, bail funds and legal defense resources.
Matt Damon made everyone mad in Brooklyn Heights when he moved into his new $16.5M penthouse — he closed an entire city block for a day, including issuing parking tickets, and used a 14-foot crane to bring furniture to his roof terrace…
Princess Beatrice got married at her dad, Prince Andrew’s, Royal Lodge (whatever that is). Andrew was there, but stayed out of the spotlight. The 20+ guest wedding, which put on airs of social distancing, included “a high-spirited reception, featuring speciality cocktails, bespoke catering, an exquisitely decorated Indian-style tent, a bouncy castle and glamping pods for overnight guests.” I’m sort of at a loss for what is meant by an “Indian-style-tent.”
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are partnering with a telemedicine company called Hims & Hers to give better access to healthcare for underrepresented communities. Looking at their site, I’m having trouble understanding how a start up can do any better than Universal Healthcare without being 100% for-profit. The couple is also bidding on buying the New York Mets baseball team.
Jill Zarin believes the Housewives of RHONY should “expect a pay cut,” in their salaries, citing Bravo “losing viewers to Netflix” and “the Covid has changed everything!”
This Week in Cool:
The Hallmark Channel will finally be including LGBTQ+ characters in storylines for their holiday original movies! Just last year the network pulled 4 commercials featuring same-sex couples from sponsor, Zola. It’s 2020.
Billy Eichner will play Paul Lynde in a biopic about the comedian, called Man in the Box. I’m into this casting! Love Paul Lynde!
An investment group, led by Natalie Portman and Serena Williams hopes to fund a Los Angeles team in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The film Rub & Tug has found a new home. You may remember in 2018, the film cause controversy as it was written/directed by straight men, and was supposed to star Scarlett Johansson as real-life trans man, Dante “Tex” Gill. Now, Rub & Tug has been reimagined as a television series, written by trans writer, Our Lady J, and starring a trans actor. The story seems very cool: it’s about a gangster in 1970s Pittsburgh who became entangled in the city's so-called Massage Parlor War.
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