Celebs x Politics Roundup 7.7.20
Paris for President, Yeezy's Living on the Dole, Andy's leaving B99?
Welcome back to Going Downs, a weekday newsletter about the intersection of celebrity and politics. It’s Tuesday, July 7.
PS: I’ll be on Cait Raft’s 30 Hour 30th Birthday Twitch Stream today at 3:30PT portraying Kardashian party planner, Mindy Weiss!
🤠 Today is Tuesday, which means it’s time for my weekly round up of all the ways celebrities and politics collided this week. 🤠
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Kanye announced he is running for president.
With just four months before the November general election, Kanye has to register with the FEC (Federal Election Commission). Even then, he may not be able to be on the ballot unless he can collect enough signatures. He’s also missed the deadline to run as an Independent in most states. West threatened this before, first at the August 2015 VMAS, the same month he did campaign appearances for Hillary Clinton. Several subsequent announcements have occurred on and off between 2016 and now. Let’s hope he pays his phone bankers…
Paris Hilton also posted 4 different Instagram “edits” of a Legally Blonde-esque campaign she calls Paris for President. I think she’s mocking Kanye and had an intern whip all this up. I don’t know, I’m lost.
Kanye’s Yeezy brand was also the most famous recipient on the list of companies who received federal Payroll Protection Loans (PPP) for small businesses affected by Covid-19. West received a loan between $2-$5 million. If you’re thinking to yourself that maybe Yeezy is in trouble…the company made $1.5 billion in 2019. A few years ago, Kanye announced he was $53M in personal debt from investing in his own company, but he has since paid it off.
According to the Post, Ghislaine Maxwell is ready to “name names” in an attempt to reduce her charges for allegedly running an underage sex trafficking ring with Jeffrey Epstein.
A new Instagram account @CelebswithGhislaine provides some “inspiration” as to who she might out. Sure, photos mean nothing, but it’s wild just how entrenched Ghislaine was in Hollywood. The name on everyone’s lips is Prince Andrew, who was apparently extremely close to Epstein and Maxwell as a “close confidante.” There are many, many photos of them together. Everybody’s also bringing up Carole Radziwill of RHONY fame. Radziwill initially denied knowing Ghislaine, but fans clocked Ghislaine’s photo credit on an author photo of Carole Radiziwill’s book.
This week in Hollywood confronting racism: Andy Samberg is considering the future of Brooklyn 99 and Lin Manuel is responding to Hamilton’s portrayal (or lack thereof) of slavery.
Andy Samberg spoke to PEOPLE about what it’s like to make a cop show during the largest Civil Rights and anti-police brutality movement in U.S. history.
"We're taking a step back, and the writers are all rethinking how we're going to move forward, as well as the cast. We're all in touch and kind of discussing how you make a comedy show about police right now, and if we can find a way of doing that that we all feel morally okay about."
"Our showrunner Dan Goor, they had four episodes all ready to go and they just threw them in the trash. We have to start over," he continued. "This is an opportunity right now for us all to united and get together and understand what this is and that we have to battle this together."
Goor donated $100,000 to the National Bail Network earlier this month. B99 was cancelled by Fox in 2018 after 5 seasons, picked up by NBC for a 6th and 7th (after being turned down by Hulu and several streaming services). The 7th season is airing now. They’re writing an 8th season right now, so I’m not sure what Samberg is talking about. Since he’s not an Executive Producer on the show, maybe he’s considering quitting it?
As for Lin Manuel Miranda, writer Tracy Clayton started a conversation about Hamilton glossing over the fact the the Founding Fathers owned slaves, despite having a diverse cast. Miranda responded on Twitter:
tracy clayton aka CHUBBA BEEF @brokeymcpovertyim late w the hamilton criticism stuff & im clearly biased but.. i really like that this conversation is happening. hamilton the play and the movie were given to us in two different worlds & our willingness to interrogate things in this way feels like a clear sign of change
Hamilton is very long, he’s right about that. Last week, he addressed slavery in Hamilton in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air:
I do think that there are things that hit differently. I’ve always sort of said that slavery is the original sin of this country. It’s in the third line of our show. It’s a system in which every character in our show is complicit in some way or another. And again, I think different things resonate differently. Hamilton, although he voiced anti-slavery beliefs, remained complicit in the system and, other than calling out Jefferson on his hypocrisy with regards to slavery in Act 2, doesn’t really say much else over the course of Act 2.
And I think that’s actually pretty honest. Like, he didn’t really do much about it. None of them did. None of them did enough. And we say that, too, in the final moments of the song. So that hits differently now because we are having a conversation – we’re having a real reckoning – of, how do you uproot an original sin? And that’s the conversation that I feel like is happening right now.
This week in Hollywood sexism: Charlize Theron will not reprise her award-winning role of Imperator Furiosa in the next Mad Max movie.
Director George Miller is doing a prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road, the film Charlize starred in, and will not be using her to play the now 20-something Furiosa in the part.
Why is this sexist? Mel Gibson played Mad Max in three movies in the franchise, from 1979-1985. Sure, none of them were prequels, but why does the new one starring a woman have to be a prequel? Is it because 20 year old actors are hotter? I don’t think they’re more interesting, to be quite frank.
What’s worse, is Miller did countless panels in which he was applauded for the use of feminist theory as a basis for Furiosa’s character. Here’s a 2015 Vanity Fair article where he blushes, “I can’t help be a feminist.” Well, knowing the dropoff of female actors after they hit 40, Miller should have resurrected the role for Charlize. We all loved that role. Nobody wants to see Johnny Depp’s 4th daughter or whatever, try to mimic the greatest female action star of our generation!
“It’s a tough one to swallow. Listen, I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making Fury Road with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best, “ Theron admits. “Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure. I really love that character, and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her. She will forever be someone I think of and reflect on fondly. Obviously, I would love to see that story continue, and if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him in that manner. We get so hung up on the smaller details that we forget the thing that we emotionally tap into has nothing to do with that minute thing that we’re focusing on.”
Words were said, but I don’t know what the words mean. Meghan and Harry lead a Zoom conversation for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and urged the UK to “right the wrongs of colonialism.”
The Sussexes took on a noble task: to be the first Royals in their whole family to address Black Lives Matter. Awesome. But then Harry (who has basically renounced all royal responsibilities, including the title, Prince) brought up the 54 nations of the UK Commonwealth, which of course, started as British Colonies. Harry lead the convo, saying the UK needs to “acknowledge the past”:
"When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past," he said. "So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do."
"It's not going to be easy and in some cases it's not going to be comfortable but it needs to be done, because guess what: Everybody benefits," the Prince added.
We're going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it's only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships," she said. "Equality does not put anyone on the back foot, it puts us all on the same footing -- which is a fundamental human right."
So, okay. What does this mean? Harry is definitely implying the racism Meghan has felt at the hands of the Royal Court, here. I mean, how could he not have witnessed that first hand.
I guess “uncomfortable,” means the Royals, maybe other Royals, are feeling “Royal Guilt”?
Is he talking about his brother and father maybe not being King when Grandma dies? I mean, KING is a pretty colonial term, right? I’d say to “right the wrongs,” probably not having a little special family that gets free cookies at 2PM every day paid for by taxpayers (and that’s the least of it) would right some wrongs.
I wonder if this is an endorsement for statue toppling that’s been going on in England. Or maybe he’s suggesting that Britain ditch the 54 Commonwealth countries. Economists would call that a “very bad idea,” right?