Monday, January 07, 2019

TV: Ellen created her own mess when she decided to embrace homophobia

Last week, Ellen DeGeneres attempted to use her position as host of THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW to raise an important issue.

Dr. Peter Phillips:  One of the policies that western governments has implemented is austerity.  That means they spend less money on people and humanitarian concerns and allow greater investment by private interests into public resources.  So rather it's water rights or freeway systems, they allow the privatization of literally everything -- patent rights, I mean, just anything that can offer a return is privatized.  And we're seeing that very, very massively.  We're also seeing the privatization of war and war's another way that capital can be used to guarantee a return to these investment companies.  So the US has bases,you know -- 800 bases worldwide, in cooperation with NATO it's working in Africa, we've got troops and training troops and military actions going on in 140 nations worldwide.  That's not to protect the United States from terrorists or the people here.  That's to protect global capitalism penetration anywhere in the world And there's to be no resistance.  So if the government is resisting capitalization and profit making, it's time for a regime change.  And the US is getting very good at that.  So Qaddafi was taken out primarily because he was trying to sell his oil -- get other nations to sell their oil in gold. And that created a conflict in Europe and the US, so they took him out.  They created a resistance movement and funded it and then went in and did what they called humanitarian intervention and now Libya's in chaos.  So -- but that is war on behalf of global capital.  And I think what we can really look at going back to 9/11 and the justification for the invasion of Afghanistan, and then Iraq and the wars in Middle East have all been about, you know, revenge and protecting us from al Qaeda and terrorism but terrorism is primarily people who are resisting capital penetration and military control in their own homes, in their own communities. So, you know, people resist, we call them terrorists.  So that's an ongoing problem with concentrated wealth in the world today is that is maintained in a big part of that is through war.   And so we have permanent war and people are dying everywhere and mass inequality occurs and so that now we have the top 20% owning 95% of all the wealth but it's the top 1% that own half the wealth in the world and the bottom 80% of the people live on ten dollars a day or less, most of the people live on three dollars a day in the world, and a quarter live on $1.50.  So those people, those billions of people, 30,000 of them die every day of malnutrition and starvation.  So there's this massive inequality and massacre of people daily from lack of nutrition when there's more than enough food in the world to feed all of them.  You know, a third of the food in the world is thrown away because it's not deemed profitable to sell it. So we have really become a non-humanitarian society and capitalism is making that worse.

Oh, wait.  The Sonoma State University professor was a guest on THE CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX.


Ellen, she used her platform to tell America that people who objected to homophobia were "haters" and that a crime took place when Kevin Hart was denied the chance to host the Academy Awards because he refused to apologize for advocating violence against children perceived as gay.

It was a curious misuse of power and took place the same week that LIFETIME was calling for accountability with their six part documentary SURVIVING R. KELLY.  While R. Kelly has denounced the series produced by dream hampton (among others) and directed by . . .

Well who knows?

never have i ever directed an episode of surviving r kelly. your article is factually inaccurate when a rudimentary trade search (variety, deadline et all) could have revealed truth. or a simple @ for comment.

At IMDB, you'll find:

(2019– )

Full Cast & Crew

Series Directed by 

Lyric R. Cabral ... (6 episodes, 2019)

Series Writing Credits  

Nigel Bellis ... (6 episodes, 2019)
Astral Finnie ... (6 episodes, 2019)           

We're confused by what article Lyric R. Cabral means at DEADLINE -- you can click here for all DEADLINE articles about SURVIVING R. KELLY.  There's only one and it doesn't mention the director.  We found this one which noted:

BuzzFeed News and Hulu are developing a feature documentary on singer R. Kelly. The film will explore Kelly’s alleged abuse and exploitation of young black women and will be streamed exclusively on Hulu. (T)ERROR filmmaker Lyric Cabral will direct with Oscar winner Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cook executive producing.

October 23rd, VANITY FAIR declared Lyric the director of SURVIVING R. KELLY and they repeated that assertion on December 5th.

You will find Lyric identified as the director in one article after another.  The excerpt above from DEADLINE?  The documentary film did not morph into SURVIVING R. KELLY.  Lyric is working on another R. Kelly project -- with BUZZFEED and Jim DeRogatis.

She's not involved in this one but instead of attacking Anjelica Jade, she might try grasping that article after article, news outlet after news outlet as well as IMDB are crediting her with being the director.  Anjelica did her research.  Lyric Tweeted without doing any.

SURVIVING R. KELLY documents many women who say they were abused by R. Kelly and some were girls when this happened.  It tries to ask how this could happen but really doesn't want to answer that question.

Angelica gets to the issue of responsibility in her piece -- and how it's avoided in the series:

The women mention how they weren’t allowed to speak to the people in R. Kelly’s life, but they also weren’t kept hidden. People in his circle knew.

So it is jarring to hear Sparkle talk about introducing her then-12-year-old niece to R. Kelly in order to grow her burgeoning rap talents. Sparkle even says that she knew to keep her eyes on her niece and never leave her alone in his presence. It’s here the docuseries taps into fertile ground that goes unexplored — how black women internalize messages about their self-worth and are betrayed by those closest to them. Sparkle is never pressed on the admittedly uneasy aspects of this story or why she would risk her niece’s safety for the chance at a thriving career. This leads to tensions between the hard work these women are doing being so vulnerable in front of the camera and the hard work the filmmakers aren’t doing in asking the complex questions that reveal both the nature of R.Kelly and how his abuse has persisted for so long.

That's an issue that needs to be explored.

Another issue?  Drop the sloganeering -- especially from Charlamagne Tha God.  He's useless (and his past Tweets are causing a problem for the documentary series).

Why the resistance that protected R. Kelly?

It's a historical issue.  For decades, African-American men have been the targets of sexual stereotypes and falsely accused of rape and other assaults.  It's why Clarence Thomas was able to refer to Anita Hill's charges of harassment as a "lynching."  At that time in history, it was more important to some to ensure that another African-American male got on the Supreme Court than it was to listen to an African-American women.  Author Alice Walker has been repeatedly attacked over the years by a number of African-American men because of her book THE COLOR PURPLE which includes Celie's abuse by Mister.  How dare she, some African-American men, have huffed write about the abuse of African-American women at the hands of African-American men.

These attacks still continue to this day -- COUNTERPUNCH publishes them several times a year -- on Alice's 1982 novel.  COUNTERPUNCH has never been noted as a publication that cares about African-Americans or leads in any way on issues effecting that community; however, anytime that Ishmael Reed, for example, attacks Alice and other African-American women, COUNTERPUNCH rushes to publish that.

It's a climate that goes far beyond people liking R. Kelly's songs or thinking he's a genius.

It also includes the issue that sometimes 'outrage' is nonsense.

For example, did Drake take a young girl to his hotel?  Not according to the current outrage but he did kiss her onstage.  Guess what?  Not a crime.  And David Cassidys and Bobby Shermans have been kissing girls in their concerts for years now.  Buy a clue.  He kissed a 17-year-old on the shoulder! After bringing her onstage!  He hugged her from behind!  It's that sort of nonsense that creates a climate where very real attacks on girls and women can be dismissed.

In fairness to the documentary, though they raise the issue of how R. Kelly got away with allegations of abuse for so many years, it's really not the focus.

They amass a large number of witnesses -- survivors as well as observers.  They build a convincing case.  And Emily Shugerman (DAILY BEAST) reports, "The National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a substantial increase in calls on the night Surviving R. Kelly premiered, a RAINN spokesperson told The Daily Beast. The hotline, which connects survivors to emotional support, information and resources, received 27 percent more calls on Thursday than the same day the week before."

800-656-4673 is the National Sexual Assault Hotline number.

SURVIVING R. KELLY was television that helped women and girls.  CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX was radio that addressed issues of inequality and war.  And then there's . . . Ellen.

We warned you, two weeks ago, in "TV: The lies of Ellen DeGeneres are out in full force in her NETFLIX special," that she was out of touch, that she had rage towards her fans, that she was rewriting history and playing a victim.  Let's start with the last first:

It did not take her three years to get back on television.  It wasn't even two years.  The last new episode of ELLEN aired July 20, 1998.  March 7, 2000, she was back on TV in HBO's IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK II.  It was one year and about seven months.  Three years?  No. Equally true, the last new episode of ELLEN aired July 20, 1998 and she was on TV frequently in 1999 promoting her two films released that year, ED TV and THE LOVE LETTER.

Even more important, while in NYC to wrap up her comedy tour (July 2000), she told reporters that she would begin filming a sitcom for CBS shortly (THE ELLEN SHOW -- a sitcom where she was again playing Ellen who was gay from the start of the show -- the sitcom also featured the last filmed reunion of Mary Tyler Moore and Ed Asner).

But Ellen was never 'away.'

Yes,  it did hurt her career to come out, but we're not the only ones who applauded her in real time.  And have applauded her since.  A lot of people applauded her in real time.  What she did was historic.

Which is why she really doesn't need to mess with the truth about what she did.

That resulted in a number of e-mails (Ty counts 63) from people who viewed the special and felt like Ellen was ignoring the real story: That she was embraced by so many.

Because she was.

Her TV show was cancelled.  But that wasn't due to low ratings.  It did as well or better than many ABC sitcoms that came back (including the awful SPIN CITY).

Yes, ELLEN's "The Puppy" episode was huge -- her hour long show where she teased her coming out for about a half an hour.  And people tuned in to support her.

After she came out?  Her audience was about the same as before.  But that had more to do with a so-so sitcom, let's be honest.  It never knew what it was.  It started out THESE FRIENDS OF MINE and her co-stars were Holly Fulger, Maggie Wheeler and Arye Gross.  Clea Lewis was a guest star and gave a breakout performance as Audrey so it was smart to turn her into a regular character; however, how smart was it to get rid of Holly, Maggie (who went on to play Janice on FRIENDS) or Arye?

Because the show got rid of all of them.  And it added Spence (Jeremy Piven -- someone Ellen's notoriously silent on) and Joley Fisher (who was not close to Ellen, especially in the final season).
And Ellen changed bosses and she changed careers.  And everything kept changing.

There were funny episodes.  Usually anything that prominently features Clea Lewis is hilarious.  But there were also shows that just didn't cut it.  And what was that insipid Civil War re-enactment episode about?  Seriously, it was 1997, why make that episode?

Spence, Fisher's Paige, Audrey and David Anthony Higgens' Joe?  All are absent from the episode.  It was so awful and hideous and like a LAVERNE & SHIRLEY episode where they join the military but only not funny and really sad -- let's just say that, really, really sad.

Episode after episode, in the final season, found Paige or Joe or Audrey or Spence -- or some combination -- including "all" -- absent.  What was the show?  It's a little bit dishonest of her to pretend it was consistent or that it tried to please viewers.  Forgetting the gay angle, she refused to honor her co-stars and, yes, Joley Fisher was right to be angry about that in the final season of the show.

And fans who liked Audrey, Paige, Joe and Spence were right to be upset that the characters weren't on the episodes and they were right to wonder if this was going to be yet another cast purge like the way Holly, Maggie and Arye were disappeared from the show?

That's on her, that was a stupid and, yes, sh**ty thing to do.

Chastity Bono (she was Chastity then and she was a she then) saying ELLEN was too gay for TV (saying it on air to Jay Leno, in print to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and VARIETY) didn't help either.  But the real problem was disappearing the cast.  THESE FRIENDS OF MINE started off as a SEINFELD rip-off.  But Jerry Seinfeld never needed to disappear Elaine, George or Kramer on any of the episodes where his character had a date.  Strange that ELLEN couldn't do the same.

Again, despite this, the show did not plummet in the ratings.

ABC didn't want it.  They didn't want it after the coming out episode.  They had been clear in press whispers that they thought the fourth season should have been the last.

That's a network.  That's not the people.

Ellen coming out mattered.  But let's be clear that it didn't destroy her career nor was it going to.  Ellen is asexual onscreen.  She always has been, always will be.  It's why MR. WRONG was such a huge box office disaster.  Ellen was funny gal and being an out lesbian was not going to hurt her.

It did hurt Anne Heche.  Coming out as Ellen's lover destroyed Anne's leading lady career that she had slowly built up to.  Anne's refusal to hop back in a closet after Ellen also hurt her.  Anne upsets people because she can be put into a simple box.

Ellen was never going to suffer.  America had already embraced Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lange, Elton John, Martina Navratilova, Amanda Bearse (who was the first openly gay performer to play a gay character on a TV sitcom when she played Marcy's cousin Mandy on MARRIED WITH CHILDREN), Dan Butler, Sandra Bernhard . . .

More would come out in the years to come but no one would ever come out like Ellen did.  She got in bed with ABC on it.  She let them dictate it.  She could have started season four with both herself and  her character out of the closet.  But that's not what happened, is it?

Instead, we got her joking about being . . . Lebanese.

Instead, we got a roll out of months and months and months and months . . .

She actually turned it into a ratings stunt, if we're going to be really honest.

And she did that with ABC's assistance.  They knew it would drive up viewership . . . for the big coming out episode.

There's a lot of truth left out of her victimization story including the fact that no one victimized her more than she did.

Her refusal to acknowledge that the public was always there for -- because they were -- and that the industry still supported her -- because it did -- goes to her sour outlook.

It may be why she sees Kevin Hart as a victim.

Kevin Hart, for those who don't know, is a B-list film actor (comedian), he can't carry a film and, without Dwayne Johnson as his co-star, most movie goers avoid him.  He had a dopey TV show (REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD) that no one watched -- first episode had nearly five million viewers and, in its fifth and final season, only about half a million people were watching.  His comedy albums haven't stormed the charts.

He's a short man who squeaks a lot and, honestly, would be cast as Monroe in any reboot of TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT.  Why?  He reads gay.

Ellen is not asexual -- clearly, she's had several high profile relationships.  That is how she reads onscreen.  Kevin Hart reads gay onscreen.

And that may be why he goes to such extreme to denounce and attack gays?

Who knows and, honestly, at this point, who cares?  He turns 40 this year and he still can't show the maturity required to apologize for preaching violence against children perceived as gay.

He knew what he was doing and he was trying to get cheap laughs via homophobia.

No, it wasn't acceptable.  Don't pretend it was.  It was never acceptable but after the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998, the US damn well knew it wasn't acceptable to preach violence against someone because of their sexuality or what you thought their sexuality might be.

We should also note he used "fa**t" repeatedly to insult people and that he's spoken of violence against his first wife while, a little over 12 months ago, he was cheating on wife number two.

This is the person to host the biggest night for US film in the year?  This is the person to represent the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science?

In what world?

He brought his problems on himself.  No one forced to preach violence, no one forced to preach hate, no one forced him to be violent with his first wife and no one forced him to cheat on wife number two.

But there was Ellen assuming the role of Elder Gay, Queen Mother, and telling her viewers that it was "haters'' who called out Kevin Hart and that he needed to be the host of the Oscars because people change!

She really thought she could control the audience that she so disdains.

She thought she could order them around.

It honestly reminded us of Chastity Bono.

Was there ever a more useless spokeswoman for lesbians -- other than Ellen, of course?

Not only did Chastity insist that ELLEN was too gay for TV, you may remember that, citing her lesbian credentials, she wanted the world to know that Mel Gibson wasn't homophobic, that he was wonderful and . . .

That sort of blew up in Chaz's face, didn't it?

And this little stunt Ellen pulled has blown up in her face as well.  It's so bad that her brother has taken to Twitter.

Well said, Tracie, well said.

And Vance would do well to stop Tweeting.

His sister made this a public issue.  She needs to apologize and own her action.

Ellen will be 60 this year.  She is beyond wealthy -- a point she couldn't stop noting in her NETFLIX special.  She is far removed from reality.  She's confused celebrity for hero status.

People of color face additional hurdles and challenges that others do not.  If these people of color also happen to be LGBTQ, there are even more hurdles and challenges.  Ellen put her big nose where it didn't belong.

The people calling out Kevin Hart's homophobia were not "trolls" (Kevin's term) or "haters" (Ellen's term).  They were journalists, they were activists and they were also LGBTQ.  And Ellen spat on them to defend her fellow millionaire celebrity Kevin Hart.

She allowed him to lie on her show about what he did and what happened.  She then co-signed those lies.  She has a lot to answer for.

We strongly recommend Ira Madison III's "Ellen DeGeneres's Kevin Hart Interview Was An Insult To The Black LGBTQ Community," Matthew Jacobs' "Ellen DeGeneres's Kevin Hart 'Interview' Is Artificial-Talk Show Culture At It's Worse," Christina Cauterucci's "Ellen Doesn't Get to Decide if Kevin Hart Has Apologized for His Anti-Gay Remarks," Tre'velle Anderson's "The Problem With Ellen DeGeneres' Kevin Hart Interview," Spencer Kornhaber's "Kevin Hart Is Not A Martyr," Caroline Framke's "Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar Conspiracy Theories Only Make Things Worse,"  Karen Ocamb's "Deconstructing The Ellen DeGeneres Cover Up of Kevin Hart's Latent Homophobia," Drew Goins' "Who Died And Made Ellen DeGeneres The Gay Pope?," and "Don Lemon to Kevin Hart: Walking Away Right Now Is Your Choice."

That's a lot of recommendations -- because this is a big conversation taking place.

We don't take part in pile ons.  When Britney Spears shaved her head, we could have been bitchy and funny but we resisted.  For those who feel we are now part of a pile on?  The victims here are the LGBTQ community members.  This includes people triggered by Kevin Hart's nonsense and hate but it also includes those put at risk by the attitudes Kevin Hart expresses.

Ellen did not have a personal moment -- like Britney -- that led to a pile on.  She chose to use her show to promote a homophobe and to attack those who spoke out against homophobia.  If this were Ellen using her show to promote a racist and to attack those who spoke out against racism, we'd all be appalled.  And we should all be appalled by what Ellen did.  Her brother is wrong, she's not the victim.  She chose to perpetuate hate against the LGBTQ community.

Guess what?  Her being a lesbian?  That doesn't give her a pass on homophoiba.

And, as we noted a few weeks back, she keeps inflating what she actually did and inflating the 'suffering' she endured in 1998.  She needs to grow up and she needs to grasp that what she did last week was wrong and it was offensive and it was a betrayal of everything we want this country to stand for.

Not all that long ago, she was trying to rehab War Criminal Bully Boy Bush.  She should have faced intense backlash for that.  Possibly because she didn't, she now thinks she can get away with rehabbing a homophobe -- a non-apologetic homophobe.

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