Last Week’s Episode: Black Rights are Human Rights and Pronouns Aren’t a Joke

Last Week's Episode

Is it 2021 yet? I’m ready for next year. Maybe next year we can stop explaining the basics of human rights and common decency to people.  In case you need to primer for having your own conversations — Black rights are human rights (not a political stance) and someone’s pronouns aren’t a joke. If you can learn someone’s name, you can learn their pronouns. Also yes, they is grammatical as a singular pronoun. If Jane Austen can use it, so can you.

Good

Wishes do come true! Our hope in last week’s column has become a reality and Naomi Osaka won the US Open for a second time. This means she got to wear all seven of her masks honoring victims of racism and police brutality including Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice. When asked by a reporter what kind of message she was sending by wearing these, Osaka flipped the script and asked what message they got out of it. [USA Today]

On the heels of her big win on the court, Osaka also announced a big win in commerce. The professional tennis player has diversified her career further by collaborating with fashion brand Adeam on a collection inspired by her Japanese heritage. [Twitter]

Throwing down the gauntlet to their holiday fluff film competitors, Lifetime will have their first gay holiday movie this year. Starring Ben Lewis and Blake Lee, who we can only hope will have as much chemistry on screen as they do in their irl marriage. Fran Drescher and Ellen Wong are also joining the cast. After Hallmark’s controversy over pulling a commercial of two brides kissing last season, hopefully, this is a sign of growth for the TV holiday movie area. Has someone licensed Red, White, and Royal Blue yet? Oooh. Looks like Amazon Studios already locked that down. Go read it while we wait for Lifetime’s The Holiday Setup to premiere this winter. [The Loop]

Jonathan Majors has been a major breakout star this year. This summer he was in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Blood and most recently has been dazzling in Misha Greens’ Lovecraft Country. If you’re loving that show (I am!), there’s some excellent news this week that the Langston League is creating reading lists and educational resources to go with each episode.

Another big announcement for Majors is his casting as (probably) Kang the Conqueror in the next installment of Ant-Man. [Deadline]

Good news for Doom Patrol fans, bad news for the DC Direct platform — the third season of Doom Patrol was announced, but it will debut on HBO Max instead of the brand streaming service that has been dying a very slow death. [THR]

SNL is coming back! In addition to three new featured players, the magnificent Ego Nwodim is being promoted to regular cast member. In mixed news, Jim Carrey will be playing the role of Joe Biden in the future presidential debate sketches we have to look forward to. It could be good. Right? Right. Maya Rudolph and Alec Baldwin will be back as Kamala Harris and Trump. [Vulture] [USAToday, if like me you’re out of free links on Vulture]

This looks promising! Fingers crossed the dog survives. [Twitter]

Baby Yoda is back in the Mandalorian Season 2 teaser. However, what should be a joyous celebration of its impending release is soured by other news from this show. Brace yourselves, I’m switching to the Bad News section.

Bad

Do I gotta? Ugh. I gotta. In this week’s dumpseter fire of media news, Gina Carano was called out for transphobic behavior on social media and instead of learning anything doubled down, claiming she was making a statement about people bullying her. Thank the Jedi Masters, Pedro Pascal is still okay and  apparently previously explained to her why people were putting their pronouns in their social media bios (as he has). Instead of just choosing not to, which is valid, Carano played into harmful dehumanizing transphobic rhetoric by putting “beep/bop/boop” at the end of the Twitter display name. (Now there is a candle there instead, but no apology or acknowledgement of the harm.) [The Mary Sue]

Last weekend Chris Evans become known for more than “America’s Ass” when a NSFW image on his phone’s camera roll was exposed to fans during a live stream. One good thing that came out of the meme battle that commenced were a host of chaotic good Evans fans flooding the hashtag with wholesome content and philanthropic links. As fellow MCU actor Kat Dennings put it, if only that respect was extended every time this kind of thing happened. Hmm… Evans handled the situation gracefully and used the opportunity to encourage people to go vote. He just launched a new website on civic engagement called A Starting Point that aims to help educate people on current issues. Which is a pretty rad way for Captain America to use his platform for good! [LA Times]

A show about social justice and racial discrimination is engaging in discriminatory hiring practices. Jeremy Tardy, who plays recurring character Rashid Bakr on Dear White People, will not return to the show after finding out that a white co-worker was given a more favorable contract during negotiation. Get it together Hollywood!! [Deadline]

Actor Peter Shinkoda shared more information this week on how terribly he was treated on Daredevil. After paying many of his own expenses flying back and forth, while lesser billed cast members were compensated, he did the math to show he lost money to complete the role. He didn’t want them to recast the role when MarvelTV threatened “to just get another Asian” and instead incurred major expenses when they repeatedly changed his call time and then denied him reimbursement. [ScreenRant]

On the DC side of things, Jason Momoa called out WB Studios Monday for releasing a fake announcement that he was in talks to voice Frosty the Snowman as a ploy to distract from the investigation into problems on the set of Justice League. Co-star Ray Fisher also commented on the questionable practices of the supposed third-party investigator that claimed he never met with them. Everything about this situation stinks more than Aquaman’s dirty laundry. Somebody better get in there and clean up their practices. These actors deserve more respect. I doubt they’ll get it through this investigation though. [Variety]

Breaking News

Emmy award-winning Tatiana Maslany has been cast as Jennifer Walters in the new She-Hulk coming from Disney+. The quality of The Mandalorian has me hoping it will live up to my expectations. Kat Coiro will direct several episodes and Rick and Morty writer Jessica Gao will lead the writers room. The last little tidbit makes me hope the show will bring that dry salty She-Hulk humor I loved in her first appearance. I’m thrilled to end this week’s column on some good news.

Until next week, I’ll leave you with this adorable and wholesome video from the drum battle currently raging between Nandi Bushell and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl.

Lola Watson

Lola Watson

I'm a community college professor, nerd, and mom who collects comics, knits, and procrastinates a whole host of other hobbies in my lack of spare time. My research focuses on using technology in the classroom, pop culture, children's literature, and comics.

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