American Idol’s Hunter Mett’s Ends Toxic Masculinity with ‘Falling Slowly’ Performance

When Hunter Metts took the stage at American Idol to sing the Academy award-winning song “Falling Slowly” from the film Once, I knew it would be spectacular. Metts has a soothing, unique tone that is the perfect fit for the track originally written, composed and performed by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. What I didn’t predict however, is that Metts would forget the lyrics at the end and in doing so, show the world what it looks like when a man is vulnerable.

Katy Perry received praise for her attempt to console him while he was mid-tears, but I’d like to instead praise Metts for using his huge platform to chip away at toxic masculinity. It is not often that we see men cry and when we do, we should embrace it.

It is brave to be vulnerable — and we need to remember that.

Sheryl Underwood Gives Lackluster Explanation for Ignoring Sharon Osbourne’s Texts

The Talk Cast Photo

When Sharon Osbourne released the apology texts she sent to Sheryl Underwood following Sheryl’s claim that Sharon had not directly reached out, I was floored. Surely there must be some explanation, I thought. Surely Sheryl didn’t receive those texts, because no human being would just outright lie in such a fashion. Turns out I’m naïve.

For those just tuning in, Sharon Osbourne unceremoniously exited The Talk following a heated conversation about race with Sheryl Underwood in which Sharon blatantly disrespected her co-host on air. When Sharon took to Instagram to issue an apology, she neglected to mention Sheryl’s name. Many saw this as further disrespect. Sheryl subsequently doubled down on a podcast, INSISTING that Sharon NEVER reached out. In fact, she made a joke about it. Sharon defended herself by leaking multiple apology texts to Sheryl immediately following the on-air spat and then again days later – to no response.

So did Sheryl block Sharon? Did Sharon have the wrong phone number? Surely there must be some good explanation for Sheryl’s claim. Unfortunately, there is not. Here is what Sheryl said:

“I have not spoken to and do not have any phone call missed or received that I can find in my phone, but there were text messages sent to me. The reason I did not speak about or acknowledge or even respond to those text messages, because they were coming to me during the internal investigation. I didn’t know if you were supposed to communicate or not communicate … I want to be clear on this: I have not spoken to Sharon. I have not had phone calls from her. And my fear of answering something because something pops up in the media that’s misunderstood.”

While it might be true that Sheryl strategically ignored Sharon’s texts, that does not justify Sheryl denying she received those texts in the first place. Furthermore, if you were in fact concerned about impacting an internal CBS investigation, then you should not have publicly discussed this issue until that investigation finished. Instead, you not only discussed it, you lied about it.

Khloe Kardashian Doesn’t Like “Normal” – Wants Photo Scrubbed from Internet

Courtesy of Khloe’s Instagram (and an example of the types of unrealistic photos she approves)

There’s a photo of Khloe Kardashian circling that Internet and her team is taking drastic measures to take it down. Why? Because she looks like a normal human being without all the Photoshop frills and the Kardashian klan doesn’t like normal. I’ve seen the photo and it is far from unflattering. For those following Khloe lately she has had an unrecognizable glow-up that’s caused some concern and the photo in question is actually a comforting reminder that most of the issues are actually Photoshop fails rather than extreme under-the-knife changes.

Team Khloé said that the photo “was taken of Khloé during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant. Khloé looks beautiful but it is within the right of the copyright owner to not want an image not intended to be published taken down.” While it is true that Khloe has the right to reject a photo she deems unflattering there’s a larger issue at play here — vanity, and a fake representation of what people actually look like. What’s so wrong with looking normal anyway?

Rachel Bilson v. Rami Malek – Who’s Right?

Rachel Bilson posted an unflattering high school throwback photo of Rami Malek on Instagram, Malek asked her to take it down via DM, and The O.C. actress complied…sort of. She recounted the story on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast and it predictably went viral, thereby further disrespecting the Oscar winner’s request for privacy.

Is it wrong to post an innocent, “nerdy” photo of someone sans their permission? Perhaps not. But as someone who has been asked to take down unflattering photos of friends and kindly complied, I can’t help but believe in Bilson’s malintent. Because Malek coldly made the request without any pleasantries attached, she felt offended – and struck back accordingly.

It’s About time for Paris Hilton to Take Ownership of Her Racist Past

Paris Hilton seems to be on a dirty-laundry cleanse, only she’s raiding the closets of others and failed to purge her own precarious overflow. Hilton drew attention to an old Sarah Silverman joke aimed at The Simple Life star, in which the comedian referenced Hilton’s then-upcoming jail sentence, saying that in order to make the heiress “feel more comfortable in prison, the guards are going to paint the bars to look like penises.” While I understand the desire to demand an apology (and she succeeded in getting one) given that the joke was based on Hilton’s stolen sex tape recorded sans her permission, I’d like the accountability train to also include Paris Hilton’s racism.

If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane. Paris Hilton has a history of racist, anti-Semitic, bigoted language — none of which was even moderately acknowledged in her This Is Paris documentary, which purported to be a thorough examination of her life. Some might remember that Paris Hilton’s storage locker became public after she failed to pay the fee, and that storage locker included damning videotapes of her repeatedly using the N word in addition to other horrific racist language. Many of the videos have been scrubbed, but some live on and are easily findable.

Journalist Neil Strauss (The Dirt) also documented a troubling encounter with Hilton in his book, Everyone Loves You and Your Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness. According to Strauss, during an interaction with Hilton, heiress pointed to an unnamed actor in Saving Private Ryan, and said, “We were making out, but then we went somewhere where it was bright and I saw that he was black and made an excuse and left. I can’t stand black guys. I would never touch one. It’s gross.” Hilton denied the alleged interaction and threatened to sue, but I believe Strauss. Her use of the N word in the aforementioned video was far more difficult to deny given we can see it with our own eyes so her then-publicist issued a pathetic statement on her behalf. Here’s what it said:

“I’m not going to make any attempt to spin this. It happened. I’m not going to deny it happened. Each of us has used words we have regretted later. This was six years ago. She was 20 at the time. It was New Year’s Eve. She had been obviously drinking. She sincerely regrets using those words. She is not a racist or an anti-Semite.”

Speaking of anti-Semitic, there are also numerous reports of Paris Hilton taking aim at Jews. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. If you’re going to come for Sarah Silverman make sure own house is clean. And if you’re going to make a “documentary” about your life, you sure as sh*t better take ownership of your deplorable behavior. Because I’ve seen that documentary and it should be called — This is NOT Paris.

Sharon Osbourne Apologizes – But Leaves Sheryl Underwood Out

The Talk - CBS.com

If there is anything I have learned during my antiracist awakening, it’s that it is not up to Black people to educate white people on racism. When Sheryl Underwood kindly attempted to ask Shannon Osborne about her stanch defense of Piers Morgan, Osborne got predictably defensive and in fact demanded that Sheryl justify the question in the first place. In the video below, you’ll notice that Sheryl keeps her composure, whereas Sharon Osborne gets to throw a tantrum with no consequences. Furthermore, demanding that Underwood “not cry” is deplorable.

I don’t know Sharon Osborne, but I trust Sheryl Underwood’s opinion when she said that Osborne is not racist. That being said, she certainly ignorant in her defense of Morgan, missing the fact that Morgan’s continual diminishment of Meghan Markle’s experience with racism is in it of itself racist. He need not use the n-word to be considered racist — a point lost on Osbourne.

According to reports, the on-air spat is currently being investigated and Osborne has since apologized via Instagram. Though I’m happy to see an apology of any sort, it would’ve been better in person — and Underwood’s name is curiously nowhere to be found.

I’d hate to see Sharon fired over this. I’d love for the conversation to continue on-air until she gets it, but to reiterate my original point – that would be exhausting for her cohosts, and it’s not their job to offer Osborne an educational course on racism or unconscious bias.

Justin Timberlake Apologizes to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears — Too Little, Too Late?

Image result for justin timberlake britney spears

After years of outcry, rage, and public demands, Justin Timberlake has finally apologized for how he treated both Britney Spears and Janet Jackson in the media — and as far as I’m concerned — it’s too little, too late. Following the release of Framing Britney Spears, the New York Times Presents series for FX and Hulu, the public’s outrage over Timberlake’s treatment of Spears following their breakup has reignited, and this time he has no choice but to address it.

Continue reading “Justin Timberlake Apologizes to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears — Too Little, Too Late?”

Interview: Tara Reid Sits Down With The Dishmaster Does Things

Tara Reid has had an incredibly prolific career. She entered the business at the age of six after being spotted by a talent scout in the New Jersey mall, and she hasn’t stopped working since. Though I was first introduced to her because of American Pie, she has had a series unforgettable of roles/scenes, most notably an over-the-top, hilarious scene in Cruel Intentions the incomparable Bunny in The Big Lebowski, and of course — Sharknado.

Tara sat down for an interview for my podcast (The Dishmaster Does Things), where she walked me through her creative process and discussed her new stint behind-the-scenes as an executive producer. Listen below for a very interesting interview with an incredibly gracious guest.

President Biden’s Inauguration Concert Highlights

President Biden’s Inauguration Concert brought out huge stars and the highest production value of a virtual concert I’ve seen since the pandemic began. Because of the circumstances, many of the performances were played to empty streets in different cities or in Washington, DC against our most beautiful backdrops (if you forgot the beauty of the Lincoln Memorial — John Legend will remind you). Below are some of the evening highlights.

BLACK PUMAS

Austin soul band — Black Pumas — owned the night with their performance of the song, “Colors” from their 2019 self-titled album. Led by singer/songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, the Grammy nominated band performed ACL Live in Austin. Quesada won a Grammy for his work with Latin funk band Grupo Fantasma and according to Vulture, he connected with Burton through a mutual friend. Burton was busking in Austin at the time.

If you’re looking for more Black Pumas content after watching the video below, I’d encourage you to watch their stirring rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” After learning how fiercely protective Chapman’s of her music, I love it even more knowing that she likely had to approve it. You can also see them on NPR’s Tiny Desk series.

JOHN LEGEND

John Legend’s stirring performance of “Feeling Good” was joyously juxtaposed against his wife’s hilarious Instagram stories, which featured her sitting on a windowsill “reporting the news.” But when Chrissy Teigen captured Legend on camera seconds before he performed — she showed the world just how cool and calm this guy actually is. For a voice with that prowess and an event of that magnitude, I would think the guy would be sweating a little — but not a bead.

Legend took to his Instagram to reflect on the evening, saying, “It was so special for me to celebrate with the nation in front of the memorial to one of our greatest presidents. AND I loved honoring the late great Nina Simone, my constant source of musical inspiration.” Lincoln, Nina, and Legend? Say no more. Watch below.

DEMI LOVATO

Demi Lovato is my father’s favorite performance of the night, and since he has high standards, she is getting a special mention. The powerhouse singer managed to keep our interest in an empty room with a little help from a green-screen background featuring clips of healthcare workers and other Americans across the country. Her rendition of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” was meant to uplift America, and I’m pretty sure she did just that. For music-aficionados that enjoy fun facts — Withers 18-second long note at the end of the original tune is one of the longest recorded in pop history.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE + ANT CLEMENS

Justin Timberlake reminded me of his talent 10 times over, and his performance with Ant Clemens proved magical. The duo performed in Timberlake’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee inside Stax Museum of American Soul Music. According to People the the singers were “joined by former Stax Music Academy students and musical director Adam Blackstone, who arranged the live music.” You might remember Clemons’ voice from his appearance on Kanye West’s 2018 single “All Mine.” He earned a Grammy nomination for best R&B album with his debut LP HAPPY 2 BE HERE.

Clemons and Timberlake wrote the song, “Better Days” only a few months ago and since I initially thought it was a classic that I didn’t recognize — I’d say it’s damn good.

KATY PERRY

Katy left me gobsmacked. And what an incredible arrangement. That’s all I have to say about that.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. Sometimes a disadvantage can be used in one’s favor. Had this been flooded with folks, these performances would have been far less magical.

Does Malik Beasley Have a Forked Tongue?

What happens when a man tells each of his women two different stories? The women attack one another, of course. Such seems to be the case with Larsa Pippen and Minnesota Timberwolves NBA player Malik Beasley. After receiving substantial blowback for flaunting her new relationship with her married squeeze, Larsa insists he was separated from his wife, Montana Yao, at the time the time they met.

Yao did not take kindly to Larsa’s representation, saying, “This is 100% false. Continue to speak on my name and my relationship and we’re going to have issues. Receipts don’t lie. Let’s not go there. I think you’ve embarrassed yourself enough already.”

If only women would share stories instead of launching an immediate attack. And though I’m not inside the four walls of her marriage, I’m still confused about how you trade a GOAT like Scottie Pippen for her current roster of suitors. Furthermore, whether the man is separated or not, it’s obviously still fresh and children are involved, which means it’s probably not the best idea to flaunt your new relationship on social or otherwise.