I’m rooting for Jessica Simpson. I’ve always been a fan, I watched newlyweds, and when she and Nick Lachey split up it felt like the end of an era. But they were young, and they didn’t stand a chance with the monkey of Hollywood on their back.
Since the show has ended, Jessica Simpson has had great success as a businesswoman and mother of three, and Nick Lachey has started a family of his own. It therefore baffles me why Jessica Simpson would take the route of writing a memoir, especially if she is not in the mental place to do it.
Though I know absolutely nothing about her on a personal level, it took me two seconds to watch her interview on The Today Show to surmise that even though she proclaims to be sober, something is awry. I by no means want to pick on her, but I also want to make it clear that I’m not buying what she’s selling￼, literally and figuratively. ￼￼
Perhaps Julianne Hough’s overly-reported spiritual awakening could have been geared toward fighting NBC alongside Gabrielle Union instead of a faux exorcism that seems so inappropriate I almost upchucked. The Dancing with the Stars alum/former America’s Got Talent host engaged in a energy treatment at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and in the video below, you’ll see Dr. John Amaral get much to close to her rectum as she contorts her body.
I don’t trust this procedure, and I no longer trust celebrity endorsements given how absolutely insane celebrities are. Furthermore, though I previously stated that Julianne Hough is free to keep quiet regarding her firing from AGT, I’m changing my mind. If you’re going to tour the world with wacky behavior and claim to be on a journey to self-discovery, maybe start with fighting the powers that be alongside other females instead of giving a dough-eyed, innocent grin as you worm your way out of joining the movement.
We’ve learned a lot about what went on behind the scenes of Showtime’s The Affair, and though there’s still many mysteries afloat, one thing we know for sure is … that show was a mess. For those who have not yet read The Hollywood Reporter’s somewhat thorough account of the insider drama, here’s some nutshell bullet points to catch you up:
Despite having agreed to on-set nudity, Ruth Wilson felt its use in certain scenes was gratuitous, and she made her discomfort known. She also took issue with her male co-stars’ comparative lack of nudity.
Ruth Wilson felt Showrunner Sarah Treem applied undue pressure for her to appear naked, using a tone-deaf approach akin to men from the 1950s telling her she “looked beautiful” in an effort for her to disrobe.
Monitors were left on, which showed the sex scenes to someone not involved in production. (Note: this complaint was also raised against the female Showrunner of Showtime’s Smilf, Frankie Shaw).
Wilson objected to the content of certain scenes, including one that felt “rapey.” That scene was ultimately performed by a body double who later sued for alleged mistreatment.
Last and perhaps most important, executive producer Jeffrey Reiner is alleged to have told Girls creator Lena Dunham and executive producer Jenni Konner something disturbing about Wilson, in addition to showing a graphic photo of another actress that was taken on set.
Sarah Treem’s defense of the last and perhaps most disturbing item is so anger-inducing she released a follow-up defense to Deadline, stating that “not much of [her] perspective made it into the story, nor the perspectives of many of the half dozen senior level producers, director and other key crew members who spoke up.” So did her follow-up, first-person response serve to exonerate her character? In short, no.
The Deadline article is largely about the ins-and-outs of Treem’s complicated relationship with Ruth Wilson, who by Treem’s account “had been disagreeing on the character’s choices since the second episode.” Treem furthers that she “tried to protect [Wilson] and shoot sex scenes safely and respectfully.” She altered scenes entirely, even it removed their original intent.
While it might be true that Treem had pure intentions and did the best she could to illicit comfort, she obviously failed in doing so, and it’s not my job to assign fault. All I can say is, if Ruth Wilson did not feel comfortable, then I respect that something on set was perhaps not up to snuff, instead of pointing fingers and implying she’s difficult. She’s a brilliant actress, so she’s obviously doing something right. Treem’s essay is more about defending Treem’s creative integrity than her moral integrity.
The Deadline piece doubles down on Treem’s statements to The Hollywood Reporter about her handling of the immensely disturbing Reiner incident. Treem stated that she “asked Showtime if we could shut down production for weeks” and “asked for sensitivity training.” She wanted “Reiner to address the cast and crew.” Instead, she “was told that Showtime had to be the one to handle it.”
If we take Treem’s words at face value, it’s still not good enough. Reiner’s behavior should be subject to a zero tolerance policy. Sensitivity training?! Treem should have asked for his removal. How much sensitivity training does an adult male need to know he shouldn’t show compromising pictures of another actress from a sex scene on a closed set? Her defense sounds painfully similar to the don’t-blame-me-blame-the-network defense from The Chi’s Lena Waithe (another Showtime series).
It should be noted that being a Showrunner is an EXTREMELY difficult job. Treem has admitted to its challenges in a very powerful, revealing essay for Red Online about “having it all.” When that article is cross-referenced with the issues on The Affair, it is not surprising that she was perhaps unable to get ahead of the on-set issues and react appropriately. Had she shown an inch of that vulnerability in her Deadline article, I’d be way more forgiving. She said that the Reiner incident overlapped with having had a new baby, and the Red Online article indicates that this was a trying time in her personal life, and she should have asked for more help. But there’s no “I wish I would have done things differently” in the Deadline piece. Instead, she points fingers, avoids responsibility, and implied Wilson was the issue.
In response to the allegations that Gabrielle Union’s firing from America’s Got Talent was a retaliatory strike following her complaints about inappropriate, racist jokes, ill-directed critiques about her hair, and general, behind-the-scenes culture issues, Simon Cowell’s company, Syco Entertainment said, “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture.” They furthered that they “are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”
When Ruth Wilson abruptly exited Showtime’s The Affair, I knew there was trouble. Joshua Jackson followed quickly behind, sending the show into an almost certain death. But since most shows need five seasons to be profitable, the powers that be decided to keep it moving, and they did their very best to make it appear as if the departures were more about the characters running their course and less about the alleged on-set sexual harassment. I don’t know the truth, but I do how television works, and Joshua Jackson and Ruth Wilson were both under contract. They had to be let out of that contract, and since they were so creatively essential to the series, I can only imagine something serious happened.
Now for season five. In short, it’s terrible. To quote one Twitter user, “it feels more like a spin off and not a very good one.” In place of Alison and Cole is the adult Joanie, played by Anna Paquin, who is doing the best she can with a bad role. Because she’s set in the future, what we get is some silly technological advances (including what your toilet might look like in 2020), and a preachy portrayal of an earth that has been ruined by humans. While I agree humans are ruining the planet, this is so far removed from the original tone of the show it feels cartoonish. Her scene partners also don’t help. Her on-screen husband has no depth, and when she’s met with a overly-chatty journalist (EJ) who has an unexplainable interest in her family, it feels more like a cheap excuse for plot explanation than an actual conversation. I’d have loved a far less on-the-nose Joanie. A sweet, loving Joanie who has empathy for her mother’s suicide and doesn’t want to confront the idea that she was murdered because she lives in a utopian bubble about humanity being decent. Instead, I get Alison x 50 minus all the nuance of Ruth Wilson’s acting chops. In defense of Anna Paquin, you can’t polish a turd.
As for Maura Tierney and Dominic West, they are laying brick. They are phenomonel actors who deserve credit for doing their best with a bad situation. Maura might have the only compelling storyline on season five, and she’s carrying the show. Dominic West is still great as Noah, but I simply don’t buy the realization that he wants his family back. While it can be done, the writing is far too one-dimensional and his character has always been extremely complex. Placing sex toys in Helen’s bedroom is so basic I wanted to throw something at the screen.
I realize this review sounds angry, and that’s because it is. I found it appalling when the show’s creator said that Ruth Wilson’s character had run its coarse, instead of praising what she had done with it thus far. She’s one of the best actresses I’ve seen in decades and without her, the show would not have succeeded. Show some respect. Furthermore, the idea that the series could have been ressurrected without its two leads reeks of arrogance. I know people have jobs to keep, but sometimes it’s time to close up shop.
It’s hard to believe the ladies of RHOBH think the show can survive sans Lisa Vanderpump, especially given that 80% of the season was about Lisa Vanderpump — even AFTER she quit the reality series. Fans of LVP have been quick to point out the leading ladies are hypocrities for attacking the WEHO Queen, a tactic used to deflect attention from their own personal lives — specifically the multi-million dollar lawsuits they’re facing. Those lawsuits are against the husbands of Erika Jayne, Kyle Richards, and Dorit Kemsley.
On last night’s reunion, Andy Cohen served the tea, and rightfully brought those lawsuits to light. The ladies conveniently all agred they should be kept private, with Kyle Richards leading the charge. Kyle insisted that the husbands are not fair game for the show, which is an interesting assertion given that Kyle uses the show to promote her husband’s business. In fact, she threw a party for his company ON THE SHOW. Furthermore, Kyle has consistenly brought up the actions of LVP’s husband, Ken Todd.
The lawsuits are fair game. If you sign up for a reality show, then that show should reflect the reality of your life. At the very least, you could use it to deny the accusations against you, instead of completely ignoring a monstrous life event. And besides, even if LVP leaked that story — who actually cares?
Can Pete Davidson catch a break? While I understand he invited a world of backlash when he publicly discussed his relationship with superstar Ariana Grande, the time has come to let it go. He’s been honest about his mental health issues, and the man is trying to move on with his life. During a recent standup comedy gig, Davidson bailed because the comedy club owner was allegedly under strict instructions from camp Pete not to mention Pete’s famous exes — and he went ahead and mentioned them anyhow.
If I learned anything from Robert Kelly’s interview with Gayle King, it’s that the art of the interview has been lost. Gone are the Barbara Walters days of truncated, tricky questions that illicit admissions, no matter how prepared and media trained the subject. Many are complimenting King’s composure during Kelly’s volcanic eruption, as she gently and effectively interrupted his useless rant and encouraged him to take his seat. While I also think King’s composure deserves praise, I question whether an interview can be deemed effective when the phrasing of a question causes such a rant in the first place.
An interview is not about accountability, despite the desires of social media. It’s about information gathering. And if you aren’t gathering any information and are instead just witnessing his temperament, we’ve gotten nowhere. If it were me, I’d say, “How would you describe your relationship with Jocelyn Savage?”
Though many have also suggested that R. Kelly does not deserve a platform, I’m fine with it. We’ve interviewed serial killers, pedophiles, etc., and I think those interviews are important — as information gathering. I draw exception when there is a pending criminal case that could influence the potential jury pool. Let investigators do their job before you put this man on television. In fact, interview R. Kelly from behind bars instead.
It’s now widely known that Kylie Jenner’s best friend, Jordyn Woods, hooked up with Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend/baby daddy, Tristan Thompson, at a house party. Woods has since been dragged on social media, and she will appear on Red Table Talk to share her side of the story. The truth-table series was launched by Jada Pinkett Smith, and it is the perfect platform for Woods. According to media sources, the Kardashians are livid with Woods — not only for the hookup, but for the decision to publicly discuss the story without their permission. More specifically, Woods signed a non-disclosure agreement, and this might violate it.
There are just some people who don’t get it, and Mo’Nique is one of them. Though I can’t speak to her personal life struggles, I can speak to the expectation that actors engage in a limited amount of publicity to promote their project, which is in their contract. When they choose to forgo that expectation, they risk being shunned by an industry who relies on it.