CULTURE

What Happened at the Met Gala 2022: Best Dressed, Worst Dressed, and Questionable Invites

How to survive Met Gala night — even if you’re just watching in your peejays

Why Does the Met Gala take it out of me? It’s my Super Bowl — and every year I feel like I’ve played the big game, or attended the big event — falling into my bed completely wrung out. All this, after doing nothing but sitting on my couch. Why?

Keep Reading Show less
Film News

Please Make the Gabrielle Union and John Cho Romcom Happen

Gabrielle Union is stoking Twitter fires asking for a movie starring her and John Cho

Them. That's it. That's the tweet.

Every few months, Twitter users become screenwriters and use the TL to concoct elaborate concepts of films they want to see and actors they want to cast, and every so often these pseudo-storyboard threads go viral.

Keep Reading Show less
CULTURE

Dwyane Wade Opens Up About Parenting a Transgender Child

The NBA star visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show to share his experience raising a teen in the LGBTQ+ community.

Dwyane Wade might be best known for his work on the court, but he's also gaining popularity for being a stellar ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

The NBA star caused a buzz late last year when he began referring to his 12-year-old child with she/her pronouns. During a recent visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote his new ESPN documentary, Wade spoke further about his experience as the father of a transgender teen.

www.youtube.com


"Me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we're proud allies as well," Wade explained. "We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously, so when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it's our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can."

Wade explained that when his child—who was assigned male at birth and originally named Zion—decided to go by Zaya and use she/her pronouns, he and Union wanted to do everything they could to educate themselves on transgender identities and gender fluidity. He said Union reached out to the cast of Pose, the FX show that focuses on LGBTQA POC in New York City. "We're just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self," Wade added.

By speaking publicly about Zaya's identity and the experience of parenting a trans child, Wade and Union serve as heartwarming examples of genuine unconditional love. Last year, the American Medical Association referred to violence against transgender people as an "epidemic"; especially in the current climate instilled by an often anti-trans administration. It's worth noting that black trans women are killed at especially alarming rates. Parenting queer and trans children might be confusing and require some adjusting, but Wade is showing the world the difference that a loving heart and s willingness to learn can make.

CULTURE

The Mystical Union of Halsey and Evan Peters: Tumblr's Greatest Crossover Couple

Turns out angsty Tumblr superstars of 2014 can find real love in 2019.

"Bad at Love" singer Halsey and American Horror Story actor Evan Peters are officially dating.

They made things official this weekend, stepping out on Friday dressed as two of music's most terrifying figures. Halsey went as a red-haired Marilyn Manson, and Peters was a Juggalo, a fan of the Insane Clown Posse. Then on Saturday, they arrived at the 100th episode celebration of American Horror Story as a polka-dot-clad Sunny Bono and Cher.

Elle.com

The two first sparked dating rumors when they were seen on a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. They're both coming off breakups—Peters' seven year relationship with Emma Roberts ended in March after it apparently became toxic. Though it's unclear exactly when Halsey and Yungblud broke up, they were dating at least through September.

Daily Mail

Following Halsey and Peters' roller-coaster debut, fans quickly dug up some of Halsey's old tweets about Evan Peters. For those who didn't know, for a total of seven years, Halsey's been tweeting about her crush on the actor. Though they've all been deleted, as we know, nothing on the Internet ever goes away.


"Halsey, your powers are strong. May this be a lesson to us all!" wrote Mari Lodi in Vulture when the dating rumors began to swirl. It's true that Halsey's ability to successfully tweet her way into a relationship may indicate that she's cast some sort of occult love spell, but honestly, Halsey has always been powerful on her own. She recorded her first demo, "Is There Somewhere," on GarageBand while a homeless teen and scored a major label contract. Her first (and best) album, Badlands, went platinum, and if you listen to its lyrics, you can see that Halsey's always had some sort of divine power. Maybe it's because of her song "Hurricane," but if I had to judge her type of magic, I'd label her as a weather witch, able to conjure up storms and to change the color of the sky (possibly from red to blue to violet) at will.

PinterestLyrics from "Colors", circa Tumblr 2014

Meanwhile, Evan Peters has been dabbling in occultism on his own, albeit in his role on American Horror Story. He was the iconic homicidal ghost Tate Langdon in Murder House, and in a 2012 tweet, Halsey perfectly articulated every teenage girl's feelings about his character. "Seriously Evan Peters stop making me attracted to alleged sociopaths and accused murderers…" she wrote.

https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/wanna-hook-up

Now that their union has emerged from the purely ethereal plane, becoming manifest on our physical one, we can see that it was always written in the stars. They do seem to exist in separate universes, in a way, as they come from TV and pop music respectively. On the other hand, they're both the highest possible evolution of Urban Outfitters teens, Tumblr darlings who somehow made their way into adulthood without losing their perfectly grungy, relatable-yet-alluring mystique. Of course they chose Scorpio season to make their debut as a couple; this time of transformation, rebirth, intensity, and Halloween seems designed for them to join forces. Plus, Sunday was a New Moon, the most goth of all the moons, perfect for a couple that captions their Instagram couple shots "Resident goths."

Sure, their best work may have been done years ago, but maybe this means there's more magic where their early masterpieces came from. Maybe Halsey will write a song from the perspective of Violet Langdon (she did film the music video for "Colors" in the actual Murder House from AHS Season 1). Maybe I don't know which one I'm more attracted to, but I'm not complaining. Maybe if we Tweet enough about our truest desires, they might just become incarnate—though of course, being a world-famous pop star helps.

Halsey - Colors (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com


Drake busts out more courtside antics at NBA Finals.

We're bombarded with photographs of celebrities on a daily basis from all corners of media.

The more fascinating snapshots are of celebrities enjoying themselves, being human outside of the ability to walk to and from their cars. The intersection of the sports and entertainment industries is the apex of celebrity culture: they're two of America's greatest exports. As such, NBA games are the go-to place for celebrities to see and be seen. They sit courtside and often interact with the States' greatest players. It's a celebrated celebrity crossover. From viral moments to costing championships, the appeal of this kind of content reminds us how much we love seeing our celebs being truly human, in a way that can't be masked on the carpet or scripted in interviews.

Spike Lee

James Devaney/GC Images

Many forget Spike Lee is the NBA's GOAT nuisance. The 1994 Eastern Conference Finals became a historic, frustrating moment for NBA stars. In Game 5, Lee's sideline antics had Reggie Miller dropping 25 points in a quarter, almost costing the Knicks their place in the finals. In Game 6, Chicago Bulls' Scottie Pippen was fed up with the director's commentary. After dunking on Ewing, Pippen walked straight up to Lee and directed him to sit down. The power move birthed an inadvertent player vs. fan feud.

Spike Lee's basketball interference didn't end there. The long-time fan called out the Heat back in 2012, claiming on behalf of The Knicks, "We're gonna kick LeBron's ass." Lee may have trolled and attempted to bait the star from the sidelines but didn't manage to faze him. Really, Spike Lee walked so Drake could run.

Rihanna

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Speaking of Drake, Rihanna has also become a notable presence in arenas across the country. She may not have an allegiance to a particular team, but she's definitely LeBron's A-List groupie. Wherever he goes, she's there.

Also, who can forget the phenomenal moment Ethan Hawke made his son switch seats with him to mack on the singer. He really was all of us.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Giphy

Anytime Beyoncé shows up, someone is going to write about it. Whether it's LeBron getting a little too close to Beyoncé for Jay's comfort or Nicole Curran (wife of Warrior's owner, Jacob Lacob) talking across Beyoncé, it's always entertaining to watch.

Sophie Turner

USA Today Sports

Across the sports spectrum, Sophie Turner has taken over the sideline, chugging wine and juuling up a storm. Her fun-loving, no-fucks-given personality is everything we could want and we hope to get more of it soon.

Drake

AFP Photo/Vaughn Ridley

Oh, the reason we're all here. Think-pieces aside, the "appointed" Toronto Raptors' Global Ambassador was a great marketing strategy. Unfortunately, the Spike Lee impersonation isn't as genuine or inviting as the original. The rapper covered up several of his Warriors' tattoos in favor of Canada pride, rubbing everyone the wrong way. His enthusiasm is so notable, Barack Obama asked NBA commissioner, Adam Silver if Drake was behaving himself.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

Danny Moloshok / Associated Press

Everyone loves when a celebrity get dunked on, but we love it even more when they embrace it. Teigen did just that when Dwayne Wade crashed into the pair, causing their drinks to splatter.

TV

Kodi Lee Is Amazing—The Media's Coverage of Him Is Not

Kodi Lee's appearance on AGT is wonderful, but his talent is not indicative of every autistic person's experience.

Kodi Lee on America's Got Talent

Singer/musician Kodi Lee is America's Got Talent's latest breakout star—and the media's latest subject of terrible autism-related news coverage.

Golden Buzzer: Kodi Lee Wows You With A Historical Music Moment! - America's Got Talent 2019 www.youtube.com


Make no mistake, Kodi Lee is an incredibly talented musician and performer who deserves every ounce of fame and fortune he'll inevitably receive. He also "happen[s] to be blind and autistic too," as he mentions in his Twitter bio. We've written about Hollywood's autism fetishization trend before, so it's important to emphasize the fact that, overall, it's wonderful Kodi is being featured so prominently this season on AGT––the problem lies entirely with the surrounding press coverage.

America's Got Talent has never been a show that shies away from exploiting people's individual hardships and personal tragedies for ratings, so it's no surprise they would go that route for a talented musician with autism. That being said, aside from the audience's collective "AWWW" at the first mention of Kodi's autism, AGT actually handled the topic pretty well, at least within the framework of their baseline exploitative model. Giving Kodi the Golden Buzzer felt deserved, given his excellent performance, and the hosts seemed to treat him with respect when they congratulated him afterwards.

The same can't be said for Newsweek's coverage of the contestant: "WHO IS KODI LEE? 'AGT' CONTESTANT OVERCOMES ALL ODDS, RECEIVES FIRST GOLDEN BUZZER OF THE SEASON." Kodi Lee is a self-described "musical prodigious savant," one of roughly 25 people in the world with a combination of perfect pitch, audio photographic memory, and a hyper-focused attunement for musical expression. This means that he has a natural inclination towards musical talent that's significantly greater than the average population. Newsweek's booming assessment that Kodi has "overcome all odds" to receive the Golden Buzzer is, quite frankly, inane. As mentioned on his official website, Kodi has been performing music for years. Music is not only his passion but something he is uniquely equipped to excel at. If anything, the odds he'd be great were strongly in his favor.

That's not to say Kodi hasn't overcome struggles related to autism––he surely has. But it's important to separate the inevitable struggles Kodi has faced due to autism from his musical talent. Kodi is a wonderful musician and a musical savant, who also happens to be blind and have autism. Conflating these elements only serves to "other" the majority of people with autism, most of whom are not savants and don't necessarily have the type of incredible talents that Hollywood loves to fetishize. This is the main problem with NBC affiliate News 3 Las Vegas's take: "AGT's singing sensation Kodi Lee inspires families living with autism."

The news segment included an interview with Dr. Erin Honke, a clinical neuropsychologist who works with children on the autism spectrum who said, "There's always hope as far as hidden strengths." This is likely true, but the doctor's point was that people with autism can often excel in certain areas, especially when those areas relate to their specific interests. She goes on to talk about how parents focusing on their child's interests can help with development, which is also true. The host, Renee Santos, takes this to mean something entirely different. "All children on the spectrum have strengths just like Kodi's," she says. No, Renee. No, that is not true. Kodi is a savant. Most children with autism are not savants––less than 10% of children with autism display any signs of savant syndrome at all, and 50% of savants don't even have autism. This is a dangerous myth to propagate because, at best, it misinforms the general population about autism. At worst, it completely erases the vast majority of autistic experiences.

Ultimately, Kodi Lee's appearance on AGT is wonderful. He's a skilled, hardworking musician whose appearance on the show displays how diverse people with autism can be. But it's important for the media and viewers to realize that Kodi isn't indicative of every autistic person's experience. He's simply one voice among many—albeit a very nice one to listen to.