Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their whacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.
The Wizard World’s Anti-Semitic Goblins
Author J.K. Rowling is in the headlines again, this time for the goblins in the popular fantasy series Harry Potter. Jon Stewart, in his podcast The Problem With Jon Stewart, claimed the little guys she created are Jews, modeled after the anti-Semitic illustrations in the 1903 book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. During the December show, Stewart said:
“Have you ever seen a Harry Potter movie? Have you ever seen the scenes in Gringotts Bank? Do you know what those folks who run the bank are? Jews!”
He continued his accusations, saying, “J.K. Rowling was like, ‘can we get these guys to run our bank?’ It’s a wizard world … we can ride dragons, you can have a pet owl … but who should run the bank? Jews. But what if the teeth were sharper?”
The charity group Campaign Against Antisemitism issued a statement that both chided the use of goblins yet praised the author for her continued support of Jews. “It is the product of centuries of association of Jews with grotesque and malevolent creatures in folklore, as well as money and finance,” the organization stated, adding that today artists are not necessarily thinking of Jews when they create such characters nor maliciously using imagery historically tainted by anti-Semitism. Rowling, the group claimed, has been “a tireless defender of the Jewish community.”
This is just the latest attack on the author. For the past two years, she’s been the subject of controversy for her stance on transgenderism. Comedian Dave Chappelle defended her, which also irritated the trans community. Even Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, has condemned Rowling for her political beliefs, and Warner Bros. made it clear that its policy is to foster “a diverse and inclusive culture.”
Still, no one is quite ready to give up on the fantasy writer whose Potter franchise has been so popular. The third installment of Fantastic Beasts, a spinoff of Harry Potter, is set to be released on April 15.
Whoopi Goldberg Shocked to Get COVID
Today, two years into the pandemic, there aren’t many people who haven’t had COVID or at least tested positive for it. Liberals have pushed the vaccine like crazy; President Joe Biden has been claiming it’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated – even though a surprisingly large number of cases involve the inoculated. So why was Whoopi Goldberg so surprised she had caught the virus?
- Because she was triple-vaxxed.
- Because “I’ve done everything I was supposed to do.”
The View’s co-host must have thought the vaccine made people immune, but she couldn’t have been more wrong. She went on leave from the show just before its break because “somebody I had been around tested positive for coronavirus, so I left.” The 66-year-old Sister Act alum said she’d been extra careful, had two vaccine shots plus a booster, and took all the precautions.
But when it came time for the show to resume filming, the comedian was hit with a big surprise:
“I was all excited [to get back to the show] and, you know, they have to test us, and so they sent people to test me, and they tested me, and it was like, ‘Oh no, you’re not coming back. We’re not sending anybody to your house. You have the corona.’ And it was like, ‘Wait, what?’”
The actress did admit that the vaccine doesn’t stop Omicron, “and that’s the problem with a variant, because it gets stronger and does different stuff to you.” Then she said the only way to beat it was for everyone to get vaccinated. And then, in what seems a bit contradictory, added, “You can only do what you can do, and whatever your body decides it’s going to do is what you have to roll with.”
Cheers and Jeers
Sometimes, HollyWeird players make headlines for silly or bizarre happenings, so here is a collection of newsworthy doings — honorable and dishonorable — by the tenants of Tinseltown.
What Do Meghan Markle and Taylor Swift Have in Common?
Markle’s case against the Mail on Sunday earned her $1.36 for publishing a personal letter in 2018 she sent to her father. The award was more symbolic than anything, and there is still a legal case pending against the U.K. newspaper for infringing on her copyright for the letter that could see more money being sent her way.
In 2017, singer Taylor Swift received a $1 payout after a radio deejay reportedly groped her during a photo op. The deejay sued, saying she had falsely accused him, and the court ruled in Swift’s favor.
Remember Symone Sanders?
Symone Sanders served as press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2016 presidential campaign and then also in Vice President Kamala Harris’ press shop. So what’s next on her agenda? Apparently, come this spring, she will have her own show on MSNBC that will air Saturdays and Sundays. She will also be on MSNBC’s The Choice, available on Peacock, and serve as fill-in anchor as well.
Black News Channel Under Discrimination Lawsuit
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) said it is “disgusted” by the allegations from 13 women against the Black News Channel for gender discrimination. The organization released a statement on Jan. 10, stating:
“The National Association of Black Journalists is disgusted by the allegations of harassment, gender discrimination, and gender-based pay disparities detailed in a lawsuit filed by former employees of the Black News Channel (BNC). Our Board members have spoken with current and former employees of BNC who corroborate many of the disturbing claims playing out in the court system. NABJ calls for immediate change within the culture of the organization.”
Celebrities say the darndest things …
Larry The Cable Guy
“People are asking what happened that made me decide to lose weight. Well .. For the first time in my life I had to show my breasts to get out of a speeding ticket. The good news is though it worked AND I got 2 tickets to the policeman’s ball!”
“I have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but they misspelled my name as ‘Lassie.’”
Sulu from Star Trek decided to remark on Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) getting banned from Twitter. “Fun fact: If you say ‘Marjorie Taylor Green’ three times in front of a mirror, she still won’t appear on your Twitter feed.”
And this week’s winner:
“wow I just got in the shower butt naked but with my mask on and only realized it when I turned to wash my face am I ok I screamt.”
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.
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