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.
Nevermind Album Not Child Pornography
Remember Spencer Elden? He became famous as the Nirvana baby after his appearance on the cover of the band’s album Nevermind – and he sued years later, in August 2021, claiming the image was child pornography. Well, he had his day in court, but he didn’t show up. So, Federal Judge Fernando M. Olguin of the Central District of California dismissed the lawsuit “with leave to amend.” Elden has ten days to try again.
Robert Lewis, Elden’s attorney, told TheWrap in a statement, “In accordance with the court’s order we will be filing a Second Amended Complaint very soon. We are confident that we will be allowed to move forward with the case.”
The album cover in question featured a picture by photographer Kirk Weddle of baby Elden naked in a swimming pool. A dollar bill on the end of a fishhook floated above him as he swam. As Liberty Nation reported, according to the plaintiff, his legal guardians never signed a release authorizing the band to use his image. He also claimed never to have received a penny in compensation for an album that was ranked No. 7 on the Billboard’s list of “The 50 Greatest Album Covers of All Time” in 2020.
Eldon, who is now 30, seeks monetary compensation as well as tagging those involved with child pornography. The lawsuit named Weddle, the estate of Kurt Cobain as well as his widow, Courtney Love, all surviving members of the band, Warner Records, and Geffen Records, plus a few others.
On December 22, representatives for the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case. It said, in part, “Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby.’” The filing also pointed out that the statute of limitations long ago ran out.
Past interviews with Eldon seem to back up the defendants’ accusations. All grown now, he sports “Nevermind” tattooed across his chest and didn’t use to be upset by the fame. In 2008, he told NPR: “Quite a few people in the world have seen my penis. So that’s [kind of] cool. I’m just a normal kid living it up and doing the best I can while I’m here.” But then women he dated started breaking up with him when they found out he wasn’t getting any money from his celebrity status, he complained. In 2016, he told Time, “It’s a trip. Everyone involved in the album has tons and tons of money. I feel like I’m the last little bit of grunge rock. I’m living in my mom’s house and driving a Honda Civic.”
The original lawsuit claims the cover is “sexual exploitation” that will follow Elden for the rest of his life and that everyone involved benefited from “the sex-trafficking venture and Spencer’s exploitation.” According to the suit, “[They] used child pornography depicting Spencer … in a sexually provocative manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention.”
Elden has until January 27 to respond, or the case will be “dismissed without prejudice for failure to prosecute and/or failure to comply with a court order,” Judge Olguin said.
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.
Gal Gadot Apologizes for Video
Nowadays, everyone seems to get offended by everything. In March 2020, just days into the onslaught of the COVID pandemic and lockdowns, Wonder Woman decided to post a video to her Instagram account. Her intentions, she said, were pure. She put together a montage of celebrities taking turns singing lines to the John Lennon hit Imagine.
A-listers such as Natalie Portman, Zoë Kravitz, Amy Adams, Maya Rudolph, Mark Ruffalo, and Will Ferrell’s participation helped to bring more than 10 million views to the video, but a lot of fans were not too thrilled and said it was “out of touch” and done in “poor taste.”
Gal Gadot argued, at first, that she had seen the spread of the virus moving through Europe before it ever hit the U.S. and she just wanted to do something with “good intentions.” Social media commenters, however, did not appreciate the gesture.
“Honey, look at all the rich people singing Imagine,” one person posted on Twitter. Another wrote, “Everything will be alright now, even though we both lost our jobs. This was so much better than money and not cringey at all.”
Now, almost a year later, Gadot has admitted that the timing had been wrong for her video. She said it had been done with “All pure intentions, but sometimes you don’t hit the bull’s-eye, right?”
Was an apology even necessary? I mean, certainly it wasn’t any worse than the Get Naked and Vote video HollyWeird celebrities put out in 2020. By the way, Mark Ruffalo, otherwise known as the Hulk, was in that little project too.
You can watch Gadot’s Imagine video here.
Golden Globes – Without Stars, Audience, or Media
Despite a boycott and the fast-spreading Omicron that is shutting down or postponing events across the nation, the Golden Globes will go on – but, without celebrities, an audience, or even the press. The 79th annual event will be an in-person ceremony on Sunday, January 9, and will only have a select few of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in attendance, who will also be the people receiving the awards.
HFPA received criticism last year for not being diverse enough since the group did not have a single black person in the organization’s lead roles. In May last year, NBC said it would not air the award show until HFPA could meet the television network’s standards, then it would look at airing the 2023 event. Hollywood elites spoke out against the group and actor Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globes awards for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, and Magnolia.
So this year, instead of rolling out the red carpet, having celebrity nominees or star presenters to introduce winners, the show will instead honor members of HFPA and grantees.
Celebrities say the darndest things …
James Austin Johnson – Saturday Night Live
“Twitter kind of feels like digging through a public trash can hoping to find a cold McDonald’s fry”
Chef Andrew Gruel
“Now that the entire country has Covid. Have we hit herd immunity?”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
The Babylon Bee wrote, “Ted Cruz Says All His Haters Are Just Unable To Resist His Raw Sex Appeal” so the senator had a comeback for the satire media source: “Due to popular demand from angry libs, in 2022 we’ll be putting out a swimsuit calendar.”
Donald Trump Jr.
After Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tested positive for COVID, the former president’s son tweeted: “Damn white people spreading diseases to the natives.”
“30s and 40s movies are full of sublimely annoying children.”
We just can’t seem to go a week without something funny from Hercules. We’ve got two gems this go ‘round:
“Some hospitals claim to be so full they’re turning away unvaxxed patients. But if they keep turning away the unvaxxed, who keeps filling the hospitals?”
“Hello? 911? Yes I’d like to report my neighbors, their children are outside enjoying themselves without masks. They are a danger to society please arrest them this instant.”
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.