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.
Reese Witherspoon: Ungrateful Teachers
Actress Reese Witherspoon, known for her roles in movies such as Legally Blonde and Walk the Line, has found herself in a legal battle – against teachers, of all people. In what started out as a charitable event to show appreciation for educators during the pandemic, the actress donated dresses from her fashion company Draper James to teachers. But that backfired when would-be recipients cried foul after they realized there wasn’t a limitless supply of the gifts and that not everyone who applied would receive one.
Nearly one million teachers applied for a free garment but got upset when only 250 were gifted. They filed a lawsuit saying Witherspoon’s Instagram ad was misleading and false. Was it? You be the judge:
“Dear Teachers: We want to say thank you. During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude., Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress. To apply, complete the form at the link in bio before this Sunday, April 5th, 11:59 PM ET. (Offer valid while supplies last — winners will be notified on Tuesday, April 7th.)”
The actress’ defense team quickly responded with a motion to dismiss. “No reasonable respondent would share Plaintiffs’ belief that a boutique clothing line would be awarding a limitless supply of free dresses,” the motion read. “And the words ‘apply,’ ‘winners,’ and the phrase ‘offer valid while supplies last’ made clear that entrants had an opportunity to receive a free dress – an opportunity that they received.”
The unhappy plaintiffs also claim damages because they provided personal information to the website, thinking they would get a piece of clothing. Witherspoon’s defense countered that as well, stating that those suing “never explain how they could have been harmed by Draper James’ good intentions, and its free promotion of a limited number of dresses for hard-working teachers.”
Times are tough, and teachers deserve recognition, but come on! It’s pretty obvious that this was a lottery and that just by applying a free dress would not be guaranteed.
Saying Goodbye to the Duke
Social justice warriors are at it again, and now the legacy of John Wayne is being stripped away. The University of Southern California has decided to take down the Duke’s exhibit for a comment he made nearly 50 years ago.
In a 1971 interview with Playboy, the movie-screen cowboy said:
“I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”
Although what he said would be unacceptable today, the one thing people can’t seem to understand is that he was a product of his time. Liberty Nation’s Leesa K. Donner explained the dangers of trying to rid the modern world of historic people and events just because they are offensive by today’s standards:
“Presentism is defined as an ‘uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts.’ When teased out, this ideology takes people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and unceremoniously dumps them into our day and time, even though the world they lived in was filled with a unique set of mores.”
While the Duke’s views were not nearly as common in the ‘70s as the decade or so before, they were not unheard of. In 2020, people are judged by their past and not their accomplishments – even if they happen to have left this world decades or centuries ago. Should Mr. Wayne’s many achievements be dismissed because of a comment made nearly half a century ago?
While We’re on the Topic of Racism …
George Floyd’s murder has sparked a cultural revolution, throwing this country into a state of civil unrest the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. Everyone and their agent are tripping over their heels, trying to make sure they are politically correct. For instance, after more than 80 years, the NFL’s Washington Redskins are changing their name – to what, we don’t know yet. Tinseltown is no different, and its movers and shakers are eager to jump on the social justice train to do their part in reshaping America.
Country music trio Lady Antebellum decided in June that their name sparked images of slavery and romanticized the pre-Civil War era in the Deep South. Going by the Southern-flavored name since 2006, the group shortened it to just “Lady A.” However, they neglected to do their research, or else they would have realized that Anita White, a 61-year-old black singer, has been producing records and performing under the same name for 30 years. So what did the band decide to do? Why, sue the singer, of course.
“When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment,” the group explained in a statement. “We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will — today’s action doesn’t change that.”
White, however, took extreme exception to the band’s move and told KING 5 News:
“I feel that it’s not right that they can come and decide that they want to use this name and take it from me because now it feels like another knee on my neck. Take your knee off our neck.”
No agreement about the use of the name has been reached as of yet.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.