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.
Colin Kaepernick Compares NFL Players to Slaves
Not one to stay out of the controversial spotlight for long, former NFL player Colin Kaepernick has a new Netflix eight-part series, Colin in Black & White. The show revolves around his experiences being biracial and adopted by two white parents. One episode is receiving particular attention as he compares the NFL players parading around in front of coaches and scouts to slaves being inspected by their white masters.
“What they don’t want you to understand is what’s being established is a power dynamic,” Kaepernick explained, then added:
“Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod and examine you searching for any defect that might affect your performance. No boundary respect. No dignity left intact.”
The scene then changes to an open market in the slavery era where the players are shirtless and shackled, being sold to one of the slave owners who, now in the present day, shakes hands with a football coach.
The View host Sunny Hostin thought Kaepernick was spot on, saying:
“When you think about the NFL and the concussion lawsuits, you have like race-based testing to compensate them. And you know, the majority of the owners of the NFL are white men. The majority of the players are black men. So there is – that comparison he makes to slave owners and slaves is not totally unreasonable and out of bounds.
“He loves the sport, but the white owners have prevented him from doing it. They’ve colluded, and they have all the power to prevent him from doing the one thing that he loves.”
Guest host Michele Tafoya didn’t agree, opining, “If they believed he could win them a Super Bowl, he would be on a team right now. I promise you that.”
She wasn’t the only one. Several people took to Twitter to post their outrage. One person wrote: “Slaves had NO choice whereas all these men FROM ALL RACES AND CULTURE BACKGROUNDS chose to go to the combine for a chance at becoming pro and make millions.” And Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), who played in the NFL in the 1970s and ’80s and is black, said: “How dare @Kaepernick7 compare the evil endured by so many of our ancestors to a bunch of millionaires who CHOSE to play game.”
Wasn’t it not too long ago that Kaepernick said he was still training because he wanted to get back into the game?
More Drama for Baldwin Movie Set
On the set of the western movie production Rust, Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. Since then, information has surfaced about everything from inexperienced workers to bad working conditions to sabotage.
Some reports suggest Baldwin and the crew broke several industry gun safety rules set forth by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, especially the stipulation that adamantly forbids pointing a gun at a member of the cast or crew unless it is completely essential. The rules warn actors and staff to “Refrain from pointing the firearm at anyone, including yourself. If it is absolutely necessary to do so on camera, consult the property master or other safety representative … Remember that any object at which you point a firearm could be destroyed.”
Baldwin, who has remained mostly quiet about the accident, reposted on his Instagram account a comment from costume designer Terese Magpale Davis who also worked on the Rust set. Davis claimed the accusations of unsafe working conditions were not true. “I worked on this movie,” she wrote. “The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bull—-.”
However, reports indicate the gun that killed Hutchins had been used earlier that day by crew members, with live bullets, to shoot at beer cans in a game called “plinking.” The gun had also been left unattended for two hours before the shooting.
Lawyers for the armorer on the set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, suggest sabotage. Attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence told Savannah Guthrie, host of Today, that their client loaded the gun from a box labeled “dummy rounds.” Bowles suggested:
“The person who put the live round in that box had to have the purpose of sabotaging this set, there’s no other reason you would do that. I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, want to prove a point, want to say that they’re disgruntled, they’re unhappy. And we know that people had walked off the set the day before.”
Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, has reportedly hired a law firm that handles wrongful death litigation and may file a lawsuit, naming several individuals.
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.
Greta Thunberg’s Potty Mouth
The young climate change activist decided that cursing was a smart move while outside the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland. Singing to the children’s tune of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain,” Thunberg chanted, “You can shove your climate crisis up your ar–.” She then announced, “This is what leadership looks like. We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet … No more whatever the f— they’re doing inside there.”
The profanity did not get many good reviews, so the 18-year-old Swede decided to clean up her potty mouth. Thunberg took to Twitter to relay the news, posting: “I am pleased to announce that I’ve decided to go net-zero on swear words and bad language. In the event that I should say something inappropriate I pledge to compensate that by saying something nice. #COP26.”
Celebrities say the darndest things …
Hercules had a lot to say this past week. With all the hype about the “Let’s go, Brandon” slogan, Sorbo posted a tweet mocking the press: “Media: Trust us! We’re the good guys! We don’t lie! Also media: The crowd is clearly chanting ‘Let’s Go Brandon.’”
Then, taking a pop at animal rights group PETA, the actor wrote: “I wish I could have made this up…but, it’s true. PETA says the term ‘bullpen’ is ‘speciest’ and recommends baseball replace the term with ‘arm barn’ because it would be less offensive to cattle.”
Known for movies such as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Randy Quaid chose to chastise President Biden for his immigration failures and offer to give separated families $450,000 in compensation. “That [migrant] caravan is moving faster and faster now that Biden is offering them our tax dollars, Biden is going for 10% approval rating,” he tweeted.
Swanson, who played Buffy in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was in the hospital with COVID when she speculated on Twitter about New Jersey’s narrow gubernatorial election: “Did another unmarked flight come in from the border last night into some random North Jersey airport? Dropping off illegals holding ballots for [Phil] Murphy?”
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.