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.
Grammy Awards During Rittenhouse Trial
America (and the world) has been watching with bated breath as the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse unfolds. The 18-year-old is accused of murder, amongst other things, after killing two people and injuring another during the Kenosha, WI riots on Aug. 25, 2020. He claims self-defense. Those who believe the young man innocent feel Second Amendment rights are on the line, while the opposition says Rittenhouse had no business being there in the first place. In any case, the trial has had some Grammy award-winning moments along the way.
As Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza reported, the prosecutor, Thomas Binger, didn’t earn any favors with Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder. Binger criticized Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent, which the judge said was a “grave constitutional error,” and brought up “evidence” that His Honor had previously refused to be allowed – which prompted Judge Schroeder to stop the trial to give the prosecutor a good talking to.
Cell phones are supposed to be turned off or at least set to vibrate; however, at least twice during the hearings, the judge’s phone rang. But that’s not what is so interesting, irritating, or funny – depending on who you are. The ringtone was none other than “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood. The song is associated with former President Donald Trump and MAGA and was played during many of his campaigns. That is what prompted outraged comments from the left across social media.
Finally, with all of the anti-gun activism going on across the country, the prosecutor’s attempts to demonstrate Rittenhouse’s guilt are ironic, to say the least. Binger used a clip from the Patrick Swayze film Road House, in which the bad guy, Brad Wesley (Ben Carrazza), fires a shot in the air to break up a fight – which he does successfully. Binger then said, “What you don’t do is you don’t bring a gun to a fistfight. What the defendant wants you to believe is that because he’s the one who brought the gun, he gets to kill.”
And even more outrageous, especially following Alec Baldwin’s tragic accidental shooting of a cinematographer on the movie set of Rust, Binger raises the gun – some say aimed toward the jury, others say toward the wall – to make his point. Regardless of where he aimed, yes, the prosecutor’s finger was on the trigger.
Rittenhouse prosecution points a gun in the courtroom trying to demonstrate what he thinks Kyle did pic.twitter.com/ZgrgC8tQMf
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) November 15, 2021
Lana Wood Names Sister Natalie’s Attacker
One of the biggest real-life Hollywood mysteries in the 1950s was who attacked Natalie Wood. While rumors ran amok, people wondered if the actress had even been assaulted. Now, in her book Little Sister, Natalie’s sibling, Lana Wood, claims it was none other than famed actor Kirk Douglas who sexually assaulted the West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause actress.
Lana said she waited until after Douglas’s death in 2020 (at the age of 103) to reveal what really happened that night so long ago. She said the #MeToo Movement gave her the courage. “That’s a terrible thing to have the courage to come out with,” the former Bond girl explained. “But, you’ve got to understand why it wasn’t easy to say anything before. Whenever anybody came forward with a story about anybody, the first question that they’re asked is ‘why did you wait so long?’ Why are you saying something now?’ It’s a horrible thing to admit to.”
According to Lana’s book, the alleged attack happened in the summer of 1955 while Natalie was filming The Searchers. The meeting between Woods and Douglas was arranged by the girls’ mother, Maria Zakharenko, who thought that “many doors may be thrown open for her, with just a nod of his famous, handsome head on her behalf.”
Lana said that when Natalie told their mother what had happened, the matriarch said to ignore it because saying anything public would destroy her career. She cited a painful injury Natalie had received that left a protruding wrist bone. When the young actress complained to her mother, she was told not to let anyone know – the reason the starlet wore so many bangles was to cover the injury. “She would lose everything if she became one of those complaining people,” Lana said. “My mother basically did the same thing when Natalie was raped. She told her not to tell anybody because they wouldn’t believe it. This was a big star. He could destroy her career. She was told not to put herself in that situation and just forget it.”
In 1981, at age 43, Natalie drowned.
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.
Baldwin Accused of Intentionally Firing the Fatal Shot
The lawsuits are piling up against Alec Baldwin. Serge Svetnoy, the chief lighting technician on the Rust movie set, filed a suit claiming he was struck by “discharge materials” and suffered emotional distress. Halyna Hutchins’ husband said he is filing a wrongful death lawsuit on her behalf, and attorneys for the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, suggest it was sabotage. Now a new twist of legal actions is hitting social media. Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell and her attorney, none other than famed feminist Gloria Allred, claim that “Alec Baldwin intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired and loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for cocking and firing of a firearm.”
Sesame Street’s Newest Character
The children’s show Sesame Street has been top news lately after some Republicans took issue when Big Bird pushed the idea of kids getting vaccinated for COVID. Now, the puppet cast has added another character, its first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Muppet. Ji-Young is a seven-year-old Korean-American performed by Sesame Workshop puppeteer Kathleen Kim. Although being billed as the first AAPI, Ji-Young is not really the first: As The Wrap pointed out, “Longtime cast member Alan Muraoka, who plays Alan, the owner of Hooper’s Store, is Japanese American.”
Celebrities say the darndest things …
The Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar decided to preach on Twitter about family values … and took a lot of jabs for her audacity. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) went on a rant during the debate over censuring Paul Gosar, basically defending him while outing everyone across the aisle for various dirty deeds. Omar tweeted:
“Luckily my dad raised me right, otherwise I might have gone to the floor to talk about this insurrectionist who sleeps with a pervert. I am grateful I was raised to be a decent human and not a deprived person who shamefully defecates & defiles the House of Representatives.”
Ben Shapiro responded with: “You are definitely not a person who should be starting an argument about marital issues.” And Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “What did he think about you marrying your brother?”
“I don’t trust politicians because one time Congress told me they would give me a ride to the airport but then never showed up.”
Hercules rallied for action, tweeting: “It’s not my job to wake up the sheep. It’s my job to wake up all the other Lions!!”
The Queen of Country had advice for everyone: “Gotta keep your hair, heels, and standards high!”
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
I’ll just leave you with this gem:
Live footage of Biden White House fielding questions about Kamala…. https://t.co/2DK3LV0ALA
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 18, 2021
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.