UPDATE: The Onion's CEO Steve Hannah has since apologized to outraged and upset readers. The letter, which has been posted on The Onion's Facebook page reads, "On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting. No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire. The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again. In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible. Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry."
"You just don't get it, do you?" It's likely the argument you'll hear the most from both sides of the already raging Quvenzhané Wallis/The Onion tweet battle. Onion defenders will say that all those upset simply don't get the joke, while those standing up for the adorable Beasts of the Southern Wild star continue to ask how anyone could find it funny.
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The online uproar, in case you missed it, happened during last night's Oscar ceremony broadcast when satirists The Onion sent out an ill-advised joke at the expense of 9-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis: "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c**t, right?" Only, there was no asterisks and the only response that seemed to follow that question was, "When are you going to take this down and apologize?" After being online for over an hour, The Onion did something they rarely do, they took back a jab. Of course, this is the Internet, where controversy will follow you forever and screen shots of the tweet are still out there. Case in point, the original, unedited tweet here:
Now, let's get the obvious out of the way first: no decent human being in their right mind would think that of the adorable Wallis. It's clearly a riff on the culture of ripping on celebrities — even women and children — and that Wallis is just about the sweetest thing in Hollywood.
The problem — aside from the jarring sight of that vulgar word next to Wallis' name — is that the joke isn't particularly funny, nor does it really stick it to those celebrity bashers. The only person who looks attacked here is the innocent Wallis. (If you'll recall the Daniel Tosh rape joke incident, a major point of contention was that the comic was mocking rape victims, not finding a way to find humor in the light of those atrocities). There have been some arguments that The Onion didn't actually call her the c-word, but the thing is, they did. Yes, it was a joke, but would we say that Oscar host Seth MacFarlane didn't say the Kardashians had dark facial hair?
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There were plenty of people who didn't find the joke funny and took to Twitter to air out their grievance with The Onion. The Wire and Treme star Wendell Pierce wrote from his page, "@TheOnion Identify the writer. Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humor I call it horrendous...I will never lose the ability to be offended and let anyone verbally abuse a child. Especially a child of my community in NOLA...They have the freedom to say whatever they want and I have a right to say it's offensive. I won't stand by and watch the abuse."
Pierce was hardly alone in his outrage, Russell Simmons urged his followers to retweet the "the very offensive tweet about Quvenzhané Wallis that @TheOnion doesn't want you to see" and Chelsea Clinton responded with the hashtags, "#Unacceptable #Outrageous." Keith Olbermann tweeted after finding out what the Wallis joke was about, "they DID wrong. Retract, apologize, dismiss."
Of course, for everyone that was upset, there will be just as many who say that people are simply being sensitive, that The Onion is satire and they missed the joke entirely. Perhaps, sometimes there are words that have a harder time hiding under the guise of the sake of comedy (see: Lisa Lampanelli's unapologetic n-word tweet) and, you know what, yeah, people can be a little sensitive about when 9-year-old girls are called c**ts. It doesn't necessarily mean they are humorless drones.
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Look, The Onion is no stranger to controversy, whether they're being mistaken for a legitimate news source (it happens way more than you'd think) or being accused of, you guessed it, insensitivity. Not to mention the fact that popular, beloved comedian Louis C.K. uses similar language when it comes to kids (granted, for the most part, he's talking about his own). Either the cries of "Won't somebody please think of the children?" or "Why so serious?" will ring louder in the coming days and weeks — and they will all just continue to play out over Twitter. If there's anything to get worked up about, it's going to be that.
[Photo credits: Todd Williamson/Invision for Fox Searchlight/AP Images; Twitter]
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Word on the street is that Top Chef season six winner Michael Voltaggio is going to keep his chef whites on for a visit to TVLand's show The Exes this season. In the episode (slated to air August 15th), In the episode, Stuart (played by David Alan Basche) finds out that Voltaggio (his favorite chef, natch!) is cooking at a party he's attending, and will do whatever it takes to meet his favorite celebrity chef. It's a cute idea that will no doubt play well against Voltaggio's very deadpan presentation, and is a fun cross-pollination between networks.
But this got us thinking: sure, plenty of reality stars try to make the bridge into (for lack of a better term) real acting--attempting to parlay a TV career based on either a real-life skill set (or complete lack thereof in any regard), into one based on actual script-reading and emoting. But, it rarely ever works (you're a shining exception to the rule, Jennifer Hudson) in their favor.
What can often work is the tongue-and-check, self-referential appearance in a show. And for this, Voltaggio isn't the first to embark. No, the reality star cameo is often saved for especially iconic and/or infamous stars, and so we've created a list of some of our favorites, below!
1.) Kim Kardashian on 30 Rock: Arguably the most high-profile and hilarious of the bunch, Kim made a cameo (twice) during the west-coast feed of this season's live episode. Our favorite part (personally) was when she mocked the tepid ratings of the critical darling by comparing them to her Twitter following. Check out the first part of her cameo below:
2.) Christian Siriano on Ugly Betty:Remember when Siriano was known more for his Project Runway catch phrases than his exceptionally-designed clothes? While I'm sure he'd like you to remember the latter, his appearance on ABC's Ugly Betty as himself was certainly enjoyable to watch (featuring a bonus Nina Garcia sighting!):
3.) Snooki on WWE:
When everyone's favorite guidette showed up on the wrestling program it was both unexpected and (therefore) hilarious. We all knew our scrappy little meatball could throw down, and to see her play herself and throw down with a professional wrestler was nothing short of hilariously mindboggling. Skip ahead to 9:30 in the clip for the best bits:
Our notes for Mr. Voltaggio? Keep it lighthearted, fun, and don't take yourself too seriously. Oh, and if you cook something really delicious, please share!
What do you think about when reality stars venture to more scripted fare? Let us know in the comments!
[Image Credit: Bravo]
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We're continuing our one-year old tradition, which we so lovingly started last December, which is our way of making celebrities' New Year's resolutions for them. Sure, the first time Lindsay Lohan got into some trouble, our dastardly sides had a bit of fun digging up all the dirt we could find. And the second and third time, it was still pretty entertaining, but we've reached that point where it's not even interesting to hear that she has to spend 4 hours in jail or that she's suing someone else for mentioning her name in a fairly accurate hip-hop verse. We're over it. We cover it begrudgingly because that day Justin Bieber has yet to come out with a music video featuring Mariah Carey gyrating or because Johnny Depp hasn't compared paparazzi photos to an indescribably horrible act that is in no way similar.
Essentially, we do it because we have to, but it comes with a thick layer of cynicism instead of the glowing adoration of a post about say, Beyoncé's baby bump or Ryan Gosling's good Samaritan act. All we're saying is, we're going to write about you, celebs. It's a given. We're too obsessed. We'd just like it if our 2012 coverage didn't include these bad behaviors:
CELEBRITY BEHAVIOR AGREEMENT
THIS CONTRACT, entered into on this 1st day of JANUARY, 2012, by KELLY SCHREMPH, KELSEA STAHLER, and all members of CELEBRITY CULTURE is for the continuation of celebrity status and celebrity news coverage for the entirety of the year 2011. The undersigned celebrity reporters will continue to cover celebrity culture if the celebrities (both mentioned and unmentioned) adhere to the contract as follows:
We, the celeb writers of Hollywood.com, reserve the right to revoke celebrity status and all subsequent news coverage on their site in the case that these stipulations are breached.
1. YOU WILL NOT TWEET WITHOUT FIRST USING YOUR GOD-GIVEN BRAIN.
Thinking before exposing one's thoughts on an unguarded social networking site should be an easy requirement, but just ask Ashton Kutcher, who tweeted about the Penn State scandal before knowing that his precious Joe Paterno was fired for good reason. Or ask Roger Ebert, who tweeted "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive," when Jackass star Ryan Dunn passed away tragically. Or ask Charlie Sheen, whose cell phone crashed when he absentmindedly tweeted his phone number to Justin Bieber in a public at-reply. Or ask Anthony Weiner, who had his own "DM fail" when he accidentally publicly sent that photo of his package. Thinking: it's what humans do.
2. CHARLIE SHEEN WILL TAKE 2012 OFF.
If you're not tired of hearing "winning" and "tiger blood" and any other warlock lingo, you must have spent 2011 hiking the Andes or helping build homes in a war-ravaged nation with no possible link to the interwebby world, because those phrases were ubiquitous - and they are officially over. Sheen and his crazy train need to pack it up starting at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1. When we can stop associating him with goddesses and porn families, he can come back. Until then, we don't want to hear a peep.
3. YOU WILL NOT GET TOO DRUNK TO LEGALLY RIDE IN A CAR.
Who cares about that time she forgot the lyrics to the National Anthem? Christina Aguilera later got arrested for public intoxication while riding in the passenger seat of her boyfriend's car. The boyfriend got pulled over for drunk driving, but passenger Aguilera was carted away when police discovered that she'd clearly won the drinking contest. Let's all agree this is unacceptable.
4. AS A CELEB, YOU'VE GIVEN UP THE PRIVILEGE OF KEEPING NUDE PHOTOS SECRET. DON'T TAKE THEM, OR BE PREPARED FOR SOME PERV TO LEAK THEM TO EVERY WILLING BLOG.
While Blake Lively's little photo shoot is still unconfirmed (officially, though our eyes suggest otherwise), the damage is done. Even sweet, classy lady Emma Watson became the victim of a nude photo scandal, though her photos were actually proven to be fake. But then you have Scarlett Johansson, who actually admits to taking her nudie pics, so ardently in fact that she instigated a full FBI investigation to find the hackers who stole them.
4a. JUST BE HONEST ABOUT IT.
If your nude photos do leak, just admit it and launch an investigation to find the culprit. Then you can go on late night shows and look like the most mature person in Hollywood when you're able to joke about it.
4b. DRUGS ARE BAD TOO, MMK?
So, maybe you're not running around topless at the hot tub, but instead you're exercising your college-age need to experiement with things like cheap liquor and weed. If you can't be sure you can trust the revelers around you not to take pictures or video and post them to Twitter, either make them sign a contract or come to the mature conclusion that it's just not worth it.
5. IF YOU'RE MENTALLY UNSTABLE, AVOID HIGH PRESSURE SITUATIONS AND GOOD MORNING AMERICA.
Chris Brown went on GMA for what he thought was your average music-related interview when he fielded a few questions about his chequered past. He was agitated during the interview, but it was what happened off camera that had us all rolling our eyes and reluctantly talking about it. He shattered the glass in his dressing room and stormed out of the GMA offices sans his shirt. The undersigned reporters will like still write about such incidents, but we do not promise to be nice about it.
6. IF YOU DON'T LIKE HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE, DON'T AGREE TO MARRY HIM OR HER.
Crystal Harris, unfortunately you will be forever known as the woman who dumped Hugh Hefner and then told Howard Stern what a terrible lover the Hef supposedly is. Instead of looking like a young girl who realized her mistake at the last minute, she painted herself as the harpy who dished dirt on the poor old 80-something year-old man she dumped. She made us feel sorry for Hefner, and that's practically the Mount Everest of celeb-facing sympathy.
7. YOU NEVER HAVE TO PEE THAT BADLY.
French actor Gerard Depardieu really had to go on his most publicized flight ever. When the flight attendant told him to be patient, and that the bathrooms were locked at the moment, Depardieu became so irate he peed in the aisle of the plane. While this incident did give birth to the giggle fit heard 'round the world, let's not let it happen again.
8. IF GEORGE CLOONEY SAYS HE'S NEVER GOING TO GET MARRIED, BELIEVE HIM.
Elisabetta Canalis was kicked to the curb by everyone's favorite silver fox a curiously short time after she talked about her "fairytale" and her "friends" released statements to the press about her hopes for her matrimonial future with the actor. She later stated that they had never discussed future plans like kids or marriage, so it seems on some level she knew it wasn't an option. Plus, if her nameless informant friends really heard her say those marriagey things, I'm guessing it was a Pinot Grigio secret situation and those ladies are going to girls' night hell for spilling the details to a gossip rag.
9. YOU CANNOT BE A ROLE MODEL AND PROFESS YOUR LOVE FOR THE "DRUNK DIET" AND USING "WHISKEY AND OTHER STUFF" AS ARTISTIC INSPIRATION
You cannot be a role model and profess your love for the "drunk diet" and admit you "drink whiskey and other stuff" when writing songs.
Lady Gaga acts as a role model to her little monsters, urging them to support LGBT issues and to be themselves, no matter how hard it can be, yet she publicly admits to living like a 70 year old mentally ravaged bar fly. You can't have both worlds, Gaga.
10. KIM KARDASHIAN MAY NOT GET MARRIED AGAIN, BUT IF SHE DOES, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLETELY IGNORE THE REQUISITE TWO-DAY E! SPECIAL.
We're all too aware of the most famous Kardashian's incredibly short lived marriage to Kris Humphries. They met, three minutes later got married and in the blink of an eye got divorced. (You may want to check the official timeline on that, which shouldn't take that long since it all happened in the same year.) Naturally a command like this comes with a few other requirements:
10a. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Do not marry someone the same year you meet them.
10b. A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME, MINNESOTA IS.
Do not get married if you haven't decided on a general area of the country to live in.
10c. TRUE LOVE MEANS NEVER TELLING YOUR PARTNER THEY'LL SOON BE IRRELEVANT.
Don't marry someone who doesn't understand why you're famous. (To be fair, we're still trying to figure that out.)
10d. PAY FOR YOUR OWN WEDDING, MULTIMILLIONAIRES; AND DON'T RUB IT IN OUR FACES.
Don't televise your heavily sponsored wedding on national television.
10e. A TV WEDDING IS GROUNDS FOR NEVERENDING SKEPTICISM.
Don't complain about fans and reporters questioning the validity of the marriage if requirement D is not followed.
By signing this document you agree to these stipulations. If you are found in breach of these rules, you may find your celebrity status in low esteem and the number of headlines bearing your name will be significantly diminished. We will also accept a lack of signatures in exchange for your attempts to simply follow these rules. Just knock it off, okay guys?
___________________________________ Jan 1, 2012
___________________________________ Jan 1, 2012
___________________________________ Jan 1, 2012
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.