Ricky Gervais Horrifies Hollywood Liberals With ‘Savage’ Takedown at the Golden Globes

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Ricky Gervais Golden Globes

Ricky Gervais opened the 77th annual Golden Globes with what amounted to a trigger warning, before launching into a ruthless takedown of the Hollywood crowd. 

“You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards, so I don’t care anymore,” the British comedian said, noting he had hosted for the four previous years. “I’m joking. I never did.”

In case anyone had missed his point, Gervais added, “Let’s have a laugh at your expense, shall we? Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon, and there’s no sequel.”

Gervais’ first target was Hollywood awards shows themselves. He recalled the scandal over Kevin Hart’s old anti-gay tweets, which led the actor to fire himself from hosting the 2019 Academy Awards.

“Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars because of some offensive tweets. Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English, and they’ve no idea what Twitter is,” he said, implicitly acknowledging his own politically incorrect Twitter activity.

Gervais next took aim at Hollywood entitlement in the form of actress Felicity Huffman, who recently spent two weeks in prison for her involvement in a nationwide college entrance exam cheating ring.

“I came here in a limo tonight, and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman,” Gervais said. “It’s her daughter I feel sorry for. That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her, and her dad was in ‘Wild Hogs.’”

Ricky Gervais shows Hollywood his Golden Globes

After calling “The Irishman” actor Joe Pesci “Baby Yoda,” Gervais warned all the Hollywood executives in the room that they could be the next casualty of the #MeToo movement.

“In this room are some of the important TV and film executives in the world, people from every background. But they all have one thing in common. They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow,” he said, referring to the investigative journalist who made a name for himself with exposes about sexual harassment and abuse. “He’s coming for you.”

“Talking of you perverts, it was a big year for pedophile movies,” Gervais continued.” “Surviving R Kelly.” “Leaving Neverland.” “The Two Popes.”

Having highlighted Hollywood’s dirty underbelly, Gervais went after its self-conception as a place that promotes equal opportunity for minorities.

“Many talented people of color were snubbed in all major categories. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about that. The Hollywood Foreign Press are all very, very racist,” he said.

“We were gonna do an en memoriam this year, but when I saw the list of people that had died, it wasn’t diverse enough. It just, no. It was mostly white people, and I thought, no, not on my watch. Maybe next year. Let’s see what happens.”

Continuing to literally and figuratively shrug at himself, Gervais quipped that nobody was watching the Golden Globes anyway, saying, “Everyone’s watching Netflix.

He offhandedly suggested that Jefferey Epstein had not killed himself in prison in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

When the crowd moaned, Gervais added, “I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care.”

Pushing on, Gervais joked that Americans only turn to Hollywood these days for superhero blockbusters, which he said have transformed actors in nothing more than buffed drug addicts.

“All the best actors have jumped to Netflix and HBO. And the actors who just do Hollywood movies do fantasy adventure nonsense,” he said.
“They wear masks and capes, and really tight costumes. Their job isn’t acting anymore. It’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids. Have we got an award for most ripped junkie?”

Gervais then called out a few more celebrities by name.

He hit Leonardo DiCaprio for his affinity for young women.

“‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ nearly three hours long. Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere, and by the end, his date was too old for him,” he said, before comparing the actor to the British prince disgraced by the Epstein revelations. “Even Prince Andrew’s like, “Come on, Leo, mate. You’re nearly 50, son.”

Gervais wrapped up his monologue with an epic rant about the hypocrisy of liberal elites in Hollywood and Silicon Valley alike.

“Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show,” Gervais said. “A superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China.”

Gervais then turned his attention to all the actors, writers and directors in the room.

“Well, you say you’re woke, but the companies you work for…unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you would call your agent, wouldn’t you?”

As the audience laughed nervously, Gervais, offered some advice to the nominees.

“So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right?” he said. “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”

Actor Tom Hanks’ shocked expression subsequently went viral online.

All of Hollywood when Ricky Gervais tells them that no one cares about their political opinions: pic.twitter.com/CQreakKKTg

— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) January 6, 2020

Despite Gervais’ admonition, though, the evening was filled with liberal politics.

Patricia Arquette, in accepting a supporting actress in a limited series award for her role in Hulu’s “The Act,” pleaded with the audience to consider the threat of another extended conflict in the Middle East.

Michelle Williams, who won best actress in a limited series for the FX’s “Fosse/Verdon,” delivered a feminist pro-abortion acceptance speech.

And Sacha Baron Cohen, who appeared onstage as a presenter, took a shot at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly allowing Nazis to run rampant on the platform.

Meanwhile, according to People magazine, the crowd for the first time dined on an entirely vegan dinner in the name of fighting climate change.

Cover image:
Ricky Gervais hosts the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Beverley Hills, California, on Jan. 5, 2020. (Twitter)

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DJ Cuppy has stolen my heart — Afrobeat Artiste, Akeju – Vanguard News

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Budding star of Afro-music, a genre previously unknown to music fans in the United States, is a fast-rising Nigerian songwriter, a record producer known as Akeju. Akeju’s name is fast evolving into a household item in New York City, the city that never sleeps. He is so popular and influential, especially on the entertainment scene, that the entire city had to look forward to the unveiling of his latest single, Akeju, that was released earlier this year. The song has been on top charts since its release. A native of Kwara State, Akeju has lived in New York City for over a decade. He is an artist in every sense of the word. Not just a musical artist but an artist because he is all about expression, from his sense of style to his genre of music even down to working succinctly as an actor and movie producer. The artiste, in this interview, revealed his plans to collaborate with more A-list artists in Africa and more surprisingly his favourite woman crush.

Tell us about your background

My name is A. M Akeju, I was born in Ghana to Nigerian parents. My mom is from Ilorin and my dad is from Abeokuta.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?

Yes. I started out writing songs and listening to a variety of aristes as a child; Nate King Cole, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti to mention but a few.

How did you discover your talent in music?

Some people actually go through life trying to figure out which path they want to take but for me, Music has always been a part of me. I remember growing up, I was influenced by popular singers like Fela Kuti, Nate King Cole, Bob Marley among others. I  have always believed that someday I would do music too.

READ ALSO: Let’s see music as a spiritual exercise – Erelu Dosumu Abiola

What inspires your songs?

Many things inspire my songs. Experiences of friends, family, and myself; what is going on at the time in many communities. Many times I want my songs to make people feel good; sometimes people go through so much in their life.

Who are those top artistes you would want to have a collaboration with and why?

There are several, Seal, Youssou Ndour, 2Face Idibia, Nas, Shaggy, Sade, Sting, to name a few. I admire them and I remain true to my philosophy creating a bridge between African culture and other cultures.

Unforgettable performance and why?

My unforgettable performances would be Save Africa Foundation concert with the wonderful Winnie Mandela in the audience and Black Panther under the Stars. I have other unforgettable performances.

Other hobbies aside singing?

Other hobbies are soccer, swimming, and just getting away from time to time. It helps me rejuvenate, get me fired up to record more songs for my fans.

What is the greatest price you have paid for your career?

The greatest price I have paid, I don’t really have one. What I would say is the greatest lesson, having a tight inner circle you trust is important.

What project are you working on at the moment?

I have a few projects, I like to keep those details close and then surprise my fans. My EP “Akeju the EP ft Beenie Man and Lil scrappy (love and hip – hop) ” and also my mixtape with Dj Kaywise was recently released. Outside of music I am in corporate America working on several projects. I am the CEO and President of Aflik TV, an admin for international content at Amazon prime and I also provide content for several platforms, Netflix, Hulu, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Nobles to name a few.

What is your relationship status now?

I am single and available.

You are single and available, so how do you handle your female fans?

I just appreciate them; they are fantastic; you can’t get too caught up. You can’t let it get into your head. You can’t indulge in a lifestyle where you start to slip up because you are single. But I do appreciate them and try to live up to everybody’s expectations.

Who is your female crush and why?

Well to put this straight, every woman out there deserves the best. One woman that has stolen my heart secretly is Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola (Dj Cuppy). I really love what she’s doing and how she has successfully carved a niche for herself in the industry. Hopefully one day we will go out on a date and have more Gelato..

Looking back, any regret so far?

I have no regrets. Before making any decision, I always pray and fast for divine directions. So far, God has really been faithful to me.

Any word for your fans out there?

Be loyal and true to yourself. If you have a dream, stay focused on it. Things don’t happen overnight, remain persistent and keep pushing. Bless up!!!

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Hulus Looking for Alaska Is Just the Right Kind of Sappy Teen Drama

When Miles Halter, the protagonist of the new Hulu miniseries Looking for Alaska, first lays eyes on Alaska Young from the backseat window of his parents car, hes smitten, though he, and the audience, have no way of knowing in that moment just how deeply she will change his life. It is a scene plucked straight from the vivid, highly romanticized fantasies that only teenagers are capable of fostering, played out in slow motion to lilting instrumental music.

Alaska, bathed in soft, natural light that accentuates her ethereal beauty, is loading a crate of illegally purchased alcohol into the trunk of her car on the side of the road. After what feels like an eternity of unbroken eye-contact, Miles leans back against his seat, barely able to catch his breath. Much of the shows eight-episode arc feels like this one sequencebeautiful and idealized, foreboding, and entirely relatable to anyone who recalls the intensity of being a teenager.

Looking for Alaska is the latest addition to the teen drama canon, adapted from the 2005 John Green novel of the same name. Miles, played by Charlie Plummer, is an introverted teenager who obsessively memorizes the famous last words of historical figures. Inspired by the pre-mortem avowal of French poet Franois Rabelais (I go to seek a Great Perhaps), Miles decides to leave behind his mundane life in Florida to attend Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama. Once there, he befriends Chip, nicknamed the Colonel (Denny Love), Takumi (Jay Lee), andyou guessed itAlaska (Kristine Froseth).

The series, developed by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (The O.C., Gossip Girl), shows its cards early by beginning with a climactic car accident. The subsequent episodes take us back to the events leading up to the tragedy, each one labeled with the number of days remaining before it occurs. The effect is compelling, creating a creeping tension conducive to bingeing all eight episodes in one sitting.

Green is a deft craftsman of page-turning YA melodrama and, arguably, one of the foremost translators of the manic pixie dream girl trope into adolescence. Alaska Young would not be out of place among Rocky Horror-loving Sam from Stephen Chboskys The Perks of Being A Wallflower or Kate Hudsons teenage groupie Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Though Looking for Alaska was his first hit, and widely considered his best novel, Green is best known for penning The Fault in Our Stars, about two teens who fall in love after meeting at a cancer support group.

The pairing of Greens poignant, though occasionally trite source material with the creative minds behind The O.C. works seamlessly. Schwartz and Savage are no strangers to precocious adolescent characters who communicate exclusively via unbelievably witty dialogue and obscure cultural references. That the performative pretentiousness of the gang of misfits in Looking for Alaska is played as a thinly veiled guise for insecurity makes the unrealistic dialogue feel natural and self-awareat least, most of the time.

The decision to make the show a period piece of sorts, setting it in 2005 when the book was published, is also an ingenious choice as it allows Schwartz to milk the early-2000s nostalgia evocative of the show that made him famous all those years ago. He does this primarily through the soundtrack, which is peppered with updated covers of Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab for Cutie, and Sufjan Stevens. An amusing swan attack sequence in the first episode is set to Blue Orchid by the White Stripes.

In Schwartz and Savages hands, Looking for Alaska actually manages to improve upon the original workno small feat for an onscreen adaptation of a beloved book. While in the novel, the mysterious title character often seems to exist only in the imagination of the male narrator, never allowed to tell her own story or transcend two dimensions, the show brings Alaska into focus. Alaskas interiority is explored on a deeper level, and viewers catch firsthand glimpses into her home life and her relationship with her long-distance boyfriend.

Miles is still the lens through which we access the world of Culver Creek, but we no longer rely on him entirely for our evaluations of the people around him. This is crucial, as nearly 15 years have passed since the book was published, and our collective tolerance for narratives about lost male leads being saved by beautiful, beguiling women (usually at their own expense) has dwindled.

Charlie Plummer, with his curtain of long, slightly greasy hair, eerily resembles a young Chad Michael Murray in cargo shorts and does a perfectly fine job as Miles. But often it is the supporting cast that steals scenes, particularly newcomer Denny Love as Miles assertive, prankster roommate the Colonel and Veep alum Timothy Simons, who plays the merciless school principal with hilarious earnestness and empathy. No one, however, is as magnetic as Kristine Froseth in the title role. As the narrative quietly plummets towards tragedy in the series first few episodes, Froseth is its emotional center, able to convey the pain beneath her characters self-assured exterior with just a fleeting look.

Montages of the friends smoking cigarettes under a bridge, gleefully planning prank wars, and burying cheap bottles of ros in the woods for safekeeping will make you nostalgic for the high school experience you never had. And then, though you know it is coming, the inevitable tragedy in the later episodes is sure to thaw even the coldest of hearts. Fans of John Green, The O.C., and everyone in between will not be disappointed by this excellent addition to a genre of television that is notoriously difficult to get right.

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Should Netflix and Hulu give you emergency alerts?

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New York (CNN Business)The federal emergency alert program was designed decades ago to interrupt your TV show or radio station and warn about impending danger from severe weather events to acts of war.

“More and more people are opting out of the traditional television services,” said Gregory Touhill, a cybersecurity expert who served at the Department of Homeland security and was the first-ever Federal Chief Information Security Officer. “There’s a huge population out there that needs to help us rethink how we do this.”

Possible vs. practical

    Adding federal alerts to those platforms might not entirely be a technical issue, at least on the government’s end. The service has already been updated to include smartphones.
    tech
    And FEMA, the agency that manages the system’s technology, told CNN Business that there are “no known technical hurdles involved in transmitting alerts” to devices that are connected to the internet. In fact, the agency has a way to do that, according to a FEMA spokesperson.
    But a new tool would need to be developed to distribute alert information to streaming platforms. FEMA said the “unknown quantity” is figuring out who would develop and install the applications.
    That’s not a simple task, said Touhill, who’s now president of the cybersecurity firm Cyxtera Federal Group. He told CNN Business that the required tool would need to be “exquisitely complex.” It would need to be thoroughly tested and safeguarded to ensure that only authorized parties have access.
    “Is it possible? Yes. Is it practical? Maybe not,” Touhill told CNN Business.
    Another concern is whether devices connected to the internet are reliable indicators of a person’s location. Emergency alerts need to be able to target a specific area so that they only reach people who are at risk.
    People on the internet can be traced through their IP addresses — unique strings of numbers assigned to each device that are also associated with a specific set of geographic coordinates. That’s how companies like Netflix determine which language and content to show its customers.
    But those locations can be unreliable or easily manipulated, Touhill said.
    It’s also not clear that enough information is there in some cases. A source familiar with Netflix’s thinking told CNN Business that the company’s ability to pinpoint a customer’s exact location may vary depending on that person’s internet service provider. That means Netflix might not reliably know a person’s location with enough specificity to provide effective emergency alerts.
    Congress has considered some of these issues. Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat, proposed a bill last year that called for authorities to look into the feasibility of adding streaming services to the federal emergency alert system.
    The READI Act received bipartisan support and passed the Senate, but it died in the House. Schatz’s office told CNN Business this week that he plans to refile the bill for the current Congress.

    How to improve

    Adding streaming platforms to the alert system “is not a bad idea,” said National Weather Service senior meteorologist Kevin Laws.
    Laws is based in Birmingham and was part of a team that issued warnings to residents when tornadoes struck Alabama last Sunday. His team watches storms on a radar, and their predictions are automatically routed to FEMA’s alert system.
    But upgrades to the system are expensive and slow. Instead, Laws said he thinks alerts would be better helped through improvements to the type of information that authorities can share when a storm is in the area.
    Why you don't see emergency alerts when you're watching Netflix or playing Fortnite - CNN
    His ideal scenario? A day when storms are tracked automatically and alerts are consistently updated to show residents percentage of the likelihood that they will be affected.
    Such a feature would have helped last Sunday, he said, when some storms were particularly strong and unpredictable. Some parts of Alabama received emergency warnings more than half an hour before they were hit. But when a deadly tornado unexpectedly veered toward Lee County, where the death toll reached 23 people, locals were only notified about nine minutes beforehand.
      “I’ve spent many tearful days out there doing this job. And it kills me a little more every time,” Laws said, adding that disasters like the one that hit the state will happen again.
      “We have to keep improving the system,” he said.

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      Photographer Behind Shocking ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Wedding Pic Says It’s Not What You Think

      “What… and I cannot stress this enough… the f**k,” read a caption on the “Hey Ladies” Instagram page on Thursday

      The colorful language was posted beneath a wedding photo in which a couple is seen kissing in front of what fans of the “Handmaid’s Tale” television series will recognize as the “hanging wall.” The newlyweds are surrounded by “handmaids” — women in red gowns and white bonnets.

      To say social media users found the image to be in poor taste would be an understatement. The photo rapidly circulated across Instagram and Twitter, leaving many scratching their heads as to what would prompt anyone to glorify the oppressive, dystopian Gilead ― the setting for Margaret Atwood’s terrifying novel and the hit Hulu show ― and, more specifically, the site in the story where people are executed for being queer; disobeying the fanatical religious patriarchal rulers; or trying to escape. 

      Shawn Van Daele, who, along with his husband, owns the Toronto-based photography company responsible for the image, told HuffPost that they knew exactly what they were doing when they created the photo. 

      “Anyone who would put out an image like this without understanding what it implies has bigger problems than upset people on social media,” he said in an email on Thursday. “I knew when creating the image that it would [possibly] upset people but that’s sort of the point. To wake people up.”

      Van Daele said he and his husband “didn’t expect the photo to go viral” but were pleased that it had, saying that “hopefully it will wake people up to how they too contribute to the oppression and hatred they are rightfully worked up over.”

      According to Van Daele, he and his husband and the newlyweds are all “fans of the TV show (and obviously, first, the book).” 

      He said that they had previously done photo shoots at Cambridge Mill, a restaurant on the river in Cambridge, Ontario, where the show has also filmed, and had “no trepidation about shooting there.” He stressed that as a gay married couple, the image is deeply personal for him and husband Clint Russell because it emphasizes the oppression faced by minority groups.

      “This image was created and put out by a pair of ‘gender traitors’ who are no strangers to many of the subplots of oppression, violence and inequality that run through Margaret’s brilliant work,” he said, referencing the persecution of people who deviate from traditional gender norms in Gilead. 

      Taking a photo in front of the “hanging wall” was the groom’s idea, Van Daele said. The “handmaids” were not bridal party participants; Van Daele photoshopped them in. (“It seemed the natural thing to do since we were there,” he added. “I’m certain any ‘creative’ or photographer would have the exact same thoughts.”)

      When HuffPost first reached out to Van Daele on Thursday, he said they thought about taking down the photos but worried that “all the hatred” would “trickle over” to pictures of other couples on the photographers’ Instagram page, and didn’t want it to seem like Van Daele and Russell were “hiding from anything.”

      However, later on Thursday, the picture had been deleted from the account “at the request of the couple,” Van Daele said, “because they’re being harassed – which is an absolute shame.”

      The couple “are rightfully overwhelmed and distraught right now, despite previously loving the photo, since it’s from one of their favourite shows. Having the world try and ruin their wedding day and paint them out to be horrible people (there are people of every race, colour & sexual orientation in their wedding party) is a little disheartening,” he said. 

      The bride and groom did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. 

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      This Is Life for Muslim-Americans 18 Years After 9/11

      When you speak with the author of a new childrens book, you typically dont expect to hear words like neo-fascist movement or how the current U.S. president has unearthed bigotry.But that was the discussion I had with Ibtihaj Muhammad, who made history in 2016 when she became the first American Olympic athlete both to wear a hijab and win a medal while doing it. (She won a bronze medal as part of the womens sabre team.)Her new book, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family depicts an African-American Muslim girl wearing a hijab and confronting the challenges and celebrating the joys that brings.

      Muhammad recalled that as a kid growing up in New Jersey before 9/11, she was taunted for wearing a hijab, with one kid calling her head covering a tablecloth, and said she hopes her book can help kids feel strong in the face of being made to feel different.

      She added something that I know resonates with countless Muslim Americans today, I believe its a lot harder in this moment to be Muslimthan it was right after 9/11.

      I heard that sentiment countless times over Labor Day weekend at the Islamic Society of North Americas annual convention in Houston.

      It truly is a tale of two experiences for Muslims today. On one hand, Muslims in America are seeing our greatest successes ever in ways that can be objectively measured. There are now three Muslims in Congress, the most ever. Keith Ellison last year became the first Muslim American to win statewide office when he was elected attorney general for Minnesota. And more Muslim Americans than ever before now serve as elected officials from school boards to state legislatures, with historic wins in 2018 from New Hampshire to New Mexico to California.

      In the world of entertainment there has also been never before seen success. In 2018, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim American to win an Academy Award for acting, which he repeated in 2019 with an Oscar for his performance in The Green Book. For years, the Muslim American community longed for a TV series focused on a Muslim family. That finally happened in 2019 with the critically acclaimed Hulu Series Ramy, starring Ramy Youssef, about growing up Muslim in New Jersey. Theres also comedian Hassan Minhaj becoming the first Muslim American host of late-night show with his Netflix series, Patriot Act.

      Yet at the very same time theres a growing a sense of unease and even fear that something horrible is waiting around the corner for us. And I mean that last part quite literally, given the spike in hate crimes directed against the Muslim community since Trump first called for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States back in December 2015 through 2018.We have seen our mosques firebombed and self-professed Trump supporters plotting terror attacks to kill American Muslims in places from New York to Kansas. (I was even the subject of death threats and an organized smear campaign by Trump-supporting Neo-Nazis, causing me to sue them in federal court.)

      And while it didnt occur in the United States, the white supremacist terror attack on a New Zealand mosque that killed over 50 Muslims sent shockwaves through the U.S. Muslim community, as did the man espousing white supremacist views who killed 11 Jewish Americans while they were in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

      As one mental health professional explained to NPR recently about the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric, What is going to be the long-term impact of this persistent exposure to trauma that our kids are facing right now? No one knows for sure, but there has been a documented spike in bullying of Muslim students in recent years.

      Consider for a moment what it would feel like to be part of a faith community that the man in the White House declares he wants to ban from our nation and that other GOP elected officials have demonized over the years amidst plots to murder people in your community. Add to that Trumps recent attacks on the two female Muslim members of Congress, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, urging them to go back to their own country.How would that impact your sense of being an other? Your sense of being unwanted in your own country?

      Despite the dreams of Trump and people like him, we as a community arent going anywhere. Muslims were here before the United States and literally help build this country, given that 10 to 15 percent of African slaves were Muslims. And we are a growing community; as Pew notes, by 2040 Muslims are expected to be the second largest faith group in the country, behind Christians and moving ahead of Jews.

      The future for our community in the near term, however, will likely be more of what weve seen recently. The hope, though, is that in the long run the best of times will eclipse the worst.

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      ‘Seinfeld’ Is Coming To Your Netflix Queues

      “Seinfeld” will be available to stream on Netflix beginning in 2021 thanks to a new five-year distribution deal.

      All 180 episodes of the legendary sitcom, which ran from 1989 to 1998, will be available to Netflix users worldwide, the streaming giant announced Monday.

      In the U.S., the show currently streams on Hulu, which has held the streaming rights since 2015. Amazon Prime Video distributes the show internationally.

      To acquire the streaming rights from Sony Pictures Television, which syndicates “Seinfeld,” Netflix outbid several other competitors, including Hulu, Amazon and the sitcom’s own network, NBC, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the deal.

      Created by and starring Jerry Seinfeld as a fictional version of himself, the NBC show went on to influence numerous other comedy series, particularly shows directly drawing from the creators’ own lives and points of view. It has also developed new generations of fans through syndication and streaming.

      Netflix recently lost the streaming rights to several other celebrated shows, including “The Office” and “Friends,” which similarly found new generations of viewers on Netflix.

      When its deal with Netflix lapses in 2021, “The Office” will stream on NBC Universal’s forthcoming streaming service. Starting next year, “Friends” will stream on HBO Max, a new streaming service from WarnerMedia, which owns Warner Bros. Television, the distribution company behind “Friends.” In the coming years, TV viewers can expect to see more shows move to different streaming platforms as competition for new streaming services heats up.

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      Lizzo Is 100 Percent That Bitch: Todays Best Pop Star

      NEWSLETTERS
      The Daily Beasts Obsessed
      Everything we cant stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.
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      This week:

      • Living for Lizzo
      • John Travolta, LOL
      • Turns out: I love puppets!
      • If you thought Id ever shut up about Designing Women
      • I laughed so hard at this. You may not find it funny at all.
      Worshipping at the Church of Lizzo

      I had another great check-in this week with my therapist, Lizzo.

      Yes, it was in part because of her songs, which play on constant loop through big-ass headphones I wear at the office all day so that no one will approach me. Her music doubles as aural antidepressantsinstantaneous mood lifterscarrying me through the most difficult parts of the week. (I spent all Wednesday thinking it was Thursday.)

      But theres something about Lizzo, her music, her celebrity, her success, her specific talents, her humor, her style, her messageher entiretythat makes her the perfect pop star for this moment in time. That much was more clarifying than ever this week at the MTV Video Music Awards, where she performed and delivered a sermon in front of a massive inflatable twerking ass. (Watch it here.)

      She began by singing her hit single, Truth Hurts, a capella, before melting into a dance move I can only describe as feeling yourself. Soon she was making her ass clap in unison with her background dancers, before exploding into a particularly ebullient rendition of Good as Hell. As the anthemic joy threatened to shatter the arena roof, she mounted a hot pink platform and, with her ensemble of fabulous, inclusive dancers flanking her and the 17-foot-tall butt looming behind her, preached to the people.

      Let me talk to you all for a second, she said. Im tired of the bullshit. And I dont have to know your story to know that youre tired of the bullshit, too. Its so hard to love yourself in a world that doesnt love you back, am I right? So I want to take this opportunity right now to just feel good as hell. Because you deserve to feel good as hell!

      At that moment, I did. I did feel good as hell. Ive felt that way again the 47 times Ive watched the performance this week.

      I dont know if it will rank among all the gimmicky, shock-value VMA performances of legendthough, what with the assless costumes, house-sized billowing booty, and expletives, it would still have fallen squarely in the all-important category of things on MTV my mother would not have allowed me to watch as a kid. But it is a spectacular, important performance, and one of the most rewatchable award show sets Ive seen in recent memory.

      After the show, Lizzo posted a clip of the performance on Instagram with a caption that summed up its importance better than I could:

      Every woman on that stage had a story of either why they shouldnt have been on that stage or why they didnt believe they deserved to be on that stage, including myself. Imposter syndrome is a privilege to the most marginalized group in America. Not only were we taught to believe we didnt belong in the spotlight, but when we finally get to a place [of] self-worth the world tries to knock us down. Not this time. The world smiled with us. The world sang us. The world saw our beauty last night. The world saw black women feeling Good As Hell and cheered us on.

      I dont know about other people, but Lizzo resonates with me, yes, because of her message of self-love and positivity, and the refreshing humor and vulgarity with which she wields her affirmations. (My favorite tweet on the subject: Im so done with being insecure I cannot be letting Lizzo down like this anymore.) But its not a tunnel-vision mindset.

      Shes not saying that the things about her, about ourselves, that we are insecure about or feel dismissed because of, dont matter. Shes acknowledging that they do, that it registers constantly what people say, think, or judge about us, and overcoming that is a daily, moment by moment decision. That we make that decision is worth celebrating, because we deserve to make that decision.

      Whats so great about Lizzo and her songs being so cheeky and playful is that she has the indisputable talent to back it up. Her lyrics are genius wordplay. (Why men great until they gotta be great is *chefs kiss* brilliant.) Her vocals are fantastic. She has exceptional instincts for stage presence and wit. (Calling it the Tiny-ass Desk Concert, I mean) Oh, and shes a classically trained flautist. (If you dont follow her flute, Sasha, on Instagram, you are missing out.)

      Im not sure that, in a vacuum, I could have known, or certainly not articulated, that the pop star I would want most in 2019 is one able to pause a dance break to riff on her flute while twerking. But, oh my, is it that exact thing.

      Speaking of the VMAs…

      John Travolta, for some reason, presented at the awards this year. Gen Z: Huge fans of Welcome Back, Kotter. In any case, He Who Birthed Adele Dazeem continues to be the most tragic celebrity award presenter whenand this is so good you just cant make it upTaylor Swift won an award for her You Need to Calm Down music video and he tried to give the trophy to the drag queen that plays her in the video instead.

      Its just the most wonderfully embarrassing thing ever, but also the most uplifting. Good for you, Jade Jolie! Swift reportedly laughed it all off. I mean, with such CONFIDENCE, Danny Zuko tries to give this drag queen the award. He is so certain that it is Taylor Swift. Or, as he likes to refer to her, The talented and lover-ly, Trudy Schrump!

      Im Shocked By How Much I Like Netflixs The Dark Crystal

      I have never seen The Dark Crystal, the cult 1982 film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz that takes place in some dark fantasy Lord of the Rings-meets-aliens world and stars a bunch of puppets. When Netflix announced a new prequel series to the film that sees the Jim Henson Company revisiting The Dark Crystal universe but this time with all the modern advancements in puppet and CGI technology that 2019 affords, I thought, Hm. Sounds great. Not for me though!

      Well, based on word of mouth from critics I respect, I watched advanced screeners of the first half of the new show. It turns out: Very much for me!

      Im gonna use some hyperbolic words now. Know that I recognize this. That said, it is one of the most astonishing technical achievements and most visually wondrous television series I have ever seen. The puppets, people, the puppets! There is gorgeous CGI, of course, for the scenery. But the characters, the puppets, are all real and practical. The world-building is so smart and creative that it made no difference at all that I had never seen the movie and had no idea what the hell I was getting into when I started watching.

      More, this prequel, titled The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance, boasts a stirring, resonant story, one with themes of oppression, fascism, the hubris of power, gaslighting, and the abuse of the marginalized that are, ahem, PRETTY TIMELY. That something this whimsical could still be so dark without losing an ounce of tenderness or spectacle is admirable. Then again, thats Jim Henson for you.

      Watch Designing Women, You Jerks!

      Everyone keeps asking me what my Labor Day plans are and Im offended, taken aback that not only are my plans not obvious, but that everyone else does not have the same. I will not be moving from my couch until I have finished bingeing every single episode of the seminal 90s sitcom Designing Women, which has finally been made available for streaming on Hulu.

      If you have not seen this show beforeHOMOPHOBIA!!!it stars Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Jean Smart, and Annie Potts (aka the four women who will be meeting me when I cross through the pearly gates of heaven) as headstrong steel magnolias working at the fictional Sugarbaker design firm in Georgia.

      You have not lived until you have seen Dixie Carter torpedo her way through a righteous, hyper-feminist monologue; or marveled at how Delta Burke humanizes a ditzy pageant queen; or lost your breath laughing at Jean Smarts beleagured line deliveries; or felt seen, regardless of age, gender, or the thickness of your southern accent, as Annie Potts triumphs through life as a hardworking, fast-talking working mom.

      The show is responsible for two of my favorite episodes of television ever, Killing All the Right People and The Beauty Contest. If youre not sure if the show is for you, start there. Happy Labor Day.

      This Is the Funniest Thing Ive Seen All Week

      Youre either going to die laughing and rewatch 100 times, or have no clue what the hell anyone who made this Twitter video go viral is thinking. (Watch here.)

      What to watch this week:

      The Dark Crystal: Did you not read my review?

      Wu-Tang: An American Saga: The story of the greatest rap group ever, now available for your bingeing desires.

      What to skip this week:

      Carnival Row: Great fairy wings, beautiful wings.

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      Do Richard Curtis Rom-Coms Exist in New Four Weddings?

      The plot of writer-director Richard Curtiss high-concept summer romantic comedy Yesterday blared loudly enough from the trailers and onslaught of marketing for most people to garner the plot: A freak blackout somehow erases the existence of The Beatles from the world. Only one person remembers their songs and their legacy, passing them off as his own in an attempt to become a music star.

      But if youve seen Yesterday, you know that its not only The Beatles that no longer exist. Some make sense: No Oasis, as their music certainly descends from the Fab Fours sound. (Though Ed Sheeran inexplicably escapes that fate.) Other pop culture tenets that have been erased, however, are utterly random and nonsensical. No Coca-Cola. No Harry Potter.

      That aspect of the film inspired a parlor game amid film critics and journalists obsessed with trying to understand what does and does not exist according to the random rules of Richard Curtis Yesterday universe. After we joked that maybe Curtis films themselves may not existremember how pivotal the song All You Need Is Love is to the plot of Love Actually?The Huffington Posts Matt Jacobs asked Curtis that very question.

      His response: Oh, well, thats very good. Im going to take that on now. If anyone else says what else has happened, I will say, Love Actually is out. I think the truth is we would have found another song that could have gone into the church scene.

      Anyway, the whole reason for bringing this up is the recent Hulu adaptation of Curtis 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral, executive produced by Mindy Kaling and with Tracey Wigfield as showrunner.

      The new series is an updated story loosely based on the films plot, but, in addition, also includes blatant references to some of Curtis other films, like Notting Hill and Love Actually. (In the first episode, for example, one character greets her friend at the airport with heartfelt messages written across a series of white poster board, as in the iconic To me, you are perfect scene from Love Actually.)

      It begs a similar question: Do Richard Curtis movies exist in the universe of Hulus Four Weddings and a Funeral?

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      Wigfield doubles over with laughter when I ask her this. Turns out, its a version of a question shes been forced to consider before.

      When she was a writer on 30 Rock, Jennifer Aniston guested in an episode as an old friend of Tina Feys Liz Lemon and fleeting love interest for Alec Baldwins Jack Donaghy. The script for the episode, however, also contained a joke with a reference to Friends. How could Friends exist in a world, albeit fictional, in which Aniston is an entirely different person?

      At 30 Rock we used to call this a Goofy Pluto, Wigfield explains, using the Aniston/Friends conundrum as an example. In the world of Disney characters, Pluto is a dog and is Mickeys pet, while Goofy is a dog yet is Mickeys anthropomorphic friend. How can both things be true?

      No, I think none of them exist, she says about Curtis film in her Four Weddings universe. Only because we borrow so heavily from them I feel somebody would be like, Wait a minute, this was in Notting Hill!

      When I mention that maybe the character not only knew to do the white poster board thing because she saw Love Actually, but also how meaningful it would be to her friend, Wigfield pauses.

      Maybe she got it from that, she says. Oh god, I didnt even think about that. Rom-coms exist, of course. They have a rom-com costume party. I think we were thoughtful about that, that it cant be too meta. Like no one can be Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral at the rom-com party.

      (For the record, MacDowell guest stars later in the season as one characters mother.)

      Curtis is an executive producer on the Hulu series, and gave Kaling his blessing when she was first approached about adapting the film. Wigfield says that he sent them some early footage of Four Weddings, when they were breaking the story in case it would be helpful. His blessing and interest helped, Wigfield says. But so did his sway.

      He pitched a song for the end of the second episode, and we were totally over on our music budget, she says. But we were like, But Richard pitched it, and theyre like, Alright, well write the check.

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