Bleats

Shock, Horror! Brad Pitt Spends Time With Female Friend

Are they dating? Maeby, Maeby not.

Now don’t panic folks but we have some big news: Hollywood star Brad Pitt has been spotted spending time with *checks notes* a female friend. And not just a female friend but Arrested Development star Alia Shawkat!

Eagle-eyed onlookers spotted Brad (and his now trademark newsboy cap) hanging out with Alia at a Los Angeles art gallery, where they mingled, looked at a bunch of art pieces, and generally had a good time.

It could be just a coincidence but alas, some folks (via The Cut) have dug up old paparazzi shots of the duo attending Ethan Cohan’s A Play Is a Poem back in September.

Okay, so Brad’s been single after splitting with Angelina Jolie, Alia’s, uh, female, and they’ve been hanging out a lot recently, therefore they must – MUST – totally be dating. It’s just simple logic, y’all.

Sarcasm aside, there are two possibilities to this unexpected pairing. Either Brad Pitt and Alia Shawkat are dating and have been for a few months, or the pair are just friends who bonded over their love of art and the work of Ethan Cohan.

And as it turns out (unsurprisingly), it’s the latter scenario that’s at play here.

According to “sources” who spilled the tea to E! News, Brad and Alia are just mates who like hanging out at art galleries and are most certainly not a couple. Sorry to disappoint all those who follow the Hollywood gossip train like a hawk.

The hooplah surrounding this whole thing is truly fascinating because whenever two Hollywood stars are spotted hanging out – especially if one of them is Brad Pitt and the other is a female – the public’s immediate reaction is to think that they’re dating.

It’s almost like people forget that Hollywood stars aren’t people who have friends whose company they enjoy without feeling the need to bang them. Surely folks have seen enough romcoms to understand that it is possible for a man and a woman to be just pals.

So in short, Brad Pitt was spotted hanging out with a female friend. That’s it, that’s all there is to it.

It is at this point I feel like I should also clarify the rumours: I am also not dating Brad Pitt.

That’s A Hard Pass On Rebel Wilson’s K-Pop Film, Thank You

There's no reason for this to exist.

Looks like Scarlett Johansson is off the hook (for now) as Hollywood’s cultural appropriation punching bag because Rebel Wilson has decided to throw her hat in that problematic ring by making a movie about K-pop.

Yup.

According to Deadline, Rebel Wilson is writing, producing and starring in a film titled Seoul Girls, which tells the story of a “Korean American high school girl” who enters a competition with her friends to become an opening act for the world’s biggest K-pop boy band (clearly a BTS reference here) and they enlist the help from “an ex-member of a British girl group and a former K-pop trainee” to do it.

Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here.

Having a white Australian woman being the brains behind a film about K-pop isn’t exactly a tick in the cultural sensitivity box. Sure the movie has a Korean female lead and the script was given a “recent revision” by Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim, but based on Hollywood’s history of cultural appropriation, that’s nothing more than a bandaid over the gaping representation wound that threatens to burst open.

That’s not to say that an American-made K-pop film that’ll touch upon themes like cultural appropriation, Asian representation and racism can’t be done well – Crazy Rich Asians pulled it off with aplomb – but is Rebel Wilson and her brand of “humour” the best option to tell a story that’s certainly going to touch upon all those aforementioned issues?

Look, we’re jumping the gun here because we simply don’t know all the details about this K-pop movie yet. It may well turn out to be another Crazy Rich Asians moment that’s had the help of Wilson’s Hollywood clout.

But based on her history and her body of work, the chances of Rebel Wilson making a K-pop film that’s respectful to Asian culture is about as slim as the members of BTS.

This movie is almost certainly going to be made at some point given the K-pop wave that’s washing over the world at the moment and everyone wanting to surf it before it slows down, but Seoul Girls has all the signs of a project that no one asked for or wanted.

Someone, Somewhere Thought Julia Roberts Playing A Black Woman Was OK

Oh Hollywood, you've done it again.

Let me throw a scenario in your direction. It’s 1993, a Hollywood big wig is reading your script about Harriet Tubman, a black woman who was a former slave and later became an icon for the civil rights movement for African Americans back in the early 20th century. They love the script and will make it into a move… but only if Julia Roberts, a white woman, played Harriet.

Well folks, this ridiculous scenario actually happened and isn’t some fiction made up by a Hollywood screenwriter.

Gregory Allen Howard, screenwriter for the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, spilled the tea during a Q&A with Focus Pictures, saying that the film was set up at Disney back in 1993. After penning the script, he was told by a studio head that his work was great but they wanted to “get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman” because she was the biggest actress in Hollywood at the time.

Howard noted (via The Los Angeles Times) that the sole black person other than himself in that (presumably tense) meeting pointed out that perhaps getting a white woman to play a black woman wasn’t the best idea, only to be told by studio head, “That was so long ago. No one will know that.”

The project ultimately stalled for many years, perhaps for the better given the climate in Hollywood at the time. However, Howard pointed to two films that helped make his Harriet Tubman biopic a reality.

First was 12 Years A Slave, which won critical acclaim and made a big pile of money, and the second was Black Panther, which also got great reviews and made even more money. Both these films proved to the Hollywood suits that black people can indeed sell movie tickets and it ultimately helped give Harriet the greenlight.

Now at this point in time, Hollywood had changed a smidge and casting tastes have changed meaning Julia Roberts was no longer an option. Howard ultimate chose Cynthia Erivo, an ridiculously talented African British actress to play Harriet, presumably because Scarlett Johansson was too busy or something.

So if you’re ever feeling like you’ve said something dumb, just remember that some idiot in Hollywood (who was likely a racist) thought it was a good idea to have Julia Roberts play one of the most famous black women in history.

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