Bleats

White Celebs ‘Take Responsibility’ For Racism But Did It Miss The Mark?

The new video is receiving plenty of mixed reactions.

This week, the NAACP partnered with an a-list lineup of celebrities on a new video that encourages white people to “take responsibility” for perpetuating and ignoring racism. It’s an incredibly powerful message, but it’s already receiving plenty of mixed reactions. 

The black-and-white video features Sarah Paulson, Julianne Moore, Justin Theroux, Stanley Tucci, Aaron Paul, Kristen Bell, Mark Duplass, Bryce Dallas Howard, Debra Messing, Ilana Glazer, Kesha, Bethany Joy Lenz, Piper Perabo and more, who each take responsibility for allowing racism to happen in their presence via silence or inaction.

“Our friends. Our family. We are done watching them die. We are no longer bystanders. We will not be idle. Enough is enough,” Piper Perabo says. 

“I will no longer allow an unchecked moment. I will no longer allow racist hurtful words, jokes, stereotypes, no matter how big or small to be uttered in my presence,” Stanley Tucci adds.

Speaking of brands supporting Black Lives Matter, hear about some of the recent tone-deaf statements below:

In a statement via The Hollywood Reporter, NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson said, “In order for us as a nation to get to a better place, we’re going to have to adjust how we see each other and engage in open and honest conversations that might be painful at times.”

“It is powerful when white people can speak openly about the individual and structural racism and privilege that deny others their full rights,” he continued. “We need everyone to join us on the frontline in the fight for justice and equality.”

While some social media users praised the ‘I Take Responsibility’ video for sparking an important conversation about racism, others slammed it for being cringeworthy and a hollow gesture. 

Some even likened the video to Gal Gadot’s celebrity singalong of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ which was released in March.

Gadot’s video featured an equally-as-famous lineup of celebrities and was intended to help people get through coronavirus lockdowns, but it copped major backlash for being incredibly tone-deaf.

At the end of the ‘I Take Responsibility’ video, viewers are encouraged to take action at itakeresponsibility.org and make change by demanding police accountability, supporting organisations on the front lines, donating to families affected or by mobilising voting efforts.

Credit: ITakeResponsibility.org

While the video is being criticised for being somewhat ‘performative’, one Twitter user pointed out “at least they’re trying to help,” which is a valid point. The question is – is it enough?

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Who Is Alison Roman And Why Is She The Centre Of So Many Controversies?

From Bon Appétit drama to beef with Chrissy Teigen.

Keep hearing the name ‘Alison Roman’ but don’t know why? We need to start right at the beginning.

Yesterday, the YouTube and social media-loving world was rocked by the news of racist allegations against Bon Appétit boss Adam Rapaport.

Rapaport, who worked as editor-in-chief of popular foodie magazine (and YouTube channel) Bon Appétit, landed in hot water earlier this week after a photo of him sporting brown face resurfaced on social media. 

Things only got worse after a number of BIPOC chefs called out Bon Appétit for racial issues, and for not being paid the same as their white colleagues. 

The controversy set off a chain reaction of social media accusations and statements in support of BIPOC members of staff, but it also blew the lid open on the alleged racist actions of another former Bon Appétit staff member, Alison Roman. 

Plenty of brands have made tone-deaf statements on Black Lives Matter, listen below:

On Monday, writer Yashar Ali shared a MySpace photo of Roman “dressed up as a Chola.” “Note her hoop earrings, fake tattoo on her chest, and her makeup,” Ali wrote.

The word ‘Chola’ refers to a part of a Mexican-American subculture with distinctive style and aesthetic, according to Insider. It has been appropriated in racist costumes, and the word itself is sometimes used as a derogatory term. 

After Roman copped major backlash for the costume, she apologised via a tweet which read, “This incredibly embarrassing picture was taken in 2008, I was 23 & living in SF, this was my “SF inspired Amy Winehouse” costume for Halloween- it reads as culturally insensitive, and I was an idiot child who knew nothing about the world/how this would be perceived and I’m sorry.”

In another tweet, Roman said she had donated over $4,000 and raised over $22,000 for national and local bail funds for Black Lives Matter organisations. 

Whether her costume was culturally insensitive, or ‘inspired’ by Amy Winehouse, it’s not the first time Alison Roman has found herself at the centre of a controversy.

During an interview with The New Consumer last month, Roman spoke about trying to create a bigger business for herself without selling out and in the process, called out both Marie Kondo and Chrissy Teigen. 

Roman said she enjoys cooking “because you’re making something, but it goes away. Like the idea that when Marie Kondo decided to capitalise on her fame and make stuff that you can buy, that is completely antithetical to everything she’s ever taught you…”

“I’m like, damn, b*tch, you f*cking just sold out immediately! Someone’s like ‘you should make stuff,’ and she’s like, ‘okay, slap my name on it, I don’t give a sh*t,’” she added.

She also shared her thoughts on Chrissy Teigen’s cookware line, and said what she has done “is so crazy to me.” 

“She had a successful cookbook. And then it was like: Boom, line at Target. Boom, now she has an Instagram page that has over a million followers where it’s just, like, people running a content farm for her. That horrifies me and it’s not something that I ever want to do. I don’t aspire to that. But like, who’s laughing now? Because she’s making a ton of f*cking money,” she said

Roman’s comments did not go down well with Teigen, who said her cookbook “isn’t a ‘machine’ or ‘farmed content’ – it’s me and two other women.” 

“I didn’t ‘sell out’ by making my dreams come true,” she tweeted, later adding, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so bummed out by the words of a fellow food-lover.”

Roman eventually apologised to Teigen, describing her comments as “flippant” and “careless” but it was too little, too late. It didn’t take long for fans to express their disappointment that Roman had singled out two women of colour with her comments – while excluding wealthy white women, like Gwyneth Paltrow, from the narrative.

Roman attempted to clarify her comments and also issued another lengthy apology to Teigen and Kondo, which read in part, “I need to learn, and respect, the difference between being unfiltered and honest vs. being uneducated and flippant.” 

She also said “I am a white woman who has and will continue to benefit from white privilege and I recognise that makes what I said even more hurtful.”

Two weeks later, Alison Roman’s column in the New York Times went ‘on temporary leave.’ Insider reports that she has since started a newsletter for her recipes and her column will be returning, but there’s no denying the magnitude of controversy surrounding Roman in such a short space of time.

As for Adam Rapaport, he’s officially resigned from his position at Bon Appétit in wake of the allegations. 

If anything, it’s just another reminder to think before you tweet – or talk – and check your privilege. Most importantly, treat people with kindness.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Was A Tidal Wave Of Backlash The 'Wake Up Call' Lea Michele Needed?

"She wants to handle things responsibly."

It’s been a week since Glee star Lea Michele was dragged through the mud by her former co-stars for treating them like crap, and it appears she’s finally ready to face the backlash.

In case you missed the drama, Michele’s former co-stars including Samantha Ware, Amber Riley, Alex Newell, Heather Morris and Gerard Canonico called her out last week for being a “nightmare” to work with and exhibiting some grade A ‘mean girl’ behaviour.

Hear all about the Lea Michele controversy below:

Following the backlash, Michele issued a classic non-apology – but according to Page Six, she’s also been desperately trying to make amends.

“She’s had a real wake-up call,” a friend of Michele’s told The Post. “It’s never easy to hear people speak about you this way. It’s a total shock.”

“Lea was a b*tch to a lot of people who are now taking the opportunity to come forward,” an industry source who has worked with Michele told the publication. “She may not be the nicest person, but she’s not racist, sexist or transphobic. I would say she has behavioural issues that she’s dealing with.”

“She is listening, she hears what everyone says and wants to apologise. That is her past and she wants to handle things responsibly,” they added.

Michele’s reported epiphany isn’t the only positive thing to come out of the drama. Samantha Ware’s accusations against Michele sparked a wider conversation around the deep-rooted racism that exists in Hollywood.

In an Instagram Live interview with Danielle Young, Michele’s Glee co-star Amber Riley said “I am not going to say Lea Michele is racist. That was the assumption, because of what’s going on right now in the world and it happened toward a black person.” 

However, she also revealed that she had received multiple DMs from other black actors “letting me know they dealt with the same things, and were terrorised by the white girls that were the leads of the show.”

“We all know that a person of colour and a black person is always the sidekick,” she said. Riley spoke about the “culture of Hollywood” and hearing stories of white women “using their privilege and the fact they’re ‘not fireable’” to terrorise their counterparts, but ultimately, had a clear response to the Lea Michele backlash.

“I don’t give a shit about this Lea Michele thing,” she said. “I don’t want to be asked about it…. People are out here dying, being murdered by police. Trans women are being murdered at the hands of men, who are upset about being trans-attracted.”

It sounds like Lea Michele has a long way to go in realising the full impact of her words and actions but if the reports are true, at least it’s a step in the right direction. Clearly, there are also far more pressing issues at hand – including the consistent pattern of racism in Hollywood, and within society at large.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us