Bleats

Hey Karamo Brown, Here's A Reminder Of The Hell Sean Spicer Peddled

No makeover can cover up this mess.

Sean Spicer. He’s that guy who repeatedly lied to the public on behalf of his old mate Donald Trump, left the big white building and is now salsa dancing his ruffles onto American TV screens on Dancing With The Stars.

Yeah, people are hellbent on making fallen politicians cute.

Spicer has made a fair amount of enemies along the road, but he has one unlikely ally: Karamo Brown from Queer Eye’s Fab Five.

Brown, who also appears on Dancing With The Stars, told Access in August that “people would look at [Spicer and I] and think that we’re polar opposites.”

“But I’m a believer that if you can talk to someone and meet in the middle, you can learn about each other and help each other both grow.” Brown even called Spicer a “good guy, really sweet guy.” 

It’s not the first time Brown has defended the former White House Press Secretary. Just this week, the Queer Eye star told PEOPLE, “my goal coming into this was to introduce myself to people who have never seen Queer Eye, to let them know who I am…and also, my goal has always been to show how if you can show kindness and lead with love, things can change.”

“Day one I got backlash [for supporting Sean Spicer]” he said. “I started this show with people telling me, ‘You’re horrible, you’re crazy, you’re stupid.’ Because I showed someone who has a different political view than mine kindness.” 

It’s a romantic idea, to think that putting opposites together could encourage positive change, but unfortunately, it won’t erase the damage Sean Spicer has already done.

Let’s not forget that Spicer made a false claim just one day after Trump’s inauguration and two days before his first official press conference. Spicer claimed the ceremony had drawn “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period – both in person and around the globe,” which was later found to be complete BS.

This is, of course, where Kellyanne Conway’s infamous “alternative facts” phrase came from. 

Just three months later, in a statement referencing the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, Spicer said: “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Not only were his comments criticised for denying the realities of the Holocaust, but he made them during Passover – only adding insult to injury. 

Perhaps it’s Sean Spicer’s, and more specifically, the Trump Administration’s stance on LGBTQ issues that makes Karamo Brown’s defence that much more hard to believe. Despite Trump’s promise at the 2016 Republican National Convention that he would “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens,” Spicer has been part of an administration that according to American Civil Liberties Union rep Ian Thompson is “easily the most anti-LGBT administration in at least a generation.”

“They are hard at work trying to dismantle and erase every gain LGBT people have made since 2009,” Thompson told The Hill in 2017.

A member of an LGBT group shouts slogans as anti-US President Donald Trump placards are displayed during a rally south of Manila, 2017. Credit: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

In the first year of his presidency, the Trump administration tried to reinstate a ban on transgender people in the military, nominated multiple people to courts who have anti-LGBTQ records, directed federal lawyers to take the anti-LGBTQ side in court cases and even refused to recognise Pride Month, according to Vox

Karamo Brown’s intentions are good, but it’s important to acknowledge the reality of the situation – that Sean Spicer hasn’t had the LGBTQ community’s best interests at heart. It’s harsh, but it’s the truth.

Twitter Bans Political Ads, What's Your Move Zuckerberg?

Balls in your court, Facebook.

The ball is officially in Facebook’s court after Twitter founder Jack Dorsey announced today that he’d be banning all political advertising on Twitter. 

“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.” he tweeted earlier this morning.

In a lengthy thread, Dorsey said that political decisions should “not be compromised by money” and that Internet political ads present challenges like “machine learning-based optimisation or messaging, micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes.”

Dorsey said it’s “not credible” for Twitter to say they’re working to stop people spreading misleading information, but accept payment to target people with someone’s political ads. 

The Twitter founder said that “regulators need to think past the present pay to ensure a level playing field.” In a final note, Dorsey said Twitter’s move to ban political ads isn’t about free expression, “it’s about paying for reach.”

“Paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle,” he wrote.

While Dorsey added there would be a few exceptions, including the allowance of “ads in support of voter registration,” it’s a big move for Twitter – especially considering the 2020 United States presidential election kicks off in less than a week

Twitter’s ban on political ads also comes one week after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the social media platform’s political advertising policies. 

During her line of questioning, AOC asked Zuckerberg, “so you won’t take down lies, or you will take down lies? It’s a pretty simple yes or no.” 

Zuckerberg told the congresswoman it “depended on the context” and during Facebook’s Q3 2019 earnings call today he said he doesn’t agree with “critics” who claim the company won’t ban ads because “all we care about is money.” 

“We need to be careful about adopting more rules that can restrict what people can say,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right for politicians to be censored.” 

Twitter isn’t the first big player to take the lead in banning political ads. This month, Google banned political advertising in Canada ahead of the country’s election and video sharing platform TikTok put an end to political ads as well. 

Looks like it’s your move, Zuckerberg.

Olivia Wilde Is Justifiably Pissed This Airline Cut Lesbian Scene From 'Booksmart'

This is not okay.

Booksmart was undoubtedly one of 2019’s best films. It explored the importance of female friendships, sexuality and coming of age in a realistic and refreshing light that made viewers laugh, cry and feel like their awkward teen years were that much more relatable. 

One of the film’s most memorable scenes was when (spoiler alert) Amy, played by Kaitlyn Devers, and Hope, played by Diana Silvers, have sex in a bathroom during a party – which abruptly ends with Amy puking everywhere.

Over the weekend, a Twitter user notified Booksmart director Olivia Wilde that an unidentified airline had edited the lesbian sex scene out of the film. 

“This is truly a bummer,” Wilde responded on Twitter. “There is no nudity in this scene. What makes it too obscene for airplane viewing? What airline?”

Speaking to Variety in a later interview, Wilde said, “I don’t understand it. There’s censorship airline to airline of films. There must be some kind of governing board to determine. We rated a certain way. If it’s not X rated, surely it’s acceptable on an airplane.”

“There’s insane violence of bodies being ripped in half and yet a love scene between two women is censored from the film. It’s such an integral part of the character’s journey. My heart just broke. I don’t understand. It’s confusing,” she added.

Booksmart actress Beanie Feldstein also weighed in on the airline’s editing choice, telling Variety, “We’re on the case to get this rectified. Our movie is a beautiful representation of the queer experience as young people. I’m a queer person. So we’re getting to the bottom of it. If you can watch me and Skyler [Gisondo] kiss, you can watch Kaitlyn and Diana kiss.”

It’s pretty disappointing that the airline decided to remove one of the most important scenes from Booksmart, but it’s not the first time this has happened. In 2016, a scene from Carol in which Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara kiss was cut from the in-flight entertainment on Delta Airlines. 

One Twitter user pointed out that while the romantic same-sex kissing scene was cut from Carol, Paul Giamatti’s BDSM scene in Billions was still viewable mid-flight. These double-standards are not only extremely offensive to the LGBTQI+ community but frankly, they’re outdated. 

It sounds like it’s time for the film studios and the airlines to simply do better.

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