TIME Minnesota

Dentist Who Killed Cecil the Lion Writes Letter Apologizing to His Patients

"I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion"

The Minnesota dentist who is the target of international outrage for killing a beloved lion in Zimbabwe wrote a letter to his patients this week apologizing for any inconvenience the media attention has caused.

Dr. Walter Palmer lured Cecil the lion with a dead animal attached to a car during a hunting trip with guides. The lion was shot with a bow and arrow and then a gun before he was beheaded and skinned. In the letter, published by Fox 9, Palmer explains that he had no idea the lion was part of a study and that he will cooperate with U.S. and Zimbabwean authorities.

Here is the letter’s full text:

To my valued patients: As you may have already heard, I have been in the news over the last few days for reasons that have nothing to do with my profession or the care I provide for you. I want you to know of this situation and my involvement. In addition to spending time with my family, one of my passions outside dentistry is hunting. I’ve been a life-long hunter since I was a child growing up in North Dakota. I don’t often talk about hunting with my patients because it can be a divisive and emotionally charged topic. I understand and respect that not everyone shares the same views on hunting.

In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have.

Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion. That was never my intention. The media interest in this matter – along with a substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general – has disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients. For that disruption, I apologize profoundly for this inconvenience and promise you that we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible. We are working to have patients with immediate needs referred to other dentists and will keep you informed of any additional developments. On behalf of all of us at River Bluff Dental, thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Walter J. Palmer, DDS River Bluff Dental

River Bluff Dental has taken down its Facebook page and website. The dentist’s Yelp page is filled with hate messages from people accusing Palmer of murder.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said in a statement that the killing of Cecil was likely illegal: “Ongoing investigations to date, suggest that the killing of the lion was illegal since the land owner was not allocated a lion on his hunting quota for 2015. Therefore, all persons implicated in this case are due to appear in court facing poaching charges.”

TIME Television

Actor Who Played Joffrey Thinks the Misogyny on Game of Thrones May Be ‘Unjust’

Jack Gleeson would also advocate for more male nudity on the show

Jack Gleeson, who played the cruel, woman-torturing Joffrey Baratheon on Game of Thrones, weighed in on the misogyny debate that has plagued the HBO show this season.

Since his character was one of the main perpetrators of the violence and sexual abuse of women on the show, Gleeson had a unique perspective on whether it should depict those actions as often as it does. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Gleeson said that he has not watched the series since he left because he cannot suspend his disbelief after being on set, so he cannot comment on the infamous Sansa rape scene. But Gleeson admitted that past representations of sexual violence may been “unfair.”

MORE: Maisie Williams on How Game of Thrones Treats Women and Her Dream Superhero Role

When asked if he found it difficult to film some of the scenes where he abused women, Gleeson replied:

Yeah, of course; it’s a tricky thing when you are representing misogyny in that way because I wouldn’t say the show ever implicitly condones misogyny or any kind of violence towards women. But, perhaps, it’s still unfair or unjust to represent it even if the gloss on the representation is a negative one.

Obviously as a 23-year-old man, I can never put myself into the mindset of a woman who has been sexually assaulted, but I think that sometimes you have to represent awful things happening onscreen even if they’re for entertainment because you have to expose the brutality of them, because the chances are you’re not going to see that anywhere. So there’s a chance it engages some kind of empathy but it is a gray area. It might be very traumatic and stressful to watch those scenes.

The show has also come under fire—like many HBO shows before it—for excessive female nudity. Despite not being a regular viewer, Gleeson said he supports the instances of male nudity he’s heard about from friends and colleagues.

As I say, I don’t watch it so I can’t really comment, but I have heard that there is male nudity — so I think that is one good thing, to not just objectify women but also objectify the beauty of the male genitalia! We’re all objects together.

The 23-year-old Gleeson said last year that he plans to retire from acting.

MORE: Sophie Turner on Defending Sansa Stark and Her Surprising Dream Role

[Daily Beast]

TIME Television

Marvel Will Release a New Netflix Show Every 6 Months

Barry Wetcher— Netflix, Inc. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock in the Netflix Original Series “Marvel’s Daredevil”

Jessica Jones will premiere before the end of 2015

Though the next Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War, won’t premiere until May, more Marvel heroes are coming to your streaming queue—and soon. Netflix announced at the Television Critics Association summer meeting on Tuesday that it will be rolling out a new Marvel superhero series every six months.

Marvel and Netflix teamed up to bring five separate shows to the streaming service, focusing on a group of comic book heroes called The Defenders, a street-level Avengers team. The first in the series, Daredevil, premiered in April. Jessica Jones will be the next superhero to get a Netflix treatment before the end of 2015, followed by Iron Fist and Luke Cage, according to the Associated Press. After each has starred in their own series, all four will join forces for a Defenders show.

The announcement comes as anticipation for Jessica Jones, the first female superhero to headline her own Marvel project, grows. “I’ve been coming to Comic-Con for 12 years, and I think a lot of fans here have been eager to see more women onscreen for a long time,” Dawn Keiser, a 30-year-old Californian told TIME at San Diego Comic-Con in early July. “I was really happy to see the characters Karen and Claire become these heroes on Daredevil, but I really can’t wait for Jessica Jones to be the hero of her own show.”

Krysten Ritter, star of Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, will portray the first major female character with superpowers in a Marvel Studios project. Though Captain America character Peggy Carter stars in a 1940s-set Agent Carter on ABC, she has no powers—nor does Black Widow, the only female Avenger in the films. The first Marvel female superhero movie, Captain Marvel, won’t hit screens until 2018.

If the tone of Daredevil is any indication, Jessica Jones and the other Marvel Netflix shows will be much darker and bloodier than the one audiences know from films like Iron Man and The Avengers.


TIME Television

Another Period Shows How Historical Millionaires Were Just Like Reality Stars

The show's creators, Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome, explain the inspiration for their new series

After years on the comedy circuit, comedians Natasha Leggero (Chelsea Lately) and Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel and Oates) wanted to work together on a TV show they themselves would want to binge-watch. They had two ideas: a satirical reality show or a riff on a period piece. And then they thought: why not combine them both?

The concept for Another Period—think the Kardashians meets Downton Abbey—struck a chord with some of the best humorists in the biz: the two recruited for roles Drunk History creator Jeremy Konner to produce and the likes of Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Paget Brewster, Michael Ian Black, Chris Parnell and—as a servant that the Bellacourt sisters rename Chair—Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks. Snoop Dogg even agreed to do the theme music.

TIME caught up with Leggero and Lindhome to talk about how turn-of-the-century millionaires lived like rappers, how TV shows can survive in the YouTube era and skewering the “rape joke” debate.

TIME: You did a lot of research to make sure the show was going to be accurate. What were some of the most surprising things you learned about the turn of the century?

Riki Lindhome: In the last episode, there were a bunch of things based on reality that were all surprising to me. Our brother is appointed to be a senator. I didn’t realize the senate wasn’t elected then. It was just appointed. And then Sigmund Freud diagnoses our brother as homosexual, and he uses masturbation therapy to cure us of our hysteria. Those are all based on real things.

Natasha Leggero: When we went to Newport and would visit these houses that were around in the Gilded Age—it was this time period from 1900 to 1910 before there was income tax—people would live in these houses that would need 30 indoor servants and 20 outdoor servants just to keep it working. So you’d go see these places, and they wouldn’t want the servants to be seen, so sometimes they would be in the basement. But this one house we went to, they had them on the third floor of this mansion, and so that no one would see them they built a brick wall around all their bedroom windows so that when they would open up their windows they would just see brick.

Did you worry that there would be ludicrous aspects to the show that the audience wouldn’t believe was historically accurate even though they were?

Lindhome: We were at Comic-Con a few weekends ago, and I just ran into a few people I know. Somebody literally said, “It’s funny how you guys did no research and just made it all up.” I said, “What? No, that’s all real.” People definitely think we made more up than we did.

Having said that, there are definitely aspects you did make up or exaggerated for comedic effect.

Lindhome: Of course. So, for example, black face was a big entertainment thing at the time. It just felt overused and inappropriate. So we made up a thing called McFace because there was also a big prejudice toward Irish people at the time. We have a McFace performance where Natasha’s character wears a light face with freckles and a red nose and a Raggedy Ann wig.

Leggero: Most of the servants came from Ireland, Australia, France—so there was a lot of prejudice.

Your cast is a who’s who of comedy right now. What was your pitch to them?

Leggero: I think people saw it and saw it was funny. We got together with Jeremy Konner, who really helped us with the vision of it.

Lindhome: We made a 10 minute short of the show before we pitched it just because we knew what the tone was, but it was hard to necessarily tell what it was on the page. So we would send that around to people and send parts that we specifically wrote for them. We got very lucky. We got all of our first choices, which is really rare.

I don’t know how much overlap there is among the people who watch reality TV and people who watch BBC period shows. When you were conceiving the show, who did you decide your audience would be?

Leggero: Riki watches both of them. But I think that Riki and I started this show because we wanted to be in something that we would both watch. As we look at all the shows we’ve been a part of, how many of these would we actually stay home and watch? There were some, but not anywhere near a large enough percentage for how many credits both of us had. We wanted to make a show that we thought would be funny and the people we would perform for would think was funny.

Lindhome: It’s for smart people who like comedy more than a certain demographic.

Leggero: It’s not TV for people who just want to watch TV and turn their brain off. It’s entertaining and satirical and hilarious. We have all these amazing comedy performances. I think it’s for people who get comedy and want to see their favorite comedians.

Comedy Central has really had a renaissance in the last five years or so with these must-watch shows like Inside Amy Schumer and Key & Peele in addition to The Daily Show. But the thing that’s gotten these shows a lot of attention are viral YouTube clips of a one-minute sketch or a two-minute Jon Stewart bit. Is it harder for narrative comedies like yours to stand out in this world where fewer people are watching TV live and more people are surfing YouTube?

Lindhome: It is harder, and I think for us, it’s going to be more of a slow burn. I think we’re going to pick up fans as we go. Word of mouth has really been helping us. As far as viral videos go, it’s hard for a narrative show to have viral videos. But there’s a lot of hit narrative shows that don’t. Broad City on Comedy Central, or on network TV something like Big Bang Theory doesn’t have viral videos.

Leggero: There’s also a lot of very funny clips online. You probably lose a little something if you’re not watching the entire show, but we’re hoping that those clips are good enough on their own to get people to seek out the show.

We sat in the writers’ room for 10 weeks. We have 13 characters and would spend a whole week on one character and exhaust every possible storyline. Everything comes back around, and there’s this intersecting of story lines and an operatic element. So it’s worth checking out the relationships between these characters and their arcs.

We want people to get invested with these characters and take a break from watching people fight at the DMV. My boyfriend’s always watching these videos, and it’s always people fighting at a checkout or on a bus or babies twerking. I get it. That’s what we do online all day. But this so isn’t that. There’s nothing better than renting a season of a show and just lying in bed and watching the whole season and getting it. It’s such a great thing to be able to watch a series of something.

Lindhome: We want people to fall in love with our show the way they fell in love with Mad Men or Downton or Breaking Bad.

Leggero: Or Last Man on Earth or Transparent or Kimmy Schmidt. These aren’t shows where you want viral videos online of them.

The show has done a really good job of addressing modern day issues. In one episode where a character is raped or as they say, “ravished,” two other characters discuss whether “ravishing” jokes are ever appropriate and where the line is, which is obviously a big debate right now. Do you feel like it’s easier to talk about those issues in a historical show?

Lindhome: I think it does, in the same way that The Colbert Report has that same advantage of him taking the extreme right-wing view, and by doing that, arguing for the left-wing point. We take the view of certain people of that time period and show how ridiculous it was by vehemently going for it from that point of view. Like, the Bellacourt sisters are anti-suffragist. We just make it ridiculous.

Leggero: Because you know, those women existed at the time. But we also have the advantage where history is cyclical. Just in the same way the Gilded Age was this 10-year period where no one paid income tax and people were living like rappers—Carnegie had money in the billions in 1900—and then you look at today and see that people have legally figured out how to not pay income tax anymore. It’s like we’re entering this rich person gilded age again. Not to get too political, but it’s all repeating itself.

Final question: If you could choose a historical figure to give a reality show now, who would it be?

Leggero: Maybe Marie Antoinette? She seems excessive.

Lindhome: That’s kind of the inspiration for the show anyway.

TIME movies

Dear LeBron James: Please Make Space Jam 2

Maccabi Tel Aviv v Cleveland Cavaliers
David Liam Kyle—NBAE/Getty Images LeBron James

Don't listen to the haters

Hi LeBron,

We saw you just signed a big deal with Warner Bros. Don’t know if you’re aware, but that studio filed new trademarks for Space Jam last month. You’ve said it was one of your favorite movies as a kid and you might be interested in starring in a sequel, but you haven’t confirmed anything. You may still be considering whether or not to sign on to Space Jam 2, and we’re here to tell you it’s a great idea.

But first, we’re going to be straight with you. Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of you doing Space Jam 2. For example:

A lot of people are going to make jokes. But here’s the thing. You were really likable in Trainwreck. Your dedication to your family is admirable. And, haters gonna hate.

Space Jam 2 will be a modest hit no matter what. Children of the ’90s will see it. Basketball fans will see it. Kids will see it. Your kids will see it, which is great since I’m guessing they’re not old enough to watch Trainwreck yet.

It’s not like Space Jam is going to win you an Oscar, but it will probably be better than those cell phone commercials. Heck, if Space Jam was good enough for the best basketball player of all time, it’s good enough for you. (Yes, LeBron. I still think ’90s MJ could beat you. But I’m from Chicago, so don’t be too offended.)

You have to be careful, though. Not many athletes can succeed on the big screen. The few who do have never been afraid to have fun at their own expense. Look at Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, who happily stuffed his big frame into tutus in Tooth Fairy and hilariously busted through his own cast while flexing his muscular arms in Furious 6. Now he has his very own HBO show and summer blockbuster.

You did a bit of this in Trainwreck. The Downton Abbey bit and “Cleveland is for families”? That’s gold. But lean into it. Maybe make a joke about the whole obnoxious “not one, not two, not three…” thing in Space Jam 2. Just saying.

And if you do decide to do Space Jam 2, make sure a top notch team is onboard. (The return of Bill Murray to the franchise would be ideal, but I hear that guy can be elusive.) You started your career by working with two of the most brilliant comic minds in the industry—Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow. Work with that caliber of talent in the future or just say no. We don’t want another Kazam situation on our hands. Your endorsement deals will keep you afloat until a better offer comes along.

Now go beat those Monstars!

TIME Television

Rachel McAdams Has Always Wanted to Play Unlikable Women

"Southpaw" New York Premiere - Outside Arrivals
Jim Spellman—WireImage Rachel McAdams attends the "Southpaw" New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on July 20, 2015 in New York City.

The True Detective and Southpaw actress talks knife fighting, her Mean Girls character and whether True Detective is sexist

Returning from a photo shoot to a suite at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, Rachel McAdams drapes an oversized grey sweater over her bejeweled black dress and opts to go barefoot, kicking her heels into a corner. She’s sporting a more polished version of the short curly locks her character Ani wears on the second season of True Detective—a far cry from the ingenues she’s played in films like The Notebook, The Vow and Wedding Crashers. Lately McAdams has been fulfilling a career-long goal to take on grittier projects, including the HBO crime drama and the Jake Gyllenhaal boxing vehicle Southpaw, out July 24.

TIME sat down with the actress to talk learning to knife fight, the similarities between Ani from True Detective and Regina George from Mean Girls and whether she had concerns about claims that the first season of True Detective was sexist.

TIME: Your character’s weapon of choice of show is the knife. Did you have to train in knife fighting?

Rachel McAdams: It was a little unfamiliar to me, although my brother actually collected knives. So we always had them around, in a weird way. He was very responsible with them. They were his little treasures: he would clean them and take really good care of them. But I didn’t have any experience with knives.

I was working with a really in-demand martial artist, and he was working simultaneously on other films. So I would get a couple sessions in with him. But then one day I noticed my stunt double was throwing a knife around, and she was so proficient. She specialized in what I think was called close quarter prison knife fighting, and I asked her if she could train me.

We would go off and practice on our little wooden target man. We called him Woody. We’d tape up our knuckles and go to work. She was extraordinary: she’s tinier than I am, but really strong.

We talked about why she loves doing it but also what an intimate weapon it is. In order to be effective with it, you have to get so close to your enemy. It’s just so much different than a firearm.

Did that affect the way you played Ani?

Yeah. If she was ever going to be in a close quarter fight like that, she would have to be the best. [Show creator] Nic Pizzolatto gave me some samurai books to read. I think they’re featured in the first episode. So you know Ani is interested in the philosophy behind samurais as well.

I really liked the line where she says that she carries knives because men are physically stronger so if she’s attacked, it evens the playing field.

Me too. It was just very practical, and she saw the difference between the sexes so clearly. I really appreciated that. And she’s right, especially in her line of work. But as she said, she’d carry them whether she was police or not.

That frankness was refreshing. I know you’ve spoken about how you liked that she wasn’t charming. Why do you think it is so hard to find these female characters that can be an unlikable badass?

It seems like even if they are a badass, they still can’t be unlikable. You can be edgy in one way, but not all the way. I know that it’s a concern that you don’t want to lose your audience. With a film, you just don’t have time to build sympathy for the character. But I think we’re moving away from that in TV. With TV, you have a little more leeway to allow them to rise and fall and rise again and be much more complicated beings.

Ani kind of reminds me of Regina George in Mean Girls. Obviously, she’s not walking around with knives on her body.

She probably would.

But both characters are allowed to be unlikable and still sympathetic.

I like that because neither Regina nor Ani make any apologies for themselves. I think there’s something really powerful and refreshing about a woman who is unapologetic. But Regina used her powers for bad, and Ani at the end of the day tries to use her powers for good. So Regina really was a villain, and that’s the difference between her and Ani.

Unapologetic women are a little more fun to watch, and I’m sure more fun to play.

Very much so. You don’t have to tip toe around. You’re just not as self-conscious. You’re not judging from the outside as much and making sure that you’re getting just the right temperature. The more I can put Ani on her own island and isolate her, the better. And Nic was all for that.

I’m sure you were aware when you were offered this part that some people described the first season of True Detective as misogynistic. Did you have any concerns going into this season and did you express them to Nic?

This season felt like a clean slate to me. That was very liberating because there is a lot of attention on the first season, and therefore this season this well. You could really get into your head about that if you wanted to, and it wouldn’t serve you at all.

Still, people were going to be looking at you in this role and asking, “Does this meet the bar for a strong female character that was missing last season?” Did you talk with Nic about that pressure?

With any project I work on—not just True Detective—I don’t feel the need just to play a strong woman. I don’t want the audience to say, “Oh, she was so strong.” I want to play characters that are flawed and interesting.

For True Detective, Nic and I always just kind of talked character, not the bigger picture that way because I think that’s a really hard thing to control. We talked a lot about her feelings about herself in terms of her being a woman in a very male-dominated sector of society. She is not trying to be feminine. She’s saying, “This is who I am, and if I wear a low[-cut] shirt, it’s because I want to and I feel comfortable and I would wear that no matter where I was.” And that gets her into trouble because she really does walk to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t care if she’s fitting in or not.

So in terms of her sexuality, that’s probably the only place that that came up. And then lines like the one you talked about. But it wasn’t a big topic of conversation. I think she just holds her own, and we just wanted her to do that at the end of the day. I wanted to see moments of real vulnerability with her too. There’s a strength to that as well.

You’re well known for playing romantic roles. Is there a reason that you wanted to do these two grittier projects—True Detective and Southpaw—now?

I’ve always been interested in doing that. I don’t really want to repeat myself. For the most part, I always want to be doing something new. But there aren’t a lot of gritty roles out there for women, and they are so fun to play everyone wants them. It’s not that I didn’t want to do them. It’s just competitive!

Southpaw is this very masculine story of men struggling with anger and violence. What do you think you brought to the film as a woman in that world?

I think she can play with the boys, but she does it very differently than Billy. She catches more flies with honey than him. She had a much cooler head—he’s the hothead. And I think, too, she’s learned how to use the system to their benefit, and Billy’s always bucked the system.

So she’s learned to navigate it well, and it’s a business, a sport and a lifestyle that she really enjoys. There’s complication in that too because it’s so seductive. It’s easy to get addicted to that kind of money, that kind of status. And then you lose one fight, and you fall to the bottom. Nobody’s around. All your friends are gone. I loved playing her because she’s got all this stuff going on at all times, and yet she has to look like she’s completely comfortable in this world.

A condensed version of this interview appears in the July 29, 2015 issue of TIME.

Read next: In Praise of This Summer’s ‘Complicated Women’

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TIME movies

In Praise of This Summer’s ‘Complicated Women’

Amy Schumer Anna Kendrick Charlize Theron
Mary Cybulski—Universal Studios; Jason Boland—Warner Bros; Richard Cartwright—Universal Pictures Amy Schumer in Trainwreck; Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road; and Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect 2.

The rom-com ingénue is dead. Long live difficult women.

The protagonist in Amy Schumer’s first film Trainwreck is what some might call, well, a bitch. Wonderfully biting and sarcastic, the character is told by a dumped boyfriend, her sister and her current love interest that she can be pretty cold. When Amy yells at a group of scantily clad cheerleaders that they are going to lose women the vote, her kind-hearted boyfriend rebuts: “At least they make people happy.”

It’s a conflict that comes to a head at the end of the film when Amy repents for her raucous and cruel ways by trying to mimic a peppy cheerleader and win over her beau. It’s a moment of rom-com silliness that will make audiences laugh but also cringe a minute later when they realize that Amy isn’t just proving that she can be nice, but also that she’s willing to sacrifice her principles for a guy. Some critics have said the ending fails the Schumer’s ultimately feminist goals. Many have in the same breath praised Schumer for transforming an unlikable character into a likable one. The Amy of Trainwreck finds herself in a position much like that of another Amazing Amy from a recent film: she must be perfect, which is of course impossible and could drive any person insane.

But despite competing demands for nice, desirable female characters from studios and empowered, sometimes cruel ones from audiences, the fact that the Amy of Trainwreck and the Amy of Gone Girl exist onscreen is progress.

MORE: Amy Schumer Gets Guys to Think Feminists Are Funny

It’s a common complaint among female actors, directors and screenwriters: Studios always want ingénues. They want nice girls. And that’s too bad because nice girls are no fun. They don’t generate the sort of conflict necessary to carry a good film and thus are usually sidelined to a damsel or sidekick role. Critics have lambasted this summer’s biggest blockbusters, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World, for forcing its few female characters into romantic subplots, shrewish stereotypes and (in the latter’s case) high heels that are completely impractical for sprinting away from dinosaurs.

But this summer, what we’ll call “complicated women” are beginning to grace the big-budget, high profile films usually reserved for difficult men and compliant ladies. (Move over Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.) These “complicated women” may be sarcastic, scathing or difficult. They might be stronger than the dudes around them and not afraid to show it. They definitely do not take any crap. And they’re way more fun than the “likable” and “relatable” girlfriends, princesses and moms often featured in summer blockbusters.

Trainwreck’s caustic Amy is in good company this year. Charlize Theron’s Furiosa in Mad Max not only does the majority of heavy lifting in the film (with just one arm!) she also mercilessly kills anyone who stands in the way of her mission to save a group of sex slaves. Anna Kendrick’s Beca refuses to turn bubbly and peppy in Pitch Perfect 2, maintaining a sardonic tone throughout the film while also thinking seriously about her future.

MORE: How Mad Max: Fury Road Became a Feminist Action Film

“Complicated women” will be familiar to fans of prestige television. They range from ice queens to anti-heroes. As female screenwriters first elbowed their way into TV writers’ rooms, we saw complex, often unlikable female characters in shows like Sex in the City and Weeds.

New characters are even more complex and cutthroat. Girls tests the bounds of likability while Orange Is the New Black raises the stakes by placing its characters in sometimes deadly situations. Shonda Rhimes is running a veritable empire of “complicated women” on the shows she produces, from Christina on Grey’s Anatomy to Olivia on Scandal. This summer, Rachel McAdams’ character on True Detective and Shiri Appleby’s character on UnREAL cultivate their unlikability and even exploit those around them to get ahead. All these shows permit their characters to make bad choices and do horrible things—actions that give them depth—without condemning them.

Permitted to draw out a story over many hours and multiple episodes, these complex women are easier to construct on TV. That’s not to say that unlikable women don’t appear in film, it’s just usually in Oscar-bait roles—think Charlize Theron in Monster, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine and Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl. The best ones are reserved for Meryl Streep in films like The Devil Wears Prada and August Osage County.

But Streep will try her hand at a more mainstream complicated woman next month after a long absence from popcorn flicks. She will play a mom who left her children to pursue a rock career in Juno writer Diablo Cody’s Ricki and the Flash. Though not exactly Miranda Priestly, Ricki does face criticism for leaving her children at home to pursue her own work—you know, like the thing fathers get away with in every summer movie ever, including Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The Becas, Furiosas and Rickis of the world would never have ruled theaters during blockbuster season in the 1980s, 1990s or even 2000s when the vast majority of summer films starring women were rom-coms. Sure, Meg Ryan declared herself difficult in When Harry Met Sally and Julia Roberts once tried to ruin her best friend’s wedding, but these characters never spoke the vitriolic one-liners of Trainwreck’s Amy (and they definitely didn’t have any one-night stands). Even Sandra Bullock shed earnest tears when she won “Miss Congeniality” after mocking such behavior from beauty pageant contestants earlier in the film.

Amy, on the other hand, will never be an actual cheerleader. If she tried, she would fall flat on her face. And thank goodness for that because onscreen women shouldn’t have to spend their summers trying to cheer people up. Some should be allowed to ice people out.

MORE: Is Gone Girl Feminist or Misogynist?

TIME Africa

George Clooney’s New Initiative Seeks to Expose Those Who Profit From War in Africa

"Tomorrowland" Premiere In Tokyo
Jun Sato—WireImage George Clooney attends the Tokyo premiere of "Tomorrowland" at Roppongi Hills on May 25, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan.

The Hollywood actor has teamed up with human rights activists to seek out conflict financiers

George Clooney has joined human rights activist John Prendergast to launch a new project that aspires to fight corruption in war zones in Africa. Called The Sentry, the project aims to trace the flow of money into African conflicts and identify the people profiting from violence.

The Sentry will set up a website that will allow people to anonymously submit information to elucidate how money is transferred and laundered in areas like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan.

“Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause,” Clooney said in a statement.

The two-time Oscar winner has become famous for his human rights work, especially in the Sudan. Clooney and Prendergast, a former Africa director at the National Security Council and founder of the Enough Project, also worked together in 2010 on the Satellite Sentinel Project, which used satellites to map human rights violations.


Fowling: A New Sport That Combines Football and Bowling

The goal is to knock down all of the other team's pins with a football

A man in Michigan has invented a fusion of two American pastimes—and it’s catching on.

The rules of fowling, a hybrid of football and bowling, are simple: two teams set up bowling pins across from one another and take turns trying to knock each other’s pins down by throwing a football. The first team to knock down all of the opposing team’s pins wins.

If the rules sound pretty similar to beer pong, that’s because inventor Chris Hutt created the game while tailgating at the Indianapolis 500. Hutt now owns and operates the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck, Mich. There, players get a special prize when they achieve a “bonk,” which means downing only the middle pin on the first throw: they can blow the “bonk honk” a giant horn in the middle of the warehouse.

Still confused? Check out a game of fowling in the video above.

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