TIME celebrities

Matthew McConaughey Hopes the Redskins Don’t Change Their Name

GQ's November 2014 Cover GQ

Plus, he talks about gun control!

Matthew McConaughey has offered his two cents on the Redskins controversy. In an interview with GQ, the Interstellar actor compared the controversy over the team’s name to the gun control debate. Yes, really:

What interests me is how quickly it got pushed into the social consciousness. We were all fine with it since the 1930s, and all of a sudden we go, “No, gotta change it”? It seems like when the first levee breaks, everybody gets on board. I know a lot of Native Americans don’t have a problem with it, but they’re not going to say, “No, we really want the name.” That’s not how they’re going to use their pulpit. It’s like my feeling about gun control: “I get it. You have the right to have guns. But look, let’s forget that right. Let’s forget the pleasure you get safely on your range, because it’s in the wrong hands in other places.”

Confused? Same here. And why is McConaughey, who hails from Texas, a Redskins fan, anyway? “First, four years old, watching Westerns, I always rooted for the Indians,” McConaughey, who once played a football coach in We Are Marshall, said. “Second, my favorite food was hamburgers. The Redskins had a linebacker named Chris Hanburger.”

The interviewer asked McConaughey if he would be hurt to see the logo gone. “It’s not going to hurt me. It’s just… I love the emblem,” the Oscar winner said. “I dig it. It gives me a little fire and some oomph. But now that it’s in the court of public opinion, it’s going to change. I wish it wouldn’t, but it will.”

Alright. Alright. Alright.

TIME Music

Before We Embrace Gwen Stefani’s Comeback, She Owes Us An Apology

Gwen Stefani Visits MTV's ''TRL'' - December 10, 2004
Gwen Stefani with Harajuku Girls during MTV's ''TRL'' on December 10, 2004 at MTV Studios, Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. James Devaney—WireImage

The pop star used Asian women as props — and it still stings

Gwen Stefani dropped her comeback song, “Baby Don’t Lie” today, and according to Pharrell (the unofficial arbiter of hits du jour), the follow-up album is on “another level.” And that’s all well and good, but before we embrace Stefani as a comeback queen, we should pause to remember that she perpetuated some extremely racist stereotypes when she debuted her first solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. 10 years ago.

Remember the Harajuku Girls? No? Here’s a refresher:

After dropping the album, Stefani used four backup dancers known as the “Harajuku girls” in all her performances and as an entourage offstage. They followed her everywhere and were reportedly contractually obligated to only speak Japanese in public. She renamed them — as if they were pets — “Love,” “Angel,” “Music” and “Baby” after her album title. As you can see in the video for the song “Harajuku Girls” above, the women are basically puppets. The lyrics of her actual songs aren’t much better. In “Harajuku Girls,” Stefani calls their culture, “A Ping-Pong match between Eastern and Western.”

At the time, comedian Margaret Cho compared the Harajuku girls to blackface and lamented how few portrayals of Asian culture there are in popular culture:

Even though to me, a Japanese schoolgirl uniform is kind of like blackface, I am just in acceptance over it, because something is better than nothing. An ugly picture is better than a blank space, and it means that one day, we will have another display at the Museum of Asian Invisibility, that groups of children will crowd around in disbelief, because once upon a time, we weren’t there.

MadTV even mocked Stefani’s racism with a skit:

But other than those critiques, the pop culture world wasn’t vocal enough on Stefani’s appropriation of Asian culture for personal gain. Sure, 2004 was a different time — but it isn’t localized to that era: Stefani has a Harajuku Lovers line of fragrances and a Harajuku Mini fashion line for Target. Her obsession with the culture walks a very thin line between admiration and appropriation. It’s easy to wonder if Stefani had a hand in inciting what has now become a common cultural practice of white female pop stars using other races as props.

Last year, Miley Cyrus’ use of twerking black backup dancers at the Video Music Awards launched 1,000 think pieces on whether Cyrus was playing on black stereotypes to prove that she was now a rebel. Critics have also blasted Katy Perry for dressing up like a geisha with makeup that made her eyes look slanted during the 2013 American Music Awards. Earlier this year, Avril Lavigne released an extremely racist music video for “Hello Kitty.” Stefani’s behavior a decade ago set the precedent.

And it doesn’t look like Stefani learned her lesson: just two years ago, her band No Doubt had to pull the music video for their song “Looking Hot,” which featured band members playing a game of Cowboys and Indians. (In it, the very white Stefani dressed up like a Native American.) When Native American groups predictably called the video racist, the band apologized, saying, “Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history. Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people.”

Stefani has not issued any such apology for her Harajuku girls. Maybe it’s time she does.

Read next: The Real Problem When It Comes to Diversity and Asian-Americans

TIME Culture

Watch Taylor Swift Shut Down ‘Sexist’ Music Critics

Bruno Mars can write about ex-lovers. Why can't T-Swift?

Taylor Swift, a newly outspoken feminist, is defending her decision to write about past relationships. During a Sunday appearance on the Australian radio show Jules, Merrick & Sophie, Swift pointed out that she is unfairly criticized for her lyrics, while men who write about exes are not:

You’re going to have people who are going to say, “Oh, you know, like, she just writes songs about her ex-boyfriends.” And I think frankly that’s a very sexist angle to take. No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says that about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life, and no one raises the red flag there.

And unlike some other pop stars (we’re looking at you, Robin Thicke), T-Swift says she tries to keep the identities of the people she’s writing about a secret. “I have a really strict personal policy that I never name names. And so anybody saying that a song is about a specific person is purely speculating.”

So who knows who she’s really singing about in “Out of the Woods.” (Though everyone’s still pretty sure it’s about Harry Styles.)

TIME Music

Listen to the Teaser for Taylor Swift’s Poppy New Track ‘Welcome to New York’

"Searching for a sound we hadn't heard before"

Taylor Swift is dropping yet another tidbit from her new album, 1989, as the buildup to its release continues. Today, it’s a teaser for the song “Welcome to New York,” which will officially be available on iTunes Tuesday.

The former country star seems to have successfully navigated her way out of Nashville and to the Big Apple, and is even calling 1989first documented official pop album.” She’s released two songs from the album so far: “Shake It Off” and “Out of the Woods.”

TIME movies

Robin May Be a Woman in the Batman v Superman Movie

"St. Vincent" New York Premiere
Actress Jena Malone attends the New York Premiere of "St. Vincent" at the Ziegfeld Theater on October 6, 2014 in New York City Mike Pont—FilmMagic

Holy casting rumors, Batman!

As if Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t already packed with superheroes (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, to name a few), NBC is reporting that Robin will also be in the film—and she will be played by Jena Malone.

Yep, that’s right: Robin’s a she. An extra anonymously told NBC news affiliate WILX-10 that the Hunger Games: Catching Fire actress is filming scenes this week with Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, and Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor. This could explain why Malone has lately been sporting red hair. Two weeks ago, the actress Instagrammed a pic of her new fiery locks with the caption, “Drastic times call for drastic measures.”

Making Robin a woman, though, isn’t all that drastic. Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman movie is reportedly based largely on Frank Miller’s comic The Dark Knight Returns, in which Batman’s sidekick is a woman named Carrie Kelley. In the comics, Kelley—obsessed with the Dark Knight—saves him from some bad guys in order to win his trust and become the new Robin.

This information comes to you at a potentially high price: The extra who leaked the news could be fined a staggering $5 million after signing a non-disclosure agreement to Warner Bros.

TIME Television

Scandal Teaches You How to Handle It When Your Kid Makes a Sex Tape

TONY GOLDWYN
Tony Goldwyn on Scandal Adam Taylor—ABC

In ten easy steps!

This post includes spoilers for Thursday night’s episode of Scandal.

With all the nude selfies getting leaked on the Internet and hacks of the supposedly self-destructing pictures and videos on Snapchat, parents have a reason to be worried about what their teens are recording and sharing. Our private lives aren’t so private anymore. That’s even true for the President’s kids — or, well, a fictional president’s kids.

Last night on Scandal the president’s daughter Karen filmed what D.C. fixer protagonist Olivia Pope called “the dirtiest sex tape I’ve ever seen in my life.” I know, it sounds like a problem you’ll never have to deal with in your life. But if a teen can slip her secret service detail to attend a party and “Eiffel Tower” with some guys (look up at your own risk), then parents should be in full-blown panic mode about what their non-guarded kids are doing.

Olivia’s job is to manage crises, and Karen’s dad Fitz is the damn president of the United States. Surely we can learn a little something from them about what to do if your kid makes a sex tape. Here’s the step-by-step list:

1. Be outraged

The mean parent, in Scandal‘s case President Fitz, should yell things like, “Start talking, now,” to get a clear idea of how bad the situation is. You may uncover information like that your daughter hitched a ride on “someone’s father’s jet” to get to the party in question. (N.B. Apparently if your kid does not attend the most expensive boarding school in the country, you’re already ahead of the game.)

2. Flirt with the “fixer” handling your child’s case

Oh, you didn’t hire Olivia Pope to handle this? Good luck.

3. Lie to other parent about why child is home

Because there’s no way she’s going to find out about this eventually, right?

4. Use hyper-advanced computer software to locate the other people in the sex tape

Apparently typing in a lot of code with the words “tattoo” and “arm” can determine whether a guy in a blurry party pictures tagged #swaggapalooza has a tattoo or not, give you all his information and thus help you track down the tape. Sure.

5. Be forced to admit that there’s a sex tape to your spouse because she thinks you’re having an affair with the fixer who is suddenly hanging around the house all the time (which you are…but whatever)

In defense of yourself, you should probably accuse your spouse of being a bad mother and thus being ultimately responsible for the sex tape. When tempers are high, it’s always best to blame someone else. Expect a response from your spouse like, “She takes after her daddy, then, doesn’t she?”

6. Have one of the fixer’s assistants intimidate the guy in the sex tape

May I suggest saying things like, “I know who you are, Bobby,” and then listing off a bunch of personal factoids about the person in a fast, staccato voice. That tends to scare to crap out of people. Oh, grabbing them by the throat and threatening to destroy their lives works, too.

7. Once that person has coughed up the name of the third person in the sex tape who actually has the video (scandalous, right?), bring in that teen’s parents for a negotiation

These parents will probably blackmail you for a lot of money because people are the worst.

8. Kiss the fixer

This will take your mind off of the whole blackmail thing.

9. Deal with the parents

When the parents ask for another $500,000 (again, people are the worst), photograph them with the check and say that you will send it to the tabloids, who will write that they are child pornographers. See, this is why you hire a fixer.

10. Talk to your kid

Actually, the best parenting advice comes from a surprising source in this episode: First Lady Mellie Grant.

Mellie doesn’t slut-shame her daughter. She tells her that if she felt empowered and happy by her sex act she would “have a tiny seizure inside,” but still be supportive of Karen and happy for her. “But I don’t think that’s why you did it,” Mellie says. And the two talk about how Karen has been depressed since her brother died in front of her, “which means you get one free pass. This was it. You do not get another.”

Mellie also teaches Karen the life lesson that the world sucks: “It’s definitely sexist. If you were a boy, they’d be giving you high fives.” Well played, Mellie.

So there you have it: hire a fixer if you can, turn the tables on anyone who tries to blackmail you and don’t slut-shame your kid. As Olivia Pope would say: “It’s handled.”

 

 

 

TIME movies

How Fury‘s Director Made the WWII Film as Realistic as Possible

Columbia Pictures

Director David Ayer met with vets to learn what life in a tank was really like

Perhaps more than any other historical event, World War II has provided fodder for Hollywood. From The Bridge on the River Kwai to Saving Private Ryan to Schindler’s List, directors keep turning to “the good war.” This year alone, Fury (in theaters this weekend), Imitation Game and Unbroken all feature World War II heroes and will all battle for Oscar buzz.

Fury director David Ayer, who is a veteran himself, wanted to distinguish his World War II film with an air of authenticity. The movie takes on a single day in April 1945, when the Allies had for all intents and purposes beaten Germany. But American soldiers were still fighting on the front and, some would argue, needlessly dying. Calling into question the glory of war, Ayer and the movie’s actors—including Brad Pitt, returning to the time period he visited in Inglourious Basterds—met with veterans to get more intimate details on the challenges of fighting in a tank crew, the Credits reports.

According to the vets, the life expectancy of a tank crew member was only six weeks. Ayer incorporated this and other details he learned from veterans into the movie, like that every fifth bullet from a gun’s machine is a tracer, which is ignited with a burning powder that glows brightly so the shooter can follow the trajectory of the bullet with the naked eye. The actors also learned that the soldiers would differentiate between outgoing and incoming artillery by the whistling sound a projectile make when coming towards you (but not away from you).

Read about the connection between reality and another WWII movie, The Monuments Men, here in TIME’s archives: George Clooney’s Art of War

[The Credits]

TIME Television

The Wire’s Kima Was Supposed to Be Killed in the First Season, Creator Says

The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball II
Actress Sonja Sohn attends The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball II at Harman Center for the Arts on January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. Jemal Countess—Getty Images

And Michael K. Williams was not happy about the second season taking place at the docks

Correction appended 10:40 p.m. EST

This post contains spoilers for The Wire

Much of the massive cast of HBO’s The Wire reunited at PaleyFest New York on Thursday to talk about the groundbreaking show 12 years after its premiere. In a panel hosted by HitFix critic Alan Sepinwall, the cast reflected on their time on the show and even shared some never-before-revealed secrets from the set.

Sonja Sohn, who played Detective Kima Greggs, revealed that she found out by accident during filming of the first season that she was supposed to be killed off fairly quickly. Worried about her character’s fate, she confronted the creator, David Simon, and he admitted to the plan.

Simon confirmed to Sepinwall that he had originally intended to kill Sohn’s character off the show when she was shot in the 10th episode of the first season. But Carolyn Strauss, an exec at HBO, told Simon she wanted to save the character and he listened. Though Kima Greggs does get shot in that episode, as written, she survives.

“Girl power!” Sohn said, after finding out it was Strauss who saved her character.

Sohn said she’s now extremely grateful she got to stay on the show through all five seasons, though she noted that she had initially had reservations after seeing the pilot. “Oh my lord, this is going nowhere,” she remembers thinking at the time. “I don’t know, it’s kind of slow.” But the writers reassured her that things would pick up, and other cast members expressed similar faith in Simon’s roadmap—one that would include insightful social commentary and lots of blood.

Kima would go on to be one of the few characters to escape a bullet on the show about cops, criminals and politicians in Baltimore, which offed some of its most beloved players. The cast even started a tradition of attending everyone’s death scenes to honor the actors before they left. And those characters who weren’t killed off often disappeared for entire episodes, or even seasons when the show moved locations.

Michael K. Williams, who played Omar Little, joked that in season two he became “the angry black man” after Simon briefly moved the show away from the projects and into the largely white world of the city’s waterfront docks. “How come when we made the show hot, you give it to the white people?” Williams said he asked Simon at the time. Simon replied that they would make the city too small if they continued to film in the same place, an idea Williams came to later accept and appreciate.

Though many of their characters were killed off or forced to the sidelines during filming, the cast extolled Simon, who many critics agree penned the best show in the history of television. “I have been so spoiled since because the writing was so good,” said Lawrence Gillard Jr., who played D’Angelo Barksdale, before hugging Simon.

“Now I’m sorry I killed you off in the second season,” Simon quipped.

This article previously misstated which actor hugged David Simon during the panel.

TIME movies

Watch the New Trailer for Angelina Jolie’s Movie Unbroken

The real life story of Louis Zamperini

Angelina Jolie is throwing her hat into the Oscar ring with Unbroken, her second movie behind the camera. The adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling biography follows former Olympic track star Louis Zamperini, who survived a plane crash during World War II, spent 47 days on adrift on a raft only to finally be captured by the Japanese and forced to spend years as a prisoner of war in internment camps.

The movie is set to hit theaters on Dec. 25.

TIME Television

Ridley Scott Is Creating an Ebola TV Series

Director Sir Ridley Scott attends the world premiere of Prometheus at Empire Leicester Square on May 31, 2012 in London.
Director Sir Ridley Scott attends the world premiere of Prometheus at Empire Leicester Square on May 31, 2012 in London. Stuart Wilson—Getty Images

Too bad The Strain is already taken

Ridley Scott is taking a break from biblical plagues to focus on a modern-day plagues.

In what may or may not be cynical marketing move to capitalize on the current Ebola outbreak, the Exodus: Gods and Kings director and producer Lynda Obst are creating an Ebola television show for Fox based on Richard Preston’s 1994 best-selling book The Hot Zone, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The pair optioned the story 20 years ago, The Hollywood Reporter said, and have quietly been working on bringing it to the small screen for the last year.

But the plot is suddenly particularly timely: The current strain of the virus has killed almost 4,500 people in West Africa, and two nurses in the U.S. have recently tested positive for the disease after caring for an Ebola victim who passed away in a Texas hospital after he arrived in Dallas from Liberia.

“I think it’s the speed with which it kills that makes the disease so frightening,” Obst told The Hollywood Reporter. “People hoped it would stay in some remote part of the world. But that’s a fantasy in the modern world. The modern world makes us one big connected family.”

Scott, whose Alien certainly portrayed panic and fear as an invasive force kills off a crew of astronauts, hopes that the series will include the current crisis. Preston’s original book was based on a 1994 article Preston wrote about the disease. Scott and Obst are in talks with Preston to option a new article he is writing for next week’s New Yorker on the current outbreak, in order to work that story into the series as well.

[THR]

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