TIME movies

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas Voted Worst Movie Ever at IMDB

It beat out Gigli

Kirk Cameron’s new Christmas movie is earning all the wrong kinds of distinctions.

The November release Saving Christmas was voted the worst movie ever by IMDb users, garnering 1.5 out of 5 stars with scores from more than 4,000 users.

The movie, which centers on Cameron’s quest to show his brother-in-law the true meaning of Christmas, started drawing people’s ire when Cameron began a social media campaign to improve the film’s Rotten Tomatoes score. That plan seems to have backfired big time.

Saving Christmas beat out other famously awful movies like Gigli and From Justin to Kelly on IMDb’s “Bottom 100” list. There’s even another holiday movie in the rankings called Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

TIME Television

Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah Talk Racial Inequality in America

Trevor Noah had a memorable arrival as a new correspondent on The Daily Show Thursday night. The South African comedian and actor had an extended riff with Jon Stewart about how race relations in the U.S. differ from those in his home country. Noah cracked a corny joke about his arms being tired from the flight from South Africa, but then flipped the cliche by noting that he’d actually had his hands up on the entire trip to avoid being harassed by police.

“I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa,” Noah said. “It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days back home.”

The duo had more direct commentary later, noting that the wealth gap in the U.S. now is greater than it was during apartheid-era South Africa. Later they played a classic game of “Spot the Africa,” in which Stewart tried (and failed) to distinguish photos of Africa from those in the U.S. To Stewart (who was obviously playing dumb), any photo of decaying infrastructure or human suffering basically looks like Somalia, though it could just as easily be Detroit.

TIME Crime

Real-Life Grinch Allegedly Steals Christmas Wreaths From Farm

ABC/Getty Images "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"

A woman, perhaps from just north of Whoville, allegedly stole several hundred dollars worth of wreaths from a farm near Boston. Sunshine Farm in Sherborn, Mass. posted a video on its Facebook page showing surveillance footage of a woman driving up to the business in a Range Rover and loading wreaths and roping into her vehicle.

The company says she left without paying for the items, CBS Boston reports. Sunshine Farm deemed her “the grinch who stole Christmas” in their post.

Saturday morning Sunshine Farm added a “mystery solved” note on its Facebook page, indicating that the culprit may have been caught. However, Shoehorn police said no one had been arrested for the alleged wreath-taking.

[CBS Boston]

TIME Media

CBS and Dish Network Reach Deal to End Blackout

Dish will disable ad-skipping of recorded shows on CBS-owned stations for 7 days after the programs air

CBS returned to the channel lineup for Dish Network Saturday morning after an impasse between the two parties in negotiations lead the broadcast network to be removed from Dish on Friday night.

The new multi-year agreement will keep CBS channels on Dish for the foreseeable future and gives Dish rights to video-on-demand content for Showtime, as well as a path to an “over-the-top” version of the Showtime channel delivered via the Internet, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Dish has said it plans to launch an Internet-based pay-TV service by the end of the year.

As part of the deal, Dish has agreed to disable ad-skipping of recorded shows on CBS-owned stations for seven days after the programs air. CBS and other networks had sued Dish for its AutoHop service, which lets customers automatically skip commercials on shows recorded with a DVR.


TIME Military

U.S. Plans to Keep 1,000 Additional Troops in Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Travels To Mideast
Mark Wilson—Getty Images Mohammed Ashraf Ghani President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan walks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel down a red carpet during an arrival ceremony at the Presidential Palace on Dec. 6, 2014 in Kabul.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who resigned in November, made the remarks on one of his last diplomatic trips to the country

The U.S. military will keep 1,000 more troops in Afghanistan next year than originally planned, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Saturday. The number of troops in the country will be lowered to 10,800 next year. Originally the U.S. had planned to reduce the force to 9,800 troops.

The delayed withdrawal will not affect long-term troop reduction plans, NBC News reports. In 2016, the U.S. still plans to reduce its troops to 5,500. By 2017, the U.S. will only have an embassy presence in the country.

Hagel made the remarks on a trip to Kabul to meet with Ashraf Ghani, the new president of Afghanistan, which will be one of the last diplomatic trips to the country for the defense secretary, who resigned Nov. 24.

[NBC News]


When You Condemn One Black Man as a ‘Thug’ You Condemn Us All

Grand Jury Declines To Indict NYPD Officer In Eric Garner Death
Yana Paskova--Getty Images Demonstrators walk together during a protest December 3, 2014 in New York. Protests began after a Grand Jury decided to not indict officer Daniel Pantaleo. Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by Pantaleo on July 17, 2014.

Victor Luckerson is a reporter-producer for the Money and Business sections of Time.com. He was the editor-in-chief of the University of Alabama's daily newspaper, The Crimson White, for two years and spent a summer interning at Sports Illustrated. Having spent his first 22 years in Alabama, he continues to carry The South in his heart.

A divergence in African American culture has made it easy for people to categorize "good" and "bad" blacks separately—and that's a huge problem

My parents sent me to an all-white elementary school when I was 4. I speak and think differently than them because of it. This is a small, common tragedy of black life that we don’t talk about: the best way for me to find success in my own country was to be immersed in a culture entirely different from my parents’ and adopt it as my own. But that experience taught me lessons that I now find intuitive–how to find common ground with different people, how to come off as non-threatening to others, how to chalk up racist statements to a misunderstanding. You could probably label me clean and articulate, like my President.

There are a lot of black people like me now who grew up straddling two different racial worlds. Blackish, the only comedy on broadcast TV featuring a prominent African American cast, is centered on this increasingly prevalent concept of black identity. I don’t want to paint my experience as some painful upbringing. I had a big, loving family and, eventually, great friends of all races. But I fear some people are learning the wrong lessons when they meet black people like me–that I am somehow more acceptable or less problematic than other black folks. That Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin should have behaved exactly like me to avoid being killed.

This bifurcation of black people, particularly black men, into good and bad categories has been going on since the days of house and field slaves. Chris Rock articulated the modern version of it in a classic ‘90s standup bit that expressed some of the unsaid thoughts of the rising black middle class (Rock has since retired the rant because he thought it gave racists too much ammunition). What’s worrying now is that a lot of white people know and like just enough black people to absolve themselves of discriminatory thoughts or actions. No one “hates” black people anymore—just the “thugs” like Brown, Martin and Garner, who were not polite when a person with authority said they should be.

But here’s the thing: there’s not a black man alive who hasn’t been viewed as a “thug” at some point or another in his life. It can happen because you lost your temper. It can happen because you crossed a person with more power than you. It can happen because you were simply existing at the wrong place at the wrong time—like a time I tried to buy beer at a gas station by my college campus with a white friend and a cop on the scene berated me for dragging her through the store (that is, holding her hand). Another white friend had to vouch for me.

When people argue that Mike Brown being high and stealing cigarillos or Eric Garner arguing with the police led inevitably to their deaths, they’re creating a cultural threshold past which a black person’s life becomes less valuable. And when they do that, they are damning all of us.

Some people are reticent to show their frustration and anger over the Brown and Garner deaths because these victims, like all humans, have flaws. But it’s time to stop searching for martyrs or angels—just mourn for people whose lives intrinsically have value. That is reason enough to be upset about how these recent deaths have been handled by the justice system.

The older I get, the more I think about that decision to send me to a white school. How different would my life be if I had not learned to navigate that world at such an early age? For blacks who’ve grown up in communities segregated in the opposite way, it’s not as easy. Learning to deal well with white people can help you get far in life. But it shouldn’t be a requirement for holding onto your life. That is the era my parents grew up in, and I don’t want it to be mine too.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Fast Food

McDonald’s Has a Weird New Burger in the Works

File photo of a McDonald's restaurant sign at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California
Mike Blake—Reuters A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, Calif. on April 16, 2013.

Something fishy's happening at the fast food chain

It’s not a Krabby Patty, exactly, but McDonald’s is releasing a crab-filled burger in Japan. According to Kotaku, the new burger will feature a croquette filled with snow crab and mushrooms and use lettuce and tomato sauce as additional toppings. Even though it’s seafood, McDonald’s Japan is marketing the dish as a burger.

Those hungry for an actual Krabby Patty will have to venture to Palestine, where a restaurant owner has built a replica of the Krusty Krab that, judging by the location’s Facebook page, has yet to be shut down by Nickelodeon’s lawyers.



TIME privacy

Half of Americans Don’t Know What a Privacy Policy Is

Privacy Policy
Mladen Antonov—AFP/Getty Images A human rights activists wears pink glasses reading "stop spying" during a protest against the alleged violation of privacy by the U.S. National Security Agency at McPherson square in downtown Washington D.C., July 4, 2013.

It doesn't automatically keep your data confidential

It looks like Facebook’s privacy-focused blue dinosaur has some more work to do, as a new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that 52% of American Internet users don’t actually know what a privacy policy is.

A majority of respondents believe that when a company posts a privacy policy, “it ensures that the company keeps confidential all the information it collects on users.” Only 44% of survey respondents knew that answer was false — a privacy policy simply states whatever rules a website has drafted to determine how it will share and use people’s data. Such policies often include fine print that actually make people’s data less private than they might expect, allowing it to be used in ads or handed off to third parties.

With so few people who understand privacy policies, it’s no wonder that a bogus Facebook post proclaiming to protect people’s copyright went viral this week. Users erroneously believed that invoking a specific intellectual property statute would retroactively protect their photos and other media from being used by Facebook. In fact, users already own all the content they put on Facebook, but the social network reserves the right to use that content for activities related to its business. And users all agreed to that stipulation when they accepted—you guessed it—the privacy policy.

TIME Companies

Uber CEO Promises to Make Company ‘More Humble’ As it Raises $1.2B

Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick Interview
Bloomberg via Getty Images Travis Kalanick, co-founder and chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc.,

Head of ride-sharing app plans to change internal culture

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has a phrase for the many controversies that have been swirling around his company in recent weeks: “growing pains.”

The head of fast-growing car-hailing startup wrote in a blog post Thursday that Uber needs to invest in internal growth and change, following revelations that an executive at the company floated the idea of digging up personal dirt on non-friendly journalists and others at the company were using a so-called “God View” to track the movements of Uber users.

“Acknowledging mistakes and learning from them are the first steps,” Kalanick wrote. “Fortunately, taking swift action is where Uber shines, and we will be making changes in the months ahead. Done right, it will lead to a smarter and more humble company that sets new standards in data privacy, gives back more to the cities we serve and defines and refines our company culture effectively.”

Uber saw its growth rate dip slightly the same week all the bad press emerged, while Lyft has seen ridership surge as Uber has been under fire. Uber remains the king of the ride-hailing apps though, with drivers in 250 cities and a recent financing round that closed at $1.2 billion. The new funding values the company at $40 billion, according to Bloomberg.

TIME Media

This New Streaming Service Is Netflix, But Just for Kids

Fuhu Nabi pass features videos, games, e-books and educational content

Children's tablet maker Fuhu is launching a streaming service

The streaming space is growing ever more-crowded as a new competitor is throwing its hat in the ring Thursday.

Fuhu, which makes the very successful nabi children’s tablets, is launching a monthly subscription service that will let kids binge on children’s movies, shows, music, e-books and interactive games for $4.99 per month. The service, called nabi Pass, is exclusive to Fuhu’s tablet line, which includes the nabi 2 and the new jumbo-sized Big Tab.

Fuhu’s up against plenty of competition, as there are already many streaming subscription services aimed squarely at kids. Netflix added a “For Kids” section back in 2011, and Amazon has a robust multimedia service called FreeTime Unlimited that’s pretty similar to what Fuhu is rolling out.

Fuhu founder Robb Fujioka, however, says nabi Pass’s educational offerings and its focus on curating quality content will help it stand out. Subscribers will get access to the Wings learning system, which offers kids lessons in math, reading and writing, as well as edutainment videos from the likes of National Geographic Kids. Fujioka says the focus on education helps Fuhu differentiate its service and keep costs down, since they’re not competing with the likes of Amazon to bid for expensive Nickelodeon content.

“My hunch is that people will buy it for the education and everything else on the video side is a plus,” Fujioka says.

In addition to National Geographic, nabi Pass will offer videos from DreamWorks Animation, games from app developer Cupcake Digital and music streaming from Walt Disney Records. Fuhu will have a sizable audience to whom it can pitch the service — The nabi tablet sold 1.5 million units in 2013 and is currently leading the children’s tablet market, according to research firm NPD.

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