Wednesday watch: Hollywood whitewashing

Wednesday watch: Hollywood whitewashing

The latest example of casting a white actor to play a person of color is a particularly bizarre one: British actor Joseph Fiennes has been tapped to play Michael Jackson in a road-trip dramedy about 9/11.

This video shows the long, shameful history of Hollywood casting white actors to play characters of color, spanning from 1921 to the present day (h/t A.V. Club).

Why are some women leaders so out of touch with young feminists?

Why are some women leaders so out of touch with young feminists?


Despite the many challenges we still face, it’s clear to anyone who’s paying attention that there’s a vibrant, powerful feminist movement in this country, with enormous contributions from young activists. Yet some prominent women seem almost willfully ignorant of this, and keep alienating people they should be trying to ally with.  Read more

Weekend reading

Weekend reading

Colorlines Screenshot Ibtihaj Muhammad for NOW 020316

This black woman will make history as the first U.S. Olympian to compete in a hijab.

19 questions for men that highlight everyday sexism.

Steve Phillips: liberals rely too much on white swing voters.

Everyone is wrong about the Bernie bros.

White feminism downplayed California’s coerced sterilization of Latinas in the 1970s.

300 union plumbers spent the weekend installing water filters for Flint residents for free.

What cis people say to transgender people vs. what they hear.

What happened to Jane Mayer when she wrote about the Koch brothers.

Casting people of color as white characters is not a double standard.

Wednesday watch: the Heller sisters

Wednesday watch: the Heller sisters


Welcome to Wednesday watch, my new blog feature where I’ll share a weekly video recommendation. I’m kicking it off by urging you to check out the work of the talented sisters Marielle and Emily Heller.

Marielle Heller wrote and directed her debut feature film last year, Diary of a Teenage Girl. It’s an adaptation of a graphic novel, and provides a refreshingly nonjudgmental look at a young woman’s sexual exploration in 1976 San Francisco. British actress Bel Powley is phenomenal as the lead, and it also has great performances from Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard. Check out the trailer below, and then rent it to enjoy the whole thing.

It turns out there’s a lot of talent in the Heller family. Before I saw this movie, I was already a fan of Marielle’s sister, stand-up comedian Emily. Here she is on Late Night with Seth Meyers talking about how it’s easier to recruit for misogyny than feminism.

You can also hear her on the podcast Baby Geniuses and if you’re lucky you can catch her performing on the road.

Why I’m excited for “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”

Why I’m excited for “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”


Next week, Samantha Bee is charging into the male-dominated late night scene just like the centaur she photoshopped into Vanity Fair’s tone deaf photo spread. The most basic reason I’m excited for this new show is that Bee is hilarious. Her record at The Daily Show is full of smart, incisive, funny pieces. A new profile of Bee by Rebecca Traister gives me even more reason to eagerly anticipate her new project.  Read more

Weekend reading

Weekend reading

stop rape

10 rape prevention tips that flip the usual rape culture tropes.

Colorlines talked to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis about white privilege.

A 5-step guide for Macklemore and white allies afraid of doing anti-racism “wrong”

11-year-old “sick of reading about white boys and dogs” launches #1000BlackGirlBooks.

President Obama’s solitary confinement reforms seriously limit a brutal, damaging practice.

Here are some of the creepy things women in comedy say they’ve put up with.

Shonda Rhimes’s powerful message on receiving her PGA award: “I deserve this.”

A video for the white people who said “The Wiz” Live was racist.

Ted Cruz perpetuates rape culture & gun myths in one fell swoop

Ted Cruz perpetuates rape culture & gun myths in one fell swoop


If I were going to write a piece every time a Republican presidential candidate said something reprehensible, I’d have to quit my day job. I’m tempted to close my eyes and wait until it’s all over, but sometimes they just hit the intersection of so many harmful ideas at once that it makes your blood boil. Ted Cruz laid out this gem on a right-wing talk radio show this week:

“And as you know, Hugh, after Australia did that [gun buyback program], the rate of sexual assaults, the rate of rapes, went up significantly, because women were unable to defend themselves.”

Read more