eye

YouTuber MrBeast Helps 1,000 Blind People See Again by Funding Cataract Surgeries

Viral YouTuber MrBeast paid for 1,000 people, who were blind or almost blind but could not otherwise afford cataract surgery, to have their vision restored. The 24-year-old is known for his large donations and philanthropic stunts.

MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, runs the fourth-most-subscribed channel on YouTube. Donaldson told viewers in a video posted on Saturday, “We’re curing a thousand people’s blindness.” The video, titled “1,000 Blind People See For The First Time,” showed a montage of before and after footage of patients seeing with clear vision post-surgery.

Donaldson also gifted some patients money up to $50,000 and gave another patient a Tesla.

Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon, performed the initial procedures in Jacksonville, Florida. For over 20 years, Dr. Levenson has coordinated the “Gift of Sight” program, which offers uninsured people who are legally blind due to cataracts access to free cataract surgery.

In the video posted on Saturday, Dr. Levenson emphatically stated, “Half of all blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery.”

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Donaldson’s team reached out to local homeless shelters and free clinics to compile a list of people in the Jacksonville region who required cataract surgery but could not afford the procedure. Forty people made it into the final roster. Dr. Levenson spent 11 consecutive hours performing all their surgeries on the same day.

Dr. Levenson said that the patients were grateful and were in “disbelief that somebody would actually seek them out to rescue them from blindness and then have the kindness and generosity of spirit to offer the surgery.”

After having cataract correction surgery himself, he felt compelled to help others access the same procedure.

“In the days and weeks after my own cataract surgery, I was stunned by how bright and beautiful and vivid the world was. But I was shocked by the idea that there are hundreds of millions, probably 200 million people around the world, who are blind or nearly blind from cataracts and who don’t have access to the surgery.”

Donaldson explained in his video how this procedure could be performed so quickly.

“If you’re wondering how the surgery allows people to see again, it’s because the lens in their eyes got so cloudy that they can’t see through it. So, the surgeon uses a tiny vacuum to suck up the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one. This surgery is that simple. They can see again.”

When Dr. Levenson initially got a phone call from Donaldson’s team in September, he was hesitant about the initiative.

“I had never heard of MrBeast, so I almost hung up. But I gratefully did not hang up.”

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Dr. Levenson eventually connected Donaldson’s team with SEE International, an organization for which he serves as the chief medical officer.

SEE International works to help patients in need get free eye care around the world. With the organization’s reach, the team could do corrective surgeries on a thousand patients, spanning Jamaica, Honduras, Namibia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam and Kenya, in three weeks.

Dr. Levenson said he hopes the video, coupled with Donaldson’s popularity and generosity, will inspire “a concerted effort to end needless blindness.”

“If MrBeast can light a fire, and if we can get governmental and private support behind it, we can end half of all the blindness in the world without all that much cost and with incredible gains in human productivity and human potential.”

Donaldson shared the same sentiment in a tweet posted on Monday.

“I don’t understand why curable blindness is a thing. Why don’t governments step in and help? Even if you’re thinking purely from a financial standpoint it’s hard to see how they don’t roi on taxes from people being able to work again.”

rust

Alec Baldwin to Be Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter for ‘Rust’ Set Shooting

Prosecutors announced that they will charge actor Alec Baldwin with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust.” The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, is facing the same charges.

Hutchins was killed in October 2021 when a prop gun Baldwin was holding fired a live round of ammunition, hitting Hutchins in the chest and wounding director Joel Souza.

The prosecution is accusing the pair of failing to take the necessary firearm safety precautions to avoid such a tragic accident. According to Reed’s lawyer, the set armorer believed that the rounds were dummy ammunition or “blanks.” 

Baldwin maintains that he did not pull the trigger and was unaware that the gun contained live rounds. However, an FBI forensics report stated, “the weapon could not be fired during FBI testing of its normal functioning without pulling the trigger while the gun was cocked.”

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said that both Baldwin and Reed were responsible for checking the safety of the prop. In addition to starring in “Rust,” Baldwin is also credited as its producer.

“Every person that handles a gun has a duty to make sure that if they’re going to handle that gun, point it at someone and pull the trigger, that it is not going to fire a projectile and kill someone.”

She added, “nobody was checking those, or at least they weren’t checking them consistently.” 

“And then they somehow got loaded into a gun and handed off to Alec Baldwin. He didn’t check it. He didn’t do any of the things that he was supposed to do to make sure that he was safe or that anyone around him was safe. And then he pointed the gun at Halyna Hutchins, and he pulled the trigger.”

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Baldwin and Reed are facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter. The charges vary in severity and carry separate terms of punishment. 

In a statement issued by the district attorney, Baldwin and Reed will be “charged in the alternative,” which means the jury will have to decide whether or not they are guilty and, if so, on which charge.

A conviction of involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. One of the charges carries additional punishment since a gun was involved, requiring a mandatory sentence of five years in prison. If convicted, they will only be sentenced to one count.

Carmack-Altwies told CNN that the charges would be formally filed by the end of the month. The two will not be arrested, but they will be summoned to appear in court. 

Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, said the charges were a “terrible miscarriage of justice.”

“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds.”

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Formal federal prosecutor Duncan Levin told The Daily Beast that the charges are a reflection of Baldwin’s celebrity status.

I think this is an example of a prosecutor trying to make an example out of somebody who is famous and in the public eye. Clearly, a tragic incident happened, and somebody’s responsible, but I think that charging Alec Baldwin with a crime has a lot to do with the fact that he is Alec Baldwin.”

Los Angeles entertainment attorney Tre Lovell told The Daily Beast that movie sets are “different from the real world” and that Hollywood’s “rules and protocols” outline who is responsible for what at every stage of production. Actors are not in charge of inspecting the safety of props. The Screen Actors Guild would never approve of actors being tasked with inspecting their own equipment. 

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said that the prosecution would have to overcome significant hurdles to win the case. Some of these include not knowing how live rounds made it onto the set in the first place and reconciling differing viewpoints on how much responsibility actors and crew members carry.

“Remember, this is a criminal case. You need all 12 jurors to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So I’m not saying that there’s no chance here, but this is a really difficult case for the prosecution.”

Brian Panish, a lawyer representing the Hutchins family, expressed gratitude for the prosecution bringing forward these charges. 

“It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law.”

med flight

Jeremy Renner Out Of Surgery And In ICU Following Snow Plow Accident 

Jeremy Renner, actor most recently recognizable from his role as Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is now out of surgery and has been admitted into the intensive care unit following a snow plowing accident on New Year’s Day. 

Initially reported by Variety, Renner is confirmed to have suffered from blunt force trauma and orthopedic injuries following the accident, and is currently in “critical but stable” condition. 

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“Jeremy’s family would like to express their gratitude to the incredible doctors and nurses looking after him, Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue, Washoe County Sheriff, Reno City Mayor Hillary Schieve, and the Carano and Murdock families,” Renner’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“They are also tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”

The accident occurred near Reno, Nevada. Renner’s representative initially confirmed the news of the accident and shared some positive words regarding the actor’s current team taking care of him through this time of recovery. 

“We can confirm Jeremy is in critical but stable condition with injuries suffered after experiencing a weather related accident while plowing snow earlier today. His family is with him and he is receiving excellent care.”

Around 9 am PT on Sunday, January 1st, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and officers responded to a “traumatic” injury near Mount Rose Highway in Reno, Nevada. 

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Representatives and spokesmen stated that “upon arrival, Deputies coordinated with Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and REMSA Health to arrange for medical transport of Mr. Jeremy Renner via care flight to a local area hospital. Mr. Renner was the only involved party in the incident.”

The sheriff’s Major Accident Investigation Team is “currently looking into the circumstances of the incident,” and no further details were given at this time. 

Renner’s home is located in Washoe County, where he’s owned property for many years. Weather reports in the area showed the county enduring a massive snowstorm on New Year’s Eve, with over 31,000 people losing power. 

Renner’s Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo took to social media to ask fans to send their best wishes to Renner and his family during this time. 

“Prayers up for our brother @jeremyrenner on a full and speedy recovery. Please send healing goodness his way,” Ruffalo posted on his Instagram story alongside reports of the accident when the news initially broke.

awards

Will Smith Opens Up About Chris Rock Oscars Slap on The Daily Show

Will Smith promoted his new historical drama “Emancipation” on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” on Monday evening. During the interview, the pair discussed Will Smith’s controversial night at the Oscars, where he slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage.

At the 94th Academy Awards last March, Smith charged the stage after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her baldness. Jada suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Later that night, Smith won the award for best actor for his performance in “King Richard.”

In the days that followed, Smith released a series of public apologies on social media. Smith also resigned from the Academy. He is barred from attending its ceremony for the next 10 years.

“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine. There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just — I lost it, you know? I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all … It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be.”

Smith said he understood “the idea where they say hurt people hurt people,” and is working on learning how to forgive himself “for being human.” Noah offered his perspective on the situation, telling Smith he is “one of those rare breeds of people who’ve spent more time in the spotlight than out of it.” 

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Noah empathized with Smith, saying that he does not believe that moment should define Smith since none “of us in life deserves to be defined by our one f**k-up.”

“I love Chris. I’m friends with him. I love you, but this is f****d up … I know that as Black people, Black people get together and go, ‘What was Will doing? What the hell happened?’ A lot of Black people were like, ‘He should go to jail.’ Like, you need to relax yourself. Some people were overreacting, which made some people underreact.”

Smith shared a story from the fallout of the Oscars evening. At that point, he was already dealing with the repercussions of his actions.

“I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time. My nephew is nine. He is the sweetest little boy. We came home. He had stayed up late to see his uncle Will, and we are sitting in my kitchen, and he is on my lap and he is holding the Oscar and he is just like, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?'”

Smith also talked about his upcoming movie “Emancipation,” and what compelled him to participate in the film. The movie is based on actual events and features Smith playing a runaway slave the world knew as “Whipped Peter.” The name was given to him after photos of keloid scarring on his back were distributed worldwide in 1863, showing the true horror and brutality of slavery. The images helped fuel the abolitionist movement.

“First seeing that image was one of the things that really got me excited to explore this, because you see the image, but you don’t know who he is. You don’t know what the story is. American slavery was one of the most brutal aspects of human history … It is hard to understand the level of human cruelty. My daughter asked me, ‘Daddy, do we really need another slave movie?’ I said, ‘Baby, I promise you, I wouldn’t make a slave movie. This is a freedom movie.'”

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Director Antoine Fuqua explained to Vanity Fair why “Emancipation” will release eight months after Smith’s Oscars controversy since “the film to me is bigger than that moment.” The film release was delayed in May with concerns that Smith’s actions at the Oscars would affect its reception.

“400 years of slavery is bigger than one moment. My hope is that people will see it that way and watch the movie and be swept away with the great performance by Will and all the real hard work that the whole crew did.”

“Emancipation” will release in select theaters this Friday and premiere on Apple TV+ on Dec. 9. The film is the first major project in which Smith was involved since his notorious Oscars night.

In a television interview with Fox 5, Smith said that he understands if audiences are reluctant to watch him promote the new film but hopes that events from that ceremony will not hurt the movie. 

“I completely understand that, if someone is not ready. I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready.”

Smith says that he believes director Fuqua showcases “the greatest work in his entire career” and that people on the film’s production team “have done some of the best work of their entire careers.” Smith hopes his actions during the ceremony “don’t penalize my team.”

“So at this point, that’s what I’m working for. That’s what I’m hoping for. I’m hoping that the material, the power of the film, the timeliness of the story — I’m hoping that the good that can be done — will open people’s hearts at a minimum to see and recognize and support the incredible artists in and around this film.”

netflix

Stranger Things Final Season Pitch Made Netflix Executives Cry

Fans of Netflix hit series Stranger Things should brace themselves for an emotional final season. The creators of the show and several of its cast members hinted at what viewers should expect from a blockbuster Season 5 during a panel in Los Angeles Sunday night.

Creators Ross and Matt Duffer, executive producer Shawn Levy, and cast Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, Priah Ferguson, Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Quinn and Eduardo Franco took part in the panel held at Tudum Theater.

The Duffer brothers revealed that the team had finished writing the season’s first episode, “The Crawl.” The crew also conducted a two-hour pitch meeting with Netflix execs to lay out the series ending, which left some executives in tears. According to Matt Duffer, just a few individuals know how the series will end.

“We did get our executives to cry, which I felt was a good sign that these executives were crying. The only other times I’ve seen them cry were like budget meetings.”

After submitting the first episode of the beloved series’ final season, Ross Duffer reflected on the show’s remarkable run.

“We turned in the first script a couple of weeks ago and we’re onto the second. It’s full steam ahead. I remember Season 1 we were just amazed that Netflix was letting us do this at all, but Season 2 was when we really, with the writers, we developed an overall plan and a back story for all of this and make sure that, with the Upside Down, everything about what it was.”

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Patton Oswalt, who served as the panel’s moderator, probed for information on Season 5’s emotional underpinnings. Fans hope the show will continue weaving 80s horror and pop culture references into its script.

“Five, the way we see it, is kind of a culmination of all the seasons, so it’s sort of got a little bit from each, whereas before each season was so distinctly … [Season] 3 is our big summer blockbuster season with big monsters, and [Season] 4 was the psychological horror. I think that what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit, in sort of the tone of [Season] 1.”

Ross Duffer also shared that the last episodes of Season 5 will be comparable to Season 4 “scale-wise.” 

Season 4 of the series became the most expensive Netflix original created, costing around 30 million dollars to make each episode. In comparison, Breaking Bad Season 5 was 3.5 million dollars an episode, and Game of Thrones Season 8 was 15 million dollars an episode.

The series’ outstanding ratings among viewers and 12 Emmy wins suggest that the production costs were well worth it.

“Just as important as the supernatural, we have so many characters now, most of whom are still living. It’s important to wrap up those arcs because a lot of these characters have been growing since Season 1. So, it’s a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up these loose ends and doing our final reveals.”

Levy, the show’s executive producer, has praised the Duffer brothers’ dedication to the show over the years.

“As a witness and having been in that two-hour pitch room and having read this first script — I’m paralyzed with fear that I’ll spoil anything but I will say the thing about these Duffer Brothers is that even though the show has gotten so famous and the characters have gotten so iconic and there’s so much about the ’80s and the supernatural and the genre, it’s about these people, it’s about these characters. Season 5 is already so clearly taking care of these stories of the characters because that’s always been the lifeblood of Stranger Things.”

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Matt Duffer revealed in August that the creators were considering not adding any new cast members during the final season to retain the focus on the current ensemble. Some viewers have criticized the show in the past for its reluctance to kill off main characters, which seems  idealistic in a world filled with ravenous monsters.

“Whenever we introduce a new character, we want to make sure that they’re going to be an integral part of the narrative. So that’s something with Eddie this season, where we go, ‘Well, we need a character here for this storyline to really work, and to give it the engine that is needed.’ But every time we do that, we’re nervous, because you go, ‘We’ve got a great cast of characters here, and actors, and any moment we’re spending with a new character, we’re taking time away from one of the other actors.’ So we’re just very, very careful about who we’re introducing.”

David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper in the series, believes the final season will be a “home run.” Harbour said that playing Hopper has been “the role of a lifetime in many ways” and that he is going to pour his “heart and soul” into playing him for the last time.

“I know those Duffer brothers are very specific, and I know they want to get that last season. I mean if you look at Season 4, I have a feeling that Season 5 may not be as long, but it certainly will be packed to the brim with good stuff that you love. I mean, they really are getting better at giving you that home run that the audiences love. And I think that Season 5 will do that so much.”

waitress

James Corden Breaks Silence on Restaurant Ban and Makes Things Worse

In an interview with The New York Times to promote his new Prime Video series “Mammals,” the 44-year-old host of the Late Late Show, James Corden, finally addressed the comments made by Balthazar owner Keith McNally after he banned Corden from his restaurant.

In a post on Instagram, McNally said that Corden was “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.” It led him to “86” Corden, barring him from the eatery on Monday.

He lifted the ban hours later after Corden called McNally to apologize.  Corden said he was comfortable speaking about the situation while being interviewed a few days later.

“I haven’t done anything wrong on any level. So why would I ever cancel this [interview]? I was there. I get it. I feel so Zen about the whole thing. Because I think it’s so silly…I just think it’s beneath all of us. It’s beneath you. It’s certainly beneath your publication.”

When asked if he was aware of the conversation McNally’s posts ignited on the internet, Corden said he had not “really read anything” and asked, “should we not all be a little grown-up about this?”

“It’s strange. It’s strange when you were there. I think I’m probably going to have to talk about it on Monday’s show. My feeling, often, is, never explain, never complain. But I’ll probably have to talk about it…I promise you, ask around this restaurant. They don’t know about this. Maybe 15% of people. I’ve been here, been walking around New York, not one person’s come up to me. We’re dealing in two worlds here.”

During the interview, which was conducted at a restaurant, another customer happened to send back a dish nearby. Corden pointed out that incidents like this happen “every day” and they are “happening in 55,000 restaurants as we speak.” He asked the journalist, “Can you imagine now if we just blasted her on Twitter? Would that be fair? This is my point. It’s insane.”

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According to McNally, Corden treated his employees poorly both times he visited his restaurant and also at another establishment named Café Luxembourg.

One of the incidents happened in June when Corden found a hair in his lunch while dining at Balthazar.

McNally said that “although this is diabolical, it happens very occasionally in all restaurants.” Corden showed the hair to the manager after he finished his meal. The manager was apologetic. Corden then said, “Get us another round of drinks this second. And also take care of all of our drinks so far. This way I don’t write any nasty reviews in yelp or anything like that.”

In another incident, McNally said that Corden was upset about his wife’s meal and lashed out at a server.

“James Corden was at Balthazar with his wife on Oct. 9 for brunch. He asked for a table outside. Brunch Maitre D’ Allie Wolters took the party to table 301. Mr. Corden’s wife ordered an egg yolk omelet with Gruyere cheese and salad. A few minutes after they received the food, James called their server, M. K. and told her there was a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk. M. K. informed the floor manager, G. The kitchen remade the dish but unfortunately sent it with home fries instead of salad. That’s when James Corden began yelling like crazy to the server: ‘You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelet myself!’ M.K. was very apologetic and brought G. over to the table. He returned the dish, and after that, everything was fine. He gave them promo Champagne glasses to smooth things out. G. said that Corden was pleasant to him but nasty to the server.’ M.K. was very shaken, but professional that she is, continued to finish her shift.”

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After publicly calling out Corden on social media and banning and then unbanning him from his renowned NYC restaurant, McNally shared with his Instagram followers that he was “feeling strange.”

“On the one hand, he was definitely abusive to my staff, on the other hand, I feel really sorry for him right now. Like most cowards I want it both ways, F— it, I’m going to get drunk.”

However, upon seeing the published NYTimes interview, McNally made another post on Instagram expressing his disappointment in Corden’s comments.

“I’ve no wish to kick a man when he’s down. Especially one who’s worth $100 Million, but when James Corden said in yesterday’s N.Y. Times that he hadn’t done “anything wrong, on any level,” was he joking? Or was he denying being abusive to my servers? Whatever Corden meant, his implication was clear: he didn’t do it. Although I didn’t witness the incident, lots of my restaurant’s floor staff did. They had nothing to gain by lying. Corden did. I wish James Corden would live up to his Almighty initials and come clean. If the supremely talented actor wants to retrieve the respect he had from all his fans (all 4 of them) before this incident, then he should at least admit he did wrong. If he goes one step further and apologizes to the 2 servers he insulted, I’ll let him eat for free at Balthazar for the next 10 years.”

movies

‘Smile’ Writer and Director State’s Film’s Interpretation Of Mental Illness Was Intentionally Complicated 

New horror movie ‘Smile’ is becoming a hit at the box office this month. Parker Finn, the film’s writer and director, recently was interviewed by Polygon magazine at Fantastic Fest to discuss how he thinks the movie’s connected to so many audience members due to its representation of anxiety, trauma, and mental illness in general. 

“I think it’s so relatable. Everybody walks around carrying these things inside of themselves that are deeply rooted in them at their core, that are based on their histories and traumas.”

Finn continued to discuss how he wanted to use that feeling that so many can relate to, “and also explore what it might be like to have your mind turning against you. For me, that’s one of my greatest fears.”

Finn suggests that “due to events around the COVID-19 quarantines, feelings of stress and anxiety have become their own parallel epidemic.”

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“I developed and wrote and ended up shooting this movie all during the pandemic, when I think we were all traumatized and feeling a sense of isolation and a fear of transmission. The idea that trauma could beget trauma was really present in my brain, and I think it just crept its way into the script,” he explained. 

Finn also broke down how society has become much more open when it comes to talking about mental health and the many different ways it impacts humanity. 

“I think it’s something that as a society, we’ve all started to confront more. I think it’s in the air. It’s something we’re all aware of: Everybody’s got trauma of some sort in their life, whether it’s great or small, things they carry around with them that they don’t talk about.”

“We all put these masks on to hide our trauma, which was very much a motif in the film, with the smile being a metaphor, a mask,” he says, referring to the common feeling of “hiding behind a smile” that many individuals who suffer from mental pain can relate to. 

The movie itself follows protagonis Rose, played by Sosie Bacon, as she navigates her own deep traumas from her childhood in relation to her mother’s death. Rose herself is a therapist, so while she’s used to helping others navigate their own mental health journeys, she’s not used to feeling her own internal struggle and confrontation with her past. 

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“I wanted to do something that felt like what it would be like to be to experience [a breakdown], to put yourself in someone’s shoes and maybe look at [other people’s experiences and traumas] in a way we haven’t considered before,” Finn says. 

“I think it’s a universal theme for everyone, this idea that we’re all afraid of not being believed, especially by the people closest to us. That’s terrifying.”

Finn explained how he worked with psychologists throughout the production of the film to get the most accurate representation of when others don’t believe someone when they discuss their personal struggles, as well as convey the pain that one feels when they feel like they’re not being heard. 

“I think it’s always a balance, but I wanted to trust the audience and respect their intelligence and their emotions. And I love messy movies. I want people to feel different things. And sometimes you want to provoke them. Sometimes you want them to feel a ton of sympathy or empathy, but you always want to make it complicated for the audience. That’s when a movie is doing its job, right?” he expressed. 

Finn’s hope regarding ‘Smile’ is to “add to the conversation” surrounding mental illness in a horror context so that the movie is not only scary on the surface, but in its deeper meaning as well. 

“I think as a society, we’ve started to speak better about mental health and therapy and trauma, things like that. But we’re still not really there. It’s not something people understand. So I wanted to use this as a parallel and a device to explore something that hopefully would get people to think a little differently about what it might be like to be actually experiencing those sorts of things,” Finn concluded. 

fashion

Kanye West Wears ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt at Yeezy Fashion Show

Kanye West donned a shirt bearing “White Lives Matter” on its back at his popup fashion show during Paris Fashion Week. He sent several models, some of whom are Black, with t-shirts sharing the same slogan down the runway at his YZYSZN9 show.

The Anti-Defamation League recognizes the slogan as one that is commonly used by white supremacist groups, including the KKK. The Southern Poverty Law Center also acknowledges the “movement” as an extremist group.

“White Lives Matter, a racist response to the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter, is a neo-Nazi group that is growing into a movement as more and more white supremacist groups take up its slogans and tactics.”

Kanye West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, is no stranger to controversy. He made headlines in 2018 after implying slavery was a choice during his interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God.

Selah Marley, Lauryn Hill’s daughter and Bob Marley’s granddaughter, was among the models who modeled the garment. Candace Owens, a conservative political commentator, sat in the audience wearing a shirt with the same slogan.

The rumors of the popup fashion show began a few days before the Balenciaga mud show, where Ye made his runway debut. On Monday, the Avenue de la Grande Armée was packed with fans.

According to the NYTimes, “Anna Wintour came. So did John Galliano. Demna, the Balenciaga designer, and Cédric Charbit, its chief executive. Alexandre Arnault, the chief marketing officer of Tiffany & Company and a son of the LVMH chieftain Bernard Arnault.”

The show featured a live choir with a host of children from Ye’s Donda Academy in California, including  Ye’s daughter North.

Jaden Smith, who was also in the audience, walked out after the shirts came down the runway, later tweeting his support of the BLM movement, stating “I had to dip” and “we demand a more progressive future.”

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Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, the vogue editor, called it “indefensible behavior” on Instagram. In a series of stories, she shared screenshots of her thoughts on what happened.

“I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to illustrate a dystopian world in the future when whiteness might become extinct or at least would be in enough danger to demand defense…it didn’t land, and it was deeply offensive, violent and dangerous. The danger is that this very premise, the idea that white supremacy is in danger of extinction, is what justifies mass incarceration, murder en masse, indeed even the advent of slavery. The idea that blackness must be snuffed out for it will surely supersede whiteness in power and influence if given the chance, and it’s so hugely irresponsible to furnish the most dangerous extremists with this kind of fiction narrative.”

Kanye responded to the criticism by taking to Instagram and posting screenshots of the writer online.

“This is not a fashion person You speak on Ye Ima speak on you Ask Trevor Noah.”

Model Gigi Hadid came to the writer’s defense, commenting on Ye’s post.

 “You wish u had a percentage of her intellect. You have no idea, haha…. If there’s actually a point to any of your s–t. She might be the only person that could save u. As if the ‘honor’ of being invited to your show should keep someone from giving their opinion? Lol. You’re a bully and a joke.”

She also reposted a statement from José Criales-Unzueta, a Vogue employee, on her Instagram story.

“I was trying very hard not to give that man air time, but publicly bullying someone who criticizes your work on your massive platform is another level of ridiculousness to me. If you can’t take it, don’t dish it. If you can’t take criticism, especially the smart, nuanced, and kind criticism that GKJ provided yesterday’s show, then don’t put work out for public consecution.”

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Ye doubled down on his comments.

“Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam. Now it’s over. You’re welcome.”

Ye also accused LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault of killing fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

“SPANK MY HAND WITH THE RULER(S) I’LL GO SIT IN THE ‘PRINCIPAL(S)’ OFFICE. CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS? LIKE HOW LATE THE SHOW WAS, OR HOW BERNARD ARNAULT KILLED MY BEST FRIEND.”

Tremaine Emory, the creative director of Supreme, responded, “I gotta draw the line at you using Virgil’s death in your ‘ye’ is the victim campaign in front your sycophant peanut algorithm gallery.”

“This time last year you said Virgil’s designs are a disgrace to the black community in front of all your employees at Yeezy -ASK LUCETTE HOLLAND…I GOT ALL THE ‘RECEIPTS’ ( don’t let me get into the things you said about v after his death)

Ye tell the ppl why you didn’t get invited to Virgil’s actual funeral the one before the public one at the museum( and why you weren’t allowed to speak at the public funeral). You knew Virgil had terminal cancer and you rode on him in group chats, at Yeezy, interviews…YOU ARE SO BROKEN. KEEP VIRGIL NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH…KEEP @gabriellak_j NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH…Your not a victim your just an insecure narcissist that’s dying for validation from the fashion world…take care…at least we’ll always have ‘UGANDA’.”

part ways

The Try Guys Part Ways With ‘Wife Guy’ Ned Fulmer After Workplace Affair

The Try Guys announced on Tuesday that they are cutting ties with one of their members, Ned Fulmer, after he admitted to cheating on his wife with one of his employees. Fulmer was known by fans to be the “wife guy” and even wrote a cookbook titled “The Date Night Cookbook” with his wife, Ariel Fulmer.

The viral YouTube group had four members: Zach Kornfeld, Keith Habersberger, Eugene Lee Yang and Fulmer. The group created content together while at Buzzfeed, where they were former employees. Eventually, they left the platform in 2018 to pursue their own production company and YouTube channel, which has more than 7.8 million subscribers.

Ned confirmed the cheating allegations with a statement on Instagram.

“Family should have always been my priority, but I lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship. I’m sorry for any pain that my actions may have caused to the guys and the fans but most of all to Ariel. The only thing that matters right now is my marriage and my children, and that’s where I am going to focus my attention.”

The other woman is rumored to be Try Guy’s associate producer Alexandria Herring.

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Fans of the series started to feel that something was wrong when Fulmer was missing from the channel’s last three videos. Members of the series’ subreddit shared photos of stills from finished video shoots containing Fulmer, causing them to speculate that he had been getting edited out of the videos. Fulmer was present in a photo from the group’s filming of an episode where Habersberger tried the entire Caesars Palace menu in Las Vegas. The final video did not contain Fulmer at all.

Ariel Fulmer, who hosts a podcast called “You Can’t Sit With Us” with the other partners of the group’s members, was absent from its previous two episodes. Fans noted how the timing coincided with an announcement from the group last week that they would only be releasing one episode per week instead of their usual two until the end of October.

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A few weeks prior,  a post titled “Ned,” authored by user “hamilton390,” had appeared on the Try Guys subreddit on Sept. 3, alleging that “multiple people have seen Ned around NYC this week making out with women at the local bars.” The post received only a few comments, all skeptical of the claim. One commenter wrote, “source: I made it up.” In response, “hamilton390” sent one of the commenters a series of screenshots of Instagram direct messages. It was later revealed that “hamilton390” was Herring’s fiancé Will Thayer.

In the screenshots, Thayer received a message from someone who saw Herring kissing Fulmer in a dive bar near NYU in New York City. The message read that the user “saw her making out with ned from the try guys,” and the timing of the sighting aligned with dates when Fulmer and Herring were known to have been in NYC. The user also sent Thayer some blurry videos for proof. Thayer thanked the sender and replied, “just spoke to Ariel for an hour.” Thayer scrubbed his Instagram of photos of Herring before unfollowing her. Fulmer and Herring also unfollowed each other, reinforcing fans’ suspicion that Herring was the woman in the videos.

The Try Guys confirmed that they removed Fulmer from the group with a short message.

“Ned Fulmer is no longer working with The Try Guys. As a result of a thorough internal review, we do not see a path forward together. We thank you for your support as we navigate this change.

lord of the rings

Original ‘LOTR’ Cast Stands in Solidarity With ‘Rings of Power’ Cast Amid Racist Backlash

The original cast of “The Lord of the Rings” movies are standing in solidarity with the diverse cast of Amazon’s new series “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” The cast of “The Rings of Power” have been on the receiving end of a slurry of hateful messages from racist “fans” of the LOTR franchise. These fans are unhappy with the casting decision and feel that it does not represent what they perceive to be LOTR author J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision of its fantasy world, “Middle-earth.”

Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, and Dominic Monaghan publicly supported the new cast members on social media. They posted photos wearing hats and t-shirts featuring a row of human, goblin, and elf ears in various shades of skin tone. The four actors played the four hobbits in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation of the LOTR trilogy.

The actors captioned their posts with “you are all welcome here,” which quickly became a hashtag and reaffirmed their support. The merchandise designed by Don Marshall also features the phrase printed in “elvish.” 50% of the merchandise sales profits go to a nonprofit supporting POC.

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On a statement on Instagram, The Lord of the Rings on Prime account wrote a response to the controversy.

“We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it. JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. “Rings of Power” reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white. Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in middle-earth and they are here to stay.”

This is not the first time a cast’s diversity or lack of diversity stirred controversy. A few weeks before “The Rings of Power” started streaming, a prequel to the TV fantasy series “Game of Thrones” called “House of Dragons” was released. Fans noticed that the prequel attempts to create a more diverse world than in “Game of Thrones.” A few years ago, Idris Alba received backlash when rumors of him playing James Bond circulated in the media.

Neil Gaiman, a fantasy and science-fiction author and screenwriter, has also come out in support, dismantling some of the arguments circulated by racist fans. On Twitter, one user posted, “browner of skin means tanned white similar to people who work in the sun,” to which Gaiman responded, “Tolkien didn’t say ‘The Harfoots spent longer in the sun than any of the other hobbits and were a lot more tanned.” He said that Tolkien described them as “browner of skin.”

The TV adaptation of “The Sandman,” released on Netflix recently, features a similarly diverse cast. In the show, one of the characters, “Death,” is white in the comics and is played by a Black actor named Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Female actors played other characters who were originally male in the comics. Gaiman wrote the original comic and was one of the developers of the show.

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Actor Whoopi Goldberg also came out in support and talked about the absurdity of a diversity rule placed on a fantasy world. Goldberg said, “they don’t exist in the real world.”

“There are no dragons. There are no hobbits. Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake people too? Is that what you’re telling me? I don’t know if there’s like a hobbit club, I don’t know if there are gonna be protests, but people! What is wrong with y’all?”

“The Rings of Power” takes place in Tolkien’s Middle-earth second age, before the timeline of the first book. It is streaming on Amazon Prime.