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Tag: Controversy (1-10 of 20)

The Daytime Emmys' red-carpet hosts stir up controversy with a rape joke


This year, some real-life drama surrounds the soap-focused Daytime Emmy Awards.

A few weeks before the ceremony, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences issued a casting call for social media mavens to host the event’s live-streamed red carpet preshow. Specifically, as reported by Soap Opera Network, organizers wanted “millennials between the ages of 18-35, all ethnicities, who have a strong entertainment news background and/or very strong social media following (300,000 followers minimum).” Last Wednesday, the NATAS revealed that it had selected a foursome with a mighty social reach: Vine star Brittany Furlan, style vlogger Lauren Elizabeth, beauty vlogger Jessica Harlow, and Meghan Rosette, who vlogs about style and beauty.

The chosen four certainly have large followings on sites like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Facebook—but their collective entertainment-news backgrounds aren’t quite as strong. After a red carpet show criticized as amateurish and occasionally downright offensive, some irate viewers are demanding that NATAS issue an apology for Furlan, Elizabeth, Harlow, and Rosette’s antics. READ FULL STORY

MSNBC apologizes for Cinco de Mayo segment


MSNBC is apologizing for a Cinco de Mayo segment that featured a staff member onscreen wearing a sombrero, shaking maracas, and taking a swig from a bottle of tequila.

The network said Tuesday the interlude on its Way Too Early show Monday featuring correspondent Louis Burgdorf and host Thomas Roberts wasn’t intended to be disrespectful. The show apologized online and will express its regret Wednesday on the air. READ FULL STORY

Stephen Colbert on #CancelColbert: 'We almost lost me' -- VIDEO


Stephen Colbert used his entire Comedy Central show Monday to address an out-of-context tweet last week that kicked off the #CancelColbert campaign. Update: Watch video from the episode below.

The show started with a hilarious montage showing The Colbert Report shutting down, the lights going out, a flower wilting, scenes of the apocalypse, the famous crying Indian — all while Adagio for Strings played over the images. Then Colbert “woke up” from his bad dream and did his show.


ABC Family's 'Alice in Arabia' sparks outrage

ABC Family’s recently announced drama pilot Alice in Arabia is inciting significant backlash on Twitter and from a Muslim civil liberties organization. The pilot follows an American teen who is kidnapped by her Saudi Arabian extended family and must “find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, called for the cable network to meet with Muslim and Arab-American community leaders to discuss their grievances with the potential series. CAIR sent a letter to ABC Family president Tom Ascheim on Tuesday requesting a meeting with its organization and other groups.

“We want ABC to sit down and to meet with us and have a dialogue,” spokeswoman Yasmin Nouh told EW. “[And] to recognize that the portrayal of [this story has] real consequences on Muslims and especially on Muslim youth, not only how others treat them, but in terms of how they see themselves.”

The organization has not yet received a response from ABC Family, which is owned by Disney, but a spokesperson for the cable net issued the following statement: “We hope people will wait to judge this show on its actual merits once it is filmed. The writer is an incredible storyteller and we expect Alice to be a nuanced and character driven show.”

Here is the full ABC Family description of the pilot: READ FULL STORY

'How I Met Your Mother' creators respond to racism claims

When Jason Segel’s character headed to Shanghai in Monday’s How I Met Your Mother episode, he encountered some familiar faces — well, almost familiar: Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders, and Josh Radnor were all dressed up to look like they were Asian. Viewers took to Twitter to slam the show for putting white actors in “yellowface,” even starting the hashtag #HowIMetYourRacism.

Co-creator Carter Bays responded to those racism claims Wednesday, tweeting that he and fellow showrunner Craig Thomas were “deeply sorry” for the offensive nature of the episode. Read his full Twitter response below:

'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson stands by his comments: 'I will not back off from my path'

If anyone thought Phil Robertson would back down from the comments that got him suspended from A&E’s Duck Dynasty, they were sorely mistaken.

After igniting a cultural firestorm by talking about the “sin” of homosexuality in an interview with GQ, Robertson invited the U.K.’s Daily Mail to sit in on his Bible study Sunday, during which he further defended his beliefs.

“I will not give or back off from my path. … We murder each other, and we steal from one another, sex and immorality goes ballistic,” he said during the West Monroe, Louisiana, Bible study, which he led. “All the diseases that just so happened to follow sexual mischief…boy there are some microbes running around now,” he said, adding, “Sexual sins are numerous and many. I have a few myself. So what is your safest course of action? If you’re a man, find yourself a woman, marry them and keep your sex right there.”

He continued: “Common sense says we are not going to procreate the human race unless we have a man and a woman.”

'Duck Dynasty': Louisiana lt. governor fights for tourism cash cow

Louisiana’s lieutenant governor says the Duck Dynasty reality TV show is important to state tourism — and he could help connect the Robertson family with new producers if they cannot reach an agreement with the A&E network.

The network suspended patriarch Phil Robertson last week for telling GQ magazine that gays are sinners akin to adulterers and swindlers.

“I’m sure a lot of people found the comments offensive. There’s no question about that,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said Sunday. “The point is he has an opinion and has a set of beliefs and is entitled to those without jeopardizing what has become an extremely popular show across America.”

Dardenne, who authored the state’s film and TV tax credit program, said he wasn’t talking about anything that would cost the state money or would require work by people in his office — just his own personal contacts with people in the industry.

In a statement emailed over the weekend, he wrote, “Regardless of one’s views on Phil Robertson’s statements, Duck Dynasty has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut.”

'Duck Dynasty' ignites culture war as boycott looms


For a moment, things were getting better. Republicans and Democrats awkwardly joined hands, grumbling, to pass the first divided-Congress budget deal in nearly three decades this week. Partisans howled, yet rival factions took care of business despite enormous differences with minimal drama. The grand canyon of America’s political divide seemed to narrow, at least by a few inches, for a few days.

Then this happened.

Phil Robertson’s homophobic and weirdly genital-fixated comments in GQ. His non-apology defense suggesting he’s not bigoted because he loves people. A&E’s suspenseful pregnant pause as the hours ticked by on Wednesday. And then a network response that went beyond what anybody expected: Booting Robertson from the show “indefinitely.”

The decision shocked and impressed progressives accustomed to networks moving slow and hesitant when faced with such nerve-wracking and profit-endangering controversies. There was no waffling amid water-testing statements like with Food Network and Paula Dean, or MSNBC with Martin Bashir or Alec Baldwin. Just boom – you’re gone.

And then … holy duck … did all hell break loose. A&E’s decision infuriated certain Duck supporters: How dare A&E punish Phil for merely quoting scripture and speaking his mind? A Fox News reporter accused “anti-straight groups” of attacking Robertson. Sarah Palin slammed A&E for being against free speech. A “Boycott A&E” Facebook page has racked up 500,000 Likes. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal threw in his support, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz chimed in.

The seeds of this have been buried for years. Rural work-based reality shows skew extremely right-wing. It was probably only a matter of time before the star of one these titles publicly collided with the more progressive attitudes of the show’s network. That this happened with Duck Dynasty, a series regularly setting cable TV rating records, makes the conflict all the more ground-shaking. READ FULL STORY

ABC apologizes for child's China joke on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' -- VIDEO


ABC is apologizing for a segment of Jimmy Kimmel Live in which a child joked about killing Chinese people to help erase the U.S. debt.

The boy’s unscripted comment (“Kill everyone in China,” he suggested) came during a comedy bit in which youngsters commented on news events. The skit, aimed at poking fun at childish politicians, aired last week on Kimmel’s late-night talk show.

ABC’s apology came in response to a complaint from a group called 80-20, which identifies itself as a pan-Asian-American political organization.

In an Oct. 25 letter to the group, ABC said it would never purposefully do anything to upset the Chinese, Asian or other communities. The network says the skit will be edited out of the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” episode for future airings or any other distribution, including online.

Watch the video, via the South China Morning Post, below:

Time Warner Cable hit with class-action lawsuit over CBS blackout


The dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS has prompted a class-action lawsuit by subscribers upset over paying for channels they don’t receive.

CBS and TWC are locked in a standoff over CBS’ request to increase carriage fees for its channels, a dispute that has resulted in CBS being pulled from Time Warner Cable customers’ TV packages (and programming, if TWC is also someone’s Internet provider).

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, three customers charged that they subscribed to TWC service because of CBS-owned channels CBS, Showtime, Movie Channel, and Los Angeles station KCAL but have been unable to access them due to the two-week ongoing coverage blackout.

'Big Brother' contestant investigated after child porn comments

It’s not like Big Brother contestants are typically known for their contributions to society, but the season 15 cast has set the moral bar at an all-time low. (Is there a basement in the BB house? Because the bar is buried beneath that.) Following a season of offhand racist and homophobic remarks, the latest attempt at a “joke” is Spencer Clawson’s riff on child porn.

While fellow contestant McCrae was in the shower, Spencer grabbed his microphone and, in an apparent attempt to make his housemate look bad, said into the mic, “I like to beat off to child porn. Did I ever tell y’all about that? I love it. … I love it when they’re around 3 or 4 years old. My favorite ones are when you can tell they’re in a basement.”

Spencer’s idea of humor took a serious turn, however, when his hometown police department in Conway, Arkansas, was informed of the remarks.

Discovery Channel hammered for 'Megalodon' shark special

A Discovery Channel special that speculated about whether a giant prehistoric shark could still exist today has drawn a passionate response from viewers — both good and bad.

The program, Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, opened Discovery’s annual Shark Week this weekend. With an estimated 4.8 million viewers, it had the largest audience of any show in the 26 years that Discovery has made Shark Week a part of its summer programming.

Yet it drew a heated response online from viewers who said airing a “mockumentary” that talks seriously about the existence of a creature known only from its fossils compromises the network’s reputation.

Discovery, for its part, defended the fake documentary. “With a whole week of Shark Week programming ahead of us, we wanted to explore the possibilities of Megalodon,” Shark Week executive producer Michael Sorensen said in a statement. “It’s one of the most debated shark discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It’s Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there for years and with 95 percent of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?”


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