• James Corden, Golden Globes, and why you don’t need to be gay to act gay

    OPINION

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have announced the nominees for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and one name on the nomination list seems to have struck a nerve in many people. James Corden, nominated for his performance in The Prom, a musical in which the actor/comedian played a gay man.  A lot of this disdain comes from what people call Hollywood’s reinforcement of the gay man stereotype and the idea that the Corden’s role should have been played by someone who is gay. 

    It is not the first time Hollywood producers have come under fire for their casting choices. For instance, in June 2020, Disney announced Halle Bailey was cast in the lead for The Little Mermaid’s live-action version. This announcement was met with many negative remarks on how the singer/actress bears no resemblance to the fictitious character’s animated version.  

    Still, I think it’s important to distinguish between the fight for more representation for minority and marginalized communities and saying a gay man must play a gay man’s role in a movie.

    Seeking more representation is asking to see more accurate portrayals of the different communities while demanding that a gay man only play a gay man’s role in a movie is implying that only those who have walked in the shoes can accurately portray it. 

    I love that we live in such a vocal generation that speaks up, but I think we should be careful not to create battles to douse an itch to fight.

    Acting is an occupation and asking for an employer to offer employment for any reason other than being the most qualified candidate is wrong on many levels. And yes, I want to see more LGBTQ+ and other actors from minority and marginalized communities on my screen, but it shouldn’t have to be a re-enactment of their real lives.

    It’s okay to say James Corden does not deserve the nomination because he was quite frankly terrible in his role as Barry Glickman. And shame on the casting director and producers for letting that performance slide. But, like Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother, don’t we want to see each actor at their full potential, not limited by their socioeconomic status, race, or sexual preference?

    The problems with movies like The Prom that create socio-cultural stereotypes have little to do with the cast; rather, it stems from not having diversified inputs at the pre-production and production levels. A gay writer, staff, crew member or even consultant would most likely have caught the errors in Glickman before it hit our screens.

     So, before we turn activism into a circus, let’s fight the right fights: diversity on our screens, and making stereotypes a thing of the past. A conscious effort to include minority and marginalized communities in the film production process will make this possible.

  • How My Uncle Groomed and Sexually Molested Me at the Age of Five

    TRUE STORY

    Original photo by Tarragona freepik.com

    Molly (name changed to protect the victim’s identity) was less than seven years old when she was sexually molested several times by her uncle in an apartment shared with her grandad, dad and most of his siblings.

    “My earliest memories of being sexually molested was between when I was about five to seven years old. I remember this because It was a time before I moved to live with my mom, and that happened when before I was seven years old,” says Molly.

    According to Molly, she cannot remember exactly how many times the incidence occurred but vividly remembers two separate occasions.

    “The first memory I have was me being in a room alone. He had recently come home from school (university) and told me stories about his friends. At some point, he put his hands into my panties… then he proceeded to show me his penis, told me not to be scared and to touch it. After that, he asked me to lick it, then to suck on it,” she says.

    Molly held on to this secret for many years until another family member directly asked her about it.

    “After I graduated from university, I moved to a different city, but was in constant communication with my aunt. She raised me for most of my life. She is like my mom. I remember being in a cab on my way back from work when she called me who sexually molested me. I was pretty shocked. She didn’t ask me if I was molested, she asked like she already knew and just wanted to confirm” says Molly. Molly told her aunt she would give her a call as soon as she got home, which she did.

    “She recently went to a seminar that provided information on signs of sexually molested children. She said my name popped up in her mind every time he mentioned a sign” says Molly.

    After the conversation, her aunt arranged for her to discuss with a host from the seminar. According to Molly, he helped “me understand that some of the problems I dealt with were rooted in the sexual abuse I endured as a child”. Some of the challenges included “not being able to sleep at night, being defensive all the time, always feeling less than, not being able to trust people, having an unhealthy sexual life. There were just so many things I didn’t know were connected to that experience,” said Molly.

    When asked why she never told anyone as a child, Molly responded that as an adult, she asked herself that question every day for a long time until a therapist helped her understand a possible reason why.

    “A couple of years ago, I saw a therapist who told me that by sharing stories about his friends e and telling me I was his favourite niece, he was [grooming] me,” says Molly. She also adds that her uncle would tell her the act was their “little secret” and that no one would believe her if she ever told them.

    When asked why she wanted to share her story, Molly said that she had read so many stories about children going through the same thing over the years. “When you hear bad stories, you always tend to think they are done by strangers, but it could be someone within the household like a trusted friend, a brother or sister. “

    Molly hopes that sharing her story will help save a child from a similar situation or help someone who might have experienced a similar situation find their voice.

  • Miley Cyrus Steals Spotlight at Super Bowl 2021

    OPINION

    Screenshot from Miley Cyrus’ YouTube video

    Fans are saying Miley Cyrus’ ‘TikTok Tailgate’ preshow performance stole the spotlight at Super Bowl LV 2021, and they might be right.

    The super bowl which took place on Sunday, February 7 left many feeling disappointed following Kansas City Chief’s loss to Buccaneers. Even more disappointing was the half time show, headlined by The Weeknd. Many social media users say it is the most boring halftime performance in Super Bowl history.

    However, many social media users cannot stop talking about Cyrus’s preshow, which included performances with music legends Joan Jett and Billy Idol.

    Cyrus performed several of her songs including Wrecking Ball, and Edge of Midnight, a remix of her 2020 hit single Midnight Sky.

    Grammy-nominated artists Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan both performed a duet of the national anthem.

    This year’s inaugural poet Amanda Gorman also performed an original poem ahead of the Super Bowl.

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