Welcome to this week’s edition of What’s Going On? — a completely biased take on the week’s biggest pop-culture stories, told through numbers, odds, and props because this is Vegas after all. Here I’ll fill you in on (my version of) the best and worst from all of your (my) favorite celebrities, musicians, and even politicians, plus a few stories that are just begging to be shared. This is the stuff the group chat will thank you for. Or, at the very least, not kick you out for.
Welcome back, welcome back! This was another hard week to sift through, considering the majority of my newsfeed was taken up by the on-going Harvey Weinstein story — and for really good reason. I’m actually really glad my newsfeed was taken up by this story. Please, please! Keep on sharing and keep on telling because it’s making a difference.
In light of the enormity of that story, news on other fronts was a little less visible. That being said, it was still there and after a little time weeding, I found a couple plump potatoes for you. Enjoy!
Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company on Sunday after a New York Times investigation revealed allegations of long-term, habitual sexual harassment. The firing is a follow-up to Friday, when one-third of the Weinstein Company’s all-male board resigned and it was announced that Weinstein himself would be taking a leave of absence. While the company’s remaining four board members have not specified what specifically prompted the decision, we have been told that “new information about misconduct…has emerged in the past few days.”
Mr. Weinstein released a statement on Thursday “sincerely apologizing” for the way he has behaved in the past, and claiming, through the immortal words of Jay-Z, “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” Interestingly enough, this statement was followed by a near-immediate denial of any real wrongdoing, as Weinstein maintains that all sexual interactions were consensual.
I’m exhausted by how often stories similar to this one find their way into our newsfeeds. Yet, we must remember it is the telling of these stories, and ones like it, that will change our culture; it is the stories of those brave enough to blow the whistle, and risk the fallout, that will improve the world for future generations.
As Jenni Konner, executive producer of HBO’s Girls, said on Sunday, the firing of Weinstein by the company he founded will, “scare any man in Hollywood using his power for anything but making movies and television.”
Odds that Harvey Weinstein continues to work in Hollywood: 20/1
The termination of his employment sets a huge precedent for how Hollywood needs to deal with accusations and allegations of this sort. Is it too much to hope that the days of separating the artist from the art are over? Too much to expect recourse for actions, even if we really liked that one movie they made? I sincerely don’t think so.
Well, lucky for all of us, Stephen Colbert decided to give the Donald what he was looking for, and invited Jon Stewart to help him do so. Colbert challenged Stewart, former host of The Daily Show, to act as a sort of counterweight and say some nice things about Pres. Trump. The closest to “nice” Stewart could get, however, was to state quite matter-of-factly that Trump is “not a cannibal.” Once shown footage of Pres. Trump describing a photo-op with military leaders as “the calm before the storm,” Stewart went off, asking what “kind of sociopath would use that terminology” this soon after “literal storms” wreaked havoc on the nation he is supposedly leading.
Admitting he had nothing nice to say, Stewart asked Colbert to step in as the positive speaker — to which Stephen Colbert could only respond: “Donald Trump is not a cannibal.”
Why is this the best of the week, you may ask? Because, as much as Trump may not like how Stephen Colbert and his peers use their right to free speech, they’re doing a pretty damn good job of it.
Watch the segment in full here. Totally worth it, I promise you.
O/U how many weeks until Pres. Trump references the Colbert/Stewart bit on Twitter: 2.5
His tweets are sporadic, at best, so chances are if he ever revisits his demand for Equal Time it won’t be this week. It might not even be the next. I mean, can we blame him? The man must be very busy preparing for the promised storm.
Odds EqualTime becomes a regular late-night segment: 9/1
This sounds like a nice way to laugh through the presidency, doesn’t it?
Odds Pres. Trump has ever watched a full episode of The Late Show: 50/1
Can I see Donald Trump sitting through an entire monologue dedicated to what a bad president he is? No, I cannot. Can I see Donald Trump sitting through a few seconds of a monologue dedicated to what a bad president he is, feeling angry, then jumping onto Twitter to capitalize random words from his stream of consciousness? Yes, yes, I absolutely can.
Who is Snoke talking to when he says he saw something “truly special” in them? Will Kylo Ren really fire a bomb into the starship carrying General Leia Organa, his mother? (Isn’t killing one parent enough, Kylo?) Is Luke Skywalker going to help Rey or will he refuse out of fear, sending her into the waiting arms of Ren — a.k.a. the Dark Side? Why is Finn dressed all in black? What is that cute little animal and why is it so scared? Is Emperor Snoke actually Jar-Jar Binks like the internet told me he might be?!
Fortunately, all will be revealed in time. Unfortunately, that won’t be for another couple of months as The Last Jedi isn’t set for release until December 15th. So, until then, I suppose we will have to make do with Reddit fan-theories and rewatching the trailer a thousand times until we feel confident that Kylo Ren looked remorseful and is probably not going to kill his mother — phew. One parent is enough, Kylo.
Odds that Rey turns to the Dark Side: 2/3
This would be an amazing twist for Disney to throw at us, and is one I can actually see happening. Granted, I don’t want to read too much into the trailer, because you know, spoilers — but there is clearly some strong Force-related tension going on.
Odds that Kylo Ren kills Leia: 7/2
Go back, watch the trailer, and tell me that Kylo’s eyes are not glistening with the sheer sadness of leaving the past in the past!
Odds Emperor Snoke really is Jar-Jar Binks: 100/1
He isn’t, or at least, they’re not going to tell us he is. Which is probably, ultimately, alright — Jar-Jar Binks is definitely one thing that can stay in the past.
Blade Runner 2049 brought in a much-lower-than-anticipated $31 million this past weekend, despite positive reviews and tons of buzz. Clocking in at around three hours run-time, perhaps the sequel is too big a bite for many viewers to take, or perhaps it is set to follow the slow-burning footsteps of its predecessor — which only lasted a couple weeks in theatres, but still managed to garner a massive following.
Odds that Blade Runner 2049 makes more in its second weekend than its first: 3/1
There is so much good buzz on this one right now, I’m honestly surprised the numbers weren’t there. That being said, there is a chance ticket sales could pick up slowly, the more people hear about it. You have to remember, a lot of ticket-buying adults in 2017 were not ticket-buying adults back when the original was released, and that nostalgic pull just isn’t there for that demographic.
But, Ryan Gosling, guys.
O/U how many weeks Blade Runner 2049 stays in theatres: 4.5
Featured Image: Jon Stewart (Wikimedia [CC License])
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