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Well, folks, despite the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, awards season is in full swing. MTV’s Video Music Awards took place Tuesday evening, with Shakira’s historic Video Vanguard Award win, a nostalgic “Itty Bitty Piggy” performance from Nicki Minaj featuring Lil Wayne, and much more.
But you know who wasn’t on the mainstage? Or even the Extended Play Stage? Victoria Monét. Fans have been petitioning for the industry veteran to perform her hit single “On My Mama” at the awards show, but sadly it was beyond her control. Monét tweeted, “My team was told it is ‘too early in my story’ for that opportunity so we will keep working!’ If newbies like Olivia Rodrigo and Reneé Rapp (whom I love dearly) can get up on stage just one to two years after releasing debut projects, so can Victoria. Sorry not sorry!
The show went on for what felt like an eternity, bombarding viewers with filler performances and teleprompter mishaps (to distract from the fact that there are no writers to help the show and banter run smoothly). What brought me reprieve, though, was Selena Gomez’s response to Chris Brown being nominated in the year of our Lord 2023. Now, do I think Selena should have been nominated for *checks notes* an Afrobeats award? Hell no, but she hasn’t been repeatedly accused of assault, so I’ll cope.
Despite her aversion to becoming a meme, it was inevitable, especially as Gomez sat beside bestie Taylor Swift, who was just having the time of her life. Swift, who won Video of the Year, has been in the news lately amid a rumored entanglement with NFL player Travis Kelce. (If you know me, you know how I feel about that man.) I’m going to reserve my comments — but I will let this TikTok do the talking. If you don’t know who his ex-girlfriend is, I suggest you look her up. Quickly.
Anyway, happy Friday, happy Latinx Heritage Month and welcome to another edition of The Culture Catchall.
We’re Still Talking About It
- To borrow a phrase from Tyra Banks: Drew Barrymore, we were rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this! Our favorite Hollywood darling is now being called a scab, after she effectively crossed the picket line by resuming her eponymous talk show. “I own this choice,” she said, as audience members get kicked out for displaying support for Hollywood workers. Earlier this year, Drew walked away from her duties as the MTV VMAs show host in solidarity with her comrades. Now, a vicious precedent has been set as more daytime TV shows are returning to the air. (On Friday, Drew released an apology video, but her show will continue to go on.)
- Just in time for the NFL’s 2023-2024 season, Disney and Spectrum have finally reached a carriage agreement deal. While ESPN, FX and ABC stations are restored in major markets, eight networks will be left behind. Parents: your kids, tweens and teens are, unfortunately, getting the short end of the stick. Learn more from Deadline about which networks and local broadcast outlets are impacted.
- In a bombshell exposé, NBC News internet reporter Kat Tenbarge shed light on accusations that “Rick and Morty” co-creator Justin Roiland used his fame to pursue young fans. Eleven women and nonbinary people came forward, citing and providing “thousands of messages with Roiland from 2013 to 2022” — many of which became sexual exchanges. Some of these fans were 16 years old when Roiland allegedly contacted them. Please use caution, as this article contains explicit language and graphic details.
- Hasan Minhaj: I can’t keep defending you, Mr. Homecoming King. In a New Yorker profile, the former “ Daily Show” correspondent admitted to fabricating details of his standup bits in various comedy specials, ranging from a fake anthrax exposure scare to a contrived prom rejection story. Not only does this undermine Minhaj’s integrity, but it raises doubts about his use of identity and oppression as vehicles to further comedy — when those traumatic events may never have actually happened to him. One can only wonder what shadow this now casts on other comics of color. Read up for yourself here.
- “Euphoria” producer and talentless hack Sam Levinson has been accused of ripping off a female filmmaker and photographer’s visual aesthetic. In an interview with Hungarian outlet Punkt, director Petra Collins alleged that Sam approached her to direct the HBO series, claiming he was “inspired” by her photos. Seems like pushing women out of opportunities is his M.O. (*Coughs* Remember Amy Seimetz, original creator of “The Idol”?) I’d say something like “I hate to say I told you so,” but then I’d be lying!
- The notorious Gannett network is looking for two reporters to exclusively cover Beyoncé and Taylor Swift at USA Today and The Tennessean. (Emphasis on “reporters,” not middle-aged stans who run Timothée Chalamet fan accounts.) Mind you, the listings come after Gannett has slashed countless roles in local news markets over the past two years. We love the lack of job security in news! It’s so fun! The Daily Beast has more details.
Industry News & Announcements
- “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts tied the knot with longtime partner Amber Laign.
- Charlie Robison, country singer-songwriter, has died at age 59.
- Chris Evans married Portuguese actor Alba Baptista this past weekend.
- Dunkin’ Donuts unveils a fall-themed collaboration with rapper Ice Spice.
- Aoki Lee Simmons lands the cover of Teen Vogue’s September 2023 issue.
- Jidenna has dropped out of Janelle Monáe’s “The Age of Pleasure” tour.
- A24 film “Dicks: The Musical,” starring Megan Thee Stallion, premieres Sept. 29.
- SZA announces a deluxe edition of her “SOS” album, plus a collaboration with Drake.
- The TIME100 Next list is released, featuring Tyler James Williams, Jalen Hurts and more.
- Brazilian pop star Anitta graces the cover of…
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