Twitter has changed the way news is reported. The Black Lives Matter movement has been particularly successful in raising awareness for cases of police brutality that generally would have been overlooked by mainstream news channels.
Arguably the second most important aspect of Twitter is its ability to connect celebrities to their fan base. With the prevalence of these two features, it’s hardly surprising that celebrities and celebrity events have become more politicized.
This year’s Academy Awards are a prime example of this overlap between the celebrity world and political struggles that have been highlighted via Twitter. Below, I’ve included a few notable examples of Twitter flexing its muscles at the Oscars
I’m not going to dwell too much on the circumstances of the #OscarsSoWhite boycott, since Gordon and Evan have already thoroughly explained its context. However, I do want to talk a bit about how the controversy was handled by the Oscars host, Chris Rock.
Overall, I thought Rock did a great job calling out the Academy without reducing his monologue to a humourless lecture. However, in his article for Salon, Arthur Chu points out that,
Acting like caring about day-to-day violence in the streets and the impact media and culture have on that violence are somehow mutually exclusive — a common, frustrating, tired argument anyone who talks about racism in media will inevitably see dozens of times in the comments section — ignores history.
It ignores the many, many arguments that have been made about how the excuses made for the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown frequently come verbatim from untrue stereotypes out of TV and movies, how the only way Darren Wilson’s description of Brown as a “demon” who was “bulking up to get through the bullets” could possibly make sense to anyone is after a lifetime of media portrayals of the scary superhuman black man. It ignores Martin Luther King going out of his way to call Nichelle Nichols and tell her not to quit “Star Trek” because having a black woman on TV who wasn’t a domestic servant mattered. It ignores the ongoing civil rights protests around the Oscars back in the 1960s and ’70s, including Marlon Brando making history as the first and only best actor winner to boycott the ceremony, sending American Indian Movement activist Sacheen Littlefeather to accept the award in his place.
Similarly, several activists have since pointed out the one-dimensionality of calling for more black representation only to appeal to Asian-American stereotypes for a laugh. Continue reading
Posted in America, celebrity, fashion, feminism, film, internet, media, politics
Tagged #AskHerMore, #BlackLivesMatter, #yesallwomen, Academy Awards, activism, actor, actress, art, Arthur Chu, backlash, black man, bullets, celebrities, chris rock, College, cultural shift, diversity, fashion, Hashtag, heard, Hollywood, host, impact, job, Lady Gaga, martin luther king, media, Men, monolgue, Oscars, OscarsSoWhite, people of color, performance, power, race, rape culture, reporter, representation, Representation project, Salon, sex, shallow, stage, Star Trek, stereotypes, superhuman, survivors, Twitter, university, Violence, voice, women, work
You may have seen the following video circulating on the internet. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I should warn you that it contains coarse language.
I absolutely love how CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt manages to professionally undermine this popular joke. She is bang on in identifying the blatant sexism of the comment, and the way it exudes disrespect for all female news anchors. This phrase, and the trend of harassing female reporters, is particularly frustrating because it falls into “legal no man’s land” and would be very difficult to prosecute. However, shortly after this video aired, one of the men who defends the FHRITP trend was fired from his high-paying engineering job for violating their code of conduct.
While I am frankly quite ecstatic that we no longer live in the era of “boys will be boys”, there are certain aspects of this case that have also raised up questions for me. I’ve shared those questions with you below.
At what point does internet justice become cyber-bullying?
The internet has been a major catalyst for feminist activism. For example, a wide variety of feminist issues that are not usually discussed by mainstream media have been able to gain traction on social media. As a woman, I’m so thankful for that. I’m also a big believer in creating stigma around certain behaviours, since it often seems far more effective than banning them altogether. However, I have noticed some instances where public shaming has become an unnecessary contest between shamers. Evan has touched on this in the past, but I also found some prime examples of this on the “Help Shawn Simoes get his Job Back” Facebook page. It seems that instead of liking it in order to actually support the FHRITP scapegoat, people have been liking it so that they can one up each other with their witty comments.
Posted in Canada, feminism, internet, news
Tagged blogger, censorship, consequences, crimes, cyber-bulling, drunk, engineering, FHRITP, fired, frat boy, honesty, internet, internet justice, Jian Ghomeshi, money, new world, news, panopticon, prank, reality, reporter, reputation, second chances, Shauna Hunt
My roommate and I have been watching The Newsroom without fail every Sunday evening. For anyone unaware, The Newsroom is the latest creation of Aaron Sorkin, perhaps most famous for his show The West Wing and his favored medium of people having very fast conversations while walking.
The show’s premise is actually pretty interesting. Set in an alternate reality where there’s actually a single news channel actually devoted to journalism and integrity (as much as anyone can hope for, anyways), anchor Will MacAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and his intrepid crew struggle to keep the beacon of integrity and unflinching honesty lit in a mire of shady politics, fear-mongering, and cheap entertainment. Continue reading
Posted in America, feminism, media, news, television
Tagged aaron sorkin, character, feminism, Feminist, HBO, lead, media, neurotic, prop, reporter, reporting, Season 1, Season 2, sexism, sexist, story, television, the newsroom, The West Wing, TV, Will AcAvoy, women