Entertainment

SPOILER ALERTS: The Latest Episode Of HBO’s ‘Los Espookys’ Is Proof It Could Surpass GOT In Cult Status

On June 13 2019, HBO premiered “Los Espookys,” it’s Spanish-language horror comedy from the mind of Fred Armisen. Needless to say, we were immediate fans. Between the subtly hilarious script and its impeccable delivery, the series proved from episode one that it’s worth the watch. Don’t even get us started on how much we love the horror elements we’ve seen so far.

The second episode of “Los Espookys” is just as addictive and entertaining as the first. Titled “El Espanto de la Herencia,” the episode is so good, it demands a recap.

Here are some of the most spooky and most hysterical parts of “Los Espookys” episode two.

Last week, we met Renaldo, Úrsula, Tati and Andrés, four friends bonded by their love of horror.

HBO

The gang was encouraged by Renaldo’s uncle, Tio Tico, to pursue that passion and turn it into a career. Calling themselves Los Espookys, they were approached by a mysterious woman who wants to use their terrifying talents. With this in mind, it’s time to brainstorm how they’ll approach this next job.

However, before we can check in with Los Espookys, the series introduces us to the US Ambassador.

Horror DNA

Her name is US Ambassador Melanie Gibbons and she’s received an important letter. The letter — which is in Spanish, not coded as she first suspects — informs her that her friend Ignacio Ferracuti has died. However, he’s left his 18.9 billion peso fortune to whoever can survive a night in his haunted mansion.

To borrow Ambassador Gibbons words, “Okay, twist!” She’s been chosen as one of five strangers to compete for his fortune. It’s all very exciting for her.

Similarily, Los Espookys are excited for this upcoming challenge.

Horror DNA

We finally get to see to the official Los Espookys headquarters — which happens to be Renaldo’s garage. While Andrés pushes for avant-garde and challanging tricks, Renaldo wants to stick to the basics. Úrsula just wants confirmation that they’re going to be paid.

Meanwhile, back in LA, Tio Tico is in an unusual situation.

Horror DNA

Following last week’s encounter at a major celebrity party, Tico has been mistaken for an elusive artist. Due to this mix-up, he’s been roped into speaking at an art panel. The whole thing has snowballed and Tio Tico is just along for the ride.

Unfortunately, Andrés is finding it hard to balance his life as Prince of Chocolate and his spooky calling.

HBO

Being the heir to a chocolate fortune is hard. As his boyfriend reminds him, Andrés has duties he needs to commit to or else he will be removed as heir. However, the curious man is preoccupied with uncovering the mystery of his birth and his new side gig. What is a Chocolate Prince to do?

Finally, it’s the big night!

Horror DNA

Too bad Renaldo has been ditched by the other members of Los Espookys. Andrés, Úrsula y Tati have all shown up last minute, leaving Renaldo to set up. What’s worse, nobody hired the actors they need so Renaldo has to step in as the creepy butler. Let’s just say, the role is out of his range.

Still, the goal of the haunted house is to get rid of one contestant in particular. The Mysterious Woman announces to Los Espookys that Sr. Ferracuti’s son is a contestant and must not win. However, he seems impossible to shake with the frankly unimpressive scares.

Los Espookys are in a funk and they need some serious rallying.

HBO

Andrés is obsessed with the dead ends he keeps getting in his search for his origin. Úrsula is obsessed with getting paid. Tati is obsessed with Snap Chatting her shady internet boyfriend.

Renaldo is about to give up but some unexpectedly good advise from Tati inspires him. After a rallying call from Renaldo, Los Espookys are back. They’re going to pull off the scariest trick they can.

We don’t want to give away the ending, but the episode wraps up with the possibility of more jobs in their future.

HBO

Will Tati continue her internet relationship? Will Andrés learn the origins of his birth? What sort of adventure will Los Spookys get into next week? We’ll have to watch to find out.

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‘For Rosa’ Unravels The Madrigal Ten’s Fight For Reproductive Justice After Forced Sterilizations In California

Entertainment

‘For Rosa’ Unravels The Madrigal Ten’s Fight For Reproductive Justice After Forced Sterilizations In California

It’s 1970. Groans of discomfort permeate a Los Angeles County Hospital hallway as a Mexican-American woman is in labor. This is going to be her first child.

Little does she know that it’ll also be her last.

Courtesy of Kathryn Boyd-Batstone.

“This is an example of erasure,” director Kathryn Boyd-Batstone told mitú.

For Rosa, details a harrowing reality for many women of color in 1970s California. Inspired by the 1978 Madrigal v. Quilligan case, the story follows Eva, a mother faced with the pivotal decision to join the Madrigal Ten after discovering she was unknowingly sterilized.

Wanting to highlight each individual experience, Boyd-Batstone described her heroine as “a fictional composite character” inspired by multiple plaintiffs from the Madrigal Ten.

At first glance, Eva’s story prominently resembles the experience of plaintiff Melvina Hernández.

Hernández, at 23, signed a document that allegedly consented to an emergency C-section. Fearmongering by doctors and nurses highlighted a perceieved risk of mortality, pressuring her to sign a document she couldn’t read.

Four years later, she was informed that she had actually signed for a tubal ligation.

The history of eugenics is an ugly one, acting as a form of silent genocide.

In Eva’s case, medical professionals take advantage of her. Doctors and nurses took advantage of her language barrier and the pain of child labor.

The story, while historical, is relevant in the current context of the Trump era’s immigration policies.

Last year, an ICE nurse whistleblower reported the nonconsensual mass hysterectomies of migrant women detained at the border.

In the U.S. and Canada, Indigenous women have continuously been sterilized despite pro-sterilization policies ending in the 1970s.

“Although the court case happened over fifty years ago, we are still in a time where reproductive rights are not respected,” Boyd-Batstone said. “This is not an issue of the past, and so the fight continues.”

California’s eugenics laws disproportionately targeted Latinas.

California was one of the leading states in eugenics-informed practices.

After passing a law in 1909 that allowed medical practitioners to sterilize patients, the motives of cultural erasure became clear.

Hiding behind “good medicine” were racist and xenophobic incentives aimed to eliminate potential “welfare” cases.

Under this discriminatory pretense, Latinas were 59 percent more likely to be forcibly sterilized.

The United States has an extensive history of nonconsensual medical experimentation on Black and Brown communities.

Studies like the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” which lasted over 40 years, in part, shaped the mistrust between the Black community and the medical industry.

A mistrust that remains prevalent in the 21st century.

The Madrigal Ten is a testament to the fight for reproductive rights and women of colors’ autonomy.

In 1975, Dolores Madrigal alongside nine other women filed a class-action lawsuit against L.A. County-USC Medical Center for the nonconsensual tubal ligations that occurred during child labor.

A complicated ordeal that received little funding, 26-year-old Chicana Civil Rights attorney Antonia Hernández impressively took on the case. Boyd-Batstone who read the court documents said, “it became obvious that at the time the hospital did not have adequate steps in place to make sure their patients could give informed consent.”

Dr. Karen Benker, the only physician to testify against the hospital, told the New York Times in 2016 that “voluntary informed consent” didn’t exist in the early 70s.

That is until after the National Research Act of 1974 following public outcry from the Tuskegee study.

Following Roe v. Wade, the Madrigal Ten case sought to end the forced sterilizations of women of color, define informed consent and provide consent forms in Spanish at a reading level individuals could understand.

In 2016 PBS released a documentary on the case called “No Más Bebes,” which greatly inspired Boyd-Batstone to create For Rosa.

“The main feeling that stuck with me after watching the documentary was how much strength it must have taken these women to face someone who tried to take their identity and demand accountability,” she said.

Validating women of color’s experiences was essential for Boyd-Batstone. While the film mirrors the malpractices of the medical industry, brought upon by systematic racism and bias, she also hopes that women who have felt “diminished or uneasy around doctors” find the courage to speak out.

For Rosa, sheds light on traditional themes of womanhood and Chicana feminism.

“Stop Forced Sterilization” poster by Rachael Romero, 1977. // Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Simultaneously, the lawsuit took place during the rise in Chicana activism.

As tensions between mainstream white feminism and women of color peaked; Chicana activists put legislative reform and reproductive justice at the forefront. Furthermore, they brought awareness to discrimination as it intersects race, class, gender, and immigration.

Though on the sidelines, the case also harbored on the cultural question of defining femininity.

Worried for the state of her marriage, the correspondence of fertility with femininity felt dense. Heavily ingrained in machismo culture; the pain and frustration of no longer being able to conceive are palpable.

But the strength and courage to speak out defies all odds.

“As women, especially Latina women, I don’t think many stories show us how to do this,” Boyd-Batstone said. “So it was important to me to, one, honor the Madrigal Ten’s bravery but [to also] show young girls what it looks like to stand up and fight for your rights.” 

Though it has been nearly 50 years since the Madrigal Ten case, the fight for women’s autonomy and reproductive rights is ongoing.

Courtesy of Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

On June 7, 1978, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the USC Medical Center. Judge Jesse Curtis stated that miscommunication and language barriers resulted in unwanted sterilizations.

Nonetheless, the lawsuit’s impact was potent. The California Department of Health revised its sterilization guidelines to include a 72-hour waiting period and issued a booklet on sterilization in Spanish.

In 1979, California abolished its sterilization law after 70 years.

More than 20,000 people of various races and ethnicities were sterilized during this time.

For Rosa ends with archival footage of Dolores Madrigal and Antonia Hernández announcing the lawsuit. Nevertheless, its timely release is indicative of the continual demands for justice today.

Now more than ever we must remember the narratives of the Madrigal Ten, and other Black and Brown activists who continue to pave the way for change.

“My hope is that For Rosa humanizes the women so that whatever culture or race or gender you are, you can empathize with the women as human beings,” Boyd-Batstone said.

“My hope is that every person who watches understands that these Latina women are deserving of respect.” 

Para Rosa (For Rosa) is available to stream on HBO Max.

READ: Joe Biden Says ‘Healthcare is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right,’ Donald Trump and the GOP Disagree

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

Entertainment

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

Dwayne Johnson, agreeably one of the most “masculine” presenting people in the world, recently revealed that people weren’t always so quick to assume he was so. In an interview on “Sunday Today with Willie Geist,” that took place earlier this week the American actor and former professional wrestler revealed that when he was a child, people often assumed he was a girl. 

Speaking about his experience with presumed gender identity, The Rock revealed that people often thought he was girl because of his “soft features.”

“I would say between the ages of 7 and 11, people thought that I was a little girl because I had really soft features and I had really soft Afro hair,” he explained in his interview with Willie Geist.

The actor even went so far as to share a time in his life as a fifth-grader who was riding on a school bus.

“I sit down next to a kid, and within 60 seconds, he goes, ‘Can I ask you something?'” The Rock recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?'”

Drawing on this time in his life, Johnson revealed that likely this also chalks up to his frequent moves as a child.

During his childhood, Johnson’s father Rocky Johnson was a professional wrestler who often moved his family around. According to John, he attended thirteen different schools by the time he was in high school.

“I have had a Forrest Gump-ian childhood growing up,” Johnson explained in his interview. “Wrestling in the ’80s and in the ’70s was way different than it is today. A lot of the times, including my father, the wrestlers would live paycheck to paycheck.”

The former wrestler reflection on earlier days coincides with the recent premiere of the hit NBC sitcom “Young Rock” a new series based on his life.

Fans of Johnson will be glad to know that he also stars in the series.

He is also portrayed by three different actors Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant and Uli Latukefu.

“Growing up, and you know we specifically went with these timelines in my life that were very defining times at 10 years old, 15 and 18 … there’s a lot of things in between those years that took place … but it was complicated and the relationship that I had with my dad was incredibly complicated — that was fueled by tough love,” he explained during NBC’s TCA press tour in an interview about the series.

He went onto share that his father “was kicked out of his house at 13 and he was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me… And in that complication came an extraordinary life that was full of travel. I lived in 13 different states by the time I was 13 years old, also lived in New Zealand.”

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