Entertainment

“Real Housewives of Dallas” Cast Members Expressed ‘Shame’ At the Reunion Over LeeAnne Locken’s Anti-Latino Tirades

In the spellbinding finale to the most recent season of Real Housewives of Dallas, the entiriy of the cast condemned the show’s villain, LeeAnn Locken, for her racist and xenophobic behavior throughout the season. 

As we reported before, earlier in the season, Locken had a total meltdown when fellow castmates D’Andra Simmons and Kary Brittingham (who is Mexican) poked fun at the entrepreneur venture she spent so much time and money on: the L’Infinity dress. At a group dinner, Simmons and Brittingham publicly criticized the dress, insinuating that it was shoddily made and too complicated to wear. While Locken originally tried to brush off the teasing, she eventually snapped, leaving the table in tears.

Later, when she was being comforted by housewife Stephanie Hollman, is when she began to insult Brittingham based off her heritage.

Locken began her insults by accusing Brittingham of thinking she was “all Mexican and strong,” while really, she “ain’t survived s—”. As the season progressed, Locken continued to harp on Brittingham’s heritage, calling her everything from a “chirpy Mexican” to saying that she should “quit using my English words against me” and “find your own Mexican words.”

Locken’s racist and xenophobic behavior made waves on social media, with people Tweeting out their outrage at Locken’s offensive words. Some fans even created a petition on MoveOn.org demanding that Locken be terminated from the show. “I will not watch Bravo moving forward because they are supporting racism by not terminating her,” said a viewer by the name of Lisa A. “Bravo is perpetuating racism by not dealing with her.”

And while Locken apologized for her behavior this past season via a public statement, fans and viewers were still not having it.

Even Locken’s castmates were visibly put-off, expressing their “shame”, “disgust”, and “disappointment” at her behavior at the reunion.

Cast-member Brandi Redmond was one of the most vocal detractors of Locken’s behavior. “I don’t want to be associated. I feel ashamed,” she said. “And it’s not OK, LeeAnne. It’s not OK.” 

Locken, for her part, vacillated between defending her actions and apologizing for them. When being interviewed by host Andy Cohen about her choice of words, Locken explained that she didn’t know what she was saying was offensive. 

“In Texas, I mean, we use that word all the time, like, for everything,” she said. “Chirpy Mexican?” Cohen further prodded, to which Locken conceded wasn’t true. “No, not that,” she said. “Okay, I apologize…I didn’t use my words well and I didn’t like it when I watched it, I can tell you that. Mentally, I was not present and I was not putting my words together well”.

Locken went on to insist that, despite her actions, she was not, in any way, racist. 

“I’ve spent a lot of hours crying over this and realizing how horrible this was,” she told Cohen. “I know every bone in my body, and I know I don’t have a single bone that believes in discrimination. I believe in inclusion. I believe in acceptance,” she said.

Previously, she had tried to explain her “free love” mindset by illustrating that she couldn’t be racist due to her sexual history. “I’ve slept with plenty of Mexicans, by the way. Hot, f—— lovers, okay? I’ve sat in Julio Iglesias’ lap,” she said in a problematic confessional interview during the course of the season. 

To make matters worse, Cohen revealed that most of the cast members assumed Locken’s behavior would never make it to air.

According to Cohen. most of the cast-members assumed that Bravo would edit out Locken’s racist tirades in order to protect not only Locken, but the larger Bravo brand. Because of that, the RHOD cast avoided talking to Brittingham about what was going on behind her back.

 Obviously, the entire situation left Brittingham feeling hurt and isolated. According to her, the experience was “very sad” and “disappointing” for her. We doubt these women will ever be able to mend their friendship. 

Like every Real Housewives reunion, Twitter was on fire with reactions to the explosive season finale. 

One thing’s for sure: The Real Housewives of Dallas has found a way to combine the intoxicating pull of reality television with the more serious issues of the day (namely, American discrimination against Latinos).

This person had no time for Locken’s labeling her behavior as a “mistake”

She has a good point here. Locken’s continuous behavior is proof of deeper discriminatory beliefs.

This person explained why continuously bringing up someone’s country of origin is, indeed, problematic.

It’s one thing not to get along with someone. It’s another to use their ethnicity as an insult. 

This person applauded Andy Cohen for refusing to let Locken’s behavior slide. 

Although Bravo could’ve handled the entire situation better, at least they’re holding Locken responsible for her words and actions. 

After More Than 70 Years, The Cannes Film Festival Will Finally Have A Black President And It’s Going To Be Spike Lee

Entertainment

After More Than 70 Years, The Cannes Film Festival Will Finally Have A Black President And It’s Going To Be Spike Lee

James Gourley / Flickr

Spike Lee is returning to the 73rd Cannes Film Festival a couple of years after BlacKkKlansman debuted there, this time as the jury president. In over seven decades, the prestigious film festival has never had a black president overseeing the artists who decide which films will win an award. 

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be president of Cannes jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Lee said in a statement.

The 62-year-old director won Cannes’ Grand Prix for BlacKkKlansman which also earned Lee his first Academy Award. Prior to his recent release, Lee hadn’t participated in Cannes in 22 years despite having seven of his most beloved films like, She’s Gotta Have ItDo The Right Thing and Summer Of Sam, playing there. 

Lee releases a heartfelt statement about becoming the jury president.

Lee said this particular film festival is the most important in the world and that it significantly impacted his career.

“It started way back in 1986 – my first feature film She’s Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse in the Director’s Fortnight. The next joint was in 1989 – Do The Right Thing, an Official Selection in Competition. And I don’t have the time nor space to write about the cinematic explosion that jumped off, still relative to this, 30 years later,” Lee said in a statement. 

Do The Right Thing might be Lee’s most well-known project. The film which uses building racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighborhood as an exploration of violence as activism was solidified as a part of history when it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and Libray of Congress. 

“Then Jungle Fever 1991 – Official Selection in Competition, Girl 6 1996 – Official Selection out of Competition, Summer Of Sam1999 – Director’s Fortnight, Ten Minutes Older 2002 – Official Selection in Un Certain Regard and then BlacKkKlansman 2018 – Official Selection in Competition where it won the Grand Prix, which became the launching pad for the world theatrical release which led to my Academy Award for screenplay,” he continued. 

Many have felt that Lee has not gotten the respect he deserves as a filmmaker — at least not until fairly recently.

Despite being nominated four times across three decades, Lee wasn’t awarded an Academy Award until 2019 for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

“Spike Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas. Lee’s flamboyant personality is sure to shake things up. What kind of president of the jury will he be? Find out in Cannes!” Cannes President Pierre Lescure and festival head Thierry Frémaux said in a statement.

In the New York Times profile leading up to his Oscar win, the paper examined the ways in which Lee has been relegated to the fringes of prestigious filmmaking: throughout his career, he has earned less money and received less funding than his white counterparts, and has had difficulty getting projects off the ground. 

Lee’s inclusion might be Cannes’ first big step in correcting its diversity issues.

“That’s the dilemma of a talented black artist in any field,” collaborator and author James McBride told the NY Times. “You have to recreate the genre, otherwise you don’t survive. Stevie Wonder is not a pop musician; Stevie Wonder is a genre. Michael Jackson is a genre to himself. Spike Lee has moved into that territory. Spike Lee is not short on talent. What Spike Lee is short on is friends in the industry, and the kind of space to fail. He has no room to fail.” 

While Cannes has struggled with diversity around black and women directors, Lee as a jury president could be a healthy step in allowing other perspectives in. 

“I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named president of the Cannes jury and of a main film festival. The Lee family sincerely thanks the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux and the great people of France who have supported my film career throughout four decades. I will always treasure this special relationship,” Lee said.

Leaked Emails Show Stephen Miller Believed DREAMERs Would Replace White Americans

Things That Matter

Leaked Emails Show Stephen Miller Believed DREAMERs Would Replace White Americans

Win McNamee / Getty

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is still in office, despite mounting proof that he harbors white supremacist’s beliefs and numerous politicians and activists calling for his resignation. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” vertical published a series of Miller’s emails leaked by an ex-Breitbart news editor. 

In the emails, Miller expressed fear that DREAMERs would replace white Americans and suggested deporting immigrants on trains to scare them. SPLC’s Michael Hayden says Miller is a supporter of the “great replacement theory” championed by white supremacists who fear white people will become a racial minority. The theory has been echoed in the manifestos of mass shooters and prominent white supremacist leaders. 

Miller believes his fellow Republicans aren’t hard enough on immigrants. 

“Demanding DREAMers be given citizenship because they ‘know no other home.’ That principle is an endorsement of perpetual birthright citizenship for the foreign-born,” Miller wrote in an email.  “Not only will the U.S.-born children of future illegal immigrants and guest workers be made automatic U.S. citizens, but their foreign-born children will too because, as [former Republican House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor said, ‘Our country was founded on the principle.’”

Miller praised Florida’s very own former governor Jeb Bush for his use of moderate rhetoric to push extreme policies. The emails leaked are from around 2015, when Miller was an aide to Senator Jeff Sessions before being selected by Trump.

 “Jeb [Bush] has mastered the art of using immigration rhetoric to sound ‘moderate’ while pushing the most extremist policies,” Miller wrote in an email. 

Former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh provided over 900 emails to SPLC in which Miller expressed disdain for non-white immigrants. McHugh says she leaked the emails addressed to her from Miller to expose the hidden “evil” of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. 

“In a November 2015 email that Hatewatch has not previously published, Miller forwarded an interview with Phyllis Schlafly from far-right conspiracy website WorldNetDaily that argued undocumented immigrants should be shipped out on trains to ‘scare out the people who want to undo our country,’” according to SPLC. 

25 interfaith groups call for the resignation of Stephen Miller. 

Yesterday, 25 faith groups, among them many prominent Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders including the Anti-Defamation League, The Nation’s Mosque, and African American Ministers in Action, signed a letter calling for Miller’s resignation. 

“Stephen Miller authored many of these destructive policies and helped ensure their enactment via his network of anti-immigrant officials throughout the federal government. Further, these policies have been paired with heightened and unrelenting anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric coming from the White House,” the organizations said. 

The group also called out the Trump administration for allowing white supremacist views in the White House. 

“At one point in history, harboring a white supremacist in the White House could harm an administration. Today, President Trump appears unbothered by his close official’s ties to white supremacy. This cannot stand. As organizations of many faiths, who feel love and respect where Miller advances disdain and hate, we call for his resignation immediately,” the letter stated

Last November 100 lawmakers demanded Stephen Miller resign. 

Miller has been in the hot seat for a while. Last year 100 lawmakers demanded the advisor’s resignation, a couple of weeks ago 25 Jewish members of congress joined that call following Rolling Stone’spublication of a different set of leaked emails that further establish his support of xenophobic ideas. 

“A documented white nationalist has no place in any presidential administration, and especially not in such an influential position,” the 100 representatives wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump. “Miller’s white supremacist influence on your immigration policy, and it seems like that his perfidious adherence to extremist ideology has shaped your administration in ways that are not yet public.”

In the Rolling Stone emails, Miller called refugees “foreign-born terrorists” and expressed a fondness for a book called “Camp of Saints” which is a favorite of neo-Nazis.

“The dystopian 1973 novel is widely regarded as racist and traffics in fear-mongering about immigrant invasions. It is popular among white nationalist circles and has been invoked by former White House aide Steve Bannon and Iowa Congressman Steve King,” according to Newsweek

Other emails show Miller is using his influence in the White House to coordinate anti-immigration policies that reflect his views. 

“In the emails, [senior advisor at ICE Jon] Feere strategizes with Miller about how to use the federal government to amplify their anti-immigration message; tees up potential attacks on prominent Democratic politicians; directly briefs Miller in great detail about upcoming enforcement actions and policy changes in the works; and recommends to Miller people the administration should hire to expedite its immigration agenda,” according to Rolling Stone

While Miller has still not resigned, the pressure is continuing to mount in Congress and among activists.