Things That Matter

The TSA Is Supposed To Be Protecting Air Travel But Some Workers Decided To Intimidate Co-Workers With Racist Displays Instead

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it had suspended two TSA officers for allegedly putting up a noose in a baggage screening area at Miami International Airport. The two officers that were suspended had put up an “offensive display” and the incident is now under investigation. 

According to NBC News, the “offensive display” consisted of a noose hanging from the ceiling with two stuffed monkeys attached. The photo of the display had allegedly been posted on Instagram with the caption: “Black People of the Gram.”

The incident happened on July 21. In a CNN exclusive, the publication reports that a TSA employee with knowledge of the situation said that the display was hanging from a “pole right in the center of the TSA workstation located underneath the airport where passengers’ checked luggage is screened before placed on aircraft.” 

Consequently, when other TSA employees caught a glimpse of the display, managers were notified. But according to one TSA employee, the manager didn’t act rapidly to address the situation. 

In fact, the TSA employee tells CNN that, the manager “tried to downplay the noose and gorilla display, saying it wasn’t racist, it was just a joke.”

However, the TSA employees who reported this to their manager became even more upset after their concerns were ignored and downplayed. This then prompted the agency to launch an internal investigation. The two TSA officers who are allegedly guilty of building the display have been placed on administrative leave, with pay. 

Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez of Miami, Florida took to Twitter to address the incident as well. He tweeted that he was “aware of the offensive item found in TSA baggage area at MIA and pleased TSA took quick action to identify those responsible and place them on leave.” 

The Miami International Airport Twitter account also spoke out about the incident saying they “do not condone offensive behavior or material of any kind.”

Although Miami International Airport sent out this tweet addressing the issue, they declined to comment to media outlets, according to CNBC.  

Twitter users who replied to both the mayor and the Miami International Airport account called for them to fire the TSA officers responsible for the display, “suspending is not enough punishment.”

https://twitter.com/ppcpratt/status/1156404205843832833

TSA also released a statement that echoed the sentiments of the airport and the mayor. “TSA does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions. Two TSA officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.” 

According to CNBC, this isn’t the first time we’ve read reports from workers about workplace racial harassment. Back in June, a black employee in South Carolina “sued the company saying it retaliated against him after he reported a noose hanging near his desk and that other employees urinated on his desk and chair.” In March, nearly two dozen UPS workers said they discovered a noose in their workplace.

Despite the alleged actions begin taken at the Miami International Airport to address the racist incident, many TSA officers are reportedly feeling “distraught” about it.

CNN spoke to a veteran Miami TSA officer, who chose to remain anonymous, about the incident. The veteran TSA officer said he was “upset about the incident, which he says has many of Miami International Airport’s black and Hispanic TSA officers distraught.” 

“The mood now at the airport is people are upset this hasn’t been properly taken care of yet. We want everybody held accountable for what they have done,” the same officer told the publication. 

In internal emails that CNN obtained, they found that the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security sent a letter to TSA on Tuesday and urged them to make sure the incident was handled promptly and thoroughly investigated. They also strongly urged TSA to have those “involved held accountable for their actions.”

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson also spoke out about the incident at Miami International Airport saying that it’s unacceptable that those in charge of TSA didn’t take the incident seriously and that it leaves “TSOs to work in an environment where they believe they are not supported or protected.” 

TSA’s acting deputy administrator Patricia Cogswell also wrote an email, obtained by CNN, to other TSA officials and said that “given the number of emails and such coming in to HQ about the MIA situation, please pull together a message for SO (senior officers) to issue, and think about other information that should go out to all offices.”

Other administrators for security operations addressed the “troubling event” that “cuts at the very core of who we are and what we stand for as an agency.”  

The TSA officers involved in the offensive display have not been named or identified. 

ABC’s ‘Baker And The Beauty’ Fires Up A Romance Inside A Cuban Bakery

Entertainment

ABC’s ‘Baker And The Beauty’ Fires Up A Romance Inside A Cuban Bakery

bakerandthebeauty / Instagram

Latinos are getting the romantic comedy series we didn’t know we were salivating for in ABC’s “Baker and the Beauty,” which tells the tale of a Cuban baker falling for one of his customers. The customer just happens to be an “international superstar and fashion mogul.” Dominican-American actor Victor Rasuk will star alongside Peruvian-Argentine actress Nathalie Kelley as Daniel Garcia and Noa Hollander, respectively. Daniel works at his father’s Cuban bakery, entrenched in the wonders and frustrations of being part of a family business. During a life-changing moment at a restaurant, Noa takes pity on Daniel and invites him to go out on the town with her. The family business booms as Miami crowds learn of their romance and the two fall in love over the enticing smell of Cuban bread baking, and guava and cream cheese tenderly wrapped by Daniel’s expert baking hands. “He’s the baker and she’s the beauty,” Daniel’s cousin jokingly sings in the trailer.

Mix Cuban bread with a Latino-centered rom-com and you’ve got all the hype that the new trailer is officially buzzing.

The entire story is based off what can only be called an Israeli novela.

CREDIT: @BAKERBEAUTYABC / TWITTER

The show of the same name is one of the best-loved scripted series ever to air in Israel. Now available on Netflix Israel and Amazon Prime Video, the original follows the same plot of different cultural backgrounds: a working-class Yemenite baker and Ashkenazi supermodel fall in love as a means to touch on social divisions with more humor.

The Latino version will be set in Miami, Florida and follows the life of Daniel Garcia (Rasuk) who has done everything he’s supposed to do. He’s followed through on the family business and looks up to his parents’ romance as life goals. “They make each other better,” Daniel tells his new love interest in the trailer as we see the two dancing down the hallways of their home.

Then, one night, Daniel’s girlfriend proposes.

CREDIT: @BAKERBEAUTYABC / TWITTER

His whole family had been warning him that she’s going to want to get married soon. When they find out what restaurant they’re going to that night, they start cackling. “For that, you can spend a weekend in the Bahamas,” a primo warns. The family has made it clear: “a girl like that” is going to just want more and more. It’s clear that Daniel isn’t interested in taking their relationship to the next level and sputters when, at dinner, she calls the attention of the entire restaurant to propose.

Needless to say, she’s pissed when he publicly rejects her, ending their relationship.

CREDIT: @BAKERBEAUTYABC / TWITTER

Viewers, we get the twisted pleasure of watching Rasuk get splattered with what is likely an $87 bowl of soup in the trailer. However, since the restaurant his now-ex has chosen is filled with all the rich and the famous, the entire novela breakup is filmed on stars’ smartphones. One of those stars is the stunning Noa Hollander, played by Nathalie Kelley.

Kelley has said that the most powerful part of playing her character is that “while she’s this renowned beauty” she also feels “not good enough.” Kelley grew up as one of the few Latinas in a suburban Australian neighborhood and was teased constantly. “The more acceptance and love for ourselves that women can cultivate within themselves and then share with other women, the better for society as a whole,” Kelley told Variety reporter Danielle Turchiano.

The supermodel invites a pitiful man with soup all over his shirt to join her on a wild night on the town.

CREDIT: @BAKERBEAUTYABC / TWITTER

What started as a night that ended a serious relationship has become the beginning of a wild love affair. Like a bien portado Cuban son, Daniel is live reporting back to his family on the happenings of his evening. “Que caca me dices,” his mom incredulously asks until social media starts blasting photos of Daniel and Noa spending the evening together. From there, their business takes off as Miamians hope to bump into Noa at the panadería.

ABC Family is giving us another Spanglish rom-com that is as over-the-top as we deserve with familia at the center.

CREDIT: @BAKERBEAUTYABC / TWITTER

All I know is that I’d hate to be Daniel’s ex right about now. Carlos Gomez, Lisa Vidal, Dan Bucatinsky, Michelle Veintimilla, and David Del Rio are also cast members in ABC’s highly anticipated Israeli plotline turned novela.

You can watch the full trailer for “Baker and the Beauty” below!

The series is set to premiere on April 6 on ABC Family.

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.