Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of.
Today I want to address a few different topics that I was made witness to these last few days. I am going to start by saying that this post may not be appropriate for all ages and I heartily apologize for the slur used in #2 listed below. That is the only time I will use it myself because it makes me feel ugly.
- “The Walking Dead” had a gay kiss, the reactions are predictably (and sadly) off the wall insane.
- A FOX TV reporter used the term “jiggaboo” to describe Lady Gaga’s “Sound of Music” performance.
- Giuliana Rancic (with an assist from Kelly Osbourne) from E! News Fashion Police decided that singer Zendaya Coleman must smell of “weed or pachouli” because she has dreadlocks.
Sigh. I am not even sure where to start with the feelings these three incidents bring up within me. I think the biggest feeling is disappointment. I know there is good in the world (this story proves it) but some days it can be very challenging to find the good amidst all the bad.
The Gay Kiss on The Walking Dead
The kiss is less than 1 minute long. Seriously?
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you are aware that I am a huge fan of “The Walking Dead”. I read the comics and enjoy the show. That being said, I was not surprised when two new male characters decided to share a kiss this past Sunday. It was so not a story to me that I admit to being surprised that people were outraged by this one-second kiss. Perhaps that makes me naive. I prefer to think that it makes me more tolerant than some of the trolls online.
From reading some of the tweets and comments after the show aired. You would think that the dang sky was falling down and that “The Walking Dead” had committed the biggest sin ever.
Excerpted from Bleeding Cool, here are some of the responses from some trolls over that one second kiss.
@WalkingDead_AMC i have been watching the walking dead for years with my kids,then with no warning u throw gays in there, I’m disappointed
63 RETWEETS 9 FAVORITES
I’m not sure what to be offended at most, the fact that this guys homophobic tweet got 63 retweets and 9 favorites or that this “man” watches “The Walking Dead” with his KIDS and is only now offended. Never mind that in past episodes we see Zombies eating people; cannibals and other such horrors, the true horror here is that two men kissed. Dear lord. Yes, it’s truly a show for kids. Until now. Can’t have the kids seeing what a loving relationship is like. No, no, that’s too horrific for their sensitive ears and eyes. Yeah, let’s think of the kids for sure because they should be watching a show about zombies and death. Yeah, that’s really stellar.
It continues on with this gem;
I don’t discriminate against gay people. Plenty of my co-workers are gay. I just rather not have young children exposed to the BS on TV
— BJ JONES (@BJizz1e) February 23, 2015
Oh, oh I gotcha…you’re NOT a homophobe yet seeing two people who LOVE EACH OTHER share a quick kiss, that’s offensive. Again with the kids. Seriously?!?!?!? What rocks do these folks live under?
And one of my personal favorites;
I’m not a homophobic but that gay couple just ruined The Walking Dead
— Bri Scott (@bri_scott34) February 23, 2015
I’ve got news for your BJ and Bri Scott, you ARE homophobes. Whenever you have to start a sentence with “I’m not homophobic…” or “I’m not racist, but…” it’s a sure sign that you are, in fact homophobic and/or racist. Don’t try to delude yourself into thinking that you are on the right side of this discussion. I am simply trying to understand why one moment of a show can ruin an entire series??? Someone, please explain that to me.
Next, we have Kristi Capal, a local newscaster who thinks she can use a racist slang on TV and no one will get angry.
I should note that Capal did apologize later but the damage was done. She used a term that is defined as being offensive in the dictionary to describe Lady Gaga’s “Sound of Music” performance on the Oscars. Now, first off, Lady Gaga killed it at the Oscar’s. She showed a poise and elegance we rarely see from the performer. It was a reminder that not only is she a talented pianist, she is an talented singer as well. Even Julie Freakin Andrews loved it!
All this comment did was reveal Capal to be both racist and ignorant. She later said she didn’t know what the term meant. An explanation many find hard to believe since it is a rarely used word these days. It’s simply not a word you pull out of thin air. I suspect she said it without thinking but all the while knowing exactly what it meant. I am sure it was probably one of those moments where as soon as she said it (in front of her African-American co-anchor no less) she realized she had made a mistake, but it was too late Capal. We heard it.
According to E! News, Dreadlocks Smell of Weed
Finally, we come to the mess that is E! News and their Oscar Fashion Police. When I was younger, I found this show amusing but as I’ve grown, I see it now for the cruel farce it truly is. It’s a group of people putting down others for cheap laughs. It’s not a show I ever watch and I honestly cannot say that I’m surprised that one of the hosts finally got into some trouble for making a somewhat racist and very much cruel, comment.
The story is that host Giuliana Rancic decided to throw a cheap shot at singer Zendaya Coleman, an 18 year old with dread locks. Rancic decided that this young woman (who looked stunning by the way) must either smell like “Pachouli or Weed”. What’s kind of amusing is she got an assist from Kelly Osbourne (of all people!) who added the weed part.
What’s interesting is that the outrage was instantaneous. People were stunned that Rancic would make such a comment without thinking. The show isn’t about what you smell like, it’s about what you are wearing. This was a low blow even by E!’s somewhat questionable standards. What it made it more interesting wasn’t Rancic’s pathetic apology but Coleman’s classy response to this nonsesnse.
You can read the full text of Coleman’s response but my favorite part was this;
“To me, locs are a symbol of strength and beauty, almost like a lion’s mane,” the singer wrote. “I suggest some people should listen to India Arie’s ‘I Am Not My Hair’ and contemplate a little before opening your mouth so quickly to judge.”
I want to note that it was after Coleman issued her articulate and classy response to Rancic’s comments that Rancic apologized.
ADDITION as of 2/25: Rancic has since issued a very sincere and articulate apology – you can read/watch it here. While I again appreciate her efforts, for her to say she has “learned a lot”saddens me. Didn’t she already know this lesson?
My Thoughts On it All
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you might be reading this and think, well Rancic and Capal both apologized for the slights and that should be enough but it simply isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that they either found the presence of mind to apologize (or they were made to)but it doesn’t matter because the words were put out there. The fact that these thoughts were expressed on live TV saddens me.
I know I suffer from acting before I think occasionally. Sometimes that causes issues, sometimes it’s not a big deal. But never once have I issued hatred for another human being in public. I work hard at practicing non-judgement (and on days like this, it’s REALLY hard and I know I’ve failed a bit) but I am human, I fail. They are human and they fail. But it has to stop. If you are in the public eye you need to think before you speak. You need to realize that getting a cheap laugh for making fun of someone is never OK. You mocked a beautiful young woman for wearing her hair naturally and you praise her when she straightens her hair and looks “normal” – to you, anyway. Shame on the homophobes and shame on people like Rancic and Capal.
I wish I was a big enough person not to judge them for their actions but I am not. This type of hatred cannot stand. We have to learn to love each other, to be respectful of one another in order to find peace.
What do you think of these topics? What can we do to stop these types of “slips” from happening?
Let me know in the comments!