Welcome to the March 31, 2015 edition of Outrage Watch, HitFix's (almost) daily rundown of all the things folks are peeved about in entertainment. Today's top story: the Trevor Noah backlash has already begun.
The just-announced new “Daily Show” host is already stirring controversy with a number of past tweets (some of them nearly five years old) that many have deemed anti-Semitic and/or sexist. The offending tweets include jokes about Israel (“South Africans know how to recycle like Israel knows how to be peaceful”), Jewish women (“[Argentinean soccer star Lionel] Messi doesn't go down easy, just like Jewish chicks”) and women in general (“'Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I'm sexy!' – fat chicks everywhere”).
Among those outraged is the always-outspoken Roseanne Barr, who tweeted the following on Monday evening (it has since been deleted from her page):
– Lauren Ashburn (@laurenashburn) March 31, 2015
A sampling of other responses:
– DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) March 31, 2015
– Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) March 31, 2015
Just another typical liberal that hates conservatives and Jews too – Mr. @trevornoah!!!
– Casey Parker (@CaseyParksIt) March 31, 2015
– Melissa Braunstein (@slowhoneybee) March 31, 2015
– efredman (@efredman) March 31, 2015
Slate's Jessica Winter, meanwhile, thinks many of the haters may be missing the point.
“The Problem Isn”t That Trevor Noah Is Offensive. The Problem Is That He”s a Giant Dope,” reads Winter's headline.
She continues: “It”s not even that he routinely breaks The Daily Show's covenant of speaking truth to power in favor of speaking truth to fat chicks or Thai hookers or, as the Washington Post”s Wendy Todd points out, black Americans who give their kids names that Noah disapproves of. The problem is that Noah”s jokes are so annihilatingly stupid. Are they even jokes? Are they meta-jokes, like the 'My arms are so tired' airplane joke he made on his first Daily Show appearance? Or did he mean that as a joke, too?!?”
As the following tweet from the New York Times indicates, Noah predicted backlash. But I doubt he expected it to be this bad.
– The New York Times (@nytimes) March 31, 2015
Want more? There's plenty of indignation to go around. See below for a full roundup of today's kerfuffles.
Outraged: Twitter, a number of media writers
Target: Deadline Hollywood
Why: Five days after publishing Deadline TV writer Nellie Andreeva's inflammatory article which questioned whether an uptick in “ethnic castings” on television were perhaps “too much of a good thing,” the trade issued a mea culpa on its website — albeit one buried in the latest edition of the site's regular “Bart & Fleming” column.
“As co-editors in chief, Nellie and I apologize deeply and sincerely to those who”ve been hurt by this,” wrote editor Mike Fleming Jr. “There is no excuse. It is important to us that Deadline readers know we understand why you felt betrayed, and that our hearts are heavy with regret. We will move forward determined to do better.”
Like the article that spawned the outrage, Fleming's apology wasn't greeted enthusiastically.
“That's like punching me in the face and saying 'Sorry your face hurts, those bruises do not reflect actions I'd take' rather than simply saying 'Sorry for hitting you in the nose,'” writes Jezebel's Hillary Crosley Coker.
“So basically, 'We”re sorry, but we got all of those page views last week. Mission accomplished,'” weighed in The Root contributor Yesha Callahan. “If they were truly sorry, someone would have stopped the post before it even went live on their website. But trolls are gonna troll.”
“Posing the apology in conversation with Peter Bart rather than addressing directly his audience is almost insulting,” says Bustle's Maitri Mehta.
And on Twitter:
– April (@ReignOfApril) March 31, 2015
Deadline Issues A Weak-Sauce Apology For Story About 'Ethnic Casting' http://t.co/wzMllJozJI
– LAist (@LAist) March 30, 2015
Sooo Deadline's apology was two white guys talking about diversity?
– KB (@KaraRBrown) March 29, 2015
Phew. Gonna pray about this.
Outraged: Twitter, various media writers
Target: “Dancing with the Stars” judge Bruno Tonioli
Why: Tonioli was bound to hear from angry fans and media commentators after making this comment to “DWTS” contestant Charlotte McKinney on Monday's episode: “You are never going to win the Nobel Prize for quantum physics, but you are easy on the eyes.”
“Tonioli was so out of line with his comment, and Charlotte deserves an apology,” writes Bustle's Martha Sorren. “She may not be the show”s best dancer, but she has feelings and she deserves better than that. She”s more than just her body, and everyone needs to recognize that-especially the judges.”
And on Twitter:
– Joelle M. Reizes (@JReizes) March 31, 2015
– Mandy Hale (@MissMandyHale) March 31, 2015
– Laurie Brookins (@StyleWriterNYC) March 31, 2015
– John Flores (@Omikron7291) March 31, 2015
So we still care about “Dancing with the Stars,” then? Is that what's happening?
Target: Indiana's “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”
Why: The rock band has canceled the Indianapolis date on their upcoming 20th anniversary tour, citing the new law that many claim will allow businesses in Indiana to discriminate against LGBT individuals by citing concerns of religious freedom.
We're canceling our 5/7 show in Indianapolis. “Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act” feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination.
– WILCO (@Wilco) March 30, 2015
Hope to get back to the Hoosier State someday soon, when this odious measure is repealed. Refunds available at point of purchase.
– WILCO (@Wilco) March 30, 2015
Responses to the band's tweets have ranged from the supportive to the angry, with one user replying: “What's next? You going to block out-of-town Indy residents from attending your shows? Don't hold this against ALL of us.” Another wrote: “.@Wilco so you want your religious bigotry to trump my Constitutional liberties? Sing that to me in song. #SupportIndiana.”
For the uninitiated, user @RBPundit put it best:
– RB (@RBPundit) March 30, 2015