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JulyDiaz

BONUS: 2019 Oscars

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Amy and special guest host Griffin Newman (The Tick, Blank Check) talk about last night’s Oscars, and unveil the winners of the first annual Spoolies! Plus: A heartwarming Christmas tune from Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga.

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I...uhhh...that song. Wow.

Now that there is an official topic, I want to repeat my hatred for the short Skin. Truly a garbage movie.

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59 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I...uhhh...that song. Wow.

I seriously thought that was going to be a comedian doing a bit, but no . . . it's real.

giphy.gif

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1 hour ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I seriously thought that was going to be a comedian doing a bit, but no . . . it's real.

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I thought it was going to be real. Then I thought it was a comedian because of how awful it was. Then I realized, no, it's real. 

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I haven't listened to this ep yet, but are they playing this seriously or to like acknowledge how terrible this dude is? Cause terrible singing aside.... this man is a terrible person.

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2 hours ago, taylorannephoto said:

I haven't listened to this ep yet, but are they playing this seriously or to like acknowledge how terrible this dude is? Cause terrible singing aside.... this man is a terrible person.

Maybe not as mean as it deserves but it's certainly not a glowing review.

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4 hours ago, taylorannephoto said:

I haven't listened to this ep yet, but are they playing this seriously or to like acknowledge how terrible this dude is? Cause terrible singing aside.... this man is a terrible person.

I'm not sure I know enough about him to say he's categorically a "terrible person." He definitely seems like an incurious doof.

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9 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I'm not sure I know enough about him to say he's categorically a "terrible person." He definitely seems like an incurious doof.

Let's just say he's tweeted a lot of terrible TERRIBLE shit about entire sets of people and agrees a lot with policies set forth by another terrible TERRIBLE person.

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41 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

Let's just say he's tweeted a lot of terrible TERRIBLE shit about entire sets of people and agrees a lot with policies set forth by another terrible TERRIBLE person.

Is there something more than the one bad 9/11 Tweet that he's since apologized for?

I'm no big fan of the guy, but I've also become a bit wary of judging a person's entire character based on a few bad actions from the past. If it's a pattern of behavior continuing to the present, that's something else.

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1 minute ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Is there something more than the one bad 9/11 Tweet that he's since apologized for?

I'm no big fan of the guy, but I've also become a bit wary of judging a person's entire character based on a few bad actions from the past. If it's a pattern of behavior continuing to the present, that's something else.

I saw a couple more but it's along the same lines (and I didn't look at the date of them so they could have been before the apology), but honestly I would have to say Islamophobia and blatant racism is more than a few bad actions. Also his entire story of his father is a fabrication and typical Hollywood whitewashing. Shirley's family has come out and talked about how nothing this man has said is true. Nick's father was racist and Shirley fired him almost immediately because he was the worst. Covering up racist actions in our history to make white people feel better is just as bad in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, taylorannephoto said:

I saw a couple more but it's along the same lines (and I didn't look at the date of them so they could have been before the apology), but honestly I would have to say Islamophobia and blatant racism is more than a few bad actions. Also his entire story of his father is a fabrication and typical Hollywood whitewashing. Shirley's family has come out and talked about how nothing this man has said is true. Nick's father was racist and Shirley fired him almost immediately because he was the worst. Covering up racist actions in our history to make white people feel better is just as bad in my opinion.

Only one tweet of Vallelongo's has been controversial. Unless you can produce the "couple more" you've seen, we must assume you're misremembering. Literally nobody involved in the controversy has claimed that the "entire story" of Tony Lip is a fabrication. As for the claims of Dr. Shirley's family, the man himself is on tape saying the following:

"I trusted [Vallelonga] implicitly. See, Tony got to be, not only was he my driver, we never had an employer-employee relationship. We didn’t have time for that. My life was in this man’s hands. Do you understand me? So we got to be friendly with one another."  (https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/01/green-book-director-peter-farrelly-defends-movie-against-criticism)

Evidently the family didn't have a clear understanding of the relationship between the two men.

Finally, Dr. Shirley did not "fire him almost immediately." In fact Lip's employment with Dr. Shirley lasted 18 months—much longer than the two months shown in the film. 

 

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25 minutes ago, Anouk Aimee said:

Only one tweet of Vallelongo's has been controversial. Unless you can produce the "couple more" you've seen, we must assume you're misremembering. The "entire story" of Tony Lip is not a fabrication (and nobody has claimed that it is). As for the contentions of Dr. Shirley's family, the man himself is on tape saying the following:

"I trusted [Vallelonga] implicitly. See, Tony got to be, not only was he my driver, we never had an employer-employee relationship. We didn’t have time for that. My life was in this man’s hands. Do you understand me? So we got to be friendly with one another."  (https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/01/green-book-director-peter-farrelly-defends-movie-against-criticism)

Evidently the family didn't have a clear understanding of the relationship between the two men.

Finally, Dr. Shirley did not "fire him almost immediately." In fact Lip's employment with Dr. Shirley lasted 18 months—much longer than the two months shown in the film. 

 

I could absolutely be misremembering about the tweets. All I remember was seeing people post screen shots after he deleted and there was definitely at least another one besides the one that surfaced that reeked of Islamophobia, but this was a while ago and I couldn't even tell you who had screen shotted and posted it.

As far as what the family has said, I've always trusted them above Peter Farrelly. I had read once that he had been fired after 3 days, but you know how the internet can be, but I still think that they changed the story to fit their narrative and Mahershala said himself that the producers had not informed him there was even living relatives - "‘If I have offended you, I am so, so terribly sorry. I did the best I could with the material I had. I was not aware that there were close relatives with whom I could have consulted to add some nuance to the character.'”. Vallenonga is saying that he had all of the direct correspondence between himself and Shirley. So he's claiming that everything he told is true and that Shirley explicitly told him not to talk to anyone else in his family, but his family is claiming that Shirley didn't even want this movie to be made. It's definitely a lot of he said she said.

"Shirley's nephew Edwin Shirley III told the website Shadow and Act that the movie's suggestions that the musician was estranged from his family are 'very hurtful' and '100 percent wrong,' and that it's 'hard to believe' Shirley ever OK'd the film: 'I remember very, very clearly, going back 30 years, my uncle had been approached by Nick Vallelonga, the son of Tony Vallelonga, about a movie on his life, and Uncle Donald told me about it. He flatly refused.' Shirley's last surviving brother, Maurice Shirley, labeled the film 'a symphony of lies,' emphasizing, 'At that point he had three living brothers with whom he was always in contact.' Patricia Shirley, Maurice's wife, further insisted that Shirley and Lip were never friends: 'It was an employer-employee relationship.'" https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/green-book-is-one-awards-seasons-contentiously-debated-films-117433

What I read about him being fired is probably not true (it was in an article sent to me by a friend but of course now as I try and go through messages to find this article I can't find it - it would totally help if I remember when it was sent to me) - but I do think there are a lot of fabrications that were made to make Tony appear better than he was and to be presented as this white savior in the 60s. I don't think that they could properly expand on his relationship with his family when the movie only covers two months, and while I trust him to relay how his own father perceived these moments, I do not trust him to relay someone else's.

I read through the Vanity Fair article and I trust them to publish stuff they have sources on, but this whole thing still reeks to me.

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Also, since this whole thing was started because I was hyperbolic with my "a lot" and I realize that can do someone in when there's not "proper evidence" to back that up 🙄 I just want to say that I am not stepping off of my stance that I think this man is a terrible person. I'm allowed an opinion on someone's character and his does not add up to a glowing review from me.

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56 minutes ago, Anouk Aimee said:

Only one tweet of Vallelongo's has been controversial. Unless you can produce the "couple more" you've seen, we must assume you're misremembering. Literally nobody involved in the controversy has claimed that the "entire story" of Tony Lip is a fabrication. As for the claims of Dr. Shirley's family, the man himself is on tape saying the following:

In all my Google searching, I can only find articles referencing the one bad Villalonga tweet about Muslims on 9/11. And yes, that is bad. But given that he's apologized for it and I can't find any other incidents, I can't really be sure he's a "terrible person." Again, much of his behavior indicates to me that he's a not-very-smart guy who doesn't really do his homework, but I'm not sure there's great evidence of maliciousness.

James Gunn got fired for resurfaced homophobic jokes he made years ago (a kind of humor he acknowledges having once trafficked in and since repudiated), and when that happened the argument in most left-leaning circles was that he deserved to be given the chance to demonstrate his growth and change over who he used to be, instead of just being fired for old tweets. I agreed with that . . . but if I'm going to extend him that courtesy then I must extend the same to Nick Vallelonga.  That doesn't mean I think he or the movie should be rewarded with Oscars (I don't), but sometimes the original Twitter reactions have people going off half-cocked and you need to step back and verify some things.

The criticism that the filmmakers just went ahead with telling the white man's story and didn't even try to consult the black man's family (or try to find out if he had any) is completely valid. That doesn't mean the film or the filmmakers are virulently racist, but that is indeed white privilege for you.

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1 hour ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

In all my Google searching, I can only find articles referencing the one bad Villalonga tweet about Muslims on 9/11. And yes, that is bad. But given that he's apologized for it and I can't find any other incidents, I can't really be sure he's a "terrible person." Again, much of his behavior indicates to me that he's a not-very-smart guy who doesn't really do his homework, but I'm not sure there's great evidence of maliciousness.

James Gunn got fired for resurfaced homophobic jokes he made years ago (a kind of humor he acknowledges having once trafficked in and since repudiated), and when that happened the argument in most left-leaning circles was that he deserved to be given the chance to demonstrate his growth and change over who he used to be, instead of just being fired for old tweets. I agreed with that . . . but if I'm going to extend him that courtesy then I must extend the same to Nick Vallelonga.  That doesn't mean I think he or the movie should be rewarded with Oscars (I don't), but sometimes the original Twitter reactions have people going off half-cocked and you need to step back and verify some things.

The criticism that the filmmakers just went ahead with telling the white man's story and didn't even try to consult the black man's family (or try to find out if he had any) is completely valid. That doesn't mean the film or the filmmakers are virulently racist, but that is indeed white privilege for you.

I mean I'm still allowed to think a person is terrible for my own reasons and I'm pretty much done with that side of the conversation, however I wanted to point out that Gunn didn't get fired for the homophobic blog post he had made in 2011 he was fired for the pedophilia tweets that were "jokes" from 2009. He never apologized for those tweets and every time he claimed he had he pointed to his apology for the homophobic blog post. That one is tricky for me because I've actually never liked James Gunn (I think his ego is the size of of a planet and he is very dismissive and I actually had a terrible exchange with him), and anyone that likes to make a joke where the punchline is a 12 year old being molested, or a woman being raped while she sleeps, is a no-go in my book. Except, I think that Disney knew exactly what they were getting when they hired him and to think that not one person went through his tweets or anything to see what could do damage to them is BS. They knew all of this was out there and they were trying so hard to get the heat off of themselves that it was only doing worse. Not to mention the person who surfaced those tweets was a right leaning Pizzagate asshole who was trying to silence anyone on the left with something to lose. SO while I still don't like James Gunn and kinda am happy he won't be giving another mediocre GotG movie (I'm sorry but GotG 2 was not great), I do not think Disney was in the right for firing him either.

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Of course everyone is free to have their own opinions about people. My argument is that it's also good to verify if your opinions are based on things that are actually true.

And yes, that's right, Gunn also got in trouble for old pedophilia/rape jokes. I stand by my larger point, though: it's good to examine if this kind of behavior continued to the present day or if the person ever had a change of heart*, why this issue might be surfacing now and to what ends, etc. It might cause you to modify your opinion.

*I think Gunn referenced his blog post about the homophobic jokes because it was also a broader repudiation of the kind of hurtful "edgy" humor he used to do, and he's saying these other jokes came from the same place. That's just my interpretation, of course, but I don't think it's unreasonable.

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22 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I...uhhh...that song. Wow.

Now that there is an official topic, I want to repeat my hatred for the short Skin. Truly a garbage movie.

100% agree, and thought of you when I saw an article pop up on Slate today talking about just how obnoxiously awful Skin was. Whether it was worse than Green Book is debatable. Acutely worse, yes. But Green Book lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

I finally saw how Green Book addressed *cough, cough* Dr. Shirley's sexuality, and even that was turned into a fucking "Tony Lip to the rescue. Isn't he such a great hero!" scene.

I mean it with heart when I say fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck both these movies. 

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2 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

In all my Google searching, I can only find articles referencing the one bad Villalonga tweet about Muslims on 9/11. And yes, that is bad. But given that he's apologized for it and I can't find any other incidents, I can't really be sure he's a "terrible person." Again, much of his behavior indicates to me that he's a not-very-smart guy who doesn't really do his homework, but I'm not sure there's great evidence of maliciousness.

I'm somewhere in between you and Taylor on this one, but I will say that I believe even just one instance of being objectively super fucking racist should ensure that nothing you have to say about race relations gets taken seriously.  Not to be overly cliché, but no one but him truly knows what's in his heart, and if he's sincere about his apology, then good for him.  But bad on everyone who funded this movie, campaigned for this movie, and voted for this movie, because I don't believe he's earned a platform to talk about racism.  It's hard enough today to see any white people make clunky films about race (again, talking about the egregious win by Skin in live-action short) that if in addition, the filmmaker is in any way racist, let's just not have that film financed, okay?

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4 minutes ago, bleary said:

I'm somewhere in between you and Taylor on this one, but I will say that I believe even just one instance of being objectively super fucking racist should ensure that nothing you have to say about race relations gets taken seriously.  Not to be overly cliché, but no one but him truly knows what's in his heart, and if he's sincere about his apology, then good for him.  But bad on everyone who funded this movie, campaigned for this movie, and voted for this movie, because I don't believe he's earned a platform to talk about racism.  It's hard enough today to see any white people make clunky films about race (again, talking about the egregious win by Skin in live-action short) that if in addition, the filmmaker is in any way racist, let's just not have that film financed, okay?

Generally agree, though again in fairness this old Tweet didn't resurface until after the movie had already been made, so the people who financed and promoted it had already done so, possibly unaware of the man's history.

If we're talking about not giving him Oscars, then yes, completely agree. I'd never have voted for this movie.

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11 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

I finally saw how Green Book addressed *cough, cough* Dr. Shirley's sexuality, and even that was turned into a fucking "Tony Lip to the rescue. Isn't he such a great hero!" scene

Hah, and then the way that subplot just goes nowhere, like his sexuality had vanished after that one encounter. Yeeesh.

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I'd like to think the Oscar voters just got inclusivity exhaustion from the rest of the groundbreaking that happened this year. 

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Just now, sycasey 2.0 said:

Generally agree, though again in fairness this old Tweet didn't resurface until after the movie had already been made, so the people who financed and promoted it had already done so, possibly unaware of the man's history.

That raises the general question: why can't billion-dollar companies vet people's social media better?  They probably could have paid an intern $100 to go through his entire Twitter feed and flag anything unsavory. 

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45 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

100% agree, and thought of you when I saw an article pop up on Slate today talking about just how obnoxiously awful Skin was. Whether it was worse than Green Book is debatable. Acutely worse, yes. But Green Book lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

I finally saw how Green Book addressed *cough, cough* Dr. Shirley's sexuality, and even that was turned into a fucking "Tony Lip to the rescue. Isn't he such a great hero!" scene.

I mean it with heart when I say fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck both these movies. 

As much as I find Green Book to be not worthy of praise, it's still mildly enjoyable. At least the acting is genuinely great. It's just misguided by white/straight privilege. So, it's bad in that aspect but it's not horribly made or anything. Especially when you add in this Rashomon-esque Dr. Shirley and his family giving opposite descriptions of the relationship with no real reason to lie (except Shirley himself said "friendly" not "friend" and I can acknowledge he might have felt uncomfortable saying on record their relationship was strictly professional). So, I have slightly more mixed feelings about it.

Skin uses "black face" to try to make a point. It's like an even less funny Soul Man but with neo nazis. I was fucking angry after seeing it. I would 1000% watch Green Book again over Skin. Skin is, in my mind, maybe the worst Oscar nominated movie in years let alone winner.

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40 minutes ago, bleary said:

That raises the general question: why can't billion-dollar companies vet people's social media better?  They probably could have paid an intern $100 to go through his entire Twitter feed and flag anything unsavory. 

As usual, big companies are way behind the times on new technology and social movements like this. I suspect they are now scrambling to start doing this kind of thing.

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57 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

I'd like to think the Oscar voters just got inclusivity exhaustion from the rest of the groundbreaking that happened this year. 

Some of what I've read recently (and this is anecdotal Twitter speculation, so take it with a grain of salt) is that there were basically two camps in the Oscar voting: the older voters who preferred Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, and the younger voters who favored Roma and Black Panther. This kind of voting split has existed since the Academy membership was expanded, but this year there wasn't anything that both groups could kind of get behind, like The Shape of Water or Moonlight/La La LandA Star Is Born might have actually managed it, but they botched their campaign and didn't start trying until it was too late. So you saw the weird bifurcated awards, given about equally to both groups of movies.

So yeah, national politics is reflected in the Oscars as well, in a slightly different form.

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