Episode 17 of the Safe Spaces is here – and we’re not going anywhere! On the heels of Independence Day, there’s no shortage of political outrage and general stupidity worth talking about, so let’s just get right to it. Hold onto your hats, people!
Apart from a quick aside about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s now-epic beach closure, this week’s episode begins with a quick update on last week’s topic of “indefensible cultural appropriation”, in which our hosts playfully invited writer K. Tempest Bradford on the program to talk and debate the topic. As it turns out, she listened to the podcast – and declined. Our hosts discuss her reactions and responses via email,
Also, did you hear there’s a new Spider-Man movie in theaters? That’s right: Spider-Man: Homecoming, which inserts the world’s most famous web-crawler (officially) into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has been gathering rave reviews and definitely finds a spot on our hosts’ radar. Will it be as near-universally accepted as that other superhero epic, Wonder Woman? Time shall tell.
Things get interactive from here with a look at notorious race-rustling troll Tariq Nasheed’s endorsement of what looks to be a tone-deaf and generally horrible mobile game Crispy’s Biscuits. In it, players are charged with helping Crispy “avoid obstacles like lotion bottles, hair clippers, raccoons, etc. on his quest to gather as many biscuits as he can.” With imagery evoking the exaggerated “Sambo” motif, many have labeled the game racist and culturally insensitive, but there’s more to the story, including its roots with a cultist online puppet show featuring the titular character and his zany adventures.
From here we get to a favorite topic on Safe Spaces: pay inequity! Only this time it’s less about the wage gap between male and female and more racial. This week saw CBS’ rebooted police procedural Hawaii Five-0 lose two of its main stars, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, over what’s being called racial discrimination over pay inequity. As two of the show’s most prominent Asian actors, rumors have both being paid 10-15 percent less than their white counterparts. Whether their departure was due to racial discrimination or bad negotiating (the show is incredibly low-rated, and probably on its last legs) remains to be seen, but a lively discussions is in the offering.
Update: since this episode was taped Hawaii Five-0 showrunner Peter Lenkov has denied the allegations, stating “Both actors chose not to extend their contracts. CBS was extremely generous and proactive in their renegotiation talks. So much so, the actors were getting unprecedented raises, but in the end they chose to move on. No one wanted to see them go–they are irreplaceable.”
A quick aside from South Park co-creator Trey Parker’s decision to lay off the relentless Donald Trump bashing in the show’s upcoming season leads to a colorful segue into how stale once-proud animated shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy have become. Not one to miss!
VIBE’s Jessica McKinney declares online style gurus POPSUGAR’s discovery about the joys of “natural hair” to be a bit whitewashed, and given the evidence our hosts are inclined to agree. For a show hosted by two white guys, the topic of black female hair sure does come up often, with surprising results.
But our hosts leave the week’s most notorious news bit for last. In a news cycle that moves faster than the speed of light, CNN – in what appears to be a mean-spirited revenge campaign to last weekend’s embarrassing GIF tweeted by President Trump showing him (metaphorically) taking down the network via wrestling moves – decided to track down the GIF’s creator.
Once uncovered, the ex-Reddit user, with the colorful pseudonym “HanAssholeSolo”, had deleted his account and apologized for his wicked ways. CNN reported that he’d also issued “an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again.”
While CNN claims the decision to not publish his personal information out of concern for his safety, it’s the additional language of “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change” that’s gotten the most attention. Naturally, most – including our hosts – have interpreted this as a threat to dox (publicly reveal private information with intent to cause harm) against an individual by a major news organization. The hashtag #CNNBlackmail was launched and chaos ensued. You don’t wanna miss what the guys have to say here; it’s one for the ages.
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