Debra Messing: Praised for Calling Out E! Over Gender Pay Gap!

Like many of the women who came dressed in black to the Golden Globes, a wardrobe of solidarity was only the most superficial part of Debra Messing's agenda for the evening.

She is now being hailed as one of the evening's most satisfying highlights. Why?

As you'll see in the video below, Debra Messing calls out E!'s alleged gender pay gap … while being interviewed by E!.

Debra messing smiles at the golden globes

Sunday night's Golden Globes were huge.

Oprah delivered a powerful speech that everyone is still talking about.

Oprah, Aziz Ansari, and Sterling K. Brown all made history with their respective awards — some long, long overdue milestones.

In her role as a presenter, Natalie Portman dragged the "all-male nominees" for Best Director, highlighting the bizarre gender gap and the women who were robbed for recognition of their incredible work.

Debra Messing didn't wait until the ceremony to grab people's attention.

She made her stand on the red carpet.

Catt sadler

Speaking to Giuliana Rancic, Debra Messing had a lot to say about the #TimesUp movement (which grew out of #MeToo).

"…Its time is up. We want diversity. We want intersectional gender parity. We want equal pay."

Those are all wonderful things! It's great that she's one of countless people demanding change in Hollywood.

And speaking of that whole equal pay thing …

"I was shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-host the same as their male co-host."

Oh wow.

"I miss Catt Sadler, so we stand with her. And that’s something that can change tomorrow."

Debra messing at the globes

See, just last month, Catt Sadler quit working at E! over an alleged pay gap issue.

She apparently learned that, though she'd worked at E! for 12 years, her cohost Jason Kennedy was earning about twice her salary, and that he'd been making that much for years.

The pay gap happens in all kinds of industries, folks. It can happen in entertainment news and anywhere else.

Many people hope that E! will make a fair offer to Catt Sadler that will allow her to return to work with dignity.

No one doubts that Jason Kennedy is worth what he's making; they just want for Catt Sadler to be paid what she deserves.

And, by extension, for all women to be paid what they deserve rather than what employers believe that they can get away with.

Catt sadler picture

For the record, Debra Messing was not the only star on E!'s red carpet speaking out about Catt Sadler.

Eva Longoria, gorgeous and pregnant, told Ryan Seacrest:

"We support gender equity and equal pay, and we hope that E! follows that lead with Catt as well. We stand with you, Catt."

The fact that so many actresses wore black in solidarity and spoke about such important issues is a real sign of progress.

Debra messing profile at the golden globes

That is not to say that the Golden Globes went off without a hitch, however.

One subject of continuing controversy is creepy James Franco winning a Golden Globe when his reputation is sketchy at best.

In fact, his win on that night of all nights was enough for one actress to hint at sexual misconduct. Others have chimed in, alleging things like an interest in underage teens.

So yes, Hollywood — like the rest of the world — has a long way to go before everything's as it should be.

But progress can only be made when people speak out. Thank you, Debra Messing.

See her call out E! right to E!'s cameras here:

Debra messing praised for calling out e over gender pay gap

Rain Brown Praised for Equality Message!

You may not think of Alaskan Bush People as the best platform for progressive ideals, but you should remember that the Brown family is made up of real people with a lot more depth than could ever fit into a reality series.

The family’s youngest, Rain Brown, uses social media for a lot more than just delivering updates on her mom’s health and speaking about her battle with depression.

She also uses it to promote wonderful messages about making the world a better place. And she’s getting some well-deserved praise (and undeserved hate) for it.

Before posting her own miniature essay on equality in the captions, Rain posted an existing image that reads:

“I am a nasty woman because I believe in love, acceptance, equality, kindness, respect, and the power of my voice.”

Though Rain doesn’t say so herself, this quote was inspired by Ashley Judd who, at the Women’s March, recited a poem by 19-year-old Nina Donovan.

And, obviously, the “nasty woman” line was inspired by what Trump so infamously said about Hillary Clinton at the debates.

Instead of giving background on the quote contained within the image that she posted, Rain wrote in her own words about the importance of equality and what it means to her.

“Equality is SO important.”

A simple statement on its own, but very true.

“No one it’s better no matter their sexuality, skin color, or gender.”

Also true.

“We are all people, it’s so sad to me that we are living in 2017 and STILL we are not all treated equal, if you’re different, good!”

She’s such a sweet person. We have to wonder what brought on this topic, right?

She had previously improvised a song in which she joked about being better than the listener, but this was just her hitting back at trolls who fill her Instagram comments.

So … what prompted Rain to talk about equality?

We’re not sure, exactly.

But Rain does talk about how the issue of equality impacts her, personally.

“You actually had the power and strength to stand up for something, and something that is NEVER discussed in media is age equality.”

To be clear, she’s not equating ageism (which can impact the young and old, if in different ways) with slavery or anti-LGBT bigotry or anything like that.

But it’s a topic that, she’s right, doesn’t get talked about enough.

“Just because I’m 14 doesn’t make me less of a person then a 60 year old our time spent on this earth or how we spend it shouldn’t change the way people treat you.”

Rain Brown may be referring to her recently revealed battle with depression, which she says was dismissed off-handedly because of her youth.

(When, in fact, adolescents are more vulnerable to depression than most other groups; with symptoms exacerbated by hormones, a depressed teenager should get the counseling and medication that they need)

But Rain is not trying to make the message of equality all about her, of course. She’s just talking about how it relates to her, personally.

“For everyone out there that is sad or been bullied or lied to it happens to literally everyone.”

Unfortunately, that is true.

“So just don’t return the favor, basically what I’m getting to is, all my life I’ve wanted to change something and so many people tell me I can’t, but I already have, even if no one agrees with me I still made them think.”

She’s right — don’t get mistreated and then turn around and do it to someone else.

And it sounds like people don’t listen to her enough. Perhaps, because she’s the youngest, people can’t help but see her as a baby. But she’s not anymore.

“And I’m not about to let anyone make me give up on my dream, my mission is to spread love and light on this dark world, join me be strong and fierce but kind and compassionate to your neighbors, life is all about balance.”

So she’s not listening to trolls. Good.

Commenters were quick to praise the young Alaskan Bush People star for her stance.

“I liked you before this. Now I freaking love you Rainy!!!! Equality, respect, kindness, and acceptance are paramount in this world.”

Very well said!

“Your response is exactly what I would expect from a young women raised by an amazing mom. Thumbs up! I can only hope my 13 year old daughter learns your family values.”

Awww, a shout-out to Ami Brown while praising Rain! Cute.

“You are such an outstanding person.”

And there were many more positive comments.

There were, of course, some negative comments. Even though Rain is 14 and shared a positive message, some people just want to get into arguments.

“Equality, acceptance, all good, but Romans chapter 1, God says diffrent.”

We’re not going to get into an academic debate about Biblical passages, but … well, we’re pretty sure that Romans is attributed to Paul.

(Honestly, that’s beside the point, because adults have no business going into the comments of a 14-year-old’s post and starting theological arguments or arguments of any other kind. She’s a kid; be nice or get out)

“There is no such thing as equality. We are all different. Although well meaning ‘equality’ creates division. Males and females have different abilities on average and different races have different attributes. We must accept our differences and move on to be happy.”

So that one’s, like, straight-up racist, among other things. (The “different races have different attributes” line is fine if you’re talking about, like, elves or orcs … not real-life people)

“My advice is to listen to wise advice. ‘A Nasty woman’, is a nasty term from nasty feminists. I’ve always admired your mom for being a sweet lady, with so much faith, not a nasty woman.”

That last hateful comment is best read in Gollum’s voice.

We hope that Rain can set aside the hate, though.


Ed Skrein: Praised for Dropping Hellboy Role Over Whitewashing Controversy

Ed Skrein isn’t some big A-List actor. He’s best known as the bad guy from Deadpool, or maybe as the first, hotter Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones.

But he just made a major power move that world famous actors like Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johansson haven’t dared to do, earning serious praise in the process.

To do that, though, Ed had to drop out of a major career opportunity.

For years, millions of fans have been frustrated that studios haven’t allowed Guillermo del Toro to create any more Hellboy films.

The cult favorite film series starring Ron Pearlman had two films, but the third always seemed out of reach.

Finally, it was announced — to everyone’s collective disappointment — that Guillermo del Toro would not get to continue that series.

Fans responded by protesting it online.

Guillermo responded, it seems, by creating The Shape of Water, a film that fans were quick to point out strongly resembles a (legally distinct) origin story for favored Hellboy character, Abe Sapien.

(Did you see the trailer about the mute girl who wnats to bang something that looks like the creature from the Black Lagoon? That’s the one)

However, it was then announced that they were going to reboot the Hellboy trilogy, which — despite a lack of involvement by either Guillermo or Pearlman, was met with excitement for fans of the original films and also of the comics that preceded them.

The first real bit of bad news about these films came when Ed Skrein was cast. He’s great, but … he was cast as a character named Ben Daimio.

Ed Skrein is white.

The character of Ben Daimio is a Japanese-American.

(In fact, if I remember my teenage weeaboo phase correctly, “daimio” phonetically sounds like the word for a feudal-era Japanese lord, though don’t quote me on that)

Whitewashing in Hollywood should be a thing of the past, but recently it has seemed to be out of control.

From Tilda Swinton being cast as the Tibetan character of The Ancient One in Doctor Strange to Scarlett Johansson playing the decidedly Japanese protagonist of Ghost in the Shell (which flopped, at least), there seems to be no end to white actors taking representation from people of color.

(And the less said about that abysmal and whitewashed Death Note movie, the better)

Some of the responses to the “Oscars So White” controversy said that maybe people of color just weren’t as good.

That’s … kind of absurd, but we’d ask those people how exactly actors of color can demonstrate their acting skills when they’re not even given the opportunity to portray people of color on screen.

More importantly, there are the fans who mourn losing major representation on the big screen.

Some people can’t relate, but those are the people who grew up always being able to see someone not unlike themselves on screen. They’ve never faced having their identities erased.

Scarlett Johansson, despite making so much money that she could turn down any job, has never seemed to find a problem taking jobs that could or should have gone to someone else.

Ed Skrein, however, is cut from a different cloth.

Ed Skrein took to social media to publicly step down for the role after the backlash.

For one thing, he says that he wasn’t initially aware of the character’s race.

(Remember, the titular character in this franchise is named “Hellboy,” so if you don’t recognize “Daimio” as a Japanese word or name and you’re not already a fan of the series, you just wouldn’t know. We don’t even recall Ben Daimio making it into either of the two original films)

“It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the Arts.”

It’s so good that he’s calling this out so publicly.

“I feel it is important to honor and respect that.”

He is so right.

And he adds a personal note.

“Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family.”

Part of his background is Jewish Austrian.

Ultimately, we hope that this will be a net gain for Ed Skrein.

The money and acclaim that he might have garnered for taking on this role will hopefully pale in comparison to what he gains in positive press coverage.

A friend of mine pointed out last night that every time that someone talks about whitewashing for the next few years, they’ll point to Ed Skrein by name as the perfect counterexample to, say, Scarlett Johansson.

And he’s earned no shortage of praise, from fans to other actors.

(Scarlett, in the mean time, has become something of a joke; Rahul Kohli of iZombie once joked that ScarJo was originally cast to play his role)

Possibly the best part of all of this is that the producers behind the new Hellboy trilogy say that they are taking this seriously. We hope to see them cast more appropriately in the future.


Pink Praised for Breast-Pumping Selfie!

You don’t make something socially acceptable overnight. You do it step-by-step, showing people that something isn’t a big deal until they just get used to it. In the process, you encourage others to do the same.

Pink is doing that, because she’s marvelous and wants to make the world a better place.

This time, Pink snapped a mirror selfie — as she used a breast pump to prepare meals for her baby.

Pink is a mother of two.

Her oldest, 6-year-old Willow, obviously doesn’t need any breast milk.

(Just ignore the “nurse them ‘til they’re 8” weirdos, please)

Her youngest, Jameson, was born only 8 months ago.

He’s an adorable baby.

Pink herself is currently on tour in Europe during the buildup before her next album, Beautiful Trauma, comes out.

But that doesn’t mean that she’s neglecting her duties as a mom.

In case anyone had any doubts, she shared this mirror selfie of herself pumping breastmilk.

She captioned the photo:

“And now this #pumpupthejams #mombreak.”

You might think of this as just another photo of somebody going about their day.

Like, some folks tweet about doing the dishes, and that’s fine (anything to take a short breather from the endless stream of hellish news that defines 2017, right?).

But Pink sharing this pic is positively revolutionary.

First of all, we struggle to think of any other images we’ve seen of women pumping breastmilk.

Like … I saw my mother do it when I was super little, and then there was the horrifying procurement of “mother’s milk” in Mad Max: Fury Road.

And this photo of Pink.

That’s it.

Pumping milk is literally just preparing meals for her baby, a crucial activity for a working mom.

But it’s hidden away, as if it’s shameful.

By showing herself doing it, Pink is helping to normalize a very normal and appropriate activity.

Kind of like what so many moms are doing these days with breastfeeding.

We’ve all read those stories about women who are asked to leave places or to go to the bathroom to nurse their babies.

The most ridiculous tend to be the stories where these women are in art museums, surrounded by fully bare breasts on sculptures and in paintings.

But they’re asked to leave, because somehow feeding their child would be inappropriate.

The grossest thing is the idea of women having to sit in a bathroom stall and nurse their baby.

That’s a disgusting to place to eat for an adult, and it’s not less disgusting for a baby.

Part of what the Free The Nipple campaign is all about is just normalizing the existence of nipples on human women.

It’s not just about Instagram not letting models showcase their nip nops in all of their glory.

It’s about not treating women as prized objects that need to be hidden away from prying eyes. It’s about letting women go about their lives unobstructed by how distracted or whatever men might get.

(And yes, there’s a direct connection to high school dress codes, and we’d hope that no one would breastfeed in high school for reasons that have nothing to do with some fear of nipples)

By the way, Pink has also shared breastfeeding photos, because not all heroes wear capes.

Obviously, Pink received her due amount of praise in the comments for the photo.

By the way, her post-baby body is extraordinary. It hasn’t even been a year since she gave birth and she looks like she was never even pregnant.

Not that showing off her flat abs was the point of the selfie, because it wasn’t.

But … we have eyes, don’t we? We noticed.

Pink might not be good at feuding, but she seems to be great at making progress for women everywhere with something as simple as photos.


Megyn Kelly: Actually Praised for Alex Jones Interview

After several says of hype and criticism, it finally happened last night.

Megyn Kelly finally interviewed Alex Jones.

The sit-down had been roundly lambasted across social media because Kelly was giving a nationwide platform to a truly evil man.

Jones is a radio host who has perpetrated such conspiracy theories as 9/11 being an inside job and, most famously, doubting the legitimacy of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

He has actually argued, frequently, that the 2012 mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut – in which 20 children were killed – did NOT happen.

In response to Kelly’s scheduled Q&A, a mother who tragically lost her child in this attack Tweeted at Kelly earlier in the week.

“Hey @megynkelly , let me know if you want to give his victims equal air time. Promoting this fool is bad news. Do not encourage his abuse,” wrote Nelba Márquez-Greene.

She later added a few more thoughts:

kelly responses

With advertisers pulling out and pressure mounting, Kelly did end up taking this advice in the end.

Along with her Jones discussion, the program also aired the reaction of Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse died in the Sandy Hook shooting.

This interview had not been planned until Kelly and NBC read all the negative feedback to the original segment.

“It’s disrespectful to me,” said Heslin, referring to Jones’ comments on the massacre. “I take that very personal.”

Kelly, meanwhile, introduced her interview with Jones as follows:

“Some thought we shouldn’t broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren’t just offensive, they’re dangerou. But here’s the thing:

“Alex Jones isn’t going away. Over the years his YouTube channel has racked up 1.3 billion views. He has millions of listeners and the ear of our current president.”

One could easily argue that this latter statement is the real story here.

Why has Donald Trump called Jones on multiple occasions for advice? Why Jones’ media outlets, InfoWars, have White House press credentials?

Kelly has said it’s her duty as a reported to “shine a light” on someone such as Jones, but the real light needs to be shined on an administration who takes someone such as Jones seriously.

That said, Kelly has actually received praise from a handful of respected journalists for her line of questions.

Asked about his Sandy Hook viewpoint, which is complete and utter cruel nonsense, Jones said on air:

“I do think there is cover-up and manipulation, that’s pretty much what I believed. I was going into devil’s advocate but we know there are mass shootings and these things happen.”

“You’re trying to have it all ways,” Kelly shot back.

“No, I’m not,” Jones responded, later adding that he “didn’t create that story” about Sandy Hook being a lie.

In a voiceover, Kelly noted that Jones “never completely disavowed his previous statement.”

When the topic of this month’s Manchester bombing was raised, along with Jones comment that a bunch of “liberal trendies who are promoting open borders” were killed in the attack, Kelly slammed his sarcastic reply as “classic Alex Jones,” elaborating:

“That pattern, reckless accusations followed by equivocation and excuses, is classic Alex Jones.”

The immediate reaction to the segment was mixed, but it received far more positive replies than many believed it would when it was first announced.

Those who gave Kelly and NBC props for the interview includes veteran journalists such as Andrea Mitchell and Dan Abrams.

(Yes, the former works for NBC and the latter used to work for NBC.)

kelly props

“I think my influence on Trump is way, way lower than what [the mainstream media] has said,” Jones said of his connection to the Commander-in-Chief, adding:

“He has called sometimes, talked about politics and thanked me. Stuff like that. That’s it.”

Jones went on to say that he and Trump are on “friendly” terms, but refused to give Kelly an exact number when pressed on how many phone calls he’s exchanged with Trump since he took office.

Again, the main issue here is why any sitting President would ever say a word to anyone who has denied the existence of Sandy Hook and who has said America in responsible for 9/11.

If Kelly really wants to receive acclaim for her work, she’ll follow up this piece with one that examines that pressing question.