In last night’s episode of Survivor, one contestant outed another as being transgender in a desperate tribal council move. It did not go over well with the other contestants, Jeff Probst, or the fans.
Jeff Varner, the outer, issued an apology via Twitter:
GLAAD issued a statement: “Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves, and it is dangerous and unacceptable to out a transgender person. It is heartening, however, to see the strong support for Zeke from the other people in his tribe. Moments like this prove that when people from all walks of life get to know a transgender person, they accept us for who we are.”
I knew that Varner’s actions, though targeted at me, had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. His terrible utterances were not an effect of my actions, but a reflection of his own personal maladies.
But in calling me deceptive, Varner invoked one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people, a stereotype that is often used as an excuse for violence and even murder. In proclaiming “Zeke is not the guy you think he is” and that “there is deception on levels y’all don’t understand,” Varner is saying that I’m not really a man and that simply living as my authentic self is a nefarious trick. In reality, by being Zeke the dude, I am being my most honest self — as is every other transgender person going about their daily lives.
I don’t believe Varner hates trans people, just as I don’t believe conservative politicians who attack trans people actually care where we use the bathroom. For both, trans people make easy targets for those looking to invoke prejudice in order to win votes. Thankfully, my tribemates rebuffed his hateful tactics. After 18 days starving and competing with me, they knew exactly the man I am, and after that Tribal Council, we all knew exactly the man Varner is.
I looked to Varner, now the one hunched and quivering, and contemplated the backlash he would face. When he said what he said, he changed both of our lives forever. When he pulled me in for a hug, I felt compelled to reciprocate, both as a sign that I was willing to forgive him and that the shots he had fired missed.
About That Saturday Night Live Clown Sketch
“It has been impossible for me to ignore the cacophony of voices reaching out personally and publicly about the potential plagiarizing of my film Clown Service (a film that I screened at Largo in Los Angeles for over a year and it premiered at Vulture’s Comedy Festival in NYC as well as numerous film festivals around the country and I am currently screening on my national tour).
While I don’t know how all this actually happened, I did find it extremely disappointing.
Here is what I can tell you:
First off, I have recently learned that a writer/director who was fully aware of Clown Service when I was making it, actually worked on Louis C.K.’s clown sketch that is in question.
Secondly, Louis C.K. and I have not communicated in any way for nearly a year and a half.
And finally, I never gave anyone permission to use anything from my film.
I hesitated to even address any of this, but I think it is only right to defend my work and ideas and moving forward, I plan to continue screening Clown Service with the joy and pride I always have.“
Vanity Fair argues that between Tig Notaro’s high-profile and Louis C.K.’s own issues with joke stealing, this might be the scandal that forces Saturday Night Live to address a plagiarism charge for the first time ever. I’m not holding my breath.
In Other Late Night News
“I would trade good ratings for a better president.” — Stephen Colbert
Jimmy Kimmel takes a few guesses as to where Bill O’Reilly is going on “vacation”:
In Cable News News
Speaking of Bill O’Reilly, he is going to cut back his show to four nights a week. How about zero nights a week, Fox News?
Jeffrey Lord, trying to oust Bill O’Reilly as the most hated man on cable news, compared Trump taking people’s health care away to Martin Luther King Jr. “OH, JEFFREY. You do understand that Dr. King was marching for Civil Rights because people that looked like me were being beaten. Dogs were being sicked on them. Basic human rights were being withheld from these people merely because of the color of their skin. So let’s not equate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — a humanitarian, a Nobel Peace Prize winner — to the vagina-grabbing President Donald Trump.” ~mic drop~
In Other TV News
Speaking of Veep, here’s what to expect from the next season which debuts on Sunday.
Here is a Game of Thrones theory generator to generate your craziest theories.
I would totally watch a TV show about time travelling punks by the guy who gave us Black Mirror. In fact, he needs to start making that immediately.
This is just a very good interview with Bill Nye who radiates optimism in a dark time.
Hot Date, Pop, this fall
- Pop had their upfronts yesterday where they announced they have added three new series, including Swedish Dicks, Private Investigators, starring Peter Stormare and featuring Keanu Reeves (?!), Clique, their first drama, and Hot Date, produced by Will Arnett (trailer above).
- The podcast Missing Richard Simmons might be turned into a TV series.
- Amazon is developing two kids shows with The Roots.
- There are three different political dramas about Trump that are racing through production because what I don’t have enough of on my TV is Donald Fucking Trump.
- If you are curious, here is an early report on how the pilots are doing, and which sound the most promising for pick-up.
- The Magicians has been renewed for a third season on Syfy.
- E! renewed that dumb Scientology series that I can’t stop watching, The Arrangement, for a second season.
- Shadowhunters has been renewed for a third season by Freeform.
- Donald Sutherland is going to star in FX’s new anthology series, Trust, as J. Paul Getty.
- William Hurt and Bob Balaban are going to star in the Three Days of the Condor remake.
- Calista Flockhart is returning to Supergirl for the season finale.
- David Morrissey will star in BBC Two’s The City and the City.
- Some Chicago Cubs are going to appear in the season finale of Chicago Fire.
- Tracie Thoms (Cold Case) is joining the cast of UnReal.
- Erik Madsen (The Last Kingdom) is joining the cast of Vikings.
- Jessica Jones has put out a casting call for season 2. Here’s who they are looking for.
Charlie Murphy, Comedian, creator of the famous “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” on Chappelle’s Show. Friends and fans remember him. You should go rewatch “True Hollywood Stories” on Comedy Central’s site. (I’d embed them here, but the code doesn’t play nice on WordPress.)
Michael Ballhaus, Legendary cinematographer
Supernatural: Goat. 78 p.m., The CW
Scandal: The truth of XXX’s assassination (won’t say who’s in the event I might be spoiling it for folks) is revealed in the 100th episode. 8 p.m., ABC
The Blacklist: Redemption: Season finale. 9 p.m., NBC
Urban Cowboy: I will watch this movie every single time it is on. 8 p.m., HBO Signature West
Late Night: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Charlize Theron, Tony Goldwyn, Romeo Santos Conan: Kunal Nayyar, Harland Williams, Lillie Mae The Daily Show: The Best of Hasan Minaj Watch What Happens Live: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys
|CBS||The Big Bang Theory
|Life in Pieces
|The Amazing Race
|Kicking & Screaming
|NBC||Trial & Error
|The Blacklist: Redemption