(Photo of the Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921)
After a long, violent, terrifying weekend, I return to this blog feeling pained, tired, and completely out of my depth.
In the middle of a deadly pandemic, protests continue to burn in every major city, and in many cases, the police response to them are disproportionate and throwing gasoline on an already incendiary situation:
— New York Post (@nypost) June 1, 2020
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) May 31, 2020
— #TakeEmDownRVA (@TakeEmDownRVA) May 31, 2020
NEW: Police vehicles drive into crowd of protesters in New York City pic.twitter.com/4TsuAI9xMj
— BNO News (@BNONews) May 31, 2020
#BREAKING: 2 Atlanta Police officers fired after video showed them using "excessive force" in the arrest of two college students Saturday night, the Mayor says.
The arrest was reportedly due to disregarding curfew & orders from police.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 31, 2020
Share widely: National guard and MPD sweeping our residential street. Shooting paint canisters at us on our own front porch. Yelling “light em up” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorge #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bW48imyt55
— Tanya Kerssen (@tkerssen) May 31, 2020
Defund police departments, help end elder abuse: pic.twitter.com/hdrJmMeqUV
— Sidney Harrell (@sidneyharrell) June 1, 2020
And protestors weren’t the only ones being attacked by the police: journalists covering the protests became targets, too.
They hit MSNBC’s Garrett Haake and Ali Velshi with rubber bullets:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 1, 2020
I’m hit in the leg by a rubber bullet but am fine. State Police supported by National guard fired unprovoked into an entirely peaceful rally
— Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi) May 31, 2020
They fired on this reporter and cameraman on air:
Police literally opening fire on the free press. pic.twitter.com/g8RMImZLGr
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) May 30, 2020
Police just raided the gas station we were sheltering at. After shouting press multiple times and raising my press card in the air, I was thrown to the ground. Then another cop came up and peppered sprayed me in the face while I was being held down. pic.twitter.com/23EkZIMAFC
— Michael Anthony Adams (@MichaelAdams317) May 31, 2020
And permanently blinded this photographer:
Hey folks, took a tracer found to the face (I think, given my backpack) and am headed into surgery to see if we can save my left eye
Am wisely not gonna be on Twitter while I’m on morphine
Stay safe folks pic.twitter.com/apZOyGrcBO
— Linda Tirado (@KillerMartinis) May 30, 2020
(And I don’t want to even think about how the COVID cases are going to flare back up again in a couple of weeks because of these protests … )
Then there is the Coward-in-Chief who spent today talking to Putin, screaming at the governors that they look like fools and demanding that they “dominate” the protestors, all the while hiding in a bunker.
Things are bad, y’all.
And I could tie this story into the subject of this blog, television, by writing about all of the media companies and celebrities who are putting out statements condemning racism or pledging money to help bail protestors out of jail or who themselves marched in protest this weekend, but honestly? Who the fuck cares? For sure, it’s nice to know that Chrissy Teigen is pissing off the troglodytes who wear MAGA caps by promising to provide $200,000 in bail money to protestors, or that Tyler Perry is going to pay for George Floyd’s funeral costs. Sure, it’s nice to see some celebrities actually putting their money where their mouths are, but it also seems like patting famous people on the back for doing the right thing is an enormous waste of everyone’s time in the middle of a FUCKING TSUNAMI.
But this is a TV blog, so I will note this (adapted from something I posted on Facebook):
Today marks the 99th anniversary of the second day of the Tulsa Race Massacre. It left at least 300 black people dead, 10,000 black people homeless, and 40 blocks of what was a once-thriving black neighborhood in ash. It is largely considered one of the worst acts of racial violence in our country’s history, and yet most of us never learned anything about it until last year when a TV show based on a comic book taught us.
This wound is an old one — hundreds of years older than this country itself — and it’s a wound that keeps reopening because we as a culture are quite good at pretending it doesn’t exist until it begins to fester again. It’s never going to heal — we are never going to heal — until we confront our past and have long and hard conversations about how we can prevent it from becoming our future once again. Read, learn, listen, and don’t turn away from our ugly collective past because it makes you uncomfortable. Ignoring a trauma is no way to remedy it.
Maybe begin by reading this harrowing Washington Post story about the massacre, and then take the advice of Watchmen creator, Damon Lindelof, and check out these other sources:
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99 Years ago today, The Massacre of Greenwood began. The fires of racial injustice that decimated this utopia of black prosperity are still burning. You may not have lit them, but there’s a good chance you did nothing to put them out. I know I didn’t… and I told myself it was because I didn’t know how. For all the well-intentioned folks who want to help but don’t know how, start by educating yourself. READ ANYTHING by Ta’Nehisi Coates, whose writing changed the way I saw our country and first made me aware of what happened in Tulsa. WATCH James Baldwin debate William F. Buckley on YouTube. LISTEN to the 1619 podcast. Educate yourself for Ahmaud and Bre and Floyd… do it for Eric, Mike, Tamir and Philando… for so many more, TOO many more… and please, most of all, do it for Greenwood. God bless and stay safe. We’re all in this together.
We have to do better. For them:
“If you felt unease watching that Target being looted, try to imagine how it must feel for black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day. Police in America are looting black bodies.”
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) May 30, 2020
“I especially want to pose this question to older people who have seen [racial conflict and riots] before: Is this who you want leading us? A president who clearly and intentionally inflames violence in the middle of a riot to show how tough he is? A commander-in-chief who threatens to put members of our military in the position of having to shoot a fellow American on sight? I can’t imagine that there are many of us who want that.”
“Enough is enough. We’ve got to vote this guy out already.”
The U.K. has put together their guidelines for production … and it just doesn’t seem like it should have taken this long to come up with “wash your hands” and “no more craft services’ tables?” Anyway, California is supposed to release its guidelines tomorrow.
Advertisers are trying to pressure networks to cut their ad rates, but networks are like, “NO NO, EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE AND NORMAL IN A FEW MONTHS, WE SWEAR.” We’ll see.
Meanwhile, some networks have managed to make TV work even through social distancing.
Oh hey, we’re cutting funding to the World Health Organization DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC because the President of the United States is desperate to blame ANYONE else for his failures during this crisis. This should end well for everyone.
The American Medical Association is not mincing words about Trump quitting the World Health Organization. pic.twitter.com/Vqq1sllVRQ
— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) May 29, 2020
Fortunately, the Supreme Court has ruled (very narrowly) on the side of science and rationality, and decided that lockdown rules are not an unconstitutional burden on people’s first amendment rights. Y’ALL REALLY DON’T NEED TO BE SINGING TOGETHER IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW, IT WILL NOT GO WELL.
But hey, President Gold Toilet is going to begin going to fundraisers again starting this month, here in my great state, so I guess the virus is done now?
Trump's Dallas fundraiser next month is $580,600 entry fee, per Politico. It's his second fundraiser at that amount, after he held one in February in Florida — the most expensive of his election bid. https://t.co/XVpZAxPYkm
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) May 29, 2020
These movie monster masks are raising money for a COVID-related charity.
All Other TV News
It’s being drowned out by all the terribleness that is going on in the world right now, but it’s worth recognizing that Gay Pride Month begins today, a month of celebration of a movement that began when Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, and two other LGBTQ people of color led the charge against the police in the Stonewall riots. Happy Pride to everyone!
And not to belabor a point, but I just learned last week that Christian Cooper, the black bird watcher in that ridiculous Central Park video, was once a Marvel comics editor who created the first openly gay Star Trek character.
Here is a great list of TV shows and movies debuting this month in celebration of Pride, including Love, Victor; RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star, and the very entertaining Legendary. USA and Syfy are also planning special marathons of Wynonna Earp, Modern Family, and Law & Order all month long.
And here’s a great piece on the Drag Race empire that RuPaul has built. She’s taking over the world, literally.
Watchmen is going to be released on Blu-ray tomorrow, so here’s an interview with Regina King about that ending, among other things. Boy, talk about timely. Also, can we just go ahead and give this series all of the Emmys already?
HBO Max is accelerating the release of Love Life thanks to good ratings.
Because nobody wants to watch? Is that the right answer?
Love is dead. And if a couple who publicly discussed their swinger lifestyle can’t make it …
Love is really, really dead. I’m just surprised it took this long to finally expire. I mean, just look at her face!
- Diary of a Future President has been renewed for a second season at Disney+.
- Black Wall Street, a series based on the Tulsa Race Massacre, is being developed and Dream Hampton, the producer of Surviving R. Kelly is set to produce and direct. TIMELY.
- Disclosure, a documentary about transgender representation in the media, has been bought by Netflix.
- Young Sheldon is coming to HBO Max.
- Sara Bareilles, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Cyndi Lauper, and Meghan Trainor are among those who will be writing songs for the Apple TV+ series Central Park.
- Tito Puente’s story is being developed into TV and film projects.
- Ade Chike Torbert is joining the cast of Power Book III: Raising Kanan on Starz.
- Sarah Dugdale has joined the cast of Virgin River on Netflix.
- Cush Jumbo is leaving The Good Fight.
Mark Your Calendar
- Perry Mason will debut on HBO on June 21.
- Heartland returns on UPtv on June 4.
- The Salisbury Poisonings will premiere on BBC One on June 14 (and it looks fascinating — hope it finds its way over here).
- Ted Lasso will debut on Apple TV+ on August 14.
- Lost on Everest and Expedition Everest will both debut on National Geographic on June 30.
Bob Kulick, Session guitarist and the songwriter who gave us the SpongeBob SquarePants song, “Sweet Victory”
Herb Stempel, Quiz show whistleblower
Michael Angelis, Narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, Artist
The Iconic: TLC: Four artists perform TLC’s songs and then TLC will choose one to perform with them in this one-hour special. 7 p.m., The CW
The Beauty and the Baker: In the two-hour finale, Daniel and Noa struggle to find a way to make their relationship work. Also, there’s a quinceañera. Season finale. 8 p.m., ABC
Royalists: Darren Criss and Kether Donohue star in this satire of the music industry. Series premiere. Quibi
Below Deck Mediterranean: Captain Sandy and crew are back. Season premiere. 8 p.m., Bravo
- Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Lady Gaga, Little Big Town
- Late Night with Seth Meyers: Anna Kendrick, Action Bronson
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Chris Hayes, Brian Wilson
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Keegan-Michael Key, Todrick Hall, Doja Cat
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Shaquille O’Neal
- The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
- Conan: Lisa Kudrow
- Watch What Happens Live: “Below Deck Sailing Yacht” reunion
|ABC||Celebrity Family Feud
|The Baker and the Beauty
|Bob Hearts Abishola
|Roswell, New Mexico
|9-1-1: Lone Star
|NBC||The Titan Games