Struggling to make sense of a senseless tragedy.

I spent the weekend, as I’m sure a lot of you did, feeling sickened and horrified by the terrible tragedy that unfolded at Astroworld, Travis Scott’s music festival here in Houston, a mere three miles from my home. Friday night, 8 young people, including two teens, died in a crush of fans when Scott took the stage, while dozens of others were injured. Several days later, there are many questions left unanswered, like why the show continued for 37 minutes after the Houston police and fire departments were aware that a mass casualty event was taking place.

There are countless accounts on the internet where fans said they tried to alert security; video of two fans who pleaded with a cameraman for help in stopping the show but were ignored; and multiple stories of fans who were shocked by the incompetence of the medical staff on hand.

It’s impossible to know if Travis Scott knew exactly what was happening during his performance, but there are videos emerging that do seem to suggest he knew people were in distress and failed to stop the show.

There are some reports that officials didn’t want to stop the show for fear of the crowd rioting, but as someone who attended multiple Free Press Summer Fests which had to be evacuated for weather reasons, I call bullshit on that.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Often, a performer with a high-energy and complex performance such as Scott’s would have a direct line to a producer or stage manager via an earpiece. The producer/manager would be in constant contact and have the ability at practically any time to tell a performer what is going on and that a show is being abruptly halted.

Cancellation can come from various people along the process, ranging from the artists themselves to promoters and police. Stage crews can, in a matter of seconds if necessary, turn off all power to the stage and broadcast safety and security messages on video boards and over the audio system.

Live Nation did not use the PA system or video boards to broadcast any safety messages Friday evening, attendees said.

Also, according to people who attended Astroworld, there were only two water stations for a crowd of 50,000 people. This has nothing to do with the crush, but it does suggest that the crowd’s safety and well-being weren’t at the forefront of the organizers’ minds.

But even worse, it’s not as if the promoters and police didn’t have warning that things could turn dangerous. When the gates opened earlier in the day, hundreds of fans stormed the VIP entrance, toppling the gates and trampling each other:

The exact same thing happened with the gates in the 2019 Astroworld, which Scott celebrated on Twitter:

In 2015, Scott was arrested in Illinois after fans breached security at Lollapalooza. In 2018, Scott pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct in Arkansas for encouraging fans to bypass security at a concert in 2017. And a man was partially paralyzed in 2017 after he claims other fans pushed him off a balcony at a New York concert, while Scott urged  fans to jump. So it’s not like the promoters and security didn’t have the heads-up that Scott’s concerts have the potential to turn dangerous.

The Houston Police are investigating stories of people possibly being injected with drugs, which according to some theories could have incited a panic that led to the surge. Orrrr … and stick with me here … maybe the concert by a performer who has a history of encouraging fans to behave recklessly was mismanaged by not just the organizers who have multiple OSHA violations under their belts, and but also by the police themselves, and it turned deadly.

But sure, go find this mystery drug injector.

Scott has put out a statement expressing his sadness and shock, and filmed a video insisting his fans mean the world to him:

Scott has vowed to refund all Astroworld tickets and has canceled his upcoming Las Vegas shows. He is also offering to pay funeral costs for those who died, and mental health services through Better Health for anyone in attendance.

Still, the lawsuits are being filed as I type this, and Travis Scott and Drake (who was brought out at the end of the concert), LiveNation, and the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, are going to be facing a lot of legal heat.

I know this isn’t a TV story (although it could be argued that maybe the reason they were reluctant to stop the concert is that was being live cast on Apple TV+), but as a Houstonian who attends concerts, and who has teen kids who attend concerts, this story has really stuck with me. I’m someone who is short and struggles in many concert settings, not just to see, but sometimes just to be able to breathe in tight crowds, and it’s just way too easy to imagine being caught in such a nightmare. My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who were lost, for those who were injured, and those who were witnesses to such tragedy. I can only hope that this will force significant and lasting changes in how concerts and other large events are organized and conducted.

And now that I’ve made you endure all of that, here’s a cute fox playing in frost for the first time:

All Other TV News

Steve Wolf, a gun expert and movie armorer with more than 30 years experience is calling bullshit on Rust‘s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s claim that the gun must have been deliberately sabotaged. Instead, he points to Occam’s Razor: “I think it’s a far more sinister explanation than the more likely explanation that people were using that gun for target practice, they didn’t properly unload it, they left it back on the cart and then someone picked it up, several people handled it with none of them checking it. That’s just a more likely explanation,” Wolf told “TheWrap-Up Podcast.”

An A-camera first assistant on Rust, Lane Luper, has decried the sabotage claim, pointing out that it’s “disgusting” to suggest their colleagues would do such a thing. Additionally, Lane added: “I think with ‘Rust,’ it was a perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on the set, the rushing…it was everything. It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place perfectly for this one-in-a-trillion thing to happen.”

And in fact, some legal experts think that both Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls will face manslaughter charges.

Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin is calling for police to be on sets to monitor weapons safety. I mean, OK.

Ingo Rademacher, who played Jackson “Jax” Jacks, left General Hospital a while ago over his anti-vaccination stance. But no one knew this until he shared a transphobic tweet, misgendering Dr. Rachel Levine, the United States’ first transgender four-star officer, and two General Hospital actors — including Cassandra James, who is trans herself —  were forced to respond:

Rademacher put out a video on Instagram defending promoting the tweet and apologizing directly to James — but in the most defensive way possible. Also, he says nothing about leaving GH.

Are you one of the 7 Americans who haven’t subscribed to Disney+ but want to? Good news!

We have a new supe:

Kieran Culkin was asked to audition for Cousin Greg and now I need to go lie down for a while.

No, no one forced Kim Kardashian to make those jokes about Kanye on Saturday Night Live. Methinks someone is just jealous of Pete Davidson.

I am enjoying the Cardi B./You relationship way too much.

FIRE PRATT. HIRE BERRY.

Renewals

Cancellations

  • SurrealEstate has been canceled after one series on Syfy, which is a shame — it had charm.

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • Stranger Things returns on Netflix in Summer 2022.
  • 1883 will premiere on Paramount+ on December 19.
  • Even More Funny Women of a Certain Age will premiere on November 24.
  • The Mind, Explained will debut on Netflix on November 19.
  • Ruthless will return on BET+ on November 25.
  • Locked In is streaming on Roku.
  • Trolls Holiday in Harmony will air on NBC on November 26.
  • Hellbound will premiere on Netflix on November 19.
  • The Future Diary will premiere on Netflix on December 15.

R.I.P.

JoAnna Cameron, Star of the children’s show Isis, and the first female superhero with superpowers on TV

Pedro Feliciano, Former MLB pitcher

Terrence “Astro” Wilson, Founding member of UB40

Marília Mendonça, Brazil’s most-popular singer

WATCH THIS

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol: NBC is giving you a little taste of Peacock’s original prequel series to The Da Vinci Code in the hopes you’ll subscribe to Peacock for more. 9 p.m., NBC

Best Shape of My Life: Will Smith’s 20-week journey to lose weight led the superstar to explore his own mental health in this new series. Premiere. YouTube

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Michael Che, Ed Sheeran, Martha Stewart, Summer Walker
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Pete Davidson, Emily Ratajkowski, Elmo Lovano
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jonathan Karl, Brandi Carlile
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Tig Notaro, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Muna featuring Phoebe Bridgers
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Gwyneth Paltrow, Kal Penn, Hardy
  • The Daily Show: TBA
  • Watch What Happens Live: Fraser Olender, Rayna Lindsey

MON. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Dancing with the Stars
(new)
The Good Doctor
(repeat)
CBS The Neighborhood
(new)
Bob ♥ Abishola
(new)
NCIS
(new)
NCIS: Hawai’i
(new)
CW All American
(new)
The 4400
(new)
Local
FOX 9-1-1
(new)
The Big Leap
(new)
News/Local
NBC The Voice
(new)
Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol

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