Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
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It’s all but official. Empire co-star Jussie Smollett lied about getting attacked by two Trump supporters on a sub-zero Chicago street. Smollett says two men attacked him, doused him with bleach, threw a noose-like rope around his neck and yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. Oh, and one cried something about being in “MAGA country,” meaning President Donald Trump’s supporters were to blame.
Modern Hollywood has never been so vocal. Talk shows. Social media. Awards stages. Marches. Rallies. Protests. Name the venue, and a star or starlet is there, promoting a crush of causes. It’s inescapable, from climate change to “Hitler 2.0” AKA President Donald Trump.
It’s rare for people to agree on, well, anything these days. Politics. TV. Movies. Religion. Is pineapple pizza delicious or a crime against humanity? We love to disagree. We thrive on it. Yet we all came together over the weekend. Audiences were in virtual lockstep over Maroon 5’s Super Bowl Half Time performance.
Maroon 5 got the gig of a lifetime, but the band would rather talk about anything else. Adam Levine’s group will entertain millions midway through Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta Sunday. The musicians won’t chat up the gig prior to the big game, though.
The director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise lost the gig after old, disgusting jokes surfaced. Disney reluctantly fired James Gunn, and the studio is now searching for his replacement. It’s safe to say Scott Derrickson’s gig as the man behind the Doctor Strange films won’t suffer a similar fate even though one of his toxic Tweets is only a few hours old.
Special interest groups are abandoning the annual Women’s March in droves. The National Council of Jewish Women, Emily’s List and most recently, The Southern Poverty Law Center have all cut ties with the March. Will Hollywood be next? Actresses Debra Messing and Alyssa Milano, both far-left activists, denounced the Women’s March late last year after initially embracing the movement. Neither is an A-list star.
The co-director of There’s Something About Mary could nab his first Oscar thanks to his brilliant race drama. Inspired by true events, Green Book follows a black pianist (Mahershala Ali) as he travels through the racist south circa 1962. Viggo Mortensen plays Ali’s driver, a New Yorker who harbors profoundly racist views of black Americans.
Comedians speak truth to power. They challenge the government, defend the weak and stick up for the little guy one barb at a time. Oh, and in between, they make us laugh. In reality, most comedians follow Leftist groupthink, avoid certain topics like kale and kiss up to those in power when it suits them. Remember the years 2008- 2016, when President Barack Obama lived in the White House? Comedians either ignored or defended him.
Nimesh Patel learned the hard way how intolerant some college students are in our woke age. And, by comparison, how even the Reddest of Red State types can withstand a shot at their preferred politician. Trump fans have thicker skins than the the snowflake college crowd.
The anti-Dick Cheney movie Vice is getting a lot of award nominations, but it's also getting plenty of rotten tomatoes hurled at it. Newsday gave it one star. Other critics either called it the year’s worst film or on the very short list for that dishonor. And then there’s the race card. Two critics from prominent news outlets repeatedly used the race of the film’s title character, and even its creator Adam McKay himself, to denigrate the project.
Two can play this “Apology Game,” says rapper/actor Nick Cannon. Cannon scored plenty of headlines by defending his friend, Kevin Hart, following his ouster as Oscar host due to homophobic jokes told nearly a decade ago. Cannon isn’t done speaking out, and making some valid points along the way. He appeared on BuzzFeed News’ “AM to DM” program and addresses a number of hot button issues.
Conservatives note that an avowed anti-Semite like Louis Farrakhan maintains a Twitter account while a gaggle of conservatives no longer do. Think Anthony Cumia, Owen Benjamin, Roger Stone, Sabo, “Gay Patriot” Bruce Carroll, Gavin McInnes and Laura Loomer. Former Republican candidate Jesse Kelly became the most recent example.
The creative force behind Murphy Brown 2.0 made it clear why the sitcom rose from its sitcom grave. Donald Trump. President Donald Trump, to be precise. The head of Warner Bros. asked for the reboot, thinking the show could be relevant again in the Age of Trump. English worried a reboot might tarnish the show’s Emmy-winning legacy – at first. She quickly came around, realizing she could weaponize the show against the current Commander in Chief.
The Front Runner makes its closing argument early and spends the rest of the movie embellishing it. Journalists shouldn’t dig through a politician’s trash to uncover the worst elements of his or her private life. Naturally, that argument’s poster boy is Gary Hart.
Once upon a time Jimmy Kimmel took direct aim at modern feminists. His Comedy Central series The Man Show, co-hosted by Adam Carolla, took an aggressively male stance on, well, everything. It started with girls, or “Juggies,” jumping on trampolines. The nubile, mostly nameless women did as told for the proverbial “male gaze.” Other bits were equally unwoke by modern standards. Remember when Kimmel and Carolla mocked the women’s suffrage movement? That was then.
Conservative street artist Sabo struck a nerve earlier this year when he plastered the words, “We All Knew” across Hollywood. Sabo’s message? Entertainment insiders clearly knew something about mega producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged reign of sexual abuse terror. How could so many women come forward about abuse accusations without someone in Savethe industry hearing about it … and saying nothing?
We’re days before another major election, so you know what that means. Hollywood stars shooting celebrity PSAs to boost the proverbial “Blue Wave.” Only the results this time around are far from viral. The star-studded “Save the Day” video, dropped weeks before the 2016 presidential election, drew massive views. Today, the number stands at more than 8 million, a figure likely amassed during that year’s campaign.
Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold made a curious couple back in the 1980s. She rocketed to fame with her self-titled show, Roseanne. The then-unknown Arnold worked on the series, fell in love with its star and the two got married. “We’re mentally ill. We never get sick of each other. That’s how sick we are,” Arnold once said of their connection. Their romance played out in the public arena.
Rodney King famously said, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Comic Sarah Silverman has been summoning that spirit while promoting her Hulu series, I Love You, America. Here’s the progressive comic detailing her mission statement for the politically-charged show last year:
Gosnell works on so many levels it’s hard to count them all. The film tackles one of the most emotional subjects in our culture – abortion – with grace and care. The screenplay packs a specific point of view but leaves the soapbox storytelling off the frame. We’re gripped by a narrative that could chase away those with weak stomachs.