Aziz Ansari issues statement responding to sexual misconduct allegation
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‘Master of None’ star Aziz Ansari issues statement responding to sexual misconduct allegation

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Aziz Ansari Golden Globes
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Master of None star Aziz Ansari has responded to the claims of sexual misconduct made against him by a 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer that took place last September at the actor’s New York City apartment.

According to a report published by Babe, the woman, given the pseudonym “Grace,” alleged that, despite giving Ansari several verbal and non-verbal cues that she wasn’t interested in sex, the actor repeatedly kissed her, performed oral sex on her, pushed her hand towards his penis, and placed his fingers in her mouth.

However, in a statement issued Sunday night, Ansari denied any wrongdoing and said that the encounter “was completely consensual.” You can read the full statement below.

“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.

The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. 

I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”

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Gaten Matarazzo’s new hidden camera ‘prank’ show for Netflix sounds extremely ill-advised

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Gaten Matarazzo Prank Encounters
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In a truly baffling, very ill-advised move, Netflix announced today that they’ve ordered to series a new “epic hidden-camera prank show” called Prank Encounters hosted by Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo.

While none of that right there sounds particularly troubling, it’s the so-called “terrifying and hilarious” plot of the show that has stirred up quite a bit of discourse on social media today, and rightfully so.

According to the show’s official logline, Prank Encounters “takes two complete strangers who each think they’re starting their first day at a new job. It’s business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares.”

Frankly, I don’t even know where to begin with this shit and I could probably write a thousand words about what a Bad Fucking Idea™ this show is, but, for my sake and yours, I’ll keep my thoughts here short, sweet, and to the point: playing “pranks” on jobless people who think they’ve finally found employment for the “entertainment” of others is insanely mean-spirited and everybody involved with this project should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

TV prank shows always have been and always will be pretty dumb, but this is just the worst of the worst right here and it’s bizarre to think that Netflix, which generally puts some fairly decent original content, thought this would be a good idea to begin with, and I truly hope the controversy Prank Encounters seems to have already sparked will make them rethink their most unfortunate decision to greenlight this garbage idea of a show.

UPDATE (10:00 p.m. PT, 6/17/19): A Netflix spokesperson reached out to Silver Screen Beat on Monday night with the following statement: “The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural, and over the top, and everyone had a great time. All participants came in with the expectation this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.”

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Please give Meryl Streep a damn Emmy for her scream in the ‘Big Little Lies’ season 2 premiere

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Meryl Streep screaming in Big Little Lies
HBO

The season 2 premiere of Big Little Lies aired on HBO last night and it gave us this amazing clip of Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) screaming her fucking lungs out as Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and the twins look on in complete and utter horror. It’s a truly incredible and surprising moment in a season premiere that, while completely fine, was otherwise pretty uneventful, and the Television Academy needs to give Meryl her damn Emmy immediately.

 

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Denis Villeneuve, director of ‘Dune’ the movie, will now direct ‘Dune’ the TV series for WarnerMedia

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As if directing his own feature film adaptation of Dune wasn’t already enough, Denis Villeneuve has reportedly just signed on to direct the pilot episode for the upcoming series Dune: The Sisterhood, “a female-focused take” on Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi novel, according to THR.

Written by Jon Spaihts, the series will take place in the same universe as the book and “explores the future through the eyes of a mysterious order of women: the Bene Gesserit,” which is going to be fucking amazing because the Bene Gesserit are easily one of the most interesting aspects of Dune and most definitely deserve their own thing.

The report from THR continues: “Given abilities by their mastery of the body and the mind, the Bene Gesserit expertly weave through the feudal politics and intrigue of The Imperium, pursuing plans of their own that will ultimately lead them to the enigmatic planet Arrakis — known to its inhabitants as Dune.”

Oh, and hey, we even have a quote from Villeneuve himself: “The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me. Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series,” the director said in a statement.

No word yet on when we can expect to see Dune: The Sisterhood hit WarnerMedia’s streaming service, but I’d imagine it’s going to be quite some time as I’m sure Villeneuve will be knee-deep in his work on the feature film version of Dune for at least part of the foreseeable future.

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