2014 - %3, February

Your Rape Joke Is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

| Mon Feb. 3, 2014 2:02 AM EST

Pornhub, a hub for pornography on the information superhighway, is a little well known for being snarky and amusing on social media. Chasing that reputation may have just got it into trouble.

Sunday night the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos in a football game. This inspired Pornhub to make the following joke:

 

So, stop it.

Pornhub, stop it.

Whoever you are, if you're telling a rape joke, stop it.

It's 2014. We really shouldn't have to say this. Just, dear god almighty, stop.

They aren't funny. You aren't funny. Stop.

UPDATE: Pornhub has apologized in the comments to this post. Their social person seems like good people:

Alright Ben, you're right, I feel bad and I'll stop. The tweet wasn't intended to offend anyone, you have to realize my target demographic on twitter isn't the same as say, Mother Jones.

 

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The Seinfeld-Reunion "Secret Project" Aired During the Super Bowl—Watch it Here

| Sun Feb. 2, 2014 10:23 PM EST

Here's one for those who saw the Seinfeld reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm and wanted more. During a commercial break in the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday, Jerry and George (and Newman) were featured in an episode of Jerry Seinfeld's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. This put an end to recent speculation swirling around Seinfeld's "secret project," which included alums of the beloved NBC comedy series. 

Watch the pseudo-reunion here, via the Verge:  

(You can watch the full episode here.)

We shall wait to see what Elaine thought of it.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dead at 46, Spoke Candidly About Addiction

| Sun Feb. 2, 2014 4:46 PM EST

Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment on Sunday, according to law enforcement sources. Authorities are investigating the cause of death, but a drug overdose is suspected, according to the New York Times. Hoffman was 46.

There isn't much I can write about the Oscar-winning actor's tremendous talent that others won't be writing. He was one of his generation's greatest. His performances in Capote, Magnolia, The MasterAlmost Famous, 25th Hour, Charlie Wilson's War, Doubt, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and many other films will all stand the test of time. "Rest in peace Philip Seymour Hoffman," actress and activist Mia Farrow tweeted. "We who marveled at each of your performances, are grateful and very very sad."

Hoffman struggled with drug and alcohol problems, which reportedly included detox following a heroin relapse this past summer. In 2006, Hoffman discussed his substance abuse, and why he went into rehab at a young age, in an interview with 60 Minutes. Here's part of what he had to say, which includes an expression of deep empathy for young Hollywood:

I got sober [when] I was 22 years old…It was…anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all…I was 22 and I got panicked for my life…I always think, god, you know, I have so much empathy for these young actors, that they're 19 and all of a sudden they're beautiful, and famous, and rich. And I'm like, oh my god, I'd be dead! You know what I mean? Nineteen, beautiful, famous, and rich, that'd be it…I think back at that time, and I think if I had…that kind of money and stuff…Yeah.

Around the time of that 60 Minutes broadcast, Hoffman told The Observer that he felt the show's segment verged on being inappropriate: "You talk to your interviewer for a good four hours over a bunch of days, and that was about two minutes of it," he said. "It's not a major part of the story at all—it happened when I was 22. At the time I had to deal with it, in retrospect it was one of the major events in my life, but there are other events that form you. So to single it out as the one would not only be inappropriate, but not true."

During that Observer interview, Hoffman also talked about how he found it weird that he was becoming a big movie star. "The strange thing is I never thought I'd do films," he said. "I was studying theater, and my dreams were about riding my bike to the theater on Sunday afternoons to do a play, and they still are."

Needless to say, both the theater and film world have lost a remarkable talent.

Dylan Farrow Writes Open Letter Claiming Horrific Sexual Assault by Woody Allen

| Sat Feb. 1, 2014 9:03 PM EST

On Saturday, Nicholas Kristof's blog at the New York Times published an open letter by Dylan Farrow, the adoptive daughter of celebrated filmmaker Woody Allen. The letter describes, in horrifying detail, sexual assault she claims to have suffered at the hands of Allen—when she was seven years old. As Kristof notes, this is the first time that Farrow has written about this in public.

Here's an excerpt:

What's your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we'd go to Paris and I'd be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

[...]

What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?

Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

(You can read the rest of her letter—which isn't easy to get through—here.)

Allen's representatives did not immediately respond to Mother Jones' request for comment regarding the letter. I will update this post, if that changes.

Update: Allen's attorney Elkan Abramowitz sent Mother Jones the following statement on Sunday afternoon:

It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities. The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.

Update 2: Allen's publicist Leslee Dart emails the following on Sunday afternoon:

Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon...At the time, a thorough investigation was conducted by court appointed independent experts. The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow. No charges were ever filed.

Accusations of the abuse surfaced in the early 1990s, shortly after the relationship between Allen and long-time girlfriend Mia Farrow ended after she discovered Allen had been having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and composer/conductor André Previn. Allen denies the allegations, and has never been prosecuted in this case. Allen and his defenders say that Dylan was coached to make the allegations by Mia Farrow. Discussion of the alleged assaults was renewed following a recent tribute to Allen at the Golden Globe Awards.

Update 3, February 7, 2014, 9:09 p.m. EST: On Friday, the New York Times published Woody Allen's response online: "Of course, I did not molest Dylan."

Update 4, February 7, 2014, 11:49 p.m. EST: On Friday, Dylan Farrow responded, in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, to Allen's piece in the New York Times: "His op-ed is the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has leveled at me for the past 20 years."