September 17, 2018

Meet The Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Evan Rachel Wood Brought To The Emmys

Amanda Nguyen & Kelly Marie Tran For Time's Up & StoryCorps

Amanda Nguyen joined actress Evan Rachel Wood on the Emmys red carpet to raise awareness about the #MeToo movement and the gender-based injustices that are still plaguing women in the entertainment industry and beyond. The two connected after Wood saw Nguyen speak at the Women's March and realized they share the same important goal. Now, Wood is providing an even larger platform for Nguyen's mission.

UPDATE: This story was originally published on July 23.

This fall will mark one year since the #MeToo movement took over social media following the New York Times report of the first (of what became many) allegations of sexual abuse against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. These accusations sparked a wave of women coming forward about their own experiences with sexual assault and abuse. Finally, the world knew what women have known for a long time: Sexism and sexual misconduct is far from over. In fact, it's prevalent in pretty much every industry.

This is something Amanda Nguyen, the founder and president of Rise, knew when she decided to join forces with Time's Up for one of a series of testimonials for StoryCorps. After being raped in 2013, Nguyen saw first-hand how broken the justice system is in regards to sexual assault. It's what inspired the recent Nobel Peace Prize nominee to start Rise in 2014, to create the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act in 2015, and to tell her story for Storycorps along with several other brave women.

In her clip, Nguyen is joined by Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran to talk about what she went through. Other pairs include Daniela Conteras from the Domestic Workers Alliance and home healthcare aid June Barrett, actresses Rebecca White and Katy Sullivan (who is also a Paralympic athlete), and directors Kimberly Pierce and Lynn Shelton. The women's stories are as different as they are crucial to understanding the scope of the #MeToo issue. You can listen to their stories, and hear more about what Nguyen has to say about the movement, below.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?

"When most people think about peace, the work that my team is engaged in may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the truth is for the estimated 35 percent of women on Earth who are survivors of sexual violence, access to justice is a necessary prerequisite to true peace. Their lives are the invisible war zones that corrode human potential and hold back the promise of a just world. Their powerlessness is our shame.

This is a peace that we all — senator, citizen, advocate from any corner of the globe — can help deliver. We can hold a light up to this darkest corner of human experience, and allow survivors at last to be seen, to be heard, to be believed, to be empowered."

Daniela Conteras & June Barrett For Time's Up & StoryCorps

When you started Rise, were you aware of the prevalent issues of sexual misconduct in Hollywood? Are you surprised by the size of this reckoning?

"I often speak about the number of people I encountered in the waiting room when I first entered the local rape crisis center following my assault. That was the moment I realized this fight is not mine alone. There are millions of survivors who struggle to navigate the criminal justice system just like me — and thousands more who don’t trust the criminal justice system enough to move forward in their pursuit of justice. So yes, I’ve been keenly aware of the prevalence of sexual misconduct — and not just in Hollywood. Sexual assault and sexual violence is pervasive in all industries in all communities to all genders, gender identities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and nationality. Sexual violence in a global epidemic, affecting 1.3 billion people worldwide.

The world is in a moment of reckoning — not just in the entertainment industry. Around the world, activists are standing up for survivors rights. None of us are invisible when we demand to be seen. And survivors around the world are demanding to be seen."

Katy Sullivan & Rebecca White For Time's Up & StoryCorps

What are some things you’re hoping Rise and Time’s Up can work together to accomplish?

"The #MeToo movement helped shine a light on the prevalence of sexual violence in the entertainment industry, but it was largely wealthy Caucasian women with resources to find support. What I’m most excited about with Time’s Up is it is making this moment of reckoning accessible to all survivors — not just women, not just wealthy, not just white. I’m most optimistic about the opportunity to pursue intersectional protections for survivors. What’s been really exciting to see is how Rise’s bill, the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, has become a concrete, tangible action item for people who care about this issue can take in response to the #MeToo moment. It is a proactive step to protect the rights of all sexual violence survivors."

Kimberly Pierce & Lynn Shelton For Time's Up & StoryCorps

We see this with your story and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent primary victory — are young women going to be the ones who actually solve these problems once and for all?

"I have long been a proponent that solutions to our world’s most pressing issues sits with those who live the problems every day. Young women have lived with institutionalized racism, sexual aggression, gun violence, crippling poverty and much more their entire lives. We have a vision of the future and an undeniable drive to make it happen. I am so proud of the Rise movement as it’s being led by young people of color throughout the country who are committed to creating change."

If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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September 17, 2018

It Looks Like Pete Davidson & Ariana Grande Are Taking Their Love To The Emmys

Surprise! While I was certainly prepped for a night of my favorite TV stars at the 2018 Emmys, I didn't realize my favorite couple would also be gracing the audience. According to Entertainment Weekly, the seating chart for this year's Emmys suggests that Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande will be attending tonight's event. While Davidson and Grande made their first award show appearance at the VMAs in honor of Grande's nominations and "God Is A Woman" performance, now Grande is over on Davidson's turf as he supports his Saturday Night Live co-stars in their many nominations, as well colleagues Colin Jost and Michael Che as they host the event.

This would be Grande's first public appearance since the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, but it's unclear if the couple will be walking the red carpet to give any words on the tragedy.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a place on the seating chart for the couple's new pet pig. Fingers crossed it shows up on one of their laps.

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September 14, 2018

R29 Binge Club: American Vandal Episodes 1-8

Turns out, the novelty of American Vandal can sustain another season. The Netflix show was an unexpected breakout hit last year, mocking the true crime documentaries we still can't stop watching with a little mystery of its own. The first season asked:...
September 14, 2018

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September 14, 2018

R29 Binge Club: American Vandal Episodes 1-3

Turns out, the novelty of American Vandal can sustain another season. The Netflix show was an unexpected breakout hit last year, mocking the true crime documentaries we still can't stop watching with a little mystery of its own. The first season asked: Who drew the dicks? Now, high schoolers Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck) are back on the hunt for another culprit, and it's just as embarrassing to say out loud. This time, they're searching for The Turd Burglar.

This anonymous assailant has been fecally pranking the students and faculty of St. Bernardine Catholic School for weeks, leading to what one student believes is the false accusation of her friend, Kevin McClain. A false accusation? Happening in a school? Involving stuff that comes out of your butt? This has American Vandal written all over it.

Even if you're someone who doesn't like poop jokes, I urge you to stay the course through this season. Once again, the show's real humor lies in its ability to skewer the true crime genre with subject matter so ridiculous it...may just be downright genius.

Watch along with us as we recap American Vandal season 2!

Episode 1

It’s November 6, 2017, and the students of St. Bernardine Catholic School in Bellevue, Washington can’t stop pooping. Detective Carla Dickey and officer Joseph Crowder are on the case, and here’s what they know: Everyone who’s currently clutching their butts drank the lemonade in the cafeteria for lunch that day. One by one, photos of the chaos make their way to Instagram — but not just any Instagram. The instagram of one “Turd Burglar,” who is tagging each and every victim in the threatening posts.

The Turd Burglar has claimed responsibility for the poop-ocalypse, but won’t reveal their name or why they did it. Worse? They’ve threatened to strike again.

Student Chloe Lyman knew it was time to bring in the big guns. Fresh off their newfound Netflix fame, Peter Maldonado and Sam Ecklund are feilding thousands of requests for new cases, but Chloe’s stands out. She says a student, Kevin McClain, has been falsely accused of being the Turd Burglar, and she needs their help to exonerate him. This is apparently just one of many secrets the school is hiding, and Peter and Sam can’t resist. They get approval for the Turd Burglar to be their senior project, and move into Chloe’s house ASAP.

So what happened that led the school to accuse a student Chloe adamantly believes didn’t do it? It all started with Kevin’s best friend, Tanner Bassett. On November 20, Tanner tells the police that his longtime friend (they were even in a band together) has been bullied for years, and his behavior that day during lunch was abnormal. For instance, Kevin accidentally spilled Brother Buckley’s lemonade, and replace it with horchata — which is much more expensive. He also chose a different lunch table, sitting across from Nick Sondergoth, the person directly responsible for Kevin’s years of being bullied, coining the name “Shit Stain McClain” after spotting a dirt stain on Kevin’s shorts in the fourth grade. Tanner thinks Kevin poisoned the lemonade, replaced Brother Buckley’s drink to spare him, and sat across from Nick to get a front-row seat to his humiliation. He also was spotted buying mysterious supplies from the supermarket the night before.

When the police present this to Kevin the next day, he denies it. It’s not until later that he confesses to the whole thing, but his grandmother (his current guardian) won’t accept it. She points out the undeniable flaw: If Kevin poisoned the lemonade, then why would he poop his own pants? It’s time for this investigation to get rolling.

Best Poop Gag: The absolutely stomach-churning poop-acolypse scene in the halls of St. Bernardine.

Best True Crime Gag: Peter Maldonado and Sam Ecklund appearing on The Daily Show.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 2

For one second, episode 2 makes you forget you’re watching American Vandal.

“Between 1989-2015, new DNA testing technology led to the reversal of 1,532 homicide convictions,” reads the text on the screen. “25% of those exonerated had previously confessed to their crimes. For those under 18 years old, 38% had confessed.”

So, back to poop. After confessing to the crime, Kevin was expelled and placed on house arrest. However, Kevin now says his confession was forced. He has an explanation for all the sticking points the police were zero-ing in on. For instance, he says he went to go talk to a classmate about an AP Bio assignment when he bumped into Brother Buckley. He felt so bad that he wanted to replace his drink with something better, hence the horchata.

In the interrogation room, he was kept well past the bell, with Carla Dickey and Joseph Crowder pushing him to exhaustion. In fact, it was only Mrs. Wexler, the Dean of Students, who took pity on him, pulling him out of questioning so he could take a break. She allowed him to get tea from his locker (this boy loves tea, don’t forget), and took him to the teachers’ lounge to eat some mozzarella sticks. By the time he was back in questioning, he had totally changed his tune and confessed — so what happened in the teachers’ lounge with Mrs. Wexler?

It was late. Kevin was tired, and he was also scared. According to Kevin, Mrs. Wexler said that if he just told the officers what they wanted to hear, this could all be over. She’d ensure the school wouldn’t press charges, he’d just face a two-week suspension. Jail versus suspension? The choice was clear — especially for Mrs. Wexler who, as the Dean of Students, had been fielding press and angry phone calls for the past 15 days as they tried desperately to find the culprit. Kevin’s confession would help both of them. So, he confessed.

But what exactly did he confess to? Sure, there was the incident with the lemonade, but the Turd Burglar struck two more times before Kevin was brought in for questioning. There was the Poop Pinata in Mrs. Montgomery’s class (it’s what it sounds like...a piñata filled with poop). Then there was the shit-launcher at the pep rally, which blasted cat poop into the audience.

Carla Dickey and Joseph Crowder knew exactly how theses crimes were carried out. Kevin, however, did not. So convinced they found their guy, the detective and the officer clearly steer Kevin’s confession, putting words into his mouth and getting exactly what they need to shut the case.

But Peter and Sam have one unanswered question: What mysterious thing did Kevin buy at the supermarket the night before the lemonade poisoning? He says he can’t remember, but had he committed the crime, then that would be where he would have picked up the poison.

According to the report, the key ingredient that caused the shit-storm was maltitol — but the supermarket doesn’t have any laxatives with maltitol. Check mate?

Best Poop Gag: “I, Kevin McClain, also shit my pants...Shat? Shit? Shat my pants? Shit. It’s shit.”

Best True Crime Gag: The only item in the supermarket with maltitol was a packet of sugar-free gummy bears. Let me direct your attention to the reviews of this Amazon product. Enjoy.

Episode 3

It’s time to start looking at other suspects, and Peter thinks he has one: DeMarcus Tillman, AKA Mr. Untouchable. He’s the best basketball player at the school, and St. Bernardine values their basketball players above all else.

Chloe says she spotted a “Turd Burglar” card in DeMarcus’s wallet. However, Trevor Gonzalez says he also saw it, and it was actually just a frozen yogurt punch card. These two conflicting memories lead Peter and Sam nowhere, so they have to go straight to the source.

In interviews with DeMarcus, he stresses that there aren’t any class systems at St. Bernadine, but he’s clearly on another level. He has free reign of the school, including the teachers’ lounge, and has turned all the teachers to putty in his hands. He could get away with anything. Could he get away with this?

Let’s think about why: DeMarcus’s idol, Perry Coleman, pulled off an epic prank during his time at St. Bernadine. He stole their mascot and waged a long-winded online harassment campaign against Paige Burton with it. DeMarcus would comment on these Instagrams egging him on, and Perry has been seen commenting on posts by the Turd Burglar. Plus, Peter and Sam realize, maybe the motive doesn’t have to be anything more than what’s in front of us: poop is funny.

Peter confronts DeMarcus with this accusation, and DeMarcus ends the interview. He says he didn’t do it, walking away with the confidence of someone who could.

Best Poop Gag: Poop's unsettling similarity to frozen yogurt.

Best True Crime Gag: The intense examination of Chloe and Trevor’s conflicting memories.

Photo: Scott Green / Netflix.

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September 13, 2018

Apparently Annaliese & Kamil Are Now “Best Friends” Despite Bachelor In Paradise Drama

Not content with one brutally publicized breakup, Bachelor In Paradise pulled an Arie during its season 5 finale and blindsided another poor woman with heartbreak. Technically, it was ex-social media influencer Kamil Nicalek who did the heart-breaking, endings things with Annaliese Puccini on stage right after she told Chris Harrison they were in a good place.

After she gathered her thoughts, she read him the riot act, and Harrison sent him off to never be seen or heard from again...until Us Weekly ’s Most Stylish New Yorkers party in New York City on Wednesday. The disgraced ex spoke to the outlet about the finale, justifying his choice to end things on stage by pointing out that "there’s no right place to have a breakup."

"I mean, I had to do what I had to do," he continued. "I’m a man. I take full responsibility."

As for their relationship now?

“We met that night after the whole breakup thing happened, and we went hiking the next day and we got tacos,” he said. “It was fun!”

Apparently they're still "best friends" and "talk all the time," but don't start crossing your fingers for a reunion.

"We’re trying the real world thing out now ‘cause we didn’t really have that much time [together] after the show,” Nicalek told Us. “You never know. I mean, she’s a great person, she has a good soul and she would make a good wife one day."

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September 13, 2018

Apparently Annaliese & Kamil Are Now “Best Friends” Despite Bachelor In Paradise Drama

Not content with one brutally publicized breakup, Bachelor In Paradise pulled an Arie during its season 5 finale and blindsided another poor woman with heartbreak. Technically, it was ex-social media influencer Kamil Nicalek who did the heart-breaking, endings things with Annaliese Puccini on stage right after she told Chris Harrison they were in a good place.

After she gathered her thoughts, she read him the riot act, and Harrison sent him off to never be seen or heard from again...until Us Weekly ’s Most Stylish New Yorkers party in New York City on Wednesday. The disgraced ex spoke to the outlet about the finale, justifying his choice to end things on stage by pointing out that "there’s no right place to have a breakup."

"I mean, I had to do what I had to do," he continued. "I’m a man. I take full responsibility."

As for their relationship now?

“We met that night after the whole breakup thing happened, and we went hiking the next day and we got tacos,” he said. “It was fun!”

Apparently they're still "best friends" and "talk all the time," but don't start crossing your fingers for a reunion.

"We’re trying the real world thing out now ‘cause we didn’t really have that much time [together] after the show,” Nicalek told Us. “You never know. I mean, she’s a great person, she has a good soul and she would make a good wife one day."

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September 13, 2018

The Sexual Assault Survivor At the Center Of The Predator Drama Breaks Her Silence

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September 13, 2018

The Sexual Assault Survivor At the Center Of The Predator Drama Breaks Her Silence

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