5 Books You Might Have Missed in 2017

by: Diana Richtman

Entertainment Writer

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It’s no secret that 2017 was a crazy year. With classes, work and campus life, there might not have been a lot of time left for much else. It’s important for college students to set aside time in their busy schedules for relaxing. Speaking from my experience, fiction reading is one of the best remedies for stress. Fiction offers escape and adventure into worlds potentially unlike my own and inspires empathy that can be helpful in navigating a world that at times seems more divided than united. If you’re trying to read more in 2018, consider checking out one of these five books that were released in 2017 that you may have missed.

1. “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon

Dimple Shah’s parents are very traditional and really want their daughter to find an “Ideal Indian Husband”. The only problem? Dimple’s not on board. She’s more concerned with starting college than snagging the perfect man. Before starting school in the fall, Dimple attends a summer program for aspiring web designers. Unbeknownst to Dimple, Rishi, the boy her parents have arranged for her to marry attends the summer program too. Rishi’s job is to get Dimple to fall in love with him. In this rom-com novel, there’s sure to be a lot of love and laughs.

2. “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone

A more serious read, “Dear Martin” is about Justyce McAllister, who is one of the best in his class, and is set to attend an ivy league school. When he has a run in with the police, he turns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for guidance. Justyce starts writing in a journal in which he addresses the entries to Dr. King. When Justyce and his friend attract the attention of a white off-duty police officer, shots end up being fired. In the aftermath, Justyce is the one who’s in the spotlight for better or worse.

3. “Dreadnought” by April Daniels

Although I haven’t gotten the chance to read “Dreadnought” yet, it sounds so different from anything I’ve read before that I can’t wait to get my hands on it. At the beginning of the story, Danny Tozer has one secret she’s trying to keep—she’s transgender. The action starts when she’s given the powers of Dreadnought aka the world’s greatest superhero. Those powers include transforming her body into exactly what she always thought it should be. Now, there’s no hiding who she is. Between coming out and saving the world, Danny is not the most typical superhero, but she’s arguably the superhero the world desperately needs.

4. “Shadowhouse Fall” by Daniel José Older

In the second book of Shadowshaper series, Sierra, the teenage hero everyone wished they could be, is back creating more art and working with more spirits. If you haven’t read the first book, be sure to check it out before picking up this one. In this sequel, Sierra and her friends fight more evil spirits and the gentrification of their neighborhood in Brooklyn.

5. “We Are Okay” by Nina LaCour

This novel is the epitome of short and sweet. It’s the perfect length if you don’t think you have much time for reading. Marin leaves everything behind when she leaves her home in California for college in New York. It isn’t until winter break when her best friend Mabel comes to visit that she finally confronts the tragedy she’s been running away from. This book is an important reminder in the new year that sometimes it’s better to confront what scares us than run from it.

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Female Representation in “Stranger Things 2”

By: Diana Richtman 

Entertainment Section Writer 

If you’re anything like me, then you were probably extremely excited to see more female representation in “Stranger Things 2.” Among the young people in the first season of “Stranger Things” the ratio of girls to boys was two (Eleven and Nancy) to six (Mike, Will, Lucas, Dustin, Steve and Jonathan). This imbalanced ratio is common in television, and it is especially common in science fiction and fantasy series. Women are often underrepresented or unwelcome in genres such as these.

This season of “Stranger Things” primarily introduced two new girls to the cast, Max and Kali. When I first saw that there would be more girls in the show, I was excited to see more people like me getting to participate in a tv show that infamously received criticism for its lack of representation, both for minorities and women. However, it’s worth discussing how the original and new female characters are portrayed in this series.

It’s no secret that Eleven doesn’t like the newest eighth-grade girl at Hawkins Middle School, Max Mayfield. This seems mostly motivated by Eleven’s false perception of Max and Mike’s relationship and then later by Eleven’s jealousy that she is no longer the only girl in the group. It is not a completely inconceivable plot point for Eleven. After all, in season 2 Eleven more violent even with people she deeply loves and trusts. However, this is a plot point so overused in television that it shifted from not only being boring but also being frustrating to watch.

On the other hand, viewers saw another interesting relationship unfold in season 2. Eleven reunites with a young woman named Kali who was also a part of Dr. Brenner’s experiment. It was thrilling and empowering to see these two women share their powers with one another. Yet it still ends with them separating. Every female connection Eleven makes in this season ends with her leaving them. So much focus of Eleven’s development is on her relationship with men (major examples would be Dr. Brenner, Mike and Hopper), and even with this season’s best effort, not enough screen time was devoted to Eleven experiencing lasting relationships with other women.

Everything down to Max’s name, which is shortened from Maxine, is supposed to represent her disdain for traditional femininity. She loves skateboarding and sets the high score at the arcade. She’s a spunky outsider, but Max is also a cliche and not revolutionary. What would be? If she could simply be friends with the boys without ultimately having a romantic plot line. If Max being a “tomboy” wasn’t the very thing that attracted Lucas and Dustin to her in the first place. If being different from “other girls” wasn’t what made her worthy.

Finally, perhaps the most concerning female portrayal of the season comes from our beloved Nancy Wheeler. Nancy’s plotline for season 2 is supposed to be about getting justice for Barb, but it is overshadowed by the love triangle between her, Steve and Jonathan. Everyone is entertained by a good love triangle, but the problem with love triangles is they are so rarely good. I felt it when I saw Nancy with Steve at the end of season 1, and I felt it again when I watched her get together with Jonathan in season 2. Nancy shouldn’t be with either boy. The narrative this season is that Nancy is too good for Steve, and she’s always really loved Jonathan, but neither are true. How can she be too good for Steve when she spends the whole season falling in love instead of having a more active role in the fight against the Upside Down which is the very thing she criticizes Steve for? How could she have always loved Jonathan when she only bothers to hang out with him “when the world is ending?” But enough about a rather messed up love triangle, why is Nancy, a brilliant badass, suddenly a stagnant character? The truth is Steve was given the development Nancy deserved this season. Viewers never see her forming a relationship with her brother Mike or anyone else in the original cast, let alone a woman.

The world of sci-fi and fantasy is an adventure that so many women want to see themselves in, but the Duffer Brothers have created a world where women are few and so rarely get to interact with each other in real, nuanced ways. So why don’t we get more dynamic female stories? Why don’t the women of “Stranger Things” get to team up more? It’s my hope that in the coming seasons that’s exactly what viewers will get to see. Let’s leave the Upside Down. It’s time to go back to the real world.

Photo by Netflix

The Georgia Review Hosts Kaveh Akbar Poetry Reading

by: Diana Richtman

Entertainment Section Writer

It was a Monday night in Athens, and inside the Foundry I clutched my copy of “Calling a Wolf a Wolf” by Kaveh Akbar. Before The Georgia Review Fall Issue Release with Kaveh Akbar began, my sister and I looked at each other. I knew that she must have seen the unrestrained excitement on my face about Akbar taking the stage. The Foundry was a perfect place to hear Akbar read his poems — intimate while still allowing everyone the space they needed to experience his words aloud. Once he got on stage and began to read his poems, I saw firsthand what so many before me had already raved about. Akbar is the type of poet who possesses both talent and a willingness to work hard, and he is as kind as he is engaged with his readers.

Akbar’s poetry has appeared in publications like “The Georgia Review,” “Narrative,” “Tin House” and “The New Yorker.” He is a recipient of the 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He is a professor at Purdue University and the founder and editor of “Divedapper,” a website devoted to publishing interviews with contemporary poets. Akbar is the author of the chapbook “Portrait of the Alcoholic,” and this past September his first full length book of poetry, “Calling a Wolf a Wolf,” was published.

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Kaveh Akbar reads a new poem at The Foundry in Athens, Ga. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.

Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was around 2 years old. Akbar’s personal experiences often influence his writing. A good deal of his poems reflect on growing up as an immigrant and his search for his identity. His chapbook and full length collection both largely center around his recovery from alcoholism.

Akbar never seems to shy away from talking about poetry, whether it’s on his Twitter, or at a public event. After his reading, he opened up the audience to a Q&A session. When asked what advice he’d give to young poets wanting to see themselves published, he spoke a lot about his own experiences as a young writer, “The most salient advice that I could have given myself would be to just be patient, and I know that would have been an excruciating thing for me to hear.”

Akbar has taken to Twitter on more than one occasion to talk about his experiences of first trying to get his poems published, and he spoke to me a great deal on the subject. His advice? Send your writing to the places you like to read. Even if you get rejected, at least you know where you stand.

He touched on an important point during the event, which is that sometimes young poets need to step back and learn from the other writers around them. “I remember 17 year old me just wanting to be everywhere, and I just wanted to be talking to every editor and just wanted conversations. I was so hungry for it, but those conversations didn’t necessarily need to be centered around my own poetry,” Akbar said.

Concerning where his poems are headed next, he said, “There will be a time in the organizational process of the poems that I am writing right now where I’ll sort of gather them on a table and hold a metaphorical magnet over them and see what goes up.” He continued and said, “I don’t know. I’m excited to find out.”

Wherever his poems are headed, there is a sense that his readers are ready to follow him. We, too, are excited to find out.

Responding to Native American Erasure in “Yellowstone”

By: Rachel Yuan

Online Section Writer

“Whitewashing,” the act of casting white actors in roles meant for people of color, has been a heated topic in recent months. Though this practice goes back to the early days of film, the issue has been given more visibility in the past year, especially in regards to Asian-Americans calling out their erasure in the media. As a slew of whitewashed films were announced in 2016, like “Great Wall,” where white actor Matt Damon saves ancient China or “Ghost in the Shell,” where Scarlett Johansson plays a Japanese manga character, Asian-Americans voiced their anger at being cut out of their own narratives on screen.

This backlash rightfully hindered the success of these films, and the majority of whitewashed films in recent years have bombed both critically and commercially. Unable to learn its lesson and maintaining traditional industry practices, Hollywood continues to take the “safe route” by casting well-known white actors over people who actually fit the correct ethnicity for the role.

However, while Asian-Americans have been able to garner a lot of opposition to the whitewashing of Asian roles, there has been less backlash over the recent miscasting of a Native American character in the upcoming show, “Yellowstone.” The drama series is set to premiere on Paramount Network in summer 2018, and features half-white, half-Taiwanese actress Kelsey Asbille as a Native American woman.

Asbille’s most recent role was in the movie, “Wind River,” also playing a Native woman. She previously claimed a distant Cherokee heritage; however, an official letter from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recently revealed that “Kelsey Asbille (Chow) is not now nor has she ever been an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. No documentation was found in our records to support any claim that she descends from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.”

This discovery has reignited the anger of the Native American community, and many are calling for a boycott of the show. Native American actor Adam Beach explained the deep disrespect of this casting decision in an open letter to Deadline, stating that “many Native communities are still plagued by problems that stem directly from the historical trauma caused by the theft of tribal lands and resources as well as forced assimilation… Natives have been fighting for centuries to preserve our lands and cultures and we are still working to reclaim our identities.”

While this situation is not exactly whitewashing, it is another example of the misrepresentation of Native Americans in the media, which is an issue that does not receive enough attention. Native Americans have also been historically underrepresented on screen, from countless Westerns in the early 1900s to Johnny Depp claiming to be “inspiring” in his role as a Native American in “The Lone Ranger” to Rooney Mara playing Tiger Lily in the 2015 live-action adaptation of “Peter Pan.”

Though it is not a white actor taking the role of a Native actor in this situation, it is still just as painful to be stripped of the opportunity to portray your own culture and people. Asian-Americans, who also understand this feeling, should be equally as appalled by this casting decision and should boycott this show, even if it comes at the expense of the advancement of an Asian-American actress.

You can thank Twitter for the diversity at the Oscars

By: Alexandra Travis

Social media always covers awards season extensively. People wait on the edge of their seats to see if their favorite actor or singer has been nominated for their latest project. They then take to Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to express their support or disdain over who received nominations. This time last year, social media was in an uproar over the release of Oscar nominations. It was immediately apparent that there was a serious lack of nominations for actors of color. Even movies with mostly black casts like “Straight Outta Compton” only received a nomination for its white screenwriters, and people were fed up.

April Reign created #OscarsSoWhite in 2015, another year where there were no nominations for people of color. It was revived last year over the outrage that there could be no worthy nominees of color for two years in a row. Black Twitter spread and popularized the hashtag; it was impossible to scroll through your timeline and not see someone tweeting about the Oscars. The many tweets bearing the hashtag generated a lot of support, and was a great way to get conversation started about the issue. Black Twitter was once again a great platform for people whose opinions would not normally be heard. No Twitter user assumes that their tweet will be noticed by the Academy, but there is certainly strength in numbers.

The popularity of #OscarsSoWhite put pressure on the Academy to make an immediate change. With celebrities boycotting the award show over the lack of inclusion, it was obvious that the time for change had come. The board of governors of the academy fast tracked their plan to eliminate the votes of many older members of the Academy, which are overwhelmingly white and male. Without Black Twitter flooding timelines with #OscarsSoWhite and their outrage over the nominations, the initiative to diversify members of the Academy would have taken years. Black Twitter had to let the Academy know that the lack of inclusion was recognized and it would not be stood for.

This year’s Oscar nominations do not at all reflect the trends of last year, but instead make it apparent that #OscarsSoWhite was acknowledged and taken seriously. This year there are black nominees in all four acting categories. In addition to tying a record set in 2007 with seven minority actors being recognized, a new record of six black actors receiving nominations was set. These actors include Denzel Washington, Ruth Nega, Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, Naomie Harris and Octavia Spencer.

The difference between nominations for last year’s Oscars compared to this year’s nominees is so stark, it is undeniable that social media played a role in the change. Many people would not have even been aware that there was a lack of black actors and actresses recognized if it were not for the several tweets and posts on their timelines sporting #OscarsSoWhite. Seeing what a difference a hashtag can make, it is no wonder that they have recently been applied to other award shows. #GrammysSoWhite has also become popular since it has been noticed that over the past several years, the Album of the Year award has been given to white performers over equally qualified black performers. We can only hope that this hashtag will be as successful in holding people responsible and making a change. Nonetheless, it is certain that if you enjoyed the more diverse nominations and winners of the Oscar’s 2017, you can thank twitter for that.

Sources:

http://variety.com/2017/film/news/2017-oscars-diversity-denzel-washington-viola-davis-octavia-spencer-1201968125/

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/shakeup-at-the-oscars

http://oscar.go.com/nominees

Stereotypes on TV: Harmful in Real Life

By Kris Wright
Second year, intended Journalism major
Entertainment section writer

From the grandparents who dislike a person because their national heritage “is not good people” to the students who automatically flock to the Asian in their class because they think they are the smartest, stereotypes range in their connotation and level of hurtfulness.

The American media is an especially prominent stage for the acting out of stereotypes. The supposed “melting pot” of the U.S. has managed to distill entire nations of peoples into a few typical, redundant characters. It is easy to find instances on television wherein African Americans are portrayed as criminals, Indians as smelly and Asians as nerds – none of which is necessarily true.

One group that receives the most obvious stereotyping is people from Asian nations. Examples run the full range of nationalities: Rajesh Koothrapalli, an Indian man, is too worried with academics to even know how to speak to a woman on “The Big Bang Theory”. Mrs. Kim, a Korean woman, enforces strict rules on her daughter’s social life in “Gilmore Girls.” Han Bryce Lee, a Korean man, is portrayed as nothing but a hard worker and is referred to as a rainbow of nationalities by other characters in “2 Broke Girls.”

Each of these examples shows the Asian character (a character that could be from anywhere across the huge Asian continent) as mainly focused on being the best – whether it be in work or in academics – and totally incompetent when it comes to normal communication with other people.

Being a ‘geek’ is not the only common stereotype for Asian cultures, though. They are also stereotyped as Kung Fu fighters, dragon ladies, prostitutes and more.

Even worse than the stereotypes themselves is the way that Asians are grouped together. Just like Han Bryce Lee in “2 Broke Girls,” Asian characters are often ambiguously Asian, as if their actual country of origin doesn’t matter. This tendency further de-humanizes an entire continent of individuals by turning them into caricatures instead of fully-rounded characters.

But the effects reach beyond the television screen. Negative stereotypes on such a major media channel can create prejudices about people in real life. If, for instance, a viewer who never encounters Asians in real life watches TV shows in which the Asian characters – no matter their heritage – are portrayed as bad at social interaction, that viewer might believe all Asian people are bad at social interaction. That viewer might then seek to avoid the supposed awkwardness of interactions with Asian people in real life.

These stereotypes can thus engender negative emotions for Asian people about their identity and where they are from. So, these simple stereotypes that are meant to make people laugh can end up hurting people.

People who watch shows that commonly use stereotypes can be influenced by it without being aware that is what is going on. Even if people are aware that Rajesh Koothrapalli from “The Big Bang Theory” is portraying a stereotype the ideas informing the character still work their way into a person’s understanding of the world.

No matter the nationality or ethnicity, group stereotypes can hurt people by affecting the way that others see them and the way that they see themselves. They can damage peoples’ quality of life and restrict the opportunities presented to them. Characters that reinforce these stereotypes may earn laughs for a comedy series, but we have to ask ourselves: is there anything really funny about them?

Whitewashing: When Will Hollywood Learn?

By Scotti Morris

The comics about sorcerer Steven Strange are heavily influenced by Asian themes, especially Chinese and Tibetan mythological elements. Thus, British actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s upcoming portrayal of the lead character in a new film adaptation earned Marvel heavy criticism on the grounds of inadequately casting an actor of color to take the role. Even more recently, Marvel Studios is facing heat due to the recent casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange.

Marvel Studio’s president Kevin Fiege defended the casting choice, claiming he and other  producers “wanted to shy away from any stereotyping roles” and believed it would be appropriate for  the Ancient One to be cast as a female. But, in the comics, the Ancient One is an elderly Tibetan monk who assists Dr. Strange. Thus, many rebuke Fiege’s logic due to the fact an older Asian actress could have appropriately fit the criteria the producers used.

Yet, Marvel isn’t the only major studio facing a vitriolic response for their casting decisions. Dreamworks/Paramount Studios were reprimanded on social media over their selection of actress Scarlett Johansson for the cyborg-cop Major Motoko Kusanagi in the live action remake of the hit anime The Ghost in the Shell. The original The Ghost in the Shell of 1995 revived the cyberpunk cinematic genre while also setting a new standard for animation. Its social influence is unparalleled, but the remake elicited outcry from many fans and social media users due to the fact that Major Kusanagi is a Japanese character.

Yet, when Screencrush revealed that Dreamworks toyed with the possibility of digitally applying Eastern Asian characteristics to Johansson’s face in response to the criticism, the film received threats of boycotting over the Yellow-facing techniques considered in production.

Though the article claims that these post-production efforts were terminated, the damage had already been done.

One would presume that Hollywood would have realized the futility of whitecasting movies due to past box office flops. For instance, Joe Wright’s Pan was one of 2015’s biggest box office failures with a measly domestic gross of $35 million dollars under a $150 million dollar budget. Though the film showcases the backstory of the beloved boy-who-never-grew-up, the film could not attract an audience after massive backlash over casting white actress Rooney Mara in the role of Native American Princess Tiger Lily. Though Mara later expressed regret at accepting the role, Pan never recovered from the whitewashed casting choices.

In 2016, whitewashing has still guaranteed theatrical failures. In January, Lionsgates’ The Gods of Egypt tumbled spectacularly at the box office with a pathetic opening weekend of $14 million and an overall domestic gross of less than $30 million. The film’s poor performance is attributed to the white cast inaccurately portraying Egyptian deities and characters. Even a retroactive apology on the part of the studio and director Alex Proya couldn’t save it. Other films that have whitewashed characters of Asian descent such as Avatar: the Last Airbender, Dragonball Evolution, and Aloha flopped both critically and financially as well.

Maybe if Doctor Strange and The Ghost in the Shell follow the trend of box office failures, Hollywood will finally realize see the error of its ways (at least financially) and learn from its mistakes.

The Oscars 2016: Big Stars and Big Messages

By Scotti Morris

The Academy Awards last night served as a platform diverse social commentaries ranging across sexual assault, climate change, and the inequality among races in the entertainment industry. Chris Rock hosted the ceremony and consistently addressed the lack of diversity of this year’s nominees in the acting category, opening with a quip that the Oscars was instead “White People’s Choice Awards.”

While Rock emphasized how Black actors had not been represented in the acting categories, many other racial minorities have remained underrepresented by the Academy as well. According to Huffington Post, only nine non-white actors were nominated in the past five years. And Time reports that since 1929 only 6.4% of 1,668 acting nominations have been awarded to non-white actors. Benicio del Toro was the last Latino actor to win an award (Best Supporting) in 15 years, while only four Latino men ever have been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the Academy’s history.

Rock asked the audience, “Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist. But it isn’t the racist you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you, Ronda, but you’re not a Kappa.’ That’s how Hollywood is.” And who can deny that? The Washington Post asserts that of the Academy’s 450-member executive branch 96% are white and 87% are men.

Yet, while the Oscars may not initiate change, the ceremony itself may provide a catalyst for progress in the entertainment industry. Lady Gaga’s performance of her nominated song “Till It Happens to You” spoke out against victim-blaming sexual assault on college campuses. As a symbol of the strength of speaking out against sexual assault, an ensemble of survivors rallied around Gaga near the end of her performance. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short for her film A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, a film that explores honor killings in Pakistan. Obaid-Chinoy told the press in her post-acceptance speech that her film had inspired legal action as “The Pakistani prime minister said he will change the law on honor killings” due to the powerful reactions to the film.

Five women took home Oscars for their work in Mad Max: Fury Road, the film that took the most statues of all the films honored. Leonardo DiCaprio emphasized environmental advocacy last night in his acceptance speech: “Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively and stop procrastinating.”

Spotlight won the top prize of Best Film, with themes of journalistic integrity and accountability for spreading the truth regarding the sexual assault in the Catholic Church.

Despite the emphasis on positive social change, some blunders occurred during the night. Sam Smith wrongfully stated he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar, ignoring that transgender singer Anohni was not given the opportunity to perform her song “Manta Ray,” nominated for for Best Original Song.

In the end, the biggest night in Hollywood became a big night for issue advocacy. With such a large platform, those who spoke out can spark conversations about how the celebrities present in the Dolby Theatre and even we at home can be a part of enacting change.

The Sinister Side of the Glitz Gambit: Sexual Assault in the Music Industry

By Scotti Morris

When people think of the Hollywood lifestyle, they do not consider that egregious acts, such as sexual assault, could impact or affect celebrities. Yet, pop singer Kesha, famous for her techno dance music, is currently being blacklisted by the music industry for speaking out against one of these offenses.

Kesha faces a taunting choice: receive closure and justice for her sexual assault or lose her career.

Last year, Kesha accused Dr. Luke, her producer, of emotionally and sexually abusing her ever since she signed to his record label at 18 years of age.

Dr. Luke is a renowned songwriter with roots as a guitarist on Saturday Night Live, who has also produced hits for Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and One Direction. Dr. Luke has produced Kesha’s hit records like “Tik Tok” and “Your Love is My Drug.”

Recently, Kesha added Sony as a defendant due to their lack of intervention and allowing Dr. Luke’s abuse to continue with a blind eye.  

Kesha is currently pursuing a legal injunction that will allow her to record music without Dr. Luke’s label. According to Kesha, Dr. Luke subjected her to sexual abuse such as drugging and raping while she recorded with him. According to Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter, Dr. Luke denied Kesha’s allegations, and he even argues that Kesha is simply trying to “extort him in order to get out from contracts with Luke’s Kemosabe Records label, housed under Sony” .

Kesha, however, describes many instances attributing to sexual abuse and coercion by Dr. Luke in her court documents. Kesha recalls Dr. Luke’s actions by detailing events such as the producer pressuring her to drop out of high school, manipulating her to consume “sober pills” which she now believes to have been the date rape drug gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (more commonly known as GHB), and the lawsuit even describes an instance in which Kesha woke up in the producer’s bed naked and in pain, which no recollection as to how she ended up there.

Kesha also recalls Dr. Luke describing heinous and graphic accounts of sexually assaulting intoxicated women and even “blackmailing his pregnant wife into getting an abortion by not speaking to her for six months and threatening to leave.” Additionally, Kesha blames Dr. Luke for emotional manipulation that caused her to develop an eating disorder, as he would call her as large as “a refrigerator.”  

Kesha is not the only pop star facing a legal battle pertaining to sexual harassment.

Denver radio host David Mueller made headlines in September for filing a lawsuit against Grammy award-winning artist Taylor Swift by claiming she falsely accused him of inappropriately touching her buttocks in June 2013. Mueller was fired two days after Swift’s bodyguards implicated Mueller had groped Swift while the two and Mueller’s girlfriend took a photo, and Mueller now desires to earn back his reputation and receive compensation for losing his job.

Mueller filed the case in US District Court of Denver, and he asserts that “no inappropriate contact of any kind occurred between him and Ms. Swift.” Additionally, he argues that Swift had been touched inappropriately by his boss Eddie Haskell, and Haskell had even confided to Mueller that he touched Swift’s buttocks.

Swift filed a counter lawsuit last week, asserting that Mueller was in fact that one who had sexually assaulted her. According to the documents Swift filed, Swift “knows exactly who committed the assault—it was Mueller—and she is not confused in the slightest about whether her long-term business acquaintance, Mr. Haskell, was the culprit.”

Swift also asserts in the court document that “Mueller did not merely brush his hand against Ms. Swift while posing for the photograph: he lifted her skirt and groped her,” and that she was overwhelmed and affected by the act, even though she had to perform on stage after.

According to Swift, should she win this case, she assures that any winnings will go to a charity “dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard,” and she hopes that by filing this countersuit that she is encouraging women who have experienced sexual harassment or assault to come forward and report their ordeal.

Celebrities are not an exception to sexual assault, but their presence in the spotlight contributes to a much needed discussion about society and sexual assault. Addressing such issues can lead to a re-evaluation on how the media and public perception discredits the victims of such discrepancies.

Minorities shine in 2015 Emmys

By Adele Auguste

The 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony offered a night of firsts for minority actors and actresses as both Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage left the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with high honors. Davis became the first African-American woman to win “Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama Series” while Dinklage, a little person, won “Supporting Actor in a Drama.” Their respective wins, as well as those of other minority actors and actresses, show that as our society becomes more open, more roles will be given to minority actors. In winning, they showed the world that anyone can achieve their dreams despite their differences. They show others that their talent can outshine their differences; their differences don’t define who they are as a person.

The roles of minorities in the acting business have changed over the years. In the past, African-Americans were cast as nannies and supporting roles. For example, Viola Davis previously played a nanny in the movie “The Help.” She did so well in that movie that she won an award for her outstanding performance. She showed everyone that whatever role she is given she can commit to it and do it well.

In the past little people were cast in atypical roles or not at all. Peter Dinklage disproved the stereoypes and showed the world that he is able to play roles that other actors can play through his character Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones”.

“[Dinklage] has been nominated five times for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones and this was his second win in that category,” said Stacey Cole, a writer for Inquisitr News.

Overall, as our society becomes more inclusive of individuals that are different from us, they are going to be represented more on the television screen. People at home watch certain shows because they see the characters in themselves and they feel nice when they see they are represented in shows. As our society changes, the characters change as well so that our world today can be portrayed on the television. As more diversity is shown on the television, many more viewers will appeal to those type of shows because the viewers will see an accurate portrayal of our society.

This year at the Emmys, there were many well-deserved winners, but the largest win of the night was in the category of diversity. Minorities leaders were honored for their talents and, rather than choosing the typical shows to receive awards, new and refreshing programs were recognized. “Transparent” took home five awards, “Orange is the New Black” took home one award , and “American Crime” took home one award. Racial and gender diversity are being recognized, which shows that our society is becoming more accepting of individuals differences. Let’s see what next year’s Emmys has in store for us.