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21 Times Black Men's Style Game Was Hella On Point

1. Whether you’re dressing in a nice suit while effortlessly riding a skateboard…

2. …or dressing down in a relaxed-but-eye-catching get up…

3. …black men are showing out when it comes to style. I mean, look at how fitting these suspenders are.

4. No matter your size or shape, you can always find stylish clothing that complements your dashing looks, just like this fella making a bold statement in this eccentric blazer.

5. They’re giving us dope levels of fashion, ranging from head-to-toe muted colors…

6. …to runway-ready looks fit for the likes of Armani, Gucci, and more.

7. Did I mention vests were in? Well, if you didn’t know before now you do.

8. Oh yeah, beards and Burberry are too, so you best get with the times if you’re trying to keep up with these fashionable guys.

9. Brothas are demonstrating that you can buck trends and do your own thing…

10. …like trying out colors that perfectly complement your skin tone.

11. Seeing black men in red is just as stunning as…

12. …seeing them in a cream colored suit.

13. Black men are giving dashing looks that’d go over well in the fall…

14. …and Fortune 500 business style. Reaaaaaal casual.

15. Dressing to the nines isn’t always what you wanna go with, you can tone it down…

16. …and keep it simple yet chic.

17. Like an all-black look, a staple of any wardrobe.

18. Or a cute camouflage moment.

19. Black men are keeping it suave…

20. …and debonair…

21. …and most importantly, their style is always in vogue, regardless of taste.

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19 TV Episodes That Will Make You Ugly Cry

We asked the BuzzFeed Community for episodes of TV shows that turned them into a puddle of tears. Read on with a box of tissues.

Note: submissions have been edited for clarity and length.

1. Grey’s Anatomy, “Losing My Religion,” Season 2, Episode 27

If I need a cry, I always watch the Season 2 finale of Grey’s Anatomy. Katherine Heigl’s emotional performance mixed with “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol playing always gets me!
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2. Parenthood, every episode of Season 4

I think I ugly cried during every episode of Season 4. The show perfectly depicted an ordinary family dealing with ordinary struggles. There wasn’t a sad topic that the show didn’t include, so there’s a 99.9% chance that it will hit close to home for you in one way or another.
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3. The Office, “Finale,” Season 9, Episode 23

When Michael leaves Scranton, or when the entire series ends, it feels like you are losing friends you’ve had for years. It’s a breakup, but worse, because you’re breaking up with a dozen people you have spent several years getting to know. You don’t realize how much you’ve enjoyed your time at Dunder Mifflin until it’s over. —emmaw54

4. Friday Night Lights, “Always,” Season 5, Episode 13

The finale makes me weep every time. I love all the characters, and the ending is just so perfect — it brings me to tears!
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5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “The Body,” Season 5, Episode 16

Just watch the episode “The Body” and try not to cry. It’s the most beautiful and heartbreaking episode of TV that has ever graced your television.
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6. Glee, “The Quarterback,” Season 5, Episode 3

It makes me sob my eyes out every time! It’s just so filled with emotions, and since Cory Monteith passed away in real life it just makes everything so much more real.
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7. Friends, “The One with the Proposal,” Season 6, Episode 24/25

I’ll always watch Friends episodes to cry, like when chandler proposed to Monica.
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8. One Tree Hill, “The Wind That Blew My Heart Away,” Season 3, Episode 13

A lot of episodes make me cry, but there are a few in particular. The Wind That Blew My Heart Away always make me cry, even though I know exactly what will happen.
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9. Six Feet Under, “Everyone’s Waiting,” Season 5, Episode 12

The final scene as Claire is driving off to Sia’s “Breathe Me” is heart-wrenching. Most of the show is an emotional roller-coaster and the cathartic ending is the best ending to a series ever made. —piscrewy89

10. Criminal Minds, “Mosley Lane,” Season 5, Episode 16

OK so this seems kinda weird, but certain Criminal Minds episodes get me. Every. Damn. Time. “Mosley Lane” and “Our Darkest Hour” both make you cry because of the actual crime victims.
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11. Downton Abbey, all of Season 3

The characters feel so real and you become truly invested in their lives. Thanks to the incredible acting and scripts, you always feel what the characters are feeling. And when a beloved character dies, it hurts. Season 3 especially left me in a puddle of tears for weeks.
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12. My So-Called Life, “So Called Angels,” Season 1, Episode 15

Hits me every time! Reminds me I may have it tough, but others have it tougher.
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14. One Day at a Time, “Quinces,” Season 1, Episode 13

When Elena’s abuela makes her the pantsuit instead of a dress, and then her mom dances with her at the end — it’s all so perfect.
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15. House M.D., “House’s Head,” Season 4, Episode 15

House M.D., especially the finale and the episodes “House’s Head” and “Wilson’s Heart.”
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16. Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan,” Season 7, Episode 5

I always watch “The Angels Take Manhattan” from Doctor Who. Guaranteed to have me bawling in no time.
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18. Futurama, “Jurassic Bark,” Season 5, Episode 2

I rewatch specific episodes that made me bawl in the past such as “The Luck of the Fryish” or “Jurassic Bark.”
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19. The Vampire Diaries, “Do Not Go Gentle,” Season 3, Episode 20

An episode that especially gets to me is “Do Not Go Gentle.” When everyone is saying goodbye it’s already heartbreaking, but once “Be Still” by The Fray starts playing is when I really lose it. It’s an episode that is guaranteed to make me sob every time I watch it. —quil43

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How The “Guardians Vol. 2” Post-Credit Scenes Could Change The Marvel Universe

When the first Guardians of the Galaxy opened in 2014, the film’s delightful irreverence extended all the way to the trademark Marvel Studios post-credits scene: a deliberate throwaway cameo from Marvel Comics curio Howard the Duck.

For Guardians Vol. 2, however, writer-director James Gunn took post-credit scenes to another level, with a record five bonus scenes unfolding after the movie’s ostensible final shot.

“Listen, people love the post-credit scenes,” Gunn told BuzzFeed News with a laugh. “And so I decided to just give the people what they want, which is a lot of post-credit scenes.”

Some scenes deliberately point to future movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but even the throwaways hold some intriguing implications. Here’s what you need to know.

(Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS!)

Adam Warlock will almost certainly appear in Guardians Vol. 3 — but he definitely won’t show up in Avengers: Infinity War.

Elizabeth Debicki in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Marvel Studios

In the third post-credits scene, the Sovereign’s imperious high priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) is looking as disheveled as her obsession with total perfection will allow. Desperate to redeem herself after the Guardians destroyed her fleet, Ayesha reveals that she has created “the next step in our evolution — more powerful, more beautiful, more capable of destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy.” As she gazes upon the giant birthing pod containing her creation, Ayesha says, “I think I shall call him Adam.”

That would be Adam Warlock, the golden, nearly indestructible Marvel character who in the comics eventually joins the Guardians of the Galaxy. His fate is also entwined with the “Soul Gem,” one of the “Infinity Gems” — rechristened “Infinity Stones” in the MCU, and the catalyst for 2018’s gargantuan Marvel Studios movie Avengers: Infinity War. Adam Warlock played a key role in the comics series The Infinity Gauntlet, the underlying source material for Infinity War, so one could easily assume that he would also appear in the movie.

As Marvel comics fans already know all too well, however, the MCU can veer quite far from the original stories.

“Adam Warlock has always been someone who I’ve been excited about being a part of the Guardians,” said Gunn. “But he is not a part of Infinity War.”

Gunn noted that while he is an executive producer of Infinity War — to help bring the Guardians into the larger MCU for the first time — he received no instructions from Marvel Studios about setting up that film with the developments in Guardians Vol. 2. “Those guys chose to not have Adam as a part of [Infinity War],” Gunn said before laughing. “I say ‘they,’ but I’m the one who’s making the Guardians movies. I love Adam Warlock, but we just didn’t have time to tell his full story before Infinity War happens.”

The original Guardians of the Galaxy are back — but not necessarily in a separate movie.

Actors Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, and Chris Pratt at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 world premiere. Jesse Grant / Getty Images

Perhaps the most tantalizing — and easily the most confusing! — post-credits scene in Vol. 2 is the second, in which Yondu’s Ravager colleague Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone) stands before a motley group of fellow Ravagers: the giant Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), the crystalline Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum), the formidable Aleta Ogord (Michelle Yeoh), the disembodied robot head Mainframe (Miley Cyrus), and the silent amphibious-looking alien Krugarr.

“You know, it’s a shame that it took the tragedy of losing Yondu to bring us all together again,” says Stakar. “But I think he would be proud knowing that we’re back as a team.”

“I’m in,” says Charlie-27.

“Dope,” says Martinex.

“I missed you guys so much!” says Mainframe.

“Hell yes,” says Aleta.

Krugarr waves his hands and an image of a thumbs-up appears before him, and then Stakar says they should all go “steal some shit.”

Who? Also: What? And: Huh?

Except for Mainframe, all of these characters were once a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the Marvel comics, which date back to the late 1960s. Yondu, in fact, was also a part of the original Guardians (though Gunn radically reconceived the character, played by Michael Rooker, for the movies), and Stakar’s speech about them being “back as a team” is a nod to that heritage.

Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said that Gunn initially pitched the idea of bringing back the original Guardians crew early on in the process of writing Vol. 2. “My reaction was, ‘Absolutely, let’s do it, how cool!’” said Feige. At first, the idea was just to cut to Stakar, Martinex, Charlie-27, and Aleta during Yondu’s Ravager funeral at the end of the film, but then Gunn had the idea to bring them together in a post-credits scene, too. “All the actors were thoughtful to come back and shoot that,” said Feige. Well, save for Cyrus, who recorded her line as Mainframe after Gunn saw her on NBC’s The Voice.

Given the pedigree of the actors involved, the scene also feels like a sly way to introduce the characters for a brand-new Marvel franchise. But Gunn said that is not quite the case.

“I’m excited by the possibility of doing more stuff with that particular set of characters,” said Gunn. “I don’t know about their own movie.” He was clear that these characters almost certainly will show up again in the MCU — it would be a terrible waste of these actors’ talents for them not to, for one thing — but Gunn remained vague on how that would happen. One interesting possibility: In the comics, Krugarr often crosses paths with another major MCU character with his own movie, Doctor Strange.

We could be seeing a lot more of Kraglin.

Sean Gunn in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios

The first post-credits scene features perpetual Ravager sidekick Kraglin (Sean Gunn), who is trying to learn how to manipulate Yondu’s arrow after his dear captain’s death. (The scene actually plays after the movie is over, but before the main credits roll, so perhaps it should be called a pre-post-credits scene?) Kraglin doesn’t quite get the knack of it at first, and ends up accidentally stabbing poor Drax (Dave Bautista). But does the effort indicate Kraglin will be eventually taking on Yondu’s mantle?

“I think in some ways, yeah,” said James Gunn. “Kraglin is stepping up to do his thing.”

In a separate interview, Sean Gunn wasn’t quite so sure. “I don’t know what that means for future movies,” the actor told BuzzFeed News. “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, [James] is your brother, of course you’ll be in the third Guardians.’ But he’s got to tell the story he needs to tell first, and if I fit into that, I will be ecstatic.”

Gunn wasn’t even sure the scene with Yondu’s arrow was going to make the final cut of Vol. 2 until just a few months ago. “The funny thing is, [James] told me the whole story of the second movie in July of 2015, up to and including the tag where Kraglin has the fin and the arrow,” he said. “I’ve been sitting on that information for two years, and not been able to tell anybody!”

The diabolically cute baby Groot steals every one of his scenes in Vol. 2, but in the fourth post-credits scene, we see he’s already become a petulant kid who is obsessed with video games and refuses to clean up his room.

“It’s actually tween Groot,” said James Gunn with a smile. “Adolescent Groot, we call him. He’s a young, snotty, shitty Groot.”

Does that mean in Infinity War, we’ll see Iron Man having to deal with tween Groot’s sass?

“Well, like…it’s not even…yeah…I mean…whatever,” Gunn said, purposely stammering through an attempt to not say anything definitive. “Whatever version of Groot is going to be in Infinity War, that’s sort of where we’re going.” He laughed. “Maybe.”

Stan Lee could be a Watcher, but he is absolutely the coolest.

Behrouz Mehri / AFP / Getty Images

The final post-credits scene is the second half of Marvel Comics guru Stan Lee’s obligatory cameo in Vol. 2. He first appears about halfway through the movie, wearing a spacesuit and telling a group of giant-brained aliens about his days on Earth as a FedEx delivery man (which he plays at the end of Captain America: Civil War). In the post-credits scene — in fact, the only scene that actually plays after all the credits have finished — we see those aliens walking away, apparently unmoved as Lee exclaims that he “has so many more stories to tell!”

Those aliens are a passive race called the Watchers who basically do just that. Lee is credited in Vol. 2 as “The Watchers’ Informant,” but Feige said at a recent press conference that those scenes really suggest that “he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films.” That would lend some credence to the popular fan theory that Lee is really playing the Watcher named Uatu, which at least makes as much sense as the MCU containing a bunch of guys who all look like Stan Lee.

At least three of Lee’s cameos were shot last year by Gunn back-to-back, the first appearing in Doctor Strange last fall. And Gunn told BuzzFeed News that he just worked with Lee again “on a secret project” in April.

“It’s really just one of the high points of my life, working with Stan Lee,” Gunn said. “He’s 94 years old. He’s still completely vibrant. He still gives me shit constantly. I just love the guy to death. He’s just so energetic and warm and open to everybody he meets. I hope to live a long time, and I hope to be a nice guy when I’m older. I can’t imagine doing what Stan Lee does.”

And yes, that is Jeff Goldblum dancing during the credits.

Jeff Goldblum in Thor: Ragnarok. Marvel Studios

The last stretch of credits are occasionally adorned with GIF-like shots of the Guardians getting down to the quasi-rapping styles of David Hasselhoff in the song “Guardians Inferno,” including a brief shot of Jeff Goldblum dancing as his character the Grandmaster from Marvel Studios’ next film, Thor: Ragnarok.

“That wasn’t even planned,” said Gunn. “Somebody said, ‘Hey, we have this footage of Jeff Goldblum dancing.’ I don’t even know what it was from, a photo shoot or something.” Gunn laughed. “I’m like, ‘Oh! Let’s put him in there!’”










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Why “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Finally Got Real About Police Brutality

“Our particular squad — our heroes — we’ve always made sure are good cops and model the kind of behavior and techniques that we would hope all cops exhibit,” Dan Goor told BuzzFeed News in an interview this week. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine showrunner knows that his TV show about a gang of lovable cops leans on fantasy. “They’re somewhere between our universe and a slightly idealized version of our universe,” he said.

The police force on Brooklyn Nine-Nine aren’t the kind of you’ve read about in recent headlines about police shootings and use of excessive force towards black Americans. Goofy and golden-hearted, the band of ragtag detectives spend more time pranking each other than they do arresting bad guys, and when they’re out in the field, they can be counted on to serve and protect people equally, with no regard to color — a depiction of the NYPD that, for some, feels more imaginary than real.

Although the comedy show has never presumed itself to be an accurate depiction of how law enforcement actually works, Goor and the writers are tuned in to current events. That’s why Brooklyn Nine-Nine, now in its fourth season, finally tackled the topic of police brutality and systemic racism in the episode that aired this week, “Moo-Moo,” cowritten by Goor and Phil Augusta.

When Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is rummaging through his neighborhood in search of his daughter’s missing blanket, he’s stopped by Officer Maldack (Desmond Harrington), who is white. Before Terry can explain that he is a police officer, Maldack has already reached for his gun and shouts at him to put his hands on his head. When Terry protests that he hasn’t done anything wrong, Maldack manhandles and frisks him. It’s a sobering moment and a rare instance in which the show directly confronts a very real problem.

Goor says he has wanted to write about police brutality since the show first premiered in 2013, but it wasn’t easy incorporating such a heavy topic into a light-hearted show. “It would almost feel woeful to not talk about this thing that is happening,” he said, considering Brooklyn Nine-Nine features two black officers. “What is our way into the issue, given that we portray our cops as cops who wouldn’t racially profile somebody, or who wouldn’t stop-and-frisk somebody? How do we bring those issues to the fore?” Goor said, rattling off the slew of difficulties he and Jackson encountered.

Jackson told BuzzFeed News that they didn’t want the tone of the episode to come off “too preachy. Another concern was [that it would feel] too much like an afterschool special, where we divert so greatly from the typical tone of the show that it ends up not feeling like the show.”

After they established that the episode would center on racial profiling and stop-and-frisk, they also struggled to establish further conflict. It was Andre Braugher, the actor behind the hilariously deadpan Captain Ray Holt, who provided them with the inspiration. When a distressed Terry tries to file an official complaint against the white cop, Captain Holt, who is also black, cautions him against it for fear of jeopardizing his future prospects in the police force. “The conversation that Dan had with Andre led us to the kind of critical, difficult opinion between Terry and Holt that drove the second half the episode,” Jackson explained.

Dan Goor and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg in May 2014. Mark Davis / Getty Images

But the crux of the episode occurs when Terry confronts his superior in a moving monologue. “When I got stopped the other day, I wasn’t a cop. I wasn’t a guy who lived in a neighborhood looking for his daughter’s toy,” he tells Holt in the show. “I was a black man, a dangerous black man. That’s all he could see, a threat.”

It wasn’t the writers’ intention to “make a blanket condemnation on the police,” Goor affirmed. “There are a lot of cops who are trying to do the right thing.” But he hopes viewers “take away a sense of how difficult it can be to be a black cop, to be in the middle of being blue and being black,” and now have a better understanding of stop-and-frisk and racial profiling — “and how dehumanizing that can be.”

Jackson echoed his cowriter’s sentiments: “My hope is that people watch the episode, and even if it’s in a small way, [recognize] that racial profiling is a very real thing in this country, that racism is still a very real thing in this country, and that it’s a complex issue that is worth talking about.”




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ABC Is Close To Reviving “American Idol”

American Idol, a show that changed television and American popular culture, may return next year.

A Variety story reported Friday that ABC had struck a deal with FreeMantleMedia, the production company behind American Idol, and would like to bring the show back in March 2018, possibly on Sunday nights. A source with knowledge of the situation disputed that the deal had closed, but said there is a framework for a deal.

FreeMantleMedia did not immediately respond to an email from BuzzFeed News asking for a comment; ABC had no comment.

According to Variety, no talent from the show’s previous incarnation has signed on yet (and Ryan Seacrest recently took a job in New York City as the co-host of Live With Kelly and Ryan, which would complicate his possible return). Variety speculated that Kelly Clarkson, American Idol’s first winner, could possibly be involved in front of the cameras.

NBC and Fox were also in the running to bring the show back. Had NBC won, it would have been possible that Simon Cowell, who has an exclusive deal with the network, could have returned as a judge.

American Idol aired on Fox for 15 seasons, and came to an end very recently — in April of last year. The show premiered in June 2002, and grew into a gargantuan ratings machine. It dominated all of television, and made Fox the No. 1 network in the key 18 to 49 demographic. The second season’s finale (Ruben Studdard v. Clay Aiken) brought in 38 million viewers and a 16.8 among 18 to 49 year-olds.

At its height — in Seasons 5 and 6 — the show averaged more than 30 million viewers.

With those huge ratings came the show’s standing as one of the final mass cultural phenomenons. Whether it was picking sides in the competition itself, or watching the drama among the judges — particularly Cowell and Paula Abdul — play out on television, American Idol was a show that demanded to be watched live. Other than football, such things no longer exist on that large of a scale.

The show’s ratings declined, of course, and by the end, it was averaging a 2.2 in the demo and 9.1 million viewers for Season 15. But in today’s increasingly splintered television world, those would be strong numbers if American Idol could still achieve them.



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Everything We Know About “American Horror Story” Season 7

1. Your first look at one of the new season’s creatures

Ryan Murphy shared this photo on Instagram, calling it a “Season 7 tease.” And since the elephant is the symbol of the Republican party, looks like we’ll could be getting a donkey sketch any day now.

2. Billie Lourde segues over from Scream Queens

Billie Lourd, who played Chanel #3 on Murphy’s Fox series Scream Queens, has joined the upcoming season of American Horror Story in a — as predicted — top secret role, per Deadline.

3. Billy Eichner will be part of the cast.

Getty Images

Best known for comedy, the Difficult People star has joined the cast of Season 7, per Deadline. He’ll reportedly play “a close confidant of Paulson’s character and will mostly be wearing mysterious tank tops.”

4. Two fan favorites will be back.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour following a panel for Feud, Murphy told reporters that Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters would be returning for Season 7.

John Landgraff — CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions — also told reporters at TCA, “Ryan has yet another, I think, really innovative idea for how to do something fresh and different with the franchise that audiences haven’t seen before.”

5. The presidential election will factor into Season 7.

Bravo / Charles Sykes/Bravo

In Feb. 2017 while on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Murphy said Season 7 “is going to be about the election that we just went through. So I think that will be interesting for a lot of people.”

His statement triggered quite a lot of online speculation, leading Murphy to later elaborate to E! Online: “People literally think Sarah Paulson is playing Hillary Clinton and I wanted to clarify that that is not true. Horror Story is always about allegory, so the election is allegory. It’s our jumping off point. It is about the election we just went through and what happened on that night and the fallout of that night, which to many people, from all sides of the camps is a horror story. And you know, that show is always so fun when it’s about the zeitgeist and what we’re doing now.”

6. And it will be begin on election night.

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

“It’s very scary, that night, for many people,” Murphy told E! Online. “It’s fun, you will like it. It’s really a season that will have a lot of people interested and I think there’s something for everybody in that season.”

7. Also, Season 7 may have ties to Season 4.

The very first time Murphy revealed anything about Season 7 was in Oct. 2016 when he said, “Next year, we will be going back to some Freak Show characters, deeper histories and mythologies. So we’re sort of still exploring Season 4 in Season 7.”

And while that might still hold true, that was before Donald Trump won the presidential election, so Murphy’s plan could’ve changed completely.

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A Portrait of Julian Assange As A Revolutionary And A Misogynist

There’s a scene early in Risk, documentarian Laura Poitras’s new film about Julian Assange, in which the WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief is given a lecture about the language he uses to talk about women. One of his colleagues urges him to sound less hostile when making any public statements about the allegations of rape and molestation made against him by two Swedish women. He’s told he needs to acknowledge that claims of sexual assault should be heard and taken seriously while stating that in his particular case, he is innocent.

Assange insists he understands. And then he goes on to speak “privately” about how the whole thing is a “mad feminist conspiracy,” a “thoroughly tawdry radical feminist political positioning thing.” “She started a lesbian nightclub in Gothenburg,” he says of one of his accusers, as if that were somehow proof of her untrustworthiness. The trouble, he goes on, is that there are two accusers running a “tag team” against him, which makes them harder to discredit. If there were one, he says, she could simply be characterized as “a bad woman.”

It’s not just Assange’s misogyny that makes these moments such a shiv to the gut — it’s the deliberation there, the flatly expressed understanding of utilizing how easily narratives are manipulated against women who make charges of rape, their sexual histories and habits leveraged against them. It’s such an ugly moment from the embattled activist that you wonder why he allowed it to be captured on camera, something Poitras herself muses in the film’s voiceover, in which she reads from her production diary. “Sometimes I can’t believe what he lets me film,” she says. “It’s a mystery to me why he trusts me, as I don’t think he likes me.”

Poitras, in turn, spends Risk considering and then reconsidering whether she likes or trusts Assange. She clearly respects what WikiLeaks has stood for; hers is not a film to look to for an in-depth debate on the ethics of publishing classified media, even with the added complexities of last year’s hacked email leaks and whether that data came from a Russian state source (something Assange has denied). Poitras started shooting Risk back in 2010, the year of Cablegate and the Collateral Murder video, of Assange’s heyday of digital-activist rock-stardom. When the film premiered at Cannes in 2016, it reportedly played as more directly on the side of its subject — Variety’s Peter Debruge questioned whether it was “a work of journalism or a glorified fan film.” But then she continued working on the movie, recutting it as late as April to reflect the events of the US presidential election, her ambivalence about her subject, and their deteriorating relationship.

The reworked result is not a fan film at all — it’s sour-stomached with conflict, an engrossing document of both Assange’s public arc and Poitras’s personal one, as she wrestles with her feelings about his work versus who he is as a person — as she puts it, his “contradictions.” It’s hardly a unique dilemma. Women have had to reckon with admired men who mistreat women since the dawn of time. But Poitras’s struggle to emphasize the right of WikiLeaks to exist and publish while depicting Assange’s astronomical self-regard is a particularly wrenching one. After all, Poitras herself is a significant figure in the fight for transparency and accountability in the era of mass surveillance and the war on terror.

It was Poitras who was kept on a watch list for six years without explanation, detained and interrogated whenever she crossed the US border, after making her Oscar-nominated 2006 Iraq War film My Country, My Country. It was Poitras who flew to Hong Kong with journalist Glenn Greenwald to meet with Edward Snowden after having been contacted by the NSA leaker anonymously online. The remarkable result, the nonfiction film as dystopian thriller Citizenfour, went on to win the Oscar in 2015. (In Snowden, the much staider Oliver Stone-directed biopic that followed, Poitras would be played by Melissa Leo.) It was Poitras who achieved what fellow filmmaker Alex Gibney could not with his 2013 We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, in getting allowed access to Assange and the actual operations of WikiLeaks’ staffers and allies.

Consequently, Poitras was able to capture some key moments in Assange’s storied last seven years, with a noticeable gap in the middle. We glimpse Assange in a country house in Norfolk in 2011, coolly telling a US official that it is their problem, not WikiLeaks’, that the password for one of the organization’s “insurance” files has been exposed, and that the 251,287 classified diplomatic cables within are about to hit the internet. And we actually see his escape to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he sought asylum and where he’s now been holed up for almost five years in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, something he believes would be followed by extradition to and prosecution in the US. A disguise is involved, as is a motorcycle, Assange zipping away like something out of the Bourne Identity after his appeal is dismissed in the UK courts.

There’s a lot of high-stakes drama — and yet at other times, Risk recalls not the spy genre so much as it does “American Bitch,” the biting two-hander episode of the last season of Girls in which Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath meets with Chuck Palmer (Matthew Rhys), a famous novelist she idolized who’s been accused of preying on college-aged women for sex while on book tour, and who wants a chance to defend himself. “Ego, yes. But also brave. He’s managing his image, but also being vulnerable,” Poitras observes in voiceover, aware that she and Assange are engaged in a duel over depiction not dissimilar to the one Hannah gets locked into with Chuck, one in which strategic shows of soft underbelly get offered up in exchange for sympathy.

One of the more telling Assange moments involves, of all people, Lady Gaga, who arrives at the embassy for a visit and to interview the man, declaring his embassy living space like “college” and asks him questions about his favorite food and if he ever feels “like just fucking crying.” It’s a funny sequence, but it’s also telling, the way that Assange rejects Gaga’s attempts at humanizing him — calculatedly taking the opposite tactic of his approach with Poitras, playing another sort of game. “What does it matter how I feel?” he asks the pop star, and it comes across not so much as out of a desire to minimize himself, but to treat global problems as his own, as if he were not also a man with a body and an ego, emotions, and appetites.

Throughout Risk, Assange comes across as dedicated in his commitment to cause, but he also shows a disturbing ability to treat what he believes is best for the world and what’s best for himself as interchangeable. While he describes both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as bad directions for the US to take, he groups Clinton’s opposition to WikiLeaks with his characterization of her as a warmonger before noting that there’s interesting stuff to be dug up on her, unlike the lesser-known element that is Trump. He half-jestingly mentions his “god complex” and holds forth about the importance of acting globally when asked if what he’s up to isn’t also about personal power. There’s even a wince-worthy line in which he jokes about how he should arrange to have a “sex scandal every six months,” since that’s what really put him on the map. In the film’s most striking visual, Poitras catches Assange exiting a courtroom in an overhead shot in which, swarmed by cameras, he resembles a movie star.

It’s claims of sexual mistreatment that seem to have been part of the reason for the shift in Poitras’s film over the past year — not those attached to Assange, but to Jacob Appelbaum, another prominent cyberactivist, representative of WikiLeaks, and the former public face of the Tor Project. Appelbaum’s work is periodically showcased throughout Risk. He valiantly holds Egyptian telecom representatives to account about their acts of censorship during the past regime on a panel on Cairo and travels to Tunisia to provide encryption training. And in June 2016, Appelbaum was accused of sexual and emotional abuse by a collection of people, some who shared their stories anonymously and others who did so under their actual names. They were soon joined by others.

The charges, which Appelbaum has denied, sent shock waves through the community, and while he described them as a “calculated and targeted attack,” he also stepped down from Tor. It’s in detailing the allegations that Poitras discloses that Appelbaum is someone she was briefly romantically involved with, and that he acted abusively toward someone she knew after they separated — a quiet, upsetting revelation. The echoes of Assange and the pattern suggested cannot be ignored, a reminder that no social movement is immune to this kind of toxicity, that power cloaked in idealism can still be misused, and that this dynamic is further enabled by organizational tendencies to downplay anything perceived as potentially harming a cause.

As Risk hurries toward its revamped ending, it solidified into a film not just about Assange’s contradictions, but the contradictions inherent in these prominent men who devote their lives to making the world better while apparently not feeling the same obligations toward individuals around them. Risk’s strongest point is in its insistence that portraying one need not come at the expense of the other, that misogyny and acts of alleged abuse are in no way negated by some grander-scaled pursuit of justice. Otherwise all that focus on the big picture starts to seem like a convenient way to minimize things like assault charges, things that aren’t getting in the way of work that needs to be done, but are an example of just how much more we need to do.





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People Are Calling Out Miley Cyrus For Her Comments On Hip-Hop, Saying She Exploited Black Culture

1. On Wednesday, Billboard published an interview with Miley Cyrus — who also appears on this month’s cover — where she talked about everything from her love life to the new music her fans have been eagerly anticipating.

2. Though most of the interview was fairly innocuous, the star’s comments about hip-hop have stirred a bit of controversy.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Cyrus was asked if she was singer-songwriter Melanie Safka influenced her forthcoming album. “She did, and I grew up with her,” Cyrus said to Billboard. This then segued into a brief comment about why she distanced herself from hip-hop music.

3. Cyrus talked about other music she was into at the moment, saying, “But I also love that new Kendrick [Lamar] song [“Humble”]: ‘Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks.’ I love that because it’s not ‘Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock.’”

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

“I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock’ — I am so not that,” she told the magazine.

4. Here’s the full quote, for context, from Billboard:

Did folk singer Melanie Safka [with whom Cyrus performed in 2015] ­influence you?

“She did, and I grew up with her. But I also love that new Kendrick [Lamar] song [“Humble”]: “Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks.” I love that because it’s not “Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock.” I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much “Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock” — I am so not that.

I was torn on whether I was going to work with certain producers that I really like. But I feel if we’re not on the same page ­politically … My record is political, but the sound bite doesn’t stop there. Because you can write something beautiful and you know E! News will ruin our lives and say, “This is a political record.” Because then I’m the Dixie Chicks and I’m getting my album smashed in the streets, and that’s not what I want. I want to talk to people in a compassionate, understanding way — which people aren’t doing.”

5. The star’s comments started a conversation about hip-hop culture and privilege, and people took to Twitter to comment on the interview.

6. People claimed Cyrus used hip-hop to her benefit and that her comments stereotyped the genre.

MILEY CYRUS DID EXACTLY WHAT SOMEONE WITH PRIVILEGE DOES! SHE CAN HOP IN AND OUT OF WHATEVER SHE WANTS WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE

— ♡ JUJU ♡ (@QueenIdle)

7. Others said it was another example of black culture being “used when it’s convenient.”

Miley Cyrus moving away from hip-hop is a nice example cultural appropriation…black culture is used when its convenient

— Devonte King (@deeruns_)

8. And some highlighted that this was how other people in the music industry have operated, way before Cyrus was making music.

So Miley Cyrus is caucasian again. Neat. Straight from the Timberlake handbook.

— Margaret Atwood Stan (@KingBeyonceStan)

9. One thread on Twitter showed that the debate may be more than just a black and white issue. @the_olivia argued that Cyrus disagreeing with the “over-sexualization of women” wasn’t akin to dissing hip-hop.

@MrChristopherX How did she throw it under the bus? By saying she disagrees with the over-sexualization of women? I… https://t.co/V9KtNfRFNH

— Sailor Goon ☮ (@the_olivia)

10. Others defended Cyrus too, with one user saying she didn’t use black culture. “Let her explore her sound,” she tweeted.

Also, @MileyCyrus didn’t ‘used black culture in my opinion with Bangerz she’s in her fucking 20s let her explore her sound.

— Brittany Moore (@DementorsLoveMe)

11. “Miley Cyrus was appropriating black culture 2013-2016, but now that she’s returning to her roots, she’s dissing it,” someone else said, coming to Cyrus’ defense.

So to be clear… Miley Cyrus was appropriating black culture 2013-2016 but now that she’s returning to her roots, she’s dissing it? Lol

— mostly ok (@frecklesnlove)

12. Over the years, Cyrus has experimented with and invoked black culture into her art, which is what started the debate.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

She’s also collaborated with people like Snoop Dogg and Timbaland, and on her 2013 album Bangerz, she worked with Mike Will Made It, one of the most sought out hip-hop producers in the industry.

13. BuzzFeed News has reached out to Miley Cyrus’ publicist for comment.

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Meet The New Guardian Of The Galaxy Who'll Steal Your Heart

Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy is used to aliens. Of all the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the 2014 James Gunn–directed romp is filled with more characters who have, say, blue skin or the body of a literal tree, than any other MCU property. So the sequel’s addition of Mantis (Pom Klementieff) — a character with giant alien eyes and antennae sticking out of her head — is pretty fitting. And Mantis does what every good Guardian of the Galaxy excels at: She rules your heart. In fact, that’s kind of her thing.

“I had to bring myself back to something completely innocent and pure,” Klementieff told BuzzFeed News. “I had fun bringing some weirdness to it, and something a little bit insect-like.”

The Mantis of the Marvel comics was a half-Vietnamese, half-German woman with a notoriously convoluted storyline — even for the comics world. Created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Don Heck for the 1973 run of the Avengers comics, Mantis was left by her parents with a religious sect of the Kree alien race. They gave her telepathic powers and theorized that she was the “Celestial Madonna,” who would eventually give birth to the “Celestial Messiah,” a cosmic being of extreme importance. She married an alien who had possessed the reanimated body of her former lover — and eventually had that important child with him.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, though, Mantis gets a bit of a makeover, leaving behind almost everything except for her psychic empathy and aspects of her distinct look.

She’s all alien, for one, and her backstory is relatively simple. When we first meet her, she’s the companion of Ego (Kurt Russell), a god who found her orphaned in the “larva state” on her home planet and decided to raise her alone on his isolated planet as a sort of service pet. Gifted with empathic powers, Mantis helps Ego sleep by easing the pain of his losses. She shows off her abilities while getting to know the Guardians: By simply placing her hand on them, she can literally feel what they’re feeling.

“I’m really aware of falling into a trap of making female characters who are just, like, tough guys.”

She’s also a goddamn delight. Socially awkward because of her isolation, Mantis is nevertheless cheerful and curious — a ray of sunshine among Guardians’ array of hero-antiheroes and their various modes of brooding. But getting Mantis to where she is in the film required some major work on the part of Marvel Studios and Gunn, who wrote and directed the sequel.

“We talked about the character, and the character from the comic books compared to [Gunn’s] version is really different,” Klementieff said. The self-proclaimed longtime fan of superhero movies particularly responded to Gunn’s interpretation of Mantis. “When you read the comics, she’s really different from one version to another. So many writers wrote her story [in the comics], and it’s all over the place. I think James Gunn’s version is much more interesting and original — and a much more interesting female character, I think.”

Part of Gunn’s motivation in bringing Mantis into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was to balance the scales. “I wanted to add a female character who was as quirky and as strange as Drax, and Rocket, and Groot,” Gunn told BuzzFeed News. He was also cognizant of the fact that the existing female characters in the films — Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and her cyborg sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) — rock more of a “Clint Eastwood” vibe. “I’m really aware of falling into a trap of making female characters who are just, like, tough guys,” Gunn said.

Klementieff and Karen Gillan at the world premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Jesse Grant / Getty Images

As a result, Mantis’s innocence and offbeat enthusiasm function like the edges of a puzzle piece in the movie: She fits perfectly into the ensemble, curving around the gruffness of characters like Gamora and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and sitting seamlessly in partnership with the strange, sweet bluntness of Drax (Dave Bautista). In short, she rounds the Guardians out.

Her big-screen story is also one of self-liberation: Though she’s introduced essentially as a servant to Ego, it becomes clear as the movie progresses that Ego is darker than he first seems to be. For a while, Mantis is the only one who knows that Ego’s intentions are actually murderous — and eventually, she decides to tell the Guardians. In the process, she breaks free from the constraints of her upbringing and the loneliness that came with it, and puts herself instead on a path toward friendship, freedom, and heroism.

It’s a journey most of the other Guardians took in the first movie, but this time, it’s Mantis’s turn. She’s key to the film and to the team, and not just because her choices serve the plot. Given that importance, Gunn knew he had to find just the right woman to play her.

“It was the best casting process I’ve probably ever had,” he said. They auditioned only actresses of Asian descent for the part, and the competition was steep. (“There were so many good ones,” he said.) Eventually it came down to four contenders, who Gunn said “turned in the best screen tests [he’d] ever seen.” After two auditions and a screen test in Atlanta opposite Bautista, Klementieff emerged the winner. “She came in and she was more like an alien than anyone else,” Gunn remembered.

“I love her more than almost anyone I’ve ever worked with.”

Both Klementieff and her character also had to tap into something eminently human. Connecting by touch with Drax’s heartbreak, for example, Mantis feels the loss of his daughter and her eyes well with tears before she lets out an overwhelmed sob. It was Klementieff’s screen test with that scene that really nabbed her the role. “I mean, that’s real,” Gunn said. “She touches him, and tears roll down her face. No CGI tears. That’s Pom acting. It was incredible.

“I love her more than almost anyone I’ve ever worked with,” he added.

After her screen test, Klementieff thought it’d be a while before she heard anything about the part. But she got the phone call a day later from Gunn himself. “He asked me, ‘Are you ready to be a Guardian of the Galaxy?’” she recalled. “I remember I had just ordered a smoothie or something stupid like that with a friend, and I just jumped [up and down]. It was hard for me to swallow the smoothie after because I was just too excited.”

Yondu (Michael Rooker), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Peter Quill, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Mantis, Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) Marvel Studios

Klementieff, who’s French Canadian (her mother is Korean and her late father was French and Russian), went to drama school in Paris and then began working in the French film world. In 2013, she won a starring role in Spike Lee’s Oldboy, which introduced her to Hollywood. “It was thanks to that movie that I got my artist’s visa and moved to LA and got to live the life that I wanted,” she said.

Now, with a central ensemble role in a Marvel movie, she’s being introduced to the global audience that comes with a major franchise. She’s also not going anywhere anytime soon: Mantis is already confirmed to be in the next Avengers movie, Infinity War, which hits theaters in May 2018, and we can likely expect to see her whenever Guardians 3 — which has been greenlit — rolls around as well.

“I’m feeling really happy to talk about this movie, and defend the movie, and be proud of it,” Klementieff said. “That doesn’t always happen.”

Adam B. Vary contributed reporting to this story.









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