Tag Archives: US Election

The Atlantic: Michael K. Williams Asks “Am I Typecast?”

Weiden + Kennedy (New York) have created an incredible short film for The Atlantic magazine featuring actor Michael K. Williams, who questions if he is being typecast in Hollywood. This is an incredibly poignant topic, and it was performed in this ad so poetically, discussing issues such as race relations and the US election.

Following The Atlantic’s tagline “Question Your Answers”, the short film conveys four different versions of Michael interrogating each other about whether he can escape being typecast. It’s a topic one would assume shouldn’t be an issue in 2017, but it is and always has been.

David Shane (Director) said:

This was such a nice opportunity for Michael to un-typecast himself because, in one piece, he gets to show his dry comedic timing, his raw menace and the depth of emotion he’s able to access. This is a deceptively simple looking piece – the degree of difficulty for him was so much greater than it looks. He had a lot of balls in the air.

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Enemies of Equality: If Coachella’s Price Tag Isn’t Putting You Off, Maybe Your Conscience Will

Put the flower crowns away, kids. Philip Anschutz, the owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG Live) has been exposed for his right-wing radical beliefs and contributions towards organisations against human rights!
The Coachella lineup has only just been released, and the hippie, beige, HOLLYWEED, home-made flower-power accessory makers of the world rejoiced after headliners like Beyonce, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar were announced.

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In all seriousness, last year, festival-goers spent a minimum of $400 on the most basic tickets for Coachella, and LGBTQ activists are urging people not to spend their hard earned money funding hate. The wonderful organisation ‘Freedom for All Americans’ released this infographic, showing well-known and influential anti-LGBT supporters:

FFAA is the bipartisan campaign to secure full non-discrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. The organisation has gained attention from reporters, journalists and bloggers for their claims that Anschutz’s foundation gave $190,000 to anti-LGBTQ organisations between 2010 and 2013. Having picked up on this information about the 77-year-old billionaire, more information has come to the surface that shows how Anschutz supports some of the most damaging and oppressive organisations in America, donating the following:

  • $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) between 2011 and 2013. The ADF litigates cases to oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, and civil unions.
  • $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013. The lobbyist organisation battles pro-LGBT laws and has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • $50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013. The foundation has contributed tens of millions of dollars to ADF, the Family Research Council, and other similar organisations.

Apparently Anschutz has funded anti-equality groups for decades, supporting Colorado’s 1992 proposition Amendment 2, a ballot created to overturn laws offering LGBT protection. Also, he has been noted by Greenpeace to finance science denial groups, with a Greenpeace report alleging that he attends “strategy meetings” with the Koch brothers (Republican narcissists who don’t believe in climate change) twice a year. This man is starting to sound weirdly similar to Donald Trump…

So, why do I care? Why should you care? Well, as we’ve seen in last year’s US election, with great power comes great responsibility – and unfortunately power is often put in the wrong hands. Something that has always deeply disturbed me from a young age is the rose-tinted glasses people seem to wear surrounding topical issues that don’t directly affect them. This is exactly how immensely rich and powerful people take control and spread hate. This is particularly important when it comes to something like Coachella, because the artists performing (almost always), such as Beyonce, are pro-human rights. Most importantly, so are their fans (Beyonce is a huge gay icon and pioneer for young black women). Thousands and millions of people are fans of these musicians, yet they would probably still buy tickets to Coachella knowing this information. Headliners Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé have both released amazing, politically charged albums over the past two years that have helped set the conversation around blackness, feminism and progressive politics.
Similar to this situation, following the US election debates, business in the USA made their political beliefs known (which is unusual) and confidently showed support for democrats – check out the extensive list here. Also, here in the UK the campaign Stop Funding Hate has convinced businesses to stop advertising their products and services in newspapers that contain ‘hate campaigns’ – Lego being the first company to break their contracts with said newspapers.

By purchasing tickets to Coachella, you are paying towards an empire that supports the following:

  • gay conversion therapy
  • pro-abortion
  • anti-LGBTQ groups
  • extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s (a despicable televangelist in the US) ‘Pray in Jesus Name’
  • denial of climate change and global warming
  • Mission America Foundation (vomit), whose president considers homosexuality a “deviance”

…the list goes on.

Interestingly, a representative for AEG Live forwarded the following statement from Philip Anschutz in response to this report:

Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage. I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of The Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.

Let’s have faith in humanity for a moment and believe that Philip is pro-LGBTQ (which is hard to believe when he has had such a huge influence in Colorado politics)… this means that someone in his team is supporting these extremist views. These donations weren’t made by accident. Who is he trying to kid? That is so depressing.

My final thoughts on this terrifying, draining topic can be perfectly summed up by Ian Silverii, ProgressNow Colorado’s executive director:

At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history.

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Google: Year in Search 2016

I’m not crying, you are…

Wow, 2016 has been the worst year for humanity during my lifetime. I’ve cried more tears over the destruction of lives (emotionally and physically) than I have over my own personal challenges this year.

2016 was the first time in my life that I questioned whether I really wanted children (this is coming from someone who’s wanted nothing but that since I can remember) – whether I wanted to ever create a human being and bring them into a world where we are all still so divided. Not just a handful of us, like I thought it was – there are a lot of people out there who believe that certain groups of people are better than others. Thousands and thousands of them.
I’ve lived my life with the reassurance that bigoted people are idiots who live in a tiny bubble with a small group of other morons, mainly due to my educational background family and friends. The revelation that we actually haven’t progressed as a society as much as I assumed we had has left my heart broken and my hope for humanity shattered into a million tiny pieces.

It’s draining and it’s tough voicing my opinion and trying to make a difference when people don’t truly care. Something I’ve also learnt over the last few years is that there’s a huge difference between ‘caring’ and ‘doing’ – we can’t possibly defeat the likes of homophobes and racists by saying “I have a black friend”, “I went to gay pride” – you have to fight. You have to stand up and say “NO!” – you have to correct people and educate people. We may be fast approaching 2017, but sadly we’ve not actually made much progress…
I don’t know what it will take to shake people into realising that sharing a Facebook post won’t stop a suicide from homophobic bullying or a young black man being shot. What I know is that if you’re reading this, you have access to 2 of the most powerful things right now: your voice and the internet. USE THEM!

“Love is out there. Search on”

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GLAAD: Trump Accountability Project

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is one of the many LGBT+ organisations I support, and am very fond of, not only because they are a non-governmental (and therefore non-profit) organisation, but also because of their purpose – GLAAD is a media monitoring organisation founded by LGBT people in the media. Their aim is to tackle tough LGBT issues and consequently create a narrative that leads to cultural change.

GLAAD has taken the open homophobic and transphobic statements made by republicans very seriously, and used this information to create ‘The Trump Accountability Project (TAP)’, “a resource for journalists, editors, and other news makers reporting on the Trump administration, which catalogues the anti-LGBTQ statements and actions of President-elect Donald Trump and those in his circle.”
The aim of TAP is to hold those on Trump’s team accountable for their hate speech, stemming from GLAAD’s original project ‘Commentator Accountability Project’ (CAP) which aims to bring anti-LGBT statements to life, putting information about anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, journalists and editors. Similarly to this project, GLAAD aims to do the following with TAP:

…Use first-hand statements, video, and/or audio to document the animus displayed by people being appointed into positions of power in the U.S. government. GLAAD will update the following profiles with new statements that disparage LGBTQ people, women, Muslims, Immigrants, and many others. GLAAD will also share this information with reporters, journalists, producers, activists, and fellow organisations each time they make headlines anew.

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What a great project. It’s a shame how targeting works on social media, as Trump supporters probably would never see these types of articles and projects on their feeds (not that it would necessarily change their minds). The US election really opened my eyes to targeted ads and news feed items, especially on Facebook…
Now listen up. Organisations like GLAAD can’t exist without donations, so please reach into your privileged pockets and donate towards an amazing cause – love, acceptance and unity! Pretty please!

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Hillary Clinton for POTUS: Role Models

This ad wasn’t enough to open peoples’ eyes to the behaviour and hate-speech projected onto citizens of the USA by Trump. Yet in the aftermath of the US election this election campaign for Clinton seems more prevalent than ever. The ad is perturbed and dark, because it’s real – it’s scary, it’s disconcerting, and children are watching. Children are also far more susceptible, intelligent and aware than we realise.

Agency Droga5 created this ad for Clinton’s campaign based on the discovery that many parents were worried about letting their children watch the US election debates. The message is translated through this eery, very real campaign, communicating that parents were concerned about the potentially negative or inappropriate things their kids would hear from now President-elect Donald Trump.

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Airbnb: Post-Election Ad

What does it mean to accept?
To open your heart and home to a stranger, who looks different than you, thinks differently, has a completely foreign lifestyle, or a birthplace from another part of the globe?
Airbnb is asking everyone on our platform to accept our community commitment.
Which means discrimination on the part of any individual won’t be tolerated.
And that inclusivity is the only way forward.

In a short film, Airbnb (produced in-house) shows numerous faces from all different backgrounds as part of the Community Commitment campaign. Resonating the recent political tragedy that saw a bigot elected as the Leader of the “Free World”, Airbnb have made users sign this nondiscrimination pledge:

I agree to treat everyone in the Airbnb community—regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age—with respect, and without judgment or bias.

Fun Fact:
As a huge LGBT ally I instantly spotted Nya Cruz from FuseTV’s ‘Transcendent’ – a reality TV show/documentary series that follows the lives on trans* women trying to make it in showbiz, at a club called Asia SF. Interestingly, Nya recently shamed Uber for the highly offensive transphobic abuse she received by drivers during a $6 Uber ride. She bravely posted the e-mail sent to Uber on Instagram, shaming the drivers involved. Perhaps this is Nya’s “f*ck you” to Uber, and a not-so-subtly hint at how customers should be treated.

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A message to Trump supporters, from Ben & Jerry’s: One Sweet World

Here at Ben & Jerry’s, we’re concerned that the dominant message we see in society today is one of division. Whether it’s televised political debates or newspaper headlines, it’s sometimes easy to think the world is becoming increasingly divided. So, we’ve been thinking about how we can amplify a message of unity & love using the thing we know best… ice cream! Say hello to East Coneville!

Agency Nice and Serious created this heartwarming campaign for Ben & Jerry’s Europe after the US election results left the world in tears. The Leader Lemon’s leaf ‘hair’ reminds me of a certain someone’s iconic hairstyle…

Ben & Jerry’s is a brand that has always proudly maintained liberal values, and whilst most brands stay away from expressing political views, they have never been afraid to stand up for what’s right – in 2009, they celebrated the legalisation of gay marriage in Vermont by releasing ‘Hubby Hubby’, a supportive rename of its ‘Chubby Hubby’ ice cream.

The video contains a tone of hidden messages relating to the division and prejudice Trump’s campaign has created, such as “Zest is Best” and “Go Home!”. The dejected cherry is left furious (like millions of us all over the world) and intimidated, but is eventually welcomed by a kind Lemon, offering to share music followed by fake tweets such as “Coneville welcomes all flavours! #BetterTogether” (N.B. the LGBT flags!)

Anyone notice the name of the park ‘Rosa Park’? I’m not crying, you are.

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Donald Trump Made Me Cry: What His Leadership Will Do to the LGBT+ Community

This morning I woke up after having a wonderful dream that Hillary Clinton had won the US election. It took me half an hour to nervously scroll through Twitter and news websites to confirm in my panicked and confused mind that this was no dream – but an absolute nightmare.
Since 7:30am I have thought of nothing else. Despite not being American and having no personal ties to America, Trump’s words and beliefs have so deeply affected me. Why? Because I am a passionate activist – I have dedicated so much time an effort trying my best to spread equality, peace, love and tolerance in a world that is constantly being challenged by bigots. If you know me personally or have read a lot of my blog posts, you’ll know that the majority of my beliefs in equality surround the LGBT+ community. This is an incredibly important issue to me, and today has left me immensely fearing for this community.

Aside from every other hellish comment Trump has made about women, disabled people, immigrants, blacks and latinos (and everything other than a straight white male), this blog is going to be about the affect Trump’s power will have over the LGBT+ community not just in America, but the whole world.
When Trump officially takes over in January, it will be in the first time since 2005 that the Republicans will have full control of both the executive and the legislature. The Republican Platform passed earlier this year contained some of the most anti-LGBT plans in years. Topics mentioned were same-sex adoption and parenting, opposing a ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy, and lawmakers who’ve drawn up bills affirming ‘religious freedom’ exemptions from anti-discrimination laws. Additionally, Trump hasn’t released a policy plan on LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS, and I don’t believe he will.
The list goes on and on and on… Donald Trump signed a Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, permitting forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion, meaning that he will legalise religious discrimination against LGBT people in these sectors: employment, retail, healthcare – therefore banning the government from intervening. Therefore, the Democrat-backed Equality Act – a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to finally outlaw discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation on a federal level – will never happen under his ruling. This is devastating news for the community all over the world.

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A list of Supreme Court candidates released by Trump contains only anti-LGBT conservatives. This includes the vile and intolerable Vice President Mike Pence, who confirmed that he will be rolling back Barack Obama’s groundbreaking equality act and marriage laws. Imagine someone after President Lincoln rolling back slavery laws after they’d been imposed. There is no difference. We’re living a civil liberties nightmare of the 21st century.
Mike Pence confirmed his intentions to turn back time on a radio show last week claiming that his “Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution” in an anti-LGBT evangelical tirade…

This is such an example of an administration that seems to have… there’s no area of our lives too small for them to want to regulate, no aspect of our constitution too large for them to ignore. Donald Trump and I both believe these questions can be resolved with common sense at the local level. These issues are resolved in the state of Indiana whenever they come up, and they should be resolved, for the safety and wellbeing of our children first and foremost, their privacy and rights, and with common sense. Donald Trump and I simply believe all of these issues are best resolved at the state level, by communities. Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools. It’s just one more example of the heavy hand of this administration, and Donald Trump and I will stand by that common-sense people that when it comes to our kids, and the operation of our schools, those decisions should be made at the local level. Washington DC has no business imposing its bill and its values on communities around the nation. No-one should fear persecution because of their deeply-held religious beliefs. I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order. The Trump-Pence administration will be dedicated to preserving the liberties of our people, including the freedom of religion that’s enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

This man is everything I despise. He has even suggested that HIV prevention funding be used elsewhere to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy (yes, you ready that correctly – gay-f*cking-cure). Also, last month it was uncovered that Pence approved extreme anti-LGBT articles when he was the head of the Indiana Policy Review journal in the 1990s. These views included the claim that being gay is a choice and an illness:

The more extreme of the gay movement consider themselves members of a sexual determined political party. Homosexuals are not as a group able bodied. They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle.

My head hurts and my heart hurts. I cried all this morning and I’m struggling not to break down writing this. I cannot comprehend how people still exist in this world who hold the believe that LGBT people are diseased. It is pure insanity.
I thought that people like Trump and Pence died out before my generation, but it goes to show how much work we actually have to do. I’ve never been surprised by the extreme views of Trump and his party, but I was stunned and sickened that half of the USA agree with him too. How have we allowed this to happen?!
Unfortunately, I believe this is the beginning of a terrible, disturbing snowball effect that will influence other evangelical countries, including the anti-LGBT Russian government. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve most likely seen the gay-bashing videos taken in Russia where men use fake Grindr profiles to meet up with gay men to attack, humiliate and film them. I bet every penny I own that this will happen in the USA over the next few months. I predict we will see a rise in bigotry, hate and violence, and we must stand up against this. I predict high suicide rates within the LGBT+ community.
People always ask me why I care so much about human rights, and gay rights in particular if I’m not gay, and this is exactly why – the battle is not over. We are not free, and that means my loved ones are under threat. A great deal of my closest friends are part of the LGBT+ community, and I cannot comprehend how distraught they must be, no matter what country they live in. I cannot allow my friends to exist in a world where they don’t feel comfortable or safe.

America has chosen guns over civil liberties. What a terrible time to be alive.

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Trump: one rule for me, one rule for everyone else

 

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I had to do an illustration for the US election.
10 hours until the vote closes, and there’s still something really bothering me… unless you’re in denial or living under a rock, it’s common knowledge that Trump and his supporters and racist. His immigration tactic stole the hearts of all the painfully stupid white Americans, and when asked about deportation (claims to deport 11m in 2 years) he said “those people are out. They’re gonna be out so fast your head will spin”. It fascinates me that Trump has chosen to demonise blacks and Latinos, for being illegal immigrants, yet his wife is from Yugaslavia. Melania went to the USA in 1996 and fully emigrated in 2001. She wasn’t born in the USA, she doesn’t “sound American” and it certainly took a few years to get her green card. So why are people from Slovakia, like Melania, not tarnished with the same “foreigner” brush like all the other victims of Trump’s small orange mouth? It probably helps that she’s white.
Before starting this illustration I did a little research of poor Melania. Why is she married to this animal and why is she an exception to his xenophobic rules?! Other than “bigly”, Trump’s favourite word is “crook” – something he likes to use not just to describe Clinton, but also a lot of the “hombres” in the USA. It turns out that his own wife is a not only an immigrant but also a crook! Melania’s website falsely claimed for more than a decade that she had a degree in architecture and design from the University of Ljubljana. Her biography in the 2016 Republican National Convention official program also incorrectly stated that she had obtained a degree in Slovenia. She has lied about her education for her own financial and personal gain.

It deeply concerns me that half of the USA doesn’t see the hypocrisy in everything Trump says. His wife is a liar who made false claims. His wife is not a US born citizen. Yet Trump expresses an immense hate for those exact people. This man spews nothing but hate and division, and simply cannot be in charge of the USA, otherwise the entire world will be under threat. I’m scared for tomorrow.

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Jewish Grandparents: it’s time to defeat Donald Trump

During Barack Obama’s Election (2008), comedian Sara Silverman encouraged young Jews to convince their grandparents to vote for Obama. Now, the tables have turned and it’s the hilarious Jewish grandparents who are taking to the stand (or the camera) to make the American millennials vote for Hillary Clinton. Bend the Arc Jewish Action’s national campaign is part of the We’ve Seen This Before (referencing Nazi Germany) campaign, which encourages the younger generation to get out and vote.

Whilst the first half of the video contains a more serious discussion regarding Trump’s racist bigotry, and the links between these narcissistic views and the Nazis, the second half of the video contains a hilarious series of threats from the future ghosts of grandma and grandpa:

If you don’t vote – if you don’t vote for Hillary – and that crazy Trump man is elected – I’ll haunt you when I die.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the video:

My ghost will make sure that the kale in your fridge will rot twice as fast.

I will haunt your Tindr and only let you swipe right on the rabbi’s daughters.

When you’re having a dinner party, my ghost will come down and say something racist. But if you’re voting for Trump you probably don’t care.

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