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EDM producer Pierce Fulton dies at age 28 following ‘tragic struggle with his mental health’

EDM producer Pierce Fulton dies at age 28 following ‘tragic struggle with his mental health’
EDM producer Pierce Fulton dies at age 28 following ‘tragic struggle with his mental health’


EDM producer Pierce Fulton dies at age 28 following ‘tragic struggle with his mental health’

Electronic producer Pierce Fulton died at age 28 on Thursday night following a ‘tragic struggle with his mental health.’ 

The DJ’s older brother Griffith announced the devastating news in a heart-wrenching statement across Pierce’s social media accounts on Monday. 

‘It breaks my heart to share with you that Pierce passed away on Thursday evening following a tragic struggle with his mental health,’ he began in a lengthy tweet. 

The family did not reveal Pierce’s cause of death. 

Gone too soon: Electronic producer Pierce Fulton died at age 28 on Thursday evening following a 'tragic struggle with his mental health' (seen in 2015)

Gone too soon: Electronic producer Pierce Fulton died at age 28 on Thursday evening following a ‘tragic struggle with his mental health’ (seen in 2015)

He continued: ‘Pierce was so incredibly full of life, love & unimaginable creativity. He was kind, caring, thoughtful, silly & sweet. The most magical person that we were all so blessed to know, hear & see.’ 

Griff went on to describe Pierce as ‘an expert at absolutely anything he set his mind to’ and marveled over his ‘incredible ability to retain knowledge unlike anyone’ else in the world.

‘The only word that truly can describe his abilities is genius,’ the late star’s sibling wrote. ‘He could captivate a room of strangers in the blink of an eye with only one hope – to make everyone feel loved, comfortable & welcomed.’

Tragedy: The DJ's older brother Griff announced the devastating news in a heart-wrenching statement across Pierce's social media accounts on Monday; pictured in 2015

Tragedy: The DJ’s older brother Griff announced the devastating news in a heart-wrenching statement across Pierce’s social media accounts on Monday; pictured in 2015

Griff added: ‘He traveled the globe for the better part of a decade doing what he loved & cemented powerful friendships with so many wonderful people along the way, accomplishing more in his career in music than most could dream to accomplish in a lifetime.’

‘He loved you all so much & wanted to give you everything he had; and he had so much to give,’ the grieving brother wrote, before noting that the past year has been ‘an incredibly difficult time for everyone.’

Griff encouraged others, who are or know someone struggling, to ‘take their intuition seriously’ and reach out for help. 

'It breaks my heart to share with you that Pierce passed away on Thursday evening following a tragic struggle with his mental health,' he began in a lengthy tweet

‘It breaks my heart to share with you that Pierce passed away on Thursday evening following a tragic struggle with his mental health,’ he began in a lengthy tweet

Heart-wrenching: He continued: 'Pierce was so incredibly full of life, love & unimaginable creativity. He was kind, caring, thoughtful, silly & sweet. The most magical person that we were all so blessed to know, hear & see'

Heart-wrenching: He continued: ‘Pierce was so incredibly full of life, love & unimaginable creativity. He was kind, caring, thoughtful, silly & sweet. The most magical person that we were all so blessed to know, hear & see’

‘Each and every one of you matters and are loved more than you can ever know,’ he stated. ‘I ask that all of you focus your energy toward the future, towards making a difference through love and compassion.’

The family’s statement also thanked ‘everyone out there who listened to’ Pierce’s music, purchased tickets to his shows and danced with him at concerts. 

‘To everyone out there who was lucky enough to cross paths with him at any point in life & made him feel loved, thank you,’ they concluded. 

Beloved: Griff went on to describe Pierce as 'an expert at absolutely anything he set his mind to' and marveled over his 'incredible ability to retain knowledge unlike anyone' else in the world (seen in 2016)

Beloved: Griff went on to describe Pierce as ‘an expert at absolutely anything he set his mind to’ and marveled over his ‘incredible ability to retain knowledge unlike anyone’ else in the world (seen in 2016)

Fans are being encouraged to email any condolences, photos, notes or videos with Pierce over the years to his family to the email address pierce@piercefulton.com. 

In addition to his brother, Pierce is also survived by his mother Brook, father Mike, sister Addie and wife Anastasia. 

They plan on devoting their time to starting an organization to create real and ‘lasting positive change’ in Pierce’s memory. 

'Each and every one of you matters and are loved more than you can ever know,' he stated. 'I ask that all of you focus your energy toward the future, towards making a difference through love and compassion' (Pierce seen in 2015

‘Each and every one of you matters and are loved more than you can ever know,’ he stated. ‘I ask that all of you focus your energy toward the future, towards making a difference through love and compassion’ (Pierce seen in 2015



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Singer Tank reveals that he has been losing his hearing in both ears and experiencing vertigo

Singer Tank reveals that he has been losing his hearing in both ears and experiencing vertigo
Singer Tank reveals that he has been losing his hearing in both ears and experiencing vertigo


Singer Tank says he’s losing his hearing and has been diagnosed with a ‘very severe case of vertigo’: ‘It came out of nowhere’

R&B singer Tank revealed that he has been going deaf and was recently diagnosed with what he described as a ‘very severe case of vertigo.’

The 45-year-old Maybe I Deserve songwriter made the announcements public through Instagram videos on Wednesday and Friday, where he addressed his fans’ concerns about his health.

The hitmaker, whose real name is Durrell Babbs, noted in both clips that he was dedicated to remaining optimistic about his situation and would continue to focus on his well-being for the foreseeable future.

Getting the word out: R&B singer Tank revealed that he has been going deaf and was recently diagnosed with a 'severe case of vertigo' in a pair of videos shared to his Instagram account on Wednesday and Friday

Getting the word out: R&B singer Tank revealed that he has been going deaf and was recently diagnosed with a ‘severe case of vertigo’ in a pair of videos shared to his Instagram account on Wednesday and Friday

‘I’m going through something right now and I want to use my situation to encourage your situation.’ he began in his first video.

The Please Don’t Go singer then gave his fans specifics about his medical situation and expressed that he did not understand the cause of the symptoms he was experiencing. 

‘I’m going completely deaf in my right ear and I’m kind of losing sound in my left, I’m dizzy and I can’t walk a straight line. All of this [came] from out of nowhere, don’t know how or why,’ he said. 

He went on to reassure his followers that he was taking his state of health in stride and that he would keep pushing to live his life as best as he could. 

Unclear causes: In his first video, the When We singer expressed that his symptoms came 'from out of nowhere'; he is pictured in October of 2020

Unclear causes: In his first video, the When We singer expressed that his symptoms came ‘from out of nowhere’; he is pictured in October of 2020

Fighting through it: Although he acknowledged the severity of his health issues, Tank told his followers that he was determined to remain optimistic

Fighting through it: Although he acknowledged the severity of his health issues, Tank told his followers that he was determined to remain optimistic 

‘It still hasn’t given me a reason to give up. It still hasn’t given me a reason to stop feeling like I can do or be everything that I’ve set out to be. The goals are still the same,’ he said.

In his second video, the R&B artist spoke in greater detail about his diagnosis and let his viewers know that his medical team had pinpointed a condition to focus on. 

‘We’re treating it now as a very severe case of vertigo with little additives here and there,’ he revealed. 

The singer also requested that his fans show him all the support they can during his process of recovery and noted that, although he was not in the best of shape physically, he was still enthusiastic about his life. 

Remaining optimistic: The Born Again Virgin actor that the situation regarding his health 'hasn't given me a reason to give up'

Remaining optimistic: The Born Again Virgin actor that the situation regarding his health ‘hasn’t given me a reason to give up’

Specifically, the Born Again Virgin actor asked his followers not to ‘wait until I’m deaf or in a wheelchair cause I can’t walk in a straight line. I want to be able to celebrate and dance, right now!’ 

Tank concluded his second message by expressing his desire to see more positive feelings and affection in the world, especially among his fans and their loved ones.

‘I think we have to do more of appreciating us in the moment…make that extra effort to let your brother or sister know that they are appreciated. Let them hear that, let them feel that,’ he remarked.

Staying strong: Tank also spoke about his career and expressed that his 'goals are still the same'; he is seen with his wife, Zena Foster, in 2018

Staying strong: Tank also spoke about his career and expressed that his ‘goals are still the same’; he is seen with his wife, Zena Foster, in 2018

The musician began his career by serving as a backup singer for Ginuwine before he released his debut solo album, entitled Force Of Nature, in 2001.

He went on to put out eight more records, with his most recent full-length studio effort, Elevation, arriving in 2019.

Tank has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards over the course of his career, and his collaborative album with Tyrese Gibson and Ginuwine, entitled Three Kings, was put up for the Best R&B Album distinction in 2014.

Serious work: The singer has released nine studio albums, with his most recent arriving in 2019; he is seen performing in 2018

Serious work: The singer has released nine studio albums, with his most recent arriving in 2019; he is seen performing in 2018



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Real Housewives Of Dallas star Tiffany Moon not leaving show after Kameron Westcott’s racist attacks

Real Housewives Of Dallas star Tiffany Moon not leaving show after Kameron Westcott’s racist attacks
Real Housewives Of Dallas star Tiffany Moon not leaving show after Kameron Westcott’s racist attacks


Real Housewives Of Dallas star Tiffany Moon is not leaving the Bravo reality series after castmates Kameron and Court Westcott’s racist attacks despite a change in her Instagram profile saying otherwise.

The 36-year-old reality television star is staying put after her first season on the show even though she changed her social media on Friday to ‘Previous cast member of RHOD.’ 

‘The rumors of her leaving the show are not true,’ her publicist told Entertainment Tonight, shutting down fan speculation that she called it quits.

Staying put: Real Housewives of Dallas star Tiffany Moon is not leaving the Bravo reality series, despite a change in her Instagram profile saying otherwise

Staying put: Real Housewives of Dallas star Tiffany Moon is not leaving the Bravo reality series, despite a change in her Instagram profile saying otherwise

The doctor also fueled the rumor mill with a photo added to her Twitter account including the caption: ‘Good morning everyone. It’s time for a change. Have a wonderful day!’

She then shared a black and white snap on Instagram with the equally cryptic message: ‘Do not let the darkness of others dim your light.’

However, the mother-of-two changed her profile back to reading ‘Season 5 Cast Member RHOD’ hours later, leaving fans confused.

Bravo has yet to comment on the matter, but the back-and-forth came days after the show’s fifth season reunion finished airing.

Confusion: The 36-year-old reality television star is staying put after her first season on the show even though she changed her social media on Friday to 'Previous cast member of RHOD'

Confusion: The 36-year-old reality television star is staying put after her first season on the show even though she changed her social media on Friday to ‘Previous cast member of RHOD’

Reumors: 'The rumors of her leaving the show are not true,' her publicist told Entertainment Tonight , shutting down fan speculation that she called it quits

Reumors: ‘The rumors of her leaving the show are not true,’ her publicist told Entertainment Tonight , shutting down fan speculation that she called it quits

The two-part special saw things get heated between Tiffany and her costar Kameron Westcott, 38.

Their pointed exchanges included accusations of racism on both sides. 

Kameron’s family has also been accused of tweeting, and in some cases deleting, offensive comments directly aimed the anesthesiologist.

One removed message that sparked a large response online claimed that anti-racism was a form of racism. 

Aftermath: The back-and-forth came days after the show's fifth season reunion came to a close

Accusations: The two-part special saw things get heated between Tiffany and her costar Kameron Westcott, 38, including accusations of racism

Accusations: The back-and-forth came days after the show’s fifth season reunion came to a close, which saw things get heated between Tiffany and her costar Kameron Westcott, 38,  including accusations of racism

Tiffany responded to the comments with a lengthy statement from her lawyer: ‘The insinuations the Westcotts made in those tweets are reckless, defamatory and appalling.’ 

‘Dr. Moon is a professional in every sense of the word and is deserving of the excellent reputation that she’s earned as a physician and as a hard working mother,’ Andrew B. Brettler of Lavely & Singer told ET.

‘These attacks on her character will not be tolerated. The Westcotts would be well advised to keep mentions of Dr. Moon out of their social media feeds.’

Meanwhile, Bravo has come to Tiffany’s defense in the matter, posting a statement on their Instagram account on Friday.

Response: Tiffany responded to the comments with a lengthy statement from her lawyer: 'The insinuations the Westcotts made in those tweets are reckless, defamatory and appalling'

Response: Tiffany responded to the comments with a lengthy statement from her lawyer: ‘The insinuations the Westcotts made in those tweets are reckless, defamatory and appalling’

Support: Bravo has come to Tiffany's defense in the matter, posting a statement on their Instagram account on Friday

Support: Bravo has come to Tiffany’s defense in the matter, posting a statement on their Instagram account on Friday

‘Bravo strongly supports the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Anti-racism is, in fact, not a form of racism and the network stands by Dr. Tiffany Moon and her advocacy against racism and violence,’ read the message, which was also shared on the channel’s Stories.

The latest developments come after original cast member Brandi Redmond announced that she was leaving the series following a controversial video she posted in 2017 that seemingly mocked the Asian community.

She broke the news on Instagram in February after facing endless backlash for the resurfaced clip. 

Her costar Stephanie Hollman told the outlet that same month that she thought the incident would be the final straw for Brandi. 

Previous racism: The latest developments come after original cast member Brandi Redmond announced that she was leaving the series following a controversial video she posted in 2017 that seemingly mocked the Asian community; seen in 2018

Previous racism: The latest developments come after original cast member Brandi Redmond announced that she was leaving the series following a controversial video she posted in 2017 that seemingly mocked the Asian community; seen in 2018

Final straw: Costar Stephanie Hollman told the outlet that same month that she thought the incident would be the final straw for Brandi; the Season Four cast is seen in 2020

Final straw: Costar Stephanie Hollman told the outlet that same month that she thought the incident would be the final straw for Brandi; the Season Four cast is seen in 2020

‘I was surprised she came back this year at some points because she struggled with it. Like, “Do I come back? Do I walk away?” It’s a hard thing, I think, for her to put out there, and she knew it would bring up a lot of things and it was a tough decision for her to make to come back,’ she said.

‘I don’t know if she’s always glad she did, but I think she’s glad she stared it in the face and was at least able to apologize to the audience and people she offended,’ Stephanie added. 

As for Tiffany, she previously told People that she had yet to decide if she would sign on for a second season of the hit program.

‘Something would have to change… I cannot do the show if everything is exactly the same as it was this year. I am still working four days a week. My children are now a little bit more demanding than they were when they were younger. Something’s gonna have to give. Like, I only have 24 hours in a day,’ she explained.

Undecided: As for Tiffany, she previously told People that she had yet to decide if she would sign on for a second season of the hit program

Undecided: As for Tiffany, she previously told People that she had yet to decide if she would sign on for a second season of the hit program





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Bridgerton prequel series about ‘young Queen Charlotte’ in the works with Shonda Rhimes writing

Bridgerton prequel series about ‘young Queen Charlotte’ in the works with Shonda Rhimes writing
Bridgerton prequel series about ‘young Queen Charlotte’ in the works with Shonda Rhimes writing


This is a scoop worthy of Lady Whistledown!

A Bridgerton prequel series ‘based on the origins of Queen Charlotte’ is in the pipeline at Netflix from creator Shonda Rhimes, Deadline reported on Friday.

In the show, Queen Charlotte, played by 51-year-old actress Golda Rosheuvel, anointed Daphne Bridgerton the ‘diamond of the season’ setting the events with the Duke of Hastings in motion. 

Her majesty: A Bridgerton prequel series 'based on the origins of Queen Charlotte' is in the pipeline at Netflix from creator Shonda Rhimes, Deadline reported on Friday

Her majesty: A Bridgerton prequel series ‘based on the origins of Queen Charlotte’ is in the pipeline at Netflix from creator Shonda Rhimes, Deadline reported on Friday

Netflix and Shondaland (Shonda Rhimes’ production company) are working on a limited prequel series set in the Bridgerton universe, according to Deadline.

The story is reportedly being written by Rhimes herself will follow the origins of a young Queen Charlotte who grows up to be King George III’s wife.

It will also include the origins of other characters featured in Bridgerton, namely Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury.  

‘Many viewers had never known the story of Queen Charlotte before Bridgerton brought her to the world, and I’m thrilled this new series will further expand her story and the world of Bridgerton,’ Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria told Deadline. 

'Many viewers had never known the story of Queen Charlotte before Bridgerton brought her to the world, and I'm thrilled this new series will further expand her story and the world of Bridgerton,' Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria told Deadline.

‘Many viewers had never known the story of Queen Charlotte before Bridgerton brought her to the world, and I’m thrilled this new series will further expand her story and the world of Bridgerton,’ Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria told Deadline.

Adding: ‘Shonda and her team are thoughtfully building out the Bridgerton universe so they can keep delivering for the fans with the same quality and style they love. And by planning and prepping all the upcoming seasons now, we also hope to keep up a pace that will keep even the most insatiable viewers totally fulfilled.’  

In an attempt to keep up that break-neck pace of production, Deadline also reported that Jess Brownell was being brought on as showrunner for seasons three and four of Bridgerton. 

Meanwhile, Chris Van Dusen, who served in the role for season one will stay on board in the same capacity for season two. 

Ruler of the roost: In the show, Queen Charlotte, played by 51-year-old actress Golda Rosheuvel, anointed Daphne Bridgerton the 'diamond of the season' setting the events with the Duke of Hastings in motion

Ruler of the roost: In the show, Queen Charlotte, played by 51-year-old actress Golda Rosheuvel, anointed Daphne Bridgerton the ‘diamond of the season’ setting the events with the Duke of Hastings in motion

‘It’s been incredibly rewarding working alongside Shonda, Betsy, and Chris Van Dusen on the first two seasons of Bridgerton,’ Brownell told the outlet. ‘And now, as these beloved characters are entrusted to me, I cannot wait to lend my unique vision to the next two seasons. I feel so fortunate to have found a home at Shondaland and to have the support of Shonda and Betsy as I move forward into this new chapter.’ 

The news of a prequel comes after the Regency era juggernaut was renewed through season four, with each season focusing on the love affairs of a different Bridgerton sibling.

Season one, which debuted during Christmas time, was an instant hit, breaking viewership records for Netflix by being watched in 82 million households within the first month of streaming.

Behind the camera: The story is reportedly being written by Rhimes herself will follow the origin story of a young Queen Charlotte who grows up to be King George III's wife

Behind the camera: The story is reportedly being written by Rhimes herself will follow the origin story of a young Queen Charlotte who grows up to be King George III’s wife

It followed the love affair – and sexual hurdles – between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) while an anonymous Gossip Girl-esque writer covered the salacious gossip in a popular newsletter (voiced by Julie Andrews.)  

Fans were apoplectic after season one when it was announced last month that Rege-Jean Page would not be reprising his role as Simon Basset.

As the seasons will follow a different Bridgerton sibling, Page had signed on for a ‘one-season deal’.

Discussing the fan reaction to Regé-Jean’s departure and whether it has made them consider adding a clause to the stars’ contracts so they can make cameos in future series, boss Shonda Rhimes and Netflix’s Bela Bajaria recently ruled out the decision. 

Backstory: It will also include the origins of other characters featured in Bridgerton, namely Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury

Backstory: It will also include the origins of other characters featured in Bridgerton, namely Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury

Bridgerton’s executive producer Shonda, 51, told The Hollywood Reporter: ‘I was just excited about the idea of being able to tell a complete romantic tale that has an end.

‘Where you’re not finding 14 other reasons why the couple can’t be together or frankly having Regé stand in the background of somebody else’s romance. That doesn’t make sense.’

The screenwriter added: ‘I’m so surprised that everybody is [losing it over a character we’ve watched] for eight episodes leaving. But obviously Regé is an amazing actor and he did an amazing thing and people responded.’

Shonda said that she was ‘surprised’ as the nature of Bridgerton, which has recently been renewed for series three and four, is ‘simply’ focusing on a different couple each series.

A hit: Season one, which debuted during Christmas time, was an instant hit, breaking viewership records for Netflix by being watched in 82 million households within the first month of streaming

A hit: Season one, which debuted during Christmas time, was an instant hit, breaking viewership records for Netflix by being watched in 82 million households within the first month of streaming



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‘Stop the Hatred’ by MC Jin and Wyclef Jean Aims to Send a Message of Black-Asian Solidarity

‘Stop the Hatred’ by MC Jin and Wyclef Jean Aims to Send a Message of Black-Asian Solidarity
‘Stop the Hatred’ by MC Jin and Wyclef Jean Aims to Send a Message of Black-Asian Solidarity


 

On March 21, just days after eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed in the Atlanta-area shootings, thousands gathered at Columbus Park in Manhattan for a rally against anti-Asian violence. Activists took turns addressing the surge in hate crimes and hate incidents toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, when an 8-year-old stepped onto the stage. “Stop the hatred!” Chance yelled into the mic. Chance, it turned out, was well-positioned to be a muse: the son of rap artist MC Jin, his three words would become the inspiration for—and the title of—his father’s latest track.

“Stop the Hatred,” written in response to ongoing anti-Asian attacks, is a collaboration between Jin and Fugees alum Wyclef Jean that aims to send a message of unity between the AAPI and Black communities. The song was released at the start of the month, with a music video directed by filmmaker Bao Nguyen (Be Water) and produced in partnership with The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) debuting on May 13. Filmed in New York City’s Chinatown, where businesses have been heavily impacted since the pandemic began and multiple restaurants and stores have permanently closed, the music video features shots of multigenerational families from the AAPI community. Some stand side by side with their elders, while others hold up photos of their grandparents—in a nod to how many victims of recent attacks have been elderly people. Jin raps of his grandma’s passing last year: “Part of me sees grace in the fact that she’s not here/ As a grandson this statement’s a fact/ No elderly should ever be victim of such a heinous attack.” In another verse, Wyclef raps about George Floyd as scenes of protesters marching against police brutality play in the foreground. “Racism and hate against underrepresented communities can only be fought with unity,” Wyclef says in a press release.

These images of people of different races unifying on the streets to call for racial justice, much like that late March rally, capture the spirit of “Stop the Hatred.” The music video drops at a time when clips of attacks on Asian Americans, including instances in which the perpetrators are Black, continue to circulate online. AAPI community leaders have warned against statements that generalize about entire groups of people while calling attention to how communities of color have been historically pitted against each other in the U.S.—in part by the model minority myth.

“Solidarity between the AAPI and Black communities has always been important, but now more than ever,” Jin tells TIME in an email. “Although history has shown that there have been moments of unity, those instances may have unfortunately been outshadowed by the tension and conflict between the two groups.” The artist says he hopes healing will come from more dialogue and greater empathy “for each other’s histories as it pertains to discrimination and hatred.” He continues, “Although this song was born out of pain, hurt and tragedy, my hope is that it will encourage people to take part in productive conversations.”

Jaeson Ma, founder of East West Ventures, helped coordinate the collaboration between Jin and Wyclef and spoke of the significance of the music video in this moment. “I do think the fact that media is continually showing these crimes—these hate acts happening between the African and Asian American communities—it’s just so necessary that there is also a visual and a message from both communities to come together and say hey, we’re not about this,” he tells TIME. Ma says that rhetoric from Donald Trump, who used phrases like “Kung flu” to reference COVID-19, played a significant role in contributing to negative attitudes toward the Asian American community during the pandemic. “It was direct from a white man that came out and said, this is what it is—‘China virus,’” he says. “This did not come from the African and Asian American communities.”

“Stop the Hatred” echoes a sentiment of uniting to increase safety for AAPI and Black communities, and activists have discussed what putting that into action looks like in practical terms. One nuance of the discussion has arisen around policing as a response to anti-Asian attacks. Some have cautioned against calls for heavier policing because of police institutions’ history of targeting Black and brown people. When New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang—who Jin had created a music campaign in support of in April—took the stage at the March 21 rally, he spoke of increasing funding for the NYPD Asian Hate Crimes Task Force. His words were met with mixed response and a “defund the police” chant from the crowd. (Jin declined to comment on his support for Yang.)

In early May, TAAF—which is supporting “Stop the Hatred”—launched with $250 million from corporations and Asian American business leaders. The funding is the single largest philanthropic gift dedicated to Asian Americans, and is aimed at combating anti-Asian discrimination. TAAF’s focus areas include collecting more comprehensive data on attacks against AAPIs with the goal of informing policymakers, and helping develop school curricula that would teach AAPI history. “Asian Americans have been successful at being successful in this country, but Asian Americans have not been successful at being powerful in this country,” Ma says. “We don’t have the seats in the boardroom, we don’t have the seats in the Senate and the House, we don’t have the seats in media and entertainment in Hollywood.” He is hopeful that the launch of TAAF reflects a larger mobilization effort across the country and that the foundation’s partnership on “Stop the Hatred” signals a belief in the power of art. “This song to me, the timing of it is to be the anthem of this AAPI civil rights and justice movement,” Ma explains.

The final moments of the music video show the link to a page on TAAF that includes resources for reporting hate crimes (through Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Stop AAPI Hate) and bystander intervention training hosted by Hollaback!.

In addition to attacks on the AAPI community, “Stop the Hatred” also urges for an end to violence toward people of all races. “A hate crime against anyone is a hate crime against everyone,” Ma says.





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Comedian Patti Harrison Has Her First Leading Role—But She’s Not Looking to Stop Goofing Around

Comedian Patti Harrison Has Her First Leading Role—But She’s Not Looking to Stop Goofing Around
Comedian Patti Harrison Has Her First Leading Role—But She’s Not Looking to Stop Goofing Around


It’s the afternoon of May 11, the day that Patti Harrison’s new movie, Together Together, is releasing on VOD. She’s been in “a little brain fog,” she tells me from her home in East Los Angeles, the way she usually feels when her projects come out. How does she feel about seeing feedback about the new film? “I approach it the same way as when I watch a scary movie—I squint my eyes, or look in the margin.” And how is she feeling in general? “I’m having some bloating and stomach indigestion stuff, just in my house in my fart zone, really soaking it up and trying to be as relaxed as I can be.”

That we’re talking about digestive systems in the first five minutes of conversation is a little unusual, but Harrison makes it feel somewhat ordinary. The 30-year-old actor and comedian has a knack for finding the humor in the uncomfortable, talking about the gross-out “stuff” as a matter of fact. It’s a contrast to her role in Together Together as Anna, a young woman hired as the gestational surrogate for Matt, played by Ed Helms. Harrison describes Anna as a more grounded character than the lighter or more playful roles she’s had in the past. “A lot of the other things that I play are way more hammy or comedic roles. And this was definitely something that I wanted to make feel more real.”

In 2017, Harrison gained viral attention for her monologue responding to then-President Trump’s transgender military ban on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; two years later, TIME named her as one of a new class of writers and performers redefining comedy. Since then, she’s become ubiquitous, appearing in Shrill and Made for Love, and becoming the first openly transgender actor cast in a Disney animated movie in Raya and the Last Dragon, released earlier this year. Harrison talked to TIME about her latest role, her hopes for transgender characters in entertainment, and why she thinks Instagram is the least worst social media platform.

TIME: You’ve been called a scene-stealer for your appearances in several series and films. How does it feel to be in your first lead role in Together Together?

Harrison: It definitely is exciting and it’s nerve racking. I’ve never had to look at my face this much onscreen, which is its own hell. I’m trying not to over-obsess because I will get overwhelmed by anxiety if I do. I feel like I’m gonna look back on this moment and be like, Man, I wish I wasn’t so scatterbrained, scratching my eyes out about all this stuff, and I would have just enjoyed it.

What drew you to this story?

The log line of the script was really simple: a girl in her 20s becomes a surrogate for a middle-aged single guy. And I was like, it’s just gonna be some sh-tty rom-com that does a lot of gross things, and falls into a lot of these stomach-churning tropes I’ve seen a million times. When I read the script, it sets a lot of those things up and lays out those expectations, but as it went on, it was subverting a lot of those. I thought it was just so razor sharp, in this very gentle way. [Writer and director] Nikole Beckwith is like if you were being attacked by a bush baby that had like a box cutter—it’s a movie that’s adorable and has a kindness and care to it, but it also has this surgical sharpness and a criticism to it.

The film’s ending is left open and ambiguous. Do you think we have too many expectations of romantic comedies and how they should end?

I feel like the most controversial part of the movie is the ending. And I absolutely 100% agree with Nikole’s choice, I think it’s perfect. There are all of these structural expectations we have from watching movies in a genre that are so formulaic. A trope in romantic comedies is that storybook ending where every end is tied up in a bow and it feels great because they lived happily ever after. That’s not the story that Nicole’s interested in telling and is so far from the point of the movie. You can’t control how people interpret things once you put them out. With the ending, I think Nicole made the much more interesting choice, which I’m always for—I’m always pro-being challenging.

What was your relationship to romantic comedies as a viewer growing up?

There are so many rom-coms that I think are insane. But they’re the kind of movies that I put on when I need something that I know isn’t gonna horrify me before I go to sleep. You know it’s going to be low risk. For the most part, I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but I loved Forgetting Sarah Marshall growing up, While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle. I have seen a billion rom-coms, but the majority I’ve been hate-watching on purpose, to laugh at them and not with them.

Patti Harrison
Tiffany Roohani—Bleecker Street Ed Helms and Patti Harrison in “Together Together.”

You’ve done improv, stand-up, sketch, voice acting and more traditional film and TV roles now. Where do you feel most at home as a performer?

Comedy. I think that is just more familiar. Working on this movie has been an amazing experience and it has made me imagine doing more dramatic stuff, but that’s definitely a scarier prospect. Being a comedian is so fun, and there’s so much autonomy to it. I don’t want to be solely a dramatic actor. It’s such an important part of my quality of life to goof around and talk about my farts.

How would you describe your sense of humor?

I feel cringey to say it out loud. I would say I like absurd stuff, I like the silly stuff. I hope I actually get the cover of TIME, and my request would be to have the quote as “I like silly stuff.” I definitely have a dark sense of humor, and in ways I think that comes from having a lot of childhood trauma—a little bit, not fully. I’m trying to be lighter in my adult life, and trying not to dwell in dark comedic spaces. But that’s what I’ve been drawn to, up until now.

You recently won an Annie Award for writing an episode of Big Mouth featuring the storyline of a transgender teenager, Natalie. How do you feel about the impact of that?

It’s been nice to see people respond to it in a really positive way. It’s interesting to win an award for that, because the way scripts work, at least in that room, is that people get assigned episodes and ultimately there’s a big group of people working on each script together. There’s so much in it that is collaborative beyond just me and Andrew [Goldberg, the episode’s co-writer]. But I hope there’s more opportunities for trans characters in animated series, where they’re there beyond just to tell a story about them being trans. I hope there’s that opportunity for a character to be voiced by a trans actor and we may or may not know that character is trans, that it’s not important to their story. That is what I hope for the future, in general—not just in animation.

Your Instagram always makes me laugh. Do you see the platform as another outlet for performance? Has your relationship with it changed over the last year?

Having my Instagram account is what I think helped start my career. I think out of the three big social media accounts, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, Instagram is the least emotionally violent on you every day. I think they’re all extremely evil, but I think harassment on Instagram happens less. I’m trying to imagine how I can continue to be a successful comedian offline. So much of the industry has oriented towards social media. I want to get to the point where it has helped me enough where maybe I don’t need it, but I actually don’t necessarily feel like I’m at that point. The more followers that I get, the more stressful it is and the more criticism I get from random accounts. You’re opening yourself up to a bigger arena of people seeing your work.

With Together Together, it’s being marketed as this very wholesome movie, and the character I’m playing is very grounded. I know that it’s going to be some people’s introduction to me, and I just worry that my sense of humor online is pretty pornographic. Maybe that’s what I would say to answer your previous question—I’d like to redact my answer and say that I would describe my sense of humor as pornographic. I think that’s hard for some people to process and they make sure to tell me, and I’m trying to be better at just not paying it any mind. But sometimes I get really annoyed, and it gets to me, and then I have to go and turn off my phone, get a big whiff of my farts, and remember that I’m alive. You know, there’s other things to live for.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.



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ENTERTAINMENT

Meghan McCain Blasts Marjorie Taylor Greene For ‘Behaving Like An Animal’

Meghan McCain Blasts Marjorie Taylor Greene For ‘Behaving Like An Animal’
Meghan McCain Blasts Marjorie Taylor Greene For ‘Behaving Like An Animal’



Meghan McCain is sick of the antics of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and doesn’t care who knows it.

Except maybe the Georgia congresswoman.

On Friday, the resident conservative on “The View” went on Twitter to blast Greene for chasing down Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and, according to eyewitnesses, screaming at her.

In addition, CNN’s KFile reported that Greene previously tried to harass Ocasio-Cortez during a February 2019 visit to the New York Democrat’s office.

McCain wasn’t happy at Greene’s actions, and posted a tweet saying that the Georgia congresswoman was “behaving like an animal.”

McCain added that “harassing @AOC like this only gives democrats what they want which is to paint all of us like we’re psychotic barbarians!”

Although McCain’s tweet sounds like a scorched-earth statement, many Twitter users noted that the didn’t actually “at” Greene, which means the congresswoman might only see the tweet if she actively searches for her name (which actually may be a better use of her time than her current activities).

Some people praised McCain, but suggested she didn’t go far enough with her criticisms.

Others thought McCain was trying to have things both ways and stay in the good graces of the GOP while calling out Greene.





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