5 Hollywood Stories You See Everywhere (That Are Always BS)
Entertainment sites are facing a serious problem: There's a limited number of things that happen every day, but their readers will click on an infinite amount of articles, as long as someone or something vaguely famous is involved. The solution? Follow the grand Internet tradition of making shit up. Print a headline saying "Bill Murray killed and ate Miley Cyrus!" and watch as it gets 100,000 shares before either of their publicists can deny it.
Now, all of us have fallen for stories like these in the past, but there are some particularly egregious types of bullshit articles that should really be setting off our hogwash alarms by now. Starting with ...
Stop Saying The Simpsons Predicted Stuff
The Internet is 80 percent porn, 70 percent fanfic on Tumblr, and 90 percent inaccurate statistics. Whatever's left is made out of bullshit listicles about how some old Simpsons episode predicted today's events. Apparently, they foresaw Donald Trump: Angry Half-Chewed Orange Starburst For President 15 years before it happened:
They also predicted that Lisa would be an adult by 2010, so ...
But before you go proclaiming Matt Groening "King of the Psychics," consider this: That episode aired in 2000. Guess what lying, hypocritical moron announced he'd be running for President in 2000? No no, the other one. Yes, Trump said he'd run for President under the Reform Party in 2000 (and had been talking about it since 1987), meaning The Simpsons predicted precisely squat. And as far as them "predicting" that President Trump would destroy the country ... duhhhh. That's like predicting grass will be green, or that a diaper will be loaded with shit.
Can anthropomorphic loaded diapers even legally run for president?
And we do this all. The. Fucking. Time. Unless some fat yellow dude destroys an entire city by pressing the wrong button at the power plant, it's no big deal if real life imitates The Simpsons. It's a topical show with damn near 600 episodes under its quarter-century-old belt. Of course there's going to be overlap with reality -- which hasn't stopped sites like BuzzFeed from marveling over the matter. Let's review their mind-blowing discoveries:
So the Simpsons made an irradiated food joke, and now Japan's got irradiated fruit? That's not a new idea. If anything, the vegetation around Chernobyl predicted The Simpsons. Oh, and the deformed Japanese veggies were bullshit anyway. Off to a good start, BuzzFeed!
OK. So. In 2004, a bunch of Ohio voting machines glitched and accidentally gave George W. Bush 4,000 extra votes. In 2008, the Simpsons satirized that incident. In 2012, it happened again for real. And that's supposed to be a score for Homer and friends how? Just because your memory was crippled by all those '90s nostalgia GIF parades doesn't mean that the past suddenly didn't happen, BuzzFeed.
This is probably the closest one: They successfully predicted that somebody who works with wild animals would eventually get attacked by one. Impressive. What's next, claiming that The Simpsons predicted baseball players playing softball?
Arrrrghhh! Too late!
People Need To Chill About Idris Elba Playing James Bond
Eventually, Daniel Craig will stop being James Bond. And despite the fact that he's a totally outdated character, tradition dictates that we'll need a new one. One of the top names being bandied about is Idris Elba, who deviates from the Bond norm in one glaringly obvious way ...
"The world isn't ready for a Bond with facial hair. Sorry."
OK, there's also the race thing, an issue which Bond novelist Anthony Horowitz dealt with in the worst possible way. In an interview with The Daily Mail, he claimed that Elba would suck as Bond because he's "too street." The Internet responded by figuratively painting Horowitz's naked body gold and leaving him to asphyxiate.
Most were only scandalized to find out there are still Bond books, though (or books in general).
First off, this quote came from The Daily Mail, so rage-sharing it is like raging over something the bad guy said at WrestleMania. Even worse, all these headlines conveniently ignore where he named other black actors he'd prefer play Bond. Everybody's focused on "too rough" and "too street," while see-no-eviling the part where he recommended Hustle's Adrian Lester instead.
There's still a race issue at play here, of course -- but not in the overt, simplistic way that everybody seeing red took it as. It's deciding that black actors, who have proven their ability to play both suave and rough with equal tenacity, should only be one thing. Horowitz is typecasting Elba as a rough, street black man, and Lester as a suave, classy black man, and won't let them sit at each other's table. And nobody's talking about this except ... The Huffington Post? Really? Dear Internet: When BuzzFeed-Minus-Cat-GIFs is the voice of reason, it might be time to pay attention and rethink things.
Both because they're right on the money, and because it'll probably never happen again.
Ex-Bond Roger Moore got in similar hot water recently, accused of opposing Elba Bond over blackness. Moore himself had to clarify that he only said Bond should be 100 percent "English-English" -- his interviewer later edited it so it seemed like he was talking about Elba. But you know what? When Elba finally becomes Bond and blows everyone out of their seats, all this ridiculous talk of race, class, and who's street and who's not will disappear. Because it's the performance that matters, not the-
Wait ... it was all a rumor? He's NOT going to be Bond? There were never even talks of him being Bond, nothing but Daniel Craig dream-casting off the top of his head? We got all worked up over that? FUCK.
Every Celebrity Death Hoax Comes From The Same Source: Your Idiot Friends
The world lost the best/worst father in movie history last August when James Earl Jones sadly passed away, according to the Internet. The only person who didn't hear the news was James Earl Jones, who is still tweeting like normal. Yeah, it was another celebrity death hoax. So what happened? What crapbag news site yellow-journalism'd a beloved celebrity to an early grave this time?
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooot dead yet, guys."
None, as it turns out. The source is us. We fake-killed James Earl Jones, the same way we've fake-killed every other celebrity since the days of Netscape. We're not merely part of the problem; we're all of it.
The only source for Darth Vader's voice reuniting with the Force was the Woodward-and-Bernstein-approved paragon of journalism called FeedNewz. But FeedNewz isn't a fucking news site -- its real name is prank.link, a content creator where any random asshole can plug anybody's name into the generator and create a fake news story about them. When people clicked on the "James Earl Jones dies" link to learn how an 84-year-old man could possibly pass so suddenly, they got this instead:
"Also, his most famous line was 'I quit on you when you cleared out of Detroit with Willie the Pimp' ... from The Lion King."
GET IT? You thought a thing happened, but it didn't! Doesn't that tickle-torture your ribs? Here's another knee-slapper: Justin Bieber was raped and killed in Las Vegas ... except he wasn't! How gullible you must be, to think people die.
Don't worry, David Caruso is on the case.
But if FakeNewz sounds too shady for your phony death needs, perhaps you'd prefer a website that sounds an awful lot like a legitimate one? FakeAWish.com will kill any celebrity you like and report it under the name "Global Associated News," which is the biggest waste of an official-sounding name since Dr. Phil first called himself "Dr." Then there's MSMBC.co, where you create a fake death story (like this one for Arnold Schwarzenegger) complete with a link that looks exactly like MSNBC.com if you're both blindly clicking on everything and actually blind. And when somebody clicks on it, they're greeted not by a HAHA PWNED page, but a real-ish-looking news story that you can't read until you share it with your distant uncle and that guy you haven't talked to since college:
Or with no one, if you go with the Google+ option.
Alternatively, if using those sites is too much work, you can go with the absolute laziest option and create a "RIP [celebrity name]" Facebook page for someone who isn't in fact RIPing ... and then watch it grow inexplicably popular. Rowan "Johnny English" Atkinson, for example, has no fewer than two pre-posthumous Facebook pages, each with over 3,000 fans. For the sake of our species, we hope it's simply the same 3,000 who fell for the same thing twice.
Stop Pretending Everyone's Offended By Movies
Hey, remember when those Native American actors walked off the set of Adam Sandler's new movie? It seems they were outraged over all the gross inaccuracies, blatant stereotyping, lazy jokes, and other things that have never, ever been in an Adam Sandler movie.
"We thought we were signing up for something more sophisticated, like a male deodorant ad."
Notice how none of those headlines mention how many actors walked off the set, implying through omission that the number was "all of them"? Well, they did that for a reason: The real situation was way less volatile (and thus, more boring) than the hate-click media reported. According to one of the actors, only four out of 154 actors walked out, plus one consultant, leaving the rest to feel "betrayed" that they were being painted as "sell-outs" to the White Man. Oh, and another actor says they all saw the script beforehand, so those who quit probably should have seen the terribleness coming, even if they haven't been to a cinema since Big Daddy came out.
Precedent shows "pee-pee on your teepee" wasn't going to be a metaphor.
Then there's Mad Max: Fury Road and the supposed shitstorm it caused among Men's Rights Activists for daring to include women kicking ass:
"Feminists started all the wars," one anonymous member said.
Makes sense, right? Babies throw tantrums. MRAs are babies, so they're throwing tantrums. Except they weren't. This entire story came from one blog post on We Hunted The Mammoth, which centered around the anti-Furiosa furor on Return Of Kings, a site so viciously anti-woman even Al Bundy would yell at them to grow the fuck up. But RoK isn't a MRA site -- just some random cootiephobes -- and nowhere on Mammoth does it confuse the two. Every other site, desperate for traffic, did that.
Misogynists want her to grow hair and make babies and sandwiches, while MRAs want her to
stop destroying masculinity. And to grow hair and make babies and sandwiches.
Did legitimate Men's Rights Assbags hate Fury Road? Sure, because vagina. But they're not nearly smart enough to organize some massive boycott of a film $375 million worth of people saw anyway. Also, despite what leading MRA loudmouths fantasize about while jerking off with mini-tweezers, nobody was "paid to put [an MRA boycott story] in the press." It was lazy and biased, adjectives with which MRAs should be plenty familiar. And finally, we have the time the Noah movie threw every Christian into a hateful tizzy:
That's a lot of cheek not-turning.
A survey of over 5,000 people found a whopping 98 percent were tut-tutting the movie for bastardizing the Bible. One problem: That survey focused on "faith-driven consumers," and was organized by an ultra-religious group called ... FAITH DRIVEN CONSUMER. They urge boycotts of anything that disagrees with their interpretation of the Bible, and are the same company behind IStandWithPhil, a petition to reinstate that homophobic guy from Duck Dynasty. Even Family Feud surveys like "Name a body part that rhymes with 'eenis'" aren't that obviously slanted.
Nope, That Actor Didn't Confirm A Sequel To That Movie
You know how we've dumbed down "literally" and "irony" so morons can feel literate too? "I literally ate an entire pig yesterday, and ironically, I literally ate an entire pig today, too!" We're doing that crap with "confirm" now. Where once it meant "official news from an official source," it now means "anybody saying anything about anything."
Like these constant breaking news stories about a celebrity "confirming" a sequel to some film, when it turns out all they really said was "yeah it'd be cool to do that maybe." Recently, the Internet went bonkers over Keanu Reeves supposedly saying that Speed 3 was going to happen:
The biggest question now is: Which of the e's will they replace with a 3?
But no, Speed 3 isn't happening, for two reasons. Number one: Speed 2. Number two: Keanu was making a goddamn joke. Some reporter asked him about Speed 3, and he said, "Oh my god, Speed 3: Redemption. Sure. Jack Traven kind of like, dusting it off." That's sarcasm, folks -- another term we've dumbed down because nobody can get it right.
Granted, it can be hard to tell with this guy.
Even SlashFilm admits (at the end, when everybody's stopped reading) that this is probably a non-story, writing "I'm not sure I take the affirmative answer that seriously, but he said it and it's our job to tell you what he said." It's also your job to cleverly edit your headlines so overexcited Speed demons click and share your gossip without a second thought, it would seem.
Ewan McGregor ran into this too, with headlines screaming about how he'd be down with doing Trainspotting 2, even though it's absolutely not happening.
How old is the ceiling baby now, anyway?
Good God, three paragraphs in, the man admits "I've not seen a script yet and I don't know if there is one." And yet People reported this anyway. You might as well report on him debating whether to order pizza or Chinese food.
Even Beetlejuice 2 isn't as done a deal as the headlines make it seem:
Michael Keaton better start practicing his surf moves.
This "confirmation" was her going on Seth Meyers and yammering, "Um, I think I can confirm it, because Tim Burton did this interview -- like, it was very hush-hush, top secret ... and then he was doing some press for Big Eyes and he did an on-camera interview and he said, 'Oh yeah, we're doing it and Winona's going to be in it,' and I was like [shocked face]."
And we were like [unimpressed face]. Until some studio gives us an official release date (like Universal recently did with Jurassic World 2), Beetlejuice 2: At Least Lydia's Legal This Time is nothing but actors talking.
But boy do we love when actors talk -- we'll believe anything they say, even when it's so obviously a stupid joke. Like Michael Shannon saying he would return as General Zod for Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, but with flipper hands:
That's almost as silly as the name of the movie.
Notice how none of those headlines say "flipper hands"? That's because even the writers know it's bollocks, but they still want to suck you in and get your clicks, so they tease you "new details" and "strange change." Except according to Shannon himself, Zod is stone dead, he only appears via voiceover, and the flipper thing was him being a silly goose:
A Batman story starring a guy with flippers? That's preposterous.
Welcome to the Internet, Shannon, where you can't believe everything you read, except for that one thing you're about to share with your buddies. That thing? Totally believable.
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