5 Hyped 2022 Movies And TV Shows (With Dark Real-World Controversies)
These days, it seems as though all we have to look forward to in life are movies and TV shows – after all, while the news may be full of countless anxiety-inducing horrors, at least we have a new film about the dude who inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure, for some reason. Unfortunately, because everything is always terrible, some of the most-anticipated, ultra-hyped pieces of pop culture have unfortunate real-world controversies you might want to know about, such as how …
Stranger Things Has A Major Problem With Gross Fans
This year finally marks the return of TV's most popular wellspring of interdimensional monsters and gratuitous '80s nostalgia. Yes, Stranger Things is returning for its fourth season, which will apparently feature some kind of haunted clock, and, we're guessing, more demon-like creatures being taken out by teens wearing, like, ALF t-shirts or something.
But this show has also been a real magnet for super-creeps; just recently, people noticed that there was an "NSFW subreddit with a countdown to Millie Bobby Brown's 18th birthday," which has since been, thankfully, banned. "Countdown clocks" that sexualize celebrity minors are a more widespread and dangerous problem beyond this one instance, but the young stars of Stranger Things have repeatedly been "oversexualized" by mainstream media outlets, as pointed out by the show's co-star Natalia Dyer in 2020. Brown's character, Eleven, was literally "listed as one of the reasons TV is 'sexier than ever' by W magazine when she was just 13." Which is so incredibly messed up. Similarly, a "GQ profile from 2016 called her a 'very grown-up child' and remarked on the appearance of her legs."
Brown herself commented in 2020 that this widespread inappropriateness has "resulted in pain and insecurity." And more recently, she pointed out that the "gross" response to her 18th birthday is a "very good representation of what's going on in the world and how young girls are sexualized." She also called social media "the worst place of all time" – which is especially damning coming from someone whose day job involves hanging around toxic parallel universes and Reagan's America.
The Bob's Burgers Movie May Have To Scrap Jimmy Pesto at the Last Minute
Bob's Burgers is back – but this time, it's bigger, has more shadows, and actually costs money to watch. Yes, the beloved Fox animated series is now a full-length feature film, a landmark that would probably have never come to pass if they'd stuck with the "family of murderous cannibals" approach.
All of our favorite TV characters seemingly show up in the film, from the Belcher family to Teddy to Mr. Fishoeder ... but one Bob's Burgers regular who's unlikely to appear is Jimmy Pesto, the Italian restaurateur and Bob's arch-nemesis. Why? Well, as we've mentioned before, voice actor Jay Johnston allegedly participated in the January 6th riot at the Capitol building, at least according to news reports that presumably made life hell for New Girl's Jake Johnson.
Subsequently, Johnson was canned from the show. And while the movie was completed before this story surfaced, it's hard to imagine that any possible scenes with Johnston would remain in the finished film, and his name doesn't appear in the film's credits on IMDB. Although Jimmy Pesto is visible in the movie, silently lurking in the background of at least one shot.
Sadly, using AI technology to digitally recreate Christopher Plummer's voice as his replacement seemingly wasn't in the budget.
Jurassic World: Dominion Had To Recast a Jurassic Park Role (Previously Played By a Convicted Sex Offender)
A big selling point of the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion is that it reunites the original film's iconic trio of characters: Alan Grant (played by Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (played by Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (played by the Jeff Goldblum-iest Jeff Goldblum). While they're sadly not bringing back Mr. DNA to tag along in a Who Framed Roger Rabbit-esque twist, another Jurassic Park character is returning: Lewis Dodgson. You know, the guy who gives Nedry the shaving cream can that the franchise is now forever obsessed with.
But while Dodgson is back, the original actor isn't. In Dominion, he's played by Campbell Scott, while in Jurassic Park, he was played by Cameron Thor – who understandably wasn't invited back to be part of the nostalgia-fest after he was "sentenced to six years in state prison" in 2016 "for lewd conduct with a 13-year-old female student."
Bringing back the character of Dodgson in the new movie does make sense; he was a major part of the sequel novel The Lost World, but not the film adaptation. In the book, Dodgson gets "devoured" by a nest full of T-Rex babies … which, come to think of it, might be the only scene audiences would want to see Thor participate in.
Bullet Train Is Yet Another Example of Hollywood Whitewashing
While sadly not a sequel to Money Train, in which Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson rob a subway car full of ammunition, Bullet Train is a new action-thriller starring Brad Pitt as an assassin battling his competitors while on a "non-stop ride through modern-day Japan."
As fun as the movie might look, it has garnered a ton of criticism for its casting of a bunch of definitely not-Japanese people as characters that were Japanese in the original novel by Kōtarō Isaka. As David Inoue, Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League explained: "To see a film set in Japan with Japanese characters only as the background is offensive," adding that the non-Asian actors "should have been asking questions about this. Someone of Brad Pitt's stature has the ability to do that, and he failed to say anything." But, to be fair, he likely didn't say anything about that Bruce Lee scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, either …
Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Is Reminding Everyone That Elvis Was A Monster
Movies about famous musicians are all the rage these days; there was Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Respect, and of course, M. Night Shyamalan's Rolling Stones biopic, Old. This summer, we're getting Elvis (as in Presley, not Costello) directed by Baz Luhrmann of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge fame – so expect this thing to be about as subtle as a fried peanut butter and Demerol sandwich.
While we have yet to see the film, a lot of people seem uneasy about how it seems to lionize its subject, judging from the flashy trailer – which is a problem considering that the King of Rock and Roll, and we can't stress this enough, was a giant piece of crap.
Famously, Presley took much of what was happening in the Black music scene and repackaged it for white audiences – he also, allegedly, stole his whole style from Otis Blackwell, who wrote early Elvis hits like "All Shook Up" and "Don't Be Cruel" – technically he co-wrote them with Elvis, due purely to an "arrangement with Presley's management," despite the fact that the two men never actually met.
Then there are the stories of how Elvis routinely preyed on underage girls, who were as young as 14. When he was dating his future wife Priscilla (who was 14 when they met), he allegedly helped her balance their relationship with her high school responsibilities by giving her "Dexedrine pills to help keep her awake" – which she overdosed on, leaving her "unconscious for almost two days." He also, according to one memoir, chased after a small boy while "brandishing a machine gun." Do we need a movie about this guy, other than, of course, Bubba Ho-Tep?
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Top Image: Netflix, Universal Pictures