In the upcoming drama Blind, due out July 14, Alec Baldwin stars as a visually impaired novelist who, after the fatal car crash that left him without his wife or his vision, begins to rediscover life and his writing.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, an advocacy group for those with disabilities, has come out against the movie’s choice to cast Baldwin as blind man, saying on their Facebook page that they are disappointed with the casting, adding that the production is “once again overlooking the opportunity to cast actors with disabilities.”
Foundation chairman Jay Ruderman elaborated to the Los Angeles Times, saying: “We no longer find it acceptable for white actors to portray black characters. Disability as a costume needs to also become universally unacceptable.”
Blind is the latest Hollywood movie to be condemned by disability groups for a lack of disabled talent in stories about disability. – Hollywood Reporter
Welp, Matt and I could’ve told you this was going to happen. Actually, we did tell you this was going to happen.
If you scroll to the 15:45 mark in the above video, we talked about the trailer for Blind on our podcast and how Alec Baldwin playing a blind guy was not only hysterical, but it would absolutely cause backlash from advocacy groups. Here we are a month later, and an advocacy group for people with disabilities is slamming the casting choice. I certainly understand where the advocacy group is coming from: it’s extremely frustrating to continue to tell stories about people with disabilities yet casting those roles with people who do not have those disabilities.
On the other hand, Hollywood is not going to cast a random blind guy in a movie called Blind. They’re just not. Hollywood isn’t the place for progressive views on a lot of things, and blind people are now on the list. You might as well be searching for gold in a place that has ‘WE DON’T HAVE GOLD’ signs posted everywhere. Is it fair? I don’t think so, but if you think a movie studio is going to put millions of dollars into a movie and cast a real life blind person just to please an advocacy group, you’re going to be pretty upset with the end result.
SNL – Comedy seems to thrive in adversity—according to the latest ratings for Saturday Night Live, the long-running satirical sketch show is seeing its highest numbers in over 20 years. Variety reports that Donald Trump’s victory at the polls, as well as his relentless “criticism” of the show, have boosted viewership among among adults 18-49. SNL’s February 4 episode was the second highest rated of the week, trailing behind The Big Bang Theory.
Here are some more numbers that attest to this yuge development: SNL’s viewership has grown by 19% among adults 18-49, and 22% in total viewers (that’s now 10.6 million), when compared to the same period last season. NBC says these ratings are the highest they’ve been since the 1994-1995 season.
When Donald Trump vowed to ‘Make America Great Again’ on the campaign trail, I can’t imagine he thought that his actions and words would catapult a late night comedy institution to create their most popular work in decades. Believe it or not, here we are, and SNL has been thriving under Trump, turning in a superb season including one of their best episodes last week. The biggest reason for that is embedded above, as Melissa McCarthy made a surprise guest appearance as Sean Spicer and left us all floored in the process. The ratings for the season as a whole are at a 22 year high (the highest since the 94-95 season with a cast featuring Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler & Mike Myers, among others) and they’re about to take part in their most important episode yet. The main reason for that is because the host for Saturday’s show (Alec Baldwin, hosting for the 17th time) is the man pegged with playing Donald Trump. In most election years the shows from September-December/January would feature the candidates and the President elect, but this year has been different. Every cold open has featured Baldwin’s Trump in some way, and it’s working.
There are people who think SNL should stray away from Trump and get back to other sketch topics, but that is impossible to do when the President himself is tweeting about your show every Sunday morning. Like everything else Trump tweets about, it’s 100% negative, and it’s clear that the material SNL is putting on air is getting under his paper thin skin. Nobody loves themselves more than Donald Trump, so it must kill him to watch himself get parodied every week. SNL knows that, and knows that he’s watching, which must make the ratings news that much sweeter for the writers and cast. Will Baldwin’s Trump be a one and done in the cold open like episodes past, or will SNL rely on him for multiple sketches throughout the show? Nobody knows the answer except for Lorne Michaels, who has the final say on what sketches make the air, but from a logistical standpoint, my guess is that Trump will only be featured in the cold open. It’d be tough to continually get Baldwin in and out of Trump’s makeup and wardrobe throughout the show, but I wouldn’t sleep on some kind of pre-taped digital short featuring Trump.
The other big question floating around social media is ‘who will play Steve Bannon’? SNL chose to portray him as the Grim Reaper on last week’s show, but that doesn’t strike me as a long term solution. Will it be a current cast member or will they stray outside the box like they did with McCarthy? The AV Club has a fascinating article detailing why it shouldn’t be Rosie O’Donnell, and I 100% agree. While it would be a deep personal dig at Trump, I don’t think it would have the impact some people are hoping for. The reason McCarthy’s Spicer worked so good and is because it was completely unexpected and McCarthy is a comedic gold mine. O’Donnell clearly isn’t as talented as McCarthy, and at this point the whole world would be expecting it. That same article throws out possible picks of Robert De Niro, John Goodman and Jonah Hill. De Niro has been publicly against Trump in the past, but I don’t know if at this stage he’d be willing to do something like this. Goodman has already played Rex Tillerson this season, so casting him as Bannon would be overkill. Of the three, Hill would be the best choice, especially if he can get himself to that deranged, maniacal level we’ve seen during past hosting stints. If I had to pick a current cast member and a random celebrity, I’d go with Bobby Moynihan (channeling his evil political Kim Jong-un impression, only less wacky) and I’d go full throttle crazy and put Danny DeVito on there. I dare you tell me you wouldn’t watch Danny DeVito in a hair piece playing Steve Bannon.
Margot Robbie hosted the season premiere of SNL on Saturday night, and overall it was a great show. We got our first pre-taped sketch of the season, the bizarrely funny ‘The Librarian’. We also got our first Family Feud sketch, and what I hope is the first of many David Ortiz spots on Weekend Update.
SNL struggled to satirize what is happening in politics last season, and I think a lot of that has to do with just how insane our current political landscape is. Donald Trump is one of two people who have the chance to become the President of the United States. How are you supposed to get any crazier than that? The biggest change coming into season 42 was the man playing Trump, as SNL switched from former cast member and current MC Darrell Hammond to Alec Baldwin. I’d never seen or heard Baldwin do a Trump impression before, but any fears I had that he wouldn’t deliver were erased right away. He nailed the voice and the mannerisms of the Donald, and I cant wait to see what else he brings to the table as the season goes on. Emmy winner Kate McKinnon was brilliant as usual as Clinton, and the extended cold open set the stage for a really fun season premiere. Next week, Lin-Manuel Miranda takes the stage.
Too many awesome tweets to contain them in just one episode of Twitter News Weekly. Will a second TNW become a regular thing? Maybe! What do you think? Comment below!
-The Average Nobodies
George Stark your days are numbered. In a recent article posted by the aforementioned British reporter, he claims that Alec Baldwin’s wife was tweeting during James Gandolfini’s funeral. Alec Baldwin did not take kindly to these acquisitions, to say the least. Alec went on a little twitter rampage to vent his frustrations with Stark. Here are the tweets.
“…Hey thats not true, but i’m going to tweet at your funeral” Holy shit, that escalated quickly. George Stark, run for the hills. Because now not only do you have Alec Baldwin after you, but me as well. How dare you write an article about Tony Soprano’s funeral and not make him the center of attention. Instead you go to the petty story of the day, a few random tweets. You have my attention Mr. Stark, and not in a good way. Proofread your pieces 20 times over, because hell hath no fury, like my friends and I, when we find improper grammar online. Not to mention Billy Baldwin is probably coming after your ass. Your cooked.
P.S. There is a special place in hell for people who try to make a fool of Alec Baldwin.