With Brexit seemingly a permanent fixture on every TV channel and newspaper, gender and race disparity as prominent as ever and climate change on everyone's minds; the European Union elections have never been more important.
To coincide with the upcoming election, the EU has launched the 'This Time I'm Voting' campaign to encourage citizens to vote this time around.
Member states nominate direct candidates for the European Parliament through proportional representation. but with numerous EU parliamentarians represented on Twitter, it's hugely convenient to have debates online and exhange views.
Award season is well and truly underway. The paparazzi are flocking to the red carpet, hoping to get the winning shot of this year’s nominees. The biggest names in Hollywood are sporting their finest suits and gowns.
And the public, who have been flocking to the cinema to catch this year’s biggest films, are eagerly waiting to see who will be crowned the winner, or when it comes to the Critics' Choice Awards– winners.
And the same goes for Gaga’s role in A Star Is Born and Glenn’s in The Wife.
I’ll leave you with the wise words of winner Amy Adams: “I actually can't think of a more beautiful thing than a tie because there really isn't a winner when we get to do such great work and we have such wonderful opportunities.”
Why Tying For Awards Is Entirely Pointless, by Kate Brayden
While I concur with the idea of supporting other women and acknowledging as much talent in female entertainment categories as possible, does giving two women out of seven in one category awards not dilute the entire notion of a winner in the first place? In that case, why don't each of the nominees get a trophy?
Giving two seems pointless, and also must have been frustrating for the five 'losers', so to speak. Other nominees in this category were the outstanding Olivia Colman, Emily Blunt, Toni Collette, Melissa McCarthy and Yalitza Aparicio, who each gave incredible performances in their own right.
So why give the same award to two women? Arguably, the statement says neither woman stood out enough to get the gong. Sharing ain't always caring, sorry kids.
They were both above average, but didn't deserve the trophy. Yet because we have to celebrate women from these categories, we'll just hand both of them a statuette and everyone will be happy.
Each of the seven women are amazing in their own right, but it doesn't reflect the reality of the entertainment industry to divide up the awards. Women are still competing in Hollywood for a tiny number of well-rounded roles and positions working behind the camera, so what's the point in pretending that 2019 is all about equality?
The point of an awards ceremony is to watch the competition, to see the reactions, the wins, the losses, the fashion, the tears, the joy; if the competition is diluted, arguably there's less entertainment factor. Don't get me wrong, I love gal bonding as much as the next feminist, but women are still allowed to compete against each other for the sake of art.
All in all, both perspectives have valid points; lifting other women rather than pitting them against each other is something to cherish in today's harsh, still-patriarchal society which has a narrow idea of what a woman represents.
On the other hand, why not just give every woman in that category an award then, heck why not give US an award too while you're at it?
Will we just say we both won the debate? A trophy each? Sounds about right..
On November 29th, Deborah Ross of The Times wrote what can only be described as a SCATHING article about influencers which began like this;
"I have a dream. It is not a big dream. I am not Martin Luther King. I only do dreams on a small scale, so it is a small-scale dream and my small-scale dream is this: might there be any way we could do a find and replace on the word “influencer” so it is replaced by “detestable freeloader” wherever it appears? So we all know what, in fact, we are dealing with."
Yikes. To add to the drama-fest, YouTuber and Blogosphere's Influencer of the Year 2018 Melanie Murphy has responded.
We have to say, Murphy makes some noteworthy points;
Starting off her 13-minute YouTube video with a cool "Okay Deborah, calm down", she proceeds to explain the hypocrisy behind Ross' points with a level of clarity which is hard to deny.
Ross essentially slated influencers in her article, describing them as 'detestable freeloaders', essentially people who deserve to be hated because they receive complimentary items and give nothing in return.
Murphy responds by issuing the point that the media in general is funded by advertising and marketing, for example, on the bottom of Ross' article had a sponsored post, without which the article possibly would never have been read.
Promotion and marketing absolutely surrounds us, from celebrities such as David Beckham for Adidas, Beyoncé for Pepsi, Justin Timberlake for McDonalds, Jessica Simpson for WeightWatchers, Brad Pitt for whatever cologne he's feeling that day, Julia Roberts for Lancôme, Hannah Witton for PlayStation, Holly Willoughby for Marks & Spencer etc etc.
It's inescapable. However, just because they receive free objects doesn't mean that they give nothing in return.
The issue which Murphy takes with Ross' article is the sheer hypocrisy as well as the generalisations which she makes. She places every influencer in the same category, when many of them promote noble causes such as LGBT+ charities and organisations, cruelty-free and paraben-free beauty products, health foods, nutrition, sexual health organisations, disability and accessibility rights, chronic pain activists, and more.
Jameela Jamil's i_Weigh movement has become hugely successful, and empowers people to weigh themselves on their overall worth as a person rather than their body mass index. Jamil suffered from an eating disorder for years, and now uses promotion and Instagram to create a unified group of people who value and respect themselves. She also is a major campaigner for banning airbrushing.
Melanie Murphy claims that every successful creative has the support of brands behind them, and receive freebies. Many of them self-fund their projects, and use the money for other causes, others simply give away any freebies which they receive.
Murphy also points out that just because they gain complimentary products does not mean that those people aren't extremely hardworking. Many influencers balance their life online with their family and a side-job.
"95% of what I show, what I wear, I pay for myself," she claims. Through advertising and word of mouth, companies can use influencers for their branding, but this doesn't undermine the level of thought which goes into choosing which brands to work with.
Murphy works with Always pads to talk openly about periods, Barclays, who sponsor Pride, a show which explores bisexuality, PicMonkey, Wella for hair dyes which work against allergies, Holland and Barrett for cruelty-free health and nutrition products.
Numerous influencers and their agents are hugely picky about who they work with, the brands must make sense for the influencers for them to collaborate with them.
"I'm always so bloody proud of my paid-for content, always. The money these brands pay me enables me to write a novel and work on more artsy things like short films which I invest in myself but don't get money back."
According to the Youtuber, the media wouldn't survive without branding and advertisements. From YouTubeads to websites, podcasts, radio, television, newspapers and magazines, advertising is saturated in our industry.
For Deborah Ross to call followers of influencers 'morons' is entirely unfair, from Melanie's point of view;
"Under-researched drivel such as this which contributes to the negative rhetoric that surrounds bloggers and influencers, thousands of hard-working people. Some of which juggle a family or another job."
Many believe for Ross to declare that influencers have done nothing to merit this lifestyle is flawed and reductive, Murphy herself demonstrates a great engagement because of how she chooses brands to work with;
"I never try sneak anything in, I'm never shady. I am lucky and I'm very grateful, I don't swan around."
Lastly, Murphy places emphasis on the fact that YouTubeis a community which supports one another, they collaborate and shout each other out and lift each other up. In the journalism industry, there is minimal collaboration and no support between competing publications;
"You sit and write and you get aid to do that, there was a time where people would scoff at your job and say that that's not a real job. We actually support each other. You're not going to see The Times supporting an article from another publication."
She describes the loneliness which perpetuates society, and how YouTube can be used as escapism, or for self-help, for comedy, entertainment, advice or even just to connect;
"A lot of people are lonely and it's a beautiful thing to be able to connect with people through words through a lens. Families are smaller, the Church has collapsed, community has gone to shit. I feel like through my monthly blogs I encourage people to connect with their real-life friends and family"
As Murphy points out, building a following of thousands or millions doesn't just happen for no reason.
'Detestable freeloaders' aren't just empty vessels of advertisers; they're entertainers, they're singers, actors, writers, comedians, models, creatives, editors, lighting experts, agents and so much more.
A photograph taken of our Lord and Saviour Queen Bey and arguably the world's current most popular singer-songwriter has sparked a MAJOR debate online about gender and an artists' 'brand'.
Why? Well, mainly because Ed was dressed like he was popping down to the local Spar to grab a one litre carton of milk, while Beyoncé was dressed, I mean, like BEYONCÉ. Fierce, fiesty and fabulous.
A few Twitter users have claimed that this displays an attitude towards gender norms, showing the expectations which women have on their shoulders to look stunning 24 hours a day, while men can wear whatever they damn well please.
Ed Sheeran is a 27 year old man the fact we’ve enabled him to feel it’s ok to dress like this at all, let alone next to Beyoncé really boils my piss pic.twitter.com/Q6XqgTFuvQ
The two global superstars performed together in Johannesburg, South Africa last weekend to celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100.
The duo paid homage to the late Nelson Mandela, who Beyoncé claims has hugely impacted on her parenting principles with her three children; Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir.
Of course, the pair simply had to perform the gift of their huge worldwide hit, Perfect, which the crowd essentially sang louder than them. Yet their choice of clothing has grabbed nearly the entirety of the focus.
She uses choreography, graphics, lighting, backing vocals, political statements, her own music AND fashion to make her statements.
Lest we forget, her iconic Coachella performance was famed for the fashion choice as well as it's artistic mastery. Her On the Run tour outfits have changed the GAME of musical attire, her Formation hats especially grabbing the attention.
They exacerbate her talent, but we all know that if we strip Queen Bey of her dress choice, her choreography and her light show and graphic background, she would still deliver an incredible performance.
Yet numerous Twitter users argue that male artists can stand on their talent alone, whereas women must always have a more-than-presentable appearance, they must always have something else for their audience.
I get this.
Even tho I appreciate good musicians in normal clothes the double standard is ridiculous… what is expected of female vs male artists. https://t.co/xLEcNXVuX7
Ed Sheeran could wear a pin-striped suit if he so desired, but this would not run parallel with the branding behind his music. His image is the fact that he has no image; it's all about his own chill, laid-back vibe.
He has gained notoriety especially in the States for his appearance, or seeming lack of effort, yet this normal attitude towards fame is what allowed him to stand out in the first place.
He wasn't trying to get attention, he simply became a phenomenon for his musical gift alone. He was relatable, a man of simple taste with a great voice and immense penchant for songwriting. Artists should be able to decide their own looks and style, without their labels, the media or even their fans interfering.
Other humorous online statements are simply trying to dispel all the tension…
Plenty of female singer-songwriters wear less elaborate, glamorous clothing, such as our new best friend Sigrid, who noticeably wears zero make-up onstage and sports only a plain white t-shirt and jeans.
Perhaps it would be best if we simply allowed artists, not to mention the general society at large, to wear whatever they please without having to worry about the incessant judgement of fans and random Twitter users.
According to numerous reports emerging Stateside, a commemorative screening of 1997 film, Wag the Dog, acted as a catalyst for a very heated debate between veteran actor, Dustin Hoffman, and HBO host, John Oliver.
Hoffman, who was recently accused of sexual harassment by a teen he worked alongside in 1985, was forced to defend himself against the allegations in addition to the statement he issued in the wake of the accusations.
As more and more harrowing stories emerge from within the entertainment industry, John Oliver clearly felt it would be remiss not to address Hoffman's role in the scandal.
Referring to Anna Graham Hunter's accusations against him, John said: "This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air."
Responding to the remark, Hoffman said: "It’s hanging in the air? From a few things you’ve read you’ve made an incredible assumption about me."
John Oliver just went after Dustin Hoffman big time on sexual harassment at this Wag The Dog panel. Hoffman grew visibly uncomfortable. "You weren't there," he says to Oliver. "I'm happy I wasn't," Oliver replied.
Refusing to back down, John took issue with Hoffman's initial response to the allegations, where he claimed they were 'not reflective' of who he is.
"It’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off,” John said. "It is reflective of who you were. You’ve given no evidence to show that it didn’t happen. There was a period of time when you were a creeper around women."
“It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘this isn’t me.’" John argued. "Do you see how this feels like a dismissal?”
Hoffman argued that Anna's decision to wait a considerable amount of time before coming forward points to his innocence, saying: "Well, there’s a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years."
Speaking to the audience in the wake of the exceedingly heated debate, John insisted that he felt compelled to address the issue as a broadcaster.
In not doing so, John would have berated himself, saying: "That leads to me at home later tonight hating myself, asking, "Why the f*** didn't I say something? No one stands up to powerful men.'"
Hoffman is just one in a worrying number of high-profile men who have been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape within the entertainment industry.
It was the first televised debate between US presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – so understandably tensions were high.
As Americans (along with curious bystanders around the world) watched-on intently, the two politicians bashed it out over an intense 90-minute discussion held at Hofstra University just outside New York.
In the aftermath, numerous commentators agreed that while Trump started strongly, he quickly spiralled out of control – becoming increasingly defensive and chaotic in the face of Clinton's cool and controlled demeanour.
With hardened moderator Lester Holt directing proceedings, the Republican nominee was forced to angrily defended himself against charges of racism, sexism and tax avoidance.
Hillary took Trump apart. He simply says lies after lies. As usual he went personal too. Pathetic #DebateNight
Trump saw his biggest hits come courtesy of trade deal issues and Hillary's own political record, but the former Apprentice star nevertheless appeared under-prepared for a stage of such magnitude.
Here are are some of the main issue that the candidates disagreed on…
1) On being president of the United States
TRUMP: "She doesn't have the stamina."
CLINTON: "As soon as he travels to 112 different countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire… or even when he stands in front of a congressional committee for 11 hours straight, he can talk to me about stamina."
Clinton was trying to appeal to the young, immature voter with her scoffing remarks. Trump stayed grounded but too unspecific. #debatenight
TRUMP: "I was the one who got him to produce the birth certificate – and I think I did a good job."
CLINTON: "He started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen."
5) On taxes:
TRUMP: "I will release my tax returns, against my lawyers' wishes, when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted. As soon as she releases them I will release my tax returns."
CLINTON: "Maybe he doesn't want the American people – all of you watching tonight – to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes. That means zero for troops; zero for Vets. Because there's something he's hiding."
The way Hilary can remain so calm and composed while sharing a stage with someone like Trump shows that she's president worthy #debatenight