WARNING: This article contains descriptions of domestic abuse.
Twenty-nine percent of Black women are hurt by an intimate partner in their lifetime. And in 2018, I became one of them. Like singer FKA twigs said on Friday in a damning lawsuit against her former boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf, people might not “think it would happen to you,” but “it can happen to anybody.”
I was tough. I was strong. I was mentally fortified. And none of that mattered.
It’s the kind of pitch that seems designed to raise eyebrows: Fran Drescher in a Christmas movie? Perhaps that’s why the former Nanny wasted no time during our call before she explained how, exactly, this came to be. The Christmas Setup is Lifetime’s first holiday rom-com to center on a gay couple—and as someone who’s championed gay rights for years, that’s something she wanted to be a part of.
“It’s not just [about] the angst of coming out, and the agony of rejecting parents, or the fear,” Drescher told The Daily Beast during a recent phone interview. “It’s more about just normalizing it as part of the beautiful and diverse human experience, and parents that love and accept their children unconditionally, and want them to live an authentic life… It was a very feel-good movie.”
The Christmas Setup, which premieres on the cable network Saturday, is a delightful, tinsel-covered romp that will feel familiar to anyone who spends the yuletide season bingeing made-for-TV holiday fare. The film follows a neurotic New York-based lawyer, Hugo, as he flies home to Milwaukee for the holidays with his college BFF. Drescher plays his mother, Kate—who is in charge of the town’s Christmas festivities and also happens to be a world class amateur matchmaker. It doesn’t take long for Kate to fix her son up with his high school crush, Patrick.
Is nothing sacred? Having co-opted and discredited the Republican Party and the conservative movement, Donald Trump is now attempting to discredit the Christian church. Or rather, by mixing faith with partisan politics and embracing the notion that Trump won the 2020 election, some prominent members of the Christian church are undermining the church’s witness.
For evidence, look no further than this Saturday, when former national security adviser Mike Flynn (who recently shared a message calling on Trump to declare “limited martial law” and hold a new election) will give his first post-pardon speech at something called the Jericho March in Washington, DC. Aside from Flynn, the roster includes other prominent MAGA names like Mike Lindell (the MyPillow guy), Eric Metaxas (a radio host who punched a protester and recently said, “I’d be happy to die in this fight”), Ali Alexander (formerly Ali Akbar), and C.J. Pearson. Afterwards, the crowd will converge on the National Mall for the “ROAR” prayer rally. Marches will take place simultaneously—and I’m sure wholly by coincidence—in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Arizona.
Christians have every right to be involved in politics, but this is not people of faith gathering to defend the right to life or to support civil rights, but rather, Christians gathering in support of overturning a free and fair election. “America is under attack by corrupt forces trying to silence our voices and our vote,” says a video on the Jericho March website. “Just as the Israelites circled the walls of corrupt Jericho, so will we peacefully march, pray, fast, and protest until the walls of election fraud and corruption crumble. Jericho March was born of a vision from God. We are calling on patriots and people of Judeo-Christian faith to march around their state capitals every day…”
Had I heard of the alleged gay sex party “full of Broadway stars that you love and adore.” This reporter had not. “They get together and have sex with newcomers,” Mark Peikert said. “This is second-hand information, I have not been invited myself. At the end of the night, there are party gifts. So, one bottom [a sex partner who prefers getting penetrated] reaches into the bowl of gifts and plucks out his prize. ‘King Lear tickets!’ he shouted.”
Peikert laughed—a hearty roar, really. “Imagine that. You’re a bottom and you’ve gotten fucked at a group sex party. And now you have to sit on your ass for four hours and watch Glenda Jackson as King Lear!”
This anecdote encapsulates a few facets of Peikert’s life and work: his love of gossip, his riotous sense of humor, his past as a Broadway grand fromage as editor-in-chief of Playbill from 2016 to earlier this year, and his new life running a gay porn site, The Gay Goods—which, alongside the erect penises and headlines like “Forget Self-Care! Learn to Self-Suck,” also features pieces berating left-wing progressives, how to do dirty talk properly, and why Trump’s supporters have made him a Bible story. This is a porn site, proudly so—but it wants to make you think as well as get horny.
On Saturday morning, aggrieved Trump supporters are set to rally outside the Supreme Court, Congress, and the Department of Justice’s headquarters. Their plan: to simultaneously march around and blow shofar horns in the hopes that the building’s walls will collapse, just like the Biblical walls of Jericho.
For the second time since those elections concluded, his fans are set to flock to the nation’s capital to rally for a cause that the Supreme Court itself—on Friday night—dismissed. There will be chants, and marches, and signs, and apparently rams’ horns too.
I have two questions for Ted Cruz, Ken Paxton, 106 Republican members of Congress, and 17 Republican attorneys general who saw the Supreme Court summarily reject the most disrespectful pile of garbage ever dumped on it: What the fuck are you doing? and Don’t you know you are destroying our country?
The Supreme Court quickly dismissed the absurd, outrageous, laughable, and quixotic lawsuit filed by Attorney General Paxton of Texas (under investigation for bribery in office, and under indictment for financial fraud from before then, but nonetheless widely expected to run for governor), challenging the election procedures in four swing states and demanding that all of those states’ millions of votes simply be thrown out.
While the Court’s ruling was brief and terse, with seven justices flatly rejecting it since Texas had no standing to sue while Alito and Thomas said they would have accepted it but not granted any relief, UC Irvine Professor Rick Hasen had already summarized exactly why the lawsuit indeed went nowhere. In brief, because it is legally and otherwise “utter garbage.” Everything about it is improper: Texas has no standing to sue, it sued too late, it sued in the wrong place, and the issues that it’s raising (e.g., that mail-in ballots are intrinsically unconstitutional because they make fraud “undetectable”) have already been decided, including by the Supreme Court itself. It is an insult to the Supreme Court as an institution and a galling display of stupidity.
The avant-pop artist FKA Twigs has sued actor Shia LaBeouf for what she described as “relentless” abuse during their nearly one-year relationship in 2018. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and first reported by The New York Times, accuses the Transformers actor of sexual battery, assault, infliction of emotional distress, and knowingly infecting the singer with a sexually transmitted disease.
At the center of the lawsuit is an incident that occurred on Valentine’s Day in early 2019, when Twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, claims LaBeouf threatened to crash a car if she did not say she loved him. The couple was returning from a trip to the desert, during which they fought frequently, according to the Times. Once, Twigs claims in the lawsuit, she woke up in the night to LaBeouf choking her. In the car, Twigs describes begging LaBeouf to let her out. Once he complied, she claims, LaBeouf threw her against the vehicle, screamed in her face, and forced her back inside.
In other parts of the lawsuit, Twigs accuses LaBeouf of often bruising her in his grip, becoming jealous if she acknowledged male waiters, forcing her to avert her gaze when talking to men, and imposing quotas on how frequently she had to kiss and touch him each day. He would insist she sleep naked, Twigs says, and kept a loaded firearm by his bedside, that she feared he might use against her if she moved in the night.
Despite the involvement of an American corporation—in partnership with German company BioNTech—the U.S. was not the first Western nation to give the vaccine the go-ahead. The United Kingdom began injecting citizens with the same vaccine on Dec. 8, and Canadian regulators cleared the way for its use in that country a day later.
The U.S. authorization for the vaccine to be used on people aged 16 and older came on the same day that President Trump seethed on Twitter at his own regulators, echoing a longstanding gripe that the process was not fast-tracked to potentially boost his failed re-election bid. The Washington Post reported Friday that FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, who along with his colleagues had ultimately pushed back on attempts to rush vaccine approval, was told by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to resign if his agency did not OK the vaccine the same day.