Connect with us

Armstrong Williams

COMMENTARY: Hollywood’s Hijack of the #MeToo Movement

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “…such an important movement can be felled by its own excesses. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, people are immediately rushing to judgment and to punishment of any accused individual — in many cases, without due process.”

Published

on

By Armstrong Williams, NNPA Newswire Contributor

The powerful #MeToo movement was established to address real injustices suffered by women — and in some cases, although significantly less common, by men. This movement has undeniably affected societal norms and readjusted the fabric of American life.

But such an important movement can be felled by its own excesses. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, people are immediately rushing to judgment and to punishment of any accused individual — in many cases, without due process. Naturally, this moblike mentality to blindly punish an accused individual has the potential for far-reaching negative consequences — namely, collateral damage to the falsely accused by those who misuse the movement for their own ambitious aims.

Take, for example, the domestic abuse allegations against Johnny Depp, which should serve as a cautionary tale. Depp is a beloved actor who has won a 14 People’s Choice awards. He is, by all accounts, a serial monogamist. His first wife and three decades’ worth of long-term girlfriends uniformly characterize him as a sensitive and caring partner.

And then he met and married Amber Heard, who has made the following allegations:

According to Heard and two of her friends, on May 21, 2016, Depp wound up his arm and threw Heard’s iPhone at her face from point-blank range “with great force.” Apparently, Depp then continued to batter Heard’s face. Heard said Depp then “destroyed” the penthouse by wielding a magnum-size wine bottle, leaving the remnants of smashed “fruit,” “glass,” “baskets,” “bottles” and “flowers” littering the floors. As to the injury, Heard’s friend said: “Just the whole side of her face was like swolled up (sic) and red and puffy … and progressively getting worse.”

Yet, other eyewitnesses tell a different story. Two domestic abuse-trained police who arrived on the scene soon after the alleged incident — and who later gave sworn witness depositions — as well as surveillance camera videotapes of Heard’s face and a growing group of witnesses who interacted closely with a makeup-free Heard over the five ensuing days all agree that the injury she presented to the world wasn’t legitimate. Six perfect-face days after Heard claimed Depp beat her and “destroyed” his own penthouse apartment — which police found in perfect condition — she magically presented her battered face to trailing paparazzi and a judge who granted her an automatic temporary restraining order against Depp.

Depp seemingly has one bit of culpability in all this. At the time of the abuse claims, which immediately preceded the #MeToo movement’s genesis, he stayed quiet. Whether because of shyness or misreading the times, he failed to defend himself.

How has Hollywood punished Heard? They made her the leading lady of the billion-dollar Warner Bros. “Aquaman” franchise, the global ambassador of L’Oreal, an ambassador for women’s rights at the American Civil Liberties Union and a human rights activist at the U.N. Hollywood’s media outlets plaster Heard on their magazine covers, trumpet her as a “survivor” and term Johnny Depp a “monster.” Meanwhile, she has penned a vague op-ed about her ordeal for the Washington Post and hurled domestic abuse PSAs at the public.

Hollywood has crowned Heard the face of the #MeToo movement, ignoring the remarkable details of Heard’s prior arrest for domestic violence against her female partner. The #MeToo movement itself is tragically harmed by these leaders, and Hollywood looks on approvingly.

Quite simply, Hollywood has attempted to finish the job on Depp. Warner Bros. sought to throw Depp out of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” in which he played the title character. Only J.K. Rowling’s quick defense of Depp saved him, and perhaps only temporarily. Disney recently threw him out of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Hollywood is where the #MeToo movement started for a reason. It’s a place where the powerful can make or break “the talent.” “You’ll never work in this town again” is the threat. Abuse has often been the result.

When Hollywood serves as judge, jury and executioner of something as serious as abuse allegations, our society and our justice system are ultimately the victims. Real perpetrators can smugly hide their actual abuses behind the smokescreen of a public flogging and the sacrifice of a famous innocent.

#MeToo stands for society’s rejection of the sexual abuse, in its many forms, of men, women and children. #BelieveWomen, a favored hashtag of Heard and others, ignores the fact that justice, not gender, is the arbiter of guilt. #MeToo is an important new movement for justice, far too important to be hijacked by the same Hollywood whose crimes and misdemeanors helped create it in the first place.

To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Building A Powerful Black Media Based on Human Rights

NNPA NEWSWIRE — There is a lack of diversity in American media, and only 6% of owners are minorities. Some experts say there are no television stations owned by Blacks in America, and others say there are 10, but the numbers are terrible. Many Black-owned media companies actually only own a small percentage of their television stations, and very few Blacks own their own shows.

Published

on

It is no accident that there is only a hand full of Black TV stations, and very few Black owned Media companies, and that is because of racism and discrimination. There are very few Black TV networks, because the billionaires decide who is allowed to work. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

By Roger Caldwell, NNPA Newswire Contributor

It is now 2020, and Black-owned media in America is struggling to stay alive, and many in mainstream media believe Black media is not necessary. “Black ownership is dying,” said Armstrong Williams, whose Howard Stirk Holdings owns seven of the Black-owned commercial television stations. “Newspaper ownership, radio ownership – but it’s probably hit TV the hardest.”

In order to invest in the mainstream media business and be successful, it is almost necessary to be a billionaire in the giant cable business. African Americans don’t come into the media business with a fortune, and many of the longtime media moguls have consolidated their companies. This means that billionaires decide who will be hired, and 88% of them are white males.

In the news business there are 15 billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos and others, who control several of America’s influential national newspapers, magazines, local papers and online publications. It is obvious that there is a coordinated system in the American media, and the big boys decide who they will allow to play.

There is a lack of diversity in American media, and only 6% are minority. Some experts say there are no television stations owned by Blacks in America, and others say there are 10, but the numbers are terrible. Many Black-owned media companies actually only own a small percentage of their television stations, and very few Blacks own their own shows.

Hispanics operate major networks, such as Telemundo and Latin Business Today, and they find themselves in a better financial situation than Blacks. While Telemundo is owned by a major mainstream media company, its managers have more control.

Where is the Black-owned media, and how will there be more diversity in mainstream media and television?

In 2020, Blacks must build coalitions and force the billionaires’ media companies to hire more Blacks in decision making positions. Black media companies must hold mainstream media companies accountable for their terrible numbers and demand everyday more positive Black stories. Blacks must also be at the table when public companies make decisions about local television stations.

Black organizations across the country must unite from coast to coast and demand more diversity across ethnic lines. In Africa there are billionaires, who can invest in projects, causes, and television shows, because they are sitting on fortunes. Everyday Blacks must shop-Black, and the community must think Black.

Entertainment Studios Network owned by a Black man, Byron Allen, a comedian, television host, and entrepreneur has sued telecommunications giants Comcast Corp, and Charter Communications. They have refused to distribute his shows on their stations, while launching scores of mostly white-owned shows on their networks. Byron Allen says his stations and shows are 100% African American owned Media Company operating seven television channels.

Allen issued a statement, “This case is not about African American-themed programming but is about African American ownership of networks. Unfortunately, the networks Comcast refers to as African American-owned are not wholly owned by African Americans and did not get any carriage until I stood up and spoke out about this discrimination and economic exclusion.”

It is no accident that there is only a hand full of Black TV stations, and very few Black owned Media companies, and that is because of racism and discrimination. There are very few Black TV networks, because the billionaires decide who is allowed to work.

On every level there is a need for more Black-owned media companies, more hosts, reporters, and more Blacks in decision making positions. Blacks must organize, sue mainstream media in your city, county and state, and demand more Black stories and images. In 2020, Blacks are building powerful media companies, but we must continue to fight. We must organize, unify, build coalitions and work with African billionaires.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Comcast vs Byron Allen Supreme Court hearing analysis

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I’m not a lawyer, but it seemed clear to me that the Justices (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent because, in the words of Chief John Roberts, she was “indisposed due to illness”) thought the issue was what the pleading standard for a §1981 claim should be, not at this point whether Comcast had racially discriminated against Byron Allen.” — Armstrong Williams

Published

on

Armstrong Williams is a conservative columnist. To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

By Armstrong Williams, NNPA Newswire Contributor

I had the privilege to hear oral argument at the Supreme Court of the United States of America in Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media. The case focused on one of the country’s oldest civil rights laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C. § 1981), and its ban on racial discrimination in contracts.

The case was brought by Entertainment Studios Network (ESN), a company owned by comedian Byron Allen, who is African American, and the National Association of African American-Owned Media. They maintained that Comcast’s decision not to carry ESN’s “lifestyle” television channels, including JusticeCentral.TV, Pets.TV and Recipe.TV, was due to racial discrimination and accordingly violated the § 1981 ban on racial discrimination in contracts.

The California district court dismissed ESN’s lawsuit, concluding that the complaint, which sought billions of dollars in damages, had not properly plead that Comcast’s refusal to carry ESN’s “lifestyles” channels was motivated by race, rather than by legitimate business reasons. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed, holding that ESN did not have to show “but for” causation – that is, “but for” Byron Allen’s race Comcast would not have turned down carriage of ESN’s channels. Instead, ESN only had to plead that race was one “motivating factor” in Comcast’s decision. Comcast then sought review by the Supreme Court, which agreed in June to hear the case.

Comcast argues that §1981 can only be interpreted as requiring “but for” causation. It argues that everyone must have “the same right” as white citizens “to make and enforce contracts.” If Comcast (or any defendant) would have made the same decision about whether to enter into a contract if the plaintiff had been white, then ESN (or any plaintiff) had the “same right” to enter into the contract. Comcast also assured the justices that there are other reasons, having nothing to do with race, why it decided not to carry ESN’s channels, such as a lack of bandwidth, and its decision to focus on news and sports channels. Moreover, Comcast notes it has for many years carried numerous other African American-owned networks.

ESN counters that Comcast’s position would prohibit a plaintiff “who alleges that race was a motivating factor for the refusal to contract” from conducting fact-finding discovery on the claim, “no matter how strong the evidence of racism unless the plaintiff could meet the stringent requirement of plausibly alleging that race was the but-for cause of the refusal to contract.” That, ESN reasonably insists, is an extremely high and difficult hurdle because “the defendant typically is the only party with access to evidence of the defendant’s motives.”

I’m not a lawyer, but it seemed clear to me that the Justices (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent because, in the words of Chief [Justice] John Roberts, she was “indisposed due to illness”) thought the issue was what the pleading standard for a §1981 claim should be, not at this point whether Comcast had racially discriminated against Byron Allen. Hopefully, the Court will make a quick ruling in this very important case.

Armstrong Williams is a conservative columnist. To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

OPINION: Press the Pause Button on College Admissions Outrage

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The reality in many of these universities is that by the time you subtract preferences for minorities, the spots reserved for athletes, the preferences given to the children of donors, the places taken by children of the well-connected, college admissions is a process where the only people seemingly ‘guaranteed’ a spot, are people who have the system rigged in their favor. It’s clear, from reading some of the emails, that many of these parents were trying to ‘rig’ a guaranteed spot for their kid.

Published

on

By Armstrong Williams, NNPA Newswire Contributor

The media is baring its rancid teeth again. We have more people whose lives we can now rip apart. In the latest frenzy of outrage and recrimination, the collective disdain and finger-pointing and “how could they-ism” of the media establishment has new, fresh meat: the wealthy and sometimes famous and sometimes powerful parents who were involved in a scheme to bribe and cheat to get their children into college.

Let me be clear: what these parents did is wrong. What the coaches did is wrong. What the test-proctor cheaters did is wrong.

But let’s also consider this: the whole college admissions system is rigged, and wrong, and instead of simply tsk-tsking these people who allegedly illegally paid to help their kids, maybe we should also consider why what seem to be otherwise good and upstanding people would be driven to engage in this kind of behavior.

The fact is, the whole college admissions system is rigged in one way or another to give unfair advantages. It is rigged to give preferences to black students, even if their parents are wealthy, their schools comfortable, and their lives privileged. It is rigged to give preferences to athletes.

It is rigged to give preferences to Hispanic students who write admissions essays (read by liberal college admissions officers) arguing that their family has been oppressed. It is rigged to give preferences to people who can donate $20 million to a school, have a building named after their family and have “helpful” calls made on behalf of their children when they apply.

Is any of that fair?

Parents love their children. The want to do right by them. Most parents would gladly give their lives for their children. Believing that admission to a particular college is crucial for their child’s success or imagining that it is the fulfillment of a dream—these parents looked at a system that is, by any fair account, rigged to favor a few, and they tried to make their children one of those few.

Now here’s where this gets hard: my bet is that 98% of the people involved in this scheme are upper middle-class white people. Their children, I bet, are mostly good people: involved in the community, good students. And the fact is, college admissions is rigged against white and Asian students, who often have to have better test scores and better qualifications, simply to gain admittance to a college.

The reality in many of these universities is that by the time you subtract preferences for minorities, the spots reserved for athletes, the preferences given to the children of donors, the places taken by children of the well-connected, college admissions is a process where the only people seemingly ‘guaranteed’ a spot, are people who have the system rigged in their favor. It’s clear, from reading some of the emails, that many of these parents were trying to ‘rig’ a guaranteed spot for their kid.

Think about this. Being on the Board of Trustees of a college and giving $20 million and talking to the college admissions officer about your kid or a friend’s kid, is legal. Being a black student with lower test scores than other applicants, but getting a special preference, is legal. Being Hispanic and having lower test scores than the average applicant but writing an essay about the prejudice your family faced and playing to the sympathies of the admissions committee, is legal. All of it plays to getting a special advantage in admissions. And all of it is legal.

What these parents did was clearly illegal. It is not justifiable. It is wrong. But for anyone who has ever loved their child—it is understandable. I’m not justifying their behavior, but I understand it. If you love your kid, wouldn’t you do anything for them? And when you look at a system that is so clearly rigged, why wouldn’t you try to rig it in your kid’s favor?

It’s easy to blame the parents. And, they should be blamed. But let’s also not let the colleges off the hook completely.

Everyone knows that the system they’ve set up is rigged. So, let’s unrig it. Make all admissions blind. Instead of names on applications, substitute an anonymous number. No information should be included about race or gender. No contact should be allowed between rich, well-connected donors and college admissions officers. Applications should be graded in the way that some law school classes are graded—blindly—based on the quality of the application.

Let’s have blind admissions. Let’s unrig the way that America admits young people to colleges. What these parents did is wrong. But the system itself is wrong. Let’s see if the liberal media, the celebrities, and the college admissions officers are willing to ask hard questions about the very system they all support.

Armstrong Williams is a conservative columnist. To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending