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Ben Stiller Nepotism Backlash




You know Ben Stiller. He’s a super famous actor, who’s starred in blockbusters like Meet the Fockers, There’s Something About Mary, Night at the Museum, and more.

Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Earlier this week, Deadline reported that Hopper Penn and Brian D’arcy James are set to star in a short film, which is directed and written by Destry Spielberg and Owen King, respectively.

Let’s just break that alllll down. Hopper Penn is the son of famous actors Sean Penn and Robin Wright; Destry Spielberg is obviously the daughter of acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg; Owen King is the son of horror author Stephen King.

Toni Anne Barson / FilmMagic

So, basically, this film stars and is created by the kids of super rich and famous Hollywood people.

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Shortly after, film producer Franklin Leonard pointed how this sums up the nepotistic nature of Hollywood, saying, “Hollywood’s a meritocracy, right?”

@franklinleonard / Via Twitter: @franklinleonard

Meritocracy basically means you succeed based on how “good” you are at something.

Ben Stiller — who is the child of famous actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara — tweeted back at Franklin, saying, “Too easy. People, working, creating. Everyone has their path. Wish them all the best.”

@franklinleonard Too easy @franklinleonard. People, working, creating. Everyone has their path. Wish them all the best.

Franklin replied, saying it’s still “important to acknowledge those paths.”

@RedHourBen I do, without fail, but I also think it’s important that we acknowledge those paths.

Ben then replied, asserting that Hollywood is “ultimately a meritocracy.”

@franklinleonard Yes. Just speaking from experience, and I don’t know any of them, I would bet they all have faced challenges. Different than those with no access to the industry. Show biz as we all know is pretty rough, and ultimately is a meritocracy.

They then went back and forth a few more times:

@franklinleonard @BillMurphyJr I guess you don’t want me to agree with you? I think I was acknowledging your point, after you responded. Not sure what you are inferring in terms of what people think of their own success. But thanks for illuminating a perspective that I truly had not viewed the issue through.

@franklinleonard @BillMurphyJr Your perspective illuminated a POV For me. We might not totally agree on the generalization that most Hollywood folks believe one thing or another. But that’s less important than what you are saying about the overall very tilted and uneven landscape of the business.

Twitter: @RedHourBen

People were not happy with Ben’s comments:

Ben Stiller deciding that Hollywood is “ultimately a meritocracy” is so funny to me

Not Ben Stiller trying to convince us that Stephen King’s son, Sean Penn’s son, and Stephen Spielberg’s daughter have not had an easier path into the industry 😂😂

Twitter: @ElTacoLuis

Another topic from today that has CLEARLY been handled…in which Franklin Leonard gently refers to Hollywood nepotism and then is challenged by Ben Stiller, the child of entertainment industry comedy royalty 🙃

Twitter: @PiaGlenn

@RedHourBen @franklinleonard Incredibly talented people get limited opportunities while white men with box office bombs keep getting projects with big budgets.

Your insistence that it’s a “meritocracy” when reality too often shows otherwise is extremely frustrating, unless those merits = $$ relationships.

After that debate, Destry Spielberg tweeted that she acknowledges her privilege, but wants to “bring new talent into the industry and give opportunities to artists of all backgrounds.”

I acknowledge that i was born with privilege! I own that through and through! I make it my mission to bring new talent into the industry & give opportunities to artists of all backgrounds. No one should be left out because of the connections they dont have.

Ben has not responded to the backlash, but he did reply to a fan, who observed the debate, with this tweet:

So, there’s that. We’ll keep you updated if anything else develops.

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DaBaby Dismisses Quest Love’s Criticisms About His Controversial Comments




Roommates, DaBaby is caught in a web of criticism coming from many directions, including other artists. Industry giants like Madonna, Elton John and most recently  Quest Love has spoken out after the rapper made misinformed and problematic comments about HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQ community. The Roots frontman critiqued DaBaby in a lengthy Instagram post calling his actions “wrong.”

Quest Love included a photo with the post, which named seven artists including The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, The Isley Brothers, Rihanna, Sade, Meg Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Hiatus Kaiyote and Sault.  DaBaby’s name was scratched out in the post.

“I was hypothetically asked if I was curating an updated version of #SummerOf Soul who would be my acts,” Quest Love wrote. “I gave my dream list and now I’m updating my list because it’s 2021 & f**k the bullshit. I’m especially not here for any savagery.”

Shortly after Quest Love’s post went live, DaBaby responded directly saying he doesn’t know who Quest Love is.

“& do not care about loosing you as a fan my boy lol @questlove,” DaBaby wrote in an Instagram Story post. “You or any other n****s who wanna play follow the leader.”

He continued to let off his thoughts in more Story posts saying “these n****s really think they gone influence people to stop fucking with the influence.” Seemingly not backing down from his stance and comments, DaBaby said “I got da influence and the nuts n***a.”

He ended his response by saying people are “tagging along” in critiquing him, but that he can’t be bullied. He also accused critics of “tryna gain new fans” from his “situation” cause their work isn’t performing — in his words “quiet.”

“N****s better hit the studio or sum,” DaBaby wrote.

Quest Love has not responded to DaBaby’s replies, instead choosing to post the song “Le Sweat” by Kanye West and a poster to an upcoming streaming dance party scheduled for Friday night.

DaBaby followed up his clap back by posting a snippet of his latest music video for the track “Giving What It’s Supposed To Give.” The video, which features graphic sexual clips and controversial lyrics, has been streamed on YouTube more than 2.4 million times since dropping on July 28.

DaBaby landed in hot water almost a week ago during his set at Rolling Loud in Miami. Though he has issued an apology to both the LGBTQ community and people affected by HIV/AIDS, DaBaby continues to face a slew of online criticism.

Watch the video clip below:

He also fired at brands and companies that “profit off of Black rappers influence on culture, without understanding it or having the patience to deal with what comes with the positions [rappers] play in our culture.” Shortly after, boohooMan announced they’d no longer be working with DaBaby, just about one month after collaborating on an exclusive fashion line.

DaBaby let a few additional thoughts off on Thursday night, taking his writings to Twitter.

“I was tryna be a rapper for like one more year God ready for me to be a ICON now,” he tweeted. “This what I asked for I proudly accept the challenge. Let’s get it. Y’all sit back I’m cut like that dat.”

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HSMTMTS Behind The Scenes Photos




I just can’t get enough of these besties 🥺.

The Season 2 finale of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is here, people!

And to celebrate, let’s look through some of the best BTS pics from the show — here’s a magnificant mix of cute Instagram pics and never-before-seen exclusive pics straight from the cast:


This adorable group photo of the B-E-S-T Beauty and the Beast cast I’ve ever seen:


This photo of Kate Reinders, Joe Serafini, Frankie Rodriguez, Julia Lester, and Larry Saperstein sporting their Ruth Bader Ginsberg masks:


This forkin’ fantastic photo of Olivia Rodrigo in her Beauty and the Beast costume:


This photo of my new favorite co-anchors Sofia Wylie and Matt Cornett.


This photo of The Beast and Gaston getting ready to duke it out:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Matt told BuzzFeed, “I believe this was one of the last scenes of the day. Josh and I had been goofing off all day, and at this point, we were so delusional that just about everything each other said made us crack up laughing.”


And then this pic of Matt and Joshua Bassett being real-life besties:


This selfie of Dara Reneé and Frankie doing their best duck face:


This adorable snap of besties Dara and Olivia:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Dara told BuzzFeed, “It’s actually funny because looking at this picture, I remember the weekend before me and Olivia took a drive and we were showing each other music that we both had written. I knew from the jump that homegirl was going to amaze the world and make history!”


This shot of Josh and Larry hangin’ around between scenes:

Nick Sokoloff / Disney+

Larry told BuzzFeed, “Nobody interrupts bro bonding time! We always arrange our cast chairs in a big circle, so when we aren’t filming we can talk and hang out. Josh brings the Uno cards, and I bring my Nintendo Switch for Mario Kart!”


This video of Josh’s beastification:


This shot of Olivia practicing some COVID-friendly dance moves:


This glamour shot of Julia that just proves she’s a real-life Disney princess:


This photo of Larry and Josh that basically looks like a promo poster for a brand-new buddy comedy series:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Josh told BuzzFeed, “If I’m not mistaken, halfway through filming that pizza box scene, I had to pee like you wouldn’t believe…but due to mask mandates, it was a whole ordeal to cut, mask up, and run to the bathroom. Nobody listened when I warned THREE times that I HAD to go. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the bathroom in time. I may or may not have had to change pants…fortunately only Larry and Tim caught on to the accident…!”


This snap of Matt taking Seb’s tractor for a spin:


This sweet shot of Frankie, Joe, and SO much hay:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Joe told BuzzFeed, “Filming in Seb’s barn was so fun, but it was SO cold!! We had lots of layers on and were doing our best to not shiver when the cameras were rolling. I’m pretty sure you could see our breath in some of the shots!”


This sneaky shot of Olivia getting ready to sing her heart out:


This silly snap of Matt and Julia unleashing their inner 6-year-olds:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Matt told BuzzFeed, “These scenes were so much fun. Julia and I truly just got to play around like kids again. Julia definitely thought I was crazy, ha!”


This super awk but also adorable photo of Alex Quijano and Mark St. Cyr:


This snap of Sofia, Joe, Dara, Julia, and Olivia having a total lovefest backstage:


This photo of Dara and her onscreen mom, Kimberly Brooks, being the sweetest mother-daughter duo a person could ask for:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Dara told BuzzFeed, “This is me and my mom’s first day on set as costars! It was such a dream to work with my hero. We had so much fun going over lines and laughing at our mistakes. She is literally the best TV mom I could have asked for. (Other than Beyoncé!)”


This shot of Larry gazing at Julia that just proves Big Red and Ashlyn need to be endgame:


This smiley snap of Frankie, Kate, and Derek Hough inside the costume shop:


This silly shot of Larry hanging out with his new costars — Olivia Rose Keegan, Roman Banks, and Andrew Barth Feldman:


This photo of Olivia and Derek trying out their best North High intimidation tactics:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Olivia told BuzzFeed, “My life may have peaked on this day. I got to work with Derek Hough and a real-life wolf. Hands down the coolest day of my career thus far. The wolf’s name was Apollo and we got to spend a lot of quality time getting comfortable around each other and bonding. He is the sweetest, most polite boy, and I miss him very much!”


This photo of power duo Julia and Sofia goofing around backstage:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Julia told BuzzFeed, “I love Sofia Wylie! Getting to spend most of Season 2, Episode 6 with her was so, so special. We always know how to have the best time together, and I truly believe she helps bring out the best in me! Everyone needs a Sofia.”


This cute pic of our favorite East High crew celebrating New Year’s Eve:


This photo of Roman and Olivia that honestly kinda looks like an outtake from The Masked Singer:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Olivia told BuzzFeed, “Roman’s full Beast-gear was INCREDIBLE, but for the life of me, I could not talk to him for more than five seconds without laughing. It’s an extraordinary costume, but it was so strange to casually interact with him while he looked like this (very realistic) wild boar/lion/scary mystical creature.”


This super-sweet group hug moment with Joe, Frankie, and Kate:

Fred Hayes / Disney+

Joe told BuzzFeed, “We love any opportunity we can get to share a scene with our teacher/mother/mentor/friend, Kate Reinders. We call her ‘Broadway’s Kate Reinders.’ Maybe someday we’ll all be on Broadway together!”


This shot of Larry, Julia, and their Pride pizza:

Fred Hayes / Disney

Larry told BuzzFeed, “This ‘Pride pizza’ included some interesting toppings, like carrots, corn, and dyed jicama! We never actually ate it, but I can’t help but wonder if it actually tasted good…”


This sweet shot of Joe sittin’ pretty in his Chip costume:


This super-cute snap of Frankie and his mini-me, Noah Rico.

Fred Hayes / Disney

Frankie told BuzzFeed, “Baby Carlos! Played by the crazy talented Noah Rico! It was so funny watching his scene because I have a home video from when I was around 10 where I accepted my big award and then sang ‘Breakaway’ by Kelly Clarkson. So it was definitely a case of life imitating art.


This sweet video of the cast being total goofs on set:


And finally, this group pic that’s already making me wish for a third season:

So, are you psyched for Season 3? Tell us in the comments. And be sure to watch the Season 2 finale of HSMTMTS, streaming on Disney+ now!

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