Happy Friday, and welcome to our “People We Regret To Inform You Were Cancelled This Week” series. It’s exactly what it sounds like, though there is a disclaimer: These wrongdoers by no means exist on the same spectrum of moral corruption.
Some are worse than others. Some are individuals and some are groups and some are brands. Some committed crimes so heinous they deserve to be shipped off to another planet (looking at you, Tucker Carlson), whereas others just… kinda blew it. Some are cancelled for a day, and others for eternity. This is subjective.
1. Tucker Carlson
The New Zealand terrorist pulled the trigger, but he was carried to the steps of the mosque by voices of hatred and fear. The words of people like Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson don’t pull triggers, but they do motivate dangerous minds.— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) March 15, 2019
Tucker Carlson is a bad person. This is a fact. It comes as no surprise. He has, nightly for the past decade, proved himself to be a fear-mongering, conspiracy-theory-peddling, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic blowhard.
But recently unearthed call-ins the Tucker Carlson Tonight host made to “Bubba the Love Sponge”—the radio program hosted by Todd “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem—has revealed another side of Carlson. A side that that appears on shock jock radio programs to discuss how hot it is to imagine 14-year-old girls sexually experimenting with one another.
(BeforeCarlson was hired by Fox News in 2009, he was a recurring guest on “Bubba the Love Sponge” from the years 2006 to 2011.)
In one clip, Bubba the Love Sponge suggests that young girls at Carlson’s teenager daughter’s boarding school might be “experiment[ing] around” with one another, to which Carlson replies:
THE LOVE SPONGE: Next thing you know, [inaudible], what’s going on in the [inaudible] dormitory? Nothing. I don’t got a PSP to play, I ain’t got nothing going on, I ain’t got my mom and dad here telling me that they love me and tuck me in bed. So, here’s Trixie, she wants to explore my body a little bit, so hey, let’s go crazy.
CO-HOST: Wow. You’re a sicko.
CARLSON: If it weren’t my daughter I would love that scenario.
Later on in that episode, Carlson claims that child marriage isnot “the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child,” before going on to defend cult leader and convicted pedophile Warren Jeffs for being “weird and unpopular” and having “a different lifestyle that other people find creepy.”
(Jeffs was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List before being convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault in 2011. He is currently serving time for facilitating marriages between underaged girls and adult men. He was also married to two underage girls at the time—one of which was just 12 years old.)
In another clip, Carlson calls Iraq “a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys — that’s why it wasn’t worth invading.” He continues berating the Iraqi people in later recordings, explaining that he has “zero sympathy for them or their culture” and calling it “a culture where people just don’t use toilet paper or forks.”
More clips see Carlson calling Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis Stewart, “c—ty” several times, and saying how he just wants “to give her the spanking she so desperately needs,” as well as calling women “extremely primitive; they’re basic,” before adding, “they’re not that hard to understand.”
It goes on and on and on.
And while yes—as noted—the recordings don’t tell us anything we don’t already know, they do offer a glimpse into Carlson’s unrestrained mind, which in turn offers insight into the heart of the conservative media machine.
If Carlson, as one of right wing media’s hugest personalities, refuses to apologize (“We will never bow to the mob. Ever. No matter what,” he said Monday night), and if Fox News continues to have his back as he doubles down on his culture-wars conspiracy talk—what does that say about conservative culture at large?
(Media Matters has a full transcript of Tucker Carlson’s comments.)
F—k Tucker Carlson. Throw him into quicksand.
2. Felicity Huffman/Lori Loughlin/Olivia Jade Giannulli
Former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, and former “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, were two of fifty people charged by federal prosecutors earlier this week in connection with a $25 million scheme in which rich parents bribed college coaches, administrators, and insiders at college testing centers to get their kids admitted to fancy colleges around the country.
Loughlin—who along with her husband allegedly payed $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters onto the University of Southern California crew team even though they do not do crew—has already been dropped by Hallmark.
Meanwhile, Loughlin’s daughter—popular vlogger, influencer, and YouTube personality Olivia Jade Giannulli—lost a lucrative advertisement deal with Sephora.
Now, Huffman and Loughlin are also being hit with a $500 billion lawsuit filed by outraged parent Jennifer Kay Toy, who says her son Joshua was rejected from the same schools Loughlin and Huffman’s kids got into, despite his 4.2 GPA and impressive work ethic.
What these parents did wasn't for love, it was for fancy diplomas. Love would've made you spend that money on tutors to make your kids smarter, giving them an actual education.— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) March 14, 2019
It’s cool that rich and famous white people are facing rare consequences for cheating a system that pretends to be a meritocracy but is in fact built on the privileges bestowed by wealth and skin color.
When you read about Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, remember Tonya McDowell, a Black mom from Connecticut who spent 2012-2017 in jail for lying about her address to send her kindergartener to a better school. The whole damn system is guilty. #CollegeCheatingScandal pic.twitter.com/Ns1J2X90Ox— BYP100 (@BYP_100) March 13, 2019
But while Huffman and Loughlin’s actions can be chalked up to what David Mamet called “a parent’s zeal for her children’s future…overcoming her better judgment for a moment” (I’m not saying this is the case, I’m just saying it’s a (not great) take), I’m specifically calling out Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli for two reasons:
1. TMZ on Wednesday reported that when the college-scam news broke,Giannulli was on a yacht in the Bahamas belonging to Rick Caruso, the elected chair of USC Board of Trustees. In other words: she knew about the scam.
2. She has numerous times vocalized how little she cares about school. (“I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know,” she casually remarked in a vlog titled “basically all the tea you need to know about me (boys, college, youtubers),” which really just amounts to a big ole slap in the face to everyone who has to work for anything in this life.
How long are all these entitled jerks cancelled for? The courts will decide their sentences, but what about the court of public opinion? Cancel ’em forever for all I care.
3. That Dad Who Tweeted His Kid Is His ‘Biggest Life Regret’
Earlier this week, former-unknown Twitter user and self-proclaimed writer/entrepreneur/CEO Sam McRoberts tweeted out that his “biggest life regret” was having his son.
He proceeded to double down on his statement, explaining that he’d bet “money” (as opposed to what, his kid?) that “most people regret having kids” but, unlike him, are cowards for not proudly saying so to strangers on the internet.
McRoberts also claimed that, unlike theTwitter mob that came for him, his kid was totally fine with being both of his parents’ greatest life regret.
And boy, did the Twitter mob come! Especially after some hardcore Christian outlets published it and called him heretical and hellbound.
Religion aside, I think we can all agree that writing about how your kid is your biggest life regret to a bunch of strangers on the internet—strangers who screen-capped your statement, ensuring its permanence, is a totally sh—ty thing to do. Sam McRoberts was cancelled the second he gained the tiniest bit of attention.
4. Jose Canseco (or maybe A.Rod? But Probably Not)
Former MLB player Jose Canseco accused Alex Rodriguez of cheating on Jennifer Lopez last Sunday—just one day after the pair announced their engagement on social media.
Normally, this would be cause for concern because J.Lo needs to be protected at all costs and nobody is good enough for her, nobody!!!
Butit’s Jose Canseco making the accusations. Jose Canseco, whose tweets from the past several weeks alone include claims of time travel and peddling alien/Bigfoot excursions.
I just time traveled into the future Rams win 27 to 20— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) February 3, 2019
If I were president I would give citizenship to aliens and Bigfoot— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) February 14, 2019
Go on a Bigfoot and alien Excursion with Jose Canseco contact Morgan Management at 702-374-3735— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) February 12, 2019
Come play golf with me and learn about aliens and time traveling— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) February 2, 2019
His fascination with Bigfoot does not mean Canseco is lying about A.Rod cheating, but it does shake his veracity as a witness.
What I’m saying is, Canseco is cancelled for the week, but for the week only because I find him entertaining and I desperately need to see whether J.Lo or A.Rod even respond to his allegations. Unless, of course, there’s some truth to what he’s saying (YOU NEVER KNOW), in which case screw you A.Rod!!!
5. Colton Underwood
There seem to be two distinct takes when it comes to the season 23 finale of The Bachelor:
1. ColtonUnderwood both “broke and fixed” the show, as Lisa Bonos wrote for the Washington Post, because he didn’t get engaged but he still got the girl. Bonos called it “one of the most normal endings we’ve ever seen on this show.”
2. Colton Underwood refused to accept no for an answer, ignoring the many times Cassie Randolph told him they weren’t on the same page when it came to relationship commitment, repeatedly explaining that he could persuade her to love him, and showing up at her front door to inform her he’d dumped the other two women on the show when she left.
Li Zhou said it best in a Vox article explaining how “the idea of a man pursuing a woman who once rejected him rests on a familiar rom-com trope: that of the “chase'” and that this tired trope “simply involves a man wearing a woman down, despite her protests or expressions of disinterest, until she ultimately decides she’s open to a relationship.”
I’m more inclined to see it Zhou’s way.
The Bachelor (2019) pic.twitter.com/bfY5t7e0w9— Alex Spradlin (@a_sprads) March 13, 2019
The idea that a woman’s disinterest is part of the “chase” is already a problematic one in rom-coms, and becomes even more so when applied to a “reality” show watched by millions—including many young girls.
Of course most of us know that The Bachelor is a scripted and edited (and at least partly staged) television show, and people are allowed to change their minds. Maybe Cassie did, and maybe they are living happily ever after now that she isn’t feeling the pressure of marriage. Or maybe Colton just wore her down.
Either way, I deem him already un-canceled (the impressive Portuguese fence jump alone did it for me, and besides, Cassie can leave at anytime now that cameras aren’t rolling) and genuinely hope he’s managed to get rid of that pesky virginity.