Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) called for mass immigration to the United States during a speech Tuesday declaring it a “human right” for all North Americans.“And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,” Obrador said, adding that immigrants “must leave their towns and find a life in the United States.”He then declared it as “a human right we will defend,” eluniversal.com reports.While the election is not until July 1, Obrador is by far the frontrunner. (RELATED: Mag: Mexican Official Dreams Of Trump Assassination, But Most Urge Prudence)Obrador in April delivered speech criticizing Trump and promising that Mexico will not become a “piñata” for any foreign government, Global News reports.The former mayor of Mexico City, Obrador holds progressive populist views. The 64-year-old ran unsuccessfully for president twice before, according to DW.
Jeanine Pepler, the publicist who represented novelists Jay McInerney and Candace Bushnell, hanged herself Sunday night in her home in Sag Harbor, LI, taking her life the same way Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain did earlier this month. Sources say she was 50.
Pepler, who was raised and educated in Cape Town, South Africa, arrived in New York in 1996 and worked in public relations with the likes of Tina Brown, Michael Eisner, Julian Schnabel and Julie Taymor.
Friends said her body was discovered by her boyfriend, artist Steve Miller. “He is just devastated, as are we all,” said one. “She seemed to be doing great. They had a lot of plans for the future.”
Miller could not be reached for comment.
Pepler moved to Sag Harbor a few years ago and was running a new boutique agency, AKA Life. Her bio on the agency’s website states: “Her guilty pleasures include golf, white Burgundy, Betty’s Greek wraps and her daily early morning romp in the dog run with Violet, her French bulldog.”
Pepler had dated McInerney for six years before they amicably parted in 2005 and she temporarily moved into Bret Easton Ellis’ apartment.
Steve Miller and Jeanine PeplerPatrick McMullan via Getty Image
“We will still love and care about each other even though we’re not together anymore,” Pepler said at the time.
They remained friends after McInerney married publishing heiress Anne Hearst.
In McInerney’s 9/11 novel, “The Good Life,” the dedication reads: “For Jeanine: Who rescued me that day and many days thereafter.”
Pepler had surgery for thyroid cancer in 2004, but a friend said she had fully recovered and had been in good health.
A spokesman for the NY State Police said her death is “an active, ongoing investigation.”
New Yorkers who do not identify as either male or female may soon have the option to change their birth certificate to a third category.
Under a proposal announced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio, adults will have the option to change their given gender to “X.” The proposal would also remove a rule requiring a letter from a medical or mental health professional to change the gender on a birth certificate.
“You don’t need a doctor to tell you who you are and you shouldn’t need a doctor to change your birth certificate to reflect your true self. This groundbreaking legislation will make New York birth certificates more inclusive for all and will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone,” Johnson said in a statement.
The proposal would only affect adults and does not change the options on birth certificates for newborns, a City Council spokeswoman said. Currently, there is a “undetermined or unknown” option for the gender at birth, according to the AP.
“Transgender New Yorkers, like everyone else, should have birth certificates that reflect their true gender identity,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a statement. “By allowing self-attestation and ‘X’, the Health Department and City Council are reaffirming our commitment to the self-determination of the transgender and gender non-conforming community.”
The city’s Board of Health will consider the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday. If the board agrees, there will be a hearing on the changes in July and a vote in September, city officials said.
In 2014, the City Council and city health department approved an amendment to remove a requirement for surgery to change the gender on a birth certificate.
California, Oregon and Washington all have a third option on their birth certificates, the AP reported.
Luxury brand Louis Vuitton hired a shaman to prevent rain from marring the brand’s recent over-the-top show in the south of France.
Sources tell Page Six that while the guru had also been hired to tame the weather at previous shows around the world, skeptical execs at parent company LVMH had recently axed the jet-setting holy man from the budget.
But when a downpour unfashionably soaked an outdoor Dior show last week in Chantilly, France, the shaman was back on the payroll for Louis Vuitton’s fashion show at the Fondation Maeght, near Antibes, this week.
Top stylist Kate Young posted as part of a fashion diary for Vogue.com for the Louis Vuitton resort show: “Vuitton hired a shaman to stave off the rain and apparently all his work succeeded (kissing trees, or so I heard), because it didn’t rain until after the show finished!”
Harper’s Bazaar reported of the show, “The unidentified shaman also commanded the weather at LV’s Cruise shows in Rio and Kyoto.” But insiders further tell Page Six that after the aforementioned Rio de Janeiro show last year at the Niterói museum, LVMH brass cut the big kahuna loose.
“They used the shaman in Rio,” said a source, to ward off any potential bad weather, but then “the executives thought it was dumb” and gave the cosmic weatherman a pink slip.
Then last week, the Dior show was deluged when, according to WWD, “a heavy rainstorm broke moments before the start of the show, dousing the models as they made their way around the semi-open venue.”
Page Six sources say that’s when LVMH decided to bring back the shaman to the Louis Vuitton show — and the plan seemed to work, keeping rain away until the catwalk was cleared. Guests who stayed dry thanks to the mystical intervention included Emma Stone, Léa Seydoux, Ruth Negga and Sienna Miller. Reps did not immediately comment.
Less than a week before the California primary, Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party.
In the “knowledge panel” that provides easy access to information next to search results, Google was showing “Nazism” as an “ideology” of the party as of Thursday morning. The word “Nazism” was hyperlinked to a secondary page that shows “Nazism” alongside other “ideologies” of California Republicans like “Conservatism,” “Market liberalism,” “Fiscal conservatism,” and “Green conservatism.”
California voters have been casting their absentee ballots for weeks ahead of Tuesday’s statewide primary elections, which will help determine the majority in the House of Representative and the potential next governor of the world’s fifth-largest economy.
But voters looking for information by searching “California Republicans” or “California Republican Party” were getting “Nazism” next to their search results until Google took the listing down later Thursday after a query from VICE News.
Google’s information box on the California Republican Party.
The listing is provoking outrage among Republicans who already believe Silicon Valley tech giants are stacking the deck against them.
“It is disgraceful that the world’s largest search engine has labeled millions of California Republicans as Nazis,” said Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Majority Leader and potential successor to Speaker Paul Ryan. “This is just the latest incident in a disturbing trend to slander conservatives. These damaging actions must be held to account. The bias has to stop.”
The company’s “knowledge panel” at the top of its search results is often populated, at least in part, with information from Wikipedia. But the words “Nazi” or “Nazism” do not appear in the current Wikipedia page for the California Republican Party.Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party – VICE News
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s prime minister on Saturday hailed the culmination of “a quiet revolution” in what was once one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries after a landslide referendum vote to liberalize highly restrictive laws on abortion.
Voters in the once deeply Catholic nation backed the change by two-to-one, a far higher margin than any opinion poll in the run up to the vote had predicted, and allows the government to bring in legislation by the end of the year.
“It’s incredible. For all the years and years and years we’ve been trying to look after women and not been able to look after women, this means everything,” said Mary Higgins, obstetrician and Together For Yes campaigner.
For decades, the law forced over 3,000 women to travel to Britain each year for terminations and “Yes” campaigners argued that with others now ordering pills illegally online, abortion was already a reality in Ireland.
The campaign was defined by women publicly sharing their painful experiences of leaving the country for procedures, a key reason why all but one of Ireland’s 40 constituencies voted “Yes”.
In Northern Ireland, abortion rights groups clamor for change
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who campaigned to repeal the laws, had called the vote a once-in-a-generation chance and voters responded by turning out in droves. A turnout of 64 percent was one of the highest for a referendum.
“Today is an historic day for Ireland. A quiet revolution has taken place,” Varadkar, who became Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister last year, said in a speech after the vote.
“Everyone deserves a second chance. This is Ireland’s second chance to treat everyone equally and with compassion and respect. We have voted to look reality in the eye and we did not blink.”
The outcome is a new milestone on a path of change for a country which only legalized divorce by a razor thin majority in 1995 before becoming the first in the world to adopt gay marriage by popular vote three years ago.
The once-mighty Catholic Church took a back seat throughout the campaign.
Anti-abortion activists conceded defeat early on Saturday as their opponents expressed astonishment at the scale of their victory. Lawmakers who campaigned for a “No” vote said they would not seek to block the government’s plans to allow abortions with no restriction up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
“What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions,” the Save The 8th group said. “However, a wrong does not become a right simply because a majority support it.”
Voters were asked to scrap the constitutional amendment, which gives an unborn child and its mother equal rights to life. The consequent prohibition on abortion was partly lifted in 2013 for cases where the mother’s life was in danger.
The country’s largest newspaper, the Irish Independent, described the result as “a massive moment in Ireland’s social history”.
Campaigners for change, wearing “Repeal” jumpers and “Yes” badges, gathered at count centers, many in tears and hugging each other. Others sang songs in the sunshine outside the main Dublin results center as they awaited the official result.
The large crowd cheered Varadkar as he took to the stage to thank them for “trusting women and respecting their choices”.
People celebrate the result of yesterday’s referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
Reform in Ireland also raised the prospect that women in Northern Ireland, where abortion is still illegal, may start traveling south of the border.
“The outcome of the referendum is an extremely worrying development for the protection of the unborn child in Northern Ireland,” said Jim Wells, a member of Northern Ireland’s socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party.
No social issue had divided Ireland’s 4.8 million people as sharply as abortion, which was pushed up the political agenda by the death in 2012 of a 31-year-old Indian immigrant from a septic miscarriage after she was refused a termination.
Campaigners left flowers and candles at a large mural of the woman, Savita Halappanavar, in central Dublin. Her parents in India were quoted by the Irish Times newspaper as thanking their “brothers and sisters” in Ireland and requesting the new law be called “Savita’s law”.
Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said he believed a middle ground of around 40 percent of voters had decided en masse to allow women and doctors rather than lawmakers and lawyers to decide whether a termination was justified.
“For him, it’s a different Ireland that we’re moving onto,” said Colm O’Riain, a 44-year-old teacher referring to his son Ruarai, born 14 weeks premature in November who was in his arms.
“It’s an Ireland that is more tolerant, more inclusive and where he can be whatever he wants without fear of recrimination.”F
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan has defended reported comments by Pope Francis to a gay Chilean man that “being gay doesn’t matter,” saying they represent “conservative” Catholic teaching.
In a reconstruction of his conversation with the pope, Juan Carlos Cruz, an alleged victim of clerical sex abuse, said that Francis told him, “Juan Carlos, you being gay doesn’t matter” during their meeting in April.
“God made you like this and loves you like this and it doesn’t matter to me. The pope loves you like this, you have to be happy with who you are,” he reportedly said.
Cruz is one of three victims of Father Fernando Karadima who were in Rome in late April for three days of meetings with Francis. His comments came in an interview published on Saturday with the Spanish daily El País.
Commenting on the news during his weekly radio show Tuesday, Cardinal Dolan said that it is hard to know with certainty exactly what was said, and that one would want “a little bit of ‘wait and see’ here, let’s see exactly what the Holy Father said.”
While noting he had no intention of questioning the young man’s sincerity, he did say it would be wise to “keep in mind we got it third-hand, so what the pope said to him, he said to the press, so one would want to get a clarification.”
It is of course possible that the pope used those very words but it is also possible that Mr. Cruz walked away with that message, but that the pope’s words were somewhat different, he suggested.
In his own reconstruction of the meeting, Cardinal Dolan said the conversation probably went something like this: “Well, God loves you and so do I.”
“What he says is beautiful,” Dolan said. “Jesus could have said that.”
“That’s sort of conservative, traditional, Catholic, orthodox teaching. The Catechism insists on that,” he added.
“Yes, yes, while any sexual expression outside of a man and woman in marriage is contrary to God’s purpose, so is not treating anyone, including a gay person, with anything less than dignity and respect,” he stated.
The cardinal tied the conversation back to the pope’s celebrated remark in 2013 “Who am I to judge?” in reference to gay individuals in the Church trying to live chaste lives.
“People thought this was revolutionary,” Dolan recalled. “What he would say today would be similar to what Jesus would say.”
“People don’t understand those teachings of the Church,” Dolan said.
The Catholic Church teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law.”
Men and women “who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” however, “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided,” the Catholic Catechism states.
“Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection,” it concludes.
ope Francis has reportedly told a gay man that “God made you that way and loves you as you are,” apparently pushing the pontiff’s acceptance of homosexuality to a new level.Francis made the comments to Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse who recently spent days with the pope at the Vatican to discuss his ordeal as the pontiff moves to tackle decades of coverups and ostracism of victims in the Chilean church, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.Cruz was quoted as having discussed his homosexuality with Francis. “He told me: ‘Juan Carlos, I don’t care about you being gay. God made you that way and loves you as you are and I don’t mind. The pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are.’ “A spokesman at the Vatican on Sunday declined to confirm or deny Francis’ comments, stating, “We don’t normally comment on the pope’s private conversations.”In 2013, Francis famously said, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with goodwill, who am I to judge?” when asked for his views on homosexuality, signaling a sea change in Catholic views on sexual orientation.That year he also told an interviewer, “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” adding, “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ “His reported remarks based on Cruz’s account go further, however, by suggesting he believes people are created gay by God — a position likely to anger Catholic conservatives.”This is a big deal, I cannot remember the pope making a comment about gay people being born that way,” said Father James Martin, an American Jesuit priest, whose 2017 book “Building a Bridge” urged greater ties between the church and the LGBTQ community.”Pope Francis has repeated what all reputable biologists and psychologists say — you don’t choose your sexual orientation. And that is a great comfort to many gay and lesbian Catholics who have been told by priests that they have chosen their orientation and are therefore guilty,” he said.The comments do not suggest a change to church teaching, Martin said.The Catholic Church’s catechism currently states the “psychological genesis” of homosexuality “remains largely unexplained.””Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,’ ” it states, but adds that gay people “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity” in the church.Martin stressed that the pope’s comments were reported, not announced. “We have to distinguish between something the pope said on the record and a conversation,” he said.Cruz endured sexual abuse as a youth in Chile by prelate Fernando Karadima, who was sentenced by the Vatican in 2011 to a lifetime of penance.The Vatican did not, however, believe his claim that the abuse was witnessed and covered up by Chilean Bishop Juan Barros. Francis appointed Barros bishop of the town of Osorno in 2015, hugged him publicly during his visit to Chile in January and dismissed accounts by Cruz and other victims as “slander.”But as public fury in Chile grew, Francis in February dispatched an abuse investigator to interview the victims, inviting them to Rome, admitting he had made “serious mistakes.”Summoning Chile’s bishops to Rome, he accused them of destroying evidence of abuse and putting pressure on church investigators to downplay accusations.On Friday, all 33 bishops in Chile offered to resign.In his interview with El Pais, Cruz said Francis had been told that Cruz was “deranged” by his detractors before the meeting at Casa Santa Marta, the residence used by the pope at the Vatican.”The pope treated us like kings in Santa Marta and the bishops as children,” Cruz was quoted as saying. “It is clear that he believed us.”Kington is a special correspondent.
POPE Francis has told a gay man that God loves him during a private meeting, it has been claimed.
In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual.
Juan Carlos Cruz is a key whistleblower in Chile’s most famous case of clerical sex abuseAP:ASSOCIATED PRESS
Juan Carlos Cruz is a key whistleblower in Chile’s most famous case of clerical sex abuse
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The comments are the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The remarks were made during a private meeting at the Vatican between the pair, in which the Pope offered a heartfelt apology.
Cruz was a victim of Chile’s most notorious paedophile priest Fernando Karadima.
Father Karadima, now aged 87, was found guilty of sexual abuse by the Vatican in 2011.
Chilean sexual abuse victims Jose Andres Murillo (R), James Hamilton (C) and Juan Carlos Cruz (L) in RomeAFP OR LICENSORS
Chilean sexual abuse victims Jose Andres Murillo (R), James Hamilton (C) and Juan Carlos Cruz (L) in Rome
Cruz claims that his suffering was ignored by a number of Latin American bishops who used his homosexuality to brand him a liar when he spoke out.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper El País, Cruz said: “He [the Pope] told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter.
“God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.
“The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”
The Pope’s words signal a much more open and inclusive approach by the often restrictive faith – a move which will likely upset many conservative Catholics.
The Vatican has neither confirmed nor denied the comments the Pontiff’s comments to Cruz.
This is not the first time Pope Francis’ comments have suggested a more open and tolerant attitude toward homosexualityREUTERS
This is not the first time Pope Francis’ comments have suggested a more open and tolerant attitude toward homosexuality
Pope Francis hit in the face by object thrown through Popemobile window in Santiago, Chile
The Catholic Church teaches that gay sex – and all sex outside of heterosexual marriage – is a sin.
This is not the first time Pope Francis’ comments have suggested a more open and tolerant attitude toward homosexuality.
In July 2013, when responding to a reporter’s question about the existence of an alleged “gay lobby” within the Vatican, Pope Francis said: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”
The Pontiff’s most recent remarks come as several high profile members of the clergy have sought to publicly make amends with gay Catholics, many of whom say they feel shunned an d unwelcome in the church.
It is the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a Pontiff
Juan Carlos Cruz was one of three former sex abuse victims from Chile who were summoned to Rome to receive an apology from the Pontiff for years of abuse endured by them as children.
The victims described clerical sexual abuse as “an epidemic that has destroyed thousands of lives.”
Initially, the Pope had been slow to realise the gravity of the crisis in Chile, at one point even coming to the defence of a controversial bishop linked to Father Karadima.
However, he swiftly changed his stance after Vatican investigators presented him with a 2,300-page dossier documenting the sexual abuse of minors that had been covered up in Chile for decades.
Last week, Chile’s 34 bishops offered to resign en masse over the abuse scandal, in an unprecedented move in the history of the Catholic Church.
He’s one twisted monster.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis war-whooped “Woo-hoo,” blared a WWII Japanese military anthem on his phone and shouted cruel taunts as he opened fire on his cowering classmates, according to new accounts a day after the Texas high school junior allegedly killed eight students and two teachers.
The admitted gunman even chillingly sang “Another one bites the dust!” as he fired away with his father’s Remington 870 shotgun and .38-caliber handgun.
“My friend Trent was in the classroom and said after [Pagourtzis] would shoot a student he would sing, ‘Another one bites the dust!’” Sante Fe High School sophomore Kole Dixon, 16, told The Post of a classmate, whose last name he asked not be printed.
“He also kept playing a kamikaze song over and over as loud as he could,” on his cellphone, Dixon said of the shooter.
Pagourtzis had the same kamikaze military anthem on his now-deleted YouTube page, Dixon said.
Pagourtzis had earlier bragged of wearing a “Rising Sun” insignia on his black trench coat, explaining it signified “Kamikaze Tactics,” according to a photo and text posted on his also-deleted Facebook page.
New details of the 17-year-old’s sick sense of humor went well beyond the previously reported “Born to Kill” T-shirt he wore, and his taunt of “Surprise!” as he blasted through the walls of an art class supply closet.
“They hear the gunman in the classroom next door yelling Woo Hoo! and firing more shots,” mom Deedra Van Ness said in a Facebook post Friday night, recounting details from her by her daughter Isabelle, who survived unscathed but was covered in blood.
“Surprise, motherf–ker!” the shooter hollered as he fired into the closet wall, instantly killing two of the half-dozen students who had barricaded themselves inside with Isabelle, Van Ness said her daughter told her.
“Are you dead?” he later asked from the other side of the closet.
“Do you think it’s for you?” he also joked, as cell phones left behind in the classroom rang unanswered.
County officials revealed that Pagourtzis exchanged “a lot of firepower” with authorities before surrendering. Despite this alleged show of firepower, Pagourtzis purposefully collapsed while giving himself up — so he wouldn’t be shot by his arresting officers. The shooter, “sort of fell to the ground and surrendered,” said Republican Texas Rep. Michael McCaul.
So-called “explosive devices” found in the school and in Pagourtzis’ car and home were duds — incapable of detonating, Texas officials said. The devices included carbon dioxide canisters tapped together, and a pressure cooker with an alarm clock and nails inside.Source: Texas school shooter taunted victims during rampage: witnesses
A school bus packed with kids on a field trip collided with a dump truck on a New Jersey highway Thursday morning, killing at least two people — including a child, according to sources and a report. The deadly smash-up happened just before 10:30 a.m. on Route 80 near Exit 25 in Stanhope, ripping the undercarriage clean from the bottom of the bus as it came to rest on its side in the roadway’s median, horrifying photos show. At least two people were killed, NBC – New York reported, citing sources. The net
Former Federal Prosecutor and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was on Laura Ingraham’s ‘The Ingraham Angle’ on FOX News last night.
Rudy and all of America know there is no collusion between President Trump and Russia and so Rudy encouraged the corrupt Mueller team to wrap it up.
Rudy discussed the corrupt Mueller investigation that has now been going on for a year. At the beginning of the below segment of the interview Rudy stated that the guys on the Mueller team are taking so long because maybe “these guys, you know, figure they can’t get a good job”.
Rudy was outstanding and he never let up. At the end of the interview (at the 9:10 mark in the video below) Rudy addressed the crooked Mueller team straight on –
Ingraham: Timeline, what is your optimal timeline for this to wrap up?
Rudy: They should do it today. I mean as soon as possible. I think that they have the facts from which they can write their report.
If you can write a fair report fine, then write it.
If you’re gonna write an unfair report, write it and we will combat it. We’re ready to rip it apart.
And we’re ready to rip them apart if that’s what they want. We’d rather peacefully settle this and get it over with.Source: Giuliani Puts the Corrupt Mueller Team on Notice: “We’re Ready to Rip Them Apart if that’s What They Want!”
Spike Lee delivered a blistering attack against Donald Trump on Tuesday, refusing to mention the president by name while saying he’d shirked his moral duty to speak out in the aftermath of last year’s deadly riots in Charlottesville.
Appearing at a press conference alongside the stars of “BlacKkKlansman,” which world premiered in Cannes on Monday night, the director said the film was on the “right side of history” while denouncing the president for not taking a firm stance in the wake of violence that erupted following a white nationalist rally, leaving three people dead.
“That motherf—er was given a chance to say we are bout love, and not hate, and that motherf—er did not denounce the motherf—ing Klan, the alt-right, and those Nazi motherf—ers,” he said.
“It was a defining moment, and he could’ve said to the world…that we were better than that.”
“BlacKkKlansman” is based on the incredible true story of black police detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.
Describing it as a “major comeback” for Lee, Variety called the film “as much a compelling black empowerment story as it is an electrifying commentary on the problems of African-American representation across more than a century of cinema.”
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Though set in the ‘70s, Lee said it was “our job as filmmakers and storytellers…to connect this period piece to the present day.” He framed the film in the context of the bloody history of a country he said “was built upon the genocide of native people, and slavery,” calling it “the fabric of the United States of America.”
He added, “What’s happening did not just pop up out of thin air.”
Lee recalled watching the Charlottesville violence unfold on CNN while in Martha’s Vineyard, and recognizing “right away” that the footage “had to be my…coda for the film.”
The director got permission from the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a man drove a Dodge Charger into a crowd of protesters, to use footage of her death in the movie. “I was not gonna put that murder scene in the film without her blessing,” he said.
Focus will be releasing “BlacKkKlansman” in the U.S. on the one-year anniversary of the riots, which Lee described as an “ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on the United States of America.”
Calling the film a “wake-up call,” he repeatedly returned to the moral failings of President Trump, while adding that the rise in right-wing hate speech and violence had become a global scourge. “We look to our leaders to give us direction, to make moral decisions, and I like to say this is not just something that pertains to the United States of America, this bulls–t is going all over the world,” he said.
“We have to wake up,” Lee added. “And we can’t be silent.”
“BlacKkKlansman” is peppered with digs at the current president – one KKK member talks about embracing an “America first” policy – while drawing parallels between the rise of Trump and the political aspirations of former Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace). After the premiere, the film received a six-minute standing ovation.
Lee walked the red carpet Monday evening wearing the iconic “love” and “hate” brass knuckles from “Do the Right Thing.” Speaking on Tuesday, he said that while he couldn’t predict the outcome of this year’s mid-term elections – “even though my friends call me Negrodamus” – he still remained hopeful about the future.
“I believe in hope, but I’m not blind or deaf,” he said. “I think that you could be hopeful but still be aware of what’s happening. Too many people walking around in a daze.”
Cate Blanchett led female stars in an unprecedented red-carpet protest at the Cannes Film Festival last night to demand equal pay and an end to sexual harassment.
Salma Hayek and Kristen Stewart were also among 82 actresses, female producers and directors who marched arm in arm to demand equality and “a safe workplace” seven months after the fall of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of rape and sexual harassment.
The protest highlighted that only 82 films directed by women have been selected for the festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or competition in its 71-year history, compared with 1,645 directed by men.
Blanchett, who is presiding the jury this year awarding the coveted Palme d’Or award, one of the film industry’s highest honours, said: “We demand that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so they can best reflect the world in which we live.”
Cate Blanchett – Credit: Dominique Charriau /Wireimage
Cate Blanchett made a speech demanding workplace equality Credit: Dominique Charriau /Wireimage
She said female stars were calling for “a world that allows all of us, in front and behind the camera, to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues.”
Jane Campion is the only female director to have won the Palme d’Or, for her 1993 film, “The Piano”.
The march up the red-carpeted steps came before an unprecedented move by the festival to sign “strong commitments” on parity and diversity on Monday.
Thierry Frémaux, the festival director, said he supported the march as a way for women “to affirm their presence”.
82 actresses, female producers and directors who marched arm in arm to demand equality – Credit: Dominique Charriau/WireImage
82 actresses, female producers and directors who marched arm in arm to demand equality Credit: Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Just hours earlier, Marlène Schiappa, France’s minister for gender equality, revealed that several women attending the event had called a special helpline for women to report sexual harassment at the festival.
“A female responder who took one of the calls escorted an Anglo-Saxon woman to a police station to file a complaint on Friday night,” Ms Schiappa said. The term ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is used in French to mean someone from an English-speaking country. Neither the complainant nor the alleged attacker have been identified.
The line was set up for the first time this year following four alleged attacks at the festival in previous years by Weinstein.
US-Mexican actress Salma Hayek Pinault (C), and Algerian actress Sofia Boutella (2ndR) walk the red carpet in protest of the lack of female filmmakers – Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP
Salma Hayek was among the women at the red carpet protest Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP
The #MeToo movement has thrown the spotlight on harassment and 40,000 flyers were handed out at this year’s festival reminding guests that sexual harassment can be punished in France by three years in prison and a £40,000 fine.
Cannes has also come under scrutiny over the small number of female directors selected for its competition.
Mr Frémaux insisted that the festival chooses films solely for their quality, but he has promised to make selection committees gender-balanced.
After the march, the festival screened Eva Husson’s “Girls of the Sun,” which tells the story of Kurdish women fighters.
Husson, a French director, is one of only three women whose films are among the 21 selected for the competition this year. The others are Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum” and Alice Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Lazzaro”, which are to premiere next week.c