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Apart from the premiere of Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour film, the most entertaining thing this week has been following the RICO case involving Young Thug, the Atlanta rapper born Jeffery Williams, and the street gang YSL, or Young Slime Life. Williams was arrested in May 2022 as “one of 28 people charged with gang-related crimes and violations of Georgia’s criminal racketeering law,” Nick Visser reported. The 32-year-old rapper has been charged with conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and with participation in gang activity.
The trial against Williams began on Monday, after Williams had already spent 567 days in jail, according to Vulture. And it wouldn’t be a true Atlanta trial without some tomfoolery – namely, Williams’ attorney saying his track “Pushin P” actually stands for “Pushing Positivity,” and that the word “Thug” stands for “Truly Humbled Under God.” (That one is actually a little more believable, considering at one point in history, “THUG LIFE” became an acronym for “The Hate U Give Little Infants F*cks Everybody.”)
However, on a more serious note, the trial has been interrupted as images of the jurors’ faces were leaked via livestream, which some believe may warrant a mistrial. What this case raises is the broader, much more important issue of the legal justice system disproportionately criminalizing hip-hop and unlawfully targeting Black artists on the basis of their lyrics. Man, these are the moments I wish NPR had not canceled their “Louder Than A Riot” podcast.
As we await more developments in the case, let’s get into the next edition of The Culture Catchall.
We’re Still Talking About It
- In a podcast interview, “The Morning Show” and “The Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies went on a racist, Islamophobic and homophobic pro-Israel rant. Blaming “they/thems,” the actor claimed that Black and LGBTQ+ communities that support Palestine are “brainwashed to hate Jews.” She suggested Muslims were ready to play soccer with decapitated heads — and claimed that playing a fictional lesbian reporter makes her an expert on the topic. Maybe this sort of behavior explains the alleged rift between Marguiles and her former co-star Archie Panjabi. Read up here.
- Ice is cold, the sky is blue, and the “Bachelor” franchise has been confronted with yet another potential scandal. In a fascinating turn of events, it seems as though the beloved Golden Bachelor hasn’t been a golden boy after all. The Hollywood Reporter “discovered several inconsistencies regarding both his work history and recent romantic entanglements that contradict the received narrative,” which resulted in producers presenting an “incomplete and misleading image of [Gerry] Turner.” Learn more here.
- Lil Nas X, the King of Gimmicks, has allegedly entered his… Christian era? After music video imagery that sent evangelicals into a tailspin, Lil Nas X recently teased a snippet of an acoustic song referencing God. Mind you, this comes right after “Nonsense” singer and former Disney star Sabrina Carpenter got into a tiff with the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn over filming her latest music video in a local church. Regardless, only time will tell if the notoriously unserious rapper is charting a new life path. Find out more from Them.Us.
Industry News and Announcements
- “The Color Purple” actors Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks grace the cover of Elle’s 2023 Women in Hollywood Issue.
- Paris Hilton announces the birth of her second child, London
- Talent agency UTA dropped Susan Sarandon over her support for Palestine.
- A new “Suits” spinoff based in Los Angeles is reportedly in the works.
- Sean “Diddy” Combs steps aside as president of Revolt TV, amid assault allegations.
- Variety announced its “Actors on Actors” pairings ahead of the season 19 premiere next week.
- The 2024 Oscars will air an hour earlier this year, followed by a special episode of “Abbott Elementary.”
- Uzo Aduba welcomes her first child with her husband Robert Sweeting.
- A “Sex and the City” reality dating show is in the works from Candace Bushnell.
- “Swagger” has been canceled after two seasons at Apple TV+…
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