Pop Culture Fix: Madonna’s Got Rosie’s Back And Don’t You Forget It

Welcome to your weekly Pop Culture Fix! I’m coming to you from Midwest A-Camp; in fact, I’m sitting in an actual room with Yvonne and Rachel and Laneia! Tomorrow is pre-camp and also potentially a trip to a place called Elegant Farmer where we’ll eat fresh pies and cheese curds and maybe pick our own apples from the trees. Miss you, wish you were here.

Rosie O

One of the weirdest things that happened in Monday night’s presidential debate was Donald Trump dragging Rosie O’Donnell into a conversation about how he treats women like garbage, which further illustrated Hillary Clinton’s point that he treats women like garbage. He was rehashing as a strategy that worked out well for him in the GOP primary when Megyn Kelly called him out on his general sexism — “You’ve called women you don’t like, fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals” — and he responded with, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” The line got huge laughs and applause. Near the end of Monday night’s debate, Hillary was calling him out in the same way and he tried it again; only this time, the audience remained silent, and Twitter went to bat on Rosie’s behalf.

One thing you’re going to want to revisit is Riese’s piece from last August, “Donald Trump’s Rosie O’Donnell Jab Wasn’t Just Sexist, It Was Homophobic, Too.”


+ Now that American Horror Story is back on our screens and Sarah Paulson is fresh off her Emmy win, everybody wants a minute with her. Entertainment Weekly got one! They asked her to pick the weirdest of the six seasons of AHS she’s starred in, and she says it’s Roanoke, the one that’s airing now: “There’s nothing extreme about her except for the situation that she’s in. So that is weirdly the weirdest thing I’ve ever done on American Horror Story.”

+ Here’s what’s next for Jessica Jones.

+ Tonight’s Modern Family will feature a trans child actor. According to Variety:

In the upcoming episode — entitled “A Stereotypical Day” — parents Cameron “Cam” (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) permit their daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) to have her transgender friend Tom over for a play-date. Both parents are filled with pride that they have done well in raising an accepting and open-minded child. But that pride quickly diminishes when Lily insults her friend, which they use as a teachable moment.


+ Apparently the new animated film Storks, which pulled down $21 million at the box office last weekend, features two gay couples in “a fast-moving montage.” A pair of dudes and a pair of gal pals and the stork brings both of them babies. Despite their very near invisibility (apparently the simple act of blinking might cause you to miss them), some Christian families are freaking out about whether or not to let their kids see the movie. Although, as Christian Examiner notes, pretty soon families who don’t want their kids to have knowledge of gay people are going to be stuck inside their homes forever.

+ The Daily Beast says The Handmaiden is “a lesbian erotic thriller” and “the sexiest film of the year.” I’ll see it at NewFest in October and let you know if that’s true.

+ Amandla Stenberg landed the lead role in Fox’s adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s YA trilogy, Darkest Minds.

Minds is set after a pandemic kills most of America’s children and teenagers. When some survivors develop various superpowers, they are deemed too dangerous for society, taken from their families and placed inside internment camps. The first book tells of Ruby Daly, a 16-year-old with telekinetic powers who escapes her camp and joins a group of teens on the run from the government.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


    • I remember you said you saw Ranaoke. I saw one episode, with the kid. It was fuckin scary. Kids are always fuckin scary..

      • Yes! Kids make everything creepier. Plus, there is a ghost kid and a live kid and live kid says “They’re going to kill us all and save me for last.” Whoa.

        • What happens after the live one disappears, i didnt watch after that. i mean i want to watch, but then i have to sleep with the light on, because i keep feeling there is a ghost kid watching me sleep or something. its mental, but there it is…

          • Live Kid disappearing was pretty much the end of the episode. They went and looked for her and saw her sweatshirt at the top of a tree. New episode tonight! (Although I have to watch it on Thursday because I can’t stay up that late on a work night.)

    • I know, the wait is killing me. I keep re-watching episodes, and every time i see a commercial for Luke Cage, all i can think is “Yeah great, you’re not Jessica…” Harumpf. (Also, i don’t know about you, but i find that “Can’t women just be friends schtick to be a total bag of dicks.)

      • I will have to watch all the episodes again next year otherwise I will forget what happened. Agreed on the Luke Cage show. There was an article about it in my Entertainment Weekly magazine and I was like “ummm, no.” His character is great, don’t get me wrong, but Luke Cage is no Jessica Jones.

        I had to re-read that “Can’t women be friends” comment a few times before I believed it. Of course women can just be friends, like on EVERY OTHER TV SHOW. But Their relationship is so ex-lover it’s insane.

      • I’m almost as excited for Luke Cage as Jessica Jones simply because it’s the first Marvel lead who is a POC. It’s a big deal. Guy or not, I’m thrilled to be able to watch this series.

        • @ Joanna – agreed. It’s not just that the lead is a POC. It’s that almost all of the supporting cast is too, and that it’s set in Harlem. The Marvel cinematic/TV universe has been somewhat slower on the uptake than the comics when it comes to diversity and this is a big step for them. Plus, if Luke Cage does well, perhaps we can hold out hope for Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel.

        • Don’t forget Daisy Johnson! Agents of Shield can make terrible choices (a lot, oh gosh, so many), but they do have an Asian-American woman as their protagonist, and her story arc has been great to watch.

  1. Unrelated, but I just got the ‘Lazy Femme’ T-shirt I ordered in moment of panic when I learned that AfterEllen was being shut down, and in only a week! (Which is really fast for shipping all the way from the US to little old Norway) It’s very soft and comfy, perfect for being lazy, 10/10 would recommend.

  2. “Although, as Christian Examiner notes, pretty soon families who don’t want their kids to have knowledge of gay people are going to be stuck inside their homes forever.”

    This is so fucking dramatic but that’s probably for the best.

    • Parents who don’t want their children to learn about gay people should probably not let them read the Christian or Hebrew Bibles either.

      Of course you’d think these same parents would also worry about the rape, murders, and everything else in those texts too…

  3. Hooray for Modern Family, but I’m not sure about that “first” — what about Sophia Grace Gianna as 12-year-old Maura in the current season of Transparent? Or does that not count as TV?

    • I was confused about that too! Maybe the mainstream article that “first” came from – can’t remember where I read it yesterday – is talking about on traditional TV channels?

      • Maybe the article has been edited since Heather read it, but in the article itself it says, ““Modern Family” is not the first TV series to feature a transgender child. For one, “Transparent’s” third season, which just launched on Amazon last Friday, features a trans kid actress, who plays a young Maura in a 1950’s flashback scene, trying on clothes when she gets yelled at by her father.”

        Also, it should go without saying, but do NOT read the comments.

    • yeah that’s what i said when i heard it. i was like Transparent did it 1st (though i haven’t seen it yet). but maybe they were talking about broadcast TV because that still seems to be the relevant statistic even though broadcast is last on how people watch TV anymore.

    • There was also Royal Pains. I don’t watch the show, but by happenstance I caught the episode where a teen trans woman was sick. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the actual actress is a trans woman. So, maybe on network, non-cable, non-streaming show it could be called the first?

  4. Apparently the kid that’s going to be on Modern Family goes to church near me. Yesterday my facebook semi-blew up for a minute with excited/supportive messages from clergy/churchgoers/even clergy i know from another state that are connected where i live now (the metro areas are pretty tight-knit when it comes to this denomination). It was the best!

      • United Methodist! (thankfully for all the divides in the denomination there are still quite a few people/clergy/churches going all out to support/include/etc the LGBT community, even if it violates the Book of Discipline) (not that supporting this kid would violate church law of course, just, times are tough at moments in the church)

  5. Re: Jessica Jones, I never shipped Jess and Trish, but this paragraph REALLY pissed me off.

    “People would love that,” Rosenberg noted, not un-wearily. “I sometimes think there’s sort of a prurient interest in that, like, can’t women just be friends? I feel like for me that’s what is unique about the relationship, that they are such intimate friends, and I think they don’t have to become lovers—that being said, one never knows.”

    For one thing, has she never watched TV before? Does she not know how many “intimate friendships” between women already exist on TV?!

    And for another, the “one never knows” line is the definition of queerbaiting. Why couldn’t she just have said that they’re “intimate friends” and left it at that? It’s very clear what she wants them to be, so why try to pretend that might change? I mean, this isn’t J-Roth level queerbaiting, it’s not going to make me stop watching the show, but still, it’s totally unnecessary and kind of offensive. And it’s especially upsetting because I’ve REALLY liked everything Melissa Rosenberg has said about the show in the past, regarding rape culture and PTSD and the role of female superheroes in the MCU, and this just feels like such a betrayal from a TV exec I thought could be trusted.

    • Totally^^ like there are a million ways she could have validated their intimate friendship without leaving that door open. (I say this as someone who has totally platonic friendships that look like Trish/Jess and are mistaken for romantic partnerships at first all the time, and would be totally happy to see Trish and Jess as either).

    • She might as well just say “No homo” because that’s what she means. Why can’t two women on tv just be friends? You mean like the epic Meredith and Christina on Grey’s Anatomy to name one of many examples. Why do people always use this excuse for why they don’t want to see two women in a romantic relationship on television and think it doesn’t come off homophobic as fuck?

      • Speaking of Mere and Christina, I also want to add that maybe Roseberg should take a page out of Shonda Rhimes’ book. She has managed to have completely platonic relationships between two women as well as romantic ones and doesn’t throw the latter under the bus. Just saying.

        • Ugh, exactly. There are so many better ways she could have responded to that question without totally devaluing the ACTUAL romantic relationships between two women on the show.

    • Lol, Melissa Rosenberg. Intimate platonic friendships among women: the LAST UNEXPLORED FRONTIER on television. Sure.

    • I’m all for queer representation, but I don’t have a problem with this quote. It would be a big shift for this show, because it would have to make both Jessica and Trish bi. I prefer a queer character like Hogarth. Even though she’s a self-centered lawyer, she’s out and proud from the start. I have faith Jessica Jones could pull off Trish/Jessica if they wanted to, but it would be very carefully plotted. I’d rather they just left it as is.

      • Agreed about the characters, I just think Rosenberg could have handled it differently. A lot of us have an interest in seeing queer characters on our screens that is not at all prurient, for instance.

      • I’m not saying Trish and Jessica have to be bi and/or a couple. I actually don’t ship them that way. I’m saying Melissa Rosenberg’s explanation for WHY it shouldn’t happen is complete horseshit. In that quote she basically said that the people who are interested in them being a couple are only interested in that because they want to see them have sex. Her own words, “I sometimes think there’s sort of a prurient interest in that”. And that isn’t the first time I’ve heard a showrunner imply that people who are interested in two same-sex characters becoming a canon couple only want that because they want to see sex scenes. I have never once heard a showrunner dismiss an entire fanbase of a hetero pairing becoming canon because “Oh, you just want them to have sex and that’s not what this show is about”.

  6. I opened the Christian Examiner article about Storks and the page included a large banner ad for Take My Wife, so I guess I appreciate advert algorithms for once. LOL



    …okay, I’m done. I’ll go back and read now…

    • Haven’t seen it yet, although i want to. Sarah Warn has given it a thumbs up though, which makes me more interested in it.

    • I just saw the first two episodes and I thought it was pretty funny ! I’m hoping it’ll start developing into “Malcolm in the Middle” levels of funny once it’s found its pace.

    • I’m loving it. I think it’s funny and seems like it will get funnier as time goes on with pacing and such. My brother has CP so there’s so many instances where it’s just like “welp, been there” or “yep, I know that personality.”

    • I’m cautiously optimistic about it. I’m disabled and several family members are disabled, so we’re pretty excited to see an actor who is actually disabled play this role, though Minnie Driver seems WAY over the top for me, and I don’t love the whole “we’re shameless careless assholes” thing they did last night with the rest of the family. But there were some great scenes with the new aide, and it’s nice to see this representation.

      • Agreed — the “we’re assholes and take pride in it!” business is grating, as is how overwritten Driver’s character is. But all the scenes with the aide are really strong.

  8. So I’m here having made the transition from AfterEllen and I was just wondering if this is a recurring article series similar to the Morning Brew. See my routine would be to get my entertainment fix with the Brew every day and read any of the recaps of the TV I watched. I’m still getting used to this Auto Straddle format and finding the stories that interest me. Any guidance to navigate this new terrain and find my comfort zone would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Saw The Handmaiden at a film festival, it made the happiest a film has made me since Carol. Actually, it sits beside Carol in my opinion. Just sayin’, SUPER SUPER GOOD

  10. As @c-p mentioned last week and Queen Sugar confirmed last night, Rutina Wesley’s character, Nova, is queer. She didn’t explicitly identify one way or another but based on her definition–that she doesn’t care about the package, she’s attracted to what’s inside–I’d speculate that she’s at least bisexual, possibly pansexual.

    The conversation around her sexuality was amazingly simple and lighthearted–though that might have had something to do with the joint Nova, her sister, Charley, and her aunt, Vi, were passing around. The progressive conversation was a stark contrast to the regressive conversations that happen around the Bordelon family.

    • Agreed! That scene with Nova, Charley and Vi was probably my favourite since Nova and Charley’s hug in the pilot. I was glad to see Nova’s queerness finally come in to play, though I’m really loving the whole show for itself, not just for the possibility of queer characters.

  11. “So I’m here having made the transition from AfterEllen and I was just wondering if this is a recurring article series similar to the Morning Brew.”

    I’m in the same place. I was looking for a television thread to comment on this past week’s “Agents of SHIELD”. Agent Melinda May (the great&glorious goddess Ming Na) is talking to the short-haired, dyke-y agent about the new chain-of-command, and that she, HBIC, would just like to be addressed as “May”.

    Dyke-y agent: “I could do you, May”

    May: {knowing look}

    Dyke-y agent: (quickly) “I mean, I could do that for you, May”.

    Freudian Slip strikes again! ;-p

    • Hey JC! I don’t think there are as many TV posts here as there were on AE (how I miss it!) And any “Morning Brew” type articles aren’t posted daily. So I’m not sure where TV subtext discussions will occur… Yet again, though, this proves that I really should be watching Agents of SHIELD.

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