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Avril Lavigne Responds to ‘Hello Kitty’ Critics and Cries of ‘Racism’

Avril Lavigne (who apparently still exists) is taking some serious flack for her new video “Hello Kitty.”

Since the video first appeared on YouTube this past Tuesday (it has since been taken down and re-posted), shaming, angry tweets have abounded, and even the experts haven’t been sure what to make of it — the general consensus seems to be that it might be racist (pandering at best), and it’s definitely terrible.

Billboard magazine’s Jason Lipshutz called the video “an embarrassment in any language,” and Entertainment Weekly‘s Darren Frenich said, “There are serious questions about whether it’s offensive (expressionless Asian dancers, Tokyo-as-prop) or offensively obvious (this one’s for you, large Japanese fanbase!).” Read more

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MTV Press Release Summary: ‘Follow Me Plz I’ll Follow U Back’

MTV

So what will the special announcement be?!

  • Has the White House reconsidered its response to the “deport Justin Bieber” petition?
  • Will Pharrell shock the world by confessing that he’s not always “Happy?”
  • Will Beyoncé admit that she’s not a real blonde?
  • …or will the super-secret host of the 2014 Video Music Awards turn out to be a teen pop star whose name we barely know?

We’re not sure. But this might be the most direct call-to-action style release we’ve ever read.

How Should HBO Respond to ‘Game of Thrones’ Controversy?

Game_of_Thrones_title_screen.png.CROP.promo-mediumlargeSince Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” aired, the internet has been abuzz with controversy over a decidedly disturbing scene that played out very differently in the show than it did in the books; what was written as an instance of consensual (yet creepy) sex played out on screen as an incredibly difficult-to-watch depiction of rape.

While many fans were angry that a character endowed with his own (strange) brand of honor had been re-written as capable of committing such a heinous, unforgivable act against a person he loves — and some wondered why the showrunners felt the need to make an already-disturbing scene so much more violent — all of this this would normally be a question of artistic license and therefore not discussed on a PR blog.

However, comments made by the show’s director Alex Graves have — if unintentionally — shifted the discussion from a touchy one about creative decision-making to a deeply serious one about our culture’s struggle with the definition and recognition of what rape actually is.

Read more

Miss America Defends Student Suspended for Asking Her to Prom

Miss NYLast Thursday, the current Miss America, Nina Davuluri, was set to visit Pennsylvania’s Central York High School. Her purpose, as the first-ever Miss America of Indian descent, was to spread a message of diversity.

But student Patrick Farves had a different purpose in mind, and planned on utilizing the beauty queen’s presence at his school’s assembly to secure himself the holy grail of all prom dates — Miss America herself.

When administrators heard rumors of Farves’ plan, they warned him not to follow through with what would undoubtedly be a major disruption, but by that time, as Farves’ told Reuters, “my mind was already set. I was already in the zone.”

During the assembly, Farves, plastic flower in hand, approached Ms. Davuluri and asked her to be his date to prom, after which the crowd of students dissolved into laughter and cheers. The school’s administration, however, was less than amused and assigned Farves a three-day suspension. Read more

Katherine Heigl Goes Litigious Over Duane Reade Twitpic

In a headline custom-made for the tabloids, everyone’s favorite fake doctor Katherine Heigl wants a cool $6 million in compensation from Duane Reade for the sharing of this pic last month:

You don’t really need to ask why, do you?

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WATCH: GoldieBlox Shows You ‘Your Brain on Princess’

Now that the much-discussed spat between GoldieBlox and The Beastie Boys has been settled, the gender-stereotype-challenging toy company is back with a new, equally-clever (but probably less legal action-inducing) commercial.

The spot, titled “This is Your Brain on Princess,” is a threefold masterpiece. Not only does the ad’s focus on an egg perfectly spoof that classic “This is Your Brain on Drugs” PSA, but it’s perfectly-timed for Easter toy-buying, and manages to hammer home the point that little girls, like eggs, either crack under the pressure of a beauty-obsessed culture, or hatch by fully recognizing their multifaceted potential. Pretty brilliant.

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Mayor Rob Ford: When Bad PR Turns Into Reality TV Gold

Rob-FordOn the off-chance you have been stranded on a deserted island or binge viewing on reality TV, you may not have been granted the pleasure to be introduced to Toronto Mayor and professional crack smoker, Rob Ford.

Here he is pictured bringing sexy back … and front … and all around.

Canadian politics is surprisingly comical. First, Rob Ford holds a press conference about his warm pipe ways, then does a media tour about how he has changed his ways, bull rushes a co-worker on closed-circuit TV, yet is still out painting the town a beer-stained tee shirt taupe.

All of this scorched earth behavior hasn’t kicked him out of office with a gavel sticking in his maple leaf. In fact, the city digs him. American talk show hosts love him. And now, reality TV wants a piece of him. 

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Beyoncé and Her Agency Come OUT as ‘the World’s Biggest Brand’

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Who, me?

OUT magazine scored a coup this week with Beyoncé’s first interview following the “surprise” release of her last album.

While Queen Bey (hashtag #BeyOut) does offer some insights into the development of the album and her status as “the hardest-working person in showbiz”, the most interesting part of the feature offers readers a glimpse inside the team that helped her earn all these (unofficial) titles.

“Meet the people behind Beyoncé” includes profiles of several principals at Bey’s agency Parkwood Entertainment.

Read more

15 Brands That Made the Most of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere

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Didn’t you guys jump the shark last month?

There was a show on the teevee last night. You might have heard something about it. And no, it wasn’t ‘Veep.’

As you may have guessed, last night’s Season 4 ‘GoT’ premier provided every brand’s copywriting team with an angle too tempting to resist.

Here are some of the many, many accounts capitalizing on the cultural event.

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Marie Claire Tweets That Kendall Jenner Pioneered Cornrows; Outrage Ensues

kendall-jenner-marie-claireAnd this is why worshiping at the altar of people who have no merit of being idolized is stupid (shout out to entertainment media and everyone who follows Justin Bieber on Twitter).

For those not in the know (or the care), that is Kendall Jenner, a fave of paparazzi vultures everywhere. As you can tell, she thought would braid her hair. You know, as if she has seen it somewhere before but where in the world has she?

Hmmmm… 

Oh yeah, I wonder if she knows anyone who hangs out with black people? Nah, probably not.

I only say that because uber-homogeneous publication Marie Claire tweeted some utter stupidity, claimed those braids were “epic,” and subsequently got a harsh “hello” from this alternative stratosphere called “Black Twitter.”

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