5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chicago’s First Black Woman Mayor, Lori Lightfoot

A black woman makes political history again: On Tuesday, Lori Lightfoot became Chicago’s first black woman mayor.

Lightfoot achieves another milestone as the first openly gay mayor of a large city. The Chicago mayoral race was closely watched around the country. There were two black women in the race—Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle—in a political battle that at times became contentious.

Yet, Lightfoot emerged the victor. In a statement to the press, DNC Chair Tom Perez commented on Lightfoot’s win:

“This historic win reaffirms that our diversity is our greatest strength, and that our elected leaders should reflect the diversity of the communities they represent. I look forward to working with Mayor-elect Lightfoot as she fights to build a brighter future for all. The people of Chicago will be well served with her leadership.”

Those outside the gritty world of Chicago politics may not be too familiar with the Mayor-elect. Here are five things you may not have known about Lori Lightfoot.

She grew up in Ohio from humble beginnings.

In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot mentioned that her parents migrated from the South to Ohio. Her father was from a sharecropper family. When she was a girl, her father contracted pneumonia that turned into spinal meningitis. Her father spent time in a coma. The doctors told her mother not to bother to “waste money on medicine,” because her father would not recover. He did, although he became deaf from meningitis.

She is an attorney.

Lightfoot earned a law degree from the University of Chicago for which she received a scholarship to attend. She worked as a federal prosecutor and served in several high-profile civil positions, including chair of the Police Accountability Task Force, and president of the Chicago Police Board. Before running for mayor, she left her position as a law partner at Mayer Brown.

She is married.

The 56-year-old lives in the Northwest side of Chicago with her spouse, Amy Eshleman. They have a 10-year-old daughter.

Chicago police reform is a priority on her agenda.

Lightfoot was part of a task force that looked into police misconduct after the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald at the hands of white policeman Jason Van Dyke. According to her website, her plans for police reform include: Ensuring full and swift compliance with the consent decree; implementing civilian oversight of police; improving police training and accountability; and reducing police misconduct.

She said that the way the Jussie Smollett case was handled, raises “serious questions.”

During a debate with Preckwinkle, Lightfoot said that the dropping of all charges against Smollet merited a “fulsome explanation.” She also expressed concern over State Attorney Kim Foxx’s decision to seal the records on the Smollett case.

 

 

 

The post 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chicago’s First Black Woman Mayor, Lori Lightfoot appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Facebook explains why its A.I. didn’t detect the New Zealand mosque shooting video

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Trump attacks McCain again, saying he didn’t get a ‘thank you’ for approving late senator’s funeral

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Bernie Sanders’ speechwriter didn’t disclose campaign role while writing Twitter attacks on other Dems: report

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Opinion: I need Wendy Williams on TV even if I sometimes pretend I didn’t hear her

Opinion: I need Wendy Williams on TV even if I sometimes pretend I didn’t hear her


Opinion: I need Wendy Williams on TV even if I sometimes pretend I didn’t hear her

After returning to her daytime talk show after a lengthy hiatus, author Michael Arceneaux discusses his never ending love for Wendy Williams—even when she says something that makes him turn off the TV.

I know exactly what I am getting with Wendy Williams—gossip (which, in some cases, I end up fact checking in real time), or unfiltered opinions about race, sex, and gender roles that I either sort of understand or completely want to drown out for the sake of my sanity. Yet I watch The Wendy Williams Show religiously all the same. And earlier this week, Williams knew what her “co-hosts,” the affectionate descriptor for her studio audience, and the millions of viewers watching her daytime talk show at home wanted to hear on her first day back since December.

In the two months since she has been away, Williams has been the subject of both heavy scrutiny and speculation. After noticeably slurring her words on that final episode of 2018, Williams later revealed it was a result of the painkillers she had been using to deal with a fractured shoulder. Then, her return date was pushed back three times, which caused many to wonder if the problem was bigger than it initially had seemed. In the midst of those setbacks came rumors that Williams was “scared” of losing her successful series. Worse, her husband, Kevin Hunter, had been accused of physically abusing Williams—allegedly causing the recent injury she had complained about on-air.

In the first few moments of her Monday episode, Williams teased the irony of the Hot Topics maestro becoming a hot topic herself—but she made us wait for that segment, opting instead to go into her usual routine.

As for her anecdotes, we learned that, even while away, Williams was working out seven times a week for two hours—presumably a nod to her gay fan base who work out at the same minimum and constantly make me regret any consumption of carbs. And she sort of dabbled into more serious matters—like the American healthcare system—acknowledging her privilege and the great medical care it provides. As for the rest of us, with whom she empathized, Wendy acknowledged that even if we have healthcare, we might be afraid to use it. So, if that applies to you, or if you have no insurance and a problem becomes impossible to ignore, Wendy suggested that we try Ambicare. “It’s not all just gunshots in there,” Williams explained. (That ought to be packaged into one of their commercials, TBH.)

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I love you for watching!

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Oh, how I have missed this woman. She behaved exactly the way I anticipated her to. I love her consistency.

There were still moments when I, a writer who spends way too much time online, felt like I knew a few more details about a given story than she seems to have been fed by her sources. I felt this way when she discussed the Jussie Smollett controversy.

As her return episode continued, Williams herself mentioned how sometimes audiences might get pissed off by one thing she says and turn her off—only to return three days later. She’s right as I’ve done this every so often, but she’s like an auntie in my mind—I know we don’t always agree, but who else is on television encouraging Kate Beckinsale to keep enjoying Pete Davidson’s younger penis?

I was never keen on The Wendy Williams Show without Wendy Williams. There were some bright spots in the slew of hosts who filled in for her—Nick Cannon, Sherri Shepherd, and Bevy Smith to name a few—but there’s only one person who can pull off this show completely because it is tailored to her very specific personality and point of view.

There is an intimacy to daytime television—that’s why the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams have fared better than, say, Bethenny Frankel and Harry Connick Jr. I have been listening to Wendy Williams on the radio since college and followed her to daytime TV, so a fill-in can only go so far.

“I’m sorry it took me almost 50 days,” Williams acknowledged. “I know it’s been a long time. I’m sorry, but I can say, it’s not going to happen anymore, and I feel good!”

I needed her messy ass like I needed air, and obviously, “messy ass” is a compliment in this instance.

Speaking of mess, when your career is largely built on touching on the messy lives of others, then people are going to expect you to address whatever gossip spurs from your own life. So Williams did just that near the end of Hot Topics.

Noticeably looking down before doing so, Williams began with a shout out to her husband. “I know what you’ve been seeing and I know what the streets have been talking about,” she said. She went on to show an old picture of the two before eventually adding, “I’m still very much in love with my husband.” She next advised that folks not “ask me about mine” until they notice “this”—pointing to her wedding ring—gone. Despite expressing that “marriages have ebbs and flows,” she emphasized that when it comes her wedding ring, “It ain’t going anywhere. Not in this lifetime.”

This explanation has received mixed reviews online, but I’m honestly surprised she said anything. Whenever she’d previously address talk of infidelity in their marriage, she would only flash her ring. Whatever the case, I wish Wendy Williams nothing but wellness and happiness. And I also hope she keeps her word that she never leaves me alone for this long again.

P.S. I was really into her bob. Yes, I had to note this somewhere. I’d be an awful person if I didn’t acknowledge such a top notch wig.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the newly released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

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CNN didn’t disclose Democratic Party ties of questioners in Sanders town hall

CNN on Wednesday admitted it failed to disclose the Democratic Party ties of audience members who asked questions during its recent Sen. Bernie Sanders town hall. “Though we said at the beginning of the Town Hall that the audience was made up of Democrats and Independents, we should have more fully identified any political affiliations,”…
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25 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts are about more than just cookies! The leadership organization, created over 100 years ago in 1912, has over 50 million alumni. For National Girl Scout Day, March 12, here are some of the well-known female leaders, entertainers, athletes, and other amazing women who started out as scouts.

The post 25 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Girl Scouts appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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Report: Jussie Smollett Staged Attack After Racist Letter Didn’t Get ‘Bigger Reaction’

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“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett reportedly staged an attack against himself in late January after a “racist” letter sent to the TV show’s studio, which contained a white powder, did not get a “bigger reaction,” according to a local Chicago news station.

A source told CBS Chicago the actor allegedly “concocted” the “staged” Jan. 29 attack and paid his “acquaintances”—brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo—over $ 3,000 to carry it out.

Smollett reportedly opened the letter on Jan. 22 at Chicago’s Cinespace Studios, and the white powder prompted a HAZMAT team to respond. Chicago Police Department told the news station that the substance turned out to be asprin. Cinespace Studios would not comment to The Daily Beast about the incident. Fox, “Empire’s” network, also declined to provide comment or confirmation.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Ice fishing is the Zen hobby you didn’t know you needed

There’s nothing like hearing the crunch of ice under your feet as you walk out onto a frozen lake. As the sun rose in the sky one recent cold morning, revealing the mountainous terrain and white forest all around me, I followed a new friend to my new sport: ice fishing. In New York’s rural…
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Pediatrician: How I partnered with parents who didn’t want to vaccinate

Vaccinating, like all parenting decisions, is one that is made from a place of love and caring. A parent who chooses to vaccinate has their child’s best interest at heart, as does a parent who chooses not to vaccinate.


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Tameka Foster Talks Almost Dying During Plastic Surgery: “I Was Married, Publicly Shamed And Didn’t Ever Feel Like I Was Enough”

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Ten years ago, Tameka Foster, then known as Tameka Raymond and married to Usher, one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, almost died while trying to get plastic surgery.

Looking back on that experience this week, Foster expressed her gratitude for life, but also addressed the public criticism that she says pushed her to get the surgery in the first place.

“Feeling grateful today,” she wrote on Wednesday. “10 years ago today I suffered a cardiac arrest in Brazil. #Flatlined #IDied. I was married, publicly shamed and didn’t ever feel like I was enough, pretty enough, exotic enough, slim enough, light enough, worthy enough. Funny part… Today I’m 20 pounds heavier, feel much prettier, single AF, happier, and so amazingly worthy.”

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As the story goes, two months after welcoming their second child together, Naviyd Ely Raymond, Foster decided to fly to Brazil to get liposuction done on her stomach. She knew that being the wife of a public figure, she wouldn’t be able to escape unwanted commentary about her body after baby. She hadn’t been able to escape it before she had Naviyd and Usher Raymond V, as people openly questioned the fact that Usher had chosen to be with her and marry her in 2007. The singer felt the need to publicly defend her honor in 2008 on MTV’s TRL, saying, “I hear y’all talking crazy out there, she’s a beautiful black woman. Stop. Stop talking. And I love her. Stop it.”

But that wouldn’t be enough.

Before Foster could even undergo the procedure, she went into cardiac arrest while under anesthesia. Ellen Dasptry, a rep for the surgeon who was supposed to have performed the surgery in Brazil, said Foster was revived and placed into a medically-induced coma immediately.

“When an attack like this happens, the doctors put the patient to sleep… and make sure that everything is okay and that there has not been any damage,” Dasptry told PEOPLE in 2009. “This is the protocol every time and this is what was done.”

Foster survived the very scary situation, and was in much better condition a week later. However, her marriage fell apart soon after. Just months after her health ordeal, Usher filed for divorce.

Check out photos of Tameka during happier but still stressful years with Usher by hitting the flip:

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The governor didn’t get what he needed most out of his press conference: Reaffirmation of support from some of the biggest names in Virginia’s Democratic circles

If Ralph Northam hoped to use his extraordinary press conference on Saturday to convince top Virginia Democrats to side with him as others call for his swift resignation, the governor failed.


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Rami Malek Says He Didn’t Know About Bryan Singer’s Assault Allegations

According to a report from USAToday, Rami Malek had no idea about the allegations regarding Bryan Singer, who was recently accused of assault and consensual sex with underaged boys – again. This comes just after he and the rest of this co-workers were nominated for Best Picture.

Malek, who just got his very first Oscar acknowledgment for his portrayal of the Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury, clarified that before he started working with Singer, he didn’t know about the allegations. Rami said they had considered him for the role before they even looked at Bryan as the potential director.

“So I had my head down preparing for this for about a year ahead of time, and I never looked up.” According to Malek, he “didn’t know much” about Singer since he didn’t even really know anything about him until he was given the role as director.

Rami explicitly stated he didn’t hear about the allegations, they were something he wasn’t aware of. As it was previously reported, Singer was fired by Fox during the last weeks of production and was then replaced by Dexter Fletcher.

Rami said that he was grateful to have a person really come through and see the movie until the end. On Tuesday, Bohemian Rhapsody earned four Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture, just a day before four new people accused him of sexual misconduct.

According to the report from The Atlantic, Singer had sexual relationships with young boys and knew they were under the legal age of consent in the state of California. The singer later released a statement to USA Today which said the journalist has been writing about Bryan since 1997 as a consequence of his “bizarre obsession.”

Malek said that for all of those who enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody, they can take comfort in knowing that he was fired from the final moments of the movie, so there’s that.

Other people on social media have actually been quite conspirational regarding Bohemian Rhapsody. Some online have suggested that the cast and crew of the flick were tipped off by The Atlantic, and chose to fire Singer at the last minute to avoid scrapping the movie.

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A Star-Studded Soccer Game Was Saudi Arabia’s Latest Attempt to ‘Sportswash’ Rights Abuses. It Didn’t Work

A headed goal from soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo propelled Juventus to 1–0 victory over rivals AC Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Super Cup) Wednesday, but the reluctance of the sport’s top players and clubs to speak out against Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses has prompted accusations they are complicit in ‘sportswashing’ for the Gulf state.

The game took place at Saudi Arabia’s 62,000-capacity King Abdullah Stadium, where a fan-zone featured mock gondoliers and Venetian bridges, soccer stars posed for pre-match photos in traditional Saudi headdresses and fans in the bleachers held aloft cardboard cutouts of the Kingdom’s ruling monarchs. But back in Italy, state broadcaster RAI’s journalists union accused Italy’s elite Serie A league of helping gloss over Riyadh’s strict gender segregation laws, the brutal war in Yemen, and crackdowns on dissident voices – including the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The $ 8 million that Saudi Arabia is paying for the right to hold each of three Supercoppa games it is scheduled to host over the next five years constitutes “the price of silence in the face of bombs which have been massacring civilians in Yemen for four years, in the face of the enlistment of child soldiers, in the face of the brutal murder [of Khashoggi],” RAI’s journalist union said in a statement issued a couple of days before kickoff. Highlighting the presence of male-only sections in the stadium and the incarceration of women activists, RAI’s union’s accused those involved of being accomplices to delivering “un calcio ai diritti umani” (a kick against human rights).

Read more: Women in Saudi Arabia Can Finally Attend Live Soccer Matches

Serie A’s deal with Riyadh drew scant public opposition when it was announced last June. The Italian season’s traditional opener—now scheduled during its mid-winter break—had in the past been played in the U.S., China, Qatar and Libya. Its temporary home in Saudi Arabia was confirmed the same month reforms overseen by de-facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon (nicknamed MSB) permitted women in the Kingdom to drive, and a year after they were allowed to attend live soccer games in stadiums for the first time.

But Khashoggi’s murder in Istanbul last year—which U.S. Senators say was ordered by the crown prince—largely put an end to Bin Salman’ efforts to cast himself as a reformer. The high-profile flight of Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun this month prompted fresh scrutiny of the country’s male-dominated guardianship system, which curbs women’s ability to make critical decisions about their lives.

In addition to RAI’s and other unions staging a protest outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Rome, Wednesday’s match also drew criticism from Italian politicians and Amnesty international, who in October urged Juventus and A.C. Milan to pull out of the game.

“International sports events have become an established public diplomacy tool for Gulf countries to enhance their global stature and to deflect attention from political controversies and human rights abuses,” says Lina Khatib, head of the Middle East and North Africa program at London-based policy institute Chatham House. “But sometimes this strategy has backfired, instead drawing attention to issues the countries would like to sweep under the carpet.”

Read more: ‘Rahaf Is Going to Start a Revolution.’ Saudi Women Are Demanding Reforms After a Teen Fled the Country in Fear for Her Life

Italy’s top league is only the latest organization to be accused of assisting a Gulf state’s “sportswashing.” Soccer’s international governing body FIFA has failed to hold the Qatari government to account over what Human Rights Watch estimates could be more than 2,000 unexplained deaths of outdoor workers since FIFA awarded Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup, writes researcher Nicholas McGeehan. McGeehan has also criticized German club Bayern Munich for keeping quiet over human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by its sponsor Qatar Airways.

Such organizations are “so hungry for cash and the Gulf States are so happy to hand it out at every turn that they have not been allies in trying to use sport as a tool for positive change or reform,” McGeehan tells TIME. It’s a damning indictment of organizations that frequently tout their commitment to fair play and inclusivity. But, McGeehan says, the game’s stars are “probably among the most powerful actors” to affect change.

In a statement Serie A president Gaetano Micciche said the league was working to ensure women would be able to access all areas of the stadium’s seats for subsequent Supercoppa fixtures. But analysts say the negligible criticism from soccer’s luminaries illustrates how Saudi Arabia is so far withstanding public pressure, bolstered by international business and political interests overriding concern for human rights.

“Football is part of the Italian economic and cultural system, and can’t have logic, especially in international relations, different from those of the country to which it belongs,” Micciche said in a statement defending the decision to proceed with the match. “Saudi Arabia is the largest Italian commercial partner in the Middle East thanks to dozens of important Italian companies that export and operate there, with many of our compatriots working Saudi Arabia, and none of these relations have been disrupted.”

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Company that hijacked Holmes and Theroux on Twitter ‘didn’t break law’

The chief executive of a company which demonstrated a security flaw in Twitter by hijacking the accounts of Eamonn Holmes and Louis Theroux has denied breaking the law.
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The Real Reason Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson Didn’t Celebrate Christmas Together

Khloe Kardashian, True ThompsonA member of Khloe Kardashian and True Thompson’s little family was noticeably absent from their Christmas celebrations, but why?
Tristan Thompson did not make it to Los Angeles for…

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That Didn’t Take Long: Novelists Tackle Trump

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Standing for months in front of Trump Tower with a “literary” sign—such as WHO WILL GO UPRIVER FOR PRESIDENT KURTZ?—I wondered which American novelists would dare to brave the supposed curse of topicality and treat the famously litigious Donald Trump during his Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now presidency.

The first was the relatively new U.S. citizen Salman Rushdie in The Golden House. In the last month or so, Gary Shteyngart in Lake Success and Jonathan Lethem in The Feral Detective have published novels set, respectively, just before and just after Trump’s election. All three novelists call Trump a “monster” but avoid engaging him directly as a character. They instead make him an off-stage figure, to whom their characters react, and invent Trumpian stand-ins to absorb the writers’ wrath.

Sufficiently enraged to stand in the cold, I hoped for a novel as super-heated, explicitly political, and courageous as Robert Coover’s The Public Burning. About the Rosenbergs’ execution as “Atomic Spies” in 1953 when Richard Nixon was vice president, written in the ’70s when Nixon was president, and featuring Nixon as a major character, The Public Burning is an epic circus that mix-masters fact and fabrication. The novel closes with its superhero Uncle Sam, personification of old white-man anger, preparing Nixon to screw the American public as Sam has prepared all past presidents: by sodomizing him. Scheduled for a Bicentennial release, The Public Burning was delayed by legal challenges and one publisher’s cowardice until 1977.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Celebs hawking Cîroc vodka didn’t mention paid ad deal: FTC

Sean “Diddy” Combs helped to make Cîroc a best-selling vodka — but he and scores of other celebs never said that they were paid to hawk it, according to a consumer watchdog group. The singer was singled out in a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission on Monday night for flouting the agency’s disclosure…
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‘Bumblebee’ Director Didn’t Want Michael Bay’s Opinion on the Character

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains mild spoilers for Bumblebee. Proceed at your own risk.

If fans – or, should we say, haters? — of the Transformers franchise aren’t discussing how unconvincing the robot fight scenes are, they’re debating the intricacies of Bumblebee’s voice. One minute, his dulcet tones are completely destroyed and he’s using a blend of soundbites and music from the radio to communicate, the next he’s using the voice he was born with. And then it’s busted again. Sometimes, the problem is implied to be fixable, and sometimes it’s suggested that he doesn’t want it fixed.

So, with the sparky little yellow VW-Beetle-Autobot now starring in his own spin-off movie, it seems timely to tackle the contentious issue of Bumblebee’s voice, and attempt to figure out once and for all why it’s so all over the place. Especially since, as you’ve probably heard, Bumblebee speaks (with Dylan O’Brien’s voice) in this movie. Though not for long…

The Origin Story

For this 1987-set prequel, franchise champion Michael Bay relinquishes the reins to make way for animation genius, and self-confessed Transformers fan, Travis Knight, at the helm. It’s a brave but calculated move that might just reinvigorate a franchise that saw its fifth film, The Last Knight, take a considerable drop in profits. Amid accusations that the series has become overblown, for Bumblebee it’s very much back to basics, with a small-scale, heartwarming, coming-of-age story taking precedence over high-stakes robot wars. It works beautifully, and while the slate in some ways is wiped clean, Knight still had to take care to incorporate Bay’s tweaks to the lore.

“In Michael’s films, they changed some of the mythology, and Bumblebee speaks through the radio. That’s one of his iconic characteristics,” says Knight. “So, it was really important for me, if we were going to tell an origin story about one of the Transformers, one set in the era where the Transformers originated – the mid-’80s – [to address Bumblebee’s voice].”

As a child of the 1980s, Knight first fell in love with Transformers when he saw the original animated series.

“Bumblebee always had a voice,” says Knight, remembering the cartoon. This meant that it was critical for Knight “to understand some of these aspects of Bumblebee’s character that never really got satisfying answers as to how these things happened”.

For Knight, it was important to show how Bumblebee’s voice became damaged: “And how, both literally and metaphorically, he regains it by the end of the movie.”

His Voice Is Unfixable


Bumblebee's voice
Bumblebee's voice is unfixable, says director Travis Knight.

That isn’t to say Bumblebee regains the power of speech as he once knew it. Instead, he finds this new, arguably more effective, way to communicate via the relationship he has with Hailee Steinfeld’s outsider teen, Charlie. It is she who teaches him about the power of music to communicate and express emotion and complex thought, and as he uses the technique more and more, we witness him become increasingly adept at it. A good thing too, since Knight declares that Bumblebee’s voice can’t ever be fixed because of what we see happen in the film. And if you don’t want that scene spoiled for you, scroll past the next paragraph now.

“He has his, whatever the equivalent of his vocal synthesizer/processor is, ripped out of his throat,” he explains. “It would be the same thing if we lost the ability to speak. We’d never be able to speak again, and the guy rips it out, and destroys it. So, no — he’s never going to be able to speak again but through this [radio] thing he’s able to communicate and express himself.”

Crawling Inside Michael Bay’s Brain

Important as it was for Knight to show how Bumblebee is irreversibly maimed, rendering him forever mute, it was less pressing for Knight to figure out exactly why Bumblebee’s voice drifts inexplicably in and out within Bay’s franchise. And he says he never questioned — or wanted to question — Bay about it.

“I didn’t want to know if Michael had a difference of opinion on that because I knew very clearly that this is why, and this is what it needs to be.”

“I had a number of conversations with Michael, but not specifically about that aspect,” says Knight. “It was important for me to just kind of sit director-to-director, filmmaker-to-filmmaker, and talk about his philosophy on the series. He’s the guy who’s been the shepherd for the Transformers franchise for the last decade. I really wanted to crawl inside his brain and just get his philosophy on things. How he approached it.

“But specifically with Bumblebee’s character, no, I didn’t ask him about that. Because in my mind I knew the story that I wanted to tell for this movie, and that was an aspect of that story. I didn’t want to know if Michael had a difference of opinion on that because I knew very clearly that this is why, and this is what it needs to be.”

Different Choices

Knight adds, “This movie is self-contained, so I imagine where it goes from here. And, of course, there’s the films that follow, which show you where he goes. But I might not have made that choice if I was making those films.”

Knight concedes that fans might never get satisfactory answers to the questions they have. “Look, it’s super inconsistent, I acknowledge that,” he says. “I think Michael would acknowledge that; that, oftentimes, it bounces around. I know that. He knows that. I don’t know why.”

With prequel Bumblebee garnering better reviews than perhaps any of the Transformers sequels, it’s clear there’s life in the franchise yet. Executives would do well to keep Travis Knight on for at least one more film — his vision has won over the critics and looks set to please audiences too. And if he does stay on, perhaps we’ll see some answers retconned after all — or the franchise entirely rebooted perhaps?

Bumblebee hits screens in Australia on December 20, the US on December 21 and the UK on December 24, with preview screenings in the UK on December 15, 16 and 20.

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#BoycottDolceGabbana has become almost as perennial a Twitter hashtag as #MondayMotivation or #SponsoredPost.

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5 things you didn’t know about flying first class

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Whether you’re a frequent flyer who regularly travels for business, or if you just fly once a year for your family vacation, you know that flying can be one of the most stressful and tiring experiences of your journey. When flying economy, you have little leg room, odd next door neighbors, super long queues and pretty basic commodities – Yep, the toilet will always smell! But there is another part of the plane that you barely ever see: First Class. Unless you’re really lucky, of course. Here’s what it’s like to fly in first class.

Many people use it to network

We’ve all seen the scenes in movies where the two unsuspecting victims meet next to each other on the plane, share a pleasant hello and then a cliche moment brings them together – cut to the ending and they’ve become BFF’s and set up a meeting in New York to go over a business proposal together next month. Okay, it doesn’t really work like that, but many people do use first class to network with other like-minded. Because the people who fly in First Class normally have more money and work for Fortune 500 companies, they’ll all have something in common – business. In fact, Virgin Atlantic have found that one in five of their First Class customers had done business with someone they had met during their first class flight. Some airlines are now even creating specific networking flights!

You get even more vacation time

If you’re used to flying economy, you’ve probably seen the First Class passengers stroll along past you with their fast-track boarding passes and saunter onto the airplane while you crouch on the floor in a crowded airport lounge. Yep, the first class passengers not only get to board the plane first – but they also get to depart the plane before everyone else too! This means they can get ahead of the game, and be the first in the queue for customs and baggage reclaim. Ultimately, this means they get even more vacation time because they’ll be out the airport doors and onto the beach while you’re still stuck on the plane!

It’s super comfortable

Okay, we all know the deal. Economy flights are in NO WAY comfortable. With little-to-no legroom, a next door neighbor who is sitting way too close to you and using your armrest, and absolutely no way to stretch out and have a good kip; a long-haul flight can be an absolute killer. But long-haul First Class flights? They’re a completely different story. In nearly every first class area of any airplane, the seats are a world apart. Quite literally. With individual seating, each passenger gets their own little area of the plane with a reclining chair (which makes an extremely comfortable bed), a sliding divider which shuts you off from the other passengers, and your own personal TV. The nine-hour flight will just be like your average evening at home.

You can actually get work done

If you’re traveling on a business trip and need to perfect your presentation before you reach your destination, it will be pretty impossible to do so if you sit in economy – because you two choices; have the ability to feel your legs and not get work done, or get work done and lose all circulation. The choice is yours. However, in first class, working is no issue. In fact, your plane journey will probably be more comfortable than your own office! In your First Class seat, you’ve got your own individual table with ample writing space, multiple power sockets to ensure your laptop never runs out of battery, and most now have WIFI! Who needs an office?

You don’t need to be rich to fly first class!

There’s a common misconception that you need to be super rich to afford seats in First Class. As much as it is true buying first class seats through the airline will cost you a hefty sum, there are ways to try and get a first class upgrade for a cheaper price (or even for free!). First and foremost, you need to go by the premise that ‘it doesn’t hurt to ask.’ You’ll be surprised how accommodating airlines can be when it comes to upgrading their passengers – if you just ask! The best way to do this is to always be polite and friendly to them when you go to the check-in desks, and if they have something available, they may bump you up. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Ever wondered what it’s like to fly first class? Here are a few pointers to whet your appetite, but why not try it out for yourself?

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