Tag: controversy

Natasha Tynes with the controversial Tweet

Author Loses Book Deal After Tweeting Complaint About Public Transit Worker

What’s the worst thing that a potential beau could do on a first date? Well, provided your date doesn’t snatch your wallet or set fire to the restaurant, the answer is nearly unanimous: treat the waitstaff poorly. Everyone knows the most fundamental tenet of common decency that of treating others with respect. No one is entitled to unkindness; certainly, no one has the right to mistreat someone whose job requires them to serve or assist you—that means no shouting at customer service reps, no predatory flirting with disinterested bartenders, no taking it out on a retail employee when you didn’t bring your receipt. Except, of course, for the people who don’t.

Meet Natasha Tynes, social media strategist and snitch.

Picture this: Natasha was riding the red line of the Washington, D.C. Metro when something unthinkable happened. No, nobody was injured. No, nobody was robbed. It was an unthinkable act because most of us never would have considered it out of the ordinary—an MTA employee eating her lunch on the train.

Scandalous? Probably not, even if the posted rules on the train express that eating and drinking are forbidden. But Tynes did seem to feel that it was far less scandalous to snap a picture of the woman’s face and rat her out on Twitter.


Natasha Tynes

Image Via The Daily Beast


(The original photo DID show the woman’s face, but Tynes has deleted her complaint.)

This self-proclaimed “social media expert” apparently wasn’t knowledgeable enough to predict the ensuing social media wrath. Twitter was quick to point out that Tynes was poised to launch her career by writing novels about her experience as a woman of color… experiences which can, apparently, include being ratted out for scarfing down breakfast between assignments. The hypocrisy was unsettling to many, who took the opportunity to articulate that someone’s racial or ethnic minority status cannot except them from anti-blackness.


Twitter found it particularly upsetting that Tynes marketed herself as a minority writer and yet would threaten the livelihood of another woman of color.


Racism and the Metro have a long history. In 2000, Ansche Hedgepth was arrested on the D.C. Metro for eating a potato chip despite her spotless record—handcuffed and held in a windowless cell. She was twelve years old.

Some rushed to Tynes’ defense. Many of them then rushed just as quickly to delete their Tweets.


Deleted Tweet defending Tynes


It’s only reasonable that passengers don’t know as much about the rules & regulations regarding D.C.’s transit as its employees. In fact, the employee in question had received an email days before stating that all employees must “cease and desist from issuing criminal citations” for eating and drinking on the trains—”effective immediately.” The Metro Workers’ Union also elaborated on the poor conditions employees face when trying to eat lunch: not all stations have break rooms. Anyone who’s absently watched a rat skitter away as a train barrels down the track knows that, without break rooms, the workers have no guarantee of sanitary conditions in which to eat.

We don’t have to guess at the employee’s circumstances; though she is not allowed to comment herself, the union has publicized the fact that the bus operator ate on the train because of train delays that were preventing her from getting to her next assignment on time. Rather than keep her passengers waiting, which would have caused further delays, she chose to eat on the train. Given the aforementioned official email, the employee will not face repercussions of any sort—but Tynes will.

Rare Bird, Tynes’ publishing house, publicly condemned Tynes’ actions and cancelled the publication of her upcoming novel.


They Called Me Wyatt, Tynes’ novel, may no longer be published—but on Goodreads, its 1.42 star legacy lingers.

“You apologized for the tweet,” wrote one reviewer, “but do you understand that you wanted her disciplined for not catering to your demands? A stranger. You tried to shame her for refusing your entitlement. Some WOC solidarity you got there.”


Featured Image Via Daily Mail.

Stephen King Takes to Twitter With Some Thoughts on ‘You’

The Netflix/Lifetime show You, an adaptation of the novel of the same name, has been a controversial one.  While receiving critical acclaim, including a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, rave reviews, and a reneweal for a second season,  the show, has garnered criticism for what some view as its overly sympathetic portrait of the show’s protagonist and narrator, Joe Goldberg, portrayed by Penn Badgley.  Despite Badgley’s character engaging in stalking and eventually murder, the character sparked considerable sympathy from fans of the show, a lot more than perhaps the creators intended, despite his horrific and creepy actions throughout the season.

The latest opinion on the series comes from the King of Horror himself, Stephen King, who tweeted his thoughts on the series. The tweet can be seen seen below:


It is clear that King, like so many others,  enjoyed the adaptation and considered it an ‘interesting’ counter to the book. He seems to praise Joe in particular as a fascinating character, considering the two sides to his personality depending on who he interacts with. It would be great to get King’s opinion in the form of a longer piece but considering his writing schedule, we doubt he has any time.

What do you think of You? Do you agree with King’s opinion? What do you think of the adaptation and the novel? Tell us!


Featured Image Via Deadline 

the notebook

Netflix Sparks Outrage With ‘The Notebook’ Alternate Ending

Alternate endings are a touchy subject. Regarding the distinctly different film Blade Runner, fans have debated which of the cult classic’s seven iterations rank the best for decades. How I Met Your Mother left fans with extremely mixed feelings after its series finale, but the alternate ending implies that Ted and Tracy live a full life together.

Digital Spy reports that the latest alternate ending uproar revolves around The Notebook, the tearjerker adaptation of Nicholas Sparks‘ equally tearjerking romance novel of the same name. Netflix UK added the romance classic to its rotation of films but released a version that drastically changed its ending. Longtime fans were heartbroken.



The Nicholas Sparks classic follows modern star-crossed lovers Noah and Allie, who fall in love in the 1940s, break up, and eventually find their way back to each other after resolving all sorts of issues ranging from health to family.


the notebook

Image via Amazon


The film originally ends with the two of them passing away in old age. The alternate ending replaces the final shot of them at peace with a more ambiguous one of birds flying over a lake.

Netflix issued a public twitter acknowledgement of its misstep and returned the original version to the streaming service.


It’s a safe bet that Netflix won’t be releasing the alternate ending version of The Notebook in the US on March 1.




Featured Image via Popsugar

Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett’s Publisher Will Proceed With Family Cookbook

In the wake of his scandal and arrest, Jussie Smollett may have only one supporter left: his publisher.

On January 29th, Jussie Smollett filed a police report, claiming to be the victim of violent assault. The details were graphic: while in Chicago, two men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at the Empire actor. The unknown men struck Smollett, poured a mysterious chemical substance onto his head, and wrapped a rope around his neck. When they shouted, “MAGA country,” their motivations could not have been more blatant: this was a hate crime.

Nearly a month later, the investigation appears to have revealed that this was not, in fact, the case.


Jussie Smollett close-up

Image Via Rappler


The police investigation swiftly changed direction when law enforcement discovered that Smollett knew the attackers personally. Police questioned Smollett’s redacted phone records and determined that Smollett had been in contact with both men before the incident. It wasn’t long before the story appeared to unravel: Smollett allegedly paid the two $3,500 to stage the attack over dissatisfaction with his $1 million salary, which amounts to $65,000 per episode. In the United States, the median household income is around $61,000.

On February 21st, the Empire actor was arrested for filing a false police report. These supposedly fraudulent allegations are especially troubling when considering their impact on real allegations—and real victims.


Mandatory Credit: Photo by TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10114674e) 'Empire' TV series actor Jussie Smollett (C) emerges from the Cook County Court complex after posting 10 percent of a 100,000 USD bond in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 21 February 2019. Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report claiming he was attacked with bleach and a rope was placed around his neck in an incident that has drawn national attention. If convicted Smollett faces up to three years in prison. Jussie Smollett charged with felony disorderly conduct, Chicago, USA - 21 Feb 2019

Image Via People


Fox Entertainment has avoided any direct comments on Smollett’s situation, “placing [its] trust in the legal system as the process plays out.” Nevertheless, the “disturbing” allegations’ impact on cast and crew members has led Fox to cut Smollett’s role from this season’s final episodes. Smollett’s career may also be on trial, but he’s got one more gig: his upcoming family cookbook, completed with siblings Jazz, Jurnee, and Jake.

The Family Table: Recipes and Moments From a Nomadic Life was initially released in April 2018. According to the publisher, the book will remain in print.

The cookbook is described on Amazon as follows:

Before actors and Food Network stars Jazz, Jake, Jurnee, and Jussie Smollett conquered Hollywood, they spent their childhood crisscrossing the United States. Moving coast to coast thirteen times, they car-tripped to small towns and big cities across America.

But no matter where they lived, two things remained constant: their incredible family feasts and the long, wooden kitchen table where they shared food and lived their lives. Each time they arrived in a new home, their mother would transform planks of hard wood into a smooth, varnished butcher block table in a beloved ritual that took three days. That hand-crafted table would become the heart of the Smollett clan, where the most important and cherished events and accomplishments, no matter how large or small, were honored, and where holidays were celebrated: Christmas, Easter, Passover, Chanukah, birthdays, milestones. With a mother from New Orleans and a Jewish father from New York who met and married in California, the Smollett kids were exposed to diverse culinary heritages and grew up open to all the deliciousness the world had to offer.

In this warm and personal book, the Smolletts invite us all to take a seat at their table and enjoy the good times and good food that help families thrive. The Family Table includes more than 130 delicious, comforting recipes that pay tribute to their past and present. These favorite recipes from the Smolletts are suitable for intimate dinners and fabulous feasts alike, but more than that, The Family Table is a remarkable portrait of a loving, all-American family, rich with traditions that they continue to build to this day.



Featured Image Via Variety

Inside the $20 Million Dollar Lawsuit: Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon Accuses Husband of “Shakespearean Plot” to Poison Her

When author Sherrilyn Kenyon discovered her husband had taken out a million-dollar life insurance policy on her, a policy for which he was the sole beneficiary, the truth was as clear as it was horrific: he was conspiring to kill her.


Sherrilyn Kenyon with alleged abuser

Image Via Insider


It seems viciously ironic that Kenyon, a bestselling urban fantasy writer, would find herself entangled in such a dark plot. But there was more to the story than the life insurance policy. Kenyon had been growing increasingly ill since 2014 with indeterminate cause. At the time, she felt her symptoms came out of nowhere, and she was “unexpectedly stricken with a bevy of mysterious symptoms that her doctor could not explain.” Perhaps there was an explanation—and it was much darker than even Kenyon could have imagined. In 2018, after becoming completely bedridden, tests revealed her blood was rife with inexplicable toxins: “lithium, tin, barium and thorium,” the suit alleges. Coincidentally, the levels grew high enough to be detected directly after Kenyon’s husband filed for divorce.


Sherrilyn Kenyon 'The Chronicles of Nick'

Promotional banner for Kenyon’s Infinity, book one in the bestselling ‘Chronicles of Nick‘ series
Image Via YouTube


Sherrilyn Kenyon alleges that her husband, Lawrence R. Kenyon II, was not alone in his actions. Kenyon II’s  co-conspirator, Kerrie Ann Plump, worked as his personal assistant. According to Kenyon, Plump first became involved in family affairs when, as a freelance teacher for Tutor Doctor, the family employed her for their son’s education. When the boy’s tutoring was complete, Kenyon II retained Plump… paying her salary with his wife’s earnings. Though not an industry professional, Plump became increasingly involved in Kenyon’s affairs.


Kenyon recalls one instance, in 2017, when Plump served offered her food in a hotel room. When Kenyon shared that food with her cousin, she became violently ill. This was not a rare occurrence. In the lawsuit, Kenyon alleges she would often become sick after eating food her husband had prepared specifically for her. Both Kenyon II and Plump “would force her to eat and become enraged any time she failed to consume.” Once, this took place at the family dinner table—while her son watched. “She does that all the time,” Kenyon II told the boy as the wife and mother vomited onto the floor. “Ignore it.” Kenyon II would later close and empty the bank accounts of all three children, placing the $450,000 in a bank account under his own name.


Selection of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books

Sherrilyn Kenyon is a highly successful novelist with over 70 million copies of her books sold worldwide
Image Via Bustle


This “Shakespearean plot” against her has also impacted her ability to write, the poisoning impacting her health and career. In a recent letter to fans, Kenyon detailed that her husband was after more than her life—he wanted her intellectual property. She revealed:


[Things haven’t] all been sunshine and roses as I’m coping with the dissolution of my twenty-eight year marriage to a man I made the mistake of putting through law school by working three jobs so that he wouldn’t have to work any while he studied. A man who is now turning the skills I paid for against me as he ruthlessly lies about me and fights me for *MY* copyrights to characters, series and worlds that I had long before I ever met him (something he has admitted to on record time and again) and to books he knows he never helped to write or plot because he forbid me to even talk about my writing in front of him.


Kenyon II has since responded to these accusations:


There is no question that Sherrilyn Kenyon is a brilliant fiction writer. It is apparent, however, that she has irreparably blurred the line between fiction and reality, and these astonishing and unsubstantiated allegations may stand as her best fantasy creation yet. We do not know whether Ms. Kenyon truly believes these allegations or if she is using this newly filed civil complaint in an attempt to gain an upper hand in the parties’ ongoing divorce proceedings.


Kenyon has only been able to recover her health after, halfway through 2018, Kenyon II moved out of their shared household. Although there have been no criminal charges thus far, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation. Through all this, Kenyon successfully ensured her most recent novel, Stygian, hit stores in September 2018.