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Why we’ll always love the many characters of SNL comedian Bowen Yang

While the hiring and swift firing of Shane Gillis stole most of the headlines leading into SNL’s 45th season, the investment in Bowen Yang– whose very ethnicity and sexuality were the targets of Gillis’ slurs in his stand-up routines– is the best thing about the show.

Loveeeeee that irony.

Yang is SNL‘s first Chinese-American cast member and only its third openly gay man. (If you think about it, these are pretty depressing stats for a long-running show that has cemented itself as a cultural institution). And undoubtedly, Yang’s presence has changed the game.

From his star turn as China’s “trade daddy” to his role as a demented SoulCycle instructor Flint (“like the water”), here are Yang’s best roles so far.

1. Chen Biao the tariff expert

In only his second episode on the show, Yang was given his breakout moment: a chance to debut a character on Weekend Update.

Yang portrayed Chinese tariff expert Chen Biao as a flamboyant dude who is living for this trade war with the U.S.– and especially for the attention, it brings him.

He threatens “Don-Don” about picking a fight with “Big Red” and notes, “this trade war is tit for tat, baby. And in China, we got some tiggggg ol’ bitties.”

2. Flint the SoulCycle instructor


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As a SoulCycle instructor auditioning for a full-time spot, Flint tells the riders “what he’s about.” This turns into increasingly outrageous about how Lincoln died– “poor guy”– and how Flint would have stopped the assassination.

But, he explains, “I wasn’t. WILL YOU BE?!” A perfect parody of the “inspirational” stuff that plasters the company’s walls and is spouted by its instructors.

In a sharp, funny moment later in the sketch– and a possible reference to Gillis– Yang’s instructor says,

“I Googled racism, and guess what? It bummed me out. And then I Googled ‘gay racism’ and that was even worse.”

Flint says he flushed his computer down the toilet after that one.

3. Male Exotic Dancer

Chance was giggling all night in his (incredible) outing as a host and musical guest. In this sketch, Chance starred as a judge who determined guilt based solely on his first impressions of the plaintiffs and defendants.

But even with surprise guest Jason Momoa sporting earrings on his nips, and bungling a line, calling himself a “paraplegic” instead of “paralegal,” Yang’s male dancer is the only one who gets Chance to laugh. And he doesn’t even need to say a word.

4. E-sports athlete

In this sketch, Chance brings back his entirely out-of-water sports commentator Lazlo Holmes to a League of Legends World Championship tournament.

Yang’s nerdy gamer shocks the reporter by being able to pull a crowd of adoring girls backstage with him. After moments of stunned silence, Laz declares, “What I saw was so unexpected my mind went to Tom-Hanks-in-Saving Private Ryan– mode.”

5. Earth, Wind and Fire backup dancer

Yang got into a lot of sketches with Chance– one of the most recent episodes — so it seems like SNL is already catching on to his talent.

And while this one mainly relied on 17th-year cast member Kenan Thompson’s dance instructor/ secret werewolf yelling, “THE MOON! THE DRAPES!” while pulling down three very complicated sets of drapes to block its light, Yang scores laughs here as a dancer catching onto the secret, remarking, “He has some kind of beef with the moon!”

Hired as a writer in 2018, Yang also wrote or co-wrote some of that season’s best sketches, including “Cheques” starring Sandra Oh (who Yang calls his inspiration) and Emma Stone’s “The Actress,” about a female porn star finding the essence of her throwaway character.

He also starred that year as Kim Jong Un in a sketch with Sandra Oh, perhaps foreshadowing his upcoming tenure. Here’s to years of more Yang!

How these 6 women are unapologetically making TV more diverse

We’re living in a Golden Age of TV right now, with an overwhelming amount of good shows out there to watch. Luckily, there are many women at the helm of these shows.

History points to a time where women only had small roles or if they did have a role they didn’t get much of character with a story. Today, across platforms, the percentage of female characters in speaking roles has increased.

Just this year it’s increased from 40 percent in 2017-18 to 45 percent in 2018-19. This is a historic high, according to a report conducted by Boxed In.

Pushing this trend even further (hopefully it’s not just a trend) we decided to compile a short list of six women absolutely killing it on TV right now.

1. Phoebe Waller-Bridge

The British comedian just picked up three Emmy’s for her show Fleabag. (Fleabag also won Best Comedy Series at the award show.)

The show tracks a thirty-something Londoner (Waller-Bridge, the show’s writer and star) living in the wake of tragedy.

Waller-Bridge’s titular Fleabag often looks to the camera conspiratorially, in a sort of Jim Halpert way, except that she makes comments on what is happening or about to happen. And it’s so funny; my suite-mate even me asked what I was watching since she could hear me laughing out loud.

Waller also wrote Killing Eve, for which Jodie Comer won Best Lead Actress, besting co-lead Sandra Oh. Oh had previously won a Golden Globe for her role in the drama series, making her the first Asian woman to do so. And Waller-Bridge was nominated for Best Writing for a comedy series and drama series in the same year.

This is an extremely rare feat, for a man or woman.

Shortly after her Emmy haul, Waller-Bridge hosted SNL, a sure sign and an indication that she’s skyrocketing to the top. Also, she called in to help with the forthcoming James Bond movie script, which is a pretty huge deal.

2. Issa Rae

We know Issa’s rise was given a lot of attention back when Insecure first debuted on HBO. But the Awkward Black Girl has yet to stagnate. She’s been in The Hate U Give opposite Amandla Stenberg, and her recent film Little with fellow rising star Marsai Martin grossed $48.8 million.

Issa Rae’s work often centers specifically around uplifting and highlighting people of color and more specifically Black women. She’s producing and occasionally staring in A Black Lady Sketch ShowShe is also set to produce and star in the upcoming limited HBO series The Dolls.

Issa is also producing a new series titled King Ester on a trans-woman of color. King Ester will be available to watch on October 17 through the Issa Rae Presents YouTube Channel.

In everything Issa Rae does, there is a conscious intention and quality of craft. We can’t wait for what comes next.

3. Lilly Singh

The YouTube star recently scored a late-night talk show, A Little Late With Lilly Singh, airing on NBC during the graveyard slot– a spot formerly held by a white dude, Carson Daly, for the past seventeen years.

In doing so, she became the first openly bisexual POC host of a late-night show. Lilly joked about the massive media attention on her race and sexuality, saying she should have called her show “A Little Late With A Bisexual Woman Of Color.”

Lilly Singh started out with her YouTube channel adopting the title “superwoman” often talking about her immigrant roots: she is the daughter of Indian parents who emigrated to Canada. The creative comedienne landed a few roles in television and played the character Raven in Fahrenheit 451.

She’s also set to star in the TV movie Bright Futures.

4. Cobie Smulders

Smulders, an alum of How I Met Your Mother (remember Robin Sparkles?) and a longtime member of the Marvel franchise, scored the lead role in Stumptown, a new series airing on ABC.

She stars as a Marine veteran (how often do women get to play those?) in financial trouble who takes on a bunch of P.I. jobs to pay the bills. Critics are loving the series, which currently boasts a 94 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes, with much of the praise going to Smulders.

5. Marsai Martin

Who could ever forget the youngest executive producer working in Hollywood? Marsai Martin brings her long-time talent and skill as an actress to her new roles. When first starting out, Martin had several roles on film, from shorts to voice acting.  Her role as Diane Johnson on TV series Black-ish, however, propelled her to the stardom she deserves.

Her appearances onscreen continue, from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to A Black Lady Sketch Show. She also won the YoungStars award at the BET Awards this year. She’s well on her way to becoming a legend with so much more to come.

6. Ruby Rose

Rose, who previously starred as inmate Stella Carlin on OITNB– making everyone instantly go “who is that?”– snagged the role of the hero of the CW show Batwoman. Rose, who identifies as gender-fluid and LGBTQ, portrays an out lesbian Batwoman, Kate Kane.

This makes her the first person to portray an LGBTQ superhero lead.

In an interview, Rose expressed that she liked how her character’s sexuality isn’t fussed over– though it has been in the media. Instead, Rose, who calls her character’s sexuality the “least interesting thing about her,” wants to shift the attention to how her Batwoman saves the day: “

You don’t fight crime in a gay way or in a lesbian way…She’s a superhero. That’s what she is.”

Impeachment Fever Fall: Why won’t Republicans admit Trump is wrong?

By now, we’ve all heard about the anonymous whistleblower who revealed Trump’s grossly illegal call to the Ukrainian President– one in which the President threatened to withhold military aid unless the President gave him dirt on Joe Biden.

After hesitating to do so following the Mueller investigation into Trump’s dealings with the Russians, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally announced formal impeachment proceedings.

Impeachment Fever Fall is in full swing.

But maybe we haven’t heard as much from his defenders. Fox News can never admit that the President is wrong– but this is gonna be a tough one to spin.

Pundits like Sean Hannity are saying that Biden pushed for the Ukrainian AG, who was investigating Biden’s son Hunter (then an employee of a Ukrainian company) to be fired.

Incredibly, they’re trying to shift the scrutiny onto Biden, saying these revelations will be devastating for the Democratic Party.

Trump voiced these “facts” after a U.N. meeting, and MSNBC reporter Nicole Wallace cut into his speech to let viewers know he’s lying. These corruption charges had already been looked into and thoroughly debunked.

Biden was not pushing for the AG’s ouster to benefit his son, but rather on behalf of the IMF, who knew this guy was corrupt.

If you’re gonna put Trump’s lies on air, you should make sure to tell viewers exactly what they are. Fox, of course, showed the full press conference, without fact-checking. But it’s not just Fox News who are sticking by Trump. It’s also the Republicans in Congress.

Senator Lindsey Graham (booooo), didn’t promulgate the ridiculous Biden corruption charges but rather told colleagues that the White House had learned its lesson. “I think they’ve got the message.” He also noted,

“If you are listening in the Ukraine on C-SPAN, you’re gonna get the money.”

So not so much a defense as a “this won’t happen again.” Oklahoma Senator Lanksford said the delay was due to Trump’s “due diligence.”

He asserted, “It was entirely reasonable that the United States spend a couple of months getting to know him [Ukrainian President Zelensky], his administration and to figure out if he was going to be pro-Russian or pro-West. Because no one knew which direction Zelensky was going to go.”

But in the phone call (or what Trump has been calling a “PERFECT CONVERSATION” on Twitter), it’s clear that Trump didn’t care too much about that. What he cared about most was– as always– himself.

Other Republicans are trying to discredit the story itself. Rep. Devin Nunes (California) argued, “Once again, the Democrats, their media mouthpieces and a cabal of leakers are ginning up a fake story with no regard to the monumental damage they’re causing to our public institutions and to trust in government — and without acknowledging all the false stories they propagated in the past.”

Ok, but there’s a phone call– one that we have the transcript for. That’s not “fake news.” That’s evidence. (And what “false stories” in the past?)

Dispiritingly, but not surprisingly, it seems that many Republicans will remain as loyal to their President as ever. NC Rep. Mark Meadows  said, “I took a long walk around the [House] floor tonight, talking to dozens of members, and I haven’t seen this level of intensity of support for the president since the 2016 campaign.” He concluded:

“We’re with him and ready to go.”

Maybe he’s right. Maybe these impeachment proceedings will cause Republicans to go to battle, to rally around the President. Probably too much to ask for them to stand up and be decent and say that the President was wrong.

Spot the Ops: Why Justin Trudeau rocking brownface proves he is a phony

Canadian Prime Minister and former certified Golden Boy Justin Trudeau — a guy who could stand up to Trump and openly flirt with Melania — caused a massive uproar when pictures of him in brownface at an “Arabian Nights” party in 2001 surfaced online.

And that’s not the PM’s only racist image to come to light this week. A video from the Canadian-based GlobalNews shows Trudeau in blackface and sporting an afro, dated in the early 1990s, was released. Another image shows a high-school-age Trudeau in blackface performing “Day-O.”

This was repeated behavior, not just a slip-up.

When asked by the media if he could think of more instances when he sported brownface or blackface, Trudeau could not even give a definitive answer. WHAT?!

Like, I might expect this from the Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam (no offense to Virginia), whose own blackface scandal last year led to many, including several 2020 candidates, to call for his resignation.

But our guy in the North?

Image result for smh gif

This is the same guy who championed multiculturalism, who appointed Canada’s first Indigenous Attorney General, whose cabinet is comprised of nearly 50 percent women, and also counts four Sikhs and one Somali-born immigration minister among its members.

But in light of these images, perhaps the diversity he promoted was simply surface level, designed to boost his image and popularity in the polls. In his native Canada, Trudeau has long been accused of being an actor, or “playing the part” of Prime Minister while desperately seeking to maintain his celebrity.

Sounds like someone you know?

Nicola di Iorio, a member of his party who stepped down from his Parliamentary position, asserted that “everything the prime minister does is a calculation about his image.”

This calls to mind Trudeau’s trip to India last year, during which he and his family wore “traditional” Indian dress, a calculated move that instead came off as tone-deaf and disrespectful.

In February, Trudeau was also accused of bullying Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Indigenous attorney he appointed, pressuring her into settling a corruption case rather than levying criminal charges.

He may put diverse individuals in positions of power, but behind the scenes, he leverages his own power to undermine them. Wilson-Raybould later resigned.

In light of the most recent scandal, Trudeau has issued two brief apologies, acknowledging that she should have known better, that his behavior was unacceptable and hurts Canada’s multicultural communities, and that his privilege and race shields him from this discrimination.

With Canadian federal elections coming up, Trudeau is already trying to shift the national conversation to the topic of gun control. But are Canadians so ready to move on? These are the conversations — about racism, about those in power, about diversity and inclusion– that need to happen.

And keep happening.

Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ is the empowering flick we all need right now

Some of the biggest names in the industry– J Lo, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and Lili Reinhart (girl-next-door Betty Cooper in “Riverdale”)– came together to make Hustlers, a movie about strippers who work together to scam slimy Wall Street guys.

It’s like taking Martin Scorcese’s Jordan Belfort from Wolf of Wall Street, but then replacing him with a whole pack of wolves. Still, unlike Wolf, the film was helmed by a woman, Lorene Scafaria, which makes it that much more empowering.

Not only do we get female solidarity, but body positivity: the stars’ bodies, rather than being ogled by a male director (think Quentin Tarantino or Michael Bay), are instead celebrated by a woman.

Hustlers premiered at the TIFF festival less than a week ago and hits theaters this Friday. But already, critics are dubbing it the “female Goodfellas” and clamoring for an Oscar nom for J Lo, who at 50 is putting in career-best work and doing insane pole-dancing moves.

Not to mention, Hustlers creamed the box office with a $34 million debut.

The movie is based on a 2015 New Yorker article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler, and the actresses are playing versions of real people. Wu’s “Destiny” is based on the article’s Rosie Keo, a young stripper with immense business savvy while J Lo’s “Ramona” is Samantha Barbash, in her 30’s when she met Rosie and known for taking younger strippers under her wing at Hustler’s.

Rosie got in on Samantha’s scheme, which involved calling up Hustler’s clients, mainly married men, bringing them to a room and drugging them– just a dash of molly and ketamine in their drinks– to get them to rack up tabs of tens of thousands of dollars.

They justified their actions by asserting that this money was nothing to these guys, that they were bad dudes taking advantage of these women. It was a way to claim power, to turn the tables.

Cardi B used similar queasy methods. In a video in which she reflected on her days as a stripper, the rapper admitted to drugging and stealing from her clients. In the ensuing backlash, she defended herself, saying it was out of a need to survive.

Out of all the actresses in the film, Cardi was the only with a real stripper past. Sheesh, one can only wonder what it felt like for her to step back into that role after clawing her way out of that world.

Spoiler Alert

Anyway, the finesse operation proved to be unstable; Samantha and Rosie’s relationship soured and things eventually spiraled out of control. After doctor Zyad Younan reported a $135,000 bill over four nights at Hustler’s, the girls were arrested, charged with forgery, conspiracy, grand larceny, and assault.

But despite the fallout and felony charges, Rosie’s fierce feelings of female solidarity remained. In the article, when asked if her employers put her up to the scheme, Rosie scoffed. No one put them up to anything, she tells Pressler:

“We are strong women who don’t take shit from nobody.”

Cheers to that.

Image result for hustlers movie gif

Far from right: Who’s to blame for Spidey getting booted out of the MCU?

Negotiations between Sony, which has owned the rights to Spider-Man since 1999 and Disney, which controls the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently fell apart. Which means that Spidey will no longer be a part of the MCU.

Which also means no more moments like this.

There have been a series of stops and starts with Sony’s Spidey, and the ownership of the web-slinger has been complicated, to say the least. First, there was the Tobey Maguire-led trilogy in the aughts. Then, Andrew Garfield– who was already in his 30’s– embodied your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in the 2012 moderate hit and its less successful 2014 follow-up.

The movies got drastically better when Spidey was allowed to join the MCU, through a 2015 compromise between Sony and Disney. Under this agreement, the hero could appear in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Marvel, led by Kevin Feige, also became a producer on Sony’s Spidey movies, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home.

Not to mention, we were all gifted with the best Spiderman yet, Tom Holland.

But Disney apparently wanted more, seeking out a 30 percent stake of future Spider-Man profits, with some reports as high as 50 percent, a drastic uptick from their previous 5 percent stake. Sony is made out to be the bad guy for the deal falling through, with some people even calling for a boycott, but it’s kind of easy to see why they would say no to those demands.

The failure of the negotiations also doesn’t mean yet another Sony Spidey reboot or the end of the road for Tom Holland as Spider-Man, contrary to people’s initial reactions that the young Brit was now effectively jobless.

Sony still hopes for at least two more Tom Holland-helmed Spider-Man movies. But if they’re anything like the Amazing Spiderman 1 and 2, do we even want them?

In the wake of this news, an old Tom Holland interview resurfaced, where he was asked about the possibility of a Spider-Man/ Venom movie– a film that would exist outside of the MCU.

Tom Holland declared his loyalty to the cinematic universe, stating, “I’m not giving up my ticket in the MCU.” For him, it’s not just about being Spider-Man, but belonging to this ecosystem of superheroes.

And one of these heroes pledged their support: Jeremy Renner, who has long played Hawkeye in the films, Instagrammed as his character, tagging the late Stan Lee and all of Marvel, asking for Spider-Man back.

#SaveSpiderMan (from Sony) also started trending on Twitter, though the uproar was apparently assisted by bots. In any case, before people continue to direct their internet anger at Sony, maybe they should consider who the bad guys really are.

Are we addicted to violence? After talking to a foreign gun expert we found out

Why can’t we pass meaningful gun reform? What will it take? How can we stop these mass shootings from happening?

I reached out to my former professor Andrew Poe, editor of The Lives of Guns — a subject that he said “terrified” him — and a recent ex-pat to Copenhagen. In a wide-ranging conversation, we compared Americans and Danes’ trust in their governments.

We also discussed the unique nature of the Second Amendment and the manufacturing of guns using 3-D printers (they’re nearly impossible to track unless we start tracking all printers). Additionally, we noted what politicians are missing in the gun control debate.

Poe dismissed the conservative argument that video games are fueling the rampant gun violence in this country, saying simply, “video games are everywhere.” He questioned — as did I — if conservatives even believed this argument themselves.

Rather, he posited, they could be “trying to appeal to a certain kind of conservative…for example, to moms worried about their sons playing violent video games.” On the topic of mobilization, he added that the Right was doing a much better job than the Left of energizing their base, made up of millions of gun owners.

A self-described perpetually anxious person, who deeply mistrusts the American government, Poe noted how there were much, much fewer guns in Copenhagen, and as a result, how he feels much safer.

There’s not a sense, like in America, that a shooting could happen anytime, anywhere.

That’s not to say that Copenhagen is without violence. Several times during the conversation, he mentioned a recent bombing of a Copenhagen tax office — but also how the Danes’ reactions to it differed starkly from that of Americans.

The Danes essentially seemed to shrug it off, he observed. They have confidence in their government to keep them safe — a government Poe labeled as much less invasive than our own.

In America, he argued that there would be panic. For us, violence anywhere in the country becomes intensely personal. “If there’s a murder in Chicago, and you could be separated by hundreds of miles…you’re physically safe, but you somehow feel like it affects you. That’s distinctly American.”

Another unique aspect of American culture? The foundation of our property law. He described the story: an aristocrat was chasing down a fox to hunt it, but a farmer killed the animal first.

The aristocrat ended up suing the farmer, but the state Supreme Court ruled in the farmer’s favor. Their reasoning was that fox only became property once the farmer changed its state — by killing it.

We paused for a second to think about that. After all, violence and killing are the principles that underpin our property law.

Of course, we then turned to the Second Amendment. He noted, “It exists in a weird space, as both a positive and a negative right.” Some context: positive rights are things people are entitled to, such as having the right to an attorney; negative rights are areas where the state must leave you alone.

Basically one is freedom to and the other is freedom from.

You can view the Second Amendment both ways: you have the right to have the gun, and the state cannot take this gun away from you. So it stands in a category on its own. But more importantly, the Second Amendment has fundamentally changed us as people. It has made us used to violence and has given us a desire for it.

And how can we ever un-do that?

What happens to the kids? ICE separates 680 more families in Mississippi

On the first day of school in Morton, Mississippi, immigration officials conducted a massive raid across seven different food processing plants in the state, arresting 680 undocumented individuals and leaving hundreds of children to return home alone.

The operation, the largest in the last ten years, is believed to be the “largest single-state immigration enforcement operation in our nation’s history,” according to US Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Mike Hurst– who literally meant this as a good thing.

It also occurred less than a week after the El Paso shooting that left 22 dead and was fueled by anti-immigrant sentiment.

Like, what?! After immigrants were the victims of hate and unspeakable violence, you go after the immigrants and not the white supremacists?

In response to the timing of the raid, ICE officials say that the sting had been planned for more than a year– which also marks when Koch Foods Inc. was forced to pay $3.75 million to the plant, following Equal Employment Opportunities Commission class-action suit by the workers that charged the company with sexual harassment and discrimination.

This is not a coincidence. Shortly after the arrests, Canton, Mississippi Mayor William Truly asked:

“What happens to the children?”

That soon became the refrain– and there seems to be no clear answer. Lee Ann Brandon, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services, “We have no idea what the number of children is, or where they are.”

Volunteers took children (some who were actual toddlers) who had nowhere to go to makeshift shelters, including gyms and community centers, and gave out food and drinks.

Still, most children were too upset to eat, begging to see their parents and spending agonizing hours waiting for their release. According to ICE officers, some parents would be released with GPS ankle monitors (you know, like criminals) as their immigration proceedings take place.

They also reported that around 300 people had been released Thursday.

In one video, a child cried for the government to have some heart, and expressed that her dad wasn’t a criminal but someone who had given everything for her to live in the U.S.

Anyone in the government who has a heart- it’s time to speak out. And it’s up to us to vote Trump out of office, along with all of his cronies who support these cruel raids. Oh yeah, and abolish ICE.

Here’s how you can help.

Anyone can call the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services at 1-800-222-8000 if they know of any children left without guardians after the raids. Plus donating food will never go out of style.

The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, Immaculate Conception Church, and multiple other organizations and initiatives are collecting donations for food. Attorneys, legal professionals, and translators looking to lend a hand can reach out too.

SMH: SoulCycle and Equinox Owner is wack and we have the receipts

If you ever thought the spin class phenomenon SoulCycle was wack — or seemed like a cult — this week provided more evidence than ever.

And if you thought that fancy gym Equinox was an LGBTQ ally, as they’ve branded themselves for years — news flash — they’re not.

They’re just another company profiting off “supporting” the LGBT community, while simultaneously funneling their money to a demagogue who incites hate and is actively stripping them of their rights.

The companies’ owner Stephen Ross is throwing a huge fundraiser for Trump on Friday in the Hamptons, with tickets starting at $100,000 for lunch and a photo op with the President. Also, for $250,000, attendees can also sit in on a roundtable discussion with Trump. (Which, first of all- that’s how you would choose to spend $250,000?)

Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins as well as– and here’s the catch– a national nonprofit called RISE that “educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.”

A player on the Dolphins called out the blatant hypocrisy.

SoulCycle and Equinox were quick to distance themselves from Ross, appealing to their “family” and calling him a “passive investor” who is “not involved” in the management process. He’s the Chairman of Equinox Holdings.

They underlined that they did not endorse the event and that they remain committed to their goals of diversity, equality, and community.

Not gonna cut it, guys. As long as Ross remains at the top of these companies, these messages are just empty words.

Also, people including the many celebrities who belong to Equinox or frequent SoulCycle’s $40+ classes called for a boycott.

#GrabYourWallet founder Shannon Coulter, whose website lists companies that support Donald Trump or carry his brands, announced she would be adding the companies to her list. She’s a potential power player and as a result of the protest group’s past boycott, Ivanka Trump’s line was dropped from Nordstrom.

Inexplicably, Ross himself tried to diminish his ties to Trump. In a statement, he said:

“I always been an active participant in the democratic process. I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others, and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.”

For Ross, part of being an “active participant in the democratic process” means heavily donating to Republican candidates and committees over the years.

But let’s get this straight: you think Trump is racist, and you’re dedicated to fighting racism, but you’re still holding this event for him and contributing to his “Victory Fund?” That checks out.

Here’s a recap of some of the best roasts from the Democratic Debates

After two months of two-day debate circuses, featuring 10 candidates on-stage, it’s time to look forward to the next round, where the qualifications are much stricter. To make the stage in September, candidates must have 130,000 donors and be polling at 2% in four polls.

That spells the end for many campaigns, including Marianne Williamson’s, who spoke about “dark psychic forces” released by Donald Trump, but made surprisingly good points about reparations and the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

Girlfriend, you were so on..? It also means trouble for low-polling candidates like Kirsten Gillibrand, who closed the last debate by asking for people to help her “so I can make the next debate stage.”

Only seven candidates have qualified so far, including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker. Others who might qualify are Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, and Julian Castro.

In honor of these debates ending, let’s take a look back at some of the best moments and burns, in no particular order:

1.  “I don’t know why someone would go through all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for” – Elizabeth Warren

Many of the moderates on-stage Tuesday tried to paint Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s policies, such as single-payer healthcare, as impossible dreams and fodder for Republicans.

Warren, clearly frustrated with their lack of imagination and forward-thinking, responded. After this, Delaney’s Wikipedia page was briefly changed to “murdered by Elizabeth Warren during the July debate.”

2. “I wrote the damn bill!” – Bernie Sanders

Directed at Tim Ryan, who asked the Senator what Medicare for All would mean for unions.

While Bernie explained that union members would benefit, since Medicare for all would cover hearing aids, dental care and other services for seniors, Ryan responded, “You don’t know that.” Ryan definitely felt the Bern after that one.

3. “You’re wrong.” – also Bernie

Bernie easily dismissed another Medicare for All critic — this time John Delaney, who claimed the plan was “political suicide” — with a simple “you’re wrong.”

4. “That little girl was me.” – Kamala Harris

A game-changer for her campaign.

In the first Democratic debate, Senator Kamala Harris announced that she wanted to talk about race, and began a (clearly prepared) story about how she was bussed to school growing up.

She then turned to Joe Biden and pointed out that he had opposed the policy during the Civil Rights era. The former VP was caught completely off-guard, and the exchange cemented her status as a front-runner.

It also put a target on her back, making her vulnerable to attacks during the second debate.

5. “We’re up here with make-up on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines, playing roles in this reality TV show.” – Andrew Yang

Calling out the debates for the artifice that they really are. The “rehearsed attack” line instantly made me think of Kamala’s Biden attack last debate.

But it could also refer to Tulsi Gabbard’s attack on Kamala, or Bill de Blasio’s attempts to goad Biden into responding, or Julian Castro’s surprise critique to Beto O’Rourke on immigration.

It paints a really scary picture of American politics — and I think he’s right.

6. “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid when you don’t even know the flavor” – Cory Booker

Whether or not people actually say this, it gave the Senator, who’s been solidly mid-tier this election cycle, his breakout moment. It came during an exchange with Biden, while the two sparred over their criminal justice records.

Analysts praised Booker’s performance, proclaiming he won that night of the debates.

7. “Girlfriend, you are so on.” – Marianne Williamson

Not a burn, but definitely one of the funniest things I’ve seen — not just on the debate stage, but on TV in a long time.

Asked what her first action as President would be, the self-help guru said she would call up the Prime Minister of New Zealand, to tell her she was… on?

At the moment, I genuinely thought this was a compliment to another female leader. Like, right on, girl!

But apparently, the New Zealand PM had promised her country would be the best place for children to grow up, and Williamson was preparing to compete for that spot.

8. “The first thing I’m gonna do is Clorox the Oval Office.” – Kirsten Gillibrand

I have to respect this answer: you gotta get the Trump disease out of there ASAP.

And now all I can think about when I say “ASAP” is Trump tweeting, “It’s been a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP.” Great.