Welcome to the March 25, 2015 edition of Outrage Watch, HitFix's (almost) daily rundown of all the things folks are peeved about in entertainment. Today's top story: do we have a new "Gamergate" on our hands?

"The new Gamergate: Angry white men are trying to shut down diverse comics," reads the headline of a piece written by Salon's Matt Binder, who claims that "right-wing parasites, misogynist Men’s Rights activists, and opportunistic grifters" including Breitbart contributor Milo Yiannopoulos (many of whom, he alleges, probably don't even read comics) are taking aim at attempts to add more women and racial minorities to mainstream comics, most notably the woman Thor.

"The fact that a woman playing Thor would cause such outrage, when even a frog is able to take up the title of Thor sans controversy, is absurd," Binder writes before citing numerous other examples of targeted attacks by the trolls in question. He later charges: "A common tactic used by right-wingers is the call to 'stop politicizing everything' — while at the same time trying to push forth their own political agenda in the culture wars."

It's a long piece and worth a full read for context.


Want more? There's plenty of indignation to go around. See below for a full roundup of today's kerfuffles.

Female Thor

Outraged: Shonda Rimes, Twitter
Target: Deadline TV writer Nellie Andreeva
Why: An article penned by Andreeva published Tuesday was probably doomed from the start by its inflammatory headline: "Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?" In it, the Deadline contributor wonders whether the networks have gone too far in trying to fill a so-called "ethnic quota": "Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal."

Oh, no...

The always-controversial Nellie Andreeva strikes again!

[Deadline, The Wrap]

Outraged: Atheists, reasonable humans
Target: "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson
Why: The reality star is taking heat for comments made at an event called the "Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast," during which he openly imagined the brutal rape, torture and murder of an atheist family to, I guess, demonstrate why being a Christian is so important?

“Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him," said Robertson, who, after taking a moment to describe the rape and murder of the "little" daughters and "little" wife in graphic detail, continued: “Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if [there] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’”

A sampling of responses:

Glad we could all come together over this.

[Raw Story]

Outraged: Empire Distribution
Target: FOX's "Empire"
Why: The real-life hip-hop record label has demanded that FOX pay up over a claim of "trademark infringement and dilution" with their same-named hit television series -- a move that spurred the network to file a pre-emptive lawsuit against the company in an attempt to prevent "a cloud over Fox’s intellectual property rights in the fictional television series Empire." Said Marvin Putnam, an attorney representing the network: "Fox has no intention of allowing anyone to leverage Empire’s success for their own unwarranted financial gain.”

[The Hollywood Reporter]

Outraged: Deven Chierighino, husband of injured "NCIS: LA" crew member Brianne Brozey
Target: Unnamed crew members who he feels were responsible for the accident that caused her devastating injuries
Why: Brozey has been tormented by crippling pain since a steel grip head from a light stand fell on her four years ago while working on the set of the CBS procedural. In addition to being unable to work since the accident, she recently went through a life-threatening five-hour surgery to try and repair some of the damage. Through it all, her husband claims that with the exception of a single person, no one from the production has called to check up on her in the past four years.

“My wife’s injuries were totally preventable had certain crew members been doing their jobs correctly and watching out for one another’s safety," Chierighino told Deadline in a written statement (neither he nor his wife confirmed which set she was working on for fear of being blackballed; Deadline later uncovered that it was "NCIS: LA" after conducting an investigation). "And, while they were able to walk away and have probably forgotten all about that day, my wife and I will forever have to live with the consequences of their careless inactions.”

Chierighino says he and his wife hope that her case will serve as a wakeup call in the same way that the death of "Midnight Rider" camera assistant Sarah Jones did: “We need to take it a step further," he said in reference to the "Slates for Sarah" campaign that arose in the wake of Jones' death. "There is nothing yet created or in place today that is available for all the workers that have ‘survived’ their injuries.”


Outraged: Salon contributor Anna Silman
Target: Jay Leno
Why: Leno's self-referential jokes on the debut episode of the "Late Late Show with James Corden" did not go over well with Silman, who takes aim specifically at his final devilish line, in which he references his controversial 2010 return to the "Tonight Show" after Conan O'Brien's short-lived run: “In three months, this show will be mine.”

"While self-effacement is a trait we usually embrace in celebrities — and a useful PR tactic for some of our less-likable stars — it’s not working for Leno," writes Silman. "It just serves to remind us how awful he is, and continues to keep the ugly [Conan O'Brien] episode fresh in our mind, even as it becomes increasingly irrelevant to the pop culture landscape as we know it."



Outraged: Conservative "Jeopardy!" viewers
Target: "Jeopardy!"
Why: Fair to say right-leaning viewers did not take kindly to a clue featuring First Lady Michelle Obama that referenced her "Let's Move" childhood obesity campaign on Tuesday night's episode. The firestorm started with a tweet from user @Cameron_Gray, who received a round of "hear, hear" responses after posting a screenshot of the offending segment:

Glad to see them venting their anger in a reasonable direction.


Outraged: New York college student Daniel Podolsky
Target: Southwest Airlines
Why: After his flight from Dallas to Chicago was grounded in St. Louis due to bad weather, Podolsky was barred re-entry to the plane by a Southwest gate agent until he removed/covered/turned around his t-shirt, which featured the phrase "Broad Fucking City" in reference to the Comedy Central TV series of the same name. According to Fox 2 St. Louis, video that surfaced of the confrontation shows Podolsky refusing to remove or turn the offending garment inside out and later confronting the gate agent once more before being escorted from the terminal by airport police.

“There are more than a hundred people on the plane trying to get to Chicago and the most important thing is my shirt?  How does that work?  Where’s the sense of priority?” Podolsky told Fox 2. He ultimately made it to his destination after, yes, changing his damn shirt.

[Fox 2 St. Louis via Huffington Post]

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.