A&E, the network that runs the hyper-popular Louisiana reality show Duck Dynasty, suspended its star Phil Robertson following comments he made in a GQ profile. Writer Drew Magary talked to an off-camera Robertson, who made self-described "Bible-thumping" and "controversial" statements including: "a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus," black people "were happy" during Jim Crow, and being gay is sin similar to bestiality.
In a statement, A&E representatives said they are "extremely disappointed" in Robertson's comments, adding, "His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."
Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal weighed in:
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."
Duck Dynasty's fifth season airs 9 p.m. Jan. 15.
Variety reports that The Whole Gritty City, which premiered in the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival in October, will air during a two-hour primetime special on CBS' 48 Hours next year.
48 Hours producer Richard Barber directed the film, which follows three marching bands — O. Perry Walker High School, L.E. Rabouin High School and the Roots of Music — from 2007 to 2010 as they prepare for the Carnival season amidst tragedy and violence in the members' homes and on the streets. Read an interview with Barber and more about the film in Gambit.
Barber began filming after he had worked on an episode of 48 Hours that looked at post-Katrina murders, particularly murders that catalyzed a citywide anti-violence march at City Hall, including those of filmmaker Helen Hill and Dinerral Shavers, a drummer for Hot 8 Brass Band and band director at L.E. Rabouin High School. The film also captures the early stages of the Roots of Music, founded by Rebirth Brass Band drummer Derrick Tabb. The Whole Gritty City not only follows the band directors but Barber also gave handheld cameras to several students to document their lives at home.
It will air 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15., opposite NBC's presentation of the 2014 Olympics.
Following its world premiere at the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival, local filmmaker Jessy Williamson's documentary A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas premieres Thursday, Nov. 7 on WYES-TV.
The film follows dozens of stories from the landmark music venue, which opened in 1970 and hosted countless rock 'n' roll legends, including opening night acts the Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac as well as Bob Marley, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan and dozens others. It also was the venue where The Doors performed for the last time with Jim Morrison. The Allman Brothers were the "house band," performing at the venue no less than twice a month in its early years. The Talking Heads headlined the venue's final gig in 1982. (Read the Gambit cover story looking back at the venue as it approached its 40th anniversary.)
The Warehouse was founded by Bill Johnston, a New Orleans native who wanted to replicate the experience of New York's Fillmore East in his hometown. His Warehouse became a go-to venue for touring acts throughout the '70s. Johnston, who is interviewed extensively in the film, died earlier this year.
The film follows the venue's rocky early days and the offbeat characters in its pot-heavy scene, with anecdotes from roadies, staff members, popular 'zine In Your Ear founders, and frequent sideman Deacon John Moore.
A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas airs 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, and 9 p.m. Nov. 28.
After performing a string of local gigs this week, standup comic hometown hero Sean Patton makes his Comedy Central The Half Hour debut at 11:30 p.m. tonight.
Last year, for a story about New Orleans' growing comedy scene, Patton talked to Gambit about getting his start in comedy in New Orleans.
Patton first performed in October 2001, when he had his first gig at Amberjack's in Lakeview. "There were five comedians in the crowd, and two audience members," he said. He started performing at True Brew Coffeehouse in the Warehouse District, where he met fellow up-and-coming comics Neal Stastny, Seth Cockfield and Dane Faucheux. The comics also performed at monthly standup showcases at Carrollton Station. "Those were our rock star nights," he said. "We'd go and do our best material and perform your f—ing dick off."
Long live the queen: bounce's intergalactic queen diva Big Freedia will star in her own reality TV series on the Fuse network this fall.
Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce explores the underground world of the New Orleans hip hop scene known as Bounce. The series focuses on local hero and outrageous personality Big Freedia and fellow artists Mr. Ghetto, Sissy Nobby and others as they struggle to take their music to the next level of success.
The series (slotted for an eight-episode order) premieres Wednesday, September 18. Fuse also picked up shows featuring the Insane Clown Posse and G-Fella, an Italian-American rapper.
In January, Pitchfork followed Freedia for a half-hour documentary about the performer's life in New Orleans, interior design, relationships, bounce artistry and violence:
Gambit editor Kevin Allman appeared on last night's Informed Sources on WYES-TV to discuss this week's tumult and realignment in the local media world with The Times-Picayune and The Advocate. The panel included host Larry Lorenz, producer Errol Laborde, reporter Dawn Ostrom and WWL-TV investigative reporter David Hammer.
The show isn't embeddable, but you can watch here.
Despite a career as a news anchor in several different cities, Scott Walker may always be known as a YouTube star. Well, one by association.
“I’ve probably been seen on YouTube by more people than in all the news casts I’ve ever anchored in my career,” Walker says.
The current WDSU anchor was working at Mobile, Ala.’s NBC affiliate WPMI-TV in 2006, and one night he just happened to be on the desk as the network aired a story that would become a YouTube sensation with, five years later, more than 17 million views. The story was of a leprechaun that residents say makes a yearly appearance in a tree in the Crichton part of Mobile. Crowds of people, wielding camera phones, binoculars and — in one guy’s case — a special flute, await the site of the elusive creature, who may or may not actually be a crackhead.
Walker says the reporter and photographer from the station who covered the story had no idea what they were getting into.
“Basically it was this crowd gathering outside Mobile in Crichton. People were gathering around, blocking traffic — it was kind of creating gridlock out there. So people called our newsroom and said ‘Something’s going on out here, police are here, there’s big crowds,’” he says. “The reporter and photographer went to check out the scene, and people were talking seeing a leprechaun in a tree, and it kinda snowballed from there.”
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