Le Scandale! The Stories of Winona Ryder and Mel Gibson (Link and Transcript)

There’s a new episode of my podcast out! Listen to it on iTunes here. If you’re not sure you want to put in all that effort to download a podcast you might not even like, you can read the transcript of the episode below. But, trust me it’s way better listening to it. If you do decide to download, please subscribe, rate, and review. It really helps! Thanks! 

LesDeux

Hello and welcome back for another episode of Les Deux You Remember This? where we look back on all the stories from Hollywood’s best worst decade. The early 2000’s. A time in history when America found out that with a trust fund, a sex tape, and a dream, you too, could become a star. As always, I’m your host, Dara Laine.

2 episodes ago, we talked with guest Gabi Conti about the mental health issues of both Britney and Lindsay. Much of their bad behavior can be at least be partially attributed to an emotional breakdown and addiction issues. This week, we’ll discuss two different stories in which other celebrities blamed their bad behavior on the same problems. Is a breakdown or substance abuse an excuse for committing an a-moral offense? And how long must someone atone for these sins before they are absolved? But… does everyone and their damaged hair deserve a comeback?

These are all the questions we’ll touch upon in this episode, entitled “Stranger Things: The Story of Winona Ryder’s Comeback and also The Story of How Weird it Is that Mel Gibson was Allowed to Be in Daddy’s Home 2” …alternative title…  “Girl, Interrupted: The Story of Winona Ryder and also the story of the Female Cop Who Was Interrupted by Mel GIbson when he Called Her Sugar Tits.”

We’ll begin with Winona’s story that dates us back to December 12, 2001. Almost 3 months to the day after 9/11.

As Alex Pappademas of GQ put it: “Historians will remember it as the first major celebrity-bad-behavior story of the post-9/11 era, a sign that it was okay for us, as a society, to be preoccupied with stupid bullshit again”

Perhaps that is true for some, but I think that sells a lot of people too short. I have long taken pride in my ability to have enough extra leg room in my brain to preoccupy myself with both stupid bullshit and important bullshit.

So on to the stupid bullshit that has many shades of important bullshit as it relates to how we treat women and those suffering from mental illness and/or addiction issues. Uh kay?

On this day in December, Winona stepped into Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills carrying a large bag. On the surveillance cameras, security noticed Winona walking through the store, putting different items in her bag. She went into a dressing room and cut off security tags with a pair of scissors. As she attempted to leave, she was apprehended.

winona shoplifting

When they searched her bag they found several items including: a pharmacies worth of pain killers and other meds,

a cashmere Marc Jacobs sweater worth $760, various Frederic Fekkai hair adornments worth about $600 and several pairs of socks, including a cashmere pair from Donna Karan worth $80,

The grand total came out to $5,560.

Let’s be real. This was a lady who wanted to get caught. And also, I’m guessing a very amateur thief. It’s understandable. All those formative years when you’re supposed to learn petty shoplifting techniques she was busy acting in Lucas and Great Balls of Fire.

I, personally, have never shoplifted, but even I know the ropes. 1. Never steal CDs from a Strawberries. You will never get away with it. 2. If you’re stealing a thong from a Rave in the mall, take a bunch of clothes in with you hiding the thong between items, put on the thong over your own underwear, put your pants back on, leave the store quickly and go to the candy store for a baby bottle pop to toast your victory. And for more brazen and experienced shoplifters, hit up a JCPenney, go to the rack of returns that are waiting to be retagged and returned to the shelves. Take a pair of flair cordaroy hip huggers plus a couple other items. Put on the cords in the dressing room, put your old raggedy pants back on the hanger, then light up a cigarette as you walk your smug ass out the mall like you’re Blu Cantrell.

But if you just wanna get caught, bring a pair crafting shears from home and try to get away with pilfering cashmere for a Saks.

During the trial, Winona’s defense team first tried to make the case that Winona didn’t know what that she was stealing. That she just thought that her assistant would come back to do it. A security guard testified that after they had caught her she told them  she was just doing research for a role. So far this is sounding like Jodi Arias trying to get out of trouble.

winona 1

And the trial was a spectacle of Arias proportions, with people scrutinizing Winona’s appearance like they did Jodi’s. If you can imagine, in 2001, tabloids were ruthless in their judgement of the way women looked, something we never have to worry about today.

Here’s one story put out by The Drudge Report on October 30, 2002 during her trial:

The Drudge:

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WED OCT 30, 2002 20:52:41 ET XXXXX

PANTIES ON PARADE: WINONA GOES TO COURT IN SEE-THROUGH FROCK

Winona Ryder had trouble with her briefs at a Los Angeles court today.  

The Hollywood star turned up for her shoplifting trial in a see-through party dress, shocking witnesses.

Let the evidence show:

Ryder presented to jurors how her bra is black and her panties are white.

The see-through caused a complete commotion inside of the courtroom, with one lawyer staring transfixed at Ryder’s brassiere.

“What was she thinking?!” asked one observer. “Judge Judy would have ordered her home to change in to more appropriate court attire.”

winona clothes

The judgement of her taste wasn’t limited to the media. At one point during the trial, her defense picked up one of the hair clips, waved it over her head and exclaimed, “can you even imagine her wearing this?!”

Apparently that rock solid argument didn’t work, because after the jury deliberated for one day, they found Winona guilt of 2 of the 3 felony counts against her.

During her sentencing, the judge let Winona have it, saying “”You have disappointed many people who have been entertained and inspired by your talent,” Judge Elden Fox told her. He went on to say that he had been unable to explain to his 16-year-old son, Ryan, why someone who earned so much ($6m a film) should shoplift: “You are the only person that’s going to be able to answer my son’s question.”

Please God, someone explain this to Ryan!

Does this Judge require all of his guilty defendants to explain to Ryan why they did what they did or it just Winona? Poor Ryan must be so delicate and simple that he requires a personal sit down or hand written letter detailing the thought process behind every non-violent criminals transgressions. He gets home from a hard day at Harvard-Westlake, fixes himself a glass of milk and pours over the many personal apology letters trying to understand why good people do bad things! Why a rich woman who wants for nothing could steal from things she doesn’t need from a high end department store! Why Ryan Whhhyyyy???

Well probably because she needed help. After she broke her arm on the set of Adam Sandler’s Mr. Deeds she started taking pain medication, which, sidebar, what a film to get a low key pill addiction over. She had been over medicating herself, as she put it, for about three weeks. On top of it, she was run down from a lifetime of fame and scrutiny. As she put it:

““Psychologically, I must have been at a place where I just wanted to stop,” she said. “I won’t get into what happened, but it wasn’t what people think. And it wasn’t like the crime of the century! But it allowed me time that I really needed, where I went back to San Francisco and got back into things that … I just had other interests, frankly.”

court illustration

After she got 36 months of probation and 408 hours of community service, Winona went to San Francisco and did some soul searching. Eventually she tried to get back into the business, but had a slow go of it for a while.

Another fallen star that has spent time trying to earn… or weasel his way back into show business is famed anti-semite Mel Gibson.

One hot July evening in 2006, Mel Gibson was pulled over as he sped down the Pacific Coast Highway.

As the officers arrested him Mel said to the male officer ““Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” before asking her: “Are you a Jew?”

And to the female, “”What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?”

But this, of course, pales in comparison to things he said on tape to his now ex Oksana Griegorieva. To which he says, “”You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n*****, it will be your fault.”

And “”I am going to come and burn the fucking house down… but you will blow me first.”

Also caught on tape was Oksana saying “What kind of man is that who would hit a woman when she is holding a child in her hands, hitting her twice in the face?” to which he replies “”You know what, you fucking deserved it.”

Cool dude!

So why do I make the comparison between Mel and Winona. Well, after over a decade both have made a comeback- Winona on Stranger Things and Mel in Daddy’s Home 2. Mel likes to complain about how hard it was for him to be accepted again, how unfair it was. But, though Mel’s come back didn’t stick for a while with the public he was given many chances by his peers in Hollywood. Remember the fucking Beaver? That was in 2011, barely 5 years after his DUI and a mere year after being caught on tape saying racist and sexist things to his wife, not to mention committing the crime of domestic assault.

Winona on the other hand, wasn’t given many legitimate opportunities besides a small part in black swan and a voice role in Frankenweenie. Her big comeback didn’t come for about 15 years after her indiscretion. Why was Mel afforded so many opportunities to make a comeback happen while Winona wasn’t?  Oooooh I think you know.

But what really annoys me about the difference between the two of their stories, is while Winona went away for a bit to collect herself and reflect on her life, and then came back to hollywood with a sense of humility, Mel came back with a chip on his shoulder. As if he’s been owed this the whole time. On the graham Norton show, he compares the last ten years trying to become relevant again to digging ditches, which he says with a sort of manic bitterness. Or maybe everything he says with that mangey beard of his sounds manic and bitter.

On Variety’s playback podcast, he says

“Ten years have gone by,” Gibson stated. “I’m feeling good. I’m sober, all of that kind of stuff, and for me it’s a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue. Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there’d be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been.”

“I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation,” the actor/director said. “And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”

Wahhhh it’s so unfair!!! And of course, he makes no mention of all the things he said and did to his ex girlfriend. But, great, your sober now. Though was alcohol really the blame for all of this? I don’t believe that alcohol makes you a racist. You mean to tell me all those thoughts that he has when he’s hammered don’t exist when he’s sober?

He says there’s no actions of his prejudice outside this incident, though there’s plenty of interviews where he has more awful things to say, particularly about gay people. There’s also evidence in his movie Passion of the Christ that many people considered to be anti-semitic. There’s also the fact that his father is an outspoken Holocaust denier. If we’ve learned anything from South Pacific is you have to be carefully taught to be prejudiced from your terrible parents!

And I submit my final piece of evidence a little anecdote from Winona Ryder from an interview with GQ in 2010:

“I remember, like, fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who’s gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about ‘oven dodgers,’ but I didn’t get it. I’d never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, ‘He’s anti-Semitic and he’s homophobic.’ No one believed me!

We believe you Winona. And we’re ready for you now…

Les Deux You Remember This? Is researched, written, narrated, and Edited by me Dara Laine. If you aren’t already, please subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating and review. You can follow the pod on Instagram and iTunes. And please, if you like the podcast, share it, tell your friends! It’s true what they say: takes a village to make me famous. If you have any questions, comments, or show suggestions please email lesdeuxyourememberthis@gmail.com.

So you’re invited to come back next week. We’ve got a table, and I’ve put you on the list, for Les Deux You Remember This?

#AskHerMore Parody Starring Heather Morris

I swear that I always intend to write a blog post that isn’t just an advertisement for a youtube video I or someone else made, but today just isn’t that day.

I made this little ditty for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls in time for the Oscar’s, and I’m just showing you now because I’m trying to accomplish something in this day and this is the only thing I can decide on doing. Great.

So have you heard of that #askhermore business? It’s basically just all about asking women on the red carpet more questions than just about their appearance and who they’re dating. If you want my very serious and earnest explanation of the video and the hashtag click the “Amy Poehler” hyperlink in the previous paragraph.

Listen, I don’t care if you ask someone about their dress and their appearance. I really like attractive people and I like them on my movie screens fo’ sho’. But, the reality is it would also be really simple to start asking women about stuff that has to do with their career or any kind of question that would actually require them to use the jello mold living upstairs in that pretty head of theirs. Also, I think as a country, all of our contempt towards the Kardashians has been woefully misplaced, and we should all ask ourselves why we have let Guiliana Rancid (HAS ANYONE MADE THAT CONNECTION YET??? COPYRIGHT! COPYRIGHT! I’M USING IT FOR MY ROLLER DERBY NAME!!!) walk this Earth foot loose and fancy free of ridicule until this week. Finally, finally, this week that woman had to apologize for the damage she is doing to women in this country. (E!) True (Hollywood) Story, one time I drank a bottle of wine by myself and cried while I watched Fashion Police because I was so sad that anyone would participate in a show that was only meant to ridicule women WHO ARE JUST TRYING TO LIVE THEIR LIVES!!!

Anyway, here’s my video, and down with the Patriarchy.

Wine Time is a Divine Time

I know when I post videos up on this thing they just ping pong out into the ether of the world wide web and nobody watches them (I have site stats! I know you people don’t care about my illustrious youtube career!). But today, I will post a video anyway, one I think you should watch because you might just learn something. Actually, I guarantee you will learn something because the video is a 90 second lesson on the Paso Robles wine region and I know that the dwindling audience of this blog has very little to contribute to the Paso Robles wine conversation.

Am I wrong??? Am I???

Anyway, the video is from the company Second Glass, and it’s full of pictures flashing about the screen to keep you occupied. Give it a watch! My sexy boyfriend Nate made it! Don’t tell him I used his name on this blog because he doesn’t find my Carrie Bradshaw antics charming in the slightest! Can you believe I’m still using Carrie Bradshaw as a reference? Next I’ll start posting quotes “by” Marilyn Monroe. You all know she never said any of those things right? Neither did Coco Chanel or Audrey Hepburn! You know who has real quotes? Joan Didion! Joan Didion has quotes for days! Read a book sometime why don’t you!

Okay, watch this video and become the hottest smarty pants at your next dinner party.

Unpopular Opinions

I can’t stand the Olympics. It takes away my regularly scheduled television programs for two whole weeks and then no one will let me watch Bravo because the Olympics only come once every 4 years and the Housewives are replayed twice a day.

I thought Whiplash was FINE. Not like, “what a fine film,” but like, “UGH, it was FINE.” I won’t regale you with my thoughts on how there were only maybe 3 female extras in the entire music school just about. Regardless of that, I hate films that involve too much drumming, or wild drumming. Or any movie where people get yelled at to practice instruments except for Mr. Holland’s Opus because trust that I will watch it every time it’s on TV.

I think polygamy is a cool and acceptable life choice as long as everyone is of age and like those Sister Wives people. I wish those sister wives could all marry each other because I think that idiot husband-child is just a major handicap and his hair looks over processed. The second half of this unpopular opinion is probably a VERY popular opinion amongst viewers of the show.

Ross was the comedic glue that held Friends together.

I never lost any sleep over that missing Malaysian plane or what’s up with the Bermuda Triangle or Amelia Earhart. I just don’t care about things that disappear out of nowhere unless it’s a coed on a spring break trip to Mexico. Serial Killers > Plane drama any day.

It’s all out there now. Love me or leave me.

Slap Her: NFL Players’ Reaction (PARODY)

Here’s my newest video that I created with my favorite visionary filmmaker and hot toddy boyfriend Nate Larkin-Connolly.

Every person I tell about this video seems worried for my safety, so if I disappear go to the NFL’s house and check on their alibi.

Peter Pan is a Garbage Monster

Screen shot 2014-12-05 at 1.25.49 PM

Before last night, I hadn’t seen Peter Pan in years, the stage musical or otherwise, but as a little kid, I loved the 1960 Mary Martin version, never questioning Peter’s antics or why a 47 year old woman was playing a pre-pubescent boy.

That all changed last night!!! Watching NBC’s Peter Pan as an adult made me realize what a stone cold garbage monster Pete is!

Like, at best Peter is a total dick, at worst, he’s a high functioning sociopath who despite being, what, like, 100 years old? stalks and manipulates barely pubescent girls into coming away with him to clean his house and tell him what a hero he is, nearly getting them killed in the process. Then he sends them home, but only after telling them some sob story about how after choosing to run away as an infant, he decides years later to return home, only to be completely insulted that his parents didn’t leave a light on for him like they’re running a goddamn Motel 6. Peter gives these girls some damp eyes and a lip quiver, makes them promise to keep their bedroom window unlocked for when he wants to come back, only to actually fly through that window 30 years later to tell them their hands are too crepe-y to go back to Neverland, but can he please have your 12 year old daughter, you old gutter witch?

Also: was Christopher Walken thinking of Natalie Wood when he had to walk the plank or no?

Daily Reminder: White Women and War Bonnets

Hey, Kitten Mittens. I’d like to introduce you to a new series on this blog- Daily Reminder- where I take a moment out of my blessed day to remind you of the sins you might be committing (#NotAllMen!!!) against other various nouns that you share this earth with.

With that, today’s reminder is:

While they may look fly as hell, Native American war bonnets are not for you, fashion girls!

It’s not even for Cher!

If it’s not okay for Cher, it is most certainly out of the question for you. If you want to take a cue from Cher, then here’s a bonus daily reminder that upper thigh slits are the next big thing.

But how could something so cute be racist? 

Well, the simple thing is, cute things can be racist. Even Skinheads were chubby babies once.

Okay, then WHY is it racist?

For a few reasons, but the short version is:

1. A non-Native American wearing a war bonnet promotes stereotyping of another culture, like when Julianne Hough wears blackface or Macklemore wears Jewishnose.

2. War bonnets are sacred to Native Americans. So even though EDC is a religious experience for you, it is extremely disrespectful to wear a neon headdress while you dance in a bikini rolling balls on molly. In fact, as a woman you def shouldn’t be wearing a war bonnet. Traditionally, only male chiefs and warriors were/are allowed to wear them.

Only MALE chiefs and warriors?! Daraaaaaaaaa, why won’t you let me dismantle the patriarchyyyyy????

Nuh-uh! Don’t you- don’t you dare! We have bigger fish to fry, this is not our problem!

Listen, ladies, no one is trying to take your flower crowns from you! Those are all yours and we won’t even make fun of you for wearing them (as long as it’s your wedding). So just stop wearing war bonnets since it offends an entire culture of people–even though that culture is very small in size. Because our ancestors killed them and took their land. And forced them into widespread poverty. And then named a professional sports team after a racial slur against them….

Just stop being jerks and let them have this!!! You do not deserve to make this your own!!!

Okay, I think I get it now. 

What a relief.

Oh, on a related note, can I dress up as Pocahontas for Halloween this year?

No!!!!!

Snack Chat: Online Dating and My Tinder Criteria

Watch me talk about my OkCupid date with a guy named Scooter, (all while secretly doing some sort of Zooey Deschanel impression? So quirky!) Take it all in for your viewing pleasure, then like it, then read an old post I wrote about Tinder, below.

My Tinder Criteria

You people know about the dating app Tinder by now, right? Well, in case you just got out of a year long relationship yesterday and previously had no need to troll the internet for a butt you could bounce change off of or abs you could wash your delicates on, I’ll explain how it works.

It’s very simple- you sign in with Facebook, it shows a couple of your profile pics, and people can either “nope” you or “like” you. If you’re noped, it goes to the next person, if you’re liked and you like them back, it’s a match, and you can chat. Basically, you just judge people on whether you think they’re hot enough to potentially date. There’s also the option to see if you have mutual friends or Facebook interests and to write a small profile, but really it’s just about looks because the novelty of two people listing Friday Night Lights as their favorite show wears off quickly.

photo-1

I don’t plan on messaging or meeting anyone because it all sounds to me like a death trap. A free app where you don’t even post your full name and people only pick you based on your looks just sounds like a place where really kinky serial killers go to find red heads with blue eyes so they can torture them (me) for a week then put your (my) severed fingers in a deep fryer. Regardless, reducing a human being’s worth to what they look like in 5 pictures and then choosing whether to “next” them or validate them as individuals turns out to be a strangely therapeutic way to pass the time!

I’ve already developed a quick system on how I nope people. My best advice is to have some hard and fast bottom lines on Tinder or any online dating site because you don’t have time to meet every stranger you come across. Have some personal deal breakers set up before you even get started so you can breeze through those profiles. Here are mine:

Guys wearing fedoras. I like to keep to that standard both online and in life.

fedora

Guys in front of a step-and-repeat (I’m only being shown LA guys).

stepnrepeat

Professional headshots (I’m only being shown LA guys).

headshot

Guys in tank tops.

tank

Guys wearing tank tops in their professional headshots.

tankheadshot

Anything featuring an instrument. 

guitar

This guy just looks like a handful.

Guys taking their own picture in the mirror. 

bowtie

Pictures with kids in them (are they yours?!).

Except this guy. They look so adorable, and she’s probably his niece.

baby1

Nope, definitely this guy. He’s a monster and that little girl is a decoy.

baby2

And whatever is happening in this picture. 

pickle Predator!!! Predator!!!

What’s kind of things do you see on Tinder that makes you nope a person? A man taking a picture with two young ladies eating a phallic object Lady and the Trap style? I hope so!

Life Hack: Kidnapping

Here’s a quick life hack (I have a very loose grasp on the definition of “life hack”):

Consider giving your roommate or a family member an approved photo of yourself in case of your unfortunate disappearance at the hands of, no doubt, some male deviant. If your emergency contact doesn’t have a photo they can quickly hand over to the press or to the screen printer, then your “Find Samantha” t-shirts will end up with some random Huey, Duey, and Luey kissy-faced picture that was pulled from your personal Instagram account.

Like what if some journalist published this on LAist.com?

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Me as Hipster Ariel on Halloween taking a selfie in a bathroom mirror is not exactly the kind narrative I’d like to have portrayed to the world.

Now this picture:

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Aren’t I sweet? I’m wearing matching jammies with a mom who loves me very much! Don’t you want to find me??? My hair is freshly dyed, my face is looking vuuury thin, this is this is the sort of picture you want to use!

Listen, if you’re fighting for your life in the trunk of an old Honda Civic,wouldn’t you at least like the peace of mind that you have full creative control over your disappearance?