In This Episode
- The UN Climate Change Conference – known as COP28 – hit a major roadblock on Monday. There’s disagreement between countries because a potential deal stops short of a promise to phase out the use of fossil fuels.
- The Golden Globes nominees were announced on Monday, but this is the first time the award ceremony will be run without the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The Association was dissolved, and a for-profit venture bought control over the awards. This year’s ceremony will be a case study in what these shows mean and their relevance in the industry.
- And in headlines: a pregnant woman fled Texas to obtain an abortion shortly before the state’s Supreme Court reversed a ruling that permitted her one, the University of Nevada Las Vegas canceled its last week of classes in the wake of last week’s deadly campus shooting, and the feminist website Jezebel is back.
- The Tennessean: “Tennessee Tornadoes recovery: Here’s how you can help” – http://tinyurl.com/2x9qskyc
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
Follow us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/crookedmedia/
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Tuesday, December 12th. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: And I’m Tre’vell Anderson And this is What a Day, the pod that’s waiting for the 2025 reunion of BTS.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes. As of today, all seven members of the K-Pop band will be in the middle of compulsory military service.
Tre’vell Anderson: In the 18 months that they will be serving their military. A whole new K-Pop band will have been created. You know, they just turn them out. [music break] On today’s show, Israel reportedly used the munitions that some want to investigate as a war crime. Plus, the website Jezebel is back.
Priyanka Aribindi: But first, the UN’s annual COP28 climate summit in Dubai was supposed to wrap up today, but it could go on longer. That is in part because there are still major disagreements over a big issue that the world’s leaders were supposed to tackle. Okay.
Tre’vell Anderson: Tell us what happened. Why is this still ongoing here?
Priyanka Aribindi: So a draft agreement for a potential climate deal was released from the summit yesterday, but it has been called everything from insufficient to a complete failure by climate advocates around the world. The main issue is that it completely omits any language calling for the phase out of fossil fuels, the use of which is the main driver of our climate crisis. In fact, it doesn’t even include the words oil or gas at all.
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow.
Priyanka Aribindi: You may remember a few weeks back I had a conversation with Grist journalist Naveena Sadasivam on our show, she told us how critical the inclusion of that language would be. It was actually a priority for the EU and many countries that are vulnerable to climate change as they went into this summit. That this was really the thing to look out for in this COP, especially given the fact that this year was the hottest on record with so many climate catastrophes experienced around the world. But instead of strong commitments, the watered down language in this draft suggests that actions to reduce the use of fossil fuels are an option rather than a requirement for countries around the world. And it calls for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels rather than a full phase out.
Tre’vell Anderson: Which we know is what we need. A full phase out to really turn back the clock.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, it’s basically like a light suggestion when what we needed were like strict rules.
Tre’vell Anderson: Right. Okay. Where did the US land in the midst of this disagreement? Hopefully they’re on the right side of this.
Priyanka Aribindi: [sigh] Yeah. So the US and a group of other countries, including the UK, Canada, Japan and Australia, have all said that they will not sign on to this draft agreement. They called it a death certificate for small island nations and they are demanding a stronger agreement. Take a listen to the head of the Alliance of Small Island States, minister Cedric Schuster, reacting to this earlier.
[clip of Cedric Schuster] We have been asked throughout this process what is at stake if these negotiations don’t return a strong outcome that keeps 1.5 alive. How can you not understand? It is our very survival that is at stake.
Priyanka Aribindi: That 1.5°C he’s referring to is a widely agreed upon benchmark to limit global temperature rise. The group opposing this draft agreement consists of several of the world’s biggest users and producers of fossil fuels. But on the other side are the OPEC nations, which lead the world’s production of oil. Critics of this draft agreement says it goes way too easy on those OPEC nations. Just last week, it was reported that the leader of OPEC urged its member countries to block any use of the phase out language in this agreement. This entire summit is also being hosted in Dubai, which is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is a major oil producer and a member of OPEC as well. So it’s really not difficult to see with all of this going on why this is so frustrating to people who care about this issue and whose lives depend on real, sustained action around the world to fight climate change or whose lives most immediately depend on it. Because I think eventually all of our lives will depend on it.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. And you mentioned that this was a draft.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes.
Tre’vell Anderson: So what happens next?
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, the draft certainly makes things a bit more contentious as we near what’s supposed to be the end of this summit. The original deadline to reach an agreement was this morning. Very few people think that will happen on schedule anymore. Talks continued following the release of the draft yesterday, they went on into the night. But as of our recording time at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday night, that is all we know. Former U.S. vice president and longtime climate advocate Al Gore posted a statement on X saying, quote, “In order to prevent COP28 from being the most embarrassing and dismal failure in 28 years of international climate negotiations, the final text must include clear language on phasing out fossil fuels. Anything else is a massive step backwards from where the world needs to be to truly address the climate crisis and make sure that the 1.5°C goal doesn’t die in Dubai.”
Tre’vell Anderson: Shout out to Al Gore, leveling–
Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously.
Tre’vell Anderson: –things for us. Okay. And making it play.
Priyanka Aribindi: He’s been on it for a long time.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Thanks for that, Priyanka. Now I want to turn our attention to the entertainment world. Yesterday, the nominations for the Golden Globes were announced. And beyond the nominees, what’s unique about this upcoming ceremony is that it’ll mark a new era for the 80 something year old show. And that’s because of what’s been quite a chaotic last couple of years for them. I’ll get more into that in a moment. But because some of you will want to know, I’ll just give a little tea on the nominees. Barbenheimer has the most nominations. Barbie at nine for Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling. Oppenheimer has eight nominations. Both of those films, Barbie and Oppenheimer, are competing in a new category that the Globes has for cinematic and box office achievement. They’re up against the likes of John Wick, chapter four and the Era’s tour, the Taylor Swift concert documentary. So maybe Taylor Swift will make an appearance at the January show. Who knows? I am particularly happy to see acting nominations for Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks, who both star in The Color Purple reimagining that’s coming out on Christmas Day. I’ve already seen it. Yes. You all need to make sure you’re there on Christmas Day. Just go ahead and add it to your to do list. All right. Also excited to see Colman Domingo nominated for his role as gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin in the film Rustin that is on Netflix.
Priyanka Aribindi: I love when we talk entertainment because I always leave with such a long list of things that I need to watch. [laughter] But we are, as you said, getting back to a new era for the ceremony. You know, jog our memory a little bit. What do you mean when you say chaotic couple years that have led up to this?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So folks might remember the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. We’ve mentioned them a couple of times on the show. That was the nonprofit group behind the Golden Globes, this group of less than 90 people who represented or worked for overseas press that every year they would get together and they would vote on the best movies and TV shows. Now, over the years, that collective has gained kind of a reputation of being a little left of center in their tastes. But the Golden Globes really became seen as not only the first major show of awards season, it’s always that first week in January, um and therefore a sometimes barometer for what to expect leading up to the Oscars, which is the end of awards season. But the Golden Globes are also seen as like the party of awards season. And that’s where you’ll see the drunken acceptance speeches.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: From all of the celebrities because they’re throwing back champagne throughout the show and whatnot. And so the Golden Globes they like mattered, but not really, if you think about it. And then–
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes, yes.
Tre’vell Anderson: Back in 2021, the L.A. Times did an investigation that found that the association had a lack of racial and ethnic diversity and that there were some ethical quandaries in the mix over there. That set off a firestorm of critique for the org, resulting in Hollywood publicists and their talent, calling them out for a, quote, “pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption.”
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. How could we forget? I feel like a few years back, all of this was blowing up. It was a real firestorm, as you said.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes, it was a big old deal. It ended up resulting in a boycott of sorts. And in response to all of that, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association implemented a number of measures to kind of shape up, right. That included committing to increasing and diversifying its membership. This is where I should also note that as part of these diversity commitments, I was hired with a few others to serve on the association’s credentialing committee as a nonmember to help them review applications in pursuit of these diversity goals. I did that for a couple of years. I don’t do it anymore. But that all brings us to earlier this year when, in an attempt to quell the still ongoing concerns about the association and their commitment to diversity and whatnot, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was actually disbanded as a nonprofit, and they became the Golden Globes, LLC, a for profit organization, a shift that basically assuages some of those ethical concerns that the L.A. Times’ investigation raised. And so the Globes are really trying to put all of that behind them and chart out a new path of relevance going forward in the industry with this coming ceremony being its first under this new arrangement.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. Okay. I mean, it makes sense, this path that they’re trying to set for themselves. But what is it like for everybody watching this? Are the Globes still relevant to the community ratings? I know for a lot of awards shows have been down over the past few years. What is your take on that?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, well you know, I feel like we are always asking about whether or not an awards show is relevant today. Right. Historically–
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: –relevance has meant that a nomination might drive audiences back to the theater to check out a movie or a performance.
Priyanka Aribindi: Sure.
Tre’vell Anderson: Or there’s the belief that if a certain celebrity is nominated, like Taylor Swift for her concert doc, for example, that their audiences, the Swifties, might tune into the telecast in hopes that Taylor Swift will show up. But we don’t really see a nomination having a major impact on box office numbers anymore. That’s just not the case. That said, nominations for the Golden Globes or any of these other early awards season hits, they can put an actors performance more solidly in the conversation. When we’re comparing like who gets nominated for a Golden Globe versus who gets nominated for a SAG-AFTRA award versus the Oscars, for example. But like you mentioned, the ratings for many of these award shows are super low. The Golden Globes specifically, they had their second lowest ratings earlier this year. And in light of everything, they can’t even find a host.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Reports say that a number of top comedians have passed on the job, including Chris Rock, including Ali Wong. Obviously, a host is not necessary. We’ve seen plenty of awards shows go without them. But I think what all this really means is that this question that you pose of relevancy isn’t just one at the Golden Globes, right? It’s not just a Golden Globes problem. It’s really an awards show problem at large. There have been similar conversations about the Oscars, about the Soul Train Awards, which were a couple weeks ago that Keke Palmer hosted. The Emmys, the MTV VMAs. I’ve been saying for a little minute that we really are living through a case study of sorts in so many ways. And so we all in this moment are collectively defining what relevancy for these shows mean and look like today. It’s really all in our hands. And so for those of you out there in the WAD squad who believe that awards shows like this still matter, the Golden Globes will be on CBS this year, also streaming on Paramount Plus on January 7th. We are going to do our best to keep y’all updated on all the awards season shenanigans. Trust me, there will be plenty. But that is the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break]
Priyanka Aribindi: Let’s get to some headlines.
Priyanka Aribindi: Some updates on the fighting in the Middle East. Israel used white phosphorus supplied by the U.S. in an October attack that injured at least nine civilians in southern Lebanon. That is according to an investigation by The Washington Post. And while white phosphorus isn’t banned under international law, human rights groups are calling on officials to investigate the use of the chemical as a war crime. As we said on the show before, tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border have been high ever since Hamas’s attack on October 7th. There has been near-daily gunfire between the Israeli military and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Of the nine civilians who were hurt in the recent attack, three had to be hospitalized due to the severity of their injuries. If you’re not familiar with white phosphorus, the dangerous chemical substance ignites once it makes contact with skin and can burn deep enough to penetrate bone. In some cases, contact with white phosphorus can cause organ failure and respiratory damage. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote today on a resolution demanding an immediate cease fire in Gaza. The move comes after the U.S. vetoed a similar proposal from the U.N. Security Council on Friday. Standing alone as the only country to vote against it.
Tre’vell Anderson: And we have some more updates on Kate Cox, the pregnant woman in Texas who was granted the first court ordered abortion last week since the fall of Roe. Her attorney said yesterday that she left Texas to get an abortion elsewhere. We told you earlier that the Texas Supreme Court put a pause on last week’s ruling so it could consider a petition from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Cox, however, said that she could not wait for the court to make up its mind. And it’s a good thing that she didn’t because hours later, the state Supreme Court officially overturned the lower court ruling. The justices ruled that Cox’s health was not sufficiently at risk to allow her to get an abortion legally as written in the filing, quote, “Any parent would be devastated to learn of their child’s Trisomy 18 diagnosis. Some difficulties in pregnancy, however, even serious ones do not pose the heightened risks to the mother the exception encompasses”
Priyanka Aribindi: What?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. That doesn’t make much sense when the doctors are saying that this is medically necessary.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t think judges should be making medical decisions. And if you don’t either, please vote.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes, literally. [laugh] But Cox isn’t alone in her travels out of state. The number of patients traveling to other states to receive an abortion has doubled in the last several years, with nearly 1 in 5 doing so in the first half of 2023. That’s according to a study from the Guttmacher Institute. But in some good news, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer repealed a state law that restricted abortion access on health insurance plans. Whitmer has been on top of it when it comes to making sure abortion stays accessible in this post Roe world. We need more governors like her. To your point, Priyanka, everybody needs to be voting. Okay?
Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely. What we see here in the number of patients who have been traveling, who have to leave where they live to get the care that they need, it just is an additional burden on them simply because of where they are. It’s completely unfair. I mean, that’s not anything new to anyone who’s been watching this since the time since Roe was overturned, even before. But it just is disgusting to watch in real time.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Priyanka Aribindi: The Supreme Court handed a victory to protections for queer children. The justices yesterday refused to hear a challenge to state and local government bans on conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth. The case was brought by the so-called Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative and Christian legal group. The ADF sought to challenge Washington State’s law that revokes the license of any therapist that tries to change a child’s sexual orientation, a practice that the American Medical Association says is not supported by any medical or scientific evidence. By refusing to hear the case altogether, the high court allowed the law to stand. That is overall great news, as LGBTQ+ youth in Washington State will remain safe from conversion therapy. But it’s worth calling out the three justices who dissented from that decision. You can probably guess who they are. Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas all said that they were open to hearing the merits of this case. Thomas wrote in his opinion, quote, “I have no doubt that the issue it presents will come before the court again. When it does, the court should do what it should have done here. Take the case to consider what the First Amendment requires.”
Tre’vell Anderson: Maybe if and when this issue does return to the court, Clarence Thomas in particular won’t still be there.
Priyanka Aribindi: May we be so lucky, please.
Tre’vell Anderson: Tennesseans continue to pick up the pieces after 13 tornadoes ripped through the middle of the state on Saturday and killed six people. But freezing temps have slowed down the recovery efforts. The devastating twisters flipped over cars and leveled homes. The youngest victim was two year old Anthony Mendez, who was killed along with his mother when a mobile home rolled into theirs. Over 9000 customers are still living without power as well as of our recording at 9:30 Eastern Monday night. And because freezing temperatures have blanketed the region, many homes are struggling to stay warm until power is restored. We’ll put a link in our show notes to local news sites who’ve identified the ways that you can donate and help.
Priyanka Aribindi: The University of Nevada, Las Vegas canceled its last week of classes and all final exams in the wake of the deadly campus shooting on December 6th. The attack left three faculty members dead and another critically injured. University President Keith Whitfield gave a press conference on Friday to tell students and staff that all final grades will be based on classwork completed before the day of the shooting, citing the community’s need to process its trauma and grief.
[clip of Keith Whitfield] What our university has endured on December 6th is nothing short of life changing. We will not ever forget that day.
Priyanka Aribindi: Meanwhile, police are still investigating the gunman’s motive after discovering the 22 suspicious letters he sent to universities across the country and a so-called target list that he had on his person the day of the shooting.
Tre’vell Anderson: And we’re going to end today’s show with some fantastic news. Jezebel is back.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes!
Tre’vell Anderson: The feminist website returned yesterday after it was shuttered a month ago and 23 employees were laid off by then owner G/O Media. It was then acquired by Paste magazine. Take a listen to what Jezebel writer Kylie Cheung said to us about the relaunch.
[clip of Kylie Cheung] It’s always been um such an honor, I think, to be able to take up the mantle doing work that other um, more traditional women’s media has sometimes shied away from touching. Um. So in a word, I’m incredibly excited to be back.
Tre’vell Anderson: And here is Jezebel writer Audra Heinrichs.
[clip of Audra Heinrichs] I felt excited to wake up and do my job every day because I knew I was doing it alongside people who made me feel validated in ways that I could then trust myself enough to say what I wanted to, regardless of who it might piss off. That, to me, is sort of what Jezebel has always been. What it is now in this new iteration and what it will be forever.
Priyanka Aribindi: That’s definitely when I think of Jezebel. What I think of I think of people who are brave enough to say what they think, how they feel. Write about it, and put it into the world. I am so glad that these writers who are the voice of Jezebel and what make it so special feel that they are still able to do that, that all of the things that made it so great are being preserved with Paste as the new ownership. This is really exciting because we were gonna lose something really great and now we aren’t. So I feel good and I’m really happy for all of these writers.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. When I think of Jezebel, the word that comes to mind is thought provoking.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes.
Tre’vell Anderson: Which is not to say that I always agree with what is published on that lovely site, but it always gets me thinking. And listen, in 2024, we need more people to think.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes, please. Absolutely.
Tre’vell Anderson: So super happy to hear that Jezebel is back. Looking forward to what they give us in the days, weeks and years to come.
Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely.
Tre’vell Anderson: And those are the headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Don’t cop out COP28 and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you are into reading and not just the newest Jezebel posts like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And see you in 2025 BTS.
Priyanka Aribindi: You’ll still be uh lighting it up like dynamite.
Tre’vell Anderson: Oh, is that one of their songs? Lighting it up like dynamite?
Priyanka Aribindi: I think those are the right words. [laughter] I know like one BTS song. I’m sorry don’t come for me. Don’t come. [laughter] [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers, and our showrunner is Leo Duran. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.