Social media was “buzzing” about the upcoming Disney Pixar film that will tell the stories of astronaut Buzz Lightyear, who first hit the screen in “toy form” in 1995’s Toy Story. The upcoming film, scheduled for release next year, is actually about the movie created around the space hero who inspired the toy.
The first trailer for the film was posted to YouTube on Wednesday and has already been seen nearly 6 million times.
While Tim Allen has been the voice of Buzz since the original film, appearing in all the sequels and even short films, Marvel star Chris Evans will reportedly voice the astronaut character.
Evans took to social media (@ChrisEvans) to proclaim how excited he was to be taking on the role, writing, “I’m covered in goosebumps. And will be every time I watch this trailer. Or hear a Bowie song. Or have any thought whatsoever between now and July cause nothing has ever made me feel more joy and gratitude than knowing I’m a part of this and it’s basically always on my mind.”
There were more than 262,000 likes, while Evans was retweeted some 37,000 times.
Even as many fans expressed delight that the story of Buzz Lightyear was being told, there were those who didn’t seem so happy that Evans would be stepping into the role. Recasting of voice actors isn’t especially uncommon, but according to rumors Allen, 68, was never even considered for the role.
On social media some believed that politics were at issue. As FoxNews.com reported, there are “political differences between the two actors, with Evans being known for liberal ideals while Allen is among Hollywood’s outspoken conservatives.”
Other news outlets also noted the recasting and questioned what was behind it. Celebrity gossip site TMZ pondered, “Was Tim Allen recast just because of his conservative politics???”
NBA analyst Bill Ingram (@TheRocketGuy) was among those saw it simply as a bad decision to recast such an iconic role, “Chris Evans is great, but come on…. Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear. I get the political stuff, but this is entertainment, not politics. Can we please separate the two??”
Several users on social media tried to explain that within the Toy Story universe Chris Evans was the astronaut and Tim Allen is the toy version:
By Thursday morning, the discussions became quite heated on Twitter – highlighting how social media has the potential to make every single discussion political these days.
“I wish what we were talking about is why we need another film in this series in the first place,” Susan Campbell, a distinguished lecturer in the Communication, Film and Media Studies Department at the University of New Haven. “Instead we’re talking about Allen’s politics. I just want everyone to take a breath and step down.”
While it is true that Allen played Buzz for nearly 30 years, the series has long suggested that the toy was based on a film franchise within the Toy Story universe – as noted by the above tweets.
Yet, even if that wasn’t the case, franchises are often rebooted, with new blood stepping in, and even in long running series roles are recast all the time. Multiple actors have played James Bond, Dr. Who and Batman.
“Tim Allen is 68 and it is well within the artistic process and is actually quite common to change actors,” said Campbell.
As for the political reasons, Campbell, who is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, said that this is an example of the echo chamber that social media has become.
“I really didn’t know much about Tim Allen’s politics, but I wouldn’t quit watching his shows or movies even as I strongly disagree with many of his views,” she explained. “But today we make everything so political, especially on social media.”
It is also a case where readers saw the headlines – such as the TMZ one and others – and jumped on their respective bandwagons that politics was at play.
“Please click o the link and read the story before making a comment,” Campbell added. “Instead everyone goes to their corners and puts up their dukes, ensuring that a fight will start.”
Women-in-politics group expands province-wide – Toronto Star
See Jane Run, a grassroots organization promoting and supporting women interested in running for municipal office in the Saint John area, is expanding to help women across New Brunswick.
In a media release Friday, co-founder Katie Bowden said the municipal reform white paper will kick off the process for a series of November 2022 municipal elections. She said See Jane Run will be there to support female candidates and promote diversity provincially yet again.
“The 2021 election was a solid step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go before we see the diversity of our communities reflected around our province’s council tables,” Bowden said.
The sweeping municipal reforms mean 57 communities will have a municipal election next year, and 12 newly formed rural districts will elect councillors. Seven communities will hold by-elections to elect representatives for the communities merging with other municipalities.
Bowden said the 2022 election means they won’t have to wait another four years before working toward the goal of more diversity in municipal politics.
“We will be continuing to encourage and welcome Black, Indigenous, people of colour and gender-diverse folks to offer as candidates and join our group,” she said. “Ensuring there is a wide variety of perspectives heard both in the upcoming election and around the council table will be a huge win for our province.”
Formed in 2021, See Jane Run, which is run by volunteers, held a campaign college speaker series and private Facebook group for candidates and their campaign managers.
Along with Bowden, Rothesay Coun. Tiffany Mackay French and Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Brittany Merrifield also co-founded See Jane Run.
“There is no party system at the municipal level, so candidates are on their own,” Mackay French said in the release. “See Jane Run fills that void, building a non-partisan community of support around our candidate group, helping them navigate the election process, ask questions in a safe space, tackle challenges together, and understand how to be successful at the job they’re running for.”
In the process of becoming a not-for-profit, the organization plans to begin fundraising to offer its campaign college materials in both French and English.
“Municipal elections are part of the leadership funnel that will see us eventually reach gender parity in the New Brunswick legislature, and elect our first female Premier,” Merrifield said in the release. “It all starts close to home – and now is the time to start thinking about offering your candidacy next November.”
Merrifield won’t have to re-offer in the by-elections in 2022 when Grand Bay-Westfield merges with a chunk of the Westfield West LSD. The community will be one of seven holding a by-election to elect a councillor to represent what will become a former LSD.
Merrifield said the 2021 municipal election saw a significant uptick in the number of women running and an increase in the number of women who were successful at winning their election contests.
“The organization was key,” she said. “When you’re running municipally, there’s no party support. You’re kind of out there on your own.”
As a result, four of five of the communities in the region elected a female mayor and four of five communities increased the number of women around the council table, she said.
“We feel we played a small part in that. We built awareness about the fact that women in politics are a good thing for building your capacity for diversity around the table and better policy,” Merrifield noted.
She said women face challenges when entering politics that white male candidates don’t.
“Women carry heavy loads from a work perspective and a home perspective,” she said. “It’s about talking to women about the fact that they can take this on.”
Russia criticises U.S. over threat of escalation with Iran at IAEA
Russia on Friday chided the United States for threatening a diplomatic escalation with Iran at the U.N. nuclear watchdog next month unless it improves cooperation with the agency, saying it risked harming wider talks on the Iran nuclear deal.
The United States threatened on Thursday to confront Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency if it does not give way on at least one of several conflicts with the IAEA, especially its refusal to let the IAEA re-install cameras at a workshop after an apparent attack in June.
“I believe that demonstrates that our American counterparts lose patience but I believe all of us need to control our emotions,” Russia’s ambassador to the IAEA Mikhail Ulyanov told a news conference with his Chinese counterpart.
“I don’t welcome this particular statement of the U.S. delegation (at the IAEA). It’s not helpful.”
Indirect talks between the United States and Iran aimed at reviving the battered 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers are due to resume on Monday after a five-month break that started after the election that brought Iranian hardline President Ebrahim Raisi to power.
The 2015 deal lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities. Then-President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions against Tehran.
Iran responded by breaching many of the restrictions, reducing the time it would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb if it wanted to. Tehran denies that it would ever seek atomic weapons.
“The U.S. did not negotiate with the Iranians for a very long time and forgot that Iranians don’t do anything under pressure. If they are under pressure, they resist,” Ulyanov said, apparently referring to the fact that U.S. and Iranian envoys are not meeting directly.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy, Editing by William Maclean)
Extremist Politics Threatens Chile's Economic Miracle – Bloomberg
Chile has for decades been Latin America’s most stable nation and one of its most prosperous. Its pro-business outlook has drawn foreign direct investment and fueled economic growth, and its record in reducing poverty has been impressive. Much of that is now thrown into question. After the recent first round of elections, the two front-runners for the presidency are extremists — an ultraconservative who seems nostalgic for the dictatorial rule of Augusto Pinochet, and a leftist who promises not merely to reform but to dismantle Chile’s economic model. It’s hard to say which of these agendas might prove more toxic.
The candidate of the far right, José Antonio Kast, emerged with a narrow lead heading into the runoff vote on Dec. 19. His platform is thin on economics and heavy on social conservatism and authoritarian messaging. His counterpart on the left, Gabriel Boric, promises radical change to combat inequality, rein in capitalism and dethrone market forces. “If Chile was the birthplace of neoliberalism,” he explains, “it will also be its grave.”
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