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Dopesick: A Haunting Look at the Opioid Crisis in the United States

in People/Shows by
Danny Strong in Hollywood working on the Show Dopesick on Hulu

In the late 1990s, the number of opioid overdoses in the United States grew by nearly triple digits. This spike was the result of a new drug, oxycontin, being introduced into the market and pushed heavily by Purdue Pharma. The Sackler family, who founded Purdue Pharma, were extremely aggressive in their marketing of the drug and it quickly took hold and grew into the opioid epidemic.

The new Hulu mini-series Dopesick is based on a book by the same name. The book was a New York Times bestseller, written by a journalist named Beth Macy. The series centers on the beginnings of the crisis, the tactics Purdue Pharma utilized to sell the drug and the devastating impact of the drug on small-town America.

The series, written by Danny Strong and directed by Barry Levinson, features competing storylines and perspectives throughout. One perspective centers on the Sackler family and their seeming disregard for the havoc that oxycontin was wreaking. The other follows Samuel Fennix, a doctor in a rural community who buys into Purdue Pharma’s misleading marketing.

The audience follows the Sackler family’s attempts to push the drug to as many people as possible, with a particular emphasis on endorsements from doctors, as strictly a business practice. They are aware of the dangers of the overuse of oxycontin, but intentionally suppress that information for their own gain.

That is harshly contrasted with the tragic reality of addiction, as lived by many of the people receiving the drug from a doctor they trust. The stark contrast between the two perspectives shines a light on the dangers of pharmaceutical corporations left unchecked.

Michael Keaton gives a powerful performance as Samuel Fennix. Throughout the series, Fennix finds himself caught in the throes of addiction while struggling with the reality of what this drug is doing to his patients. The series looks at one such patient, played by Kaitlyn Dever, who battles her own addiction after being prescribed oxycontin following surgery. The interactions between the characters serve to highlight the heartbreaking reality of opioid addiction.

This is not the first time that Danny Strong, the writer of Dopesick, has tackled a difficult topic onscreen. Much of his career as a writer, in fact, has been dedicated to handling painful truths honestly and respectfully.

Strong started his career acting in small roles, mainly commercials and guest television spots, in the 1990s. Despite being able to support himself with the work, he found that acting did not provide the personal fulfillment he was looking for. He changed direction and began to pursue work writing for film and television.

In 2008, HBO picked up Strong’s screenplay for Recount, which chronicled the legal battle that followed the Bush v. Gore presidential election of 2000. He has also written for Game Change, another political tale, as well as Empire, and both installments of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Strong’s work on Rebel in the Rye, a biopic about author J.D. Salinger, eventually led him to work on Dopesick.

Throughout his career writing and producing, Strong has been intentional about telling important stories, even if they are difficult. His work on this series is no exception.

As he was preparing to write Dopesick, Strong grew angrier and angrier the more he learned about the Sackler family and their hand in the opioid crisis. Despite their dishonest and dangerous marketing practices, the family had never truly faced retribution for the role they played in the creation of the epidemic. Strong hoped that telling this story would change that and serve as a warning to other places around the world facing a similar crisis.

One of the key elements of telling this story well was putting together an outstanding cast. Michael Keaton leads a phenomenal cast, including Kaitlyn Dever, Will Poulter, Rosario Dawson, and others, as they highlight the tragedy of this epidemic in small-town America. The incredible work of this cast and crew has garnered significant attention for the 2022 awards season.

The mini-series has already received a Peabody Award in the category of Entertainment, which honors enlightening stories in media, and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and GLAAD Media Award. Danny Strong received a USC Scripter Award and was nominated by the Director’s Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series.

The cast has also received copious nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, Black Reel Awards for Television, and the Critics’ Choice Awards, among others. Michael Keaton’s performance has perhaps received the most attention. He has been nominated for seven individual awards to this point and has won four, including a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television.

The team behind Dopesick has created an honest, gripping story of the tragedy of the U.S. opioid crisis and their dedication and work will continue to be recognized throughout the 2022 award season.

Photo by: “Hollywood Blvd 03.04.2007” by bossco

Seth Meyers and Wife Welcome Second Baby in the Lobby of their Apartment

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In the world of both crazy and happy celebrity news, Seth Meyers and his wife, Alexi Ashe, welcomed their second child in the lobby of their apartment building. Meyers shared the crazy story with his “Late Night” show audience on Monday about the birth of their second son.

This last Sunday, his mother in law informed him that they needed to get to the hospital immediately. As they were on their way to exit the building, Meyers had called an Uber when suddenly his wife announced that the baby was coming right immediately. They called the paramedics and neighbors to get help but the baby was born before help could arrive. The neighbors brought towels and the NYPD and EMT’s arrived just in time to cute the umbilical code. Meyers thanked all those who helped during the segment on the show.

The “Late Night” host shared a photo of his wife on the floor of the lobby with the paramedics. Meyers got really choked up about the birth and gushed about how amazing his wife is and how strong she was during the ordeal. They named their second son Alex and both mother and baby are doing well.

Congrats to the couple on their amazing birth story and the arrival of their new son!




Kim Kardashian Lashes out at Kayne West “Get Out” Memes

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In a 4 minute video that was created for Elle Magazine, Kim Kardashian opens up about some of the wildest headlines in the media and gives her thoughts and opinions on some of the craziest stories out there about the Kardashian clan. Out of all the wild headlines there is one that truly angers the Keeping up With the Kardashian’s main star.

The one thing that Kim gets the most upset about is the comparisons between Kanye West and the Oscar winning movie “Get Out”. For those who don’t know the movie, it is a suspenseful horror movie about a rich white family who uses their daughter to kidnap black people in order to steal their bodies, and replace their brains with an aging or dying rich white person. There is a part in the movie, where the mother uses hypnotism to put the black people into a “sunken place” to make the transition between brains easier.

When talking about the headlines in the video, Kim only had this to say,”Another dumb, fucking Kanye/Get Out reference.It’s like… people are so fucking dumb and stupid.”

The movie is incredible but its clear that the comparison is that Kayne is being held hostage by the Kardashians. The memes reference Kayne being in that sunken place and that Kris Kardashian has hypnotized him to do her bidding. The meme came about when Kayne deleted all his social media and went completely quiet. He seemed to disappear from the limelight he so loved.

Rumors have been swirling that his erratic posts on his social media and seemingly odd interviews were embarrassing the Kardashian matriarch. Sources have claimed that she forced him off his social media to help keep the Kardashian brand intact. There has been no public statements about why Kayne went off social media, so for right now we only have rumors.



Aziz Ansari is the Latest to be Accused, but is it the Same?

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aziz_ansari_accused of sexual assault Over the weekend, there was a report published by Babe about an incident involving a woman and the famous comedian, Anziz Ansari. There were allegations that after a date with the actor she felt uncomfortable with certain events that transpired on the date. She claims that she used verbal and non verbal clues to let him know that she was not comfortable in the direction things were moving but that he ignored her. She claims that what happened was sexual assault but her story however feels a little suspicious.

Normally, here at CelebVoice, we want to give the victim’s a voice. We want to spread the stories of the powerful men who hurt and take advantage of woman in vulnerable positions.  This story about Ansari does seems seem to be the same.

The woman, given the pseudonym Grace to protect her identity, said that she met Anasir at the 2017 Emmy Awards After party. They bonded over the photography and later he asked for her number. She was excited that she was meeting a celebrity and that he was texting her. He asked her to hang out and she was over the moon. She carefully picked out an outfit and spend time texting friends asking their advice.

The date started off by her going to his apartment in TriBeCa and drinking wine before the date. She gives details about the dinner conversation but she felt like he was eager to leave. He got the check and then they headed back to his apartment. When they got back, this is where the story seems to be less like sexual assault and more like a terrible one night stand.

She says that he moved too fast when they got into the apartment. According to the article in Babehe started kissing and groping her immediately. She said, “When Ansari told her he was going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss, Grace voiced her hesitation explicitly. “I said something like, ‘Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.’” She says he then resumed kissing her, briefly performed oral sex on her, and asked her to do the same thing to him. She did, but not for long. “It was really quick. Everything was pretty much touched and done within ten minutes of hooking up, except for actual sex.”

She then talks about how she keeps telling him to slow down and give him clues that she wasn’t interested but she stayed at the apartment. There reached a point where she felt so uncomfortable that she went to the bathroom to collect herself and when she reemerged, he asked if she was ok. She said, “I said I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you.”

This prompted Ansari to say, “Oh, of course, it’s only fun if we’re both having fun.” Which Grace found to be sweet. He then recognized that things needed to slow down. Things did indeed slow down but then according to her, he tried to have sex again. Ultimately, after many attempts, Grace then decided she had had enough and told him she was leaving. He then called her a cab and let her go. It was after the date that she started texting with friends and she decided that it was sexual assault.

Aziz Anasir accused of sexual assault

The next day she texted him and told him that their encore made her feel uncomfortable and then he apologized. He gave her a heart felt apology and she still decided to go public with her story. The article is scathing and paints Ansari as a sexual predator on the same level as Harvey Weinstein.

This seems to a misjudgment on part of both Grace and the author of the Babe article. I believe that it muddies the waters and takes away from those women who have suffered from terrible violations. It makes women who have come forward seem like their are just trying to get revenge. This strikes me more of a really bad hook up. I think that Ansari was not able to read these cues that Grace says were so obvious, it sounds like those cues were not as obvious as she makes it sound. He apologized in such  heart felt way that it is hard to believe that he is a sexual predator. Does he suck at reading signs, most likely but to paint him with the same brush that has been used to paint men like Kevin Spacey is irresponsible. We need to focus on the sexual predators who are hurting and actually violating women.

Ansari has since released his own statement. In his statement he said:

“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.

The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.

I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”


Meghan Markle Says Yes! The ex-Suits Star Engaged to Prince Harry

in People by

prince-harry-meghan-markle-engagementAfter a lot of speculation for the last few months, it has finally been formally announced that Prince Harry will wed Meghan Markle in Spring of 2018. The announcement came today much to the delight of royal watchers everywhere. Since the beginning of their rumored relationship, fans were waiting to see whether a royal engagement was in the future for this couple. Prince Harry proposed earlier this month after getting permission from the Queen.

The couple made their first public appearance since the announcement in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. It was noted that the Sunken Garden was a favorite of the later Princess Diana. Reporters were on hand to ask questions and when asked “When did you know she was the one?” and he replied: “From the very first time we met”. Both of them expressed their happiness and said they were both thrilled about the engagement.

Meghan Markle also showed off a gorgeous engagement ring. The center diamond was a 2.5 caret beauty from Botswana. The country is special to Prince Harry because he visited it multiple times as a child and he went on a safari with Meghan Markle in September. The main diamond is  flanked by two diamonds that belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. The band is made of gold and the ring was made by Cleave and Company, the Court Jewellers and Medallists to The Queen.

The Queen and Prince Philip said that they are, “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness”. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a joint statement, “We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together”.

The couple will move into Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace next door to his brother William and sister-in-law Kate. Meghan has resigned from her show Suits and has already been making the preparations to move to London long before the engagement was announced.

There are no further details about the wedding but we will report once the details are announced!


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