Alexander Hernandez knew it was only a matter of time before he got into the UFC. He also knew he’d probably have to do things the hard way: a random phone call leading to a short-notice fight against any manner of opponent or weight class, ranked foe or total unknown, lightweight or something higher, as has happened to hundreds of Octagon newcomers in the past. He actually expected the call to come sooner than it did; hailing from Texas, he eyed UFC Austin as his chance to introduce himself to the MMA world.
But things worked out better than he ever could’ve expected.
Two weeks after UFC Austin, Hernandez made his long-awaited Octagon debut in a short-notice matchup against lightweight contender Beneil Dariush at UFC 222. A top-15 foe on a pay-per-view card? Hernandez certainly couldn’t have predicted that. Nor could he predicted how the fight played out — a stunning 42-second knockout that immediately launched Hernandez into the official rankings of the UFC’s most talent-rich division.
It’s a fairy-tale story, and even Hernandez admits there were some initial doubts about whether he could accomplish what he ended up accomplishing at UFC 222.
“Everyone’s human, so you have moments of doubt that kinda trickle through your mind, but you just have to wipe those out,” Hernandez said Monday on The MMA Hour.
“As that week continued to pass, I continued to evolve mentally. Mid-week it was, ‘I’m going to win this fight. This is mine. There’s no way we can lose this fight. This is my fight.’ By the end of the week, like I said, I was convinced that I was going to finish this fight in the first round. So there was a huge progression and evolution of my mental game, I guess, throughout that whole week, and my whole team, we just had a hell of a good little think tank in the back there and we were just progressing.”
With a 9-1 record and seven straight wins, Hernandez now suddenly finds himself poised to make big moves in the UFC’s 155-pound class. It’s an incredible feat for the 25-year-old, as well as a much-welcomed validation after Hernandez made the difficult decision to quit his full-time job as a mortgage loan officer in late 2017 to focus on his MMA career.
And in a strange way, now that his Octagon debut is behind him, Hernandez sees plenty of connections between the two jobs and how his former gig prepared him for his UFC future.
“It’s a business of building relationships,” Hernandez said. “You get really good at kinda rubbing elbows and telling people what they need to hear, then you also get really good at analyzing and managing some financial stats. So, first and foremost, it’s building relationships, and I got really, really good at shaking hands, convincing people that are twice my age — my parents’ age — that this 18-year-old looking kid, especially when I started, is trustworthy of closing the biggest financial purchases of your life. And with that, I developed a lot of speech skills, how to talk in front of a multitude of people, so that really transcended into the fight game and what I’m doing now, I feel like.
“It helped me out in confidence tremendously, man. I was more nervous for some of those speeches and things I had to hold and people I had to speak in front of and tutorials I had to teach, more so than I was in that UFC debut. So I’d say they really benefit each other and coincide, and I didn’t realize it at the time but I do now.”
That doesn’t mean Hernandez didn’t initially worry about his MMA decision.
Quitting a full-time career that Hernandez described as “lucrative” to commit to a volatile and uncertain future in mixed martial arts was far from an easy choice.
“I felt like I was falling apart,” Hernandez said. “I beat myself up for years on, kinda, ‘What’s the right direction with me?’
“I was putting so much in a boat, 15-hour days between juggling the two, so I kinda just decided I have my whole life to sit behind a desk, but I have a real finite window to chase this dream. Let’s seize it, and I’ll just be damned if I don’t. So I had to essentially sh*t or get off the pot, and I’ve talked so much sh*t to myself for so long, like, ‘Man, you can do this. If you just put everything into it, you can do it. You can do it. You can do it.’ So it was extremely liberating to make that decision, and then that was following by a ton of angst and anxiety, just laying in bed thinking, ‘This is all very real now. You’ve got to do it.’
“But it was obviously the best decision I ever made.”
Hernandez is now enjoying the fruits of his labor. His abrupt and violent rise was one of the most discussed stories to emerge from UFC 222, and plenty of eyeballs will certainly be paying attention to his next fight.
But with the spotlight also comes the critics, and Hernandez has heard his fair share of criticism on social media since his knockout over Dariush.
For the most part, that noise has centered around one thing: Hernandez’s opening sequence in the fight, and more specifically, the question of whether he faked a glove touch in order to get an early upper hand.
Hernandez made his point known on his newly created Twitter account — namely that no, he was in no way trying to touch gloves with Dariush. He then elaborated on that point on The MMA Hour.
“If somebody waves for a glove tap and you address it, then yeah, you should absolutely respect that,” Hernandez said. “We didn’t do that.
“The initial gameplan was to charge him. And I said it in this Twitter post, to the sofa scrubs and just all these trolls, if you’re got someone in a four-point stance crouched like a lion, beaming through the windows of your soul across the cage from you, you better prepare yourself for a battle, not to pat some paws. And I wasn’t trying to fake anything about it. I’ve got long range and I think that I utilize it. My arm is my measurement for distance, so the whole plan was to charge the cage, to storm him and disrupt his cadence entirely with a hard teep to his soft belly, and then to set that range to the tempo and put it in my hands, make sure that I dictate the way the fight was going to move. So that all went according to plan and the glove tap was not in the plans.”
Because of the quick nature of his fight, Hernandez is already healthy and ready to embark on a busy 2018. His only injury from UFC 222 is a swollen left hand, the same hand he used to knock out Dariush. So once his hand returns to its normal size, he’s ready to continue his remarkable Octagon run against the best opposition the lightweight division has to offer.
“I’m pretty flexible with the ass-whoopings,” Hernandez said. “I could deal them any time of the year, so I don’t have a preferred date. But what’s most important to me is really just building up a brand, building the image, and getting that hype train fully mobilized. I certainly don’t want to squirm into another fight on short-term notice like this one. I think I obviously deserve to do it right this time and have a major impact on whatever card I’m on. So just by the looks of what the UFC has lined up, it looks probably more like in the summertime or just something in that range. But like I said, I’m pretty flexible.”
- Experts warn shop-bought food is contaminate with dangerous plastic particles
- Daily Mail investigation discovered that microplastics ‘part of the air we breathe’
- Study found airborne particles on every sample of fish from eight supermarkets
The alarming spread of the airborne plastics we eat and inhale can be revealed today.
A Daily Mail investigation found that shop-bought food is widely tainted with potentially dangerous particles that float in the air. It had been thought the risk to health was largely limited to eating fish from oceans polluted with plastic.
But the leading scientist who oversaw our investigation said microplastics had become ‘part of the air we breathe’.
MPs said the findings – from the first UK study into airborne plastic food contamination – were shocking. Experts warn that ingesting the particles can damage lungs, poison kidneys and interfere with hormones.
The microplastics can even travel across a mother’s placenta.
A Daily Mail investigation has revealed the shocking extent of plastic contamination in fish bought from UK supermarkets
As the Chief Medical Officer for England warned the health consequences were ‘unquantified’:
Our laboratory study found airborne particles on every sample of fish from the eight major supermarkets;
It means food from any open counter, including delis, bakeries and market stalls, is vulnerable to contamination;
A report from four parliamentary committees demanded action against our ‘poisonous air’;
Leading microplastics experts said that ‘we just don’t know’ how dangerous the particles may be.
The Mail’s research follows the ten-year anniversary of this newspaper’s first campaign against plastic pollution.
For the study, we supplied fresh fillets of cod and salmon to a laboratory at the University of Portsmouth.
Eight supermarkets were sampled in the study with traces of plastic particles found on fillets and at a fish counter
On one sample, scientists found a worrying 139 pieces of plastic for every 240g of fillet. The average for salmon was 75 pieces and for cod 72.
The particles were too large to have passed from the gut into the flesh of the fish. The Portsmouth scientists concluded instead that the plastics came from airborne contamination – something shops have no control over.
They said that while the oceans remained the overall ‘sink’ for microplastics, there might be even more of them in the air.
Dr Natalie Welden, who led the research, said the findings had major implications for any uncovered food.
‘Having food exposed to particles in the air for an extended period will result in a higher amount of plastic,’ she added.
‘Organisms that are exposed to air and are either not cleaned or rinsed as part of the packing process are exposed. The pool of plastics that’s out there forming airborne particles is huge.
‘It’s a symptom of endemic plastic use throughout our culture as a whole.’
Dr Welden said washing the fillets prior to cooking might help. But she added: ‘They will also be exposed to microplastics in the home.’
The particles recovered from the fish fillets were between 0.25mm and 1mm long. They were mainly fibres from textiles used in clothing, carpets or furniture.
Dr Welden, who has studied microplastics for six years, added: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not building up in the air in the same way as in the oceans. They will be fragmenting and still not going away.
The results of the investigation revealed the shocking spread of contamination, with airborne plastics discovered in every sample
‘We have no knowledge on what a healthy level of airborne microplastics contamination would be. Some of the stuff that we’re putting out there may have a detrimental effect.’
She compared airborne microplastics to the CFC carbons in fridges that caused the hole in the ozone layer.
‘Originally nobody really cared until it was traced back to having a negative impact on human health and all of sudden everybody got really active’, she said.
Professor Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, warned in her annual report this month of the dangers of humans ingesting microplastics – whether by inhaling them or eating contaminated food.
In her comments, which have not been reported until today, she said there was a risk of gut blockages and hormone problems from chemicals leaking out of the microplastics and into the body.
‘The human consequences of exposure to these microplastics are largely unquantified,’ said Dame Sally. ‘It is unknown if [microplastics ingestion] translates into meaningful exposure in the population. ‘Nevertheless, the burden in the environment should not be further increased.’
Zac Goldsmith, a Tory member of the Commons environmental audit committee, said: ‘This shocking investigation by the Daily Mail shows that this is not a remote problem when microplastics are found in the air we breathe and the food we eat.
‘We have seen some initiative on plastic bags, microbeads and other single use plastics, but that is a start, not the end. We need to wage war against plastic pollution.
‘Every department of government has a role to play.’
Mary Creagh, the Labour chairman of the committee, said: ‘Our inquiry into microplastics recommended research into their impact on people’s health.
‘The work by the Chief Medical Officer is ongoing and needs to look at these disturbing new results. Ministers must act swiftly to tackle plastic pollution from every source.’
Frank Kelly, an expert in environmental health at Kings College London, gave evidence to MPs on airborne microplastics last year.
He told them: ‘If you can breathe them in, they could potentially deliver chemicals to lower parts of our lungs, maybe even across into our circulation in the same way we worry about vehicle emissions.’
Professor Kelly told the Mail that research into microplastics-contaminated food ‘has not yet taken place but is urgently needed given the ubiquitous nature of microplastics in society’.
He added: ‘Observations from the marine environment suggest harmful effects do occur.’ The supermarkets we purchased the fish fillets from directed our inquiries to the British Retail Consortium, saying it was an industry-wide issue.
‘Food safety is a top priority for UK retailers,’ said a BRC spokesman last night.
‘The presence of microplastics is a global issue and involves all parts of the supply chain. More work is necessary to fully assess the risk and determine suitable control measures.’
Earlier this week MPs on four Commons committees – including transport and health – said they wanted a new clean air act, declaring pollution ‘a national emergency’.
And the World Health Organisation has launched a review into airborne plastic contamination of bottled water after microplastics were found in samples from nine countries across 11 different brands.
In his spring statement last week Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged £20million for the development of green technologies to combat the menace of plastic waste.
How lab revealed cod and salmon is tainted
We bought cod and salmon fillets from the open fishmonger counters of Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose in London. We also purchased packaged fillets from Lidl, Aldi and M&S, which do not have such counters.
The samples were hand-delivered the same day to the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Portsmouth.
In a laboratory proofed against air pollution, researchers extracted 45g from each fillet using a device like a hole punch. The samples were placed in potassium hydroxide, which dissolved the flesh and all biological matter.
Scores of microplastics were found when the remaining mixture was put through filter paper 48 hours later. As the pictures below show, most were tiny fibres or fragments.
Because the samples were fillets, rather than whole fish, the microplastics must have come from airborne pollution. They were too large to have passed into the fish muscle tissue from the gut after having been ingested in the ocean. The fillets from fishmonger counters were more contaminated than those from closed packets.
Microplastics are created when manmade materials break down through friction or the effect of heat or light. But instead of disintegrating completely they accumulate in the oceans, the earth and in the air.
The plastic fibres and fragments found on our fish samples came from a variety of airborne sources including clothing and cleaning materials. The contamination is thought to have taken place at some stage during the handling, filleting, packing and display process.
The air also contains microplastics from litter, tyres and packaging such as water bottles. Another source is the fibre from synthetic clothing. It is estimated that 1,800 plastic particles can be produced every time such garments are washed.
Research shows that plastic fibres that float around in the air come down to the ground either through rainfall or as plain dust.
How the plastics could endanger your health
The health implications of ingesting microplastics are not clear cut and leading science and medical experts have called for further research into the risks. But a range of studies shows the potentially harmful effects around the body.
LUNGS: When inhaled, microplastics can lodge deep in the lungs for weeks without disintegrating. This could lead to respiratory problems including coughing, wheezing and breathlessness, and eventually to lung damage, inflammation or scarring. A study has shown that people suffered from asthma, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia after working with airborne microplastic fibres.
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: Fibres from microplastic-contaminated food or drink would arrive in the stomach before travelling to the intestine. They could also disintegrate and pass through the lining of the gut.
BLOODSTREAM: Experts warn that microplastics could enter the blood stream or the lymph nodes – essentially transporting them anywhere inside the body. Microplastics have been shown to cause tissue damage and scarring.
KIDNEYS: There is potential for microplastics to accumulate in the kidneys, possibly blocking or poisoning them.
HORMONES: Chemicals in microplastics can leak out into the body. Studies have linked endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in them with an increase in testicular and breast cancer and a decrease in sperm counts.
FOETUS: A study has shown microplastics can travel across a mother’s placenta.
PROFESSOR FRANK KELLY: Why we should worry about plastic in the air
History is littered with examples of developments which seemed a great idea at the time but have subsequently been discovered to have unfortunate consequences for our health.
The list includes smoking cigarettes, putting lead in petrol and using asbestos in building materials. And in years to come, we may well look back and wonder why we ever tolerated the presence of plastic in everything from water bottles to carrier bags.
We already know that microplastics consumed by fish and other marine creatures can find their way into the human food chain. But this latest Mail investigation adds to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates they are contained in the very air that we breathe.
Professor Frank Kelly told the Mail that more research needed to be done ‘urgently’ on microplastic-contaminated food and water
This is an issue I have been worried about for some time. In 2016, I presented my concerns over airborne microplastics to Parliament’s environmental audit committee. The concerns were based on two possible routes of transmission.
Global production of plastic exceeds 320million tons, around 40 per cent of which goes into single-use packaging. A substantial proportion of that makes its way into our oceans where it becomes brittle under the sun’s rays and breaks into microscopically small fragments.
To give you an idea of how tiny they are, the diameter of a human hair is 50 micrometers (millionths of a metre). A particle of microplastic is less than ten micrometers and can easily be swept into the air and transported great distances by the wind.
Until they were banned at the beginning of this year a major source of inhalable microplastics were the microbeads previously used as exfoliants in cosmetics such as face scrubs.
While these may be on the way out, household effluent still contains the minuscule fibres released when clothes made of popular materials such as polyester and nylon are washed.
Swept away with the household’s waste water, they contribute to the slurry that sewage farms spread over agricultural land. As this dries out, the microplastics are released into the atmosphere and – just as is happening in our oceans – are carried many miles by the wind.
When I appeared before the parliamentary committee, there was no firm evidence that any microplastics had found their way from seas and sewage farms into our towns and cities but it was not long in coming.
Later that year, a team of French researchers placed a container full of water on top of a university building in Paris and left it exposed to the air for about a week.
Careful analysis revealed a wide array of microplastics that can only have been deposited in the water by the surrounding atmosphere.
We have since followed up this work at King’s College London where we operate the London Air Quality Network, with more than 100 monitoring stations measuring pollution from traffic and other sources in the capital’s 33 boroughs.
Since 2016 we have also been looking out for microplastics and, although we can’t yet give reliable indicators about their concentration, or what type of plastic they are, they seem to be present in the atmosphere in surprisingly high numbers.
So how concerned should we be? Although no definitive studies on the health effects have been conducted, one indication comes from the problems caused by the plastics used in hips and knee implants.
The erosion resulting from wear and tear of implants causes inflammation in surrounding tissues, leading to the death of cells and scarring.
It’s easy to surmise the damage such particles may inflict in the most sensitive recesses of our lungs, which is where they have been found in patients suffering from lung cancer.
Just to be clear, there is no evidence of a link between the microplastics and lung cancer. But these biopsies show us two disturbing characteristics of microplastics.
The first is that they are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs, avoiding the usual methods of dislodging foreign bodies, including coughing and the actions of our mucous membranes. The second is that they exhibit very little deterioration, suggesting that they can persist in our bodies for a lifetime after exposure.
Apart from the possible effects of the microplastics themselves, another concern is that these tiny bullets entering the body act as carriers for a range of different chemicals added by manufacturers to give them properties such as malleability. Because these chemicals are not chemically bound to the plastic particles, they can leach out and transfer to surrounding tissue.
For example, the chemicals used to make all furniture and carpets fire-retardant, as is required by law, include a group known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
These have been associated with a number of serious health issues, with some shown to be carcinogenic if present in sufficient quantities.
Tyres are another source of airborne microplastics and these are laced with cadmium, a highly toxic metal which helps make them hard and durable but has been linked to lung cancer in those working in tyre manufacturing plants. As these examples suggest, the problem with microplastics may go far beyond ensuring that we dump less household waste in our seas.
Plastics are everywhere, and in our measurements at King’s College, we have been particularly struck by the high levels of clothing fibres in the atmosphere.
They are clearly not something you would want to breathe in, judging by the respiratory problems found in clothing industry workers who have inhaled ‘flock’ – microfibres thrown off during the manufacture of the materials we wear.
Symptoms of these workers have included coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and increased phlegm production. And although the levels of microplastics encountered in such factories are far greater than those in our everyday environment, this indicates their potential to trigger a number of undesirable bodily responses due to the ease with which they enter the lungs and their persistence once inhaled.
Far more research is needed to establish what problems may arise in ordinary homes. Only last week the World Health Organisation announced a review into the potential risks of plastics in bottled water after analysis of some of the world’s most popular brands found that more than 90 per cent contained microplastics, one theory being that the contamination resulted from fragments breaking off from the caps.
That WHO initiative is to be welcomed. But let’s not lose sight of the problem of airborne microplastics.
Are they poisoning or slowly killing us? And, if so, might they even explain the growing prevalence of conditions such as chronic obstructive lung disease and dementia?
It was once believed that our chances of developing these diseases were primarily down to genetic background – and this is partly true. But now it is thought that at least 70 per cent can be explained by our environment in the widest sense of the word: the food we eat, the chemicals we come into contact with and, of course, the air we breathe.
Microplastics are a potential piece of that jigsaw. Whether it’s a big piece or a small piece remains to be seen and while it would be wrong to be alarmist about airborne plastics, we have every right to be extremely wary.
A mayor who drew headlines for a speech he gave about his order to remove Confederate monuments said the U.S. is in “a dark moment,” with many people gripped by angst.
Mitch Landrieu, the Democratic mayor of New Orleans, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday that many Americans “feel alienated.”
“In this moment that we have a dark moment in the country, it’s obvious that a lot of people feel alienated,” said Landrieu, who has a new book coming out, “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.”
“White people in rural America feel alienated. African-Americans in urban areas feel alienated,” the mayor said. “People just feel [distant] from each other.”
Landrieu continued, “I think the bigger point is how to find common ground. And that’s true whether you’re sitting in the White House or whether you’re sitting in the statehouse, whether you’re the mayor, whether you’re the head of a community organization, I think you feel that angst in the country right now.”
Stephanopoulos asked Landrieu about a passage in his book, a copy of which was provided to ABC News in advance, that compares the rise of former KKK leader David Duke in the late 1980s to the election of President Donald Trump. Duke is a former Republican Louisiana state representative who was later a candidate in U.S. presidential primaries.
“When I look back today, David Duke’s demagoguery stands like a dress rehearsal for the rise of Donald Trump,” Landrieu wrote. “While he may not have worn a hood or swastika, Trump’s rhetoric and actions during his 2016 presidential campaign were shockingly similar to the tactics deployed by Duke.”
Landrieu said to Stephanopoulos, “I made an observation, not an accusation, that what happened in Louisiana when David Duke was there is fairly similar to what we’re seeing … where people are speaking in coded language. They are beginning to judge people based on race, creed, color, sexual orientation and not on their behavior.”
Landrieu drew national attention for speech last May about why New Orleans was removing its Confederate monuments, in which he said, “The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a
pedestal to be revered.”
He told Stephanopoulos on Sunday that differences of opinion over Confederate statues are fine. “We can argue all the to conservative or liberal,” he said.
But, he added, “One thing that we cannot countenance in this country is the rise of white supremacy. It needs to be called out; it needs to be focused on. Slavery was our original sin. The Civil War was fought about that.”
Landrieu said he believes Americans can find unity, but should not wait for a president to bring the country together.
“We shouldn’t just wait on whoever the president is to fix our problems,” Landrieu said. “If 320 million Americans did something really kind for each other every day and just kind of pushed back on all the nastiness we could move the country fairly quickly.”
Landrieu has been marked as a possible dark-horse candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, though he brushed aside such a notion on Sunday.
“I’m not thinking about that,” he said. “Other people have talked about that. Honestly, it’s very flattering to think about that, but I don’t really see that happening as it relates to me.”
With series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix established itself not only as a force to be reckoned with as a streaming service, but also in terms of being a network capable of producing some pretty incredible original content. This trend has continued and expanded, and although Hulu and Amazon each have some amazing shows as well, Netflix has proved itself the leader of the pack. From its deal with Marvel to its award-winning documentaries to its commitment to churning out quality programs like Mindhunter and Love, Netflix has become a necessity for most viewers.
Netflix’s continually expanding library has given them the opportunity to work with some unbelievable actors over the years. However, we all know that just because someone is talented doesn’t mean that they are necessarily a good or kind person. If that was the case, we would never need to fear meeting those we admire.
Some of these actors are people that you would never want to run into in person. However, others use their fame to make a real difference. It is performers like them that make us proud to be fans.
Here are 7 Netflix Stars Who Are Jerks (And 8 Who Are Sweethearts).
15. Sweetheart – Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore has had a pretty epic career. An international superstar at eight years old, an addict by thirteen and considered washed up by fourteen, the actress rebounded rather spectacularly.
After cleaning toilets to pay rent, Barrymore found her way out of the hole she’d dug herself and back into the spotlight. She is now one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses.
These days, the Santa Clarita Diet star’s most important role is being a mom. She celebrates Mother’s Day through philanthropic efforts in her daughters’ names. Barrymore is an ambassador for the U.N. World Food Programme, works with Safe Kids Worldwide and supports the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
“Children’s charity is what speaks to me. It has for the last 15 years,” Barrymore stated.
The actress feels that the humanitarian work that she has done not only prepared her for motherhood, but also made her a better parent.
14. Jerk – Danny Masterson
Years after being immortalized as Hyde on That ’70s Show, Danny Masterson has gone on to work with costar Ashton Kutcher once again on Netflix’s The Ranch. However, his role was cut short when the streaming titan chose to terminate his contract in light of the multiple allegations of assault against him.
The charges come from four different women and date back to the early 2000s. Three of the victims were fellow Scientologists and were reportedly pressured by the church not to report the incidents.
According to one law enforcement officer, the evidence against Masterson was “overwhelming.” The progression of the case remains slow and former Scientologist Leah Remini blames the close ties between the church and the LAPD Hollywood Division.
The law may be slow to take action, but Masterson’s career seems to be dead in the water. He has even been dropped by his talent agency.
13. Sweetheart – Jon Bernthal
Frank Castle has long been a controversial figure. The Punisher is a vigilante on a massive scale. With the exponential increase of mass shootings taking place, the issue of gun control has become more important than ever. After the attack that occurred in Vegas, Netflix delayed the release of The Punisher, but another shooting took place barely a month later in Texas.
Although star Jon Bernthal is a gun owner himself, he has been clear on the need for better control over the situation, stating, “We have to have a dialogue, and that’s not happening.”
The alt-right has tried to claim the Punisher as their own and Bernthal had some choice words for them during an interview with Esquire. When asked about his feelings on white supremacists brandishing the Punisher’s insignia, Bernthal simply said, “F— them.”
12. Jerk – Ed Westwick
One of the strangest aspects of Gossip Girl was the way that Chuck Bass wound up becoming a romantic lead, considering he attempted to assault two different women during the pilot episode.
This was no doubt due to the onscreen appeal of Ed Westwick, but apparently the White Gold actor is not so charming when the cameras stop rolling. In a sad case of life imitating art, three different women have accused Westwick of assault.
In light of this ongoing investigation, the BBC replaced Westwick in the Agatha Christie special that he was meant to star in. Production of White Gold’s second season, which had previously been picked up by Netflix, was also halted. Although the actor denies these allegations, the stories share a great deal in common, despite coming from different sources.
11. Sweetheart – Ruby Rose
Many will recognize Ruby Rose as Stella Carlin from Orange is the New Black. However, what fans may not realize is that this Australian model/DJ/actress/artist is quite the philanthropist. In 2015, she created a bracelet with EDM lifestyle brand, Electric Family. The proceeds were donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Australia. They raised over $1,000 for the cause.
Aside from that, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Rose donated $10,000 to the LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund. She has also fought in a charity boxing match to raise funds for Headspace, a youth mental health foundation.
Rose is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ community, as well as women’s rights and animal welfare. She was presented with GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award for making “a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.”
10. Jerk – Louis C.K.
Louis C.K. built an incredible career around his brand of self-deprecating humor, often skewering male hypocrisy in the process. Audiences found him hilarious, but there were several women who most certainly were not laughing.
C.K. was accused of misconduct by five different women. Although rumors ran rampant about the comedian’s habits for quite some time, it wasn’t until last year that the those involved finally felt safe coming forward to tell their stories.
C.K. issued what a letter of apology, stating, “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.” However, it wasn’t enough to save his career. Aside from being dropped by FX, Netflix, which was set to produce another comedy special starring C.K., also cut ties with the performer.
9. Sweetheart – Neil Patrick Harris
Thanks to How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris has experienced a pretty amazing career renaissance. He was once a child actor best known for starring in Doogie Howser, M.D., but after HIMYM took its final bow, Harris went on to an incredible career in both film and stage. He currently stars as Count Olaf in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the beloved books written by Lemony Snicket, aka Daniel Handler.
Although NPH’s career accomplishments are well publicized, you may not know much about his private life, which involves a great deal of charity work. He has spent Thanksgiving serving turkey to the homeless and hosted a picnic to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a children’s cancer charity. That’s not all, though.
Harris has also supported a long list of charities and in 2015, he received the Michael Kors Award for Outstanding Community Service.
8. Sweetheart – Dascha Polanco
Up next is Dascha Polanco, another actress best known for portraying an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. The actress plays Dayanara “Daya” Diaz on Orange is the New Black.
Polanco came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when she was young and hopes to help other immigrants see their dreams realized the same way that she was able to. Giving back to her community is incredibly important to her.
In 2016, The DREAM Project (Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring Project) named Polanco DREAMer of the Year for her philanthropic efforts. In collaboration with DREAM, she worked on a new youth arts program in the Dominican Republic. Polanco also aided The K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers annual gala in raising over $1.7 million.
Last year, the actress teamed with Haddad Brands to donate 500 outfits and backpacks to the DREAM Project just in time for the school season.
7. Jerk – Taryn Manning
Taryn Manning has starred in films such as 8 Mile and Hustle & Flow. She has also appeared in several TV shows, including Hawaii Five-0 and Sons of Anarchy. Most recently, she is known for portraying Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett on Orange is the New Black. Aside from that, Manning is a singer-songwriter. However, she is known for more for than her acting and music career.
In 2012, Manning was arrested for assault. Allegedly, the actress hit and kicked her personal assistant, Holly Hartman. As Hartman ultimately chose not to press charges, that could’ve been the end of the story. Cut to 2016, when Manning was arrested for assault – against Hartman. The actress was accused of headbutting her and spraying Windex in her mouth, among other things.
Eventually, Manning was cleared of all charges because the complainant did not show up for the court date.
6. Sweetheart – Kyle Chandler
To some of us, Kyle Chandler will always be Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. However, the actor has gone on to appear in films such as Argo and The Wolf of Wall Street. More recently, he portrayed John Rayburn on Netflix’s Bloodline. Although Chandler has always shown tremendous range as a performer, some of his extracurricular activities may surprise you.
In 2013, Chandler appeared at Texas Humane Lobby Day in an effort to help push through legislation that would ban the shark fin trade. It’s an issue that he became passionate about after his daughter brought it to his attention.
Shark finning not only consists of cutting off a shark’s fins, but also throwing them back into the ocean to drown or starve. Thankfully, this monstrous practice was banned in Texas in 2016.
5. Jerk – Candace Cameron-Bure
Candace Cameron-Bure is most well known for playing DJ Tanner on Full House and more recently, Netflix’s Fuller House. She may have spent her formative years portraying a beloved character, but when it comes to marriage, her views are rather archaic.
Bure went head to head with Raven Symone on The View in defense of the owners of the Oregon bakery who refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. Cameron-Bure stated, “I don’t think this is discrimination at all, this is about freedom of association, it’s about constitutional rights, it’s about First Amendment rights.”
The actress also refers to her husband as “the boss” of their family. Cameron-Bure explained, “I don’t think a marriage is at its best when you have two people vying for the same position, so someone has to yield at some point and ultimately I will defer to my husband.”
4. Sweetheart – Uzo Aduba
Well, if we’ve learned anything from this list, it’s that most of the women of Orange is the New Black are sweethearts. Uzo Aduba is best known as Suzanne Warren, aka, Crazy Eyes. She became a fan favorite and has had one of the strongest arcs of the series. In 2016, the Nigerian-born actress teamed up with Heifer International. The organization’s mission is to aid families in becoming self-reliant in an effort to put an end to world hunger. The crux of this plan, it turns out, is cows.
Every person given a cow by Heifer International must then donate their first cow to someone else in the community. According to Aduba, “This organization is allowing people from going to barely surviving, to surviving, to thriving to eventually enterprising.” The actress even traveled to Uganda in an effort to help.
3. Jerk – Aziz Ansari
Now we come to what has perhaps become the most divisive case brought to light since the Me Too Movement began. An incredibly upsetting article was published about the Master of None star and his date with “Grace” gone horribly wrong.
Both men and women came down quite divided on whether or not the movement had finally gone too far. This is understandable, considering that up until this point, it had been about harassment and assault. The Aziz Ansari case added the often murky issue of consent into the mix.
Although the actor did not force himself on Grace, he also chose to ignore what she described as both verbal and non-verbal cues of discomfort. Her account was a familiar one that most women have experienced more than once. While it may not constitute assault or harassment, it firmly places Ansari in the jerk column of this list.
2. Sweetheart – Millie Bobby Brown
Fans will recognize Millie Bobby Brown from her role as Eleven on Stranger Things, but the young actress has more on her plate than performing. In 2016, she co-hosted the#KidsTakeOver special for the United Nations Children’s Fund’s 70th Anniversary Gala. Brown gave an incredibly heartfelt speech about the importance of children being afforded the opportunity to choose their own destiny. She compared the children aided by UNICEF to the character that she played, who like many of these kids, was a victim of circumstance.
Brown also worked with UNICEF last year in preparation of World Children’s Day, “a day for children, by children.” She participated in an advocacy campaign for the organization.
Although the actress is very busy, she still finds time to regularly aid UNICEF in their efforts.
1. Jerk – Kevin Spacey
This one should be no surprise, as the downfall of Kevin Spacey has been widely publicized. It began when fellow actor Anthony Rapp accused the House of Cards star of making advances towards him when he was underage. In a move that was widely criticized, Spacey used his response not only to deny any memory of the incident, but also to come out as a gay man.
Rapp’s account resonated with several other victims, who have since come forward with their stories. Scotland Yard is investigating at least three assault claims against Spacey, with plenty of people now speaking out about experiencing harassment at the hands of the actor.
The decision was made that House of Cards would go into its final season without Spacey. His upcoming Gore Vidal biopic was axed as well.
Do you know of any other jerks or sweethearts who have starred in Netflix productions? Let us know in the comments!
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For children of the 1990s and 2000s, there was never really ever a shortage of cartoons created purely for their entertainment.
While that time period certainly found the rise of animated entertainment aimed at adults — with the immense popularity of series such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park attesting to this phenomenon — the fact of the matter remains that animation, and namely animated television series, have been primarily targeted at children — and in steadily increasing numbers.
With channels such as Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, and the self-proclaimed Cartoon Network churning out content at all hours of the day, including the sporadic and oft forgotten Saturday morning cartoons on ABC, NBC, and The WB of old, it’s often near impossible to channel surf and not come across something cartoonish and cute and child-focused.
Of course, an abundance of content is hardly ever a good thing when it comes to entertainment. Too much of a good thing is one problem that the entertainment industry deals with regularly — but even more than that, too much of a not-so-good thing is all too common.
For every stellar cartoon series that aired in the early 2000s, there were a handful of others who never matched up in terms of quality.
Within both groups, no matter how enjoyable they may have been at the time, if they were at all, the test of time has not been kind to them whatsoever.
Here are the 15 ’00s Cartoons That Have Aged Badly.
15. Teacher’s Pet
Talking pets of all kinds are more or less a hallmark of animated TV series and movies alike – for some reason, they seem to be guaranteed instant hits.
However, just because something is popular, that doesn’t mean that every use of the concept will be successful. Take, for example, the 2000-2002 ABC/Disney series Teacher’s Pet, which followed an elementary school student and his pet dog who dressed up like a boy and attended school, too.
With an impressive cast including comic talents Nathan Lane, Debra Jo Rupp, Wallace Shawn, and David Ogden Stiers, the show did have a lot going for it.
It was even given its own movie release — a box office bomb that only made $6.5 million against a budget of $10 million.
However, despite Disney’s faith in the series, and the talent it boasted, the humor, animation, and concept just don’t hold up nearly two decades later.
14. Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Capitalizing on a series that has proven to be a success is generally a good business method. It’s even better when you can capitalize on that successful series through a genre that has been incredibly successful elsewhere.
So when Disney produced Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, which aired between 2000 and 2001, it wasn’t a surprise that they were hoping for a successful series based on the popularity of the Toy Story franchise, as well as the sci-fi adventure TV genre.
At the time, the show was good for corny laughs and overdone space humor.
However, years later, with a clear over reliance on formula and stock sidekick characters who really aren’t as interesting as Buzz himself, it’s safe to say that this series doesn’t hold up, especially when compared to the animated sci-fi shows that have aired since.
13. Butt-Ugly Martians
Sometimes, with certain TV shows, you just have to wonder what people were thinking.
In addition to representing a turn toward sci-fi based series for children, the early 2000s also included experimental uses of early CGI – for better or for worse.
The short-lived 2001 Nickelodeon series Butt-Ugly Martians represents some of the worst utilizations of both sci-fi and early CGI.
The group of Martians at the center of the series — cornily named B-Bop A-Luna, 2T Fru-T, and Do-Wah Diddy – are yet another example of the fish out of water trope.
As invaders of far away planets, they soon find themselves settling on Earth, acclimating to the culture, and then, hijinks ensue.
However, far better animated and written series have handled this same topic in far better ways, so really, there’s nothing about this show worth revisiting.
12. Lloyd in Space
When it comes to the topics deemed interesting to kids of the early 2000s, we’re beginning to notice a pattern here.
As yet another series exploring aliens, outer space adventures, and awkward adolescent experiences, Lloyd in Space tries to package itself as a cheesy coming of age — in an age very, very far removed from our own.
Set in an extremely distant future, Lloyd in Space is basically a proto-dystopian series without any of the grunge and dark tone now associated with each and every dystopian series of films and shows.
No matter the unconventional setting, the experiences the awkward tweenage Lloyd undergoes are clearly meant to be universal signs of growing pains and young adulthood.
However, because of how universal these allegedly are, and yet how poorly executed and cringe-worthy the series’ set up is, there is nothing remarkable about what Lloyd has to offer, especially 14 years removed from its final episode.
11. Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action
If you were a child of the ’80s, ’90s, or ’00s, the odds are exceedingly strong that you were inundated by content starring everyone’s former favorite twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
The onetime child stars, now turned fashion industry moguls, had countless television series, movies, books, toys, and so very much more.
Yet perhaps the most forgettable venture ever undertaken by the Olsens was a short-lived animated venture that aired from 2000-2001, Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!
In this series, the girls voiced cartoon counterparts of themselves who were actually super talented secret globe trotting agents.
With none of the charm of the mysteries solved by the younger Olsens in The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley, and with incredibly basic animation to boot, this is a show that is better off forgotten among their past weaker ventures.
It’s always a real bonus, from an adult perspective, when a children’s television show hopes to offer educational value to its viewers.
So, in the case of Tutenstein, an animated series that aired from 2003-2008 on Discovery Kids and detailed the trials and tribulations of a young former pharaoh who comes back to life, it could stand to reason that perhaps there would be some educational merit among the extreme suspensions of disbelief.
The series did have consultants working on it to ensure that some aspects of Egyptian history and culture were accurately represented, so perhaps, more than any other aspect of the series, that serves as a redeeming quality.
However, beyond that, the series suffers terribly from boring characters, trite dialogue, and bordering on creepy animation that doesn’t always seem suited for its target demographic.
9. Kenny the Shark
Tutenstein wasn’t the only Discovery Kids show to have questionable merit, however. We all know and love shows about an unlikely friendship between a child and a bizarre, often larger than life pet.
Clifford the Big Red Dog has been a cultural icon for as long as he has precisely because of the kindness and warmth the story of love between himself and his owner, Emily, represents.
In the case of Kenny the Shark, however, viewers are likely to be left scratching their heads far more often than feeling any of the requisite heartwarming feels.
Kenny’s design is certainly comically appealing, with vibrant colors and exaggerated facial expressions.
However, beyond this one design plus, Kenny the Shark is a show that unfortunately never decided what it wanted to be — so it’s no real surprise that the network pulled the plug on it even faster than they did with Tutenstein.
8. Dave the Barbarian
As we have seen so far, children’s animated shows are completely unafraid of traveling through time, dimensions, locations, and basically every component that makes up a good setting.
So Disney Channel’s Dave the Barbarian ostensibly fits right in with the crowd, following the comical adventures of perpetually oafish middle child Dave during the Medieval period of history.
Boasting an impressive cast of talented voice artitsts known for their work in animation, including Tress MacNeille, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Frank Welker, the show clearly had considerable talent behind the scenes. Unfortunately, it never delivered on the wealth of expertise it had access to.
While Dave the Barbarian was certainly good once upon a time for cheesy laughs and animated physical humor, the overall conceit of the show just falls flat all these years later, feeling gimmicky in the worst way.
7. My Gym Partner’s A Monkey
As we have already seen, if there are two general rules that can be applied to a majority of animated kids’ series, they’re probably these: the more bizarre the central characters’ relationship to one another, the better; and the more nonsensical the premise, the better, too.
Take, for example, the somehow wildly successful My Gym Partner’s a Monkey. Airing on Cartoon Network between 2005-2008, the series ran for four highly viewed and acclaimed seasons, earning multiple award nominations in the process. The cast also even included the likes of Spongebob Squarepants himself, Tom Kenny.
But the premise couldn’t have been more ridiculously convoluted in its purported simplicity: a boy, whose last name is Lyon, finds himself forced to attend a school for animals. Get it? Because Lyon, lion?
Somehow, this spawned an entire series, including specials and a movie. But years later, not a single part of this, or the decision making process behind it, is worth checking out again.
6. The Replacements
Imagination and wish fulfillment are crucial elements of the majority of children’s entertainment – but The Replacements, the 2006 Disney Channel series, may have just taken a good thing a whole lot too far.
The series follows two hard on their luck children who have lived in an orphanage, only to come upon a sudden windfall in the form of a mysterious phone called a Fleemco Phone.
Thanks to the phone, they are able to replace any undesirable part of their lives with another satisfactory one – namely, swapping in people they like for those they don’t.
Using the phone, they even manage to order themselves crazy, exciting parents, so that their lives are interesting and full of adventure.
Not a single thing about this show makes sense, and its message of avoiding the difficult relationships in life through easy, magical means is all but insulting to a child’s educational level.
5. George of the Jungle
George of the Jungle is a character whose story has been told again, and again, and again. Whether you grew up with the older films and cartoons, or the Brendan Fraser movie of the 1990s, you’ve likely encountered the affably hapless George and his titular Jungle in one form or another.
However, if it was the 2007 Flash animated series, we are so, so sorry.
George’s story isn’t exactly one that involves a whole lot of heavy lifting or thinking, as it deals heavily in physical humor, lowest common denominator jokes, and fun with animals.
However, the mediocre animation used in the 2007 series, as well as the beyond confusing decision to swap the two female leads’ names between seasons — as though they were entirely interchangeable — both leave plenty of bad tastes in your mouth and merit this series being left on the cutting room floor.
4. Back at the Barnyard
Once upon a time, a movie called Barnyard was released in 2006. It wasn’t especially successful, but it made back its budget at the box office all while struggling to receive a critic’s score above 20% on Rotten Tomatoes.
It followed the lives of obnoxious farm animals, with loud and flashy CGI animation, and a cast of TV stars and movie stars alike in its voice cast.
A year later, the animated series Back at the Barnyard premiered on Nickelodeon, now featuring an almost entirely different cast, and with characters who were more obnoxious and paper thin than they had been in the previously forgettable theatrical release.
Stories about animals are generally a hit with kids, but looking back on these over the top and obnoxious characters, we can’t understand how they were ever enough of a draw.
3. The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
By looking at the concept art for the 2008-2010 Cartoon Network series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, prospective viewers — and their parents — surely wouldn’t come away with any positive, family friendly interpretations.
The bizarre series follows the lives of a crotchety old sea captain and a young boy he takes into his charge, along with the whale who has raised the boy, Flapjack, as her adopted son.
The humor is often crass, with adventures appearing oddly dark and unsettling in order to match the jarring, eerie feel of the animation style.
The series certainly tried plenty of new things when it came to what was acceptable within an animated show aimed at children, but they also say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” for a very, very good reason.
Flapjack really should’ve heeded that advice on more than one occasion.
2. The Mighty B!
Having come from the great mind of comedian and big name star Amy Poehler, it’s really a shame that The Mighty B! wasn’t any better than whatever it turned out to be.
The series follows a young girl who, as a girl scout, is either creative or deluded enough to think that earning merit badges will somehow award her special powers and a secret superhero identity.
The creative imagination it takes to make that leap is astounding, and it certainly could have made for a good series.
However, what instead results is yet another animated series led by a dreadfully annoying little girl, whose merits are few and enthusiasm is much too high. Coupled with some uncomfortable looking animation, it’s safe to say that Poehler and company should stick to live action.
1. Fanboy & Chum Chum
Unlikely situations are a main component of many of the series we’ve looked at on this list. Some of them even address characters imagining themselves in better or worse scenarios and taking acts to make those thought come true, or prevent them from happening.
From 2009 to 2014, Nickelodeon aired Fanboy & Chum Chum, a series about two young boys whose friendship intensity and obsession with superheroes and comics are unrivaled.
They get into ridiculous situations and take frequent adventures in order to act more and more like their idolized heroes.
The humor in the show is smarter than some others, including multiple straight up parodies of noteworthy works.
However, no matter how spot on some of their parodies may have been, it remains true that the titular characters are both dreadfully obnoxious – and that each episode is so thin on quality content, it very well may have never been written down at all.
What cartoons of the ’00s do you find utterly impossible to watch now? Let us know in the comments!
Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be in hot water again for his unique ability to fail to remember the truth while under oath. Reuters is reporting that three people are contradicting Sessions’ testimony that he “pushed back” against a proposal by campaign adviser George Papadopoulos for members of Donald Trump’s team to meet with Russians.
“Yes, I pushed back,” Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 14. But three people who attended the March 2016 meeting where Sessions claimed to have “pushed back” say that Sessions never objected to Papadopoulos’ idea. And they have shared their recollections of events with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Another person who attended the meeting, however, has publicly said that Sessions strongly objected to the proposal and he is standing by his previous words.
If the accounts are confirmed it would mark the second time Sessions failed to be fully honest while under oath about Russia contacts during Trump’s presidential campaign. At a confirmation hearing he told senators he didn’t have contacts with any Russian officials during the campaign. But then reports came out that Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador to the United States twice. Shortly after that was reported, Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Despite the discrepancies though it seems unlikely Sessions could be held liable for the contradictions. Experts say that Sessions’ words are vague enough that a perjury case would be difficult if not impossible. After all, there could be different interpretations of what pushing back really means. But others say the pattern could be key. “Proving there was intent to lie is a heavy burden for the prosecution. But now you have multiple places where Sessions has arguably made false statements,” said Bennett Gershman, a Pace University law professor.