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If you're going to paint everyone from the southern United States with a broad, red brush, don't do it around Aziz Ansari.

Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP.

The comedian, who grew up in South Carolina, recently sat down with New York magazine's Jada Yuan to promote the second season of his critically acclaimed Netflix series "Master of None."


The interview went well — except, Yuan admitted, for one moment: when she made an off-the-cuff remark suggesting Ansari's series — which follows Dev Shah, a son of Indian immigrants, and his diverse set of friends living in liberal New York City — is a love letter to the "blue states."

Her comment didn't sit well with Ansari.

Ansari doesn't like when the term "red state" is used to mean people who are backward or ignorant.

It's been his experiences as an Indian-American who grew up in South Carolina — one of the very "red states" often cited that way — that shaped his viewpoint.

As he explained to Yuan (emphasis added):

“Look, don’t say ‘red-staters,’ because when you say ‘red-staters,’ you’re saying, like, ‘dumb, racist people,’ and there are plenty of white people there who are not dumb, racist people. Maybe I’m just very quick to react when, as a culture, we try to paint this whole large group of people as one specific thing. Because that’s what, as a minority, you deal with all the time. It’s just people looking at you and being like, ‘You’re this. I know exactly what you are.’ And you’re like, ‘Shut up! That’s not me. You don’t know me.’”

Ansari's point may be obvious, but it's one we often forget in this politically charged time: simply living in a red (or blue) state says nothing more about your values than your shirt size does. Just because a state swings red or blue in an election doesn't mean that everyone living in that state or district automatically adopts the majority viewpoint.

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP.

Don't mistake the comedian's soft spot for red America as excusing harmful, dangerous rhetoric though — Ansari's been among President Trump's toughest critics in Hollywood for months.

Ansari never wanted his comedy to get political. But in the era of Trump, he couldn't stay silent.

With every anti-Muslim speech or policy proposal from the president, Ansari's own Muslim family is personally affected.

The day after Trump's inauguration, Ansari hosted "Saturday Night Live," hilariously slamming white supremacy and providing the comic relief so many of us desperately needed in that moment. Last summer, he penned a blistering takedown of then-candidate Trump's harmful immigration policies in the New York Times, in which he's quoted as discouraging his mother from going to a mosque for her own safety.

Donald Trump wants to ban Muslim immigrants like my parents, so I wrote a piece for the @NYTimes telling him to go fuck himself. Link in bio.

Posted by Aziz Ansari on Friday, June 24, 2016

Ansari is not afraid to go on the offensive and address racism, sexism, and Islamophobia in his comedy. However, the butt of Ansari's jokes are, specifically, dangerous people and ideas that are helping to keep xenophobia afloat — not every single person who happened to live in a state that went red for Trump in November.

To assume or imply that every person living in a red state embodies the stereotype of being backward or ignorant erases the work of people like Scott Shaffer, in deep-red Texas, who's been laser-focused on stopping harmful bills from passing through Congress. It ignores the people who turned out in droves in Wyoming last week wearing colorful tutus to support LGBTQ equality. It forgets the thousands of women who marched in places like Cincinnati and Tucson the day after Trump's inauguration in defiance of misogyny and discrimination of any kind.

These people of the resistance are red-staters, too — just like Ansari. That's a crucial and often overlooked point to remember.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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