+
Olivia Newton-John has a refreshing response to those who say 'Grease' is problematic
Via Olivia Newton-John / Instagram

A recent airing of "Grease" on the BBC resulted in a backlash online with some calling for it to be banned from further showings.

Critics cited the scene where John Travolta's character Danny Zuko repeatedly tries to put a move on Sandy Osbourne, played by Olivia-Newton John, but she pushes him away.

They also called the film homophobic because the dance contest is for straight couples only.



People also objected to how Rizzo, played by Stockard Channing, is slut-shamed for being with multiple men. There's also a line in the song "Summer Loving" where a T-Bird asks, "Did she put up a fight?"

Thematically, It's also pretty cringey that Sandy wins over Danny in the end by dressing herself up for the male gaze by putting on skintight black pants.

All of these critiques seem to forget the fact that the film was made in 1978 about teenagers in the 1950s, an era that was far more sexist, segregated, homophobic, and racist than the one we live in today.

The film is also about men who are in a gang who talk about getting into rumbles and carry switchblades. Those types aren't usually known for being too progressive.

Olivia Newton-John pushed back against people who believe the movie is too problematic in a recent interview on the "A Life of Greatness" podcast.

Newton-John said the movie was "not [meant] to be taken so seriously." She believes that the criticism is "kind of silly, because the movie was made in the '70s about the '50s. It was a stage play. It's a musical. It's fun."

"We need to relax a little bit and just enjoy things for what they are," Olivia continued. "I think it's just a fun movie that entertains people. That's all."

The actor's call for people to mellow out is refreshing in a world where many people are scared and quickly dismiss work they've done in the past if it doesn't live up to the exacting measure of our times.

"Grease" clearly falls short of the standards that we have today. But it also has some amazing music, choreography, and wonderfully charismatic performances from Newton-John, Travolta, and Channing.

We should have a bit more faith in people by believing they can walk and chew gum at the same time when watching an outdated piece of culture. Most mature adults have the capacity to watch something that is old and separate the inappropriate material from the wonderful music and dancing.

If we can trust people to watch a horror film and not come out the other side an axe murderer, we can let them see a film with outdated portrayals of gender without thinking they'll become raging sexists.

In other "Grease" news, Travolta and his daughter Ella make a brief appearance in a new Super Bowl ad for Scotts Miracle-Gro. In the ad, the Travoltas recreate the "Hand Jive" dance that Travolta and Newton-John do in the film. But this time, instead of dancing to Sha Na Na, it's to Surfaces' "Sunday Best."

Scotts & Miracle-Gro Big Game Commercial | Keep Growing :45www.youtube.com

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less
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.