What Seth Rogen had to say about his old, 'blatantly homophobic' jokes.

What does comedy, the peppered moth, and President Obama's position on marriage equality all have in common?

They've evolved. But, as the saying goes, change doesn't always come easy.

Those moths had to put up with pollution. Obama had to deal with political pushback. And Seth Rogen was forced to come to the realization that some of his old jokes were actually pretty terrible, now that it's 2016 and all.


Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Rogen recently admitted that a few of his old movies totally crossed the line when it comes to offensive jabs.

In an interview with The Guardian, Rogen reflected on how his own comedy has changed to be more cognizant of how a joke can go too far:

“It’s funny looking at some movies we’ve made in the last ten years under the lenses of new eras, new social consciousness. There’s for sure some stuff in our earlier movies — and even in our more recent movies — where even like a year later you’re like, ‘Eh, maybe that wasn’t the greatest idea.’”

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV.

One movie that's particularly cringeworthy?

“There are probably some jokes in ‘Superbad’ that are bordering on blatantly homophobic at times,” he said, noting that the film had been trying to reflect the immaturity of high schoolers. But still, he said, the jokes were "glamorizing that type of [offensive] language in a lot of ways.”

His comments get at an important topic: the evolution of comedy.

Sure, comedy shouldn't be forced to adhere to anyone's rules. But isn't comedy best when it's actually relevant to the times?

Evolving comedic standards are why Eddie Murphy wouldn't strut on stage in 2016 and drop gay slurs at the expense of AIDS patients (like he got away with doing way back when). It's why Trevor Noah admitted to being an "idiot" for tweeting out sexist and anti-Semitic jokes in 2012 — "you should not like [the jokes you cracked] back then, because that shows that you’ve grown," he explained. And it's why Amy Schumer decided to confront her own racist routines from years ago.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Critics' Choice Awards.

In one of her old standup sets, Schumer told an insensitive joke suggesting Hispanic men are rapists. The joke resurfaced last summer, and many people weren't pleased. So the comedian dealt with it, head-on:

“I wrote this joke [two] years ago. I used to do a lot of short, dumb jokes like this. … Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence, I stopped telling jokes like that on stage. I am evolving as any artist. I am taking responsibility and hope I haven’t hurt anyone. And I apologize [if] I did."

Sarah Silverman (who, by no means, plays it safe) also thinks comedy shouldn't be an exception to the rest of society — it should "change with the times" and "change with new information," too:

“I caught myself a few years ago fighting ‘gay.’ I [said] ‘gay,' like, ‘that’s so gay.’ … And then I stopped myself and said, ‘What am I fighting? I have become the guy from 50 years ago who said, ‘I say colored. I have colored friends.’ … It’s not hard to change with the times, and I think it’s important."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Even Patton Oswalt — who detests political correctness — said he "gets to be wrong, and [he] gets to change" when it came to his own failures in grasping the nuances of why a particular rape joke (told by a different comedian) was a bit of a problem:

"There is a collective consciousness that can detect the presence (and approach) of something good or bad, in society or the world, before any hard 'evidence' exists. It’s happening now with the concept of 'rape culture.' Which, by the way, isn’t a concept. It’s a reality."

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images.

Comedy — like basically every other thing in the universe — needs to evolve to stay relevant.

It should be edgy. It should makes us uncomfortable at times too (Schumer just proved that sometimes uncomfortable comedy is exactly what this world needs).

But as Rogen hinted at this week, if you're punching down with a lazy joke that doesn't belong in 2016, you should probably ask yourself if the punchline's really worth it.

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

via idiehlpare / Flickr and ESPN

An innocent tweet by sports reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques erupted into a great discussion where people tried to describe the indescribable. "There's an unnamed media member in here who has never had a Dr. Pepper and asked what it tastes like," he tweeted.

"I have no idea how to describe it -- how would y'all do it?" he asked.

Marcel Louis-Jacques covers the Miami Dolphins for ESPN and appears on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and more.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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