SAG President Fran Drescher and others announce a strike on July 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Frazer Harrison via Getty Images)

TGIF: Hollywood Shutdown

Actors join the picket line. Zuck puts Musk on Thread alert. Tucker cozies up to Andrew Tate. Plus: Kamala, DeSantis, and Jonah Hill.

Suzy Weiss here, filling in for Nellie Bowles to fill you in on what in the heck happened this week. She’s at Sun Valley and tells me to tell you she just sold TGIF for $1 billion. 

You’re stuck with me, a pop culture junkie who had to google what the G7 is. And yes, we are late. Six a.m. EST is so early. Let’s get to it.

Kamala continues to Kamala: This week, Veep Kamala Harris described AI as “Kind of a fancy thing.” She went on: “First of all, it’s two letters.” She then gesticulated while saying things about machine learning and automation and “what then will be produced in terms of decisions and opinions that may be made.” Someone get Kamala one of those Biden note cards.

To be fair, this is how it would sound if I explained AI. Except I’m not the AI czar. For a full accounting of every moment where Kamala Harris has played a better Selina Meyer than Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Veep, I present to you this exhaustive rundown, courtesy of the internet. 

→ And DeSantis continues to DeSantis: Six months ago, the Florida man was the only presidential hopeful that appeared capable of unseating Trump. But the governor continues to trail Trump in the polls—Trump’s strong at 53 percent; DeSantis is at 20.6—and the donor class is reportedly souring on his run.

Here was hedge fund billionaire and GOP megadonor Ken Griffin back in November 2022: DeSantis “has a tremendous record as governor of Florida, and our country would be well-served by him as president.” Here’s Griffin today according to ABC: He’s “hit the pause button” on the candidate.

So what happened? Perhaps the same thing that happened to a lot of people: he watched DeSantis choose to die on some strange hills.

When DeSantis originally proposed prohibiting Florida teachers from talking about gender and sexuality to kids younger than fourth grade, Griffin was all in. (He called it “a really important point of view.”) But then when DeSantis expanded what critics called the “Don’t Say Gay” law to all kids—including high schoolers—Griffin broke with the governor publicly in a statement to The Harvard Crimson.

It seems like DeSantis mistook center-right moderates for his hard-right meme buddies. A lot of people think K–3 is too young for sex ed. DeSantis heard that and thought: right, right, I agree, then we’re going to ban sex ed until the marriage night.

It’s going to be an awkward Emmys: Hollywood actors are officially on strike as of Thursday at midnight, which is good news for the WGA writers, who are now only the second least sympathetic strikers in history. SAG-AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represents all the actors you like to watch, took to the streets as of yesterday, halting all filming and promotion for existing projects. This is Hollywood’s first industrywide shutdown since 1960.

Fran Drescher, the union’s president, announced at a press conference: “We’re the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy entity. I am shocked by the way the people that we have been in business with are treating us.” 

When I think “victim,” the first thing that comes to my mind are Hollywood actors, who should be getting more money, more snack breaks, and more trailer doors to slam. But we here at TGIF are pro-strike because we are pro-drama. (And in all seriousness, the industry’s proposal regarding AI sounds really creepy.)

With all of Hollywood now out of work, the good people of Los Angeles are about to take up even more bizarre hobbies. Burning sage and doing yoga? Those are activities for working people. Brace yourself for birth chart reading for pets.

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