Keke Palmer, James Deen, LEGO Theft, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too.Today, we have an extremely powerful piece about how James Deen’s “average guy” image seems to have, from the beginning, enabled the evasion of accusations of rape; an interview with the New York filmmaker behind the recent The Promised Band documentary; a piece examining how lucrative LEGOs can be on the black market; and, last but certainly not least, a feature on Scream Queens star Keke Palmer.

On Medium, Zak Smith talked to many of the porn actresses that have come out to accuse former “male feminist” posterboy James Deen of rape.

In a preface for his article, Zak Smith notes that this particular piece had previously been commissioned by a magazine that, at the last minute, decided against publishing it out of fear of being sued. This simple declaration — that a story about accusations of rape and sexual assault isn’t worth publishing because of fear — is grounds enough to declare how important this article is. Smith writes:

The James Deen story is a story about the dangers of shallowness — not just Deen’s own shallowness, but the shallowness of the mainstream media’s coverage of both Deen and everything else about porn.

DAZED’s Dominique Sisley talked to Jen Heck about work on her new documentary about the “first all-girl punk band of Israel and Palestine,” The Promised Band.

Though documenting the Israel-Palestine conflict would pose a very challenging task for any young filmmaker — especially an American one, whose experience is far removed from the subject — Jen Heck felt that her documentary had to be made:

“The concept of Arab feminism is so foreign that it feels weird to read in a sentence. There are so many strong, amazing women out there, but their voices are generally repressed, particularly in the media — even in the US media. The strength of the Palestinian women in this film may make them targets for a certain subset of the population. All that said, things are changing, and in some cases changing fast. I don’t know where that part of the conversation will lead, but we’re both nervous and excited to jump into it at full speed.”

VICE’s Allie Conti explains why stealing LEGOs (and reselling them on the black market) may be the perfect crime.

Though LEGOs may not be the first item to pop into your mind when you think about “stealing for the sake of reselling” (presumably because you’re too preoccupied thinking about an elaborate jewel heist or something), the children’s toys are actually quite lucrative — particuarly those associated with franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Frozen:

For instance, this past June, a five-person team was arrested in San Diego for allegedly taking more than $15,000 worth of toys, mostly Legos. In 2014, Phoenix cops busted an even bigger ring and seized $200,000 of illicit Legos. There’s also Gloria Haas, a Long Island woman who was accused that same year of taking $59,000 worth of Legos from a storage unit. This December, a 43-year-old was caught on camera stealing a $450 R2D2 Lego replica, in Beaverton, Oregon, and one person even bashed in a Vancouver, Canada, store window to grab a single box of the plastic bricks.

The Cut’s Lindsay Peoples’ talked to childstar-cum-superstar Keke Palmer about her upcoming album, the pressures of fame, and paving her own way.

With a new album on the way and terrifically reviewed recent performances in Grease: Live and Scream Queens, Keke Palmer is definitely one to keep your eye on. The former child star from Nickolodeon’s True Jackson, V.P. seems to have completely skipped the darker parts of childhood fame, and seems all the more poised for superstardom because of it.

Palmer is surprisingly nonchalant about all of her accomplishments. She came of age with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, but she doesn’t have the usual former-child-star angst. “It was definitely grueling, but very fun at the same time,” she says.