TLC’s Chilli Receives Huge Backlash After Saying ‘All Lives Matter’

In a recent interview with Channel 4 News, TLC were asked about their involvement and opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s how one half of the group, Chilli, responded:

“I personally didn’t go into any marches, or anything like that, but for me, all lives matter, you know what I mean? Because there is a time when different groups are targeted for different things, you know what I’m saying? So, I just think that, just the whole… what happened, police brutality, against these young black boys, all of that kind of stuff is wrong, even if it was a Caucasian teen kid that this was happening to or whatever. It’s just not right.”

Asked about Trump, TLC’s T-Boz said: “I don’t care about Donald Trump. So, I mean, God is my President. I just feel sorry for people it affects, but I don’t care about him.”

Take a look:

The fan backlash to this interview has not been warm, to put it lightly:

TLC have a final comeback album due out June 30, though after these probelmatic comments, we wonder if it will be able to maintain the hype it’s achieved so far. Ironically, they’ve just released a single titled “Haters.” Listen:

Things We Find On Etsy: Crying R. Kelly Earrings

You can find just about anything on Etsy these days, but why would you want to spend all day looking through the weirdest and most shambolic corners of the site when you can just have people on the Internet show you all the best stuff? ReadyToStare, an Etsy store from Chicago-based jewelry designer Alysse Dalessandro, has been making the rounds online thanks to her signature item: stud earrings with an image of R. Kelly crying decoupaged on to them. The things is though, while R. Kelly is an artist certainly worth preserving in accessories and an icon, especially in the artist’s hometown of Chicago, why the crying? Certainly, there is a better image of Kells in happier times that would be more effective as a set of earrings. Also, people will probably wear them ironically and totally ruin the magic, but hey, what can you do?

But while the Kells earrings will probably get all the attention in Dalessandro’s store, she has also created stud-earring decoupage tributes to late R&B legend Aaliyah and also-legendary trio TLC. The TLC set, which features all three members in their prime and Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes wearing her trademark eye makeup, are particularly awesome. Dalessandro should really consider matching cufflinks, for the most awesome matching wedding parties/graduates/prom groups ever. Your wallet’s telling you no, but your body, your body’s telling you yes. 

Hero Status: Florida Dude Is Merman

You have no idea how grateful I am to have this brought to my attention by TLC’s My Crazy Obsession and The Daily Mail: until I knew a 22-year-old guy named Eric Ducharme dressed up in handmade mermaid costumes to go swimming in some Florida springs, I couldn’t sure if following your dreams is always the best course of action. No longer. Eric, you are a national hero.

There’s nothing crazy about this obsession, TLC: the dude likes to become a merman, get away from the hustle and bustle now and then. That’s actually the least crazy thing I’ve ever heard. And on top of that, he runs a company—selling his beautiful, sparkling, slip-on fishtails. Take that, Republicans who love small business but not alternative lifestyles.

I just can’t go back to my old way of living after getting a glimpse into Eric’s magical aquatic world. He makes finding one’s self seem so easy, so natural. He is more content than any of us can ever hope to be.

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Rapper Lil Mama Will Play Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes in TLC Biopic

Back in November, we were given the first glimpses into a more exciting #rememberthe90s resurgence, that of Atlanta R&B group TLC, who announced their first album in more than a decade on the heels of further details about a VH1 biopic about the group, originally announced nearly a year before. Made-for-television biopics tend to be a crapshoot, but this one has promise in that it actually has the blessings of original members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, who are serving as consultants for the project, now fittingly titled Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story.

But who could play such a luminous trio? Yesterday, VH1 released a statement announcing the casting choices to play each member: Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee, Joyful Noise, one particularly intense episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit) is your Chilli, Drew Sidora (Step Up, The Game) as T-Boz, and rapper and singer-songwriter Lil Mama, she of the boisterous single “Lip Gloss,” will don the coveted eye marker to play Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, which, if T-Boz and Chilli declare you good enough to play themselves and their legendary late bandmate, all right then. The film begins shooting next month in Atlanta, under the direction of Charles Stone III (Drumline, Paid In Full) and with a screenplay from Kate Lanier, who wrote What’s Love Got to Do With It? (yay!) and Glitter (ummm…).

And, because you look like you need it and it’s the middle of the week, here’s a TLC dance party.  

Honey Boo Boo and Co. Are the Nicest People in Reality TV

Say what you will about the controversial show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: the Thompson clan at the center of TLC’s madcap backwoods reality show still remains perhaps the most genuine and nicest group of people on television, especially reality television. Whether it’s the titular Honey Boo Boo’s push for gay rights or the general positive attitude that flows through her veins like go-go juice, the show manages to portray those crazy folks down South as a sweet bunch of people. Take last night’s episode, for example, in which the family donated toys to a local organization that distributes gifts on Christmas; while plenty of critics slam the show for its low-brow sensibility, the folks in front of the camera have done nothing but keep their chins up and prove that they’re probably better than all of us combined.

[via Gawker]

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Linkage: Megan Fox’s Face is Unreal, Victor Garber’s BF is Sexy, and Screech’s Younger Wife

Esquire’s cover story about Megan Fox begins as follows: “The symmetry of her face, up close, is genuinely shocking. The lip on the left curves exactly the same way as the lip on the right. The eyes match exactly. The brow is in perfect balance, like a problem of logic, like a visual labyrinth. It’s not really even that beautiful. It’s closer to the sublime, a force of nature, the patterns of waves crisscrossing a lake, snow avalanching down the side of a mountain, an elaborately camouflaged butterfly. What she is is flawless. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her.” It’s like an advertorial for plastic surgery! [Esquire]

Dustin Diamond, forever known to us all as Screech, gives an interesting interview in which he reveals the other reason older men enjoy the company of younger women: “One of the great things for me is I’ve got a trophy wife. She’s twenty-five and I’m thirty-six. So she’s an entire generation younger, and because of that, there’s stuff I missed that I can go back and appreciate now with her introducing it to me.” (Also, the sex is probably good.) [Splitsider]

Is the music industry too focused on ephemera? That’s what TLC’s T-Boz thinks. “The record business sucks!” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Great music, timeless music is hard to come by, but there are some that are like that… Those kind of songs last—your “Waterfalls" or “Unpretty”—but there’s a lot of this "just for the times" music out now, but they don’t last and then everybody’s on the next thing. So I don’t think it will ever be the same, but great music and great musicians still exist.” [THR]

Facebook is gunning to beat Google at the search engine business with the rollout of the new Graph Search, which “offers a massively expanded new way to explore your web social life.” Basically, it means you will never have to ask anyone for anything again, because Facebook will do it for you. It’s good news for those of us who have no intention of leaving our houses. (Heads up, Christine McVie.) [Gizmodo]

Victor Garber is gay, which I admit was NEWS TO ME, and it turns out he looks kinda like a forty-something Williamsburg loft-dweller. But hotter. So good on you, Victor Garber! Keep that shit right up! [Gawker]

There is a group of people now dubbed Male-ennials, they’re sharing “emotional stuff” with each other, they consider Google to be a father figure, and it’s safe to say that I hate all of them. [MTV Insights]

I’m not sure I’m 100% behind the second season of Girls, but I’m 100000% behind Texts From Shoshanna. [Vulture]

Getting the body you’ve always wanted is pretty easy, although there may be some light groundskeeping involved. [The Hairpin]

Lance Armstrong, rug abuser. [Hypervocal]

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New TLC Shows, In Ascending Order of Cringe Factor

Once upon a time (by which we mean 1972), TLC, then known as The Appalachian Community Service Network, was a free educational television network focused on informing for free, a collaboration of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and NASA. NASA. And that’s not to say that TLC’s current crop of programming is completely devoid of educational value, but even the serviceable stuff like What Not To Wear seems to be showing up even less and less in reruns and that.

Anyway, the new TLC crop seems to be heading more in the uncomfortable, kind of exploitative and can’t-look-away sort of programming block for which it has become notorious. Here are four of the new freshly ordered shows, in ascending order of how cringe-worthy their premises are. 

Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs.: ESPN’s 30 for 30 recently ran a short documentary about former baseball legend Pete Rose, where the man known as ‘Charlie Hustle’ signed autographed balls for fans in Vegas and reflected on his life and career. It was surprisingly fascinating, and Rose is certainly a captivating personality. TLC’s new show will focus on Rose and his new fiancée, former Playboy model Kiana Kim, as they try to navigate the long-distance relationship thing, not to mention dating with kids from previous relationships. These are actually real situations people face and from which they could learn, not to mention Rose does make good TV, so of all the newcomers, and as Americans, I think we’re all desensitized to the notion of celebrities launching reality shows to get back into the spotlight, so who really cares? This one is probably the least appalling.

Jersey On Ice: Jersey On Ice premiered this week, and includes the three formulaic elements that, in the wake of other successful reality programming, most reality TV networks and producers are seeking: New Jersey, the dynamic between stage mothers and overambitious coaches and some ultra-competitive youth activity. Andrea, Deana and Michele are three Little Falls, N.J.-based figure skating coaches, and they’re all about building winners. That’s with a “W.” That they make with their hands. Not losers, with an “L,” that they place upon their foreheads in the preview clip for the show. If they’re still making those gestures when talking about victory and defeat, you know the rest that follows can’t be good.

Wives With Beehives: TLC hasn’t shied away from spotlighting families with warped ideas about “traditional family values” talking about what “family values” mean—they’ve given plenty of airtime to the Duggar clan, and the ultimate Perfect American Family, the Palins. Wives With Beehives, a one-off series premiering on Dec. 27th that could turn into a show, maybe, follows four women trying to lead the ultimate ’50s housewife life, from the home furnishings and vintage coifs to the attitudes and moral values. Dollie, interviewed in the preview clip below, says she likes the stability of the ’50s and expresses some genuine fears about The Way We Live Now.

The show should paint some interesting portraits and representing another view is all well and good, but after a bitter election with lots of discussion of legitimate people with power trying to go back to the values of the ’50s, there are some larger, more uncomfortable things (and things certainly worth discussing) under the surface. I mean, the ‘50s had cool fashion and music and adorable, Pinterest-worthy décor. And progress is all about respecting choices, and wanting to be a homemaker isn’t something for which anyone should be judged. I just think it’s a weird decade for people to look back on so fondly, considering it was kind of a terrible time to be a woman. Or a non-white person. Or gay. Or generally living outside of a certain ideology, lest you become part of an anti-Communist witch hunt. THE GOLDEN AGE, AMIRITE GUYZ? 

Best Funeral Ever: For real though, putting the “fun” back in “funeral” should never be an actual promotional point (and I’m sure we’re not the only ones to make that joke). Considering TLC has tons of shows relating to weddings, births and all the couponing done in between, it only makes sense they would tackle the afterlife too. Like Wives With Beehives, Best Funeral Ever is a one-off special, this time about the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas, where John Beckwith Jr. and his team help honor the dead with extravagant send-offs, including "a Christmas-themed funeral with reindeer, elves and snow," a boxing ring for a boxer, a disco-themed funeral with leisure-suit wearing dancers, and, for a singer whose most famous work was a BBQ sauce jingle, an affair with live hogs and a sauce fountain with dip-able ribs. 

The cringe-worthiness in this case comes not in people wanting to celebrate their loved ones with a BBQ sauce fountain (thanks for the idea, TLC!); and any enterprise that takes great care in honoring the deceased in a manner they would have enjoyed is great. But it’s not going to not be super uncomfortable seeing cameras pointed at a grieving family and friends at what is usually a very intimate and vulnerable time (not to mention there are probably some cultural elements to said funerals extrapolated for TLC’s audience to gawk at, but it’s not like TLC has never done that before).

The special will air on December 26th, so after a day of joy and celebration with your loved ones, you can watch this and think about their eventual mortality!

If The ‘Real Housewives Of Atlanta’ Had Found Jesus

It figures our wife-obsessed popular culture would come up with this concept eventually: a reality show about preachers’ wives in Atlanta. 

The Sisterhood, which airs on TLC on January 1st at 9p.m. EST/8p.m. CNT, stars the five black and Latina women who are married to religious figures in the Atlanta faith community. Preachers’ wives are called "First Ladies" and are supposed to set an example for other women in the church. But, of course, this is a TLC reality show, there’s tattoos, an ex-crack addict, and a lot of not-very-church-lady-like fighting.

I would watch The Sisterhood for no other reason than the gender dynamic in the marriages. I suspect that the men are "heads of household" in at least some of the marriages. I also suspect some of the churches — at least one is evangelical, according to IndieWire — preach wifely submission from the pulpit. Should be fascinating/infuriating.

Watch the trailer below:

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In Non-Election News, TLC Is Planning A New Album

Although the details of this #rememberthe90s musical nostalgia-fest are still fairly nebulous, it is something of a relief to see "TLC" in a headline and know it doesn’t refer to the television network that begat that creepy family with 19 kids or the Honey Boo-Boo phenomenon. No, the other TLC, the ’90s R&B group that brought us such wonderful hits as "No Scrubs," "Waterfalls," "Creep," "Unpretty" and many others, announced they would be releasing their first album in 10 years at the MOBO Awards in Liverpool, England last night. Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas were at the ceremony to receive an Outstanding Contribution award for their work with the group, which also featured the late, great Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who passed away in 2002.


"We’re going to still sound like TLC, evolving to whatever level we need to be at this time," T-Boz told the BBC. She later added, ""We’ve always grown throughout the years and have always had our own sound. That’s what works for us and we don’t have to worry about anybody else."
In addition to the new album, T-Boz and Chilli will be executive-producing a VH1 biopic about the group, because nothing marks a proper comeback quite like a VH1 biopic, and will, according to the BBC, be casting the actresses that will play the group members. This makes sense, of course, as you’d certainly want to ensure the legacy of your group with accurate casting, but that must be the strangest sort of audition experience. The duo will also be touring, and there have been rumors about for a while about plans to tour with a hologram of the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. So if you’re still at the polls and deciding who to vote for, just pick the candidate you think is most likely to prevent this from happening, and then watch this clip of TLC’s great final live performance with Left Eye at MTV Turns 20.