Movie Reviews Movies Pop Culture

‘Guilty’ on Netflix is one of the best films tackling rape culture

*Trigger warning: this article contains mentions of sexual assault*

When I first logged on to Netflix and clicked on a recommended film titled Guilty, I didn’t know what I was in for. The whole movie was crazy, but I absolutely loved it. It was deep and impactful, and featured amazing actors and excellent cinematography. 

The story was developed through flashbacks to a disastrous Valentine’s night at a college where all the drama began. Soon enough, it becomes evident to viewers that the movie would be addressing the MeToo Movement. The show centered on a rape trial involving main characters Nanki, Vijay, and Tanu. Throughout most of the film, Nanki is dead set that Vijay didn’t rape Tanu. Even the viewers don’t know for sure. However, Nanki does figure out that Tanu was telling the truth with the help of investigator Danish. In the end, Nanki, Tanu, and Danish are able to reveal the truth in front of everyone.

Guilty did an excellent job at addressing the MeToo movement. However, it also addresses a variety of other issues including PTSD, the effects of sexual assault, the inequalities between the wealthy and the poor, and more.

Every 73 seconds, another American is raped. But how many are fighting for those people?

Overall, the movie was stellar and I think it has the potential to greatly transform entertainment. Many forms of entertainment, namely the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, have been sensationalizing not only rape, but also suicide. The media has tried to so perfectly craft these stories, which just isn’t how real life trauma works. Rape culture started to become more accepted. The ideas that ‘boys will be boys’ and that the rich should get away with sexual assault became more real.

Guilty also addresses the integrity of the victim reporting the assault. In the movie, Tanu reports the assault a significant amount of time later, but she does step up. Instead of believing her, Nanki, along with many people, don’t believe Tanu and call her a liar. The assumption that a large number of women falsely report rape is just flat out wrong. The rate at which the accuser is lying is 10%, according to Public Affairs Professor Callie Rennison from the University of Colorado Denver. This is the same as most other crimes. The movie emphasizes how in real life too many people don’t believe the accuser, and that has become a huge part of rape culture as well.

Rape culture is especially evident internationally, like in India where Guilty takes place.

The countries with the highest rate of sexual assault in the world are as follows.

  1. South Africa
  2. Botswana
  3. Lesotho
  4. Swaziland
  5. Bermuda
  6. Sweden
  7. Suriname
  8. Costa Rica
  9. Nicaragua
  10. Grenada

These are places that most Americans have never been to or experienced, which makes it harder to fight for. Everyone from the production company to the director of Guilty were Indian (except for the fact that the distributor was Netflix). These people had experienced the atmosphere of rape culture in India and were able to accurately portray it. This is where entertainment comes in. By showing the stories of people across the world fighting for their basic human rights, the media can further support the #MeToo movement. It will create more of an understanding as to what exactly is going on in the world.

Despite the sensationalization of rape culture in media, there have been times, like Guilty, where the performance all wrapped together providing for a quality viewing experience and an impactful message.

Moreover, another example would be the Netflix show Unbelievable, which is based on true events. It did an amazing job of portraying how investigators worked so hard to find the rapist who had carefully covered his steps. When portrayed accurately, rape culture can be addressed and it can persuade more people to support the MeToo movement.

The MeToo movement is alive and thriving, and Guilty makes sure of that.

Rape culture isn’t going anywhere yet, but neither is the MeToo movement.

The movement peaked about two years ago, but is coming back for policy change. The movement started the #MeTooVoter to push voters to elect leaders who would develop policy around sexual assault. Sexual harassment against workers has been increasing too and the MeToo movement is fueled and ready to combat it. The media has become a primary game-changer for the movement. This includes not just social media, but many tv shows and movies that have strived to spread awareness of the problem.

The entertainment industry needs to cover more social justice topics like these. However, it also needs to make sure it isn’t sensationalizing them.

Media has such a wide reach over so many people. By spreading awareness through these platforms, the movement will gain more traction than ever before.

Press Pop Culture

Best of The Tempest 2018: 9 Stories from Pop Culture

It’s been a peculiar year in the realm of entertainment. We’ve had such big, progressive victories and such big setbacks and anachronisms in terms of representation, transparency, and inclusivity. Many LGBTQ+ artists thrived, and 2018 was dubbed 20GAYTEEN by singer Hayley Kiyoko. It was the year of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, and yet big name studios are still out there producing films that are imbued with racism, sexism, homophobia, and fatphobia as well as often promoting rape and hate.

We’re still light years away from consuming the egalitarian entertainment we deserve. I knew that very well when I became Pop Culture Editor at The Tempest. I understood that I would have to look closely at many media products that would make me mad, which I would rather ignore and avoid at all costs, but I gladly accepted the challenge. I believe our mission is to shed light on everything that is going on, and that includes denouncing the many injustices that occur in the entertainment industry. We can’t possibly stay silent about the things we deem wrong, because silence is complicity.

But we also don’t like to only see the glass half empty, and we love to admit that there are many things to praise and to celebrate. Without further ado, I present to you 9 of my favorite Pop Culture stories we published in 2018, a mix of the good and the bad.

1. Why are blockbuster films pretending that lesbians and bisexuals don’t exist?

Why are blockbuster films pretending that lesbians and bisexuals don’t exist?

Despite the good representation that television and the music industry gifted us with this year, blockbusters are still actively promoting the erasure of female queerness as well as employing queer bait. This is a trend that needs to stay in 2018.

2. What time is it, Hollywood?

What time is it, Hollywood?

What about what happens behind the camera? This article explores some trends of the entertainment industry from the inside out, because actresses are not the only people we need to protect. Let’s say #TimesUp to all kinds of discrimination.

3. Dislikeable female characters aren’t inherently feminist – but that’s okay

Dislikeable female characters aren’t inherently feminist – but that’s okay

There is a big misconception in fiction and in critique: that a female character who dares be different and dislikable is automatically a great feminist heroine. She’s not, and that’s okay.

4. Why I’m boycotting J.K. Rowling and her “Fantastic Beasts”

Why I’m boycotting J.K. Rowling and her “Fantastic Beasts”

We are tired of people giving J.K. Rowling a free pass for everything just because she wrote a beautiful book series 20 years ago. For a while now, she has been twisting things to appear “woke” instead of honestly admitting that as the times progressed, she also wants to be more inclusive. There is no need to say that she was planning plot twists all along when in reality the implications of that make her way more problematic. Read why in this piece!

5. Bollywood item numbers are more dangerous than we think

Bollywood item numbers are more dangerous than we think

If you don’t know what an item number is, you need to read this piece. If you do know, you need to read this piece. It’s eye-opening and I will never look at a Bollywood film the same way again.

6. This director’s approach to diverse female characters completely changed my movie-watching experience

This director’s approach to diverse female characters completely changed my movie-watching experience

Contrary to what some haters will have you believe about feminists, we do celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of men, when they deserve it. This article is a clap on the back of an Oscar-winning director for an amazing film that contributed to making 2018 better.

7. Yes, The Bold Type is unrealistic… just not for the reasons you think

Yes, The Bold Type is unrealistic… just not for the reasons you think 

You may or may not know this show, which was a true revelation for its honest representation of working (and woke!) millennial women. However, the show has been accused of portraying a utopistic world of equality (but it really doesn’t, the protagonists deal with misogyny, racism and homophobia every day). This article cleverly responds to that claim, contextualizing it particularly within the journalism world (where the main characters spend most of their time) that we know too well.

8. Karma has finally come for Chris Brown, and we can thank women for that

Karma has finally come for Chris Brown, and we can thank women for that

Abusers deserve to be held accountable for their actions. After the tidal wave that was the #MeToo movement, it’s good to see that celebrities are still being taken down after abusive behavior.

9. My mind tells me to read, but my body is overwhelmed and overworked

My mind tells me to read, but my body is overwhelmed and overworked

A constant struggle in the transition to adulthood is that we are burdened with too many responsibilities and we have too little time to do the things we actually want to do out of sheer pleasure, like reading. It does not help that books have gained a very strong competitor for our time and attention, the “monster” that are streaming services.

We’re ready to kiss 2018 goodbye. In the hope that 2019 will be a more satisfying year for women, people of color, and all oppressed minorities, happy new year from the staff of The Tempest!

Movies Music Pop Culture

Female celebrities are always bashed for plastic surgery…but what about the men?

The long-awaited music video has finally been released. I was so stoked to see a new update from Katrina Kaif on her new song with Salman Khan, “Swag se Swagat,” a track from their upcoming movie Tiger Zinda Hai. Since the news about the sequel of my favorite movie came out, I’ve been waiting anxiously.

After a three-minute eargasm from listening to the song, I  read the comments to know what others thought about it. But what I saw was disappointing. There were a lot of praises for both stars, but a lot of the comments were negative. Especially the ones relating to the female protagonist.

“Her face is swollen… she totally lost her charms.”

“It’s all botox, she looks so fake now.”

“Too much fillers on her lips, it looks weird now.”

Just like other celebrities that have gone under the knife, Katrina Kaif receives the same backlash from her fans and haters alike. These people aren’t scared to express their opinion in her social media.

But there was one thing about it that really bugged me.

[bctt tweet=”This shows how biased we are towards celebrities when it comes to their looks and appearances.” username=”wearethetempest”]

She isn’t the only one with artificial beauty.

The male actor has also clearly undergone surgery to keep his youth. He reportedly has had a hair transplant and blepharoplasty (excess skin and bagginess under eyes removal) and to this day, there’s no sign of aging on his face.

But no one talked about him.

Nobody mentioned about his young appearance despite him being half a century old. There was barely any negative comments about his looks and most of the commenters praised him for being one of the greatest actors.

They focused on his immense talent in acting but didn’t do the same for the female star.

This shows how biased we are towards celebrities.

The proof is right before our eyes, just check the comments section under the online posts and videos uploaded by people to YouTube or social media. People are obsessed with comparing ‘before-and-after’ plastic surgery looks.

I doubt people would talk about Jared Leto for his Botox treatment, Ryan Gosling for his nose job, or Ryan Reynold for enhancing his chin and jawlines. But when the news about Priyanka Chopra surgically altering her nose and her skin lightening treatment were made public, everyone made a fuss over it.

And people seem to enjoy bashing Iggy Azalea and the Kardashians and Jenners for their ‘manufactured beauty’ while turning a blind eye to their male counterparts.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t just bash the women while the men get away with it.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never loved the whole notion of plastic surgery.

To me, it’s better to accept the fact that we can never be perfect in our appearance and embrace our natural looks. Most people, especially young girls, get the wrong idea of how ‘beautiful’ should be thanks to plastic surgery.

The idea of a ‘perfect’ body and face – tiny waist, lighter skin, and plumped lips – become the ideal. But the truth is, this kind of look rarely exists. At least not naturally.

[bctt tweet=”Most women celebrities always have it worse than men.” username=”wearethetempest”]

But if celebrities decide to alter their features, then who are we to question their decision?

They are mature enough to make their own choices. So I’m sure that good or bad, they are mature enough to live with the consequences of their decision. The only upsetting thing is our insensitivity and prejudice towards them.

Here’s the deal: if we’re going to talk about female celebrities and their surgical alterations, then be fair.

Don’t just bash the women while the men get away with it. Either that or don’t say anything at all and just enjoy their movies or music.

TV Shows Pop Culture

The absence of this main “Stranger Things” character goes deeper than a promo poster

Last week, while perusing Twitter, I came across a conversation regarding Stranger Things. Because I hadn’t yet started season 2, I almost scrolled through it in fear of catching a spoiler. Instead what I found was a conversation about racism in television and advertising. Specifically in regards to merchandise and promotional products.

The issue was that Target released a nationwide advertisement for the new Stranger Things Funko Pop dolls. Fun right? Wrong. Take a look at the poster and what do you see? Better question is, who do you not see?

Twitter user @mikewheeler calls it out specifically, stating “Miss Barb had 2 minutes of screentime and Lucas was in every episode??”

My sentiments exactly.

Where is  Caleb McLaughlin aka Lucas?!

Not only does Barb appear in the poster (who in my opinion is the worst character on the show), but so does the Demogorgon. THE DEMOGORGON, THE SEASON ONE VILLAN, IS FEATURED ON THE POSTER TOO!

Twitter and Stranger Things fans were not having it. Going down the comments thread on this tweet, you see fans asking the same questions.

At first glance,  it may seem like a very innocent mistake. But, putting together a huge promotional advertisement for a multi-million dollar company like Target, comes with multiple eyes of approval and seats at the table. At least a dozen people had to give an okay for this to be published.  And yet, no one saw an issue with one of the main characters not being prominently featured.

Target eventually made a statement that was pretty much a half-assed acknowledgement of the issue.

Instead of acknowledging the racial sentiment of the issue, they only say that a “character” was left out. Not just a character. But the ONLY black or person of color on the show, who is also a main character.

Seems a little too convenient.

This isn’t the first time this has happened in advertising for tv shows or movies. Similarly the promo poster for NBC’s drama The Night Shift, left out 1 of 2 of it’s black character’s, and its 1 gay character. Both are main characters. When asked why, the network claimed it was an issue with “fit”. They couldn’t fit everyone on the poster. The other black character played by JR Lemon barely makes it in. If you squint really hard you can see his body at the very edge of the right corner. That’s “representation”.

via deadline


Living in a white supremacist culture, white is seen as good, and black, not so much. In the eyes of their marketing team, sharing the black character is an after thought.  Something they can do with the click of a button, only after being called out on a national stage.

What further lends to the narrative that they purposefully left out Lucas’ character is the updated picture. Not only does Lucas perfectly fit into the poster, but it looks as if he had already been there, and a higher power chose to remove him.

When it comes to advertising and making space for black and brown people in the entertainment industry, there is still a long way to go. Throwing communities of color a token black or brown character in a otherwise completely white cast isn’t diversity and it isn’t progression. It’s cliche and obvious.

Do better.


Movies Pop Culture

7 hilarious moments as Margaret Cho writes a male character

The Bechdel test, the Mako Mori test, the sexy lamp test…all byproducts of an entertainment industry that could care less for their representation of women, unless it’s their target audience (ala the Chick Flick). In a new Funny or Die video, Margaret Cho parodies a-probably-real life scenario by imagining what Hollywood might look like if it were women making the decisions.

[bctt tweet=”The entertainment industry doesn’t care about women” username=”wearethetempest”]

The board is faced with a problem: “Fifty-two percent of our audience is male — or whatever,” Cho says, not really caring. “They want us to beef up Dan’s character,” she adds, then invites her team to think of a character improvement such as giving him “a little hobby.”

Trope #1: The Inappropriate Man-Child

 We’ve all encountered him, and somewhere in the back of our heads we all knew that he had to have a professional career at some point. How, we will never know.

Trope #2: The One That Thinks Women Aren’t Funny


I don’t know about you, but I literally spent a good portion of my life dedicated to watching female stand-up on YouTube. Like, that’s all I did all the time. At some point, I mean, I had to stumble into the comments to find John Doe pitching in his aggressive two cents. Try it right now, there’s probably like four comments per female comedienne that says women aren’t funny.

Trope #3: The More the Merrier


For some reason, the TV girl always has to have a friend that’s hotter and wilder than her. Cue the, “Hey! And bring your hot friend, won’t you?”

Trope #4: The Guy That Relies On PMS In Arguments


The next time a guy has a fight with me about, like, feminism or ethics in gaming journalism or whatever I’ll just pull a Dan. Clearly, he has blue balls and isn’t in the right frame of mind to argue.

Trope #5: Rape As A Convenient Plot Device


When you can say, “full Game of Thrones” and have it allude to senseless rape then you know you’ve got a problem with your show. I’m pretty sure if this board went through with it, they wouldn’t even call it rape to help keep it “funny”.

Trope #6: Girls Are Complicated


Honestly, you’d think men would start to realize that being a woman doesn’t make you especially crazy or mysterious. Is it that hard to write female characters? Women write male characters all the time. This is your “girls are weird” high school or college aged boy but grown.

Trope #7: A Woman’s Touch…Sorta.


They ask Barry for advice, and when he gives his honest opinion they “get it”…but not really. The women end up deciding that what Dan needs is a prop, like a pig that he’ll have to wrestle while shirtless and oiled up after pole dancing class.

They even go on to mention that Barry’s just a diversity hire, have him take their orders for lunch, and even tell him he should smile more. Sound like a familiar work environment?

BONUS: This board room is more diverse than any show they’ll be pitching.


One of the women is revealed to be in a wheelchair, there’s more races than just black/white, there’s no particular preference for size, and still none of them can write a decent male character despite their own diversity. Interesting…