‘Full Frontal’: Sasheer Zamata Gets ‘Bandersnatch’-ed Thanks to ‘Racist’ Technology (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Could “racist” technology make the black community’s future less “Black Panther” and more “African-American Mirror”?

Sasheer Zamata really hopes not, seeing as she got a taste of what her own “Bandersnatch”-style life would be like on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” — and she did not care for it.

On Wednesday’s episode of the TBS late-night series, Zamata spoke with experts about facial recognition, predicted policing, and credit decisions — tech they say can be biased because of algorithms that lead to discrimination against black people.

Also Read: Samantha Bee on Tucker Carlson Audio: ‘The Audition Tape That Got Him a Job Interview at Fox’ (Video)

“People make choices and our choices influence the future that we have,” one expert told Zamata, before a “Bandersnatch”-like choose-your-own-adventure menu popped up on the bottom of the screen, allowing a viewer to (not really) decide whether Sasheer should “eat cereal” or “stop discrimination against black people.”

Unfortunately, she was forced to enjoy a bowl of Fruit Loops instead of promoting civil rights.

By the end of the segment, however, things were looking brighter for the black community, as Sasheer’s future self traveled back to meet her present self and let her know things are pretty “Black Panther” in her timeline.

Well, except for the fact “Green Book 5” just won Best Picture, so they still have “a ways to go.”

Watch the video above.

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Samantha Bee Breaks Down List Of Dem White House Hopefuls On ‘Full Frontal’

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The list of Dem White House hopefuls now includes 14 officially declared candidates, two exploratory committees, and “one Jesus Christ just make up your f*cking mind already!” (aka Joe Biden), Samanatha Bee updated Full Frontal viewers.

Samantha Bee on Tucker Carlson Audio: ‘The Audition Tape That Got Him a Job Interview at Fox’ (Video)

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Samantha Bee offered her two cents on the Tucker Carlson imbroglio currently engulfing Fox News on Wednesday, saying that the host’s old disparaging remarks towards women and Iraqis is probably what got him his job at the network.

“That is vile and disgusting and presumably the audition tape that got him a job interview at Fox,” Bee said during the monologue of her TBS show “Full Frontal. “Tucker Carlson publicly advocated a genocide while promoting his MSNBC show?”

On set, Bee played several of the most damaging moments from the Carlson audio released by Media Matters this week.

“I love women, but they’re extremely primitive. They’re basic,” Carlson said in one moment during his collected appearances on Florida shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Lashes Out at Media Matters Chief Angelo Carusone Over Past ‘Racist Blog’

“If there were a Democrat to come out in the 2008 election and say, ‘you know what the problem is, it’s these lunatic Muslims who are behaving like animals and I am going to kill as many of them as I can if you’d elect me.’ I’d vote for you if you said that,” he added, during another moment on the show.

He also said Iraq was a place filled with “semi-literate primitive monkeys.”

Also Read: Samantha Bee: Reaction to My Ivanka Trump ‘Feckless C–‘ Segment Was ‘Beyond Overblown’

Bee has a personal bone to pick with Carlson. In May 2018, the host attacked her on air after the comedian called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c–.” Carlson said he was stunned by Bee’s use of the term and said it just wasn’t a word that should be in anyone’s vocabulary.

“That one word that [Bee] used. I don’t know any man who uses that word because it is kind of the one word that is actually degrading,” Carlson told radio host Tammy Bruce on his own show. “It’s the thing that feminists are always telling us. That word really is.”

Among the many things Carlson was quoted saying on Bubba’s show was a pointed jab at television host Alexis Stewart, who he called “c–ty.”

Bee later apologized for using the word  toward Ivanka. Tucker, however, has remained defiant. In a statement Sunday, he refused to concede wrongdoing and said anyone aggrieved should come on his show. Fox News has stood resolutely behind him throughout.

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Tucker Carlson Called Out Samantha Bee for Saying ‘Actually Degrading’ Word ‘C–t’ That He Also Used on Air

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Tucker Carlson, who refused to apologize on Sunday evening after old audio clips surfaced of the Fox News host making disparaging remarks about women and calling TV and radio personality Alexis Stewart “c–ty,” had a very different reaction to comedian Samantha Bee’s use of that word to describe first daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump.

During a May 31, 2018 airing of his “Tucker Carlson Tonight” program, Carlson called the word “actually degrading” and said he didn’t know of any man who would use such language. Carlson made the remarks during a monologue calling out Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—” on air on her weekly TBS show “Full Frontal.”

“That one word that [Bee] used. I don’t know any man who uses that word because it is kind of the one word that is actually degrading,” Carlson told radio host Tammy Bruce on his own show. “It’s the thing that feminists are always telling us. That word really is.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Calls CNN’s Brian Stelter a ‘Eunuch,’ Ana Navarro a ‘Ubiquitous Windbag’ (Video)

“It reduces us to a vile terminology, to a part of our body and to the ultimate debasement of who we are as women,” Bruce added. “This transcends politics and party and everything else. This is about a loathing and hate. They have no ideas.”

Bruce also slammed the broader “misogyny” which she said “lives on the left” and attacked women such as actress Sally Field for coming to Bee’s defense.

But during call-in radio segments on “Bubba the Love Sponge Show” between 2006 and 2011 unearthed by the liberal watchdog group Media Matter for America, Carlson made a series of degrading comments about statutory rape and women such as Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis.

“She seems extremely c–ty,” Carlson told Bubba about Alexis Stewart on air in 2006. “She just does seem a little c–ty.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Refuses to Apologize for ‘Naughty’ Past Comments About Statutory Rape, ‘C-ty’ Women

After saying that he heard Bubba producer Brent Hatley interview Alexis Stewart, Carlson added, “I heard her on with him and I just wanted to give her the spanking she so desperately needs. … She seems so high-maintenance, she seems like the kind of person you marry and then just the rest of your life is like hell.”

On Sunday evening, Carlson released a statement in which he conceded to using “naughty” language during past radio appearances but declined to apologize and said that anyone who was truly aggrieved by any of his positions was welcome to come on set.

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour,” Carlson said. “If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Calls BuzzFeed a ‘New York-Based Cat Blog’ – to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief’s Face

The audio, which Media Matters released Sunday evening, was taken during a period between 2006 and 2011 and documents Carlson’s long history of calling into the Florida radio show of shock jock Bubba The Love Sponge.

Media Matters has a long history of targeting Fox News hosts and personalities with damaging releases like the Carlson tapes and in the past has also led advertiser boycotts against the channel. In recent months Carlson has lost more than two dozen sponsors after he accused illegal immigrants of making the United States a “poorer” and “dirtier” country.

In multiple past statements, Fox News has vowed to continued to stand behind the embattled host.

Media Matters chief Angelo Carusone did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap about whether he would press for a new boycott against Carlson and Fox News.

Watch the video of Carlson’s old segment on Samantha Bee above.

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Samantha Bee’s ‘Full Frontal’ Sets 2nd ‘Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner’ Special (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee will do another “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” special again this spring, TBS announced on Monday.

The special will be taped Friday, April 26 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., and air on TBS on April 27, the same night as the real White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

“I vowed never to host a NWHCD ever again,” said Bee. “But the White House Correspondents’ Association has left me no choice–it is now up to comedy journalists to take care of real journalists. Even if those journalists insist on wearing corduroy.” The gala event will feature Bee’s signature comedy, celebrity guests, and better food than last time. The event will bring together journalists, members of the media, and all those who are committed to reaffirming the First Amendment.

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This year, the White House Correspondents’ Association will skip its usual comedy act in favor of historian Ron Chernow, who is expected to speak about the First Amendment. Last year’s performer, Michelle Wolf, got some major pushback from both sides of the political aisle for her routine, where she frequently took aim at Trump and his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Donald Trump has boycotted the annual dinner since he became President amid increasingly fraught relations with the national media, many members of which he routinely denigrates as pushing “fake news” and being “enemies of the people.” Presidents of both parties have attended for decades.

“Someone’s got to roast that motherf—-er and if they won’t do it, I will,” Bee said in an accompanying video, which you can watch above.

All proceeds for “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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Samantha Bee: Donald Trump’s Border Wall Is The New Fyre Festival

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Samantha Bee opened Full Frontal celebrating House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s smackdown of President Donald Trump over his SOTU address.
“Dude I know it’s driving you crazy that a woman turned you down, but this is a point in your life that you…

Samantha Bee’s Got Her Own ‘Masked Singer’ Spoof: Guess the Furloughed Government Worker! (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Samantha Bee just ripped off Fox’s “Masked Singer” format in an attempt to point out the absurdity of our ongoing federal government shutdown. It was much sadder than the original South Korean adaptation, though we suppose that was kind of the whole point.

“Full Frontal” correspondent Allana Harkin headed down to Washington D.C. to interview a bunch of real — but masked — furloughed federal employees. Much like the Fox version, we got hints on who was under each elaborate costume.

Also similar to the hit Fox competition, which revealed who Poodle was the same evening this skit aired on TBS, the fun is in the guessing their identities, we guess.

Also Read: Fox’s ‘The Masked Singer’ Reveals Fourth Celebrity Masked Singer: And the Poodle Is… (Video)

“My agency isn’t important unless you drink water or breathe air,” Bee’s Narwhalicorn said.

“My agency keeps you safe at national parks and keeps national parks safe from you,” Bumblebird teased.

“I am concerned that preparation for hurricane season is not being done and it will have an adverse effect on the American public,” Mister Ms. Lion said.

Also Read: ‘The Masked Singer’: Ken Jeong Is VERY Confident He Knows Who Bee Is (Exclusive Video)

Yes, these contestants represented the EPA, FEMA, the National Parks Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Homeland Security.

“We’re gonna die,” Harkin concluded.

Yes, definitely. Watch the video above.

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Watch Samantha Bee Renovate a House for an Immigration Nonprofit in ‘Love It or List It’ Parody (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Samantha Bee and “Full Frontal” donated a six-bedroom house to a nonprofit that works with detained immigrants on Wednesday as part of the TBS show’s “Christmas on I.C.E.” holiday special.

The segment, a parody of HGTV’s “Love It or List It,” saw Bee and her team renovate a six-bedroom house in Lumpkin, Georgia for El Refugio, a group which provides housing and visitation for a family of immigrants detained at a detention center nearby.

“We weren’t able to fix our Kafka-esque immigration system, but hopefully we did make one little tiny part of it slightly more bearable,” Bee says in the clip.

Also Read: ‘Full Frontal’: I.C.E. Agents Raid the Nativity Scene in Samantha Bee’s Holiday Special (Video)

The 19-bed house will also provide lodging for volunteer lawyers and interpreters from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative, which provides free legal representation to immigrants held at Stewart and four other detention centers in Georgia and Louisiana.

Watch the video above.

Go inside the #LumpOrLeave renovation of @elrefugioga‘s new house.
Move! That! Photo! pic.twitter.com/eQBfjJ5qPJ

— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) December 20, 2018

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Fear Not, Tucker Carlson: Activists’ Sponsor Boycotts in 2018 Have Mostly Fizzled

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has lost at least 20 advertisers over remarks last Thursday that immigration has made the United States “poorer and dirtier and more divided,” is just the latest target of a tactic that has come to define media in 2018: the coordinated sponsor boycott.

While the number of advertiser boycotts has escalated this year — with stars ranging from Carlson’s Fox News colleagues Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity to TBS’ Samantha Bee singled out by opponents — networks and sponsors alike have been able to ride out the wave of bad publicity without any lasting damage to either viewership or the bottom line.

“Overall, none this year were successful,” TheHill Media critic Joe Concha told TheWrap. “Employers stuck to their guns instead of being bullied by a social media mob with an agenda to get certain voices taken off the field permanently.”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Dropped by at Least 20 Advertisers Over Immigration Comments

That didn’t stop activists, watchdog groups and even one precocious teenager from taking aggressive swings at networks, on-air talent and others with public campaigns against the companies who financially support them. The move to pressure sponsors to effect change in media is nothing new — after all, it was an advertiser-led boycott, coupled with bad publicity from multiple accusations of sexual harassment, that helped drive Bill O’Reilly from Fox News last year.

Fox News, with its partisan firebrands perennially atop cable news ratings, received the brunt of the most serious sponsor boycotts this year. In addition to Carlson’s current imbroglio, there was one directed at Sean Hannity, stemming from a 2017 show in which he questioned the motives of women accusing Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. Another was launched by Parkland, Fla., mass-shooting survivor David Hogg against Laura Ingraham after she mocked the teenager on Twitter.

But as 2018 comes to a close, both primetime hosts remain on the air, with their ratings undiminished.

“The Ingraham Angle” actually saw its ratings improve after the boycott, with the six weeks after rising in both overall viewers and in the advertiser-coveted 25-54 year-old demographic. Ingraham netted an average of 2.656 million viewers nightly, with roughly 553,000 of those coming from the key demo. And they’ve held firm since, coming in at 2.7 million total viewers and 514,000 in the demo for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Also Read: Fox News Stands by Tucker Carlson Amid Advertisers’ Boycott: We Won’t Be ‘Censored’

Hannity meanwhile, still dominates his 9 p.m. ET time slot, on track to finish 2018 as the No. 1 program in cable news for the second consecutive year, improving 17 percent among total viewers (3.2 million) and 11 percent among adults 25-54 (640,000).

However, Fox News has taken a hit in booking ad time on its primetime shows, and Ingraham in particular continues to struggle to win back sponsors even as she has maintained her viewership.

“Laura Ingraham seems to have had a less favorable outcome and ad time in her show is still lighter than before the boycott,” Kantar Media’s chief research officer Jon Swallen told TheWrap,

Also Read: David Hogg Boycotts Against Vanguard and BlackRock Fall Flat So Far

Prior to the Hogg-led boycott in March, “The Ingraham Angle” had around 15 minutes of commercial time, according to data from Kantar Media. That number plummeted as advertisers including Bayer, Hulu, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual, and Wayfair fled the program, leaving it with between 6 and 7 minutes in the ensuing weeks.

Though Ingraham has recovered a bit, it’s still lower than the pre-boycott levels, clocking in just over nine minutes over the last four weeks, according to Kantar data.

The sponsor boycott against Hannity, on the other hand, has had only a “fleeting” effect, Swallen said. His show’s ad sales have returned to pre-boycott levels, he said, “If not to boycotting advertisers themselves, then to willing replacements.”

Also Read: Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Just Had Her Highest-Rated Month Ever

In a statement to TheWrap, Fox News ad sales president Marianne Gambelli vowed the network would never bow to “agenda-driven intimidation efforts” and vigorously defended Ingraham and her show.

“We are fully supportive of ‘The Ingraham Angle’ and are very comfortable with her commercial load. Laura is on track to finish 2018 as a top five rated program in cable news and has one of the most valuable and loyal audiences in the industry, which remains our number one objective,” she said. “We will not allow voices like hers to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts by the political operatives at Media Matters who continue to turn a blind eye to every television network but Fox News since it’s the only outlet that doesn’t subscribe to their extreme left-wing agenda.”

She added, “We expect [Ingraham’s] program to return to a regular load next cycle.”

Also Read: Migrant Caravan Coverage Plummeted After Midterms (Exclusive)

While Hogg and many others have targeted Fox News over the years, they have been aided by organized pressure groups who bring years of institutional knowledge to the fight. Media Matters for America has been pressuring advertisers to drop Fox News since its campaign against Glenn Beck’s breakout program in 2009.

MMFA chief Angelo Carusone was bullish about the prospects of future campaigns and insisted that boycotts have had a subtle but profound systemic effects within Fox News itself.

“We’ve seen faster responses by Fox, either with terminating people (like they did when a contributor called [Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey] Ford a ‘slut’) or by simply reacting to criticism and apologizing,” Carusone told TheWrap via direct message.

“Next year, the pressure will intensify,” he said. “Fox will either change and improve or they’ll start to face litigation from shareholders for incinerating cash in order to advance a political agenda.”

Also Read: Samantha Bee Launches Production Company, Signs First-Look Deal With TBS

In 2018, righteous indignation crossed the party lines as well, with conservatives taking a page out of the liberal playbook to go after TBS’ weekly satirical show “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” after its left-leaning host called First Daughter Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—” during an episode in May (she soon apologized for her “inappropriate and inexcusable” remark).

“If you’re a conservative who whines and complains every time leftists boycott and destroy conservatives but then you refuse to call for boycotts of leftists… you are the problem,” thundered Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra, who helped lead the charge against Bee. “Either fight fire with fire or quit complaining when one side plays to win and you don’t.”

Brands like Autotrader, State Farm and others dropped out as sponsors and for about two weeks, the show’s commercial airtime was mostly filled with promos for other Turner content. The campaign spooked TBS executives, who promised more oversight over the show.

But within three weeks, “Full Frontal” was back at its typical ad load, though at least one targeted sponsor, State Farm, State Farm told TheWrap it planned to remain off the program. Reps for TBS declined to comment.

On the ratings front, however, Bee’s choice of words had no material effect either way — save for a brief viewership bump in the weeks immediately after the firestorm. “Full Frontal” consistently draws between 800,000 and 900,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, including 897,000 for a Dec. 5 episode.

Also Read: CNN’s Zucker vs. Trump: How They Built Each Other Up and Want to Tear Each Other Down

Pressure campaigns have had more tangible success on the digital front, where Matt Rivitz’s two-year-old advocacy group Sleeping Giants has pursued a withering assault against companies who advertise on Steve Bannon’s former operation, Breitbart News. The campaign has employed armies of volunteers to take screenshots of on-page ads appearing on Breitbart and then alert corporate leadership — which is often unaware of where online-ad placement giants like Google and Facebook place their promotional spots.

Since the campaign began shining a light, literally thousands of companies have moved to disassociate their ads from the website. “Sleeping Giants was really started as a reaction to the inflammatory rhetoric aimed at women, minorities and immigrants on Breitbart which, it turns out, was being funded unknowingly by advertisers because of complicated internet advertising programs run by companies like Google and Facebook,” the campaign told TheWrap. “It has resulted in over 4,060 advertisers removing themselves from the site.”

It’s unclear the extent of the impact on Breitbart, thought the company did threaten Rivitz with legal action in October with a stern lawyer’s letter from the firm Clare Locke.

“Sleeping Giants is not a boycott. It is a harassment effort directed against businesses by a politically motivated organization of activists who have received a litigation warning letter from us for their illicit activities,” a Breitbart spokesperson told TheWrap “We intend to vigorously continue debunking and pursuing our claims against them in 2019.”

And more likely than not, advertisers will continue to feel the heat from advocacy groups.

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Samantha Bee’s ‘Full Frontal’ Donates House For Detained Immigrants To Nonprofit Org

Read on: Deadline.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is donating a six-bedroom house to El Refugio, an organization that works with detained immigrants and their families, as part of its I.C.E.-focused, ice skating holiday special Christmas on I.C.E.
El Refugio provides vis…

Samantha Bee Launches Documentary Production Company, Signs First-Look Deal With TBS

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Samantha Bee is launching her own production company and signed a first-look with TBS, the network that airs her late-night series, “Full Frontal.”

Bee’s company, Swimsuit Competition, will be focused on narrative and documentary content. They will be seeking great ideas from people flying under the radar, or whose work has been underestimated in the past. “The Rundown with Robin Thede” producer Kristen Everman, who also produced the “Full Frontal” special “Not the White House Correspondents Dinner,” will serve as head of development.

“Fine, if none of you are gonna make TV I want to watch, I’ll make it myself,” Bee said.

Also Read: ‘Full Frontal’: I.C.E. Agents Raid the Nativity Scene in Samantha Bee’s Holiday Special (Video)

Swimsuit Competition will initially focus on developing content for television, but could expand to other platforms. “If your senior superlative was ‘Most Unaware of His or Her Appeal,’ call us!” Everman said. “Or rather, email us, because honestly voicemails feel kind of rude.”

Bee’s deal echoes the pact that TBS made with its other late-night host, Conan O’Brien, whose Conaco production company is creating content for numerous Turner-owned platforms. This also isn’t the first time Bee will develop shows not named “Full Frontal,” having co-created the TBS half-hour comedy “The Detour” with her husband, Jason Jones.

Everman began her career in entertainment at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and also previously worked on “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “Come Here and Say That,” “Difficult People” and “Odd Mom Out.”

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Samantha Bee is throwing her sash into the competitive world of narrative and documentary television with the newly-formed production company Swimsuit Competition which, she wants to make very clear, is NOT a scholarship program.
TBS’s Emmy-winning lat…

‘Elliot the Littlest Reindeer’ Film Review: Horse Dreams of Christmas Glory in Muddled Cartoon

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

If Jennifer Westcott’s animated kids’ movie “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” was a Christmas gift, it’d be the toothbrush at the bottom of your stocking. It’s well-intentioned, and you might get some use out of it, but let’s just pray it’s not the highlight of your holiday season.

“Elliot” takes place in a world where everyone knows Santa Claus is real and the world has adjusted accordingly. “Reindeer trainer” is now a respectable occupation, more or less, and when Blitzen retires — to open his own juice bar — with only three days until Christmas, those trainers all scramble to the North Pole with their finest stock to compete in an emergency session of reindeer games.

Unfortunately for Elliot (voiced by Josh Hutcherson), a miniature horse with dreams of holiday glory, only reindeer are allowed to hoist Santa’s sleigh. So he steals away onto his trainer’s rocket sled (which people simply have, and which nobody questions) along with his goat friend Hazel (Samantha Bee). Together they dress him up like a reindeer and sneak their way into the competition.

Also Read: Screen Media Unwraps Animated Holiday Pic ‘Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer’ for November Release

On the surface, “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” is a very straightforward kids’ flick, complete with familiar storytelling beats like ditching your old friends as soon as you become popular, poop jokes and outdated pop-culture references. One of the horses is painted up like William Wallace from “Braveheart,” an R-rated movie from over 20 years ago, so the little kids in this film’s target demo are obviously going to love that one.

But the world that “Elliot” builds is bizarre and confusing, and audiences might have more fun overanalyzing the mythology than by following the actual plot. If you ever wondered why Santa only employs reindeer to drive his sleigh, “Elliot” answers the question, and the answer is institutionalized prejudice. Literally anyone can fly if they eat Santa’s magic cookies, and the reason why they don’t isn’t completely addressed. It’s just mean to horses, goats and any other animal who might theoretically want to have a go at it.

Also Read: Ryan Reynolds Mounts a Reindeer – and Fred Savage – for ‘Once Upon a Deadpool’ (Photo)

So you’d think reindeer, being in a position of great authority and respect, upon whom the Christmas holiday depends, would be treated rather well. Instead, the elves actively hate them, call them stupid and resent the fact that they can’t segue to a more reliable form of transport at the North Pole. Head elf Lemondrop (Martin Short) berates the reindeer to their faces, yelling that “Reindeer are unreliable, self-absorbed, egomaniacal quitters with nary a hint of social responsibility nor personal honor!”

One reindeer shouts back, “Not all reindeer, man,” which gives you some idea of how delicately all this subtext is handled.

The concept of treating Santa’s workshop as an exclusionary workspace goes at least as far back as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and it’s always made the most magical place on Earth look pretty gross. It’s tempting to give “Elliot” some credit for addressing these issues head-on, without losing all of the story’s obvious kid appeal, but the movie fails to come up with meaningful conclusions.

Also Read: Michelle Yeoh Joins Paul Feig’s Rom-Com ‘Last Christmas’

“Elliot” also tries, unsuccessfully, to create a meaningful parallel between performance-enhancing drugs (read: eating more magical cookies than you’re supposed to) and pretending to be something that you’re not. But of course, there’s a big difference between being judged on your ability alone, in a system specifically designed to exclude you, and cheating. (And come to think of it, if every reindeer has to eat those cookies in order to fly, then who cares if they eat more than one of them? The goal is to pull Santa’s sleigh from one place to another, not win the Super Bowl.)

Even the basic myths at the heart of “Elliot” lead to frustrating questions. In this world, literally everyone knows that animals can talk, ergo all of them are sentient beings, but only elves can understand them. And yet everyone eats them anyway, as we see in a subplot where a weird “Llama Jerky” entrepreneur wants to buy the petting zoo for the purpose of deliciousness. They even have translating software so humans can understand goats and reindeer. Why doesn’t everybody have that? I, for one, would love to talk to my cat and beg him to stop knocking glassware off the counter. Who wouldn’t?

Again, “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” begs the big questions because there’s not much else to think about. It’s competently, albeit unremarkably, animated. The voice-acting is efficient. The jokes are present, but not altogether funny. The plot is pabulum, and falls apart under any scrutiny. If you’re stuck watching “Elliot” with your kids, you might fall down a snowy rabbit hole of confused social commentary and contradictory narrative logic.

But if all you want is to distract your children while you wrap some Christmas presents, “Elliot” might just save the day.

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Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Add Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” to the list of shows that are doing a holiday special.

In what Bee called “a festive reminder that we’ve f—ed over thousands of immigrants and we still haven’t fixed it yet,” her TBS show will air a holiday special, “Christmas on I.C.E.,” on Dec. 19. Per TBS, the special is described as a “less-godless-than-the-usual-liberal Christmas variety spectacular with all the traditional trimmings: music, laughter, joy, deep rage that the administration is separating migrant families, and gingerbread.”

Bee will be joined at New York’s PlayStation Theater by special guests including skating superstar and Olympic medalist Adam Rippon. A portion of proceeds from both the special and merchandise sales will benefit KIND’s Family Separation Response Team.

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“Personally I don’t buy that Jesus was a Capricorn,” says Bee in a statement announcing the special. “But I still love Christmas and hope that my ice dancing brings the much-needed joy that this world needs — it’ll make this sprained ankle totally worth it.”

After all, as Bee says in a trailer for the special, which you can see above: “Christmas is a time for families… even those families that we’ve separated.”

You can learn more about the KIND initiative here.

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