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It Was a Big Week For Open Letters and Too Many Feelings

By Vivian Kane | Miscellaneous | November 6, 2016 |

By Vivian Kane | Miscellaneous | November 6, 2016 |

The open letter has been rising in recent years as the go-to medium for public thoughts, for everyone from we plebs with an axe to grind, to celebrities with media-savvy interns. This last week, though, has reached a fever pitch of public thoughts. A lot of feelings have been put out into the internet, and I highly recommend you click each link below. There’s a blurb and a highlight for each, but a lot of people had a lot of opinions you should read in full.

Mila Kunis, to the producer who said she’d “never work in this town again” when she refused to show him her boobs.

Mila Kunis wrote a piece last week on Medium about the producer who couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t pose topless on a magazine cover to promote a movie, and shot out the cliched “You’ll never work in this town again.” Um, I think he was wrong. She also mentions a producer with whom she was partnering to pitch a TV show through her own production company. The producer praised her qualities of being Ashton Kutcher’s wife and “baby momma.” She decided not to work with him. Here’s a highlight:

If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere. I am fortunate that I have reached a place that I can stop compromising and stand my ground, without fearing how I will put food on my table. I am also fortunate that I have the platform to talk about this experience in the hope of bringing one more voice to the conversation so that women in the workplace feel a little less alone and more able to push back for themselves. I will work in this town again, but I will not work with you.

The teenage girl who allegedly got sexts from Anthony Weiner has some words for James Comey.

In an open letter on Buzzfeed, the now 16-year-old girl who was (allegedly) sexted by Anthony Weiner has a message for FBI Director James Comey: “I now add you to the list of people who have victimized me.”

Whatever level of shitbag you think James Comey is (as of this weekend, most humans seem to think he’s a desperate famewhore in the pocket of Hillary, Trump, or plain old personal desperation), let’s please not forget that a child’s privacy was sacrificed in order to convince the world that Hillary did a lot of bad evil email things. Hillary’s emails were found missing because the FBI was investigating Anthony Weiner’s computer, including messages to a teenage girl. Just in case it went unnoticed, that girl is a human person, not a cog in Comey’s political scandal machine.

I thought your job as FBI Director was to protect me. I thought if I cooperated with your investigation, my identity as a minor would be kept secret. That is no longer the case. My family and I are barraged by reporters’ phone calls and emails. I have been even been blamed in a newspaper for causing Donald Trump to now be leading in some polls and costing Hillary the election.

Anthony Weiner is the abuser. Your letter helped that abuse to continue. How can I rebuild my life when you have made finding out my “story” the goal of every reporter? When I meet with my therapist next time, she will already know what we are going to talk about before I get there by reading Friday, October 28th, 2016’s New York Times article.

That letter is signed “Girl that lost her faith in America.”

Maureen Wittels, on losing her son Harris Wittels to heroin

Harris Wittels, the brilliant writer and comedian, and executive producer/animal control guy on Parks and Recreation passed away early last year after an overdose of heroin. His mother, Maureen, founded the Houston, Texas chapter of GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing), and has now written a piece for HuffPo, listing nine things she wishes she knew before, and steps she wishes the country would take to preventing similar deaths. A lot of them are, for sure, unpopular opinions, because they address addiction, not necessarily prevention. They are for people who have seen their loved ones go through the revolving door of rehab and simply want to prevent losing them entirely.

If people need to be on maintenance drugs for a lifetime, then so be it! It’s about treating the individual so that they may live and function as close to normal as possible. In some cases, it might just be about buying some time until they can figure it out. At some point they may finally have the desire to totally quit and get treatment without maintenance drugs. The stigma associated with addiction must be obliterated. People who struggle with addiction should be able to ask for help without feeling afraid or embarrassed. When they do ask for help, their loved ones must get involved and help them find the best method of treatment.

The Latino Review has some words for whatever mess is brewing over at Warner Bros.


Here’s a relatively light one before we get back to far too many feelings. Gearing up to the release of Wonder Woman, and taking its full partnership with DC into account, LRM is criticizing Warner Brothers for forsaking its long history of respecting and being driven by filmmakers.

They’ve got plenty of receipts they’re bringing out, but here’s a good highlight:

I know you’ve tried your best to put lipstick on a pig and to act like there isn’t some sort of behind-the-scenes mess brewing at your DC offices, but I just want you to know that it’s become painfully obvious to anyone that’s actually paying attention that something is up over there.

Now, I’m willing to cut you a little slack. You may just be going through growing pains. This DCEU business is very ambitious, and you probably thought you had everything under control when you initially put the direction of this enterprise on the shoulders of Zack Snyder (Though, based on his track record when you hired him, why you ever thought that is perplexing all on its own). Once you got a real dose of what he wanted to do with your cash cow franchise (i.e. when you saw early cuts of Batman v Superman), you realized, “Uh oh…”

Emily Doe wrote about the aftermath of her viral open letter to her attacker Brock Turner.

“It started with a simple sentence: ‘You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.’” That’s how the pseudonymous Emily Doe opens her letter in Glamour, where she’s just been named one of the magazine’s women of the year.

She talks about her shock at Turner’s summer vacation sentencing, the surreal experience of hearing your words read aloud in Congress and having Joe Biden call you a “warrior,” and the pain of being branded a cautionary tale.

If you think the answer is that women need to be more sober, more civil, more upright, that girls must be better at exercising fear, must wear more layers with eyes open wider, we will go nowhere. When Judge Aaron Persky mutes the word justice, when Brock Turner serves one month for every felony, we go nowhere. When we all make it a priority to avoid harming or violating another human being, and when we hold accountable those who do, when the campaign to recall this judge declares that survivors deserve better, then we are going somewhere.

So now to the one who said, I hope my daughter never ends up like her, I am learning to say, I hope you end up like me, meaning, I hope you end up like me strong. I hope you end up like me proud of who I’m becoming. I hope you don’t “end up,” I hope you keep going. And I hope you grow up knowing that the world will no longer stand for this. Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.

Robin Williams’ wife wrote about “the terrorist” that took over her late husband’s brain.

Finally, this one wasn’t actually from this week, but if you don’t subscribe to, I’m going to assume you might not have heard about this. I certainly hadn’t until this week. Susan Schneider Williams wrote a piece describing how Robin Williams suffered from “the little-known but deadly Lewy body disease (LBD.)” As she says, “Robin is and will always be a larger-than-life spirit who was inside the body of a normal man with a human brain. He just happened to be that 1 in 6 who is affected by brain disease.” It’s a personal letter, but also goes into the details of the disease as she saw them take over someone she loved.

In early May, the movie wrapped and he came home from Vancouver—like a 747 airplane coming in with no landing gear. I have since learned that people with LBD who are highly intelligent may appear to be okay for longer initially, but then, it is as though the dam suddenly breaks and they cannot hold it back anymore. In Robin’s case, on top of being a genius, he was a Julliard-trained actor. I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting. But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life.

Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it. Can you imagine the pain he felt as he experienced himself disintegrating? And not from something he would ever know the name of, or understand? Neither he, nor anyone could stop it—no amount of intelligence or love could hold it back.

Powerless and frozen, I stood in the darkness of not knowing what was happening to my husband. Was it a single source, a single terrorist, or was this a combo pack of disease raining down on him?

He kept saying, “I just want to reboot my brain.”