The daily gossip: Bette Midler faces backlash after slamming trans-inclusive language, James Cameron fires back at Avatar trolls, and more

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Bette Midler
(Image credit: Lars Niki/Getty Images )

1. Bette Midler faces backlash after slamming trans-inclusive language

Who knew Bette Midler's first name was short for "better not tweet that"? The Hocus Pocus star is facing backlash over a J.K. Rowling-style tweet on the Fourth of July complaining that trans-inclusive language is erasing women. "They don't call us 'women' anymore; they call us 'birthing people' or 'menstruators', and even 'people with vaginas"!" she tweeted. "Don't let them erase you!" Midler was quickly met with tons of criticism, with author Roxane Gay replying that "no one is trying to erase women with inclusive language about people who need abortion care" and some fans suddenly questioning just how excited they are for Hocus Pocus 2 — though Rowling, naturally, backed Midler up with a retweet. Meanwhile, Macy Gray faced similar backlash after telling Piers Morgan that "just because you go change your parts doesn't make you a woman." By Tuesday afternoon, Gray claimed her statement, which was slammed as transphobic, had somehow been "GROSSLY misunderstood."


2. James Cameron fires back at trolls who say 'nobody gives a s--t' about 'Avatar'

James Cameron has heard your observations that nobody cares about Avatar anymore, but he suspects you'll soon "shut the f--k up." Speaking with Empire, the director responded to "the trolls" who claim that "nobody gives a s--t" about his 2009 blockbuster and who loudly proclaim that "they can't remember the characters' names or one damn thing that happened in the movie." Well, Cameron said he's "not worried" about this ahead of his many upcoming Avatar sequels, insisting that when people rewatch the original, they inevitably say, "Oh, okay, excuse me, let me just shut the f--k up right now." Cameron also preemptively slammed anyone "whining" that Avatar: The Way of Water is too long just because it's roughly three hours. "Here's the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it's okay to get up and go pee," he said. Now that's one way to advertise a sequel: feel free to take a pee break, folks, you won't miss anything!

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3. David Harbour asked Ryan Reynolds for advice on being in a huge bomb

Being the go-to celebrity people ask for advice on failure must feel great, right? In a GQ profile, David Harbour reflected on his 2019 Hellboy reboot being a critical and commercial bomb, revealing he called someone who knows how that feels: Ryan Reynolds. Years before Deadpool, Reynolds starred in 2011's Green Lantern, a major flop. So the day Hellboy opened, Harbour told GQ, "I called him and I was like, Hey man, I just need to know something. You know Green Lantern? Huge flop for you. What the f--k is that like, because I think I'm going to hit that right now. Am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna survive this?" Harbour says Reynolds was "sweet" about it, though he didn't specify what advice he offered. But based on Reynolds' relentless self-mockery in the Deadpool films, we're gonna assume it was something like, "Turn making fun of yourself about this into your entire identity."

GQ Vulture

4. Quentin Tarantino welcomes his 2nd child

Director, author, and soon-to-be podcast host Quentin Tarantino is a dad once again. The Pulp Fiction filmmaker has welcomed his second child, a baby girl, with wife Daniella Pick. "Daniella gave birth to their baby girl on July 2, 2022, a little sister to Leo, their first child," they confirmed to People, though they didn't reveal their daughter's name. Tarantino and Pick previously welcomed Leo in February 2020. "He's just the most charming human being I've ever met in my life," Tarantino previously told CBS Sunday Morning. To be clear, he has noted Leo wasn't named after Leonardo DiCaprio, who he directed in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but instead after Pick's grandfather and the fact that he's "our little lion" — though if he has another son and names him Brad, we might start getting a little suspicious.


5. First 'Thor: Love and Thunder' reviews are surprisingly mixed

Is the latest Thor adventure worthy? Maybe not as much as fans hoped, according to critics. The first reviews for Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder are pouring in, and it's proving more divisive than expected. The film currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 72 percent, meaning a majority of critics recommend it. But that's still a step down from Thor: Ragnarok's 93 percent rating, and Rotten Tomatoes scores tend to only decline over time. A common complaint is that Love and Thunder goes a bit too heavy on the comedy, which doesn't balance well with the surprisingly weighty subject matter involving Natalie Portman's character, and Thrillist said that the "constant dribble of jokes and jabs undercuts any attempt at plotting an emotional arc." We'll see if fans agree, but let's just say the chances of Waititi's Star Wars movie actually happening just got slightly shakier.

Rotten Tomatoes

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