Tag: Thor

Felines Protest Idris Elba’s Lion Thriller ‘Beast’: ‘Stop Stereotyping Us Cats!’

LOS ANGELES — Marching in a broad circle outside the Universal Studios headquarters on Monday, a group of about 200 cats demanded “more cuddly representation” in television and film.

The felid contingent included house cats, pumas, bobcats, tigers, lions, leopards and even a few jaguars, each holding signs with messages like “Cats are more than claws!” and “Stop The Stereotyping!”

“What do we want?” a house cat shouted into a megaphone.

“Cuddlier representation!” the crowd of cats shouted.

“When do we want it!”

“After our nap!” they replied in unison.

Monday’s protest was prompted by Universal Studios’ 2022 thriller, Beast, but protest organizer Buddy the Cat said the felid group was protesting “decades of tropes and injustices committed against cats by Hollywood and TV.” Examples include the undead cat in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, the rampaging lion in Dutch horror-comedy film Prey (called Uncaged in the US), the many murderous felids in the CBS series Zoo, and Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell.

“We’re tired of always being cast as villains while dogs are the heroes. Take a cat like me, for instance,” Buddy told a reporter. “It’s easy to mistake me, with my razor sharp claws and ripped physique, for a threat to humans. But really I’m just a cuddly little guy who likes chin scratches.”


Linus, a 14-year-old Bengal tiger who starred as Richard Parker in the 2012 hit Life of Pi, said he was a young actor who didn’t know better when he agreed to portray the threatening antagonist.

“Now that I’m older and I have all this Frosted Flakes money coming in, I can be picky about the roles I accept and only choose movies I think will be Grrreat!” he told an interviewer. “But what about the next young tiger, or the jaguar fresh off the boat from the Amazon, who doesn’t have the power to tell the director a certain scene is offensive?”

Linus also took issue with the script, in which the writers have him refusing to share fish with Pi.

“Did you see the boat? It was filled with fish! What am I, some sort of glutton who’s gonna eat 200 pounds of fish while the human starves?” Linus asked, bewildered. “I mean, according to Hollywood we’re angry, dangerous, murderous criminals and we stuff our faces all the time. No wonder people are scared of us!”

Prey, also known as Uncaged, depicts an angry lion rampaging through Amsterdam and eating pretty much everyone.

Beast stars British actor Idris Elba and tells the story of a widowed medical doctor who takes his two daughters to South Africa, where they stay with a family friend and embark on a tour of the native wildlife.

Unbeknownst to them, an adult male lion is on a rampage after a team of poachers entered the reserve the previous night and slaughtered his entire pride. While Elba’s character, his two daughters and his friend (Sharlto Copley) explore the reserve, they discover the mutilated remains of an entire village’s population and eventually come face to face with the murderous lion.

“What’s all this barney, then?” Elba said when asked about the felid protest. “Well that’s unfortunate, innit, mate? I played a tiger in The Jungle Book, a proper tiger. I love cats.”

The actor, who rocketed to fame off the strength of his portrayals of Stringer Bell in American police drama The Wire, the title character in British detective thriller Luther, as well as major roles in franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Trek reboot movies and science fiction action-adventure Pacific Rim, said he’s taken the cat’s criticism to heart.

“Buddy’s a good bloke,” says Elba, pictured with his feline friend.

“Me and me mate Buddy, we like to grab a pint on the regular, d’ya know what I mean?” Elba said. “This tosh with the movies, it’s gotta stop. Me mate Buddy is a good bloke, innit? So if he says Hollywood has to have more positive portrayal of cats, then that’s what we’ll do.”

In addition to their negative portrayal in films, which felids likened to the offensive portrayal of Italian-Americans as mafia figures, many cats cried foul at the idea that one of their kind would harm the beloved South African actor Sharlto Copley.

“That’s a very offensive portrayal,” said Chonkmatic the Magnificent, King of All Cats. “Sharlto Copley is the guy who made District 9, about aliens who eat cat food. Everyone knows cats love District 9. We wouldn’t lay a claw on Sharlto!”


Cat Guys Get No Respect

Remember the study from this past summer that claimed single men with cats are perceived as “less masculine” and are less likely to score dates than their cat-less counterparts?

Now Match.com has some bad news for us as well, saying their internal data shows men who have cats are less attractive to women on the popular online dating platform. From the Wall Street Journal:

‘If you’re a heterosexual man looking for love this Valentine’s Day, here’s something you probably don’t want to do: include a cat in your online dating profile.

“Chicks don’t want a guy with a cat,” said Rachel DeAlto, chief dating expert for Match, an online service that promises to connect compatible romantic partners.’

The Match.com data mirrors the data from the earlier Colorado State University study, which showed women photos of men with and without cats. When the authors asked women whether they’d consider dating those men, the female participants said they were less likely to date the cat servants by a margin of about five percent. Match.com’s data says men with cats are five percent less likely to receive “likes” than men without cats.

“Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable,” said study authors Lori Kogan and Shelly Vosche, who titled their paper “Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing With Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability.”

cute cat smelling unrecognizable bearded man on windowsill at home
Photo by Yuliya kota on Pexels.com

That study was limited: The authors worked with about 700 female participants who were all between the ages of 18 and 24. At the time, we speculated that the anti-cat bias would probably be negligible among women in older age brackets, but there were worrying signs, including the idea that men who care for cats aren’t as manly as men who haven’t discovered the joys of hanging with a miniature tiger.

“Women prefer men with ‘good genes,’ often defined as more masculine traits,” they wrote. “Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.”

The results, they said, indicate “women are more likely to seek masculinity first, then consider other components of the potential mate.”

The findings were “influenced by” whether the women self-identified “as a dog or a cat person,” although it wasn’t clear just how much that impacted their responses.

Vosche and Kogan speculate “that American culture has distinguished ‘cat men’ as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for ‘dog men’ among most heterosexual women in the studied age group.”

That study also prompted us to write a fake news post headlined: “Study: Male Actors, Models Are 96% More Handsome When Pictured With Buddy,” alongside the “proof”: A photograph of actor Chris Hemsworth in a fat suit, sans Buddy, and a photo of Hemsworth playing Thor the god of thunder, pictured with Buddy and looking heroic. Haha!

Thor with Buddy
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth photographed WITH Buddy, illustrating a dramatic difference in perceived power, masculinity and handsomeness.

It’s worth pointing out the difference is in perception. There’s nothing to indicate men who care for cats don’t have “good genes” any more than there’s evidence that men without cats have supposedly superior genes. Rather, as the study authors note, the perception is reinforced by cultural biases, at least here in the US.

Likewise, both the Colorado State University study and the Match.com data are looking at first impressions based on photographs, which means women are evaluating the men in question based only on limited visual information, to the exclusion of everything else that factors into whether one person views another as attractive.

We don’t know if the same biases hold true in other situations. For example, how would women respond to men who are out and about walking their cats on harnesses? How would they respond to a man who casually mentions he’s got a cat back home?

The Match data also cuts both ways, to the detriment of women. While straight men with cats receive five percent fewer “likes” than other men, straight women with cats suffer an even larger perception penalty, receiving seven percent fewer “likes,” probably due to the “crazy cat lady” stereotype.

Some people think that makes perfect sense:

Screenshot_2021-02-12 The Wall Street Journal(1)

“[T]his goes for both men and women – having a cat often means you’re addicted to caffeine, on SSRI’s [sic], love to binge-watch netflix, zero libido, cry a lot, late night ben and jerry’s pint, etc.,” Mahbod Moghadam wrote in a Feb. 12 Facebook post in response to the WSJ story.

Mahbod Moghadam. I know that name. Where do I know that name from?

Oh, right. He’s the Rap Genius (Genius.com lyric site) co-founder who was thoroughly clowned by Sacha Baron Cohen on his Showtime series, Who Is America?

I say “clowned.” Esquire says “humiliated.” In reality, neither word captures Moghadam’s so-cringeworthy-it’s-hard-to-watch appearance on the show. Believing he’s there to be photographed and interviewed by an Italian fashion photographer named Gio Monaldo (Baron-Cohen in disguise), Moghadam is legendarily awful in the segment:

In the middle of the photoshoot, Gio compliments Moghadam repeatedly, calling him cool. He then asks he to “do something like a black guy.” Seemingly without missing a beat, Moghadam makes the Blood sign and mimes shooting a gun at the camera while saying “pop, pop.” Of course a lot of editing goes into Who Is America?‘s segments, but there’s really no excuse for that.

Much like with the Olympios interview, Cohen then persuaded Moghadam to pose with a green screen so he can photoshop the founder feeding starving children. In the middle of the shoot, Gio stops, convincing his muse that he needs to make his penis look bigger. Naturally the only solution to this is to stuff the arm of a babydoll down his pants. Moghadam never seems to protest any of this, not even when an intentionally racist Gio swaps out the white babydoll arm for an African-American one.

I’d link the footage, because there’s no way I can do justice to how awful it is, but miraculously it looks like it’s disappeared. Indeed, Moghadam comes off looking so bad in the segment that it looks like he’s gone to incredible lengths to get every clip of it removed from sites like Youtube and DailyMotion. If that guy is the kind of person who thinks men with cats are less masculine, then we’ve got nothing to worry about.

Screenshot_2021-02-13 Founder Of Rap Genius Mahbod Moghadam Skewered On ‘Who Is America’

Mahbod Moghadam
Mahbod Moghadam on ‘Who Is America?’

Study: Male Actors, Models Are 96% More Handsome With Buddy

NEW YORK — Male actors and models are viewed as 96 percent more handsome when pictured with Buddy the Cat, a new study reveals.

The study, conducted by a research team from the Buddy Institute for Handsomeness Studies, found actors like Ryan Gosling, George Clooney and Brad Pitt were scored much more favorably on attractiveness measures when photographed with Buddy.

“Take the Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, for example: Our studies found that Hemsworth pictured alone was rated favorable by only four percent of women,” the study’s authors wrote. “But in photographs where he’s lounging with Buddy, holding Buddy or flexing next to Buddy, women rated him off the scale in terms of looks, masculinity, power and assertiveness. The difference is remarkable.”

Fat Thor
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth photographed without Buddy.
Thor with Buddy
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth photographed WITH Buddy, illustrating a dramatic difference in perceived power, masculinity and handsomeness.

Comedian Bruce Vilanch, who is not generally considered a sex symbol by women, was described by the study’s female participants as “irresistibly sexy,” “uncompromisingly masculine” and “incredibly hot” when women viewed photographs of Vilanch posing with Buddy.

Bruce Vilanch
Bruce Vilanch rated higher than George Clooney on universal scores of attractiveness when photographed with Buddy the Cat, the study found.

“This phenomenon may be one reason why so many men on dating apps choose to display photographs of themselves posing with tigers and other ferocious, regal beasts,” the study concluded. “There’s nothing like a powerful feline to get pulses racing.”

Researchers at the revered and ultra-credible Buddy Institute for Handsomeness Studies — which is considered one of the greatest international research institutions — said they were prompted to study the effect of Buddy’s presence after a fake news study claimed men are viewed as less desirable by women when they’re pictured with cats.