Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Source: Variety

Dave Portnoy, founder of the well-known sports and pop culture blog, Barstool Sports, has been accused of sexual misconduct. In an article published by Insider on Thursday, two women, whose identities have been protected, allege that Portnoy sexually assaulted them in the summer of 2020.

One of the women, under the alias “Madison,” described her experience with Portnoy, stating that he began messaging her on Instagram when she was 20 and he was 43. Madison told Insider that when she met Portnoy in his Nantucket home, he filmed her during sexual acts without her consent.

From here, her description of Portnoy’s acts became more violent, with Madison even comparing her experience to “being raped.” She alleged that Portnoy ignored her pain and choked her until she couldn’t breathe. He also ignored her revocation of consent.

The second woman who told her story to Insider went under by name “Allison.” Due to Portnoy’s popularity, Allison wanted to be invited to Portnoy’s home for a party after graduating high school. She claims that Portnoy invited her alone to his home, which she rejected the first time as she was uncomfortable going alone. This did not deter Portnoy, as he invited her again weeks later.

After being nudged by friends, Allison went to Portnoy’s home, where they engaged in rough sexual activity that left her feeling scared and uncomfortable. Allison described that she “didn’t want to disappoint” Portnoy. Afterward, Portnoy kicked Allison out.

Just three nights later, Allison was admitted into the hospital for suicidal thoughts. Her mother contacted the police, but Allison was not comfortable pressing charges.

Portnoy wasted no time responding to these allegations, posting two Twitter videos on Thursday, denying that he is guilty of sexual misconduct. He stated that he feels the author of the Insider article, Julia Black, had a bias against him, calling the article a “hit piece.”

He claims that though he did meet Madison, everything that happened sexually was “100 percent consensual.” Though he did not deny having sex with Allison, he claims that he thought she was older than 21, due to her asking to meet at a bar. He also stated that though it was “awful” that she felt suicidal after their interaction, that she was “continually hitting [him] up to hang out.”

According to NBC, Barstool Sports posted a statement, stating that “This recent news does not involve any workplace behavior.” The company also stated that though they do not usually comment on the private lives of employees, that it will be monitoring this situation closely.

Though no police reports have been filed at this point, many have decided to side with the accusers, as Barstool Sports and Portnoy already have a negative reputation. On the other hand, some believe these allegations were made because of the negative reputation associated with Portnoy and his company. Likely, more will come to the surface regarding Portnoy now that these first allegations have been made. As new information comes in, there will be more substance for observers to decide their stance on the topic.


Garfield Is Getting A New Movie For Theaters, Mia Galuppo

Garfield is coming back to the silver screen courtesy of Alcon Entertainment which is helmed by Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. This film is set to be released worldwide with the notable exception of China by Sony pictures. The script was penned by David Reynolds the Oscar-nominated writer behind the Pixar classic Finding Nemo. The film is being directed by Mark Dindal who has previously directed the Disney film Chicken Little. These two creatives have also notably worked alongside each other in the past on the Disney film The Emperor’s New Groove.

Garfield is an orange tabby cat owned by John Arbuckle and who shares his home with a dog named Odie. Garfield is characterized as being lazy and mischievous. Garfield was created by Jim Davis and made his debut as a comic character in 41 newspapers in 1978. Since then the comic that bears his name has become the most widely syndicated comic in the world.

Alcon acquired the rights to the Garfield intellectual property from Jim Davis to make this project possible. Davis will serve as an executive producer alongside Bridget McMeel and Craig Sost. The film will be produced by John Cohen, Steven P. Wegner, Kosove, and Johnson. The Animation studio DNEG Animation who recently worked on the film Ron’s Gone Wrong will produce and animate this film.

The producers of this film will be DNEG CEO Namit Malhotra and president Tom Jacomb. Garfield has made his way onto the big screen twice before. The features in question are 2004’s “Garfield” and 2006’s “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” both of which are live-action animated hybrid films. These films were both, one, produced by 20th Century Fox and two, included Bill Murray as the voice of the titular cat.

Voicing Garfield this time around is Chris Pratt. Chris Pratt has become well known for his voice acting in recent years being prominently featured in the Lego Movie franchise, Pixar’s Onward, and the yet to be released Super Mario Bros. animated film from Nintendo and Universal.

This article interests me for four main reasons. For one, I’m very interested in the Animation studio DNGE. This because this will only be their second major project. As of now DNGE is most notable for having risen into the spotlight after the closure of the prolific American animation house Blue Sky Studios. Secondly, I’m interested to see how the film in question will go about expanding the Garfield brand. Garfield has had something of a renaissance in recently spawning an online horror based fan community and even being set to appear in the recently released fighting game Nickelodeon Allstars. Thirdly , this article interests me because I’m interested in the cultural ramifications of having Chris Pratt play 2 of the most well known characters of all time in Mario and Garfield. Lastly, It’s just mentioned in passing, but i’m very curious what aspect of this presumably family friendly film has made the creators decide not to release it in China.

Galuppo, Mia. “Chris Pratt to Voice Garfield in New Animated Feature (Exclusive).” The Hollywood Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Nov. 2021,

Did A Chinese Streaming Company Make A Knock Off Squid Game?, BCC NEWS

The Chinese streaming company Youku Has recently begun pushing promotional material for its new series “Squid Victory”. The promotional material in question is a poster that looks remarkably similar to the poster for Squid Game. Squid Victory is a variety show In which contestants compete in large-scale childrens’ games. Netizens were quick to chastise the “shameless” Youku for the obvious thievery of intellectual property at play. In response, Youku has issued an apology and alluded to the idea they will change the poster at the heart of this issue stating it is, in their words, just a “draft” poster. Regarding this issue The company also stated:

“Due to a work error, the first draft of the new Game’s Victory show – which was shot down before – was mistakenly used in promotional activities at a trade fair,”

This statement which was written on the Chinese Twitter equivalent “Weibo” was posted alongside a notably distinct poster design for their newly re-titled program “Game’s Victory”. These steps however have done little to quell online outrage.

“It sounds like such a lame cover-up. Obviously, they had tried to rip off Squid Game because of how popular it is,” another Weibo user posted.

 This debacle has brought up the fact that many Asian citizens are “fed up” with how often Chinese producers plagiarize Korean content. Netizens cite the similarities between the South Korean program “Show me the money” and the similar Chinese program “The Rap Of China” as being a particularly egregious example of this trend as well.

“Why can’t our producers come up with our own ideas? This is so embarrassing,” another poster on Weibo commented.

 This all comes as a result of Squid Game’s becoming a nationwide phenomenon in China despite its not officially being released there. As Netflix is not available in China the show has gained a following exclusively through illegal means such as torrenting sites. Youku being one of China’s most popular streaming platforms with between 90 and 100 million active users decided capitalizing on Squid Game’s situation was potentially very profitable. This controversy comes on the heels of a multitude of similar culturally-based arguments that China and Korea have taken part in in recent years. Last year for instance Korea accused China of “stealing culture” when the country stated it “led the kimchi industry”. This controversy was born of The language barrier between the two countries. In China, kimchi is called “pao cai” – this being the same name as a Chinese pickled dish. China was also criticised for stating that the Korean national dress handbook originated there.

To answer the question posed by the title of this article “no”. I’m writing this article because I firmly hold that opinion. I don’t think taking surface-level elements from a popular television program and incorporating them into a show of a completely different genre is as bad as it’s being made out to be. To be clear, I’m glad that the name “Squid Victory” and the poster that represents the centre of the controversy were changed because they were deliberately misleading. I would however like to call into question why the Chinese and Korean governments are bickering like children about cultural stuff?  Lastly, I beg the question, who cares if some Chinese body makes a rip off of a game show or of a drama that can’t legally be accessed in China? If said shows aren’t good enough to stand on their own merits won’t they just be cancelled anyway? Is mimicry not the greatest form of flattery?

NEWS, BBC. “Squid’s Victory? China Streaming Site Accused of Copying Squid Game.” BBC News, BBC, 21 Oct. 2021,

Taco Bell looks to Reinvent the Fast Food Drive-Thru with Test Location

image via

With mobile and contactless ordering becoming the new norm in 2020, Taco Bell is one chain that is looking to change its primary service method to the drive-thru. Many fast-food chains found having a sit-down dining room obsolete during the pandemic and the cost and labor to clean it became less profitable than having it was. With this, some new Taco Bell locations will include smaller dining rooms, kiosk-only locations, dual drive-thrus, and outdoor socializing areas.

However, the largest, most innovative changes to the traditional fast-food restaurant model are in the company’s upcoming test location in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The project, known as ‘Defy’, is in partnership with Minnesota-based design company, Vertical Works. The Defy joint collaboration between Taco Bell and Vertical works is a 3,000 sq ft, two-story restaurant set to be finished in summer 2022.

The structure takes an extremely non-traditional approach to the fast-food restaurant, as it has no dining room. This Taco Bell location will have four drive-thru lanes, where three are specifically for mobile and delivery pickup orders. These lanes will allow Taco Bell app users or third-party delivery drivers to skip the line to pick up their orders. These lanes will also have digital check-in screens so customers can sign in using their phone by scanning a custom displayed QR code. Using a proprietary lift system, the food will be lowered down from the kitchen above in a contactless manner.

Some users seem to be excited about the new ‘Defy’ location on Twitter, tweeting:

While others are critical about the further dehumanization of fast-food workers and lack of socialization, tweeting:

It is extremely interesting to see this new concept for fast food and we will see if other chains adopt a similar concept soon. This futuristic design reminds me somewhat of the movie Wall-E with how disconnected from human interaction it is. The implementation of technology and use of the mobile app ordering system is another interesting aspect and an innovative way to increase app downloads and usage for Taco Bell. The use of digital media has become so ingrained in our society that restaurants can exist that are almost exclusively mobile order only based.

Hiller, Kristen. “Taco Bell to Reinvent Drive-Thru Concept With Futuristic Restaurant in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota” 18, August 2021. ReBusiness Online,

Dominko, Mura. “5 Changes You’ll See at Taco Bell’s New Locations” 24 March 2021. Eat This, Not That!,

DC/Warner Brother’s Announcements at Fandome 2021

When Is DC FanDome 2021? - Push Square, Sammy Barker

Warner Brothers and DC Comics held their second annual “Fandome” event this past Saturday at which they revealed a number of trailers and sneak peeks of upcoming tv shows, movies, and games. The movie trailers shown include: The Batman, Black Adam and, The Flash. The movie sneak peeks included Aquaman 2 and Shazam 2. New tv shows that were announced include Peacemaker, Batman: Caped Crusader, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, and a yet to be named CW show about a girl who doesn’t know she has superpowers that stars Kaci Walfall. Shows that have been announced to have a new season coming include: Batwoman, The Flash, Superman & Lois, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Stargirl, Harley Quinn, Young Justice, Titans, and Doom Patrol. The games displayed at this event includes Suicide Squad: kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights.

The Batman trailer that was displayed is the second that has been put out for the upcoming film. This trailer notably showed off the inclusion of the characters Catwoman and The Riddler as well as Robert Pattinson’s take on the Caped Crusader. The Batman has been slated for a March 4th 2022 release. Dwayne Johnson was quoted as saying he was “born to play Black Adam,” before introducing that movie’s trailer. Said trailer also marks the on-screen debut of superhero group The Justice Society of America. Black Adam is set to hit theaters on July 29th 2022. The Flash movie trailer features a number of different versions of The Flash played by different actors as well as both Ben Affleck’s and Michael Keaton’s versions of Batman. The Flash is set to premiere on November 4th 2022. Only behind the scenes looks at Aquaman 2 and Shazam 2 were shown as the films aren’t far enough into production to warrant having trailers. John Cena’s Peacemaker character who debuted in last Summer’s Suicide Squad film’s HBO Max series was announced to be debuting on January 13th 2022. lastly, in video game news, Both Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Nights are AAA titles in the vein of the preexisting Batman series of video games. 

This article interests me for four key reasons. One, because I am a fan of a lot of the intellectual properties that are being represented in upcoming films and shows. Two, due in large part to the delays necessitated by the pandemic a part of me had long since accepted that DC up and stopped trying to compete with Marvel before seeing these announcements. Three, I’m particularly fond of Batman The Animated Series and this article notes that the upcoming Batman: Caped Crusader series is very reminiscent of it. And four, there seems to be a wide variety of different types of films and tv shows being produced. This is notable because my main issue with the DC films and tv shows of a few years ago is that most of them were sold on being “gritty” and “realistic” takes on the characters they were representing.

Barker, Sammy. “Live: Watch the DC Fandome 2021 Livestream Right Here.” Push Square, Push Square, 16 Oct. 2021,

Lyons, Kim, and Chaim Gartenberg. “The Biggest Announcements from DC FanDome.” The Verge, The Verge, 16 Oct. 2021,

Trouble With the Apple Card Leads to Trending Topic

Source: Apple Inc.

Apple unveiled their new iPhone 13 line on Friday, with pre-order sales opening at 8 a.m. that morning. For over an hour and a half after of the opening, customers were raising concerns about trouble ordering their new iPhone using the Apple Card, with many unable to purchase using their iPhone Upgrade Program.

Though users were able to purchase using other card payment options, this option takes away from some of the main benefits if getting an Apple Card, like 3% cash back and payment plans.

Users took to Twitter to express their frustrations about not being able to order an Apple product despite using an Apple service, eventually making “Apple Card” a trending topic on Twitter that day.

Some dealing with the issue expressed frustration.

Others, however, used humor to cope with the inconvenience.

Apple addressed the issue on their system status page, stating that “some Apple Card customers are not able to make iPhone Upgrade Program purchases.” The company updated the system status page at 12:36 p.m., claiming that the issue was resolved. The problem lasted for over four hours before Apple was able to address it.

Netflix’s One Piece Adaptation Has its Logo Revealed

Last Friday the NetflixGeeked Twitter account posted twice pertaining to the upcoming live-action adaptation of the One Piece property. The former of the two posts revealing the official logo of the series and the latter being a picture of the front page of the first episode’s script. The official logo’s post was captioned “no matter how hard or how impossible it is, never lose sight of your goal”, a quote attributed to the series’s protagonist Monkey D. Luffy. The logo itself is a slightly altered reimagining of the manga’s logo. The key difference in said logo being that, where Luffy’s silhouette is the “i” in the manga’s logo in this one he instead assumes his iconic stance in the nose cavity of the skull present. Meanwhile, the script reveals the first episode’s working title to be “Romance Dawn”; this being a name it shares with both the first chapter/story arc of the manga as well as One Piece author Eiichiro Oda’s previous one-shot project that later itself became One Piece. One Piece is significant for being the best selling manga of all time, running for nearly 25 years, and having an excess of 950 anime episodes based on it. With this context it becomes obvious why Netflix would want to approach Oda to create a live-action adaptation. This adaptation was announced in 2020 and little has come out about it since. Fans are nothing if not skeptical seeing as the history of manga to live-action adaptations has been disastrous. Train wrecks the likes of Dragon Ball Evolution, Netflix’s Death Note adaptation, and the live-action attempt at a Full Metal Alchemist film have left fans of manga feeling hopeless. The fact that Eiichiro Oda is on as an executive producer for this project, fans hope, signals that this time will be different.

This article interests me because I’m a big fan of the One Piece manga. One Piece being a surreal dystopian super power-driven sci-fi fantasy epic I’m excited to see how the crew behind it is going to spend the purported 9-10 million dollar per episode budget. One Piece has already enraptured the world’s populous to such an extent that despite being a single creator run series it has more circulating copies than there are for Batman comics. If this adaptation takes off and launches One Piece into the American mainstream it could have game-changing implications for the future of media comparable to what the first Iron Man film did back in 2008.

Bulten, Izak. “Netflix Unveils Logo for Its Upcoming One Piece Series.” Game Rant, 7 Sept. 2021,

Valentine, Evan. “One Piece Sales Might Have Just OVERTAKEN Batman at Last.” Anime,, 21 July 2021,

Tseros, Peter. “One Piece’s LIVE-ACTION Tv Show Will Cost a Lot of Money.” Anime,, 5 Sept. 2017,

GameStop Won’t Stop:The Stock Market Enigma with a Reddit Based Cult Following

Cohen, R. (2021, July 20). Pg-13 Twitter.
u/shadowman48ped. (2021, June 25). r/Superstonk – just a reminder for apes going into Monday after a crazy weekend. reddit.

The original “Meme Stock” GameStop (NYSE: GME) has been experiencing price fluctuations since early 2021 that have consistently baffled experts. Hot off the heels of having increased a slight excess of 30% in price on August 23rd 1.59 million dollars worth of GameStop calls were purchased in expectation for its price going even higher. GameStop’s price movement is attributed to the massive following the stock has gained as a short squeeze target on social media platforms such as Reddit. This attention has notably been welcomed by GameStop’s new Chairmen Ryan Cohen who has consistently tweeted out cryptic pictures, gifs, and videos that correlate with GameStop’s positive price progression, each of which has received hundreds to thousands of likes. As of late May, short-sellers had lost 6.7 billion dollars because of their betting against GameStop. Despite GameStop’s current apparent price ceiling at 300 dollars, it’s not unreasonable to assume that it could permanently blast past it before year’s end. Still, some are waiting for GameStop to plummet back to earth sighting the fact that they don’t believe the company’s stock price should be at 200 dollars given its negative per-share earnings profile. However, people with this stance have not done well historically and it is generally advised not to bet against GameStop right now.

I’ve been following what has come to be known as the “GameStop Saga” since mid-April through the multiple GameStop related subreddits including SuperStonk, DDintoGME, and GMEjungle. As of writing this the most prominent subreddit, Superstonk has 599,402 individual users a relatively small number of whom post “dd” or “due diligence” regarding progression to an event called the “Moass” or “Mother of All Short Squeezes”. During the Moass it is believed within these circles that the price of GameStop’s stock will rise to previously unthinkable highs driven by a myriad of factors that have yet to be acknowledged in the mainstream. The belief in the Moass has notably been spurred on by Ryan Cohen in his aforementioned cryptic tweets. These tweets being promptly decoded by the Reddit community immediately after their being posted. Linked below is a brief overview of the circumstances that are leading people to believe the Moass is inevitable. I have to note that none of this is financial advice.

September 1, 2021 David Moadel, et al. “It’s Time to Face the Truth — Gamestop Stock Is Unstoppable.” InvestorPlace, 1 Sept. 2021,

u/Doom_Douche. (2021, April 27). r/Superstonk – why the “dumb money” is still betting on GameStop. reddit.

Shake Shack is the light at the end of the tunnel

Following up my last blog post about public companies announcing they would not be returning funds meant for small businesses is an article from NPR which discusses how Shake Shack is returning a $10 million federal loan after the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was meant to help small businesses ran out of money in less than two weeks of operation. 

The company will “immediately return the entire $10 million PPP loan we received last week to the Small Business Association (SBA) so that those restaurants who need it most can get it now,” their CEO said. Shake Shack employs about 8,000 people at its restaurants across the United States, but only around 45 people in each location. While their revenue to date marks a decline from 2019,  the company has $104 million in cash and assets, says it has secured other loans to cover the money that would have come from the SBA. 

Shake Shack’s CEO criticized the PPP system for being confusing by limiting the funds and setting the program to run through June 30 – “it’s inexcusable to leave restaurants out because no one told them to get in line by the time the funding dried up”. 74% of the PPP were for less than $150,000, according to the SBA- but that represents only 17% of the total money disbursed through the program. Nearly 28% of the money was awarded to companies seeking loans of $2 million or more. 9% of all approved PPP funds were granted to the food service and accommodation industry, roughly $30.5 billion.

I wanted to write this article because Shake Shack clearly did the right thing by returning the funds, but the PPP system that has been set up is indeed confusing and something needs to be changed. Yes, I think Shake Shack made the right, and ethical choice, but I don’t commend them for it simply because it would have been the wrong thing to do had they kept the funds. As the article stated Shake Shack has $104 million in capital, and as their CEO essentially said, they can afford to pay for some things out of pocket rather than take $10 million away from the majority small businesses that really need them (the 74% that were granted for less than $150,000).

Facebook Just Invested 5.3 Billion Into An Indian Company–It’s Largest Investment To Date

Yesterday, Facebook made its largest single investment into Jio Platforms of India which was a huge bet on the developing company.

Because Facebook wants to appeal more to the Indian audience, they felt the investment was essential, especially since over the past four years, more than 388 million people in India have been connected to the internet.

Mark Zuckerberg spoke on this in a Facebook post saying,

The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation, and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online…With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses.

Jio Platforms itself is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries (which is one of India’s biggest multinational companies and a major provider of cellular and internet services in the country,) therefore, the investment proves to be something that will propel the company forward and will ultimately help the Indian people to stay connected through the internet.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic has created a very fragile time for large tech companies when it comes to moving forward with investments, Facebook felt that taking a risk with Jio Platforms was necessary during this time and wants to display perseverance during this difficult period.

With this deal, Facebook will incur a 9.9 percent stake in Jio Platforms, and the respective money from Facebook will help Reliance to reduce some of their debt and invest further into its network (which it needs to do after regulators delayed approval of a high-profile $15 billion deal to sell 25 percent of its energy business to the Saudis.)