I like Fox’s “9-1-1.” A lot. No, it’s not “Masterpiece Theatre” and the writing is sometimes sort of dopey, but it’s entertaining and the cast is likable. But something tells me they’re going to have to be REALLY good actors now that Ryan Guzman got REALLY stupid on social media.
Guzman’s fans found old tweets his fiancee, Brazilian actress/model Chrysti Ane, posted in 2011 that included the N-word. She apologized, but not without offering excuses — she was 16; she was dating an African American; she had “tons of black friends.” Not a great apology, but an apology.
Guzman (who plays Eddie Diaz) should’ve left it alone. But he came to his fiancee’s defense, posting an Instagram video in which he proclaimed that he and his multiethnic friends “call each other [racial] slurs all the time” and insisting it was no big deal.
Two of his co-stars called him out on that. Oliver Stark (Evan “Buck” Buckley) tweeted that there is “absolutely no excuse” for using the N-word, and Aisha Hinds (Henrietta “Hen” Wilson) tweeted that she felt “GRIEF. There’s sadly no version of this indefensible discourse that doesn’t exacerbate that grief.”
Well, the cast reunion will be awkward when the show eventually goes back into production.
Guzman apologized, but threw others under the bus in the process. He questioned why he was being criticized when “Cardi B, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Fat Joe, all them Latinos have been using [the N-word] for years upon years and getting passes.”
A day later — perhaps after hearing from “9-1-1” producers or Fox executives? — he apologized again in an Instagram video. “I do not condone the use of the N-word by any nonblack person. That includes all Latinos.” And, he said, he “misspoke” when he said he and his friends tossed slurs at each other; he really meant to say stereotypes.
Uh-huh. It’s reminiscent of the 2007 incident when “Grey’s Anatomy” co-star Isaiah Washington used a gay slur to refer to a fellow cast member — and Washington got fired from that show.
I like Guzman’s character, but “9-1-1” would survive without him, if it comes to that.
“BACHELOR” OVERDOSE • I get that TV programmers are struggling, what with most production shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. So it’s not even a little surprising that ABC would air some sort of “Bachelor” repeats in place of “The Bachelorette,” which has suspended production.
But I’m not altogether convinced there’s much entertainment value in old seasons of the show when everybody who cares already knows what happened.
The title of the repeats is predictably over-the-top: “The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!” And the three-hour episodes will condense full seasons down to one night of viewing, beginning Monday at 7 p.m. on ABC/Ch. 4. Three hours!
I think there’s a room in hell where they make you watch three hours of old “Bachelor” seasons.
REPAIRING “THE SIMPSONS” • When Disney+ launched in November and became the streaming home of “The Simpsons,” most of the episodes were streaming in the wrong aspect ratio. Which was a problem.
When it premiered in 1989, “Simpsons” episodes were in 4:3, which is pretty much square, like TVs of the time. That didn’t change until the middle of Season 20, 430 episodes later, when the show switched to 16:9. But Disney+ cropped the “square” episodes to fit wide screens — cutting off the top and/or bottom of every frame. And, given all the sight gags in “The Simpsons,” cropping out a lot of the funny.
The folks at Disney+ should have said, “We’re working to fix the problem.” Instead, they issued a statement that all episodes were in 16:9 “in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons.” Which was really dumb.
They corrected that by saying they were — you guessed it! — working to fix the problem. It took a while (there’s a big, long, boring technical explanation) but subscribers can now toggle between 16:9 and 4:3 on all the episodes that were originally telecast in 4:3.
Ummm ... why would you want to watch 4:3 episodes in 16:9? You’ll miss a big chunk of the show.
Anyway, given that Disney took heat for this, it’s worth pointing out that in this instance, the giant media company listened to complaints, solved the problem and served its subscribers. Way to go!
WHAT TO WATCH • Salt Laker Tan France and rest of the Fab Five return with a new season of “Queer Eye” that starts streaming Friday on Netflix. This time, they’re in Philadelphia.
• At one point, “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” (Friday, 9 p.m., VH1) was supposed to air on Showtime, but it’s staying on VH1.
• Filmmaker Bao Nguyen’s “Be Water” — a biography of Bruce Lee that premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival — comes to TV (Sunday, 7 p.m., ESPN).
• And if you’re looking for something to stream on Netflix, much to my surprise I really liked “Sweet Magnolias,” which premiered a couple of weeks ago. It’s a big ol’ soap opera about female friends in a small town in the South — based on the book “Stealing Home” by Sherryl Woods. It could’ve aired on a broadcast network, and it’s easy to get caught up in the characters’ lives. One warning: The 10-episodes end on a cliffhanger, and Netflix has yet to renew it for Season 2. There are, however, 10 more books in the series, if you’re interested.