Kink, Cops And Corporations At Pride? Plus 'Plan B' And Natalie Morales : It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders When Pride comes around every June, the same arguments start up again— should there be kink, cops and corporations at Pride? And who is Pride for? Sam talks to writer and author Roxane Gay about why the queer community has the same conversations year after year and what they mean for what Pride is today. Plus, actress and filmmaker Natalie Morales on directing the new teen buddy comedy, "Plan B."

Kink, Cops And Corporations At Pride? Plus, Natalie Morales On 'Plan B'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1002851486/1003457028" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

AUNT BETTY, BYLINE: Hey, y'all. This is Sam's Aunt Betty. This week - cops, kink and Pride. All right, let's start the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAM SANDERS, HOST:

Hey, y'all. From NPR, you are listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE. I'm Sam Sanders. And this is our first new episode of the show in June. And June is Pride Month, so happy Pride. We're going to talk about Pride in the first segment of the show this weekend. You know, Pride's going to be different this year, like it was last year, because of the pandemic. But as always, there are already so many debates about how to do Pride right. So this year, Pride organizers in New York City, they announced a ban on uniformed police officers and correction officers marching in groups at NYC Pride. And they want to keep this ban in place through 2025. And New York is just one of several cities that's been pushing for a while for a smaller police presence at Pride. You know, this decision to keep police officers out of Pride, it has been controversial.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: A few weeks ago, The New York Times editorial board, they issued this op-ed that called NYC Pride's decision to limit police a, quote, "misstep." And in this piece, it quotes this queer police officer who said that not allowing her to wear her uniform at Pride, it was like putting her back in the closet.

ROXANE GAY: No one's being put back in the closet because to be a police officer is not a marginalized identity. And I don't think police have any place at Pride.

SANDERS: That is writer and commentator Roxane Gay. She ended up writing her own essay in the Times with an entirely opposite take. Roxane says that she found the editorial board's piece while she was researching her own piece.

GAY: I don't know that I expected to see it, but I wasn't surprised to see it because I find that the editorial board tends to skew centrist. And the centrism is such that it's going to try to appease all sides.

SANDERS: Anyway, Roxane Gay is going to talk about not just that debate - overpoliced at Pride - but also why everywhere it seems right now there are these big public fights over who Pride is for, what Pride means and who is really in charge of Pride. To me, it seems that these questions rarely get fully answered. But for the next few minutes, we will try.

GAY: My argument was simply that we have to do something to just say no, no cops, no cops at Pride. That said, if you're a cop, if that's your life choice and you want to march at Pride, you're welcome to do so out of uniform.

SANDERS: Yeah. I hear you. I hear you. I hear you. You know, it's impossible to have this conversation without talking about the history of Pride itself. And I know for some listeners, they know this history very well. But for those who might not, I think it's important to remind them that the first Pride march was to mark the anniversary of a rebellion and a riot that was a resistance to police brutality against queer people.

(SOUNDBITE OF RIOT)

SANDERS: And when you know that history, it makes the presence of police at Pride, period, symbolize a lot more, right?

GAY: Yeah, it does. It symbolizes sort of an endorsement of police and a welcoming. And police are not welcome, until they get themselves together and can police without brutality, until they can reform themselves, which frankly, they can't. So until they abolish themselves, they're not welcome at Pride. And I don't think that's an unreasonable line to take, given everything that they have done to us.

SANDERS: I mean, since the start of queer people, there has been a response from the states and from police to queerness.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: During the year 1964, we arrested 3,000 homosexuals. And I'm opposed, as a matter of principle, to making anything which is improper or immoral conspicuous.

SANDERS: Criminalizing queer sexual behavior, overpatrolling queer spaces - you know, the folks at Stonewall were antagonized by police for a while before they pushed back and had that first riot. But I think a lot of folks might say Pride has morphed into something very different since then. And the relationship between a lot of queer people and the police has become different as well. You know, Pride for me, when I go now, it's full of corporate sponsors. It's full of straight parents bringing their kids. It feels a lot more like a block party or a parade in many cities - no longer an uprising or a riot. Does a change in experience of Pride itself also maybe change who gets to be included? Because it's different now. You know what I'm saying?

GAY: Yes and no. I mean, clearly, Pride has become something of a mass cultural celebration. And frankly, I'm ambivalent about that.

SANDERS: Tell me more.

GAY: I think that sometimes we yearn for mainstream approval too much. And this sort of everyone's welcome at Pride dilutes what Pride was about and who Pride is for. And we see it in a lot of the ancillary discussions about who belongs at Pride, especially when it comes to suggesting that people in kinky communities should tone it down for Pride.

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: I love kids.

SANDERS: Same.

GAY: And I think it's wonderful that children attend Pride.

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: And I also think it's wonderful that our children appear at Pride so that they know, like, this is who we are. This is our community. You are never going to be alone. And if straight people want to come with their families, that's fine. But sometimes, it has the feel that they don't even understand what they're celebrating. They just want to be at something that's bright and colorful and exuberant.

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: So I question that.

SANDERS: I also find that when we get into these arguments about, like, what should the kids that come see or not see, it feels as if it is giving the power of decision-making about what is acceptable or not to people who Pride wasn't even originally for.

GAY: I mean, that's exactly the problem. I mean, it seems like straight people and corporations have taken over Pride. You know, like, people now say happy Pride, which on the one hand, I am thrilled that Pride has become so embedded in our culture that it is now...

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: ...Like an actual sort of month-long holiday. That's incredible. But I don't need to see Budweiser cans, you know, like, that are colored like the rainbow and things like that.

SANDERS: Can I say, though, Roxane, I will always take the free vodka. I always will (laughter).

GAY: I mean, who wouldn't? I mean, there's nothing wrong with that. There is no shame in that free vodka, all right? Like, if we get swag as a side effect of having to deal with homophobia, then so be it. I'm fine with that. But I think that we can certainly admit that Pride has become incredibly corporatized and has become incredibly interested in heterosexual approval. And that's getting us so far away from where we began.

SANDERS: Well, and, like, this seems to be the existential debate about the gay rights, the queer rights movement. Is it about us doing us whatever those other folks do, or is it about us becoming palatable to the mainstream?

GAY: Right.

SANDERS: I do want to go back to kink, though, because on top of this debate about whether police should be allowed at Pride or not, there's also a debate online about whether kinksters and leather folks should be allowed at Pride. And that - for me, that seems like an even easier question to answer, and the answer is, well, of course, because they've always been there. But I want you to kind of talk about your thoughts on this debate and why it seems to be really hot as well this year.

GAY: I think because Pride is becoming more mainstream and people are recognizing that we're gaining mass cultural sanction, nobody wants to threaten that. We don't want to threaten sort of the approval that we're currently getting. And so now a lot of queers are like, we are going to be on our best behavior by any means necessary.

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: And...

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: ...It's sad. It is sad.

SANDERS: It's tiring. It's tiring as well.

GAY: Yeah, exactly. It's tiring. And the idea that we should remove the sex from our sexuality is offensive. It's almost like - a lot of times, when women talk about birth control, they're like, oh, I'm on birth control to regulate my period. I'm like, girl, I'm on birth control 'cause I like to have sex myself.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Yeah.

GAY: I mean, I'm not speaking for myself. My birth control is flawless, and it's called being a lesbian - or I guess bisexual. I'm married to a woman. And it works every time.

SANDERS: (Laughter) I love it.

GAY: I swear. But...

SANDERS: Yeah, I hear you.

GAY: My wife has yet to get me pregnant, though we've tried. Anyway, you know, I think we see a similar thing happening in the gay community where - like, it's the "Will & Grace" effect, where we're sort of cute and charming and harmless, but we don't actually have sex. And that's not true.

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: For most of us.

SANDERS: And it's also not historical because all of this...

GAY: No.

SANDERS: ...Stonewall itself, the start of Pride itself - all of these things happened because homosexual activity was criminalized. And so if you're now saying that at Pride, kink and leather and queer sexuality should be monitored or tamped down, you're almost reinforcing the same kind of policing of our sexuality that was the root of the original riot.

GAY: Yes.

SANDERS: I don't know. It just feels like when there's this - the word normal tossed around a lot with these conversations about how much kink should be at Pride, you realize normal would never fit us in even if we faked it. You know, you realize the idea of a nuclear family itself didn't have space for us ever from the start. And this idea that we need to now look better to the nuclear family, to the normals - it's like, we can never do that. And, like, they know it as well.

GAY: Yeah.

SANDERS: And yet we do this song and dance around it. I don't know.

GAY: You're right. We do some - this song and dance around it. And it's so frustrating. It's so exhausting. And it's so unnecessary because it doesn't matter how well we dance. It's never, ever going to be something that people - like, people who are determined to hate us are determined to hate us.

SANDERS: Yeah.

GAY: And there's nothing we can do about that. And I think it's so important to recognize that so that we save ourselves some heartache and some frustration and some pain. You know, like, let's just - let's save ourselves.

SANDERS: How political - like, capital P - do you think Pride is for most people today?

GAY: I don't think it's that political for most people in the same way that Christmas isn't that religious for most people.

SANDERS: Yeah. (Laughter) Yeah. How do you feel about that?

GAY: You know, it's disappointing in a sense, but in some ways, look how far we've come that we have an entire generation of queers that don't know why we celebrate Pride. But I also think that it's upon us as - well, I speak for myself as an older person in the community - that we remind the youngins. Like, they don't know what they don't know. That's why it's important to teach our history.

SANDERS: I'm thinking about the activist Sylvia Rivera, who was booed in 1973 when she chastised the crowd at Pride for not helping trans people and queer people who were in jail or prison. And she said, you tell me to go and hide my tail between my legs. I will not put up with this S. I have been beaten. I have had my nose broken. I have been thrown into jail. I have lost my job.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SYLVIA RIVERA: I have had my nose broken. I have been thrown in jail. I have lost my job. I have lost my apartment for gay liberation, and you all treat me this way? Think about that.

(APPLAUSE)

RIVERA: I do not believe in a revolution, but you all do. I believe in the gay power. I believe in us getting our rights, or else I would not be out there fighting for our rights. That's all I wanted to say to you people.

SANDERS: And it's like, you know what? Pride is for her.

GAY: Yes.

SANDERS: And until we find some place on which those voices are the loudest - and in these conversations, I don't think we're there yet. Anyhoo, on that note, it's an honor to have talked with you.

GAY: Likewise.

SANDERS: I appreciate your mind and your writing and your thinking. And thank you, again, and happy Pride.

GAY: Thank you. I hope you have a great celebration and enjoy some of that vodka.

SANDERS: Yes, I most definitely will (laughter).

GAY: (Unintelligible).

SANDERS: Thanks, Roxane.

GAY: You're welcome.

SANDERS: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: Thanks again to writer Roxane Gay. Coming up, I talk with director Natalie Morales about her new movie, "Plan B." It is a teen buddy comedy that is all about reproductive health.

Natalie Morales is the director of a new film on Hulu called "Plan B." I liked it a lot. And we will get into the meat of that movie in just a bit. But when I first sat down to talk with Natalie, I had to begin by telling her how much I liked the music in the film.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PLAN B")

KUHOO VERMA AND VICTORIA MOROLES: (As Sunny and Lupe, singing) What? Do it all for Jesus.

UNIDENTIFIED MUSICAL ARTIST: (Singing) Do it all for Jesus. Do it, do it all...

SANDERS: I got to start by saying that little trap Christian song that you have the two leads singing as they're road-tripping - that was a bop.

NATALIE MORALES: Isn't it good? I love that song.

SANDERS: And so, like, one, I'm, like, a former Pentecostal, so I'm always happy when, like, religious stuff that is subversive kind of finds its way into secular pop culture.

MORALES: Yeah.

SANDERS: And I felt like you were doing this on purpose because later on, you had Creed's "Higher."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HIGHER")

CREED: (Singing) Can you take me higher?

SANDERS: And that is one of my favorite secret Christian songs.

MORALES: Listen; that was an expensive joke, but a joke that I was really insistent on.

SANDERS: (Laughter).

MORALES: I was raised really Catholic. And there are some themes in the movie that, you know, can be controversial in Christian households. And there's a Christian character in the movie, and he's kind of a dork, but he's not a dork because he's Christian. And he also really talks about Christianity in this way that I wish I had heard when I was a kid. And that was really, really important to me.

SANDERS: Yeah, yeah. We should say before we keep going a little synopsis, description of "Plan B" without spoilers.

MORALES: All right. I'll see what I can do. It's a movie about two girls in America's heartland in South Dakota who are, you know, high school girls. And they're nerdy, and they have a - they threw a party, and one of them loses their virginity and then the next morning pees out the condom.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PLAN B")

KUHOO VERMA: (As Sunny) Lupe, I was peeing, and a condom fell out.

VICTORIA MOROLES: (As Lupe) What?

MORALES: And so they have to get the Plan B pill. But in many states in the United States, South Dakota being one of them, there's something called the conscience clause.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PLAN B")

JAY CHANDRASEKHAR: (As Pharmacist) I'm sorry, but I decline to offer you the Plan B pill. Have a nice day.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) What? Why? You can't do that.

CHANDRASEKHAR: (As Pharmacist) Yes, I can. Any medical professional in the great state of South Dakota can refuse to sell birth control drugs to someone if it goes against their beliefs. And around here it does.

MORALES: So they have to get to the one Planned Parenthood across the state because it's the only place they can see themselves getting access to this 'cause in their small town, you know, there's no other pharmacies, and everywhere around them people feel the same way. So that sounds like a very serious topic, but the movie itself is a big R-rated comedy. And, you know, I feel like that's what our lives are like. It's...

SANDERS: (Laughter).

MORALES: ...The tragic and the comedic and the highs and lows and, you know, as my producer Matt would say, the farts and hearts, you know?

SANDERS: The farts and hearts.

MORALES: It's both. It's all rolled into one.

SANDERS: I love that. And I feel like "Plan B" is channeling that. Like, this movie is about, you know, contraception and access to health care for women, but it's also being compared to films like "Superbad" and "Booksmart." And it's got these, you know, teenagers doing high jinks. Maybe someone does drugs. Some lessons are learned, hilarity. But there's some heavy lifting there. And I wonder - like, to make both of those dynamics work in one film is very tough. How afraid were you of getting that balance right in the movie?

MORALES: You know, I wasn't afraid of it because, you know, those movies like "Superbad" and "Booksmart" and like "American Pie" and, you know, even "Ferris Bueller" (ph)...

SANDERS: Yeah.

MORALES: ...All the teen movies, especially the R-rated teen comedies that we're used to, I kind of think of them as, like, teen quest movies 'cause there's always a quest, right?

SANDERS: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

MORALES: It's always like, let's get alcohol.

SANDERS: Oh, yeah. Hero's journey.

MORALES: Yeah, let's go to the cool party, or let's go to whatever. And this is the same. It has a quest. It just - the stakes happen to be a little bit realer. But it doesn't take away from the fact that they're still teenagers, that they're still having fun and that they still have the same, you know, hopes and dreams and desires and, you know, turn-ons and horniness that teenagers have. You know, it doesn't take away from all of that. So to me, it wasn't that difficult to, you know, keep that balance because I knew all the elements were there, as long as we played it all real.

SANDERS: I really admired how some things that are actually really tragic in our society you were able to poke fun at in just hilarious ways. And there's this one scene toward the top of the film that really sums up the sad way our culture sends so many mixed messages to teenagers about sex, especially around the time a lot of them begin to think about having sex. And I'm talking about the scene where there's this video in a sex ed class where a woman's virginity is, like, compared to a car.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PLAN B")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Oh, that's your car? It's so used. Man, I could never sit in here because it looks like you gave rides to the entire football team. Oh, and what if somebody I know was given a ride? Oh, hell no.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Oh, I wish I knew that nobody would want something so damaged and ugly. I should've saved my car for my husband. But now it's all used up (crying).

MORALES: By the way, it's actually based on a real, you know, abstinence video that writers were shown in school and that exists.

SANDERS: Wait. Really?

MORALES: Oh, yeah. I mean, the real video is about a sneaker. It's about a pair of used sneakers...

SANDERS: (Laughter).

MORALES: ...Which is even somehow worse. But, yeah, it's an abstinence-only education, which is still very common, prevalent in a lot of American schools. And by the way, in the press for this movie and in all the stuff that's come out afterwards, it's so telling that the education in this country is bad around sex because so many people believe that the Plan B pill is an abortion pill, which it's not.

SANDERS: Yeah.

MORALES: It's a contraceptive. So...

SANDERS: Yeah.

MORALES: ...I've had people, adults, ask me about, you know, how it's an abortion movie, and it's not at all. Like, you can't get pregnant immediately after you have sex. A Plan B pill would not work if you were pregnant. It is a contraceptive, just like, you know, the pill is.

SANDERS: Yeah. Yeah.

MORALES: And a lot of people don't know that. So it's been eye-opening for me to know that, you know, it's so - it's just such misinformation out there.

SANDERS: Yeah. Yeah. How bad was your sex ed growing up?

MORALES: Pretty terrible. I went to a Catholic school, so I had no sex ed and just, you know, a promise ring...

SANDERS: Oh, my God.

MORALES: ...And abstinence-only education. So it was not good. I remember when I was a kid, I was very inquisitive. And I think I stopped asking my mom questions once I was very, very embarrassed in class, because when I was a kid, I asked her how babies were born. And she was like - she gave me this answer which made perfect sense, which - she was like, you know how your bellybutton has a knot in it? And I was like, yeah. She was like, they just untie the knot and take the baby out. And I was like...

SANDERS: Oh, my God.

MORALES: ...OK, great, right? So then I believed that till was way too old - like - I don't know - seventh grade or something. And in class, I was like, wait. What? It comes out of what? And...

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: Down there?

MORALES: Yeah. And so then I never asked my mom about anything having to do with sex ever again.

SANDERS: Yeah, yeah. Oh, my God. You know, there are so many lessons, I think, to take from this movie. And the one that I got, especially with how the film wraps up, is that, one, the people who really love you, they love you more than you know, and, two, because of that, you shouldn't be afraid to be honest with folks. That was the big takeaway for me.

MORALES: Yeah.

SANDERS: But I wonder, like, what do you hope is the biggest takeaway for folks that watch this movie? And is it a different message for different kinds of people?

MORALES: Yeah. I love that that's what you got. Like, I literally just got chills because...

SANDERS: Oh, my goodness. I mean it.

MORALES: ...That is one of those things that I wanted people to take away. I mean, I also want people to know what a real friendship looks like, you know, and feels like and acts like, you know, somebody who is there for you - like, really there for you and really accepting of you.

SANDERS: Yeah.

MORALES: I think, you know, above all, I wanted to give people, especially teenagers, the license to be themselves and know that that's good, that you are inherently good even if you mess up or make mistakes or do anything, that you're worthy of love and affection and good things.

SANDERS: I like that.

MORALES: Yeah.

SANDERS: Look at this Oprah Super Soul Session. I'm so into it.

MORALES: (Laughter) Yeah. And, yeah, this is an R-rated comedy. I should say this. But there's a blend of all of this happening in there.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: Coming up, Natalie Morales plays Who Said That with her friend and collaborator Josh Ruben.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: We're about to play a game with two guests, and I'm going to let them tell you who they are. Go ahead.

MORALES: Well, I'm Natalie Morales. I've been here, if you've been listening to the show. And my friend, my very good friend is joining us.

JOSH RUBEN: Oh, my goodness. What a pleasure to be here. I feel like Larry Mantle. I'm Josh Ruben, and I can't believe it.

MORALES: Josh is a super talented actor, director, writer whose new movie "Werewolves Within" is coming out this summer.

SANDERS: There we go. I like that, friends supporting friends.

MORALES: Yes.

RUBEN: Oh, my goodness.

SANDERS: Well, after that lovely supporting moment, I'm going to pit you two against each other in a combat to the death. Is that cool?

MORALES: OK, great.

RUBEN: Oh, boy.

MORALES: Yes.

RUBEN: OK.

SANDERS: So every week on the show, we play a game called Who Said That.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA")

KANDI BURRUSS: Who had been saying that?

PORSHA WILLIAMS: Who said that?

KENYA MOORE: Who said that?

SANDERS: It's really quite simple, but everyone takes it way too seriously. I share a quote from this week of news. You got to guess who said it. There are no buzzers, there are no timers, there are no scorekeepers 'cause we are public radio, and we're broke. So just yell the answer out when you have it. If you don't have it, I'll give you a bunch of hints. If you get the answer or not, it doesn't matter 'cause it's just a game, and there are no prizes. Shall we play?

MORALES: I - yeah. I have not paid attention to the news this week or any week recently because...

SANDERS: OK.

MORALES: ...I've been trying to keep myself sane. So this will be fun.

SANDERS: All right. Let's do the first quote. I'm going to just call it out. You can guess who said it. You can guess what I'm talking about. Just get close.

MORALES: OK.

RUBEN: OK.

SANDERS: Here's the quote - "I've said for a long time I think Emily and John have a pretend marriage for publicity. But I still think..."

MORALES: Amy Schumer. Amy Schumer.

SANDERS: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF VICTORY TUNE)

SANDERS: OK.

RUBEN: Wow.

SANDERS: Set this up for our listeners. What happened here?

RUBEN: She said that about Krasinski and Blunt? Damn.

MORALES: I think she was joking. She was joking.

RUBEN: Oh, wow.

MORALES: It was a joke.

SANDERS: But you never know with Amy Schumer. That's why I just can never get into her humor, 'cause I'm like, I don't - I can't - it's too much for me.

MORALES: Yeah. She also, in the same post, said that Emma Stone was a toxic person...

(LAUGHTER)

MORALES: ...Which is really great.

SANDERS: So let's set this up as best we can. Go ahead. Go ahead, Natalie.

MORALES: Oh, she was just making an Instagram post, I think, about her friends who had movies out, which are John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, who have "A Quiet Place II" out this weekend, and then also "Cruella," which is Emma Stone. So that - I have - I did happen to see that. I did happen to see that.

SANDERS: Natalie, you got that first point.

MORALES: Thank you. I'm very competitive.

SANDERS: Josh, don't give up. I believe in you, Josh.

RUBEN: OK.

SANDERS: All right. You don't believe in yourself, sounds like.

RUBEN: Cue Smash Mouth. OK.

SANDERS: Yeah (laughter). There we go. There we go. Here's the next quote. This was a viral video on the internet this week. The quote is, "when I go over there to see what they're barking at, I'm like, that's a funny-looking dog. I look it in the eyes, and the first thing I think to do is push it."

MORALES: It's that woman who pushed the bear.

(SOUNDBITE OF VICTORY TUNE)

SANDERS: Yeah.

RUBEN: What?

SANDERS: Josh, where you at?

MORALES: I guess - listen.

SANDERS: Josh, where you at?

RUBEN: A woman pushed a bear? Natalie, take the point.

MORALES: Yeah.

RUBEN: Please explain.

MORALES: Yeah. OK, so there's a video that went around this week where there was a bear, a really big bear, and a cub on the - like, perched on a wall of someone's patio, and all their dogs went outside to bark at it. And the woman whose dogs that was walked out, shoved the bear - like, with her bare hands, pushed the bear off the wall to save her dogs...

SANDERS: Yeah.

MORALES: ...Which was kind of phenomenal.

SANDERS: It's amazing. So this was a 17-year-old young woman named Hailey Morinico. And in this viral video, as you said, Natalie, a bear was screwing with her dogs, and she said, not on my watch.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HAILEY MORINICO: Honestly, I did not know it was a bear until right after I pushed it. I was like, oh, my God, I just pushed a bear.

SANDERS: And pushed that bear off a...

RUBEN: Wow.

SANDERS: ...Short ledge that - the bear was OK, but wow.

MORALES: Yeah.

SANDERS: Would y'all ever push a bear?

MORALES: Probably not, although if it was to save my dog, yes. So I relate.

RUBEN: I believe that. I believe that Natalie would do a lot of things to save Taco the dog.

MORALES: Yeah.

RUBEN: I think for me, I - we have Ruby (ph) the cat here at my place. And I think if a bear came near it, you know, I don't know.

MORALES: (Laughter).

SANDERS: I mean, I think about my dog, Zora, who I love very much. But if a bear is up in her mix, I'm going to have to give that to God.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: She's had a full life. Sorry, y'all.

RUBEN: Fair.

SANDERS: Here is our last quote. Josh, you can still - actually, there's no way you can win. But I'm going to just, like...

RUBEN: This is - yeah, this is no "British Bake Off" situation.

SANDERS: Yeah.

RUBEN: Like, yeah, Natalie's won the technical and the signature.

MORALES: We can do this one for double points. At least he can tie.

SANDERS: OK, OK. Let's do it. This is for twice the points. This is a thing that everyone's been talking about, I feel like, especially on Twitter. Here's the quote. "In Episode 1, she's having sex on a couch. I said to my husband, am I OK with that? Is it all right that I'm playing a middle-aged woman who is a grandmother who does really make a habit of having one-night stands?"

RUBEN: Oh, Kate Winslet - "Mare Of Easttown."

SANDERS: Yes. Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF VICTORY TUNE)

RUBEN: Oh.

SANDERS: You get three points for that 'cause you said it really enthusiastically.

RUBEN: Oh, man. Get a hoagie and watch that show. It's great.

SANDERS: So this was Kate Winslet in an interview for The New York Times, talking about her heroic run in the first season of HBO's "Mare Of Easttown." This show, let me tell you, it dug into my bones.

RUBEN: Yeah.

MORALES: I'm excited to see it. I haven't watched it yet.

SANDERS: Josh, tell Natalie what this show is without giving away spoilers.

RUBEN: Kate Winslet plays Mare. You know, she plays...

MORALES: That's her name?

RUBEN: She - that - yeah, Mare, I think short for Marianne (ph). And Jean Smart plays her mom.

MORALES: I love Jean Smart.

RUBEN: Oh, she's so good. She plays Fruit Ninja on an iPad. She's her mother, and they live in a house. You get to see Jean Smart not only play Fruit Ninja on an iPad, but also endure the weight of her daughter's - or (imitating Philadelphia accent) daughter's, as they say in this part of Pennsylvania...

(LAUGHTER)

RUBEN: ...Trauma and tribulations as she's trying to solve a small-town murder here in Easttown. And the accents are just an absolute mess. Not - it's not on the actors. It's just like the accents are really like - in some counties in this part of the country, in some they say wudder (ph) and some they say water, but they say (imitating Philadelphia accent) hoagie. I mean, it's like - apparently was really, really difficult for them to surmount the dialect. But...

MORALES: Get that Philly accent right.

RUBEN: Yeah.

MORALES: I've had to do that for some auditions, and I think I gave up 'cause I was like, no, I'd rather not be embarrassed.

RUBEN: Yeah.

MORALES: Just not going to do it.

SANDERS: Like, does anyone really say home (imitating Philadelphia accent) home, home, home? Is how they say it?

RUBEN: (Imitating Philadelphia accent) Home. Home.

SANDERS: On that note, I got to say, Natalie, you won.

MORALES: Oh, I won now, again? That feels unfair to Josh. I mean...

RUBEN: It's fine.

SANDERS: I'm the worst referee. Oh, actually - OK now my editor said that y'all tied.

MORALES: OK.

SANDERS: It's - I mean, everyone's a winner with Who Said That, right?

RUBEN: Yeah.

SANDERS: Listeners, you can catch Natalie Morales' film "Plan B" on Hulu right now. Josh, tell our folks where to find you and watch you and see your work.

RUBEN: Check out "Werewolves Within." It hits theaters June 25 and VOD July 2.

SANDERS: I love it. The movies are back, and I'm so happy. I'm so happy.

MORALES: Me too. I can't wait to see that in the movie theater. Thank you so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

AUNT BETTY: Now it's time to end the show as we always do. Every week, listeners share the best thing that happened to them all week. We encourage folks to brag, and they do. Let's hear a few of those submissions.

KATIE H: Hi, Sam. This is Katie (ph) from Bellingham. The best part of my week was driving with my dad from Wyoming back to my home in Washington. We had two days in the car together, laughed a lot. I got to hear his stories from growing up and really had some awesome quality time together.

RUDY: Hi, Sam. This is Rudy (ph). And this past Monday, I became fully vaccinated. And on that same day, I found out I was accepted into an early career journalists workshop, which is very exciting because it could lead to something big for me.

KATIE B: Hi, Sam. This is Katie (ph) from Mobile, Ala. The best thing that happened to me this week was my grandbaby, who is 10 months old, has started to whisper thank you, and it's pretty amazing.

LIZ: Hi, Sam. The best part of my week this week was going to a memorial service for a dear co-worker friend that died of COVID six months ago. And we were able to all come together and just hug each other. And it was just so wonderful.

NATASHA: Hi, Sam. This is Natasha (ph). And the best part of my week is finally getting to see my dad, my stepmom and my siblings and get hugs. I miss hugs. Thank you so much for this segment.

RUDY: Thanks so much for your show. I listen every Friday.

NATASHA: Have a great week.

SANDERS: Thanks to all those listeners you heard there - Katie H., Rudy, Katie B., Liz (ph) and Natasha. It is so heartwarming to hear our listeners talk about re-entering the world post-vaccination and seeing friends and loved ones again and doing the things that they missed. I got to say my favorite post-pandemic activity this week was going to a Dodgers game. And I got to hang with some good people and sing all the baseball songs.

(YELLING)

SANDERS: Even though I don't know a thing about baseball, it was delightful. Go Dodgers.

Listeners, don't forget you can share the best part of your week with the show at any point throughout any week. Just record yourself and send that voice memo to me at samsanders@npr.org. Email samsanders@npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: All right, this week, IT'S BEEN A MINUTE was produced by Jinae West, Andrea Gutierrez, Sylvie Douglis, Liam McBain and Christina Cala. Our new intern is Manuela Lopez Restrepo. Welcome, Manuela. We are so happy to have you here. Our fearless editor is Jordana Hochman. Our director of programming is Steve Nelson. And our big boss is NPR senior VP of programming Anya Grundmann.

Listeners, till next time, be good to yourselves. I'm Sam Sanders. We'll talk soon.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.