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It's Been a Minute


Has it been a minute since you heard a thought-provoking conversation about culture? Brittany Luse wants to help. Each week, she takes the things everyone's talking about and, in conversation with her favorite creators, tastemakers, and experts, gives you new ways to think about them. Beyond the obvious takes. Because culture doesn't happen by accident. If you can't get enough, try It's Been a Minute Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at


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Has it been a minute since you heard a thought-provoking conversation about culture? Brittany Luse wants to help. Each week, she takes the things everyone's talking about and, in conversation with her favorite creators, tastemakers, and experts, gives you new ways to think about them. Beyond the obvious takes. Because culture doesn't happen by accident. If you can't get enough, try It's Been a Minute Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at




McCarthyism and queerness in 'Fellow Travelers'; plus, IBAM unplugged with Olivia Dean

This week, Brittany chats with New Yorker television critic Inkoo Kang about Showtime's historical romance, Fellow Travelers. The show follows the lives and love of two closeted men - Hawk and Tim. It starts in 1950s Washington DC, at the height of McCarthyism and the lavender scare and continues through the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Brittany and Inkoo discuss how the politics of the time shape the characters and how survival isn't always pretty. Then, we switch gears and meet an artist that's been bringing Brittany joy in the cold winter months. Singer-songwriter Olivia Dean joins the show to talk her debut album, Messy, and gives IBAM an unforgettable live performance from her catalog.


All The Only Ones: I can't wait

This week we're bringing you a special episode from the Embedded series 'All the Only Ones.' The series looks at the history of trans youth next to the realities experienced by trans youth today. In this episode, we meet Parker, a senior in high school in Columbus, Ohio. Parker is a top field hockey athlete, but as a trans person, he is faced with making a difficult decision: either pursuing his dreams as a D1 trans field hockey player in college next year, or pursuing his dreams of starting hormone replacement therapy, which could get him banned from playing. We also meet two historical trans youth of the 1960s, Vicky and Donna, both facing barriers to getting the care and treatment they need after repeatedly looking for help.


Defending the Disney Adult; plus, what it takes to stand up for Black trans people

Disney recently celebrated its 100th birthday, so we're exploring a fandom that's kept the magic alive while also generating lots of online hate: Disney Adults. To break the phenomenon down, Brittany Luse chats with Rolling Stone senior writer and self-proclaimed Disney Adult, E.J. Dickson. Their conversation looks at the rise of Disney Adults, why they're so maligned and what the public may misunderstand about these superfans. Then, in honor of Trans Day of Remembrance, Brittany talks with influential Black trans activist Raquel Willis. They get into her new memoir, The Risk It Takes to Bloom, which looks at pivotal moments in her organizing journey alongside the movement for Black Lives and the rise of trans visibility in modern culture.


How gratitude improves your relationships and your future

For the millions of Americans that celebrate Thanksgiving, it's a time when a lot of us reflect on the things and the people in our lives that we appreciate. But according to Dr. Laurie Santos, psychology professor at Yale and host of the podcast, The Happiness Lab, a practice of gratitude can improve our lives year-round. Host Brittany Luse chats with Dr. Santos about the surprising science of how gratitude can affect our brains — and how it leads us to be more generous with our future selves.


The return of Andre 3000; plus, 'Rap Sh!t' puts the music industry on blast

As many male rappers seem to become more depressed or vindictive in their lyrics, the women of rap appear to be having all the fun. One show that captures this moment is Rap Sh!t on Max. Brittany sits down with the showrunner and writer, Syreeta Singleton. They discuss the complexities of navigating the rap game as a Black woman, the new social media landscape, and how rap and Rap Sh!t approach sexuality. Then, a conversation with Andre 3000. After 17 years, the rapper, producer, and instrumentalist is back with a new album, New Blue Sun. Notably, this album has no rapping and focuses on the artists passion for the flute. In honor of the occasion, host Brittany Luse passes the mic to NPR colleague and host, Rodney Carmichael. In this excerpt of their hour long interview, Rodney and Andre retrace the artist's journey from rapper to flautist, the beauty of aging, and why there should be more celebration in death.


Pressing pause on 'Killers Of The Flower Moon' and rethinking Scorsese's latest

Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon is everything an Oscar contender might be - long, epic, morally complicated and expensive. Yet, while many movie-goers left theaters moved, others called the film a problematic disaster. Today on the show, we hear what the movie got wrong and how it fits into a broader history of Native Americans on screen. To unpack this, Brittany Luse is joined by Robert Warrior, a literature and professor and an Osage Nation citizen, Liza Black, a Native American and Indigenous Studies professor and Cherokee Nation citizen, and Nancy Marie Mithlo, a gender studies professor and Fort Sill Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache citizen.


Barbra Streisand says she's not a diva - she's a director

The season of the celebrity memoir is upon us. In just the past few months Britney Spears, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kerry Washington, and more have showered us with bombshells and revelations about their origin stories and private lives. Despite those heavy hitters and the crowded field they occupy, the celebrity memoir our host Brittany Luse coveted most is that of the singular Ms. Barbra Streisand. Brittany sits down with Barbra to talk about her new memoir, My Name is Barbra, her struggle to take creative control of her work, and what legacy she wants to leave behind.


What restaurant trends tell us about the economy and culture

The restaurant industry has been making headlines lately. Fine dining heavyweights are shuttering: Noma announced it would be closing in 2024 and NYC staple Momofuku Ko closed this past weekend. Then, there's the unintentional chaos caused by a popular Tiktok food critic, whose visit to Atlanta was so profound that it drowned out the debut of the city's first ever Michelin Guide. After seeing all of this, host Brittany Luse wants to know: What's up with restaurants these days? To answer that question, she sits down with writer and Eater correspondent Jaya Saxena to get the lowdown on the most recent food news and the trends that tell us about both our interests and our economy.


"The Gilded Age" and the trouble with American period pieces

The Gilded Age delighted audiences with its lavish sets, decadent costumes and social sniping when it debuted. Lucky for us, the period drama just returned to HBO Max with a second season. But if we look a little closer at the show, it reveals what we truly want out of period pieces: to remake the past with our modern sensibilities and values. As Brandon Taylor wrote in his essay called "morgan spector pls break me in half," The Gilded Age engenders "self-delusion" about our history – because to reflect our past more accurately, would be "too horrifying" for a somewhat soapy show. Brittany Luse sits down with Brandon to discuss sentimentality, why we're particularly drawn to this era now and how it's portrayal could be done better.


What makes 'The Real Housewives' so addictive? (Classic)

It's a big week for fans of reality TV - it's Bravocon 2023. This year it's in Las Vegas – and while we couldn't make it to Vegas, we're revisiting what we learned from last year's Bravocon in New York. Host Brittany Luse and producer Liam McBain talked to fans, a producer, an academic and the Housewives themselves to understand what makes The Real Housewives peak culture – as in the #1 topic in the group chat – for so many people.


It's Britney, bestseller!

Britney Spears just released one of the most hotly anticipated celebrity memoirs of the year, The Woman In Me. The book details her meteoric rise to fame, her family history, and her 13 year-long conservatorship. This week, host Britney Luse talks to the two best people to break it all down: Claire Parker and Ashley Hamilton, comedians and co-hosts of the Celebrity Memoir Book Club podcast. Together they look at what the princess of pop is trying to tell us, how she contextualizes her own story and how she doesn't seem to implicate the audience in her abuse.


The new "final girl" in horror; plus, who's afraid of a horny hag?

Halloween is upon us — and it's the season for horror movies. Host Brittany Luse is a HUGE horror girlie, but loving horror also means critiquing it. Today, we're breaking down two major figures in horror: the final girl and the horny hag. First, Brittany chats with Dr. Kinitra Brooks, Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair of Literary Studies at Michigan State University, about what it means when the final girl is a Black woman. And later, Brittany is joined by horror author and film critic Gretchen Felker-Martin to discuss what's behind the horny hags in movies like X and Barbarian — and what that trope tells us about how we feel about older women in our society.


Misinformation & uninformed comments are clogging war coverage; plus, Tupac's legacy

A warning: This episode contains explicit language and mentions of rape. For the past two weeks, social media has been flooded with coverage and commentary on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. And while the news updates have been devastating, not everything coming across our feeds has been true. We've seen footage pulled from a video game purporting to show a Hamas fighter shooting down a helicopter, and a fake memo from the White House that claimed to announce $8 billion in military aid. This week, host Brittany Luse is joined by NPR correspondent Shannon Bond to learn why we're seeing so much misinformation online. Brittany is also joined by Molly McPherson, a crisis public relations expert, to unpack the hasty public statements about the conflict made by corporate brands and celebrities. They discuss how this may be indicative of a new media landscape that demands commentary and sentimentality. Then, we turn to Tupac Shakur. He is back in the news 27 years after his death, following the first arrest of a suspect connected to his murder. Joel Anderson, a Slate reporter who covered Tupac for the Slow Burn podcast, joins Brittany to discuss Tupac's complex impact and how the rapper has been able to stay relevant almost three decades after his passing.


Code Switch: Baltimore teens are fighting for environmental justice — and winning

From our friends at Code Switch, we present a story about one group of student activists in Baltimore and how their efforts to make their neighborhood healthier has them facing big coal — and actually making gains.


Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are 100% in a PR relationship. Here's how we know.

Taylor Swift and her maybe boyfriend, Kansas Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, have been inescapable the past few weeks. The pop superstar has been showing up at Chiefs games, and the NFL has been playing it up - all to the mutual benefit of each party involved. Regardless of if the three of them - Taylor, Travis, and the NFL - are in a romantic polycule, public relations expert Molly McPherson says they are for sure in a PR relationship. Brittany and Molly get into how PR relationships work for celebrities — from pop superstars to politicians. Plus, Taylor Swift released her Eras Tour film and Beyoncé announced her Renaissance Tour film a couple weeks ago. Brittany takes a look at whether these films add something for fans or if they are just another cash grab from these artists.


In defense of bad movie accents

We can all think of a bad movie accent. There's Lady Gaga in House of Gucci, Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black, or Emma Watson in The Bling Ring. A bad accent takes you out of a movie, right? Well, Brittany sits down with New York Times columnist Kyle Buchanan who thinks a bad accent actually pulls you into a movie. Brittany and Kyle breakdown his theory and play a special game of "Where IS she from?"


It's Fat Bear Week - but our fascination with bears is timeless

Every year, the Katmai National Park in Alaska puts on a March Madness-style bracket of all the fattest bears in their park. It's a celebration of fatness, because a fat bear ahead of hibernation means a healthy bear come spring. This competition is popular — there were over a million votes tallied last year — and it speaks to a larger cultural obsession with bears. In honor of Fat Bear Week, Host Brittany Luse journeys through time to unpack what bears mean to us — and why they're family, friend and foe all at once. And later, an exploration of how the queer community emulates bearness — and what the symbol of the animal can mean to them.


Jordan Peele presents a 'new' Black horror

This week, host Brittany Luse kicks off spooky season by sitting down with the current champion of Black horror, Jordan Peele. In his most recent project, he's taken his talents from the screen to the page as the editor of a new book of short stories, Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror. Then, Brittany is joined by Black horror scholar and author Tananarive Due, to discuss her contributions to the anthology and her upcoming novel, The Reformatory. Due walks Brittany through how she honors a horrific past while offering readers satisfying scares. Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror is out today.


Hasan Minhaj and the limits of representation

A recent New Yorker piece on Hasan Minhaj found that some crucial bits of his stand-up act didn't stand up to fact-checking. Stretching the truth in comedy is par for the course, but how does that work for a figure like Minhaj, who'd previously doubled down on these stories in interviews and is known for his political satire shows? Brittany is joined by writer Imran Siddiquee and journalist Allana Akhtar to make sense of an entertainment industry that created the conditions for his fame. Then, we explore what happens when you recast western fantasies through a Black lens? We start by looking at one of the most beloved Black fantasies of our time: The Wiz. It's Been a Minute producer, Corey Antonio Rose shares how the original Broadway production of The Wiz made the storyline from The Wizard of Oz hit different for post-civil rights America. Brittany is then joined by African American Studies professor Darieck Scott to discuss the difference between representation and RE-presentation in fantasy.


How Bethann Hardison changed the face of fashion - and why that matters

Bethann Hardison is the fashion icon behind so many fashion icons: she worked as a modeling agent in the era of the supermodel – brokering the careers of stars like Kimora Lee Simmons and Tyson Beckford. And when models of color all but vanished from view at the turn of the millennium – she forced designers to bring them back. Host Brittany Luse sits down with Bethann to discuss the new documentary about Bethann's life, Invisible Beauty, and why fashion imagery, while fraught, is still powerful in our culture.