Slate Culture-logo

Slate Culture


Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.

Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.


United States




Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.




95 Morton Street, 4th Floor New York, NY 10014 (212) 445-5330


ICYMI: You’re Using “Woke” Wrong

From “woke bae” to “woke-a-cola,” the word woke has taken the internet and mainstream media by storm. But how many people who use the word actually know what it means? On today’s episode, Rachelle and Madison (but, really, mostly Rachelle) explain the decades-old origins of the word, and how its meaning has evolved as it’s gone from being sung as a call to “stay woke” by the likes of Erykah Badu and Childish Gambino to being wielded as a slur by the likes of Mike Huckabee. Podcast production...


Hit Parade: Say My Name, Say My Name, Part 1

Let’s be clear: Rap has always been musical. But back in the day, rappers generally, well, rapped: talked in cadence over a beat. Fans judged MCs primarily by their rhymes and rhythms, not their melodies. Now? Rappers are mostly singers: MCs from Drake to DaBaby slip seamlessly in and out of melody. Some hits that appear on Billboard’s Rap charts feature literally no rapping. When did this change? In this episode of Hit Parade, Chris Molanphy walks through the history of hip-hop—from Gil...


Outward: Julien Baker’s Quantum Queerness and Cops at Pride

It’s Pride month, which means Outward is feeling particularly festive! Christina, Bryan, and Rumaan are joined by musician Julien Baker to discuss her feelings about Pride, queerness, fluidity, and ways of interpreting queer art. Then Jillian Hanlon, a trans cop in upstate New York, joins to offer her take on the recent debate over cops at Pride. Items discussed on the show: Skittles go gray for Pride month. A Twitter thread about kink at Pride. Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer...


Culture Gabfest: The Heights and the Depths

This week Dana and Steve are joined by Monica Castillo, arts and culture reporter for Colorado Public Radio, to discuss In the Heights. Next, Atlantic staff writer Sophie Gilbert comes on to talk about HBO’s Hacks. Finally, Dana and Steve dive into Liz Phair’s new album, Soberish, with the expertise of Slate music critic Carl Wilson. In Slate Plus, Dana, Steve, and Carl talk about Gen X musicians and how they’re aging gracefully—or not. Email us at Podcast production by...


ICYMI: Are Those TikTok “Missed Connections” Real?

On today’s episode, Madison is joined by producer Daniel Schroeder to talk about people accusing Billie Eilish of queerbaiting on Instagram. Then discuss the way TikTok seems to be replacing Craigslist as the spot for finding missed connections, but are the videos real? To find out, Madison interviews Val and Kaycie, two women who reconnected and became friends via TikTok after they met at a rooftop bar. Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder & Derek John. Support ICYMI and listen to the...


Decoder Ring: The Soap Opera Machine

Welcome to a brand new season of Decoder Ring! On this episode, we investigate the wild world of soap operas through the lens of one legendary, decades-long, ripped-from-the-headlines storyline. that dared to combine the melodrama of soaps with a serious examination of sexual assault, and how that soap turned an award-winning story about believing victims into a redemption arc for the rapist at its heart. This is the story of those who made it happen: the producers, actors, writers, and the...


Working: The Underground Railroad’s Joi McMillon on Her Work as a Film Editor

This week, Isaac Butler talks with Joi McMillon, an award-winning film editor and longtime collaborator with filmmaker Barry Jenkins. Her latest project, The Underground Railroad, tells the story of a woman’s escape from a Georgia plantation in the 1800s. They talk about how McMillon came to be an editor, her approach to her work, what it’s like to edit the same scene over and over again, and how she gets through it. Afterward, Isaac and co-host Rumaan Alam discuss what they found most...


ICYMI: Trisha Paytas Wants to Be Frenemies

On today’s episode, Rachelle and Madison explain the latest drama surrounding online provocateur Trisha Paytas. They recap Paytas’ history online, how they’re connected to David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad, and why their podcast Frenemies is in predictable turmoil. Then, Rachelle and Madison give High Speed Downloads, first on the grifting of internet chef Darius Williams (aka @DariusCooks) and then on the woman who got arrested for disguising herself as her daughter and going to school in her...


Spoiler Specials: In the Heights

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail. This week, Slate’s movie critic Dana Stevens is joined by associate editor at Slate Marissa Martinelli and Slate’s new editorial intern Sofia Andrade to spoil In the Heights, the new film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play of the same name. Set in Washington Heights, New York, a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies a vibrant and...


The Waves: No Longer Keeping Up

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior editor Allegra Frank and Robin Boylorn, a professor at the University of Alabama and occasional Slate contributor, discuss the enduring appeal of Keeping Up With the Kardashians as the E! reality show it comes to a close at the end of its 20th season. The pair digs into the show as a backdrop for the creation of a family dynasty of internet celebrity, track the diminishing role of television in their multi-billion-dollar empire, and parse out...


ICYMI: Raging Bulls––t: Paul vs. Mayweather

On today’s episode, Rachelle finds out that Madison is an anthro-paul-ogist. Internet star Logan Paul faced off against Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match this weekend, so Madison takes Rachelle through the troubling origins of the Paul brothers, how they’ve been able to maintain their internet fame across multiple platforms despite a series of serious allegations, and why this fight is nothing more than a money-making publicity stunt. Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John....


Culture Gabfest: Here, We Made You Some Content

This week Dana is joined by Slate senior editor Sam Adams and Vulture critic Kathryn VanArendonk. First, the panel discusses the HBO mini-series Mare of Easttown. Next, they talk about Bo Burnham’s Netflix special Inside. Finally, Dana and Sam dive into the recent Amazon-MGM deal. In Slate Plus, the panel talks spoilers galore about Mare of Easttown. Email us at Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Outro Music: "On the Keys of...


Working: Brigid Hughes on the Art of Editing a Literary Magazine

This week host Rumaan Alam talks to literary magazine editor Brigid Hughes, who started her career as an intern with the Paris Review and went on to be its executive editor before leaving and starting her own magazine, A Public Space. In the interview, Brigid explains what the editor of a literary magazine does and how she works with authors to unearth the story “underneath” the story. She also discusses how literary magazines can help new authors find an audience. After the interview Rumaan...


ICYMI: Who Weekly? Explains Bennifer 3.0

On today’s show, Madison and Rachelle have a short discussion of the recent beekeeper drama on TikTok. Then, they’re joined by Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber, hosts of the Who Weekly? podcast, to discuss Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez getting back together. They talk about what it was like when the pair first got together in the early 2000s, and why it feels so exciting to see these two stars indulge again in their past romance, and how Bennifer 3.0 will play in a new era of social media...


A Word: Booked, Busy, and Funny as Hell

David Alan Grier is a comedian’s comedian, from his iconic stint on ‘In Living Color,’ to his many sitcoms roles, including his latest on the Netflix show, ‘Dad Stop Embarrassing Me.’ He’s also a dramatic actor, with roles in Broadway classics and Ava Duvernay’s ‘Queen Sugar.’ On today’s episode of A Word, David Alan Grier joins Jason Johnson to talk about his career, staying booked and busy during the pandemic, and his many collaborations with Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx. Guest: David Alan...


The Waves: Can We Still Enjoy Master of None?

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate Senior Editor Allegra Frank and Slate Production Assistant Madeline Ducharme talk about the latest season of Netflix’s Master of None. The pair digs into the show’s depiction of a queer Black relationship and breakup, and discusses if the show even a comedy anymore. Also: how are we supposed to care about a relationship when we first see it at its end? After the break, Allegra and Madeline go outside of the show to talk about Season 3’s creators,...


Culture Gabfest: It's Brutal Out Here

This week Steve is joined by Slate senior editor Allegra Frank and Slate staff writer Karen Han. The group first discusses Cruella, starring Emma Stone. Next, they discuss the television adaption of Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad. Finally, the group is joined by Slate’s Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy to dive into Olivia Rodrigo’s breakout album Sour. In Slate Plus, the panel shares their experiences going back to movie theaters. Email us at Podcast...


ICYMI: Why Does TikTok Think I’m an Ex-Mormon?

On today’s episode, Madison and Rachelle examine a case of mistaken identity. One of TikTok’s best features is its algorithm, which specializes in surfacing videos seemingly tailor-made for the user. That is, until the algorithm gets an idea about the user that’s very, very wrong. They discuss why TikTok is convinced Madison is an ex-Mormon and Rachelle is a Marvel fanatic, and then field a number of listener voicemails about all the hilarious and sometimes alarming ways TikTok has gotten...


Working: A Reality TV Casting Director on What Makes a Good Contestant

On this week’s show, Working producer Cameron Drews talks to Erin Tomasello, casting director for the Netflix reality show The Circle. In the interview, Erin explains what it’s like to work on the casting team for shows like The Bachelor, Fear Factor, America’s Got Talent, and more. Then she discusses the casting process for The Circle and lays out what she and the casting producers are looking for in potential contestants. She also offers tips for anyone who’s thinking about applying to be...


ICYMI: How the Kardashians Broke the Internet

On today’s episode, Rachelle is joined by producer Daniel Schroeder to discuss the online legacy of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. After 14 years and 20 seasons, the series is finally coming to a close, so Daniel and Rachelle look back at its infamous origins, trace the show’s evolving relationship with social media, and look ahead to what life might be like for all of us after the series goes off the air. Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John. Support ICYMI and listen to...