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Tom Arnold Allegedly Got Into Physical Altercation With Apprentice Producer Mark Burnett

There’s a relatively new feud in Hollywood. This time, it’s between Tom Arnold and Mark Burnett, the producer behind The Apprentice. As it was reported over the weekend, the aged comedian and the veteran television producer got into a nasty disagreement during a Before Emmy fundraiser party on Sunday evening, which resulted in a physical altercation that spilled over onto Twitter. The objective details are left unclear about how it all went down, but Roma Downey, Mark Burnett’s wife of 11 years, posted a picture of her hand with a bruise, claiming that it came from Tom Arnold.

While that appears to be damning evidence against Tom Arnold, the comedic actor says the actress is not telling the truth. Rather, Arnold’s embittered tweet in response to these allegations make the claim that Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, her “crazy husband,” were the ones who actually attacked him. And that they are reportedly trying to frame him, essentially, in order to make themselves look like the victims. Because of that, Arnold claimed he will be pressing charges against the television creators, saying he is going to sue Downey and Burnett for defamation.

Clearly, tensions are high right now, and it’s not even completely clear who started the physical altercation, and it’s just as unsettle how it ensued. One party is claiming the other is responsible and visa versa. According to an eyewitness at the party (via Variety), the violent altercation happened shortly after both Tom Arnold and Mark Burnett made their way into the charity event, around 9:30 PM, to be more exact. While seemingly no one has confirmed whether it was Arnold or Burnett who started the fight, the reported scuffle involved some shoving, and Arnold claims the TV producer choked him.

Twitter has made it apparent that the tensions are still very, very high between the parties involved. We shouldn’t expect this issue to be resolved in any short amount of time, especially when one considers why the reported shoving and fighting ensued in the first place, which ties back to Mark Burnett’s involvement on The Apprentice, the NBC reality series where Donald Trump regained popularity before his eventual run for president.

There have been multiple unsubstantiated reports that Donald Trump used racial slurs on camera during the filming of _The Apprentice. _The tapes haven’t surfaced on the internet or shown to the media, but Arnold believes that Burnett is intentionally hiding these tapes from the public in order to protect Trump’s image. Since those allegations first came up, Arnold hasn’t been on any good terms with Burnett, although this Before Emmy incident is the first time since this feud grew to prominence that there has been any sort of physical altercation.

It should also be noted that Tom Arnold was once a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, on which Mark Burnett also served as an executive producer. More recently, Arnold has built a new brand around anti-Donald Trump material, most notably with the upcoming release of his new Viceland show, The Hunt For The Trump Tapes, which is also referring to the alleged “pee tape.” That show premieres on Tuesday, September 18, on Viceland. What happens next is left to be determined, but it appears that Tom Arnold is seeking criminal charges, while Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are sticking to their side of the events.

Rainn Wilson’s Harry Mudd Is Returning To Star Trek: Discovery, Along With A Rick And Morty Writer

At 2018’s San Diego Comic-Con, Star Trek: Discovery‘s new showrunner thrilled Trekkies with the news that the show’s universe would be expanding by way of a new episodic anthology. The series, entitled Star Trek: Short Treks, will feature Rainn Wilson’s Harry Mudd in the run of episodes. Now, Wilson is teasing his return to the franchise with a behind-the-scenes image from the set on Twitter. And the caption of his tweet is primed to get your theory energy up and running. Check it out for yourself below:

Be sure to stay tuned for CBS’ big Star Trek announcement on Thursday! Of which, the internet will undoubtedly be busy trying to figure out ahead of time. Whether or not it relates to Harry Mudd’s Star Trek future will be an interesting thing to stay tuned to find out. Given that Mudd’s portrayer, Rainn Wilson, is the one teasing the announcement, it certainly raises eyebrows in that direction. While that is all conjecture, what is not is that Wilson’s Harry Mudd will be making his return.

It is an installment that Rainn Wilson will direct himself. For those who missed the original memo, Star Trek: Short Treks will stay true to its title with episodes that run for ten to fifteen minutes in length. Wilson’s Harry Mudd episode will further explore the character, last seen on Star Trek: Discovery‘s first season. Also along for the Star Trek: Discovery universe ride is none other than Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan. Check out his tweet below:

Nice! And talk about a thrill for Mike McMahan! The writer is a huge Trekkie, who runs the TNG_S8 account on Twitter, which features “unaired” plots from Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s eighth season. Tweets from the feed ultimately became the basis for McMahan’s book Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season (Star Trek: The Next Generation). So, he is a huge fan of the franchise and a wonderful pick to have “beamed up” to participate in it.

Fans should not have much longer to wait on the new anthology series. An official premiere date has yet to be announced though, so that may explain the “big announcement” that Rainn Wilson was teasing on Twitter. Star Trek: Short Treks is set to quench Trekkies thirst for all things Star Trek, while they await the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season, and that upcoming series centered on Jean-Luc Picard’s next chapter.

Star Trek: Short Treks will premiere this fall on CBS All Access. The second season of Star Trek: Discovery is expected to arrive sometime in 2019 on the streaming service. Star Trek: Short Treks will be joined by a plethora of other new series set to arrive in the fall.

Green Book Just Got A Boost In The Oscar Race

Now, it’s also worth noting that the last two Best Picture winners, The Shape of Water and Moonlight, did NOT take home the Audience prize in Toronto. So yeah, statistics can work for you AND against you, depending on what point that you want to make. But coming out of the fall film festival circuit, when hundreds of films are screened for thousands of audience members, the best that a film can be is relevant, and a trophy like the Audience Award at TIFF raises awareness in ways that a marketing campaign might not.

Kevin Smith Finds A Very Funny Connection Between Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker And Affleck’s Batman

Yesterday we got our first official look at Joaquin Phoenix in character for Todd Phillip’s upcoming standalone Joker film. Because Joker is an origin story, we will see the character’s transformation from a (presumably) regular person into the Clown Prince of Crime. This first image shows the man before that transformation, a man named Arthur Fleck. On its face, that name doesn’t mean much, but filmmaker and noted Batman fan, Kevin Smith has spotted a funny connection between Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker and the actor who plays the Joker’s nemesis in the DCEU, Ben Affleck. Take a look:

That’s pretty funny. It’s almost too coincidental. What is his middle name, ‘Martha?’ Maybe Joker writer-director Todd Phillips and screenwriter Scott Silver are just trolling everyone, using the name of Joaquin Phoenix‘s failed comedian to deliver some meta-humor referencing the character’s greatest foe in WB’s separate DCEU films. Although, if Batman and the Joker really are two sides of the same coin, it would make sense that we see them reflected in each other in different ways, even if this film takes place in a separate universe. Of course, this is all probably just coincidence and the name Arthur Fleck was chosen for other reasons that have more to do with the character Joaquin Phoenix is playing before he sheds that moniker and becomes the Joker. But this coincidence will bring a deluge of ‘Sad Affleck’ memes nonetheless.

With Joker being divorced from the DCEU, this film will presumably have a lot of freedom to do things differently and put a spin on the character we haven’t seen before, as well as inserting little connections and Easter eggs like this (even if this wasn’t intentional). It’s funny that Kevin Smith picked up on this, considering that he is a huge comic book fan who has collaborated with Ben Affleck multiple times in the past and is a defender of his Batman portrayal. Speaking of that portrayal, Ben Affleck is still Batman at the moment, but it remains to be seen if that holds true in Matt Reeves’ Batman film. With the DCEU coming apart at the seams, maybe he could just hop in to Joker to give the actor one more opportunity with the character.

That said, much of Joker is still a mystery. Beyond the broad strokes of Arthur Fleck being a failed comedian living in New York City, we don’t really know much about the film. And although I think everyone is expecting to see Arthur Fleck fully transform into a bleached skinned, green haired villain, we don’t know if the story will show him coming in to contact with who will be his eternal enemy, Batman.

Joker is directed by Todd Phillips and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Marc Maron, Frances Conroy, Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz. Joker is now filming and is scheduled to open in theaters on October 4, 2019. Keep an eye on our guide all the latest DC movie news and check out the release calendar for all the biggest movies to get you through the rest of 2018.

Welcome to the Age of the $595 Pool Slide

Kanye West (with Kim Kardashian West) arrived at 2 Chainz’s wedding in Miami last month wearing pool slides that were laughably undersized.
Kanye West (with Kim Kardashian West) arrived at 2 Chainz’s wedding in Miami last month wearing pool slides that were laughably undersized. Photo: Shutterstock

Call it Slidesgate: On Aug. 19th, Kanye West attended rapper 2 Chainz’s wedding in Miami wearing a Louis Vuitton suit and a pair of scandalous pool sandals. The slides, you see, were at least a size too small. Paparazzi photos captured Mr. West’s pathetic, be-socked heels hanging, quite comically, off the backs of his $150 pillowy sandals like a hot dog poking out of its bun. Twitter critics piled on Mr. West for his failure to find a properly fitting shoe. (The slides came from his own brand, after all. How could it not outfit him correctly?) TMZ perhaps put it best, sniping that his shrimpy slip-ons “were waaaay 2 small.” A few days later, in a now-deleted tweet, Mr. West offered the dubious defense that he was wearing his shoes “the Japanese way,” in which one’s foot intentionally sticks out by a centimeter or two.

Whether you buy Mr. West’s rationale or not, the fact that he wore pool slides to a wedding at all speaks to the extent to which this beachy footwear has infiltrated our streets, our wardrobes and our culture. “We’ve seen growth in this category for 26 straight months,” said Beth Goldstein, an analyst at market research firm NPD Group. Ms. Goldstein explained this uptick in simple terms: Easy-going athletic wear is fashionable, and after sneakers, simple single-strap rubber pool sandals are the next best thing.

“We’re living in a world where people just want comfort and ease in life,” said Justin Kittredge, the founder of iSlide. His company allows customers to order personalized slides at $50 a pop. In its five years in business, iSlide has experienced an average, year-over-year growth of 83% and has partnered with stars like DJ Khaled and the Denver Nuggets’ Isaiah Thomas. Said Mr. Kittredge: “You started to see more celebrities and athletes wearing [slides] out and when that started happening, it was gold for me.”

Even with their triple digit price tags, designer pool sandals are flying off the shelves. Blockwise from top: Slides, $250, prada.com; Piscine Flat Sandals, $595, balenciaga.com; Men’s Dapper Dan Slide Sandal, $310, gucci.com
Even with their triple digit price tags, designer pool sandals are flying off the shelves. Blockwise from top: Slides, $250, prada.com; Piscine Flat Sandals, $595, balenciaga.com; Men’s Dapper Dan Slide Sandal, $310, gucci.com

Melissa Gallagher, the senior vice president of footwear and accessories at Barneys, similarly credited so-called “influencer” celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and, yes, Kanye West, for perpetuating this trend. If you’re a celebrity, especially one like Mr. Bieber, who has lately been dressing like an addled frat boy, a pair of slides says “I’m too famous to worry about things like rain and/or stubbed toes and/or needing to run for a bus”. What’s more surprising is how swiftly these shuffle-about shoes have been embraced by men who don’t spend their lives in front of the camera.

Slides have transitioned from being something you never wanted to be seen in to something you hope will get you noticed, said Ms. Gallagher, pointing out how far the shoe has come from its locker-room roots. In the Barneys pool sandal section, the designer names are big and the price tags are even bigger: Prada’s version goes for $250, Gucci’s for $295, while Balenciaga’s demands $595. Ms. Gallagher first viewed these prices skeptically: “I was, like, who’s gonna buy a $445 pool slide,” but the sales have been swift. In a recent period, 65% of sales for one of Barneys’ designer brands came from pool slides. (“We couldn’t keep them in stock,” said Ms. Gallagher.) It’s not just designer brands that are driving the trend: She noted that Barneys has sold so many Adidas $35 sandals that the 69-year-old sporting brand is now “a fashion brand for all intents and purposes.”

But with winter around the corner, won’t these exposed-toe sandals lose favor? Not if you ask NPD Group’s Ms. Goldstein. “Obviously the business is a little smaller in those months,” she said, “but we’re seeing that the category is continuing to grow.” If nothing else, the pool slide has a fun spring-break feeling; come winter, a pair of show-off slides can be a good excuse for a vacation.

More in Style & Fashion

Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com

Ant-Man And The Wasp Might Have Had Bigger Plans For The Quantum Realm

While the Quantum realm is an important part of the plot Ant-Man and the Wasp, we don’t actually see that much of it, but it’s possible that wasn’t always the case. Recently, artist Aleksi Briclot revealed some of his concept work for Ant-Man and the Wasp which showed a very different version of what Janet Van Dyne would look like when we met her near the end of the film. However, what’s potentially more interesting than the look itself, is what inspired it. According to Briclot, at one point there was consideration given to the idea of finding an entire civilization living inside the Quantum Realm.

When we actually see Janet Van Dyne inside the Quantum Realm for the first time she looks like a nomad who’s been wandering the desert for the last decade or so, which, in many ways, isn’t far from the truth. It’s not clear where she got her new threads since she went into the Quantum Realm in her Wasp costume, but hi-tech is not exactly the word to describe her when we see her again. However, it could have been, as this image shows Janet wearing a much more technological outfit, which apparently would have been created for her by a civilization that actually lives inside the Quantum Realm.

Of course, just because we don’t see a civilization inside the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It could be that seeing it was removed from the movie, it feels a bit superfluous considering that’s not what the movie ended up being about. We do see things that appear to be life forms that exist there, so a civilization certainly could in theory. There’s so much the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet to explain about the Quantum Realm in the first place.

Of course, there’s a good chance we’ll learn a lot more about the Quantum Realm in Avengers 4. Based on the situation that Ant-Man has found himself in post-snap, the details of the Quantum Realm could end up being very important for him, and by extension, the rest of the surviving heroes.

While this particular look for Janet Van Dyne was apparently scrapped because they decided to go a different direction with the Quantum Realm as a whole, there’s another reason that it was probably a smart movie. It makes Michelle Pfeiffer look a lot like Calhoun from Wreck-It Ralph. Although, now it makes me want to see Michelle Pfeiffer star as Calhoun in the live-action remake.

While it’s often believed that Marvel movies end up getting locked into particular plot points in order to serve the larger narrative, it seems that exactly what the Quantum Realm is, and what’s inside it, are not necessarily set in stone.

Jane Fonda Looks Back on Her Career: ‘I’m Not Apologizing for Being a Celebrity Anymore’

My very last question for Jane Fonda is rather broad: “What do you think of being deemed an icon?”

“Well,” she starts before a brief pause, “an icon is somebody that you hold up as an example to represent something. And when you mention their name people know what it is you’re talking about. And, I guess, in my case, it’s a strong, brave woman who hasn’t steered away from controversy. A woman who, more than anything, has kept going.”

Jane Fonda’s enduring tenacity—that keep goingness, even at 80—isn’t lost on me. In 2012, my own mother lost her husband, my stepfather, to a lengthy and laborious battle with liver disease and soon found herself in a particular state of limbo. Here was a woman who, after 63 years of traveling the world, raising five children (three were triplets!), becoming a successful financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, and imbuing her Arkansas community with female empowerment, was forced to put life on hold for months on end to nurse and nurture her partner of 21 years through his final days. And then, after he died, forced to renegotiate the world as a widowed woman of “a certain age.”

Some months into this new chapter I reminded Mom of a quote I’d recently unearthed by Jane Fonda. “We’re still living with the old paradigm of age as an arch. That’s the metaphor, the old metaphor: You’re born, you peak at midlife, and decline into decrepitude,” she said in a 2011 TED Talk. “A more appropriate metaphor for aging is a staircase—the upward ascension of the human spirit, bringing us into wisdom, wholeness and authenticity.”

Fonda was referring to what she dubbed her “Third Act,” the point in time when age isn’t a burden but rather a period of reinvention, reinvigoration, and, in a sense, fearlessness. Eight years later and my mother still clings to that quote as she, now at 70 and in her own Third Act, continues up her staircase, having found a whole new joy in her career in lieu of retirement, traveling internationally at least three times a year, and regularly wearing out her grandchildren with her near constant motion.

When I tell Fonda this, I can practically hear her smile on the other end of the phone. “It makes me so happy you told me that,” she says. “You know, when you’re my age, you have to continue to be an example. You can’t just say it—you have to do it. Then women like your mother will say, ‘Oh, if Jane can do it, so can I!’ It’s nice to be viewed that way at 80. At 30, if you had told me that I would live this long and be considered an icon, I would’ve told you you were out of your friggin’ mind!”

And yet, what Fonda continues to accomplish as a proud octogenarian would raise even millennial eyebrows: The fifth season of Fonda’s hit Netflix series, Grace and Frankie, which she co-leads along with Lily Tomlin, premieres in 2019; earlier this year she appeared alongside Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen in the $80+-million-grossing comedy Book Club; and, this month on HBO, Fonda stars in a documentary that looks back on both her life and nearly 60-year career. The title? Jane Fonda in Five Acts.

PHOTO: Getty Images

PHOTO: Shutterstock

Over the years Fonda, who took home two Oscars for her roles in ‘Klute’ (1971) and ‘Coming Home’ (1978), became one of Hollywood’s most impressive hyphenates.

PHOTO: Alamy

Mere minutes into the two-hour retrospective and it’s clear that Fonda has always had her own definition of a life well lived. As the daughter of famed actor Henry Fonda and socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw (who committed suicide when Fonda was just 12 years old), Fonda’s complicated relationship with celebrity didn’t bring her to her eventual craft until her early twenties. After studying art in Paris, Fonda had returned to the states, where she met legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, who helped her channel sensitivities and insecurities into dramatic motivation. After taking Strasberg’s class, Fonda made her Broadway debut in 1960’s There Was A Little Girl, which earned her first of two career Tony nominations. An illustrious film career followed. Movies like Tall Story (1960), Cat Ballou (1965), and Barefoot in the Park (1967), with Robert Redford, established her as a bankable movie star. Barbarella (1968), directed by her first husband, french auteur director Robert Vadim, made her an international sex symbol. With meatier, more mature roles in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), Klute (1971), Julia (1977) and Coming Home (1978), she became an awards darling, receiving best actress Oscar nominations for all four, and actually taking trophies home for Klute and Coming Home.

But the late sixties and seventies also found Fonda adopting a more profound role: that of political activist. An intense critic of the Vietnam War, she began organizing anti-war efforts. And, in 1973, she married fellow activist and politician Tom Hayden. (The pair divorced in 1990.)

Her newly-ignited passion roused detractors. Fiery pro-war Americans—who deemed Fonda as nothing more than “just an actress”—bitterly turned on her. In 1972, Fonda made a visit to Hanoi in order to get a first-hand glimpse of the effects the war and was subsequently photographed smiling and laughing while sitting in a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft weapon. “That’s one of the only things from my past that still hurts me,” Fonda says, referring to the U.S. citizens who nicknamed her “Hanoi Jane.” (Fonda, in her 2005 autobiography, My Life So Far, claimed she was manipulated into taking the picture.) “The continuing of the lies—I was the victim of fake news, and it’s painful that people still believe that about me,” she says. “It also pains me because it means there are a lot of people out there that still don’t understand what the Vietnam War was really about. And that is scary. If you don’t understand, then we will do it again.”

Despite the setback, Fonda was steadfast in her advocacy while also maintaining her career as an actress. Life, it seemed, began to exist on two planes: If Fonda wasn’t starring in seminal films, she was militant in her support for everything from the Black Panther movement to Native American rights to victims of sexual abuse. “I remember when we were doing 9 to 5, she was making calls in between takes to raise money for one of [ex] Tom [Hayden]’s campaigns,” says her Grace and Frankie co-star Lily Tomlin. “Jane’s commitment is profound. If she feels like she is doing the right thing, she’s fearless.”

PHOTO: Rebecca Ponsdomenech

Fonda (right) with American labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez in 1979.

Through the decades, and long before it was trendy, Fonda figured out how to make Hollywood and activism service each other. In fact, her now-legendary ascent to aerobics guru—starting in 1982 with Jane Fonda’s Workout, which launched a home-exercise revolution—was in service to her side hustle. Over the course of her career Fonda has produced 23 workout videos (that have sold more than 17 million copies) along with five books and 13 audio tape. The success of these projects has given Fonda the freedom to further dedicate herself to causes like the Women’s Media Center, a non-profit she, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem founded in 2005 to champion women in the media through advocacy, leadership training, and original content creation. “Public speaking. Lobbying Washington—all of that is a lot easier when you have a hit behind you,” she says. “So I’m not apologizing for being a celebrity anymore. And I’m not considering stopping acting. I’m going to keep it up as long as I can because I know that helps my activism.”

And her efforts have inspired a new generation of Hollywood hyphenates. “Jane could easily just sit back and be like, ‘I made it and I can do whatever the hell I want,'” says Brooklyn Decker, who plays Fonda’s daughter in Grace and Frankie. “But she still looks to the people who aren’t being represented in this country and she says, How can I help you? She’s still fighting for people who can’t or don’t know how to fight for themselves. She understands that ‘Fonda’ is bigger than her.”

As big as the name may seem, though, it seems the Fonda Movement hasn’t yet peaked. “I am still smack dab in my third act now. I have another 10 years until the end of my third act,” she says. Indeed, this calendar year includes a push for employment reform on behalf of domestic workers and a potential 9 to 5 sequel. “I don’t know whether to call it a coda or an epilogue. But I am going to do a lot,” she says. “There’s a lot on my horizon.”

Jane Fonda in Five Acts premieres on HBO on Monday, September 24. This profile is part of a full week honoring iconic women. For more, head here.

Photos: Lead Image: Art by Aimee Sy, Getty Images

Welcome to the Age of the $545 Pool Slide

Kanye West (with Kim Kardashian West) arrived at 2 Chainz’s wedding in Miami last month wearing pool slides that were laughably undersized.
Kanye West (with Kim Kardashian West) arrived at 2 Chainz’s wedding in Miami last month wearing pool slides that were laughably undersized. Photo: Shutterstock

Call it Slidesgate: On Aug. 19th, Kanye West attended rapper 2 Chainz’s wedding in Miami wearing a Louis Vuitton suit and a pair of scandalous pool slides. The slides, you see, were at least a size too small. Paparazzi photos captured Mr. West’s pathetic, be-socked heels hanging, quite comically, off the backs of his $150 pillowy slides like a hot dog poking out of its bun. Twitter critics piled on Mr. West for his failure to find a properly fitting shoe. (The slides came from his own brand, after all. How could it not outfit him correctly?) TMZ perhaps put it best, sniping that his shrimpy slip-ons “were waaaay 2 small.” A few days later, in a now-deleted tweet, Mr. West offered the dubious defense that he was wearing his shoes “the Japanese way,” in which one’s foot intentionally sticks out by a centimeter or two.

Whether you buy Mr. West’s rationale or not, the fact that he wore pool slides to a wedding at all speaks to the extent to which this beachy footwear has infiltrated our streets, our wardrobes and our culture. “We’ve seen growth in this category for 26 straight months,” said Beth Goldstein, an analyst at market research firm NPD Group. Ms. Goldstein explained this uptick in simple terms: Easy-going athletic wear is fashionable, and after sneakers, simple single-strap rubber pool slides are the next best thing.

“We’re living in a world where people just want comfort and ease in life,” said Justin Kittredge, the founder of iSlide. His company allows customers to order personalized slides at $50 a pop. In its five years in business, iSlide has experienced an average, year-over-year growth of 83% and has partnered with stars like DJ Khaled and the Denver Nuggets’ Isaiah Thomas. Said Mr. Kittredge: “You started to see more celebrities and athletes wearing [slides] out and when that started happening, it was gold for me.”

Even with their triple digit price tags, designer pool slides are flying off the shelves. Blockwise from top: Slides, $250, prada.com; Piscine Flat Sandals, $595, balenciaga.com; Men’s Dapper Dan Slide Sandal, $310, gucci.com
Even with their triple digit price tags, designer pool slides are flying off the shelves. Blockwise from top: Slides, $250, prada.com; Piscine Flat Sandals, $595, balenciaga.com; Men’s Dapper Dan Slide Sandal, $310, gucci.com

Melissa Gallagher, the senior vice president of footwear and accessories at Barneys, similarly credited so-called “influencer” celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and, yes, Kanye West, for perpetuating this trend. If you’re a celebrity, especially one like Mr. Bieber, who has lately been dressing like an addled frat boy, a pair of slides says “I’m too famous to worry about things like rain and/or stubbed toes and/or needing to run for a bus”. What’s more surprising is how swiftly these shuffle-about shoes have been embraced by men who don’t spend their lives in front of the camera.

Slides have transitioned from being something you never wanted to be seen in to something you hope will get you noticed, said Ms. Gallagher, pointing out how far the shoe has come from its locker-room roots. In the Barneys pool slide section, the designer names are big and the price tags are even bigger: Prada’s version goes for $250, Gucci’s for $295, while Balenciaga’s demands $595. Ms. Gallagher first viewed these prices skeptically: “I was, like, who’s gonna buy a $445 pool slide,” but the sales have been swift. In a recent period, 65% of sales for one of Barneys’ designer brands came from pool slides. (“We couldn’t keep them in stock,” said Ms. Gallagher.) It’s not just designer brands that are driving the trend: She noted that Barneys has sold so many Adidas $35 slides that the 69-year-old sporting brand is now “a fashion brand for all intents and purposes.”

But with winter around the corner, won’t these exposed-toe slides lose favor? Not if you ask NPD Group’s Ms. Goldstein. “Obviously the business is a little smaller in those months,” she said, “but we’re seeing that the category is continuing to grow.” If nothing else, the pool slide has a fun spring-break feeling; come winter, a pair of show-off slides can be a good excuse for a vacation.

More in Style & Fashion

Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com

The Worst Decisions Dumbledore Ever Made In The Harry Potter Movies

Albus Dumbledore was unquestionably a great wizard who held lots of influence in the magical community and was an essential figure in Harry Potter’s life. I’m sure if you were to ask any Hogwarts students about him, they would say that he is kind and whimsical. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is horrible at making decisions. Throughout the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore makes bad choice after bad choice, both before Harry enters the picture and then long after. I love Dumbledore, but he has a serious problem with his judgment.

Dumbledore is making his big return to the series in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — this time as a younger man played by Jude Law — and once again recruiting others to fight his battles for him. With that in mind, it’s time to look back at some of the more questionable actions of this otherwise awesome wizard. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) better watch his back, because these are the worst decisions that Dumbledore has ever made, ranked in no particular order.

Leaving Harry With An Abusive Family

Let’s start right at the beginning of the series, shall we? After his parents are murdered, baby Harry Potter is left with his only living family, the Dursleys. The Durselys are muggles, hate everything about magic, and treat this orphan boy like dirt, making him famously live under the stairs. Perhaps not physically abusive but definitely emotionally abusive, and it was Dumbledore who decided to leave him there! Rather than leave him with a magical foster family that could teach Harry about his heritage and powers, Dumbledore opted to leave him with these suffocating turds because… he wanted Harry to have humility? I’m sure Harry would have preferred keeping his ego in check over a warm bed.

He Sent Kids To A Nightmare Forest For Detention

Hogwarts is a magical place with lots of wacky, whimsical school traditions like playing flying broom sports games. Like any school, it has to discipline its students occasionally, but unlike a regular school, which just gives detention, Hogwarts sends kids into a dark forest riddled with dangerous monsters. Hogwarts is right next to the Forbidden Forest, which houses plenty of peaceful creatures like unicorns and a bunch of dangerous child-eating ones. First-year students who barely know how to make a feather float are sent there in the dead of night with a groundskeeper who legally can’t use magic to protect them. Honestly, it’s a great scare tactic, but if your students can get eaten by spiders, it’s probably not worth it. As the headmaster, Dumbledore can shut this down anytime. He just doesn’t.

Why Netflix Isn’t Interested In Streaming Live Sports

Though it currently boasts one of the best sports docu-series on TV in the form of the inspirational football series Last Chance U, Netflix is about as far from synonymous with live sports programming as it can possibly get. Considering nothing Netflix streams to its customers is in-the-moment, it’s not hard to grasp why sports haven’t ever been the company’s highest priority. But for anyone wondering if there’s a specific reason for the glaring absence, Netflix exec Maria Ferreras offered a brief but telling explanation. In her words:

I think in terms of live sports, there’s nothing we can do differently from a television broadcaster, so it doesn’t add additional value. You can never say never, but there’s no plans to go into that.

It sounds like Netflix is singing lost lines from an Annie Get Your Gun classic: “Anything you can do, I can do better, except for that sports thing, so we won’t even try it out just yet.” A patently Netflix-ian response, it is both boastful and humble in the same breath, accepting that the service currently can’t currently find a way to improve upon the live-viewing sports experience that linear television provides, while also drawing attention to the fact that live sports is one of the only major forms of entertainment that Netflix hasn’t found success with yet.

Maria Ferreras is Netflix’s Vice President of Business Development EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), so she’s obviously got a good idea of what makes for good and bad business decisions within the company. And while it may be a good idea for Netflix to drop massive moolah on popular TV creators, it’s clearly not in anyone’s best interests to start whatever processes that would allow them to stream live sporting events. With its original programming, the streaming giant boasts exclusivity and content variety that appeals to global demographics, which only ticks some of the same boxes that live sports would. And so with the actual “sit down and watch a game” process not offering Netflix any distinct advantages over its competitors, the need for sports isn’t a distraction.

The popularity of live contests, particularly NFL games and many sports’ postseason match-ups, makes for a lot of different revenue streams. But while networks cough up exorbitant sums for NFL TV rights, the expectation is that the networks’ money will be recuperated in part by lucrative deals with advertising companies. Meanwhile, Netflix makes its money through subscription fees, not advertiser fees, and multi-year NFL deals generally cost around the same as what Netflix annually borrows to fund its programming. Combine that with the company’s lack of mainstream merchandising outside select shows like Stranger Things, and funding any sports content would be as much of a headache as trying to visually enhance it.

All that said, the future could very well see Netflix making some gigantic World Cup deal to provide streaming for the next tournament, which would probably also include producing new content centered on soccer and the many competing teams from around the world. Netflix could also possibly team up with one of the big networks to stream the Super Bowl, or one of several other limited-fashion scenarios like that. And then, of course, expect for Netflix to start creating its own exclusive sports and leagues.