Remember last year when VICE on HBO was nominated for an Emmy? Well, this year season two managed to scoop up three nominations at the premier award ceremony for American television excellence: Outstanding Informational Series or Special; Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming; and Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera).
We would like to congratulate the cast and crew on an excellent season, and the renewal of the show for seasons 3 and 4. If they keep going at this rate, who knows what to expect next year. Is it too early for a lifetime achievement award?
In our attention-deficit throw-away society, very seldom is there room for the little guy (or gal) to say their piece in the spotlight. Our new series, Profiles by VICE, aims to change that. Profiles by VICE is a weekly distillation of our eccentric and idiosyncratic world. In each episode we take an intimate look at issues, people, and communities that burrow deep into the underbellies of society.
If this piques your interest—and we can’t see why it wouldn’t, unless you’re one of those humans who’s not interested in other humans, in which case we don’t know what to tell you other than, “Get your head out of your ass”—watch the series trailer here, and check out this handy episode guide:
Slut-Shaming Preacher: We travel to Arizona to meet up with campus preacher Brother Dean Saxton, a student at the University of Arizona, whose “You Deserve Rape” sign has caused outrage among the student body.
An Inside Look at the Exotic Animal Trade: We travel to Ohio to rescue a cougar, then to Texas for an exotic livestock auction and undercover visit to a gaming ranch where the animals are sold and hunted for up to $15,000 a piece.
Reserection: The Penis Implant: We travel to Miami (obviously) to speak to one of the leading penis doctors in the country and find out what it scosts to get your penis operated on.
My Homie Sells Homies: We travel to New York City’s forgotten borough, Staten Island, to find out how a guy named Sugarman created a small vending-machine empire—and how he subsequently lost it, one quarter at a time.
Blind Gunslinger: We travel to North Dakota to meet Carey McWilliams, the first completely blind person in the US to acquire a concealed-carry permit.
Prison, Bling Ring, and Redemption: We travel to Los Angeles and talk to Alexis Neiers about her struggles with addiction, her criminal involvement in the real-life Bling Ring, and her new life as a sober mother.
Teenage Bullfighters: We travel to Merida, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, to meet Michelito Lagravere, who at 14, became the youngest bullfighter ever.
As politicians in Washington wring their hands over the Veterans Affairs scandal, VICE News travels to Portland, Oregon, to see what it’s all really about. We meet Curtis Shanley, a former Marine Corps machine-gunner, who has spent the past five years wading through red tape to get medical attention for a crippling injury he suffered while serving his country in Iraq.
Michelito Lagravere is 16. The day he was born, his bullfighter father was battling a bull. At four years old, Lagravere would run around his house with a towel and “fight” his pet dog. He killed his first calf at six. At 11, he killed six bulls in a single day. By age 14, Lagravere officially turned into the youngest bullfighter ever.
For this episode of Profiles by VICE, we went to Merida, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, to meet this young bullfighter, his parents, and his younger brother André “El Galo,” who is poised to follow in his brother’s footsteps. The Lagravere brothers are destined for greatness in an old (and questionable) Mexican tradition.
This is chapter four of Robert Young Pelton and Tim Freccia’s sprawling 35,000-plus-word epic exploration of the crisis in South Sudan. We will release a new chapter daily, but you can skip ahead and read the full text here or watch the documentary.
Late last year, South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, accused his former vice president, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup d’état amid accusations of rampant corruption within the government. Infighting immediately broke out within the presidential guard, sparking what has now become a brutal tribal and civil war that has pitted Machar’s ethnic Nuer loyalists against the majority Dinka, who have sided with Kiir. Machar narrowly escaped assassination, fleeing to the deep bush as Kiir’s troops razed his home and killed his bodyguards. And now the world’s newest sovereign nation is in imminent danger of becoming a failed state.
In February, journalists and filmmakers Robert Young Pelton and Tim Freccia set out on a grueling mission to locate Machar in his secret hideout in Akobo and get his side of the story. Accompanying was Machot Lat Thiep, a former child soldier and Lost Boy who had advised on South Sudan’s constitution and now works as a manager of a Costco in Seattle. Machot acted as a guide of sorts, arranging Pelton and Freccia’s rendezvous with Machar through a series of endless satellite-phone calls to old contacts and rebel platoons, who would eventually guide the group to the deposed vice president.
After spending a couple days with Machar, he granted Pelton and Freccia unprecedented access to the front lines of a battle in Malakal, where for the first time in history the pair documented the heretofore mythical White Army as they looted, murdered, and pillaged their way to some twisted interpretation of “victory.”
We devoted an entire issue of the magazine to Robert Young Pelton and Tim Freccia’s sprawling 35,000-plus word epic exploration of the crisis in South Sudan. It’s a companion piece of sorts; watch the documentary and read the issue or vice versa. But you won’t get a full scope of the situation without doing both.