'Ted Lasso' stars visit White House to promote mental health


By AGENCY

Hannah Waddingham (right) reacts as Jason Sudeikis takes questions during the daily press briefing at the White House. Photo: Reuters

The cast of hit comedy series Ted Lasso was meeting President Joe Biden on Monday (March 20) to promote mental health awareness, but the actors' message was briefly eclipsed by a disgruntled journalist's live-television outburst in the White House briefing room.

Jason Sudeikis, who stars as Ted Lasso, a baffled American football coach at a dysfunctional English soccer club, led fellow actors onto the daily briefing room podium alongside Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

"No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter who you voted for, we all probably - I assume we all know someone... that's struggled, that's felt isolated, that's felt anxious, that's felt alone," Sudeikis told reporters.

That caring message - building off the mental health challenges that the Lasso character faces in the series - was, however, derailed briefly when a journalist began heckling.

The reporter for online outlet Today News Africa broke the storied briefing room's unwritten rules by loudly repeating that he was not picked by Jean-Pierre to ask questions as often as he wanted, sparking uproar from other journalists as he refused to stop shouting.

A grim-faced Jean-Pierre, still standing next to the Ted Lasso actors, eventually threatened to call off the briefing and the heckler fell quiet.

James Lance (centre) who plays journalist Trent Crimm in 'Ted Lasso', joins members of the press during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2023. Photo: APJames Lance (centre) who plays journalist Trent Crimm in 'Ted Lasso', joins members of the press during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2023. Photo: AP

Noting that verbal jousting was a norm for the briefing room, and had been for decades, Jean-Pierre said: "What I will not appreciate is disrespecting your colleagues and disrespecting guests who are here to talk -- were here to talk -- about an incredibly important issue, which is mental health."

The Apple TV+ series, the third season of which premiered March 15, delves into various characters' mental health, with storylines tackling issues with bullying, anger, relationships and self-esteem, as well as panic attacks.

"Ted Lasso has inspired the world through its universal themes around optimism, kindness and determination, and the Lasso philosophy to 'believe,'" Apple TV+ said in a statement, as reported by entertainment news outlet Deadline.

Biden on Sunday tweeted a photo of the Oval Office with a sign reading "BELIEVE" taped above the door - a reference to Lasso's mantra.

The Biden administration said it has expanded mental health resources for young people and provided nearly US$500mil to help states transition to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

(From left) Toheeb Jimoh, Brett Goldstein, Karine Jean-Pierre, Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Brendan Hunt during the daily press briefing at the White House. Photo: AP(From left) Toheeb Jimoh, Brett Goldstein, Karine Jean-Pierre, Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Brendan Hunt during the daily press briefing at the White House. Photo: AP

Anyone experiencing a mental health or suicide crisis can access confidential counseling by calling or texting 988 in the United States to reach the hotline.

Ted Lasso won Emmys in 2022 and 2021 for best comedy, best lead actor in a comedy for Sudeikis and best supporting actor in a comedy for Brett Goldstein, among other wins.

After winning in 2021, Sudeikis said the show was about family, mentors and teachers, and teammates.

"And I wouldn't be here without those three things in my life," he said. – AFP

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In Entertainment

HK actress Jessica Hsuan celebrates nanny’s 101st birthday
Singer Wang Feng and influencer Li Qiao deny they knew each other before his divorce
Special 24-hour channel launched to highlight humanitarian crisis in Palestine
Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce's families expect engagement 'sooner than later,' report says
'IF' review: Fun, fairweather family flick that leaves you wondering 'what if?'
HK celebs Stanley Yau, Mayao ecstatic over meeting Rihanna at Shanghai event
'Vampire Diaries' star Nina Dobrev hospitalised after bike crash
Actor Hisyam Hamid and wife divorce after 18 years of marriage
Domestic violence 'broke me,' says singer Cassie, ex-partner of rapper 'Diddy'
Hong Kong actor Kent Cheng celebrates 73rd birthday with other celebrities

Others Also Read