TheWrapTheWrap Covering Hollywood Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:55:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cannes: Will Smith, Paolo Sorrentino Join Main Jury Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:43:32 +0000 Nigel M. Smith Will Smith and director Paolo Sorrentino (“The Young Pope”) will serve on the jury for the 70th Cannes Film Festival, presided over by Pedro Almodovar, it was announced Tuesday. Jessica Chastain was previously announced as a jury member.

Among the other new additions to Almodovar’s jury: last years’ breakout director of Germany’s “Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade; Chinese actress and producer Fan Bingbing; French filmmaker Agnès Jaoui; Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook; and French composer Gabriel Yared.

Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”) will head the jury for short and student films, while Italian-French actress Monica Bellucci will serve as master of ceremonies for the opening and closing night.

Last week, Uma Thurman was announced as the Un Certain Regard sidebar jury president.

The jury for the main competition will award the Palme d’Or and other awards on the closing night of the festival May 28.


This year’s Cannes runs May 17 – 28.

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Trevor Noah Rips Trump’s First 100 Days: ‘You Don’t Get to Disregard the Number’ (Video) Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:17:18 +0000 Brian Flood

“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah mocked President Trump’s upcoming 100th day in office on Monday night by examining a variety of broken promises, saying, “You don’t get to disregard the number because you don’t like the current results.”

“This Saturday will be President Trump’s 100th day in office. I mean, it’s 100 days in Trump time. For us, it is 15 years,” Noah said. “As history will tell you, it’s an early milestone of presidential success.”

Noah then played a montage of Trump making promises on the campaign trail, including everything from cutting taxes to rebuilding in the military.

“And none of it is actually gonna get done,” Noah said while impersonating the president.

“I bet Trump’s one of those people who makes too many New Year’s resolutions,” Noah said. “Because with just five days to go before day 100, it’s starting to become clear that President Trump has accomplished very little of what he promised.”

Noah listed the Mexican border wall, the travel ban and replacing Obamacare as examples of failed promises.

“With the 100 day mark approaching and not much to show for it, there was only one thing for Donald Trump to do… admit that being a resident is a lot more nuanced than he expected and… no, I’m just kidding,” Noah said. “He’s just moving the goal posts.”

Noah then played a news report on Trump downplaying the 100 day milestone, which he recently called a “ridiculous standard” on Twitter. Last week, the Washington Post offered an unflattering look at his first 90 days in office — based on goals that he had stated for that period in an interview with the paper last fall.

Check out the video above.

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TBS Renews Jason Jones’ ‘The Detour’ for Season 3 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:13:28 +0000 Tony Maglio “The Detour” is staying on track — and on the air. TBS has renewed Jason Jones and Samantha Bee’s sitcom for a third season.

The series has been a hit for Turner’s comedy network, and it currently ranks as cable’s most-watched comedy of 2017. It’s second among adults 18-49.

“I hear from so many people who love ‘The Detour,’ even my hardcore comedy friends,” said Thom Hinkle, senior vice president of original programming for TBS. “Season 2 has been so smart, hilarious and wrong. And from the early nuggets I’ve gotten from Jason and Sam, Season 3 is going to be even more effed up.”

“The Detour” centers on a family of four led by Nate (Jones) and his wife, Robin (Natalie Zea). At the opening of the second season, Nate pursues a promising job opportunity and moves the family to New York City for a fresh start. Everyone is excited except for Robin, who knows that a move to the big city means her mysterious past may catch up with her. While Nate and Robin adjust to new jobs, new neighbors and old flames, Jared (Liam Carroll) and Delilah (Ashley Gerasimovich) dive headfirst into the awkwardness of adolescence. Despite questionable parenting and terrible decisions, the love the Parkers have for each other will keep the family intact as they endure another disastrous adventure.

In addition to Jones and Bee, “The Detour” is executive produced by Brennan Shroff and Tony Hernandez.

Season 2 concludes tonight on TBS, beginning at 10/9c.

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Netflix Series to Enter China, After All Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:50:22 +0000 Tony Maglio Chinese viewers have rarely been able to watch Netflix shows — that shan’t be the case anymore.

Thanks to a licensing deal with local video portal company iQiyi, several Netflix original series are set to enter China, the U.S.-based streaming giant confirmed for TheWrap.

“It’s great that people in China will be able to enjoy some of our original series,” a Netflix spokesperson told us.

For a brief time, Netflix’s “House of Cards” was available — and popular — in China. It was removed from a local streamer for regulatory reasons after a brief run, however, and Netflix had all but given up hope on cracking the tricky market again.

The Baidu-owned iQiyi recently raised $1.53 billion to help build out what will become its Netflix platform, according to TechCrunch. Meanwhile, Netflix just offered 1 billion Euro in new debt for “general corporate purposes,” which the company said includes “content acquisitions, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.”

Netflix had previously announced plans to spend $6 billion on content this year.

Last week, Netflix revealed its first-quarter 2017 financial results. For the three months ending on March 31, Netflix reported revenue of $2.6 billion and earnings of 40 cents a share. That easily topped the slightly less-than $2 billion in revenue and earnings of 6 cents a share the company pulled in during the same time last year, and exceeded analyst estimates of 37 cents a share in earnings. Revenue was right in line with analyst projections.

Unfortunately, Netflix fell shy of its subscriber growth estimate for the first three months of 2017, pushing the company’s stock price in the wrong direction. This morning’s news sent shares soaring though — take a look here:

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Janice Dean Says Return to Fox News Was ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ After Cosmetic Surgery Mishap Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:33:39 +0000 Brian Flood Fox News Channel’s Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean says she “was nervous” for her return to television on Monday after undergoing a new type of cosmetic surgery that left her with horrible side effects.

“I think it went very well,” Dean told TheWrap of her return to Fox News’ morning show. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive after sharing my story. Even social media – which can be a very negative space sometimes, has been flooded with well wishes and thank yous from both men and women for being open and honest.”

Dean had been off the air since early March after undergoing a fractora procedure in an attempt to get rid of some neck creases. She suffered side effects, including nerve injury, marginal mandibular nerve palsy, the inability to depress her lower lip, and a temporary change to her facial expression.

While not yet 100 percent, Dean returned to “Fox & Friends” on Monday to share her story.

“I’ve heard so many people say they’ve shared my story to their friends and family,” Dean said. “I think this topic is something we can all relate to, and we’ve all thought about doing something to improve our appearance.”

She continued: “I was nervous, but Fox and Friends truly is like a second family to me, and I was so happy to get back to a job I love. Hopefully my experience can shed some light on some of these procedures and doctors and patients can talk openly about the risks before they sign up.”

In a recent op-ed, Dean shared the importance of fully understanding the risks of any procedure before undergoing one.

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Colbert: ‘Donald Trump Has Done a Lot for Me in the First 100 Days’ (Video) Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:31:22 +0000 Tony Maglio

Stephen Colbert is finally admitting that President Trump is good for business — if your business is a politics-heavy late-night comedy show that relies on selling advertising time to media buyers at a price based solely on TV tune-in.

The “Late Show” host wondered aloud Monday if a recent POTUS tweet citing his positive impact on “S.C.” might stand for “Stephen Colbert.” It definitely did not — but it could, considering the “Daily Show” alum has leapfrogged Jimmy Fallon in average nightly total viewers.

“I gotta say: Donald Trump has done a lot for me in the first hundred days,” the surging CBS personality quipped. “Thank you for your service, Mr. President.”

“And now I feel dirty,” Colbert concluded.

It’s OK, Steve — we all do. Here’s Trump’s tweet:

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Tucker Carlson Kicks Off New Time Slot With Message to Bill O’Reilly Fans (Video) Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:09:11 +0000 Brian Flood

Tucker Carlson officially took over Bill O’Reilly‘s 8 p.m. ET Fox News’ time slot on Monday night, and began his program with a message to viewers who made “The O’Reilly Factor” the most-watched show in cable news for nearly two decades.

“For those of you tuning in expecting to see someone different in this anchor chair, I know the feeling well. I watched Bill O’Reilly at this hour for years and I always marveled at how well prepared he was, how tough he was and how crisply and directly he expressed his views,” Carlson said. “What O’Reilly did was not easy.”

The “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host continued: “He set a high bar and I’m gonna do my best to meet it. Thanks for sticking with us.”

Carlson moved from 9 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET to replace O’Reilly, who was fired from Fox News Channel amid allegations of sexual harassment. “The Five” moved to 9 p.m. and a new show featuring Fox News host Eric Bolling will launch at 5 p.m. ET next week.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” has moved three times since launching less than a year ago as a replacement for Greta Van Susteren and then moving to primetime to replace Megyn Kelly. The show has been extremely successful and Fox News execs hope it can stick at 8 p.m. ET and Carlson can emerge as the new face of the network.

Earlier Monday O’Reilly released a podcast with his first public comments since Fox News’ decision to part ways.

“I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” the former king of cable news said on his “No Spin News” podcast. “I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now.”

O’Reilly continued: “I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am.”

O’Reilly was let go last week following a New York Times report that he and the network had paid out $13 million to five women who accused him of harassment or misconduct.

Check out the video above.

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Disney Sets Multi-Network Premiere for ‘Descendants 2’ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:00:26 +0000 Reid Nakamura Disney’s “Descendants 2” will premiere across five different networks and their respective digital platforms, the company announced on Monday.

The follow-up to the 2015 Disney Channel original movie will be simulcast on Disney Channel, ABC, Disney XD, Freeform and Lifetime on Friday, July 21. The film will also stream live on each network’s digital and on-demand platforms.

“‘Descendants’ fans asked for more, and we’ve answered their call, with more ways to watch and more ways to engage with the next chapter in their favorite TV movie,” said Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC Television Group. “We’re combining the magic of Disney Channel content with the power and reach of our linear networks and digital platforms to ensure we’re everywhere our fans are all at the same time.”

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide added, “The passion that fans – across every demographic and geographic landscape – have demonstrated for ‘Descendants’ rivals anything we’ve seen since ‘High School Musical.’ Sharing the new sequel movie across our far-reaching portfolio of TV networks and digital platforms is something only Disney can do – and we do it proudly.”

The film, which followed the children of several iconic Disney villains, stars Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart and Mitchell Hope. China Anne McClain, Thomas Doherty, Dylan Playfair and Anna Cathcart have joined the cast for the sequel.

“High School Musical’s” Kenny Ortega serves as director, executive producer and choreographer. Wendy Japhet also serves as executive producer, alongside writers Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon.

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Huffington Post Drops Founder’s Full Name to Become HuffPost Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:22:12 +0000 Brian Flood The Huffington Post has rebranded as HuffPost and redesigned the site on Tuesday morning, as part of what Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen calls a broader reimagining of its mission following the departure of founder Arianna Huffington last August.

Polgreen said the name change reflects “what our readers call us anyway,” while the site now features photos and headlines with a “meme-like quality.”

“Sometimes it’s a good idea just to embrace the name that your audience has chosen,” Polgreen said in a statement published on HuffPost. “It’s shorter, it’s snappier and gets us a more compact look.”

CEO Jared Grusd and Polgreen have a new vision, but still credit founder Arianna Huffington for everything she contributed to the company.

“Everything that HuffPost is today stands on the shoulders of what Arianna Huffington built,” Polgreen said. “So I think that it’s in no way meant to diminish or distance us from that legacy because we’re incredibly proud of it. But I think it’s just trying to catch up with the times and how people now think of us.”

Huffington, who founded HuffPo 12 years ago and built it into a leading digital media site, gave up her role as president and editor-in-chief last August to focus on a startup called Thrive Global focused on health and wellness issues.

In 2015, she signed a new contract through 2019 with AOL, which had acquired her namesake company in 2011 for $315 million. But her position — as well as the future of HuffPo — had come into question since AOL was acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion.

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Solange, Pokemon Go, Planned Parenthood Among Webby Awards Winners Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:00:10 +0000 Jeremy Fuster Solange, Van Jones and the Women’s March are among the top winners for the 21st Annual Webby Awards.

This year’s winners, announced Tuesday, were selected by a panel that included Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Jimmy Kimmel, Questlove and “Making a Murderer” directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos.

Joel McHale will host the awards ceremony from New York, where Solange will receive a Special Achievement Award for her work with Saint Heron, an online store that allows artists to collaborate and promote their work. The show will be available on-demand on May 16.

Other award winners included Planned Parenthood for Best Charitable Organization, The Women’s March for Social Movement of the Year and Steve Buscemi for his work on the web series “Horace and Pete.” Internet Archive will receive the Lifetime Achievement award for its work on archiving billions of web pages and making them available through online tools like Wayback Machine.

Highlights of the winners are listed below, and a complete list can be found at the Webby Awards site.

·         Planned Parenthood won the Webby Award and the Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Charitable Organization/Non-profit Website

·         Sandy Hook Promise – Evan won two Webby Awards and two Webby People’s Voice Awards for Best Viral Marketing (Advertising, Media & PR) and Best Short Form Branded Content (Film & Video)

·         CNN won the Webby Award for CNN Election Night 2016 for Best Event in the Social category

·         The New Yorker won two Webby Awards and two People’s Voice Awards for Best Magazine Website and Best Writing (Editorial)

·         Van Jones’ The Messy Truth won the Webby Award for Best News & Politics Series (Film & Video)

·         Squarespace won the Webby Award and the Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Web Service & Application (Websites)

· won the Webby Award and the Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Political Blog/Websites (Websites)

·         Teen Vogue won its first two Webby Awards in Social Video for Ask a Muslim Girl and Film & Video for Body Party Starring Barbie Ferreira

·         Merriam-Webster Redefines Twitter won the Webby Award for Best Writing (Social) and the Webby Award and Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Education & Discovery (Social)

·         Game Changer featuring Stephen Curry won the Webby Award for Best Use of Online Media (Advertising, Media & PR)

·         GIPHY won three Webby Awards for Messaging (Mobile Sites & Aps), Best Comedy – Branded (Film & Video), and NetArt (Websites)

·         The Infatuation won the Webby Award for Best Food & Drink App (Mobile Sites & Apps)

·         NYT Cooking won the Webby Award for Best Food & Drink Website (Websites)

·         Airbnb won the Webby Award for Best Travel App for its New Airbnb App (Mobile Sites & Apps)

·         The Metropolitan Museum of Art won the Webby Award and the Webby People’s Voice Award in Social Video for The Met 360 Project (Social)

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Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Salute Ken Loach, James Newton Howard Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:00:31 +0000 Steve Pond Director Ken Loach, composer James Newton Howard, director Kenji Mizoguchi and cinematographer Jiří Brdečka will be the subject of tributes at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, KVIFF organizers announced on Tuesday.

The annual festival, which takes place in the spa town outside of Prague, Czech Republic, will also premiere a restored version of Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos’ 1966 film “The Shop on Main Street,” which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Those tributes are among the first batch of programs announced for the festival, which will run from June 30 through July 9.

Howard, whose film scores include “The Sixth Sense,” “Pretty Woman” and “Batman Begins,” will receive the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema. He will also conduct the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in a world premiere live performance of music from “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” on June 30 during KVIFF’s opening ceremony concert in front of the Hotel Thermal.

The concert will also include Carl Davis conducting additional film music, much of it from the James Bond films.

British director Loach will be honored along with his longtime screenwriter, Paul Laverty. Their collaborations include “My Name Is Joe,” “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” and “I, Daniel Blake.”

The late Japanese director Mizoguchi, whose seminal films include “The Life of Oharu,” “Ugetsu” and “Sansho the Bailiff,” will be saluted with a selection of 10 of his films, curated by British critic Tony Rayns.

The festival will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Czech cinematographer Brdečka by screening the feature “Lemonade Joe,” as well as a selection of his short films.

In additional programming, the Karlovy Vary President’s Award for Artistic Contribution will go to writer-director Václav Vorlíček, whose films include “Who Wants to Kill Jessie?,” “You Are a Widow, Sir!” and “The Girl on the Broomstick.”

And on the festival’s opening night, a new KVIFF trailer will be unveiled starring Czech actor Josef Somr. Like many of Karlovy Vary’s celebrated trailers, which have starred the likes of Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law and Milos Forman, this year’s was directed by Ivan Zachariáš.

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Wikipedia Co-Founder Launches Publication to Fight Fake News Tue, 25 Apr 2017 05:48:51 +0000 Ross A. Lincoln Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has started a new online operation that will pair paid journalists with volunteers with an eye on beating back the tide of fake news.

Wikitribune, launching April 25, will pay reporters through a crowdfunding campaign. People who contribute to the campaign will in turn be given some say on the topics and stories covered by Wikitribune, which Wales tells The Guardian will cover a range of issues from politics to science.

Volunteer community contributors meanwhile will be able to fact-check and subedit articles, similar to the way Wikipedia is operated.

“This will be the first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop, and at all times backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts,” Wales told The Guardian.

Like Wikipedia, Wikitribune will be free to access for all readers. Wales says he intends to hire the first slate of paid journalists “as soon as possible.” The site is launching with a crowdfunding effort pre-selling monthly support packages to fund those hires, with the first issue coming soon after the initial goal is met.

Wales has been mulling the idea over for months, but cites the Trump administration as inspiring the decision to go ahead with it. “Someone I know convinced me to give Trump 100 days before making my mind up,” he sys, “but then on day one Kellyanne Conway came out and said her ‘alternative facts’ line. That was when I really decided to move forward.”

Wikitribune will operate under parameters designed to emphasize transparency.
Among those policies, journalists working for the site will share full transcripts, video, and audio of interviews with users.

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‘Kingsman: the Golden Circle’ Trailer: the Dude, Magic Mike and an Eyepatch Tue, 25 Apr 2017 03:58:10 +0000 Ross A. Lincoln

A week after star Taron Egerton teased it with a super-compressed 10-second blipvert, 20th Century Fox has dropped the official trailer for “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”

Set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” the clip gives viewers their first look at the returning cast, along with franchise newcomers Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Sophie Cookson, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, Halle Berry and, most importantly, Colin Firth’s eyepatch. Watch it above, and be pleased they went with the Sinatra original instead of the over-played Sid Vicious cover.

The sequel to the campy 2015 spy thriller sees newly minted Kingsman Eggsy (Egerton) and Roxy (Sophie Cookson) travel with their tech advisor Merlin (Mark Strong) to the U.S. after their headquarters is destroyed by Poppy (Julianne Moore), a criminal mastermind who holds connections to the shadowy organization known as The Golden Circle.

While there, Eggsy and Roxy team up with the Statesmen, the American counterparts to the Kingsmen. While the Kingsmen bear codenames based on the Knights of the Round Table, like Galahad and Lancelot, the Statesmen bear alcoholic codenames, like Tequila (Channing Tatum) and Jack Daniels (Pedro Pascal).

Jeff Bridges plays the head of the Statesmen, with Halle Berry as the group’s tech support. Colin Firth and Michael Caine will reprise their roles as Harry Hart and Chester King, who were both thought to have been killed off in the last “Kingsman” film.

Once again directed by Matthew Vaughn, “The Golden Circle” hits theaters September 22, 2017.

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United Ad Yanked From Tribeca After Mockery By Festival Attendees Tue, 25 Apr 2017 03:00:57 +0000 Matt Pressberg

Judging by audience reactions, one of the funniest films at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival wasn’t even a film at all — it was a commercial for United Airlines’ new Polaris business class. (See the 30-second spot above.) And as a result, United and Tribeca decided to yank that commercial out of its spot preceding all of the festival’s public screenings, TheWrap has learned.

The airline, now best known for forcibly removing and bloodying a paying passenger to make room for some of its employees, is a longtime cosponsor of the annual film festival in New York, and the official airline for flying in filmmakers and guests. But the short trailer promoting the virtues of its new lie-flat business class product, which does not mention the United name until the end, drew derisive laughter at some screenings and milder chuckles at others.

That led Tribeca and United to make the joint decision to pull the commercial from screenings as of Saturday, a source close to the festival told TheWrap, to avoid it distracting from the festival’s films. The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 19-30.

Last week, in the wake of the seat-removal incident, United announced that CEO Oscar Munoz would not be assuming the role of chairman next year as originally planned. Munoz was criticized for his handling of the situation, with some of his early statements, where he talked about “re-accommodating” passengers, blasted as tone-deaf.

Steve Pond contributed to this article.

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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Boy Bands vs Girl Groups Night Breaks More Hearts Tue, 25 Apr 2017 02:14:49 +0000 Debbie Emery (Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Monday’s episode of “Dancing With the Stars”)

Former “Bachelor” Nick Viall survived dressing up as Pinocchio and performing a very wooden dance on last week’s “Dancing With the Stars” — but would he get past Week Six’s Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups night after being in jeopardy two weeks in a row?

The short answer is yes, shockingly.

In fact, after getting a perfect score on Monday, it was “Glee” star Heather Morris who was voted off.

Amidst boos and shocked reactions from the audience, the actress was “happy” with her experience on the show. “I’m OK. It’s a hard competition, and I am happy that I got to do what I got to do,” she said.

The Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups theme gave contestants the chance to channel their inner Justin Timberlake, Pussycat Dolls and Spice Girls — all in front of guest judge, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter.

Fifth Harmony member Normani Kordei had an extra advantage at least — not that the frontrunner needed it — as she grinded in front of her backup dancers and pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy dressed in construction gear.

Her dance to “You Just Might Get It” by the Pussycat Dolls “showcased what a great dancer you are,” but was too heavy on hip-hop and too light on Salsa, Len Goodman critiqued.

Pro bull rider Bonner Bolton, who has been hovering at the bottom of the leader board the last few weeks after a strong start, was told by Carter that he needs to find a “way to let go,” while Goodman said he needed to show more emotion.

Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan danced to “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue, and was praised by Carrie Ann Inaba for it being “the first time she had tapped into it this way.”

“Wow, wow, wow,” Carter added. Despite this, Kerrigan later found herself in the bottom two.

Viall was told that even though he fits the criteria of being in a boy band, he didn’t have the moves. While it was fun, “it was a Jive with a sunstroke,” Bruno Tonioli told him.

NFL player Rashad Jennings was congratulated for “showing what he’s got” with his dazzling Tango.

Before her surprise elimination, Morris performed her best dance to TLC’s “Waterfalls” with Maks Chmerkovskiy on his first show since his injury earlier in the season.

“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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‘Flip or Flop’ Couple Tarek and Christina El Moussa to Reunite for Supersized Season Despite Split Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:20:54 +0000 Jeremy Fuster “Flip or Flop” will return for its seventh season with Tarek and Christina El Moussa continuing their run together, despite the end of their marriage four months ago, HGTV announced Monday.

The two house-flipping real estate agents have already filmed five episodes, with filming for the remaining episodes continuing through the fall. The couple made their split official back in December, though they had been apart since last May, when Christina called police after Tarek left their house and walked into the woods near their home with a gun after an argument.

Despite the split, the two have remained together professionally and have vowed to keep “Flip or Flop” going.

“From the beginning, HGTV has showed Christina and me tremendous support,” Tarek wrote in a statement, “and we are excited to go out there and flip many more houses for ‘Flip or Flop.'”

“Tarek and I have been working together for a long time and we look forward to continuing to work together on ‘Flip or Flop,'” Christina added.

The El Moussas have made over $5 million in profits from the houses they have flipped for the show since it began in 2013. The pair, who share two kids, also run a real estate seminar, with Christina currently writing a book. In a February interview on “Good Morning America,” Christina said that working together on their business wouldn’t be a problem despite their split.

“Tarek and I, we met at work. So we worked together before we ever started dating,” she said. “It’s our normal … we’ll always be working together.”

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Faye Dunaway on Oscars Flub: ‘I Was Very Guilty’ (Video) Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:27:32 +0000 Reid Nakamura

Faye Dunaway has broken her silence about the Oscars Best Picture flub in an interview with Lester Holt on “NBC Nightly News” on Monday.

“I could have done something, surely. Why didn’t I see Emma Stone’s name on the top of the card?” Dunaway said, adding that she feels “very guilty” about the mix-up.

Dunaway, who incorrectly announced “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner over “Moonlight” alongside co-presenter Warren Beatty, also walked through what was going through her head on stage.

“[Beatty] took the card out, and he didn’t say anything,” she said. “He paused. He looked over me, offstage. He looked around. And I finally said, ‘You’re impossible.’ I thought he was joking. I mean, I thought he was stalling. Warren’s like that. He kind of holds the power and makes people … a dramatic pause.”

At the ceremony last February, Dunaway and Beatty were handed the wrong card as they were entering the stage to present the final award of the night. Beatty was given a duplicate card naming “La La Land” star Emma Stone the Best Actress winner, which Dunaway mistakenly interpreted to mean the film had won Best Picture.

The mix-up forced producers to step in and announce Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” as the rightful winner after the cast and producers of “La La Land” were already on stage to accept an award they hadn’t won.

“We were — I won’t say deers in the headlight — but you are completely stunned. You don’t know what has happened,” Dunaway said.

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Bill O’Reilly Speaks Out on Fox Ouster: ‘I Was Very Surprised How It All Turned Out’ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:24:42 +0000 Itay Hod Bill O’Reilly spoke out for the first time Monday about his abrupt ouster from Fox News, saying he was “surprised” to be out of a job but believes “the truth will come out.”

“I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” the former king of cable news said on his “No Spin News” podcast. “I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now.”

“But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am,” O’Reilly went on to say.  “There’s a lot of stuff involved here.”

It was the first time O’Reilly spoke publicly since Fox News announced Wednesday it had fired its top-rated host following a New York Times report that he and the network had paid out $13 million to five women who accused him of harassment or misconduct. At the time, he issued a statement from Italy, where he was vacationing at the time, saying it was “tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.”

O’Reilly explained on the podcast why he couldn’t explain more.

“Now, I can’t say anymore because I just don’t want to influence the flow of the information. I don’t want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it,” O’Reilly said.

He also introduced his new format for the podcast, which will be extended from its usual four minutes to anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes of news. He said it will eventually also include on-air guests.

On Monday, O’Reilly talked about President Trump’s approval ratings, the elections in France, former President Obama’s first public appearance since leaving office and the backlash over a canceled Ann Coulter speech at Berkeley.

O’Reilly says he’ll donates all revenue from his podcast to charities, including Haitian Health Foundation, Fisher House, Operation Shoebox and The Independence Fund.

The podcast is free through Sunday. Members pay $4.95 per month or $49.95 a year.

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Robert M Pirsig, ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ Author, Dies at 88 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:18:57 +0000 Debbie Emery Robert M. Pirsig, the author of philosophical novel “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” has died. He was 88.

Pirsig passed away at his home in South Berwick, Maine, on Monday, The New York Times reported.

His publisher, William Morrow, confirmed his death, saying the writer’s health had been failing.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pirsig was a college writing instructor and freelance technical writer when he penned his first book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values” in 1974.

The “novelistic autobiography” was an instant hit — selling a million copies in its first year and several million more since.

It was followed in 1991 with “Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals,” which was a sequel of sorts but not as successful.

“Zen” was rejected 121 times before finally being published by William Morrow & Company, whose editor James Landis said prior to publication: “The book is brilliant beyond belief. It is probably a work of genius and will, I’ll wager, attain classic status,” according to the Times.

Not only was it a best-seller, but the book — inspired by a 1968 motorcycle trip that Pirsig took with his son Christopher (pictured above) — evolved into an enduring work of modern philosophy.

Pirsig enlisted in the U.S. Army after World War II and cemented his philosophical beliefs while stationed in South Korea, NPR reported. He was hospitalized for mental illness upon his return to Minneapolis, during which time he started working on his debut book.

In the introduction, Pirsig said that, despite its title, “It should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either.”

The description of his 17-day road trip from Minnesota to California is punctuated by numerous philosophical discussions, referred to as Chautauquas by the author, on topics including epistemology, ethical emotivism and the philosophy of science.

Pirsig is survived by his second wife, Wendy, children Ted and Nell, and three grandchildren.

His son, Chris, who figured prominently in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” was stabbed to death during a mugging outside the San Francisco Zen Center in 1979.

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Producers Warn Against Strike: ‘The 2007 Writers Strike Hurt Everyone’ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:04:21 +0000 Reid Nakamura The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers responded to the Writers’ Guild’s strike authorization vote on Monday.

After the WGA voted overwhelmingly to authorize a possible strike Monday afternoon, the producers group warned against the move, reminding that the writers’ strike in 2007 “hurt everyone.”

“Writers lost more than $287 million in compensation that was never recovered, deals were cancelled, and many writers took out strike loans to make ends meet,” the statement continued. “We remain focused on our objective of reaching a deal with the WGA at the bargaining table when the Guild returns on April 25th.”

Writers guild members voted 96.3 percent in favor of authorizing a strike, with 6,310 ballots cast.

“We thank you for your resolve and your faith in us as your representatives,” read a WGA letter to members. “We are determined to achieve a fair contract. Talks will resume tomorrow.”

The guild had been negotiating a new contract for film and TV writers with AMPTP, but those talks broke down toward the end of last month. The WGA’s negotiating committee called for a strike authorization vote March 24, and talks were put on hold again after a two-week hiatus as WGA members voted last week.

A strike would begin on May 2, and would have an immediate effect on late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live,” which is set to return with a new episode on May 6.

Read the full AMPTP statement below:

“The Companies are committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table that keeps the industry working. The 2007 Writers Strike hurt everyone. Writers lost more than $287 million in compensation that was never recovered, deals were cancelled, and many writers took out strike loans to make ends meet. We remain focused on our objective of reaching a deal with the WGA at the bargaining table when the Guild returns on April 25th.”

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‘Anastasia’ Broadway Review: A Muddled, Pro-Czarist Russia Musical for the Trump Era Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:52 +0000 Robert Hofler John F. Kennedy had “Camelot.” Barack H. Obama had “Hamilton.” Only 100 days into his presidency, Donald J. Trump already has his own Broadway musical. “Anastasia” opened Monday at the Broadhurst Theatre, and it’s a show that pays homage to the kleptocracy that was the Romanovs of Russia.  How could our president not be thrilled?

Early in the show, a Jared Kushner lookalike sings of the glories of his pre-Communist nation in the song “My Petersburg,” even though the place has been renamed Leningrad. Later, the Ivanka Trump-like heroine shows her royal privilege by insisting that a fellow traveler ask her permission to smoke on the train ride from the U.S.S.R. to the West. Remember, this is 1927. There’s also the fake news that this girl who calls herself Anya might actually be Anastasia, the sole surviving member of the Romanov family that ruled the country as czars until the Revolution.

Terrence McNally’s book goes through so many contortions on the subject of Anastasia. She is the royal daughter. She isn’t the daughter. She is, then she isn’t again. But then why does this Russian girl know so much about the Romanovs’ pet cat and why is there a diamond the size of the Ritz sewn into her rag of an overcoat?

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Also unexplained is where Anya/Anastasia learned to jump from trains a la Tom Cruise and defend herself (and her boyfriend) by kicking men in the nuts. No Disney princess ever did that before! As the two lovers, Christy Altomare and Derek Klena display pretty singing voices, and otherwise show as much depth as the animated-film characters their roles are based on.

But about that train ride: McNally’s book has Anya and Dmitry disguising themselves as members of the Ballet Russes on the trip from Leningrad to Paris. For a musical that’s all about the effects of the Bolshevik Revolution, maybe somebody involved ought to have Googled the Ballet Russes, which never performed in the U.S.S.R. or Russia because of that upheaval. More fake news.

Back in the 1970s and ’80s, Stephen Sondheim taught Broadway that you could turn almost any subject into a musical. That the master composer never set one of his shows in the U.S.S.R. is telling. It’s innately dreary, and you can almost hear a big sigh of relief from McNally and songwriters Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens when the second act of “Anastasia” opens in ooh-la-la Paree! Anya has cashed in that big diamond, and she’s living it up in high style with a blond coif worthy of Ivanka. Better yet, McNally retires his jabs at Leningrad and uses his rapier wit to go after… Cleveland, Ohio.

Late in “Anastasia,” the Communist  official (the braying Ramin Karimloo) in charge of assassinating Anya lets go with the show’s one charge against the Romanovs, that they’ve robbed Russia blind and left it with nothing. Very unflattering assessment, but it’s a raspberry thrown by the musical’s villain. Otherwise, the Romanovs are a family to be both pitied and revered. Donald would like that.

McNally, Flaherty and Ahrens’s last Broadway collaboration was “Ragtime.” Their penchant for the solemn and the high-minded is now under control. Only every other song is an anthem.

Darko Tresnjak directs with an eye on the most recent film version of “Anastasia.” Alexander Dodge’s scenic design relies heavily on Aaron Rhyne’s gorgeous projections. They’re like watching a movie.

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Serena Williams Rallies Back at Former Tennis Star Over ‘Racist’ Comment About Her Unborn Baby Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:46:40 +0000 Debbie Emery Serena Williams hit back hard at former tennis pro Ilie Nastase over an comment he made about the color of her unborn child.

According to ESPN and the Telegraph, Nastase was caught on tape Friday ahead of Great Britain’s Fed Cup saying: “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?”

The 70-year-old former world No. 1 player from Bucharest was referring to Williams’ announcement last week that she is expecting her first baby with fiancé Alex Ohanian. His comment in Romanian is clearly audible during the press conference, ESPN reported, and was made to the other players while top Romanian player Simona Halep was being asked about Williams.

The remark did not sit well with Williams, who aired her disgust on Instagram Monday afternoon.

“It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers,” the 35-year-old wrote.

“I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go. Yes, we have broken down so many barriers — however there are a plethora more to go. This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right.”

However, Nastase — who was nicknamed “Nasty” during his career for his repeated outbursts — told the Associated Press that he was friends with the 23-time Grand Slam champion, and didn’t understand what he had done to cause offense.

“I want to know what word I used is racist?” he asked.

He is now being investigated by the International Tennis Federation, which issued a statement saying: “The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour of any kind. We are aware of alleged comments made by Romanian captain Ilie Nastase and have begun an immediate investigation so that we have the full facts of the situation before taking further and appropriate action,” according to ESPN.

Last month, Nastase made unfounded doping allegations aimed at Williams based on her muscular build.

The Romanian captain also got into hot water on Saturday when he was removed from the stands during a match for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Press Association reported that Nastase was heard asking the umpire: “What’s your f—ing problem?” He then appeared to call Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong and Konta “f—ing b—-es.”

See Williams’ full Instagram post below.


A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

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WGA Members Vote Overwhelmingly to Authorize Strike Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:42:08 +0000 Linda Ge The Writers’ Guild of America has voted yes to authorizing a strike if the guild’s current negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers doesn’t resolve by the May 1 deadline.

“Dear Colleague– The results of our strike authorization vote are now in. 96.3% of you have voted YES,” the WGA said in a letter to members. “6,310 ballots were cast. 67.5% of eligible WGA members voted, a historic turnout.”

“We thank you for your resolve and your faith in us as your representatives,” the WGA letter continued. “We are determined to achieve a fair contract. Talks will resume tomorrow.”

The guild had been negotiating a new contract for film and TV writers with AMPTP, but those talks broke down toward the end of last month. The WGA’s negotiating committee called for a strike authorization vote March 24, and talks were put on hold again after a two-week hiatus as WGA members voted last week.

In a statement issued shortly after WGA members voted to authorize a strike, AMPTP said it is “committed to reaching a deal,” and urged guild members to remember the impact of the 100-day 2007 Writers strike.

“The Companies are committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table that keeps the industry working.

“The 2007 Writers Strike hurt everyone. Writers lost more than $287 million in compensation that was never recovered, deals were cancelled, and many writers took out strike loans to make ends meet.

“We remain focused on our objective of reaching a deal with the WGA at the bargaining table when the Guild returns on April 25th.”

A strike would begin on May 2, and would have an immediate effect on late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live,” which is set to return with a new episode on May 6.

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Sean Hannity Denies Blacklisting Fox Guest Who Spurned His Advances Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:32:40 +0000 Reid Nakamura Sean Hannity has denied the sexual harassment allegations made by a former Fox News guest.

The Fox News host slammed Debbie Schlussel’s claim that he pressured her to come to his hotel room as “a complete fabrication” in a statement on Monday.

“This individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation,” Hannity told NBC News. “The individual has not just slandered me over the years but many people who this individual disagrees with. This individual desperately seeks attention by any means necessary, including making unfounded personal attacks and using indefensible and outrageous political rhetoric.”

Schlussel made the accusation in a radio interview with KFAQ radio in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday. When asked if she had ever been sexually harassed at Fox News, Schlussel replied, “Only by Sean Hannity, not Bill O’Reilly … He tried to get me to go back to the hotel after the show.”

Schlussel says after she denied the invitation, she was “blacklisted” from the network by Hannity.

“Before that happened, he said I would be a regular guest on his show,” Schlussel told NBC News on Monday. “After I said I wouldn’t go to his hotel, I was blacklisted from Fox News. I just made a couple more appearances, and not on his show. That was it.”

Despite her comments on Friday, she later told the Associated Press that the behavior did not reach the level of sexual harassment.

The sexual harassment allegations follow the ousting of Bill O’Reilly last week. The host was removed from the network after a firestorm of controversy following a New York Times report that he and his employers had paid out $13 million in settlements to women accusing him of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

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InfoWars Host Alex Jones Interrupts Custody Battle to Claim Sex With ‘150 Women or More’ (Video) Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:29:26 +0000 Rosemary Rossi

InfoWars host Alex Jones took a break from a custody battle with his ex-wife to offer one of his strangest claims to date — that he had “already had over 150 women” by the time he was 16.

Buried within a 66-minute video titled “Breaking: Alex Jones Exposes Sandy Hook Vampires” posted on Saturday, the conspiracy theorist used stick figures to make the argument, “You’re supposed to have children by 16 in every culture, biologically. If you’re not having them by 16, there’s something wrong with you.”

His narration then took a decidedly personal turn.

“When I was 16, I didn’t want to party anymore,” he said. “I didn’t want to play games any more. I grew up. I’d already been in the fights, all the big rituals. I’d already had probably – I hate to brag, but I’m not bragging, it’s actually shameful – probably 150 women, or more, that’s conservative. I’d already had over 150 women, I’d already been in fights with full-grown men. I was already dating college girls by the time I was 15-years-old. I was already a man at 16!”

Jones’ unique takes have drawn the attention of people including President Donald Trump, who appeared on his show during his campaign.

The right-wing Internet radio host is fighting his ex-wife, Kelly, for custody of their children, ages 14, 12 and 9. She asked the court to allow the jury to see clips of Jones on his radio show as evidence he is an unfit parent.

“He’s not a stable person,” said Kelly Jones, who divorced him in 2015. “He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped.”

Jones’ attorney Randall Wilhite calls his client “a performance artist,” comparing the commentator to Jack Nicholson portraying the super villain Joker in “Batman.”

Watch Jones’ entire video above, or fast forward to the 47-minute mark.

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Exit Bill O’Reilly: Here’s How Many Staff Meetings Fox News Has Held About His Scandal (Exclusive) Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:14:33 +0000 Itay Hod After Roger Ailes left Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations last summer, parent company 21st Century Fox promised it understood the severity of the situation and would improve its corporate culture.

But almost a month after the New York Times first reported another Fox News sexual harassment scandal — one that last week brought down the network’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly —  the company has yet to have a single company-wide meeting with its staff to discuss the accusations.

“It’s been radio silence,” a senior insider, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, told TheWrap. “There’s been no acknowledgement to the staff in person.”

Another Fox News employee also said there have been no company meetings about the matter, telling TheWrap that “everyone is on guard now” in the newsroom.

Fox News would not confirm or deny whether it has held a company-wide meeting to address employees’ concerns. But the network said co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine discussed O’Reilly’s departure during a recent morning editorial call that included representatives of all the bureaus, affiliate service Fox News Edge and show producers, among others.

A person with knowledge told TheWrap that the morning editorial call usually includes anywhere from 30 to 40 people, many of whom attend by phone.

Fox News executive vice president of human resources Kevin Lord did send a company-wide memo about the matter to Fox News employees on April 3, two days after the allegations first surfaced. And last week, Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch sent another memo about O’Reilly’s exit, saying the company wanted to “underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”

One human resources expert told TheWrap the situation was “appalling.”

“The first thing you should do is get all your staff on a call or an all-hands-on-deck meeting and explain your plan on how to deal with the issue,” said Kim Kane, HR manager at Any Baby Can, an Austin nonprofit.

Fox News insists it has made several changes since Ailes’ departure, including hiring Lord as its new head of HR and adding four new members to his team. The company also said “at least” 96 percent of all employees had completed sensitivity training.

Other changes include hiring the company’s first female CFO in its 20-year history and firing its comptroller, Judy Slater, who was accused of making racist remarks.

“That’s laughable,” Kane said about Fox News’ list of changes. “To say, ‘We hired a female CFO’ doesn’t necessarily mean someone will be less likely to be sexually harassed.”

Jay Budner, an HR expert who consults for companies on how to keep and cultivate top talent, told TheWrap he couldn’t “imagine not getting all the employees together and giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns or ask questions.”

Asked whether Fox’s response was appropriate, Budner said: “That’s too big a scandal for just one email. Come on!”

“Keeping good talent happy comes down to transparency and honesty,” he added.

The first Fox News insider believes the company’s handling of the O’Reilly scandal has been a disaster.

“They’re completely tone-deaf,” he said. “The culture hasn’t changed since Ailes left.”

Even O’Reilly’s farewell has rubbed some employees the wrong way.

On the day O’Reilly was fired, the company simply scrubbed his name from the show’s title, as fill-in host Dana Perino gave the ousted host a hero’s sendoff, proclaiming O’Reilly “the undisputed king of cable news” and wishing him “the very best.”

“That’s your mandatory script,” the Fox insider said. “It was total bulls— from O’Reilly’s camp. It was insulting to the viewers.”

A former female Fox News senior producer who worked for the network for several years said she wasn’t surprised that Fox News was caught in yet another sexual harassment scandal, describing a workplace environment where sexism was “rampant.”

“I’ve never had stuff like that at any other place I’ve ever worked for,” she said. “All I can tell you is that it was the worst place on Earth.”

When the accusations against O’Reilly first became public, representatives for 21st Century Fox pointed to the company’s anonymous hotline, insisting no employee had ever used it to make a complaint about the Fox News host.

But according to a recent New York Times report, Fox News staff members said they were unaware the company had such a hotline, and were not told about it even in sessions about sexual harassment.

“They’re getting to the point where they’re realizing they can’t just throw money at the problem,” the senior Fox staffer said. “I don’t think that people feel there’s a safe place for them to go.”

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Long-Awaited Madonna Biopic ‘Blonde Ambition’ Charts Her Rise to Fame Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:03:44 +0000 Jeremy Fuster Universal has picked up Elyse Hollander’s script for “Blonde Ambition,” a biopic about the rise of famed pop star Madonna. Hollander’s script was ranked No. 1 on the Blacklist, a list of the best screenplays in Hollywood that have yet to be produced.

The screenplay is set in New York in the 1980s and follows Madonna’s struggle to get her debut album released in a male-oriented music industry. Michael De Luca, who produced the “Fifty Shades” films for Universal, is attached to produce along with Brett Ratner and John Zaozirny. Released in 1983, Madonna’s eponymous debut album peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, featured early hit singles like “Holiday” and “Lucky Star,” and set the stage for Madonna’s breakthrough “Like A Virgin” album the following year.

Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers and Director of Development Chloe Yellin will oversee production for Universal. Lucy Kitada will help oversee for De Luca Productions.

Hollander is represented by WME, Bellvue Productions, and Ryan Pastorek and Robby Koch of Hansen Jacobson.

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Kim Kardashian on the Armenian Genocide: ‘Ottoman Authorities Began a Slaughter’ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:28:00 +0000 Carli Velocci Kim Kardashian spoke out about the Armenian genocide in recognition of the 102nd anniversary of the mass killings.

The reality TV show star, who is half Armenian on her father’s side, tweeted out a statement on Monday.

“Thinking of Armenians everywhere. 102 yrs ago, Ottoman authorities began a slaughter that would kill 1.5m,” she wrote.

April 24 marks the anniversary of the day in 1915 when the Ottoman Turks began the eradication of 1.5 million Armenians. Both Turkey and the U.S. have denied the killings were an orchestrated genocide.

On Monday, President Donald Trump recognized the anniversary, but declined to call it a genocide.

“Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire,” Trump wrote in a statement issued on Monday. “I join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the loss of innocent lives and the suffering endured by so many.”

Kardashian has long been outspoken in regards to Armenian genocide deniers. She previously wrote a letter in April 2016 on her app in regards to a Wall Street Journal decision to run an advertisement funded by deniers. The letter was then run as an ad in the New York Times. She wrote in part:

“Many historians believe that if Turkey had been held responsible for the Armenian genocide, and reprimanded for what they did, the Holocaust may not have happened. In 1939, a week before the Nazi invasion of Poland, Hitler said, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” We do. We must. We must talk about it until it is recognized by our government because when we deny our past, we endanger our future. When we allow ourselves to be silenced by money, by fear and by power, we teach our children that truth is irrelevant. We have to be responsible for the message we pass on to our children. We have to honor the TRUTH in our history so that we protect their future. We have to do better than this.”

Other Kardashian sisters spoke out in commemoration of the anniversary. Khloe Kardashian posted a photo from the Kardashian’s trip to Armenia in 2015 with a long note about the power of speaking out against the genocide.

“I am proud to be an Armenian!!! It is our duty to not be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation no matter their race or creed,” she wrote.

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Gregg Allman Dispels Hospice Rumors: ‘I’m Home Resting’ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:06:05 +0000 Meriah Doty After an unverified Facebook post fueled rumors that rock legend Gregg Allman has entered hospice care, he let “everyone” know he is A-OK.

“Hey everyone. I just wanted y’all to know that I’m currently home in Savannah resting on my doctor’s orders,” the singer-songwriter said in his own Facebook message, labeled “A message from Gregg.” He went on: “I want to thank you for all the love that you are sending. Looking forward to seeing everyone again. Keep Rockin’.”

The 69-year-old rocker has been battling largely undisclosed health issues in the past few years, keeping many of the details surrounding the state of his health private.

Allman canceled June concerts last month then announced he would not be touring this year at all. He cited no reason for the canceled gigs. He also canceled 28 dates in 2016, citing “serious health issues.”

“This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long, time,” Allman said in a statement last year. “I’ve been on the road for 45 years because I live to play music with my friends for my fans. As much as I hate it, it’s time for me to take some real time off to heal.”

The musician-songwriter canceled a 2011 solo tour following a liver transplant that caused an upper respiratory condition. More recently, he suffered a vocal injury that required months of recovery time.

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Ron Howard Mourns Erin Moran: ‘It’s Been a Rough Time’ (Video) Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:01:55 +0000 Linda Ge

Ron Howard took a moment to remember his late “Happy Days” co-star Erin Moran, while on “The Talk” Monday afternoon.

“What a great, irrepressible spirit, you know, and a wonderful talent, and you know she was always the kid on the set,” the filmmaker said on the CBS talk show.

Howard, who played Richie, older brother to Moran’s Joanie on the sitcom, admitted the actress’ death Saturday “really did hit hard,” coming on the heels of some other hard deaths in his life.

“It’s been a rough time,” he said. “Bill Paxton, we lost a while back, [he was] a very good friend, and my stepmother, Judy, passed away a couple months ago. So the Erin event really did hit hard. I had no idea she was ill whatsoever.”

The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana said Monday an autopsy revealed that Moran “likely succumbed to complications of stage 4 cancer.”

Howard did indulge in host Julie Chen’s request to share a memory of Moran that makes him smile.

“When I think of her then, which is how I choose to, she was this feisty, spirited girl,” he mused. “It was kind of a boys club; we had all the guys goofing around… I do remember a particular moment where we were in rehearsal… and somehow it was kinda turning into a shaving cream fight, and she did sneak up behind Henry Winkler with a pretty good shaving cream pie and get him.”

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Elton John Cancels Upcoming Performances Due to ‘Potentially Deadly’ Illness Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:55:16 +0000 Reid Nakamura Elton John has canceled a string of concert dates after contracting a “harmful and unusual bacterial infection” during his recent tour in South America.

John’s April/May performances of “The Million Dollar Piano” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace has been canceled, as well as a May 6 performance in Bakersfield, California.

According to a statement from John’s reps that was obtained by TheWrap, the musician became “violently ill” during a return flight from Santiago, Chile and was admitted to a hospital in the U.K. where he was treated for a “rare and potentially deadly” infection.

John was released from the hospital on Saturday, April 22 and is currently “expected to make a full and complete recovery.” He will resume regular performances with the show in Twickenham, England scheduled for Saturday June 3rd.

“I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologise for disappointing them,” John said in a statement. “I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”

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Black-Owned Hair Care Company Apologizes for Ad With White Woman: ‘We Really F-ed This One Up’ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:51:22 +0000 Rasha Ali Shea Moisture released a statement of apology and decided to pull their most recent ad after the company was heavily criticized for excluding their core audience and including white women instead.

“Wow, okay — so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up,” the black-owned hair-care company wrote on its Facebook page. “Please know that our intention was not — and would never be — to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate.”

The hair care company, founded in 1912 by Liberian immigrants, came under fire after releasing a new advertisement that features white women who experience “hair hate” and have come to finally love their hair thanks to Shea Moisture products.


The statement also addressed the issue brought up by most critics — that Shea Moisture is pretty much abandoning the very demographic that made the company popular all in the name of widening its market.

“You guys know that we have always stood for inclusion in beauty and have always fought for our community and given them credit for not just building our business but for shifting the beauty landscape,” the companhy’s message stated.

The hair care line was founded by two Liberian refugees from Harlem and has since been associated almost exclusively with black hair. The release of the new ad has caused some people to think that Shea Moisture is abandoning its original target audience and trying too hard to include white women.

Read Shea Moisture’s full apology below:

“Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate. You guys know that we have always stood for inclusion in beauty and have always fought for our community and given them credit for not just building our business but for shifting the beauty landscape. So, the feedback we are seeing here brings to light a very important point. While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way. We are keenly aware of the journey that WOC face – and our work will continue to serve as the inspiration for work like the Perception Institute’s Good Hair Study/Implicit Association Test that suggests that a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their textured or natural hair. So, you’re right. We are different – and we should know better.

Thank you all, as always, for the honest and candid feedback. We hear you. We’re listening. We appreciate you. We count on you. And we’re always here for you. Thank you, #SheaFam, for being there for us, even when we make mistakes. Here’s to growing and building together…”


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‘Hell or High Water’ Stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster Reunite With Director for Netflix’s ‘Outlaw King’ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:33:15 +0000 Jeremy Fuster After thrilling critics and indie film fans with the Best Picture Oscar-nominated “Hell or High Water,” director David Mackenzie and stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster are on the verge of reuniting for a Netflix project that will take them from the small towns of Texas to the cold highlands of Scotland.

The project, titled “Outlaw King,” will be written and directed by Mackenzie in his first major project since wrapping “Hell or High Water.”  The film will tell the tale of Robert the Bruce, a famed Scottish monarch who to this day is a national hero for leading the Scots to victory in the First War of Scottish Independence in the 14th century.

Pine is slated to play Robert while Foster will play his loyal right hand man, Sir James Douglas. The project will be a personal one for Mackenzie, as he is Scottish.

Production is set to begin in Scotland in August. Gillian Berrie is producing with Anonymous Content’s Richard Brown and Steve Golin, with the project becoming the first major venture for Netflix’s original film division since producer Scott Stuber was hired as its head.

“Hell or High Water” premiered at Cannes last year and went on to receive four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Pine can next be seen this June opposite Gal Godot in “Wonder Woman,” while Foster is slated to appear alongside Christian Bale in the Old West period drama “Hostiles.”

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Steve Harvey’s New Syndicated Daytime Show Sets Fall Premiere Date Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:30:51 +0000 Thom Geier Steve Harvey’s new syndicated daytime talk show, “Steve,” has set a premiere date of Tuesday, Sept. 5, producers announced Monday.

The veteran host, who is retiring his previous daytime talker “Steve Harvey” after five years, will relocate to the West Coast to shoot the new series on the Universal lot.

“Steve” will air on NBC-owned affiliates along with other stations covering 95 percent of U.S. TV households.

Harvey will produce along with IMG, along with with executive producers Shane Farley (“The Voice,” “VH1s “Big Morning Buzz”), Gerald Washington (“Steve Harvey,” “Family Feud,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Little Big Shots”), and IMG’s Mark Shapiro and Mike Antinoro.

Harvey, who recently hosted Fox’s revived “Showtime at the Apollo,” has served as host and executive producer of such series as “Funderdome,” “Family Feud,” “Steve Harvey” and the NBC primetime show “Little Big Shots.”

“As I embark on this new adventure, I’m excited to explore everything Los Angeles has to offer for this new show,” Harvey said in a statement. “‘Steve’ is going to be different than my current daytime show. The new location will allow me to welcome more celebrity guests and more importantly let me do what I enjoy doing best, being funny!”

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UC Berkeley Sued Over Ann Coulter’s Postponed Visit Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:20:59 +0000 Brian Flood Two groups that booked conservative commentator Ann Coulter to speak at the University of California at Berkeley filed a lawsuit on Monday after the school postponed her appearance.

The Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans claim the school violated their free speech rights when it announced Thursday that it had reversed its earlier decision to cancel Coulter’s April 27 appearance, and will now allow her to speak at the school on May 2.

Coulter has said she will speak at Berkeley on Thursday, regardless of the university’s move to reschedule her appearance.

Berkeley’s president and other school officials are listed as defendants in the lawsuit that was filed on Monday in the Northern District of California San Francisco Division.

Berkeley, which has been rocked by two violent protests recently, saw violence in February when right-wing provocateur and then Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at the school. The school canceled Yiannopoulos’s talk moments before it was to begin after some masked protesters hurled rocks and molotov cocktails and attacked members of the crowd.

President Trump criticized the school in February for its decision to cancel the Yiannopoulos talk and tweeted a threat to yank federal funds from Berkeley.

Berkeley has been criticized for canceling the two speakers despite the campus’s historic role as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Coulter said in an email to The Washington Post on Wednesday that she believes that her April 27 speech had “been unconstitutionally banned” by the “public, taxpayer-supported UC-Berkeley.”

In another violent outburst, anti and pro-Trump protestors clashed in Berkeley earlier this month.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report. 

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iHeartRadio Parent May Not Survive One More Year as ‘Going Concern’ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:08:29 +0000 Matt Pressberg iHeartMedia, the parent company of iHeartRadio, the largest operator of radio stations in the U.S., may not survive another year in business, the company announced in a Thursday SEC filing.

“Management anticipates that our financial statements to be issued for the three months ended March 31, 2017, will include disclosure indicating there will be substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date the first quarter 2017 financial statements are issued,” the statement said.

iHeartMedia, which was known as Clear Channel Communications until 2014, owns more than 850 AM and FM radio stations across the country which reach more than 110 million listeners every week. But as streaming music services like Pandora and Spotify emerged — and advertisers followed suit to those services, not to mention Google and Facebook  — terrestrial radio stations have faced new challenges.

Further compounding issues, the company has more than $20 billion in long-term debt as of Dec. 31, most of it related to a 2008 leveraged buyout led by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners. Last month, iHeartMedia exchanged $476 million in notes due 2018 for debt maturing in 2021 — kicking the can down the road.

In addition to its radio stations, iHeartMedia owns Clear Channel’s old billboard business as well as other media entities such as Premiere Networks, which syndicates shows from popular talking heads including Rush Limbaugh, Steve Harvey, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

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Unapologetic Rihanna Responds to ‘Haters’ With Another Queen Photoshop Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:29:58 +0000 Nigel M. Smith Rihanna hasn’t backed off after facing backlash for superimposing Queen Elizabeth II’s head over her racy ensembles over the weekend — instead the pop star has doubled down, sharing another similar photo on her Instagram Monday.

The latest image sees Rihanna‘s face in a Dior ad replaced with that of the British monarch.

The cheeky captions reads: “haters will say it’s photoshop.”

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

On Sunday, Rihanna sent her 52.5 million Instagram followers into a tizzy after posting four photos that saw the Queen’s face plastered onto the singer’s 29-year-old body. Rihanna presumably shared the images to honor the royal’s 91st birthday, which took place on April 21, although she has yet to officially reveal the reason.

Many of Rihanna‘s fans found humor in the audacious posts, but she’s also been criticized by a fair amount of detractors.

“Its rude you know. This is not funny. She’s someone’s grandma. Imagine if its yours,” one user wrote in the Instagram comments section. Another added, “Rihanna is craving attention I suppose. The queen is 91 and deserves respect.”

On her latest upload, one Instagram commentator wrote: “She’s still at it with this non-funny bulls—.”

The controversy comes less than six months after the singer met with Prince Harry in Barbados to celebrate 50 years of independence for the island nation.

Check out Rihanna’s Queen images from over the weekend, below:

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

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Scott Baio on Erin Moran’s Death: ‘You Do Drugs or Drink, You’re Gonna Die’ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:20:42 +0000 Debbie Emery Scott Baio had a blunt response to former “Happy Days” co-star Erin Moran’s death on Monday, telling “The Bernie and Sid” show on WABC radio: “For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die.”

His comments came two days after Baio, who also starred opposite Moran on spinoff hit “Joanie Loves Chachi,” offered sympathy over his co-star’s death at 56 in a heartfelt Twitter post, saying: “May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin. My sincere condolences.”

However, in his radio interview Monday, the 56-year-old actor said he was a “little shocked but not completely shocked that this happened” after news broke Saturday that Moran had died in her in Indiana home.

The official cause of death was confirmed on Monday as “complications of stage 4 cancer.” However, the late actress had a battled with drug dependency and depression for many years. Toxicology test results are still pending, but no illegal narcotics were found at her home.

Having been familiar with the dark side of Moran’s life, Baio drew his conclusion of what might have led to her premature death.

“My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content. For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die,” he continued.

“I’m sorry if that’s cold, but God gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive and you gotta take care of yourself,” Baio told the radio hosts. “I’m saddened by what happened. I don’t know if it was drugs that killed her, I read one report said it might have been and I hope it … I don’t know what I hope. It’s what it is. What can you do?”

The onscreen couple began working together in 1977 when Chachi was introduced on “Happy Days” as Fonzie’s younger cousin, but Baio said he had not seen Moran recently.

“She was just an insecure human being and fell into this world of drugs and alcohol. Again, I don’t know if that’s what killed her, I’m sure it was a culmination of years and years of doing it that might have had something to do with it. She just never found her way,” he said, revealing that he had tried to get her help many years ago.

“How do you help somebody that doesn’t want to help themselves?” he asked rhetorically. “You try a couple of times and if they don’t want the help, I gotta go, sorry.”

Moran was found unresponsive in her Corydon, Indiana, home on Saturday. After losing her Palmdale, California, house to foreclosure in 2010, according to TMZ, she moved in with her mother-in-law in a Corydon trailer park and was later a long-term resident at a local Holiday Inn.

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Shea Moisture Under Fire For New Ad Featuring White Women Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:16:55 +0000 Rasha Ali Update: Black-owned hair company has since issued an apology.

This week’s major company advertisement flub: Shea Moisture.

The hair care company is under fire after releasing a new advertisement that features white women who experience “hair hate” and have come to finally love their hair thanks to Shea Moisture products.

The hair care line was founded by two Liberian refugees from Harlem, New York, in the 90’s and has since been associated almost exclusively with black hair. The release of the new ad has caused some people to think that Shea Moisture is abandoning its original target audience and trying too hard to include white women.

“Shea Moisture really went all hair matters on us. Wow,” wrote one Twitter user alluding to the Black Lives Matter/All Lives Matter movement.

A few other people pointed out that black women were the ones that have been supporting Shea Moisture from the start and are even the ones who promoted their products, resulting in their continued success.

“Black women have supported and gave free press to Shea Moisture for YEARS,” commented another user. “And then they have a “hair hate” commercial with white women?”

Others took the new ad to be the company’s attempts to gentrify its hair care products.

See some of the best Twitter replies below.


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Lawsuit: Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes and Fox News Execs Online-Harassed Andrea Tantaros Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:07:33 +0000 Ashley Boucher Andrea Tantaros, a former host of the Fox show “The Five,” has filed a new lawsuit against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and other executives, claiming that an extensive online harassment campaign had been waged against her.

The suit also mentions recently-ousted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, claiming that he and Ailes were “supported by a cabal of senior executives” in their “highly complex and extremely high-tech” criminal conduct.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court on Monday, charges the Fox News network, former CEO Roger Ailes, co-president Bill Shine, PR executive Irena Briganti, and social-media consultant Peter Snyder for “digital character assassination” involving hacking and threats.

The lawsuit describes an elaborate campaign against Tantaros, including hacking her personal computer and the creation of “sock puppet” social media accounts used to harass her online — similar criminal behavior “portrayed in a recent episode of the highly popular Showtime Network series, ‘Homeland.'” In the episode, titled “Sock-Puppets,” similar conduct was used to destroy the reputation of a newly-elected president.

“Fox News and its executives flatly deny that they conducted any electronic surveillance of Ms. Tantaros,” the network said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. “They have no knowledge of the anonymous or pseudonymous tweets described in her complaint. This lawsuit is a flimsy pretext to keep Ms. Tantaros and her sexual harassment claims in the public eye after the State Supreme Court directed her to bring them in arbitration.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the aforementioned online abuse has been “long underway” and is being used against the victims of sexual assault at Fox News. “In the case of Ms Tantaros,” the lawsuit says, “the conduct started while she was employed by Fox News and continues to this day–long after her employment with the network was terminated.”

In August 2016, Tantaros filed a separate sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News, Ailes and current co-president Bill Shine. That lawsuit, too, mentioned the network’s biggest star, O’Reilly.

“Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny,” the lawsuit stated.

Fox News quickly fired back, seeking arbitration and calling Tantaros “not a victim” but “an opportunist.”

In her lawsuit, Tantaros called her gig at Fox News her “dream job,” but alleged that she was “the victim of demeaning conduct, such as being instructed to wear clothes that showed off her legs, and being required to annually pick on-air clothing in the middle of a room without the benefit of even a curtain, thereby forcing her to strip down in front of Fox News wardrobe personnel.”

In October of 2016, Tantaros discussed her sexual harassment lawsuit on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think a culture change at Fox News is in order,” she said. “Ailes sexually harassed me numerous times.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this story.

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