Did You Hear...? ‘Survivor’ Zeke outed as transgender, Kimmel takes on United and more from the week in entertainment
A reality-show contestant was outed, a late-night host took on an airline, an epic movie franchise delivered a sneak peek, a cable-news star took a well-timed vacation and some unscripted-TV writers walked off the job. Here’s all that news and more from the last week in entertainment.
On ‘Survivor,’ outwitting and outlasting are cool. Outing? Not so much
When “Survivor: Game Changers” contestant Jeff Varner outed fellow cast member Zeke Smith as transgender during the show’s tribal council on Monday, it didn’t end well. The other survivors — and even host Jeff Probst — flipped out, and criticism rippled well beyond the competition’s TV audience. Varner, who was fighting to stay in the game when it filmed 10 months ago, said he wanted to expose Smith’s “ability to deceive.” Smith, who got a chance to speak his piece after the episode aired, said a whole lot more than that.
Jimmy Kimmel, 1; United Airlines, less than zero
The host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” tore into United Airlines on Monday night as the embattled company struggled to save face after security personnel dragged a man screaming off an overbooked flight Sunday to make room for crew members. Kimmel debuted a parody commercial featuring a new United Airlines motto and a new flight-attendant accessory: brass knuckles. (Doesn’t last month’s leggings fiasco seem quaint now?)
‘The Last Jedi’ causes a disturbance in the Force
In Orlando on Friday, the first day of Star Wars Celebration (a convention that caters to fans of a galaxy far, far away), the cast and creative team behind “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” teased a live audience and a livestream audience with an hour full of tidbits about the new movie, which is due in December. Oh yeah, a new trailer for the movie was released too. G’head, freak out just a little bit. Princess Leia would want it that way. Here’s everything we learned from the panel and trailer.
Bill O’Reilly gets the heck out of Dodge
BMW, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz are the latest to pull ads from O’Reilly’s show amid sexual harassment accusations. (Sign up for our free video newsletter here http://bit.ly/2n6VKPR)
Amid sexual harassment accusations, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly announced Tuesday that he was taking a vacation — but it’s not what you think. “The O’Reilly Factor” host, who has acknowledged paying settlements but denied all harassment allegations, told viewers he booked the trip last fall, like he does most years. Per Fox, he’s due back April 24. Meanwhile, L.A. radio personality Wendy Walsh explained to the Los Angeles Times that she spoke out against O’Reilly to set an example for her daughters.
Déjà vu all over again? 200 TV writers walk out for a day
About 200 reality-TV writers — you know that’s a thing, right? — walked off the job Wednesday in New York in a Writers Guild of America, East, effort to unionize more unscripted shows. Those nonunion writers “rarely have access to healthcare and are often placed in dangerous situations in the field,” a walkout organizer said. The WGA’s East and West coast branches are in the middle of contract negotiations with big studios and broadcasters and may hold a strike-authorization vote soon.
Domestic Goods — and Bads: Actor Bradley Cooper and supermodel Irina Shayk welcomed a baby, making the world that much more attractive ... Janet Jackson and Wissam Al Mana called it quits on their marriage just months after their son was born ... Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner filed for divorce, finally.
Trumped: Melania Trump got an apology and damages in response to libel suits she filed against the Daily Mail and Mail Online after they ran a gossip story in mid-2016 loaded with rumors about her time as a model. That was the article that implied the then-future first lady had worked as an escort.
Did You Hear…? is your guide to a week’s worth of entertainment news in a nutshell. It appears Saturdays on latimes.com.
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