1825 posts
  • Awards
  • Celebrity
Casey Affleck and his lead actor Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards.
Casey Affleck and his lead actor Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Casey Affleck has withdrawn as presenter of the lead actress Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, breaking with tradition in the shadow of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements surging through Hollywood and beyond.

The decision was confirmed Thursday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Affleck’s rep said the actor won’t attend the star-studded ceremony. 

Historically, the previous year’s lead actor winner presents the prize to the incoming lead actress, while the previous year's lead actress presents to the new lead actor winner

  • Movies
Vandals defaced the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.
Vandals defaced the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. (Al Steffen via Associated Press)

Fans are coming to the rescue of the Field of Dreams, a famed movie setting that, thanks to vandals, now looks a little less like heaven and a little more like Iowa.

The Dyersville, Iowa, baseball diamond made famous by the 1989 Kevin Costner film of the same name was found damaged Tuesday morning.

Property owner Denise Stillman says an unauthorized vehicle drove onto the field Monday night, leaving deep gashes in the rain-softened ground and damaging the sprinkler system, the Associated Press reported. 

  • Movies
  • Celebrity
Octavia Spencer, left, and Jessica Chastain.
Octavia Spencer, left, and Jessica Chastain. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Some allies talk the talk. But Jessica Chastain also walks the walk, according to Octavia Spencer, whose wallet will be a lot fatter thanks to her costar standing in solidarity with her at the bargaining table. 

That’s the word out of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where both Spencer and Jada Pinkett Smith praised Chastain for putting action to her words about Hollywood’s pay inequality.

While appearing on a “Women Breaking Barriers” panel Saturday, Spencer shared a story she said she’d never told before: She and Chastain got together to do a film together, specifically a comedy, as Chastain was looking to break into the genre and Spencer was looking to move beyond period films. 

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Helen Mirren will don another crown for the upcoming HBO-Sky miniseries “Catherine the Great.”

The four-part drama about the 18th century Russian empress is set to begin filming later this year, with the English dame who won her Academy Award for her modern take on Britain’s Elizabeth II in “The Queen” in a titular role she’s always wanted to play.

“Catherine the Great” delves into the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history, HBO and Sky said Thursday in a joint announcement.

  • TV
  • Late-night

There are two types of people in the world: Those who speak “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and those who don’t. And Stephen Colbert helped to bridge that gap just a little by asking RuPaul for a vocabulary lesson. 

RuPaul Charles stopped by the “Late Show” on Wednesday night to promote the upcoming season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.” The appearance also served as a reunion between the 69th Emmy Awards host and the living Emmy statue

After sharing some fond memories, Colbert took the opportunity to have the world’s most famous drag queen personally explain some Ru-isms. 

  • Music
Lynyrd Skynyrd has announced its final tour, starting May 4.
Lynyrd Skynyrd has announced its final tour, starting May 4. (Larry Papke / Associated Press)

Elton John isn’t the only music legend bidding adieu to touring life.

Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd on Thursday announced its final “Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour,” beginning May 4 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“It’s hard to imagine, after all these years, the band that Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and myself started back in Jacksonville, would resonate for this long and to so many generations of fans. I’m certain they are looking down from above, amazed that the music has touched so many,” original member Gary Rossington said in a press release Thursday.

David Copperfield.
David Copperfield. (Emma Summerton)

Illusionist David Copperfield has preemptively responded to sexual assault allegations, hours before a report detailed an alleged nonconsensual encounter in 1988 with a 17-year-old aspiring model.

The famed Las Vegas headliner is accused of drugging and assaulting Brittney Lewis after meeting her during a modeling contest he was judging, the Wrap said Wednesday. At the time, she was 17 and Copperfield was 32.

The Wrap said it spoke with at least five individuals who corroborated Lewis’ story, and Lewis said she reported the alleged incident to the FBI in 2007. The Times has not independently verified the allegations. 

  • Celebrity
Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise (Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images)

“Mission: Impossible” franchise star Tom Cruise is on now on Instagram, joining the more than 800 million active users who rappelled onto the social media site before him. 

The actor’s first posts Thursday were purely promotional, giving a peek into the next “MI” movie and revealing the name: “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.” It will be the sixth movie in the series, which according to unadjusted Box Office Mojo numbers has grossed enough worldwide to give each active Instagram user about enough green to buy a gallon of gas. 

Also, it appears that Cruise is once again doing his own high-risk stunts, though we knew that already in August when he had that building-jumping mishap (as one does in one’s mid-50s). Totally wish he’d posted a POV helicopter shot he took himself … 

  • Birthdays
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

I'm proud to be mentioned with people like Jill Scott and Erykah Badu because I feel they are part of a breakthrough. … For years women relied on men for songs, but now women are expressing the truth of a new generation. That's my goal too.

  • TV
Candice Bergen is returning to television for CBS' revival of "Murphy Brown."
Candice Bergen is returning to television for CBS' revival of "Murphy Brown." (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Welcome to 2018, where everything old is new again and everything new is an idea recycled from 20 years ago.

CBS announced Wednesday it is reviving classic sitcom “Murphy Brown” in the upcoming season, complete with original star Candice Bergen. 

The original series is approaching the 30th anniversary of its Nov. 14, 1988, premiere, and the political and cultural climate of the world could not be more different.