Today in Entertainment: Inside Disney’s Pandora; Fyre Fest’s apology; and ‘Hamilton’ ticket details
Here’s what’s new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- ‘Hamilton’ L.A. tickets go on sale Sunday, at long last
- ‘Facts of Life’ star Charlotte Rae has bone cancer
- Katy Perry serves up new single ‘Bon Appetit’
- Kim Kardashian says she’s no longer materialistic
- Caitlyn Jenner memoir creates a new rift in the family
- Chris Soules’ lawyers: Don’t prejudge ‘Bachelor’ alum
- A new Haim LP is on the way (and a new video’s here)
Hard’s Gary Richards on controversial trailer: ‘My intentions here were only to help, not offend anyone’
After intense criticism over a festival-preview trailer that many fans found sexist, Hard’s Gary Richards has made his first statement on the controversy.
The Hard Summer preview clip, written and directed by Agata Alexander, featured several male headlining DJs wearing outsized prosthetic breasts, ostensibly to satirize the lack of women artists at dance music festivals.
In an emailed statement to The Times, Richards said:
“Here at Hard Events we are here for everyone. The Hard Summer trailer was created as a satirical piece to raise consciousness at a time when equality issues are of utmost importance. Our goal is to promote good music and we are trying to give women more of a platform at our festival.
My intentions here were only to help, not offend anyone, in supporting Agata’s vision and message. I understand that she does not speak for all women and how people could be upset by the trailer. There is always a risk of misinterpretation when satire is used, but we felt it was right to let her express herself and have creative control over the piece. We want to extend a sincere apology to those who were offended.
We hope the conversations started by this piece bring the change we intended and we will continue to be a champion for Women’s rights within our community and world at large.”
Hard Summer’s troubling new trailer vaporizes efforts to diversify its lineup
How could no one behind Hard Summer’s new preview trailer suspect that so many fans would hate it?
The clip, which can be watched here and does contain imagery that could offend, may have been done with the intent to admirably satirize the lack of women on music festival bills (including Hard’s). But doing so by putting gigantic prosthetic breasts on top-billed male acts including DJ Snake, What So Not, Party Favor and Claude VonStroke?
The clip is, indeed, hard to watch, and not just for its juvenile tone and the way it trivializes a legitimate concern in music culture. It’s maybe most embarrassing because it is a completely unforced error from a festival that actually took complaints about gender imbalance on the lineup seriously this year.
As the video itself notes, in 2016 the festival only had four female performers. This year, there are 26 out of 110. That’s actually a very real and laudable gain, and Hard could very easily have coasted on that goodwill. The bill is better for it. Rising acts like Madam X and Cray and established draws like Tinashe and Anna Lunoe bring a different energy and attitude to a fest.
There was just absolutely no need to vaporize that hard-won goodwill with a wince-worthy gag, one that could even alienate many of the same women artists whom the fest worked so hard to get on the bill (a few artists in the electronic scene have already spoken out against it, as evidenced by the tweets below).
That’s where the attention should have been — on the gains made by taking active efforts to diversify lineups. It makes for a better, safer, more inclusive and exciting experience, one that fans are demanding from festivals.
Sunday Conversation: Andrea Martin’s career is surging with NBC’s ‘Great News’ and Hulu’s ‘Difficult People’
For someone who won a Tony four years ago for fearlessly flying on a trapeze in “Pippin,” off-stage Andrea Martin is endearingly self-effacing and excitable. Over eggs and coffee at a cafe on the Upper West Side, where she’s rented the same apartment since the early 1970s, Martin discussed her love of the circus, her Armenian roots and the possibility of an “SCTV” reunion.
Currently in production on the third season of the caustic Hulu comedy “Difficult People,” the actress, 70 and fabulous, can also be seen in “Great News.”
The only time I allowed myself fear was every night we’d rehearse before the show. I was just me as myself, and it was harder to hold on to the fantasy.
Thousands of drag lovers flock to RuPaul’s DragCon at L.A. Convention Center
Over the weekend, over 40,000 LGBTQ-friendly people and lovers of drag descended upon the Los Angeles Convention Center for RuPaul’s DragCon. In its third year, the celebration of “the art of drag, queer culture and self-expression for all” featured panel discussions, drag “herstory” sessions, and fashion and makeup workshops for men and women.
Think Comic-Con, but for drag queens.
One of the most attended panels of the weekend was titled “What Is Drag in Trump’s America?,” hosted by the new purveyors of scathing political takes, Teen Vogue. It featured the outspoken Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Alaska, standout and fan favorites from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” -- which, in its ninth season, moved from Logo TV to VH1 this year.
One of this year’s additions was the Kid Zone, an area dedicated to drag’s youngest fans.
“We did it because we recognize that there are so many young people, from 3 to 11 or so,” RuPaul told The Times ahead of DragCon. “I think young parents know how important it is to expose their children to this diversity, especially in this current political climate. This is a place where they can go and expand their lives and see that there is more than one way to live a successful, abundant life. It doesn’t have to exist in this box, and it involves all the colors in the crayon box. We are so proud of this because it gives our queens an opportunity to meet them, fans that wouldn’t necessarily go to a nightclub to see them.”
A 210,000-square-foot exhibitor space has more than 200 vendors selling drag-related merchandise and makeup. The world’s most famous drag queen also had a booth, where he signed autographs and sold all things RuPaul.
DragCon ended Sunday night with a keynote by RuPaul. In it, he announced good news for drag’s fans in New York: the convention will be making its debut in the Big Apple in a few short months on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
‘Hamilton’ ticket hopefuls line up by the hundreds in Hollywood
“Hamilton” fans began arriving at the Hollywood Pantages about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. By Sunday morning, the crowd lined up on Argyle Street had swelled to hundreds, all trying to snag tickets as they went on sale at 10 a.m.
Although tickets were also available online and by phone, some thought their chances would be better in person. Times staff writer Jessica Gelt was on the scene.
A star is born: Willie Nelson turns 84 today
Every day I like to hit a few licks to see if the old fingers are still working. And I really believe it’s still getting better every day.
Willie Nelson, 2003
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Always on his mind
Mapping the make believe
A closer look at the land of Pandora. The map of the Mo’ara territory reveals how Pandora has changed a generation after the conflict of between the local Na’vi and the human invaders over the mining of unobtanium.
The park covers an expansive 12 acres of property, but the map itself extends well past the boundaries set by Disney’s imagineers.
Tribeca Film Festival announces Audience Award winners
The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival came to a close Saturday with the announcement of the two winners for the Audience Awards, sponsored by AT&T.
“The Divine Order,” directed and written by Petra Volpe, won the narrative award for its tale of Swiss suffrage in the 1970s.
Winning the documentary award was “Hondros,” which was directed by Greg Campbell and written by Campbell and Jenny Golden, about the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Chris Hondros, who died in Libya in 2011.
“It is always exciting to see what resonates most with the audience, and this year, both the narrative and documentary winners represent smart filmmaking and impactful storytelling,” Paula Weinstein, one of the founders of the festival, said in a statement.
“On behalf of the Tribeca team, we congratulate ‘The Divine Order’ and ‘Hondros’ as the 2017 Audience Award winners, and hope moviegoers worldwide get to experience these powerful films.”
Runners-up for the Audience Awards include “Saturday Church,” written and directed by Damon Cardasis, for narrative film and “Shadowman,” written and directed by Oren Jacoby, for documentary.
The festival awarded its top jury prizes Thursday, with Rachel Israel’s “Keep the Change” winning the top narrative jury prize.
Ciara delivers draft day surprise as she and Russell Wilson welcome baby girl
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and singer Ciara drafted a sure thing Friday, welcoming a baby girl to their family on the first day of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Baby Wilson was immediately drafted as QB by the Cleveland Browns. (Not really.)
Ciara and Wilson posted matching Instagram pictures announcing the birth of their daughter Friday night, featuring a photo of the singer on the beach, taken by Wilson.
“Dear Sienna Princess Wilson, No matter how big the wave, we will always be your calm in the storm. We Love You,” the post read.
This is Wilson’s first child and the second for Ciara, who shares 2-year-old son Future Zahir Wilburn with rapper Future.
Bonding with a shoulder banshee at Disney World’s Pandora: Warning, don’t call it a ‘baby’
Our resident Disney expert, Todd Martens, receives training for banshee adoption, inside Pandora – The World of Avatar, the new ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
In James Cameron’s 2009 film “Avatar,” the blue-skinned Na’Vi bond with giant winged creatures called banshees in a duel to the near-death. At Disney’s new Pandora — The World of Avatar, situated inside Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla., the banshees are far cuter and much less violent.
In fact, when the park opens May 27, guests will be able to take home a mini robotic banshee for $49.95. Inside Windtraders, Pandora’s store for all things “Avatar"-related, guests are matched with a colorful banshee that will rest on one’s shoulder. Mine was pink and menacingly cute rather than vicious.
A leash, or, controller, if you prefer, will wrap around one’s waist, allowing the wearer to order the banshee to flap its wings, open its mouth and even let out a mini howl.
But do not call them baby banshees. All of Disney’s cast members in Pandora are in on the story, and will politely inform guests that the take-home banshees are scale-models to help conservationists study the creature.
What it’s like to walk, ride and fly through Disney World’s new Pandora park
A line queue for the Pandora ride “Flight of Passge” in Disney World’s new park.
Midway through James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi action film “Avatar,” set on the distant planet of Pandora, lead character Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) observes, “Out there is the true world. In here is the dream.”
He’s referring to his ability in the film to inhabit an alien body, and not, of course, a theme park. Yet Disney, at its Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Fla., will on May 27 attempt to transport guests to an otherworldly reality -- a place not inhabited by princesses and castles and singing ghosts but by floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and mysterious creatures who rustle plants just out of sight of guests.
Pandora -- the World of Avatar, which was inspired by the Cameron film but does not feature any of its main characters, aims to put a true-to-life spin on the fantasy universe. Situated in Animal Kingdom, Pandora will play up themes of conservation as it presents a fragile world on the road to rehabilitation. Set about a generation after the conflict of the film, much of Pandora, which we visited as part of a preview today, conveys a tranquil setting.
The Na’Vi River Journey boat ride is an intimate (the boats seat about eight people each) and calming trip through a bioluminescent forest, culminating in a visit with the Shaman of Songs, a Na’Vi relaxing and serenading guests amid the glowing fauna.
The Shaman of Songs also happens to be one of Disney’s most impressive audio-animatronics to date, possessing almost human-like fluidity. Along the journey, guests will encounter flowing jellyfish, pulsating orange plants and the wolf-like creatures that haunt Pandora. The effect is akin to floating through an above-ground coral reef.
Elsewhere, the more thrilling Avatar Flight of Passage aims to simulate the effect of riding a banshee, one of “Avatar’s” winged, dragon-like animals. After traversing up a small mountain -- consider it a very moderate hike -- guests enter a cave and see ancient Na’Vi drawings. The cave eventually reveals itself to be a science center, where humans are working with the Na’Vi to protect the banshees from extinction.
In Flight of Passage, guests are matched with an alien body. The aim is to create the illusion of becoming a Na’Vi, who can train and tame the banshees. After boarding a solitary, stationary-bike-like ride system, a back support will rise and push guests forward. Once the ride begins, a screen is revealed and, with the help of 3-D glasses, attendees will soar amid Pandora’s flying mountains.
The first half of the 4 1/2-minute ride is rather thrilling, as the banshee careens down mountains, through waterfalls and nearly gets into a tussle with a Great Leonopteryx, a bigger, more orange-hued dragon. The second half slows down, as guests again visit some of Pandora’s glowing forests.
The ride was longer than I expected, and also far smoother. As someone who doesn’t fare too well on motion simulators -- I cannot ride Star Tours: The Adventure Continues without getting sick -- I experienced no such nausea on Flight of Passage. I attribute that to the variation in ride pace, but also the crispness of the effects.
Pandora is big, about 12 acres, and everything in it is billed as an attraction. Some plants, for instance, will allow guests to interact with them -- acting as drums that affect the lighting of the land or release spores into the air. At night, the ground will glow beneath guests’ feet.
If you rush through the land just to hit the two rides, Joe Rohde, the Imagineer behind the project, cautions that you’re “wasting your time.” Once it opens, for instance, Disney will have cast members act as Pandora expats who will chat up guests on Pandora wildlife.
We’ll have more on Pandora for you today, and in the weeks to come.
‘Judge Judy,’ Kelsey Grammer and ‘Lost in Oz’ are winners at Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards
“Judge Judy” took home its second consecutive award for best legal/courtroom program at Friday night’s ceremony for the Daytime Creative Arts Emmy, its third win in 21 seasons.
The ceremony, held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, celebrated the men and women working behind the scenes in daytime television, honoring programming broadcast between 2 a.m. and 6 p.m. during 2016.
Veteran actor Kelsey Grammer won his first Daytime Emmy at the ceremony for his voice work as Blinky on Netflix’s animated series “Trollhunters.”
Grammer’s voice acting on “The Simpsons” as Sideshow Bob garnered him a Primetime Emmy in 2006.
Streaming-content provider Amazon took home Emmys for both preschool children’s animated program and children’s animated program, with “The Snowy Day” and “Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure,” respectively.
The rest of the Daytime Emmy categories, including awards for morning program, talk show and drama series, will be awarded Sunday at a ceremony hosted by Mario Lopez (“Extra”) and Sheryl Underwood (“The Talk”).
Stephen Colbert celebrates 100 days of President Trump
Late-night host Stephen Colbert celebrated the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency Friday, saying that much has been accomplished in the country.
“A lot has been done in the first 100 days,” Colbert said in his opening monologue of CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “Just none of it by him.”
He quipped that the 100-day milestone was also an indication of another deadline. “We cannot bring him back to the store without a receipt. Slightly damaged goods.”
Colbert added that he was so pleased that the country “survived” those first 100 days: “I did not have that in the office pool.”
Fyre Festival organizers offer apology: ‘We were simply in over our heads’
After a day of memes and negative press about the massive disaster that greeted music fans arriving in the Bahamas for the first-ever Fyre Festival — unfinished grounds, lack of promised accommodations, no luggage, no beer, food better suited for an elementary school sleep-away camp and the cancelation of one headliner — the organizers are offering an explanation and apology for the now-canceled event.
Hyped as “the cultural experience of the decade,” the festival was supposed to launch the first of two consecutive weekends Friday on a remote island in Fyre Cay in the Exumas, a string of islands in the Bahamas. Blink-182, Disclosure, Kaytranada, Migos, Rae Sremmurd, Tyga, Desiigner, Pusha T., Major Lazer and two dozen other artists and surprise-guest headliners spanning a myriad of genres were promised.
But the festival, co-created by Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland and promoted by Fyre Media Inc. — collapsed into disarray on Thursday as guests began to arrive for the event, which was expecting 6,000 to 7,000 people. (Read our full breakdown here.)
As images of collapsed tents instead of plush villas and trash-strewn grounds started to go viral on social media, organizers canceled the festival at the last minute and frustrated guests blasted the entire event as a fraud.
Late Friday, after the festival bore the brunt of some intense scrutiny, McFarland offered a full explanation.
Here’s what went wrong, in his own words, as sent directly from festival organizers:
“Today was a very challenging day for all of us. But we would like to fully explain what happened.
“Billy McFarland and Ja Rule started a partnership over a mutual interest in technology, the ocean, and rap music. This unique combination of interests led them to the idea that, through their combined passions, they could create a new type of music festival and experience on a remote island.
“They simply weren’t ready for what happened next, or how big this thing would get. They started by making a website and launching a viral campaign. Ja helped book talent, and they had hundreds of local Bahamians join in the effort. Suddenly, they found themselves transforming a small island and trying to build a festival. Thousands of people wanted to come. They were excited, but then the roadblocks started popping up.
“As amazing as the islands are, the infrastructure for a festival of this magnitude needed to be built from the ground up. So, we decided to literally attempt to build a city. We set up water and waste management, brought an ambulance from New York, and chartered 737 planes to shuttle our guests via 12 flights a day from Miami. We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived.
“The team was overwhelmed. The airport was jam-packed. The buses couldn’t handle the load. And the wind from rough weather took down half of the tents on the morning our guests were scheduled to arrive. This is an unacceptable guest experience and the Fyre team takes full responsibility for the issues that occurred.
“Everyone was very concerned for our guests. They needed a place to sleep and everyone did their absolute best to rebuild. We took everyone to the beach and built as many tents and beds as fast as possible, but as more guests arrived, we were simply in over our heads. Ultimately, we didn’t think security could keep up, so we had to postpone the festival. The response to the postponement was immediate and intense. We had no other options this morning, so we began the process of getting guests quickly and safely back to Miami, which continues now. Our top priority as a company is to ensure the comfort and safe return home of all of our guests.
“Then something amazing happened: venues, bands, and people started contacting us and said they’d do anything to make this festival a reality and how they wanted to help. The support from the musical community has been overwhelming and we couldn’t be more humbled or inspired by this experience. People were rooting for us after the worst day we’ve ever had as a company. After speaking with our potential partners, we have decided to add more seasoned event experts to the 2018 Fyre Festival, which will take place at a United States beach venue.
“All festival-goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details. Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival.
“We’re grateful for the Bahamian Government and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their assistance during this challenging time — their efforts have been exemplary. We want to thank the people of the Bahamas for their support and for graciously allowing us the privilege of visiting their islands. We apologize for any inconvenience the past 24 hours has caused and we look forward to making a considerable donation to the Bahamas Red Cross Society as part of our initiatives. We need to make this right. And once we make this right, then we will put on the dream festival we sought to have since the inception of Fyre.
“Thank you for all your continued patience and understanding. We apologize for what all of our guests and staff went through over the last 24 hours and will work tirelessly to make this right.”
Join us as we explore Disney’s brand new Pandora world
A bioluminescent forest. A ride on a banshee. Flying mountains.
On May 27 Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom’s will open what’s expected to be one of the company’s most technically immersive theme park lands to date, Pandora -- The World of Avatar. But we’re headed in there Saturday, and you can follow along online.
Inspired by the 2009 James Cameron film “Avatar,” Pandora will inject a heavy dose of make believe into Disney’s more realistic theme park, one that features sections modeled after Africa and Asia and puts live animals rather than costumed creatures center stage.
Set a full generation after the conflicts of the film, Disney Imagineers promise Pandora to be so intricately constructed that this planet in the Alpha Centauri star system will feel more lifelike than not.
We’ll begin to find out when we get our first glimpse of Pandora, as Disney is opening up the land for a small media preview. We’ll have multiple stories about the land in the coming weeks, including interviews with some of those who are bringing it to life.
We’ll be going on both of the land’s main attractions -- one, Avatar Flight of Passage, that simulates a ride on the winged banshees, and another, Na’Vi River Journey, that serves as a calming ride through a glowing forest -- as well as sampling some of Pandora’s food.
Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas announces full 2017 lineup
The flagship Las Vegas edition of Electric Daisy Carnival, America’s largest multi-day music festival, has announced its full lineup.
The bill is again packed with many of the top names in EDM — the recent Coachella dance-tent headliner Marshmello, Martin Garrix and Zedd among them — who are now staple performers at the festival. Others, like the tropical-house mainstay Kygo and the Los Angeles genre-hopper Mija, will make their EDC Las Vegas debuts.
But a few new concepts and one-off collaborative sets are worth a fresh look.
One set will see Alison Wonderland, one of the first two women to perform on the fest’s main stage last year, perform on that stage yet again back-to-back with Diplo and Jauz. Insomniac’s factory93 concept — focused on underground-leaning acts — will have a much bigger stage, with all-night label takeovers from Drumcode, Paradise and Moodzone.
And the roving Burner-inspired art cars will feature sets from a few notable SoCal DJ crews and promoters including Desert Hearts and Brownies & Lemonade.
The festival, now in its 21st installment, will hit the Las Vegas Motor Speedway once again on June 16-18.
Anne Rice’s ‘The Vampire Chronicles’ being adapted for TV
Pop culture’s ongoing love affair with the ’90s rages on with word that Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles series is angling for a TV revival.
Paramount Television and Anonymous Content announced they have obtained the rights to 11 of Rice’s books for development. Rice will executive produce the series and her son, Christopher Rice — a bestselling author in his own right — will write the adaptation. Previously, the Paramount/Anonymous partnership yielded “Berlin Station” on Epix and Netflix’s teen suicide drama “13 Reasons Why.”
“It is undeniable that Anne Rice has created the paradigm against which all vampire stories are measured,” Amy Powell, president of Paramount TV, said in a statement. “The rich and vast world she has created with ‘The Vampire Chronicles’ is unmatched and sophisticated with 90’s gothic undertones that will be perfectly suited to captivate audiences.”
For those who didn’t experience the ’90s the first time around, Rice’s vampire series has sold more than 100 million copies, and its first book — published in 1976 — yielded the 1994 film “Interview with the Vampire,” which starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and an unnervingly young Kirsten Dunst. If that doesn’t sound decade-specific enough, Guns N’ Roses also covered the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” for the soundtrack.
“For decades now fans of ‘The Vampire Chronicles’ have been clamoring for a long-form television adaptation of this galaxy of content,” Christopher Rice said in the same statement. “We’re confident this exciting deal will result in many excellent things for Lestat in the universe of television.”
‘Hamilton’ L.A. tickets go on sale Sunday, at long last
Los Angeles fans finally get their shot: Tickets for “Hamilton” at the Hollywood Pantages go on sale at 10 a.m. Sunday. There are three ways to make a play for the hottest theater ticket in town: through the Pantages website, by phone at (800) 982-2787 and in person at the Pantages box office.
Keep reading for details on ticket prices, show dates and more:
‘Facts of Life’ star Charlotte Rae, 91, has bone cancer
Charlotte Rae, the actress who played matriarch Edna Garrett on “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life,” has bone cancer.
The 91-year-old sitcom star, who beat pancreatic cancer seven years ago, was diagnosed Monday, according to People.
“So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind. I’m not in any pain right now. I’m feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground,” Rae told the magazine. “Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again to opt for life. I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already. I have this decision to make.”
The actress’ mother, sister and uncle died from pancreatic cancer, she said. Rae, who said she was cancer-free after six months of chemotherapy when she fought pancreatic cancer, was supposed to start chemo again Thursday, but held off to “think about it first.”
The first time around, nobody knew about her treatment, she said, noting that she had “great wigs.”
“I think I’m going to go for it,” said the TV veteran, who celebrated her birthday over the weekend. “The side effects were not too bad when I did it originally. I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to [choose] life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”
Rae was born in Milwaukee in 1926 and got her start in theater at Northwestern University. She perfected her comedy in clubs “to showcase myself for Broadway,” she told The Times in 2006 when her impish album “Songs I Taught My Mother” was rereleased.
Rae, who was wed to the late Emmy- and Grammy-winning composer John Strauss, most recently appeared alongside Meryl Streep in 2015’s “Ricki and the Flash,” on Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World” and ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars.”
Katy Perry serves up new single ‘Bon Appetit’ with a side order of Migos controversy
It’s fresh out the oven: Katy Perry released her foodie new jam “Bon Appetit” on Friday.
The dance track — the second off Perry’s upcoming fifth studio album — generously serves up double entendres, mashing up sex and food porn and instructions to save room for “the world’s best cherry pie.”
(Do with that what you will, but know it’s a lyric that launched a thousand memes. Think twice before using the cherry emoji.)
Perry’s collaboration on the catchy tune with Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos has earned the LGBTQ-allied singer some criticism because group member Quavo made some homophobic-sounding remarks in a February Rolling Stone interview. The group later apologized for the comments, which were about another Atlanta rapper who came out as gay.
The pop vixen has championed GLAAD, teaming up with the organization for a campaign against gay violence in 2014, and accepted the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign gala last month.
Perry, who will appear on “Saturday Night Live” with Dwayne Johnson on May 20, has yet to address criticism of the collaboration.
Transgender-teen film ‘3 Generations’ gets PG-13 rating, down from R, after cuts
The Weinstein Co.'s movie “3 Generations” has been reclassified with a PG-13 rating, instead of the original R assigned by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, after the distributor made some changes to its transgender-teen drama.
The film stars Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon. Fanning plays a New York teenager seeking to transition from female to male. Watts portrays her mother, and Sarandon is her lesbian grandmother.
Cuts were made to the film as a compromise to ensure the PG-13 rating, the studio said in a statement Thursday. The movie went through regular review procedures, MPAA spokesperson Chris Ortman said Friday.
“While we regularly meet with a wide range of organizations to discuss the rating system, no outside groups have any influence on the rating process,” Ortman said.
The historically conservative Parents Television Council supported the R rating and was unhappy with the decision, accusing the MPAA of being influenced by Harvey Weinstein, who challenged the initial R rating on his company’s upcoming release. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which supported the filmmakers and the movie and also pushed for a PG-13 rating, was pleased.
GLAAD President and Chief Executive Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement that “3 Generations” was “a film that all families should be able to see.”
“Once again,” she said, “The Weinstein Company dared to tell culture-changing LGBTQ stories that Hollywood too often shies away from.”
Parents Television President Tim Winter, speaking in a statement released Thursday, accused the ratings board of protecting the interests of Hollywood before those of parents. The MPAA’s Ortman challenged that presumption.
“Each film is rated by a team of raters, who are themselves parents, in order to serve [the Classification and Rating Assn.'s] purpose of providing information to parents about viewing choices for their children,” he said.
The movie opens May 5 in New York and Los Angeles and expands its release May 12.
Updated, 8:14 a.m., April 28: This article was updated to include a statement from the MPAA. It was originally published at 9:33 p.m. April 27.
A Star Is Born: Ann-Margret turns 76 today
I never look into the future or back. As someone who has had a lot of accidents and gone through some things, I just want to live right now. I feel really blessed.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: She’s Loving This Stage of Her Life
Post-robbery, Kim Kardashian is no longer materialistic, she says
What a difference an armed robbery makes. Just ask Kim Kardashian.
“It was probably no secret, you see it on the show ... I was definitely materialistic before,” the reality TV star told Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday’s episode of “The Ellen Show.”
“Not that there’s anything bad with having things and working hard to get those things ... but I’m so happy that my kids get this me, and that this is who I am raising my kids, ‘cause I really don’t care about that stuff anymore.”
Kardashian was, of course, robbed at gunpoint during fashion week last October in Paris, where she was traveling with millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry.
Now, she said, she “truly” doesn’t know if she’ll ever wear real jewelry again. Indeed, her neck and hands were bare during the sit-down. She said she never thought before about having a 24-hour security guard outside her door when she traveled. Now she has “several,” just to be able to sleep at night.
The robbery was “seven or eight minutes of torture,” and she knew 100% that she was going to die.
“But when I look back and analyze it .. it could have been way worse,” she said. “I don’t want to sound like I’m not grateful. I’m out, I’m home, I’m safe, I’m such a better person.
“I’m — It’s OK.”
Watch Kim struggle with her emotions during the interview, above.
Chris Soules’ lawyers: Don’t prejudge ‘Bachelor’ alum based on ‘knee-jerk’ coverage of fatal accident
An attorney for Chris Soules of “The Bachelor,” who was arrested earlier this week in Iowa after an accident left a man dead, is asking that his client not be tried in the media.
“Soules’ 911 call, released yesterday, proved that the initial knee-jerk coverage of this accident was incorrect,” his lawyers said Thursday in a statement. Attorney Brandon Brown “recognized the heightened level of interest because of Soules’ celebrity status,” the statement said.
The small-town farmer went from being a contestant on “The Bachelorette” to courting dozens of women as “The Bachelor,” then moved on to compete on “Dancing With the Stars.” He and his chosen bachelorette, Whitney Bischoff, ended their engagement in May 2015, nearly seven months after he proposed and nearly three months after viewers watched him ask for her hand in marriage.
The 35-year-old has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash. “While initial reports suggested Soules fled the scene, the 911 call confirms that Soules in fact was the one who contacted law enforcement immediately.”
The reality TV star’s legal team, from Des Moines, Iowa, law firm Parrish Kruidenier, said they were considering asking for a gag order.
Read the full statement:
“Chris Soules has retained attorneys Alfredo Parrish, Brandon Brown and Gina Messamer of the Des Moines, Iowa, law firm Parrish Kruidenier to represent him. Brown recognized the heightened level of interest because of Soules’ celebrity status, but asked that members of the public do not prejudge this case based on media coverage. Soules’ 911 call, released yesterday, proved that the initial knee-jerk coverage of this accident was incorrect.
“While initial reports suggested Soules fled the scene, the 911 call confirms that Soules in fact was the one who contacted law enforcement immediately. During the call, he clearly identified himself and explained his role in the terrible accident. Soules attempted to resuscitate Mr. Mosher and remained on the scene with him until emergency medical personnel arrived. Soules’ attorneys are exploring the possibility of a gag order to prevent further misinformation from prejudicing Soules’ right to a fair trial.
“Soules’ legal team is working to gather all of the evidence and review the facts of this tragic collision. They have already filed a demand asking law enforcement to preserve possible evidence and anticipate filing additional motions next week. His attorneys are confident that once all the evidence is made public, it will show Soules acted reasonably and did everything in his power to provide aid to Mr. Mosher.
“Due to the nature of the pending charges, neither Soules nor his counsel will be making any statements at this time. Soules and his family request that their privacy and the privacy of Mr. Mosher’s family is respected. Everyone in this close-knit farming community is mourning Mr. Mosher’s passing. Soules offers his sincere condolences to the Mosher family.”
Caitlyn Jenner memoir’s version of life with Kris Jenner creates a new rift in the family
As Caitlyn Jenner’s just-published memoir “The Secrets of My Life” pulls back the curtain on her gender transition and her life among the Kardashians, not everybody is taking it well.
Especially not Kris Jenner.
Details about the Olympian-turned-reality-star’s decision to transition in 2015 from Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner and confirmation that she had her final gender reassignment surgery are all in the book, but some dishy material about the Kardashian matriarch is reverberating with fans and upsetting the reigning first family of reality TV.
The memoir, co-written by Buzz Bissinger, who penned the Vanity Fair article that introduced Caitlyn Jenner to the masses, has some kind words for the momager, including admiration for Kris’ connections, her business acumen and her ability to perfectly apply lip liner without a mirror.
However, Caitlyn also said in the book that she told Kris about her gender issues before they got married and said Kris knew that for 4½ years before they met, Caitlyn had been on hormones. Additionally, Caitlyn wrote that she told Kris about her gender problems before they would make love.
“I told her there had been a woman inside me all my life,” she wrote.
The couple announced their split in 2013 and finalized their divorce in 2014. During their decades-long union, Caitlyn cross-dressed in front of her ex but was asked by Kris to do it only while traveling, so that their children wouldn’t get wind of it. It was something Caitlyn grew to resent, she said, and she would steal her wife’s gowns and purses to wear while traveling. (Their differing takes on their marital woes have been a topic of discussion for years.)
In a recent episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” Kris fumed with anger about passages in “The Secrets of My Life” that claimed she knew Caitlyn was transgender before they wed.
“None of it makes sense,”Kris said to daughters Khloe and Kim Kardashian. “I read it and basically the only nice thing she had to say was that I was great socially at a party one time. ... Everything she says is all made up. Why does everything have to be that Kris is such a bitch?”
She added: “I’ve never been so angry and disappointed in somebody in my whole life.”
In response, the Olympic gold medalist said on “Good Morning America” that the book is “extraordinarily honest.”
“It is my perspective, and obviously when you do a book like that, there are different opinions. I have a lot of friends that know the truth and know what I’ve been through and know the whole situation,” Caitlyn said.
She told Andy Cohen that in the wake of publishing, Kris said she didn’t want to talk to Caitlyn ever again. (Caitlyn also elaborated on her claims that she was a “punching bag” on the show and a revelation that Kris had been in charge of her finances.)
“Honestly, I never had a low point [while doing the show], actually, until the other day when Kris said some of that stuff. It was the first time I was really upset,” she said. “I had some of the best conversations with my children on that show. ... It forces you to deal with issues. ... It forces you to sit down with your kids and deal with a lot of things.”
Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner’s second-born child with the late Robert Kardashian, shared her thoughts on the feud on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in an episode that aired Thursday.
“My heart breaks for my mom, you know, because I feel like she’s been through so much and [Caitlyn is] promoting this book and she’s saying all these things,” Kardashian said. “I just don’t think it’s necessary and I just feel like it’s unfair. Things aren’t truthful.”
Kardashian said Caitlyn was dishonest “with certain things” about Kris in the book.
“I feel like it’s taken [Caitlyn] a really long time to be honest with herself, so I don’t expect her to be honest about my mom now. But it’s just so hurtful,” she said. “I wish her all the success in the world, but not at our expense.”
Kardashian said she and husband Kanye West have been avid supporters of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition and wanted to remain respectful of her, but thought there was no need to “bash” the family. She said she was hurt by her stepfather, who’s dad to her half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and hasn’t spoken to Caitlyn in a few weeks.
“Kendall and Kylie, that’s their dad and I think my mom’s been so respectful for so long and always wanting Caitlyn around and always wanting to have a great relationship with Caitlyn,” Kardashian said. But that doesn’t appear to be the case for the rest of the Kardashian brood.
“I’ll always love her. That was my stepdad for so many years. She taught me about character and so much growing up and I just feel like I don’t respect the character that she’s showing now.”
Kim Kardashian’s younger sister, Khloe Kardashian, is also “taking it a little tough,” Caitlyn said at a book signing, according to RadarOnline. “Everyone on the Jenner side is fine. All this stuff tends to work itself out!”
Someone call Ryan Murphy, because this needs to be turned into a “Feud” series, stat.
FOR THE RECORD
April 27, 3:31 p.m.: An earlier version of this article said Bruce Jenner and Kris Jenner finalized their divorce in 2013. They divorced in 2014.
‘The Bachelor’s’ Chris Soules called 911 before leaving the scene of fatal crash
Chris Soules, the former “Bachelor” who was arrested earlier this week in Iowa on suspicion of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, called 911 from the scene Monday night, but reportedly wouldn’t come out of his house for hours after a couple of sheriff’s deputies showed up at his door.
“I rear-ended a guy on a tractor,” Soules told the dispatcher on a 911 recording — obtained by the Des Moines Register and others — breathing heavily and indicating that the “guy on the tractor” was hurt.
Though there were no eyewitnesses to the crash, according to TMZ, other people got there by the time the 911 call was made. The 8:20 p.m. crash sent Soules and his pickup into a ditch on one side of the road and Kenneth Mosher and his tractor into a ditch on the other side.
Mosher was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The 66-year-old was a resident of Aurora, Iowa, about a mile south of where the crash occurred. Soules lives in Arlington, Iowa, about 15 miles north of the accident site.
A spokesman for the 35-year-old “Dancing With the Stars” veteran told People that Soules was “devastated” when he learned Mosher had died.
Soules, who had identified himself to the dispatcher, called a friend for a ride home, but then wouldn’t come out of his house later to talk to sheriff’s deputies, sources told TMZ. Eventually, hours later, they got a search warrant. Soules was arrested shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, and blood and urine samples were collected after he was taken by deputies to a hospital, the website said.
Soules was charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a death. The charge is a felony.
“I believe it was a very tragic, sad accident that took the life of a guy that was just coming home from work,” Richard Roepke, whose daughter is married to Mosher’s son, told People on Tuesday.
“This is corn-planting time, the best time of the year for a farmer. Kenny was working on one of the farms just a little north of Aurora and I think he was just coming home. For Chris, what happened was just a freak accident.”
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that skid marks at the scene indicated two things: That Soules hit the brakes before impact, and that he hadn’t been driving excessively fast.
After he was released Tuesday on $10,000 bond, Soules deleted his Instagram account, followed by his Facebook and Twitter pages on Wednesday, People said.
The investigation is expected to take another two to four weeks, sources told TMZ.
“Unfortunately, accidents happen in the spring and fall sometimes with tractors and trucks because there are more tractors on the road, so I am going to reserve judgment until I hear all the details about what happened,” Arlington City Clerk Mary Jo Brown told the Des Moines Register on Tuesday. “All I know is that it has got to be devastating for [Soules] and his family and for the other family involved, too.”
“I also know this story is going to spread like wildfire around here and probably all over because of who he is,” she added. “Sometimes fame isn’t your friend.”
Oh yah, ‘Fargo’ took a trip to Los Angeles
In the FX drama, “Fargo,” the wintry Midwest is the backdrop to murder, mayhem, and mystery. But this season, its third, the City of Angels is about to get in on the action.
The series, inspired by the beloved 1996 Coen brothers movie, shot scenes for next week’s third episode in Los Angeles. And we were on set with creator and executive producer Noah Hawley.
“I was excited about the idea because obviously the Coens have a very long relationship with the idea of Hollywood,” he said, noting they particularly like to play with different periods in Hollywood.
“This [episode] has a period element to it as well, but it’s not really a period they’ve dealt with in their films.”
Season three, which is set in 2010, follows two feuding brothers (both played by Ewan McGregor with an assist from Spanx) as tensions rise in their sibling rivalry over an inheritance from their long-dead father. Carrie Coon also stars as Gloria Burgle who journeys to Los Angeles in episode three to poke into her stepdad’s mysterious past as “Thaddeus Mobley.”
While we won’t give too much away, let’s just say the settings are in keeping with the “Fargo” universe: think coffee shop and motels.
Outside of this field trip to Los Angeles--both production-wise and story-wise--shooting on the third season mostly took place in Calgary, Canada, which stands-in for the show’s snowy Midwest setting.
Check back next week for our inside look as “Fargo” takes on Los Angeles.
New ‘Alien: Covenant’ short reveals what happens to Elizabeth Shaw after ‘Prometheus’
A new prologue video for “Alien: Covenant” has been released, and it finally gives fans a greater glimpse into how Ridley Scott’s upcoming movie links to “Prometheus.”
“Prologue: The Crossing” picks up the story immediately after Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and synthetic being David (Michael Fassbender) escape from the horrors they encountered in Scott’s 2012 sci-fi thriller aboard an abandoned engineer vessel as the sole survivors of their exploration team.
The vignette shows Dr. Shaw repairing David as they continue their search for humanity’s creators. David narrates the piece as the ship they’re on sets course towards the engineer homeworld.
What this all has to do with the iconic facehuggers and double-mouthed xenomorphs from the “Alien” franchise still remains unclear. But hopefully more will be answered in “Alien: Covenant.”
In addition to Fassbender, the cast of “Alien: Covenant” includes James Franco, Demian Bechir, Danny McBride, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup.
The film is slated for release May 19.
Haim announces new album, plus Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video
The L.A. band Haim has returned after a four-year break with its much-anticipated new album.
“Something to Tell You,” the second LP from the sister trio, will be out July 7 on Columbia. It follows their 2013 debut, the acclaimed “Days Are Gone.” The group worked with longtime collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Usher) and Rostam Batamanglij, formerly of Vampire Weekend.
The group announced “Something” along with a new in-studio video, directed by P.T. Anderson, that previews their song “Right Now.” They’ll also perform May 13 on “Saturday Night Live.”
‘The Simpsons’ commemorates Trump’s first 100 days with scathing clip
“The Simpsons” is pulling no punches when it comes to lampooning President Trump, as evidenced by its detail-dense new video commemorating his first 100 days in office.
It begins on a dark and stormy night and only gets darker from there.
Except for Trump’s hair. That’s still quite lively.
Sean Spicer is seen hanging — literally — in the White House press room with a note on his suit reading “I quit.” Kellyanne Conway scurries away, saying, “I am not replacing him.”
Upstairs, Steve Bannon is locked in a stranglehold with someone who could be any number of Trump’s advisors — Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller —and while the union metaphorically burns, the president is in bed on his phone.
While Trump’s boudoir looks virtually identical to its depiction in an August video from “The Simpsons,” it now features the delightful addition of a framed photo of POTUS pretending to drive a truck.
As he relaxes, Trump reviews the accomplishments from his first 100 days, including lowering his golf handicap, raising his number of Twitter followers and legalizing the hunting of hibernating bears.
Meanwhile, daughter Ivanka Trump is using her new place on the Supreme Court to peddle wares while Ruth Bader Ginsburg is physically removed from the bench.
Back in Springfield, the D.C. antics have all been a bit much for Marge Simpson, who’s already run through four years’ worth of Prozac.
“One hundred days. We’re 6.8% of the way home,” a narrator intones over a shot of a four-year calendar. “Paid for by ‘Anyone Else 2020.’”
Amid legal brouhaha, Johnny Depp surprises fans on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride
Johnny Depp returned to his swashbuckling ways on Wednesday, making a guest appearance on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Disneyland Resort, much to fans’ delight.
The attention-averting move happened to come as his former business managers accused him this week of being a “habitual liar.” More on that in a sec.
Though there are three animatronic Jack Sparrows on the ride, Depp’s in-the-flesh appearance and running conversations with boat riders was a welcome surprise to fans who shared it on social media.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” star greeted riders on the attraction as his rum-swilling alter-ego, resplendent in Sparrow’s eyeliner and dreadlocks, wielded a sword and recited lines from the long-running movie franchise.
The 53-year-old’s appearance came as the ride celebrates its 50th anniversary and ahead of the May 26 release date for the next “Pirates” installment. The new chapter sees the return of fan favorites Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as Depp’s ill-fortuned Sparrow pursues the legendary Trident of Poseidon in a race against bad guy Capt. Salazar, played by Javier Bardem.
Depp’s outing also comes a day after his public battle with his former management company hit the radar again.
The actor and the Management Group have been embroiled in a dispute over his finances that resulted in the star filing a $25-million lawsuit in January alleging fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and more against his longtime business managers. He claims they lost tens of millions of dollars over more than a decade.
The Management Group countersued in February, claiming that Depp refused to reign in his “voracious spending.”
“Why didn’t they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?” Depp told the Wall Street Journal this week in his first public comments on the matter since he filed the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, Management Group spokesman David Shane lobbed his rebuttal, claiming that the film star “is a habitual liar who denies responsibility for his own outrageous conduct” and “has himself to blame for his financial woes.”
Let’s see how good Capt. Sparrow’s sword is at deflecting bad publicity ...
Seth Meyers makes a major scientific discovery about President Trump
The science on the Trump administration is a little closer to settled.
“Late Night with Seth Meyers” offered a deep dive Wednesday night into the administration’s apparent fondness for executive orders — the president has signed 30 so far — and highlighted how Trump the candidate was less enamored of the practice than Trump the president appears to be.
“It is at this point like a law of physics,” Meyers said at the beginning of one of his “A Closer Look” segments. “For every Trump action, there’s an equal and opposite Trump clip.”
Meyers amusingly applied the same science to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s stance on executive orders as well.
The segment went on to look at further details as Trump approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, including changes to his much-publicized border wall plans, Ivanka Trump’s difficulties on a public panel in Germany, and the various unintelligible comments during Trump’s interview with the Associated Press about his planned corporate tax cut.
Watch it below.
Putting the comedy in some context: Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama averaged 45.5, 36.4 and 34.5 executive orders per year, respectively, over their eight years each in office, according to the American Presidency Project at UCSB.
George Washington? The country’s first president averaged only one per year.