Review Category : Entertainment

It’s Lee vs. Lee on Election Day

Johnny Nunez/WireImage(NEW YORK) — No doubt there have been some spirited discussions in the Spike Lee household. The filmmaker has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but his wife says she supports Hillary Clinton.

Lee reveals his enthusiastic support for Sanders in a political ad that began running in South Carolina today ahead of this weekend’s primary. Introducing himself as “your dude, Spike Lee,” he says he’s “officially endorsing my brother, Bernie Sanders.”

Not long after the ad debuted Tuesday morning, Spike’s wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, made her allegiance known with this tweet: “Just to be clear, while my husband @SpikeLee supports Bernie Sanders @HillaryClinton is my candidate! We need Hillary to be the next POTUS!”

The South Carolina Democratic primary is this Saturday. Donald Trump won the state’s Republican primary last Saturday.

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“The Bachelor” Recap: Ben Visits Hometowns of Final Four Bachelorettes

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) — “The Bachelor,” Ben Higgins, met the families of the final four women on Monday night’s episode of the ABC reality series.

Ben visited the hometowns of Amanda, Caila, JoJo and Lauren B. before eliminating one of them back in Los Angeles.

His first stop was Laguna Beach, California, where Amanda introduced him to her two daughters at the beach. The girls were shy around him at first, but they slowly warmed up to him as they played in the sand.

At the home of Amanda’s family, her father warned Ben that being a stepdad to her children would be a big responsibility. Before saying goodbye, Ben told Amanda that her family was “awesome” and “incredible.”

In Portland, Oregon, Ben caught up with Lauren B. They went sightseeing, and checked out a whiskey museum.

Ben was gently grilled by Lauren’s sister. He became emotional as he told her how lucky he feels to be with Lauren.

Ben headed next to Hudson, Ohio. There, Caila showed him a good time, taking him to her father’s toy factory, where they built a toy home they designed.

Caila later opened up to her dad about her relationship with Ben, saying, “This is it.” Her father noted how heartfelt her words were, which made the romance seem real to him. Caila’s mom encouraged her to be honest with Ben about her feelings.

The most dramatic hometown visit was in Dallas, where JoJo received a letter from an ex-boyfriend. He begged her to take him back, but she cut ties with him once and for all by phone.

JoJo’s brothers proved to be an even tougher challenge for her and for Ben. One brother asked her, “How can you fall in love with someone you’ve only been on two dates with?”

He added, “I just want you to keep your heart guarded.”

The brothers applied more pressure in a conversation with Ben, suggesting that he isn’t as invested in his relationship with JoJo as she is, and that he’d been coached on how to answer their questions.

The episode ended in Los Angeles, where Ben sent home Amanda, admitting to her that he had stronger feelings for the other three.

Next Monday night, Ben, Caila, JoJo and Lauren B. go to Jamaica.

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Friends, Family Pay Final Respects to Angela “Big Ang” Raiola

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for VH1(BROOKLYN, NY) — A private funeral for Mob Wives reality star Angela “Big Ang” Raiola took place Monday morning at the Basilica of Regina Pacis in Brooklyn, New York.

Hundreds of friends, family members and co-stars appeared to come out to pay their final respects to the woman who lost her battle to cancer last week at the age of 55.

A burial was scheduled to follow the funeral at Resurrection Cemetery in Staten Island.

Raiola died early Thursday morning, a week after she revealed she was diagnosed with stage 4 brain and lung cancer. She had been undergoing treatment since earlier in the year.

“I am saddened to say that [at] 3:01 am Ang lost her battle with cancer. She passed peacefully surrounded by friends and family. My heart is broken for her whole family – especially her children and grandchildren and I will never forget her,” creator and producer of Mob Wives, Jennifer Graziano, told ABC News in a statement.

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Camille Cosby Testifies in Seven-Hour Deposition

Camille Cosby with husband Bill Cosby in March, 2007; Michael Buckner/Getty Images for NAACP(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) — Camille Cosby gave two-and-a-half hours of testimony over the course of her seven-hour deposition at the Springfield Marriott in Massachusetts Monday afternoon, according to Joseph Cammarata, a lawyer for seven women suing Bill Cosby.

According to Cammarata, Camille Cosby never invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions, but her lawyers evoked the marital disqualification rule more than a dozen times.

Twice, they had to call the judge because of the nature and scope of questions being asked.

Lawyers for Cosby, 71, tried to prevent her appearance by filing an emergency motion late Saturday night.

Bill Cosby was sued for defamation by seven women after they went public with claims that he “drugged and/or sexually assaulted each” of them. The comedian, 78, filed a countersuit on Dec. 14. His lawyers have repeatedly denied the women’s accusations.

Cosby also faces a criminal charge in Pennsylvania in relation to another woman’s claims of sexual assault. Cosby’s attorney in that case, Monique Pressley, previously told ABC News, “Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law.”

After lawyers subpoenaed Camille Cosby in early December, a magistrate rejected arguments to suppress the deposition. A federal judge ruled Friday that Camille Cosby must testify today. The emergency motion was intended to delay the deposition while she appealed the magistrate’s decision. A judge denied that request late Sunday.

U.S. District Judge Mark G. Mastroianni ruled earlier this month that Camille Cosby would not have to answer questions protected by the marital disqualification rule, which states that a person does not have to disclose intimate conversations with his or her spouse unless it’s a case involving the marriage or parenting.

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“black-ish” Mixing Comedy & Controversy with Upcoming Police Brutality-Themed Episode

On-set production photo from the Feb. 24 episode of “black-ish”; ABC/Patrick Wymore(NEW YORK) — The fictional Johnson family on black-ish has left viewers in stitches with their take on being black and successful in America, but the ABC sitcom, now in its second season, isn’t afraid to take on controversy — after all, race is front and center here.

Anthony Anderson stars as high-level ad executive Andre “Dre” Johnson, who worries his privileged kids are out of touch with their roots and only “black-ish.”

The Johnson family dynamic played out on the TV show is familiar to Anderson, who serves as an executive producer on the show.

“My son came to me at 12 years old and said he didn’t feel black,” Anderson told Nightline. “And he and I had to have a conversation about his blackness and I understood where he was coming from.

“My family is still living in Compton and in Watts,” he continued. “And him seeing how they live and juxtaposed to how he’s living his lifestyle and what he sees going on with young black men around this country and that’s not his experience.”

On the show, Dre struggles to keep it real in his household along with his wife Rainbow “Bow” Johnson, played by actress Tracee Ellis Ross, who brings a different background.

“I bring all of myself to Bow, but Bow’s circumstances and experiences are not the same as mine,” she said.

At first, Ross said she was worried about the show being called black-ish, but now, she said, “I can’t think of it being called anything else.”

“What can it be called? What’re you going to call it? ‘The Johnsons’? My reaction to it is exactly what our show does,” she said.

It’s not just the show’s title that’s controversial. The show has tackled the N-word, and this week, there will be a hot-button episode entitled “Hope” that deals with police brutality and how to discuss it with your kids.

Anderson said he has talked to his own kids about the police and race.

“I said to my son, ‘One day it’s going to be thrown in your face how black you really are, and hopefully I’ve prepared you with the tools to deal with that when that happens,’” he said.

It’s something he said he has learned from personal experience.

“I’ve had my run-in, on the receiving end of a Billy club, just from walking down my street not even in the middle of the night — 7:30, 8 o’clock,” Anderson said, adding that while the police were looking for drug dealers, he was just a theater kid and, “I’m coming home in dance tights from the high school for the performing arts and, you know, tap shoes in my bag, but, you know, they wanted to prove a point.”

Laurence Fishburne, who plays Dre’s father Pops on the show, sees black-ish as an opportunity to launch a discussion.

“We talk about Trayvon, we talk about Freddie Gray, and we talk about Eric Garner, we talk about Sandra Bland,” Fishburne said. “We mention all of these people, we mention all of these incidents, because this is a conversation we’re having in our country right now.”

black-ish airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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“GMA” Co-Anchor Amy Robach Preps for Her Close-Up on “Castle”

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) — Good Morning America co-anchor Amy Robach is ready for her close-up –. on the ABC primetime hit, Castle.

She’ll appear on tonight’s episode opposite actors Jon Huertas, who plays Det. Javier Esposito, and Seamus Dever. who plays fellow Det. Kevin Ryan. Robach will play a TV reporter named Lila Campo.

GMA went behind the scenes with Robach, visiting her trailer and following along as she went for her wardrobe fitting and hit up craft services for dinner.

Her co-stars gave her some pointers. “Generally, with TV, simplicity and truth kind of wins out,” Dever said. “So, especially with what we do. So, you’re doing great.”

After rehearsing with her cast mates, they took Amy on a tour of the set, including their desks and the familiar interrogation room. Then, it was time for Robach to channel her inner Campo.

Castle airs on ABC Monday nights at 10:00 ET, 9:00 CT.

Watch the video to see a sneak peek of Amy’s scene!

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Taylor Swift Is More Influential than Kanye West, Survey Says

Cliff Lipson/CBS(NEW YORK) — Even if you don’t listen to his music, you’ve probably heard by now about rapper Kanye West’s recently leaked rant, reportedly recorded backstage at Saturday Night Live, during which he claims to be 50 percent more influential than any other human being dead or alive.

Well, maybe this will knock his ego down a notch: Forbes reports that according to Nielsen Talent Analytics, pop superstar Taylor Swift is in fact more influential than West.

The data reveals that only 24 percent of U.S. adults consider Kanye to be influential, compared to 55 percent who consider Swift to be influential. So much for West’s claims that he “made that b**** famous” in his new song, “Famous.”

Swift isn’t the only entertainer who’s more influential than West. Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and tennis star Serena Williams out-ranked him as well. The numbers were obtained from weekly surveys of approximately 1,000 U.S. consumers who were asked their opinions on 50 personalities.

The survey also revealed that 56 percent of U.S. adults find Kanye West to be offensive. Taylor Swift might be among that majority — she seemingly hit back at his lyrics in her Grammys acceptance speech last week, warning young women that there will be people who try to “take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”

Swift advised everyone to “just focus on the work and don’t let those people sidetrack you.”

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“Real Housewives of Atlanta” Star Phaedra Park Lending Support to Flint, Michigan

Alex Martinez/Bravo(NEW YORK) — Though she’s made a name for herself serving up shade as one of the more feisty cast members of Bravo’s hit reality show, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Phaedra Parks is now serving the people of Flint, Michigan, who are in the midst of an environmental crisis due to contamination of the city’s water supply. The city’s water became contaminated after the officials switched from Detroit municipal water and began drawing the city’s water from the Flint River.

Parks, who is also an entertainment attorney in Atlanta, joined hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons a few weeks back in helping distribute water to the people, and seek solutions with local leaders.

She tells ABC Radio that getting involved in worthy causes has always been a mission.

“I got involved with it because, you know, I try to be active in the community and most people know that and anyone who knew me prior to television even in high school and in college, I was always protesting for somebody that I felt was getting the short end or the stick,” she says. “One of my passions is to really try to right wrongs. So when I heard about the tragedy, the situation in Flint, it was just unbelievable to me because this is the United States.”

The Augusta, Georgia native said everyone should heed to what’s going on in the Michigan city because what’s happening there, offers a broader lesson, and will have an impact on the people of Flint for generations.

“Everyone is asking, ‘What is this about?’ This is about equity and people being accountable across the board; governments, communities,” she says. “You know people say, ‘Oh, I’m not my brother’s keeper,’ but we have to be because this lead poisoning thing doesn’t affect just one generation, it affects the next generation. It is irreversible.”

The 44- year old mother of two went back to Flint on Friday to join Reverend Jesse Jackson and Judge Greg Mathis to bring more awareness to how the city’s residents have been devastated.

She says she will continue to do more work in the community until the problem there is remedied.

“This is not just about a luxury item. Water is a necessity. And this environmental issue goes across color lines, socio-economic lines. It crosses, it’s the entire community,” she says. “They didn’t poison just one neighborhood, they poisoned the entire community. And someone has to answer for that.”

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New Study Concludes Hollywood Is “Largely Whitewashed” Regarding Diversity

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Less than a week before winners are announced for an all-white roster of Academy Award acting nominees, a new study concludes it’s not just the Oscars that lack diversity. Hollywood itself is “largely whitewashed.”

Released Monday and first reported by the Associated Press, the latest Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity examined 109 feature films and 305 first-run scripted TV series on major broadcast and streaming networks released from September 2014 through August 2015 – including 11,000 speaking characters, as well as who wrote, directed and created the projects studied.

The results find women and racial minorities are severely under-represented in every aspect of the process. Just one-third of speaking characters were female, while fewer than that — just over 28% — were from minority groups. According to the report, that’s 10% less than the makeup of the U.S. population in general. Overall, the numbers “[don’t] match the norms of the population of the United States,” the study says.

What’s more, many minorities are simply absent. Twenty percent of the film and TV offerings examined didn’t include a single black character, while half didn’t feature one Asian or Asian-American character.

Gender ageism is also alive and well. Nearly 75% of all characters over age 40 were male, versus 25.7% who were women.

The news is worse behind the camera: just over 15% of directors were women. The disparity was greater in film, where just 3.4% of the films studied were directed by women, and only two of those women, Selma director Ava DuVernay and Belle director Amma Asante, were black.

Compare that to the 87% of total directors in TV and film who are white men. In broadcast TV specifically, 90.4% of directors were white men.

About 29% of writers were female, as were close to 23% of series creators.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, the movie industry “still functions as a straight, white, boy’s club,” the study concludes. “Overall, the landscape of media content is still largely whitewashed.”

The study also used a so-called “inclusivity index” to rate major media companies’ overall performance based on gender, racial and LGBT representation before and behind the camera. None of the six major Hollywood studios rated better than 20%, while Time Warner rated a zero. When you add TV and digital offerings, however, the news is better, with Disney, the CW, Amazon and Hulu all scoring 65% or above.

The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity has been issued annually for the last 10 years by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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“Friends” Stars Reunite for James Burrows Tribute

Chris Haston/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — The much-hyped Friends reunion aired on NBC Sunday night.

It might not have been the type of reunion fans have been hoping for — it was part of the network’s all-star tribute to veteran sitcom director James Burrows — but it proved to be a nice stroll down memory lane.

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer gathered on stage at a formal event to salute Burrows, where they reminisced about their time on their beloved 1994-2004 show. Matthew Perry, who did not attend because he’s working on a play in London, made a brief videotaped appearance.

Aniston showered praise upon Burrows for his work on Friends. “We would do anything for Jim Burrows because he really gave us the opportunity of a lifetime and probably the best 10 years of our acting careers that we will forever remember,” she said.

The cast recalled how they were friends in real life, and how quickly they bonded on set. Aniston said, “We really just fell in love and adored each other instantly. And would hang out at each other’s houses and watched the show together.”

When interviewer Andy Cohen asked if they’d signed contracts promising not to sleep with each other, they were quick to respond no.

The two-hour special reunited the casts of several other comedies that Burrows has worked on, including Taxi, Cheers, Frasier, Will & Grace, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.

As part of the Cheers reunion, Ted Danson offered a funny anecdote on how Burrows helped him portray bartender and former baseball player Sam Malone. “He told me that I needed to, perhaps if I reached down and rearrange myself periodically, get me into that jock feel…I used to get some of the best close-ups because I would do this at the most inappropriate times,” Danson said.

There were also recorded tributes from Debra Messing, Kelsey Grammer, Bruce Springsteen and Springsteen’s wife Patti Scialfa, among others.

The special ended with Burrows himself making a few comments on stage. He thanked the actors he worked with as well as the viewers, saying, “As my good friend George Strait says, ‘I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.'”

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