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- 10/19/12--22:01: _LUTHER'S COMING BAC...
- 10/19/12--22:14: _Can Vogue make Kate...
- 10/19/12--23:51: _Nas plans to donate...
- 10/19/12--23:52: _Confirmed: James Fr...
- 10/20/12--06:55: _Thor and Loki to ki...
- 10/20/12--06:57: _Stacy Dash talks to...
- 10/20/12--06:57: _From my binder full...
- 10/20/12--06:57: _ANTM: Who went home?
- 10/20/12--06:58: _Jersey Shore Reject...
- 10/20/12--06:58: _Lainey confirms the...
- 10/21/12--07:19: _Sherlock Holmes rom...
- 10/21/12--07:19: _Victoria Coren: Res...
- 10/21/12--07:20: _Madonna upsets Colo...
- 10/21/12--07:20: _LA trainer claims t...
- 10/21/12--07:46: _Rihanna & Chris Bro...
- 10/21/12--07:48: _The X Factor (US) I...
- 10/21/12--07:48: _Brandy interviewed ...
- 10/21/12--08:21: _Anna Friel: 'I hope...
- 10/21/12--08:21: _Bioshock Infinite -...
- 10/21/12--08:22: _Some ugly-looking d...
- 10/19/12--22:01: LUTHER'S COMING BACK FOR SERIES 3
- 10/19/12--22:14: Can Vogue make Kate Upton a poster child for healthy models?
- 10/19/12--23:52: Confirmed: James Franco is a Douche
- 10/20/12--06:57: ANTM: Who went home?
- 10/20/12--06:58: Jersey Shore Reject and her Dollar Bin Flip Flops
- 10/20/12--06:58: Lainey confirms the obvious, new Robsten pics were staged
- 10/21/12--07:19: Sherlock Holmes romancing Irene Adler?
- 10/21/12--07:19: Victoria Coren: Responds to 'Elementary Backlash"
- 10/21/12--07:20: LA trainer claims to be Lindsay Lohan's new boyfriend
- 10/21/12--07:46: Rihanna & Chris Brown seen together at his "Qubeey" event
- 10/21/12--07:48: The X Factor (US) In Danger of Cancellation
- 10/21/12--08:21: Anna Friel: 'I hope to be even more of a national treasure come 80'
- 10/21/12--08:21: Bioshock Infinite - Gameplay Trailer
Kate Upton first appeared in Vogue in July, the same month that Terry Richardson posted several videos of her bouncing around in a string bikini. It was a pretty hilarious juxtaposition: Vogue called her "Dougie" video "a cinema-verité classic gone viral"and photographed her in a prim knee-length skirt and jacket, while Richardson zoomed in on her boobs jiggling in slow motion.
But Vogue has pressed on, and ran yet another profile of her in their November issue, accompanied by seven-page spread by Steven Meisel, including some obligatory swimsuit shots. Two Vogue features in five months is nothing to sniff at, particularly since Upton has hardly been embraced by the high fashion industry. She was largely ignored throughout fashion month, even though she made no bones about her desire to walk in runway shows in her first profile:
Upton admits that she really wants to do a big, glamorous ad campaign, maybe even more than she fantasizes about the catwalk...
She so far has done neither, but she has racked up a lot of editorial work, including the cover of Carine Roitfeld’s new magazine, CR Fashion Book. Usually modeling goes the other way around, with girls starting out on the runway and gradually working their way into magazines, so her career path is quite novel, as Vogue notes. But will all this attention from editors ever translate into a fashion brand?
Upton’s career in fashion has already come much farther than most people thought. She first made her name as a swimsuit model – the sexy, Sports Illustrated kind – and even Victoria’s Secret deemed her too “Page 3” for their show, basically meaning she was trashy-looking. While some models have managed to straddle the line between Sports Illustrated and high fashion – Miranda Kerr, Anne V., and Alessandra Ambrosio, for example – it seemed at first like Upton would not be one of them.
So why has Vogue chosen to champion Upton’s career? It’s clearly related to the magazine’s new initiative to use "healthy" models, which officially commenced in July. It may be odd that out of all the fuller-figured models out there, they picked Upton, but at least they've found someone who’s bigger than the average sample size. Here’s what Vogue writes about her figure:
… she’s not stick-thin. Upton makes a point of eating, sleeping, and exercising – a potential ambassador of fashion-model health, as she sees it. “I don’t want to starve myself,” she says. “I still want to hang out with my family and be a normal girl. You have to be confident, and that doesn’t mean starving yourself.”
This is a good thing, of course. Upton is obviously still much slimmer and taller than the average woman, but she’s still larger than other models who have laughably been deemed "curvy," like Lara Stone and Gisele Bundchen. But will she make brands and casting agents think differently about the kind of women they hold up as ideals, or will everyone just gawk at her boobs while Vogue congratulates themselves on promoting healthier bodies? Let's all hope for the former, although that'll be a long row to hoe.
US rapper Nas has announced plans to donate some of the proceeds from his UK show to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
The charity, which helps vulnerable young people in the UK and abroad, was set up by the late singer's family following her death in July 2011.
American Nas, real name Nasir Jones, revealed £1 from every ticket sold would go the the organisation.
Amy Winehouse was found dead in her home in Camden, North London, aged 27 last July from alcohol poisoning.
Although the singer also battled with an addiction to drugs a coroner ruled no illegal substances were found in her system.
Cherry Wine, the latest single from Nas' Life is Good album, features the British singer.
Nas performed at this summer's Radio 1 Hackney Weekend in east London.
Nas is due to perform at London's O2 Arena on 19 March with support from fellow US rapper Meek Mill.
Read what Kristina Wong says in an open letter about her experience with James Franco after he hears her UCLA graduation speech.
Dear James Franco: You Were A Jerk To Me
I could have hosted the Oscars in my sleep. Apparently, that's what James Franco tried to do. Call this my "Michelle McGee/Tiger Woods Mistress moment." I'd like to reveal that I too, Kristina Wong, am a woman scorned by a celebrity. I've held this secret from the paparazzi for a couple years but what better time than the week after the Oscars for my personal celebrity exposé? I didn't watch the Oscars. I've been on a bit of a James Franco boycott for the last two years while the rest of America has been all over his nutsack.
Why am I on a James Franco fast? Flashback to April 2008. I am at the peak of touring Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (my show about depression and suicide among Asian American women that I have been touring since 2006). In a hotel room in Amherst, Massachusetts, I get an email from UCLA (my alma mater) inviting me to give the commencement speech at the English Department Graduation. Franco, one of the more famous graduates of the class of 2008, would be in the audience.
Of course this was a huge surprise as I barely remember being an English major. College was like a washing machine of post-traumatic stress, dry humping opportunities that just fell out of reach, and drunken nights/months that all became fodder for the shows I make today. Apparently, UCLA found my awkwardness/achievements noteworthy enough to share with the graduating class of 2008 and their loved ones.
I accepted the invitation enthusiastically even though I was scheduled to be at the Hermitage Retreat in Florida that same time. The residency was on the Manasota Key, two hours from the Sarasota airport. It was quite the endeavor to get off the island and to the airport to fly back to L.A. to give this speech—but this was a huge honor, and I was going to take it, even if it meant a precious week at my artist retreat would be spent tearing my hair out to write said speech and zig-zagging back and forth across the country to deliver it.
Writing that commencement speech was no easy task. I deliver goofiness, self-deprecation, and cynicism for a living, so trying to parlay that into a "here's some inspiration as you embark into the world" motivational mastery is completely counter to my style. My old tricks would not be welcome. I couldn't plug in my overhead projector at the lectern or whip objects out of my metaphorical vagina. I contemplated plagiarizing my speech from the internet but unlike fellow commencement speakers JK Rowling, Conan O'Brien, and Ali G—I didn't have a well known celebrity persona to subvert. I couldn't self-deprecate to a crowd that had no context for me. I couldn't even grab their attention with a superficial list of IMDb credits.
This was public speaking straight up. Twelve drafts, several frantic cross-country phone calls and five bottles of wine later, I penned my speech. I fly 6 hours to L.A., slip on the mortarboard and gown they rented for me, and sit among my old professors where we look like a chamber meeting of Harry Potter wizards.
They introduce me to a crowd of thousands and it's speech time! I approach the podium like a hip-hop star as Eminem's "Lose Yourself" blasts through Pauley Pavillion. I get everyone cheering and screaming for themselves, their lovers and fathers (graduation fell on Father's Day). I introduce myself as an independent artist who while not wealthy or well known, believes that I am helping people's lives by provoking dialogue on social issues mainstream media doesn't touch. I describe how like so many protagonists of American literature, I broke through the expectations of a robotic overachieving life. I make the connection between the Bard and how I freelanced for a porn magazine (Playgirl) for a year. I got life-coachy like Marianne Williamson, pumped everyone up to vote for Obama, and then gave out my phone number at the end. I was awesome.
After the speech, nobody throws me the finger. There were cheers and laughs—lots of them. There were kudos from old professors. And as the kids file out into the world, a few of them shake my hand to tell me I did a great job. Some even take pictures with me. My parents had come down from San Francisco and were proud too. It was that defining moment where my Chinese parents acknowledged that this crazy "artist life" thing I chose was the right choice.
As the students and their families disperse into the rest of their lives, my father insists I take a picture with James Franco, who was standing only a few feet away. I didn't even know who James Franco was more than "the evil guy from Spiderman." High from the speech I gave and its reception, I comply with my father to take a picture with Franco.
My father and I walk toward Franco. He is mid-conversation with the woman who invited me to speak.
THE CONVERSATION I OVERHEAR:
FRANCO: Next year, I want to give the commencement speech.
MY HOST: Maybe in a few years. Not the year after you graduate. Next year is too soon.
FRANCO: The speaker this year…she was OK. I wasn't that impressed by it. It wasn't very good.
(I don't have verbatim what he said, but I KNOW he says something in this ballpark of my speech not being good.)
My father, oblivious to what Franco is saying, taps Franco's shoulder.
FATHER: Can my daughter take a photo with you?
Franco turns and sees me, right there in earshot, he keeps his cool like he wasn't just smacktalking me. I'm horrified, and kind of embarrassed that I'm standing in front of someone who is famous and doesn't even respect me.
He throws his arm around me. I'm thinking: "Did I just hear that?"
KRISTINA: Hi. Um…You are more famous than the Bruin Bear apparently.
FRANCO: Nice speech!
(There is a tinge of patronization in his voice.)
We take the photo. leave the campus still high from the experience, but really stunned and slightly soured by what I think I just heard.
END JAMES FRANCO ENCOUNTER.
Fast forward through the next year. Friends ask me how my speech went but the memory is forever dampened by how the one celebrity in attendance put my speech down—IN FRONT OF THE WOMAN WHO INVITED ME—IN FRONT OF ME. I find it sad that it should have been a great day of celebration and triumph for James Franco, yet he had no family around him, and instead of enjoying and embracing the accomplishment of finishing college, he is already nominating himself to be next year's speaker. Could it not wait until we at least left the pavilion? Could he at least take a second to enjoy seeing off his colleagues? Could he at least wait for an invitation to speak? No. He was pushy and arrogant. And maybe that's how he gets ahead.
For the next year, I was the woman scorned by the celebrity who I didn't even know. At social settings, in the newspaper, on TV—it was like the whole world couldn't stop fawning over James Franco: "Oh he's so smart. Oh he wrote a book. Oh he's so cute! Oh he's in movies…. oh oh oh!"
I wanted to scream and tear down the news stands! "He's also two-faced and arrogant! And he hurt my feelings!!"
As a performer, I know that you can't please everyone. I especially know that my work sometimes finds more enemies than friends and I wouldn't be in the field I'm in if my goal was to make every person happy all of the time. But I'd be lying if I said it was easy to brush off the James Franco incident. It got to me into a year of negative self talk: If someone would go as far as to badmouth me to my host, minutes after the ceremony, then I must really have been that bad? If a famous person didn't like the speech then maybe I don't ever deserve success?
It was all the making of crazy talk. What did keep me going was that a few of the students who graduated did contact me during the year by email and offered compliments. Thank you to those of you who sent me unsolicited notes throughout the year.
In June 2009, I read an article about how James Franco "bowed out" of doing the UCLA's Letters and Science Commencement speech because of "conflicts with a shooting schedule." Somehow, he was able to leapfrog past speaking at the "lowly" English Department graduation, straight to Letters and Science graduation in the football field.
I guess the hassle of getting across the world to accept an "invitation" paled in comparison to having a big fancy movie to rehearse for. What really seems to be the reason he bowed out is that the students (many who were his classmates the year before) didn't feel that he had much of the world under him (post-degree) to really offer any insight as a "former UCLA graduate." Students even created a Facebook campaign for him to not speak. They rallied against him speaking at their graduation and won. It confirmed to me that I did overhear Franco talking smack. And that he was the kind of guy that would bully his way to the top.
And that's it. That's the story of how my hard work as a community worker and artist got badmouthed by an A-list celebrity that people love so inexplicably. The reviews he got for his performance hosting the Oscars? Sweet Justice.
Any horrific encounters you guys have had with celebrities? SPILL. Heck, why not share some nice ones, too...
Filming of Thor: The Dark World has now been completely finished. Leifur Dagfinnsson, CEO of True North, confirms the news in an interview with the Icelandic local media Vísir.
What do you think? Isn't everyone getting sick of watching these two brawl by now? Isn't Ecclescakes supposed to be the main villian anyway? Will Tom ever wear those fashion-forward yellow pants again?
LOL @ her trying to apply the MLK quote to her reason for choosing Romney - 3:31
and that is immediately followed by her talking a call from Paul Ryan and then
Piers Shit Stirrer tries to made Obama look bad for not doing the same.
Also, Kimora Lee simons throw some shade.
The backlash against Stacey Dash's endorsement of Mitt Romney for president continues, and this time Kimora Lee Simmons is taking a swipe.
The fashion mogul and reality star did an interview with HipHollywood.com recently and couldn't resist calling out Dash for her controversial political stance. "I feel like she just [did] it for press, cause, really, no one really knows her," Kimora told the site. Then, perhaps realizing she may have sounded like a snob-and-a-half, Simmons backtracked slightly by adding, "I don’t think it’s that serious, she’ll be fine."
In case you don't know Stacey Dash, the actress starred in one of the most popular films of all time, Clueless. She was the lead on VH1's hit series Single Ladies during its first season and is related to music mogul Damon Dash.
Still, Kimora only echoes what many think of celebrities who come out in favor of the Republican candidate — that it's a tactic to grab attention. But those coming to Dash's defense argue that she's being unfairly targeted for her opinions.
source , 2
Become like water. Let the flow of this reality propel me forward. Don’t fight the rip tides when I encounter them. Go deeper. Go under them and let the rip bring me up stronger, faster. Accept this reality as a wave moving me toward making my Dreams… REAL. Knowing however, the difference between fantasy and real power that just needs to be exercised - Stay Dashing.
Next week we find out which girl is coming back. Who do you think will come back?
Disgraced "Jersey Shore" star Angelina Pivarnick is pulling a 180 on her anti-gay marriage stance -- telling TMZ, "I'm starting to understand that no one should be denied the chance at happiness that marriage brings."
In case you missed her Internet debate last week, on the website Deeyoon, with openly gay singer Adam Barta (we don't blame you) Angelina came out against gay marriage, saying, "I don't think gays that should be married. If you want to date each other fine."
It gets worse from there -- just watch the video -- but now, Angelina's backpedaling, telling us, "I apologize to anyone I may have offended ...Many of my gay friends reached out to me afterward ... to inform me of how ignorant my comments were."
She adds, "I wouldn't want anyone to tell me that I couldn't marry the person I loved, and I don't want to do that to anyone else regardless of
"I think other people like me can have their minds changed once they meet gay couples and families. We shouldn't ban love or marriage for a happy couple. That is UNAMERICAN!"
To prove she means business, Angelina says she plans to work with a pro-marriage equality organization named the Imperial Court of NY on
their next fundraiser in November.
There’s been a lot of Kristen Stewart happening this week. On Monday photos and video of Stewart and Robert Pattinson were released on Entertainment Tonight. The next day, Stewart and Pattinson were papped when they were out with friends. On Wednesday it was reported she bought a new home close to Pattinson. And on Thursday pictures of the two hugging and kissing at that home were purchased and published exclusively by our friends at PopSugar and all of it confirming, ahem, what I was the first to report during TIFF: that they’re back together, obviously. More on this in a minute.
In addition to working the media about her relationship, Stewart was also working for her sponsorship yesterday. As announced last week, she participated in a live chat to sell Balenciaga Florabotanica -- she is the face of the fragrance.
The event was supposed to be for 30 minutes. Stewart barely made it for half that time and was criticised for it. I don’t know if that’s on her though. To me, that’s on the totally incompetent moderator, Virginie Mouzat, who was assigned to the interview. There was no chemistry between them and there was no attempt by Mouzat to create any. Rather, Mouzat was almost condescending, like an aunt speaking to a child and even, on a couple of occasions, um, racist?
Oh, here’s a question from a fan in India and sorry if I f-cked up pronouncing your name but, you know, you’re from India so, like, it’s understandable.
And WTF with the Serbian comment?
Anyway, my point is, that woman did a terrible job. And, frankly, it’s HER responsibility to keep the interview going. I interview celebrities too as part of my job, and I promise you, in our industry, it’s practically criminal to UNDERuse the amount of time you’re given with a celebrity. The woman is supposed to be a style editor. You’re having a conversation about BALENCIAGA, one of the most stylish brands in the business. So you run out of fan questions -- you can’t come up with any of your own? Even a few generic ones?
-what’s your favourite item from the new Balenciaga collection this season?
-will you be wearing any of it for your upcoming tour?
-what is the process of selecting a promotional wardrobe? Does Nicolas help you with that? Does he make recommendations from his designs as to what he wants to see you in? Does he ever surprise you with the things he’s picked out.
-what was it like at the photo shoot? How many different pieces did you try? What was your favourite piece from the shoot? Do you like the look of the bottle?
Sure, they’re not the dishiest, gossipiest questions, but they’re at least new questions that would extend an interview closer to its promised length and give the fans more opportunity to spend time with her, non?
And she tried, Kristen Stewart, she did. In fairness to her, she tried. When it became obvious that the sh-tty moderator had nothing else to say, Stewart just randomly started complimenting Nicolas Ghesquiere, Balenciaga’s creative director, in an attempt to extend the conversation. The French lady meanwhile was ready to go for a cigarette and order up an afternoon snack. It was lazy work. And when you combine that with Stewart’s notoriously awkward demeanor, well, I don’t know that Balenciaga really hit one out there this time.
Yes, as usual, Stewart was awkward. As usual she was not very... poised. I mean, that swinging leg back and forth, even a Twi-Hard would agree it’s not the definition of poise, right? And, as usual, she wasn’t particularly articulate. At one point she had a hard time coming up with three adjectives to describe the product she’s being paid to promote. From a brand and marketing perspective, this is incredibly frustrating. Because how challenging can it be to come up with a few attributes if, say, you, like, I dunno... prepare? People were encouraged to submit questions in advance. It was clear that the questions were screened. If they’d been sent to Stewart to review the day before, she could have had a general sense of how to answer.
Oh but oh no...
She’s so real and in the moment, she could never possibly compromise all that real inthemomentness and not be authentic in the moment and give a scripted answer...could she?
This is a job. Just like acting is a JOB. In acting, they give you a script. There are lines to deliver. And while you may modify it here and there, or collaboratively change the dialogue to better reflect the character, the point is, you’re working off a document that helps you frame the response...
And that’s how it is with an interview.
It’s also the mature, adult thing to do. You know, your homework. You can think about what you want to say without having it sound overly rehearsed and unnatural. It’s ok to have thoughts about something in advance. That doesn’t make you a fraud. That doesn’t compromise any authenticity or integrity. But this, I suppose, is typical of arty idealist types in their early 20s -- it’s vision in extremes: ie. preparation and spontaneity cannot co-exist! The only true ideas and feelings are those that are thought and felt in REAL TIME. Everything else is impure!
If you’re signing deals with luxury brands, maybe it’s time to get past the entry level junior philosophy s-t and approach the situation like a proper business person, the kind of person who was savvy enough to take this partnership in the first place. After all, it’s not like Kristen Stewart isn’t demonstrating that she’s a player now.
About these photos at PopSugar of the two of them kissing and hugging poolside at her new place, clearly having moved on from the summer scandal...
The photo agency representing these images is AKM-GSI. It’s the same agency that often shoots LeAnn Rimes when, you know, she’s engaged and she just happens to be gazing out at the ocean with Eddie Cibrian’s arms around her and the ring in full view. It’s also the agency that shoots Megan Fox when she gets married in Hawaii, top secretly, or when she’s pregnant in Hawaii and the bump is unmistakable and her husband is kissing it.
You know this, I know you do. That celebrities stage photos or arrange to have their photos taken “candidly”. That they engage the paps to help disseminate their message. The message right now, a few weeks before the release of Twilight 5: Breaking Dawn 2, is that Robsten is not only Unbroken, but that Robsten is THRIVING and #strongahthanevah!
Oh how now? Kristen Stewart engaging the disgusting, immoral, vile paparazzi?
Hey fans, do you get to call them vile if you took pleasure at the product?
And do you get to call them vile anymore if you’re engaging them to do business? If Stewart had not been caught with Rupert Sanders in July, working with the paps to produce these photos would probably not have been necessary. But her circumstances changed. These are the pragmatic professional choices you make. And that’s fine. It’s great! Of course it is. Hollywood is a BUSINESS. I’m down with Kristen Stewart doing business. But the minute you decide to do business, you know you can’t complain about it anymore, right?
Love mystery of Holmes and his naked co-star: TV seduction 'turns to real romance' for star couple
As a whip-wielding dominatrix, she played the only woman capable of seducing the emotionally detached Sherlock Holmes.
Now life is imitating fiction for actress Lara Pulver, who has struck up an ‘affectionate’ relationship with Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the troubled detective in BBC1’s latest adaptation.
The pair, both 36, radiated an on-screen chemistry in the sexually charged episode A Scandal In Bohemia, in which Pulver appeared naked as Irene Adler.
And last Thursday they were openly flirtatious when they attended the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards together.
Cumberbatch brought his former co-star along as his ‘plus one’ as he collected the Best Actor award.
Another guest at the bash at Grosvenor House hotel on London’s Park Lane said: ‘They were completely engrossed with each other, taking photographs, holding hands, cuddling and laughing. Lara was following Benedict around the room.
They were very affectionate together and Lara even tweeted a photograph of Benedict with his award.’
Pulver, who divorced US actor Joshua Dallas last year, has previously been linked to another co-star, Raza Jaffrey, 36.
They worked together on BBC1’s Spooks.
Meanwhile, Harrow-educated Cumberbatch said of Sherlock’s on-screen chemistry with seductress Irene: ‘Is there a sexual element to it? Without a doubt there is. But … it’s a game of chess, and it’s a very cruel, cruel game of love, if it is love.’
The New Year’s Day episode attracted 100 complaints for its raunchy scenes, but BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson said: ‘Just because you’re on pre-watershed doesn’t mean you have to be dull.’
Cumberbatch, who previously dated actress Olivia Poulet for 12 years, recently admitted he is seeking a new love.
He said: ‘I’m building a home at the moment and it would be nice to fill that home with love and life and children.’
Last night, Lara’s spokesman said ‘No comment’, while a spokesman for Cumberbatch did not return calls.
Last week, in this space, I broke the law. Technically, I could be prosecuted. Technically, my only hope is that Rowan Atkinson can get the law changed before a gloved hand knocks at my door.
My column about Elementary was one of the most-read articles on the Comment Is Free website for days. What an accolade, the casual observer might think. After all, we live in a serious world. Some girl's unenthusiasm for a TV series in which Sherlock Holmes is a New York junkie and Doctor Watson is a sexy lady from Charlie's Angels is not a serious matter. If thousands of web-surfers are poring over that column, what a tremendously entertaining piece it must be.
But no. It was not my creative writing that fascinated people, but my racism. And as a little sweetener, like sprinkles on an ice cream, my sexism. Ideologically, I am the new Bernard Manning. (Unfortunately, the resemblance doesn't end there.)
Many of the messages I've since received on Twitter have been accompanied by the hashtags #racist and #sexist and, in one charming case, #youdumbbitch. This is why I read with particular interest about Rowan Atkinson's launch of the Reform Section 5 campaign, to repeal that part of the Public Order Act that makes it a crime to use "abusive or insulting" words within earshot (or eyeshot) of anyone likely to be offended by them. I would quite like this section to be reformed, in time for me to swerve jail.
The sexism charge was nuanced; some believe that Lucy Liu's casting as "Doctor Joan Watson" is a positive step for women in Hollywood; I do not, and those who disagree think I must therefore be a misogynist. Fine; give me a couple of hours round a pub table and I'll have that debate with pleasure.
But the racism charge was based on the following two paragraphs, which appeared about halfway through my column:
"Lucy Liu [told] the Times, 'It was a very big deal for me to play an Asian-American in Charlie's Angels; Watson's ethnicity is also a big deal', as if someone had bet her £100 that she couldn't cause at least three Conan Doyle fans to suffer a pulmonary embolism.
"Personally, I'd like to press Liu's face into a bowl of cold pea soup for that statement. It's not just her failure to distinguish between creating a new character and mangling a beloved old one (Tread softly! You tread on my dreams!), but the triumphant tone over such an appalling and offensive racial change. Let me be clear: I rather like the idea of an Asian Watson, but American? God save us all."
Now, I think it's fairly obvious that this is a silly joke about Americans, as imagined by a tweedy old fan of Victorian literature. It is not a difficult joke to spot. It's a standard structure: set up an expectation based on one half of a sentence (or, in this case, word), then say something based on the other half. As in: "My boyfriend's got a dog. I'm revolted by the hairiness and the smell. But I like his dog."
My furious online correspondents, however, reacted as though the last two sentences simply weren't there, managing somehow to take those lines as a statement of anti-Asian feeling. If I were more famous, the Daily Mail would have reported the complaints under the headline "COREN IN RACE ROW" and I would have been marked down forever as that woman who used to host a quiz show until her hatred of Asians was revealed and she was forced into hiding forever.
As it is, I will be remembered as a racist only by those too daft to get my silly joke, and those who saw the damning internet blogs that failed to quote exactly what I'd said.
Nevertheless, those people were genuinely offended. Some may be quite stupid ("How can you defend the BBC's male-dominated, all-white Sherlock?" asked one angry lady, the answer to which is so obvious that I couldn't be bothered to type it) – but I deliberately allowed readers to believe for two seconds that I was about to make an anti-Asian statement, in the full knowledge that some people are stupid and that even so familiar and simple a comic U-turn might be too much for them. Technically, and illegally, I invited offence.
Last week, a caller to the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 said that Andrew Mitchell should be jailed for swearing at the police because "there is too little respect for them".
As someone who remembers from childhood the timid, furtive voices of east European cousins on the phone – those few who had survived the concentration camps – who dared not speak freely from behind the Iron Curtain because they feared being tapped and followed, I am extremely offended by the suggestion that my own beautiful British society should become a police state, in which rudeness to these authority figures is punished by incarceration. But do I think the caller should be jailed for offending me? No, I think there should be no such thing as a speech crime. However foul a thing you want to say, you can say it freely as far as I'm concerned. And I'm including the skinheads who shouted "Yid" at me during my grandfather's funeral.
Yet, even if you believe that offensive remarks should be proscribed by law, what about remarks that are misunderstood as offensive? It's nigh impossible to speak without any risk of misinterpretation, especially when mobs are out there looking to be outraged.
You don't have to support the campaign to reform Section 5. But one day, your teasing dig in a colleague's leaving card will be taken the wrong way; or your mobile phone comment will be misheard by passers-by in a crowded street; and then they will come for you.</blockquote>
It's yet another misfire from the Material Girl.
Just three months after the tragic Dark Knight Rises shooting in Aurora, Colo., Madonna didn't show much sensitivity to the neighboring city of Denver. During her performance Thursday night at the Pepsi Center, the 54-year-old pop star relied heavily on prop guns, even starting off her concert by firing fake shots.
During "Gang Bang," Madonna and several dancers dressed in black made their way across the stage, mock-shooting each other. A giant screen simulated splattering blood and falling bodies.
Local NBC affiliate 9News reported receiving several calls from concertgoers who were extremely offended Madonna used guns and violence in the show in light of recent events in Aurora.
Other attendees told E! News, however, they were more upset with Madge for starting her concert "three hours late."
This, of course, isn't Madonna's only MDNA tour gaffe. She's used fake guns and even swastika imagery throughout her performances, telling Billboard in a "manifesto" that it's because "they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging."
She also pointed out that "when you watch a film there are usually good guys and bad guys to help illustrate this point. Sometimes I play both. I enjoy acting out this journey...I know people can relate to it. It's very important to me as an artist that my show not be taken out of context."
Lindsay Lohan has finally found the man of her dreams — a cheerleader touting himself as “the best influence on her.”
Josh Chunn, 25, a former member of the University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns cheerleader squad, confirmed that he and the troubled “Mean Girls” actress have a love thing going on.
“I’ve been trying to get Lindsay to focus. But how do you get her to focus with all the stuff going on around her? I can barely focus,” Chunn told the Daily News on Saturday.
Lohan, 26, jetted back to New York City on Saturday. She’s expected to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday to answer charges she fled the scene of a Sept. 19 accident after clipping a chef with a borrowed Porsche outside the Dream hotel in Chelsea.
“She’s a strong girl. She’s cleaning up,” said Chunn, a Los Angeles fitness trainer. “I just want her to be okay. I want us to be okay.”
Chunn’s name emerged Friday when Lohan’s father, Michael, publicly described him as his daughter’s new boyfriend.
Michael Lohan met Chunn on Friday afternoon when he went to Lindsay’s Beverly Hills house in hopes of staging an emergency intervention to get his daughter to go to rehab.
Chunn denied Michael Lohan’s claims to RadarOnline that he supported the intervention. He said he was the one who had to turn Michael Lohan away when he showed up at LiLo’s door with two friends, including one who identified himself as a cop.
“It kind of put me in an awkward place,” Chunn told The News.
He said he heard Michael Lohan out and then relayed the message to Lindsay.
“She said, ‘No, no. I don’t want him here. Why are you even talking to him?’ ” said Chunn, explaining why he asked Michael Lohan to leave.
Michael Lohan gave up on the intervention and left after police showed up. The father claimed his daughter called the cops on him.
“I feel his pain. I get it,” Chunn said of the father. “He’s just out to help her.”
Chunn, who grew up in Lafayette, La., said he moved to Los Angeles a year ago after studying nursing at ULL. He swore that drugs and heavy partying are “not my thing.”
“I’m into hikes and fishing and outdoors,” Chunn said. “That’s what I’m always trying to get Lindsay to do.”
He slammed Lindsay’s groupies, claiming they’re always “mooching” off the “Liz & Dick” actress.
“I think I’m the best influence on her,” Chunn said. “The deal is she is surrounded by a bunch of f---ups.”
Chunn said he lives down the street from Lindsay and met her when she came to his friend’s house. They started dating after he ran into her at a recent party at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in West Hollywood.
“I’m there for Lindsay. I listen,” Chunn said. “I work hard for my money. I pay my own bill when we go out. I have a schedule. That’s the problem with these kids in L.A., they don’t have a schedule. All they want to do is party.
“I see all these people just waiting for her (Lindsay) to grab the bill,” Chunn said. “I’m just trying to figure out what’s best for her at this time right now.”
Meanwhile, TMZ reported Saturday that Lindsay, who has gone through rehab at least three times, insists she has not relapsed.
Sources close to the actress told the gossip website that Lindsay believes her father’s intervention plan stemmed from her cutting him off for recording and leaking a private conversation of her discussing a fight with her mother, Dina.
Dina Lohan released a statement Saturday bashing her ex-husband for trying to crawl his way back into their daughter’s life. “Once again, my ex-husband makes every effort to make himself relevant in my daughter’s life. She has made it clear she doesn’t believe he is capable of being a trusted father,” Dina Lohan said.
She said Michael Lohan’s “intervention” was a sham.
“This sole act by my ex was not an intervention nor was this extreme antic sanctioned by any member of Lindsay’s family or her professional team of handlers,” Dina Lohan said. “It’s sad and I hope he stops masquerading as her father in public and starts acting like one in private.”
Lindsay's response on her twitter:
On Saturday evening [Oct 20], Rihanna who looked stunning in a white dress, joined Chris Brown for the launch of his Qubeey Channel, a customized site that will allow his fans get closer to him.
The event was held at a Private Mansion in Los Angeles, where both singers brought their friends and enjoyed the evening.
Rihanna, who has been in the studio non-stop, took some time off to relax and chat.
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"The X Factor" U.S. is headed for cancellation, according to many industry insiders. "The X Factor" executive producer Simon Cowell and his "X Factor" colleagues are no doubt furious or panicking about it, and the cancellation probably won't be officially decided until after the show's live episodes begin in November 2012, but the damage has been done.
There are many reasons for the downward spiral of "The X Factor" U.S., but Fox (the U.S. network for the show) has now made it abundantly clear that "The X Factor" U.S. is no longer a priority for the network because of the way Fox botched the new episode that was supposed to be televised in its entirety on October 17, 2012. Fox announced that the two-hour episode has been rescheduled to be televised in its entirety on October 23, 2012 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time.*
Not surprisingly, Fox received many viewer complaints about this sudden programming change, but behind the scenes, perhaps the biggest complainer has been Cowell. After all, he has the most at stake (besides his ego and pride) over the failure of "The X Factor" U.S.
And make no mistake: Fox is now treating "The X Factor" U.S. as a big-time failure, not because it's the lowest-rated show on the network (because it isn't Fox's lowest-rated show) but because it's become a money pit for the network. Major League Baseball (MLB) on Fox makes millions more for Fox than "The X Factor" does, so it should come as no surprise that Fox will give MLB games priority over "The X Factor," even if it means interrupting "X Factor" episodes.
The episode from October 17, 2012, was the crucial episode that revealed the Top 16 contestant acts who will perform in the live episodes that begin on November 1, 2012. The episode that reveals the contestants who will perform on the live shows is usually one of the highest-rated "X Factor" episodes of the year, but now the ratings for it this year will be messed up, because in some time zones in the U.S., the episode was partially shown on October 17, 2012, while in other time zones, Fox affiliates showed an "X Factor" rerun that night.
But what made it really obvious that Fox no longer cares about "The X Factor" U.S. is that in the Eastern and Central time zones, in addition to showing a baseball game instead of "The X Factor," Fox also chose to televise partial episodes of sitcoms "Ben and Kate" and "The Mindy Project" in the "X Factor" time slot.
This wasn't a bone-headed mistake by low-level technical operators. This was a deliberate decision made in advance by high-level executives at Fox.
And now that the episode has been rescheduled for October 23, 2012, "The X Factor" is going to get clobbered in the ratings by CBS's "NCIS," ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and NBC's "The Voice." It's another nail in the coffin for "The X Factor" U.S.*
So how did "The X Factor" U.S. go from being the most expensive reality show ever with so much potential to be a blockbuster to being a money-losing show with declining ratings? Season 2 of "The X Factor" U.S. has definitely been its downfall because of many dumb business decisions.
Here are the Top 5 failures of "The X Factor" U.S. in Season 2:
1. Britney Spears
I correctly predicted that "The X Factor" U.S. would lose millions of viewers if Spears became a judge on the show. This incredibly stupid mistake of hiring Spears wouldn't have been so bad if the show didn't waste a reported $15 million for her "X Factor" salary. (Fox's "Glee" has also been losing viewers, but no one in "Glee's" cast is getting paid $15 million a year, so "Glee" is going to outlast "The X Factor" U.S. in the long run.)
Fans of Spears can make all the excuses in the world and blame everyone else for Spears' failure to increase ratings for the show, but the fact remains that Spears was brought on the show to increase ratings from what the show had in 2011, and because ratings have gone down since she's been on the show, she has been a huge failure for "The X Factor."
There's no doubt that Spears has millions of fans, but just because there are a lot of people who will pay money to see Spears in concert, that doesn't mean a lot of people want to see her as a judge on a reality TV show.
It essentially comes down to this financial fact: Former "X Factor" U.S. judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger (who were fired from the show) turned out to be better for the show's business than Spears is.
According to TV Guide, Abdul's "X Factor" salary was $2.5 million in 2011, while Scherzinger's "X Factor" salary was $1.5 million in 2011. That's $4 million for two judges in 2011. If you throw in the $1 million "X Factor" salary that Demi Lovato is getting in 2012, that's $16 million for two judges in 2012. (It's a fair comparison, since Spears and Lovato replaced Abdul and Scherzinger on the show.)
In 2012, ratings for the show in 2012 are down an average of 2 million to 3 million U.S. viewers less per episode than what the show had in 2011. In 2011, "The X Factor" U.S. ended the season with an average of 12 million viewers per episode. In 2012, the show is averaging 9 million U.S. viewers per episode. (Source: Nielsen Media Research.)
So in 2011, "The X Factor" U.S. paid a fraction of what the show is paying in 2012 in judges' salaries, and the show got much higher ratings in 2011. The show's expenses that go to judges' salaries have skyrocketed in 2012 for one reason: Spears, who has hurt the show's ratings. You don't have to be an accountant or have a business degree to see what a bad financial decision it was to hire Spears as a judge on "The X Factor." You do the math. Fox apparently has.
2. Khloe Kardashian and waiting too long to replace former "X Factor" U.S. host Steve Jones
When former "X Factor" U.S. host Steve Jones was fired from the show in late January 2012, it took more than nine months for "The X Factor" U.S. to name his replacements: Mario Lopez (an experienced TV host) and Khloe Kardashian (who has no experience as a TV host). Lopez and Kardashian begin their "X Factor" hosting duties when the live episodes start on November 1, 2012.
In the meantime, Lopez and Kardashian have missed out on bonding with the contestants during auditions, boot camp and the judges' houses. It's too early to know how Kardashian will do in the live episodes, since her main claim to fame is doing staged and heavily edited reality shows with her family, but "The X Factor" has already gotten numerous complaints from viewers about Kardashian being chosen to co-host the show. Many of these viewers say they will no longer watch "The X Factor" as long as Kardashian is on the show.
The National Enquirer is reporting that Lopez and Kardashian are each getting $1 million to host "The X Factor" U.S. , so if this report is true, then it's another bad "X Factor" business decision. Jones, who is a well-known TV personality in his native Great Britain, put in more than seven months of work to host the show for less money than what Kardashian is getting, but Jones was and is relatively unknown in the United States. However, Lopez and Kardashian are basically hosting the show for only eight weeks (two months). So that's $2 million to pay two hosts for two months of work. What an incredibly dumb decision.
3. Catering too much to a teenage female audience
4. Eliminating talented contestants in favor of contestants who bring manufactured drama to the show
5. Bad editing in the prerecorded episodes
Cowell may be devastated by the failure of "The X Factor" U.S. when it gets cancelled, but he has bounced back from failure before, and this should be an opportunity for him and his "X Factor" colleagues to learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately for them, many of these mistakes made on "The X Factor" U.S. could have been avoided if they really paid attention to what the majority of viewers wanted instead of chasing after and overpaying controversial celebrities such as Spears and Kardashian.
Many people have wanted Cowell to go back to being a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. anyway, and that will likely happen when "The X Factor" U.S. gets cancelled. Cowell may miss his reported $75 million annual "X Factor" U.S. salary when the show gets cancelled, but what will probably hurt him more is his wounded pride and the fact that not only was a show that he created such a massive failure in the United States but also that "American Idol" and "The Voice" (rival shows that he has trashed in interviews) outlasted and got much higher ratings than "The X Factor" in the United States.
there goes that #200 spot. oop
The film and TV star on her new stage role in Uncle Vanya, the trouble with wrinkles and being part of the UK's national heritage because of that Brookside kiss
Your new play, Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, is known as a rather melancholic piece of work. Is that your reading of it?
You can either play it for the comedy or you can play it for the dramatic content and it becomes so dour and so dark that you have to laugh. It's one of those situations where something's so tragic, you cannot help but laugh because you don't know what else to do. You're telling a story of people for whom there's no light at the end of the tunnel. That's where the comedy lies within this.
The play is running until February. Is it daunting to be in that place for so long?
Sometimes you think: "Oh I'm really happy today, I'm with my daughter, and obviously I've got to go to the theatre and put myself in a very dark place." But with this, I feel honoured that I'm speaking Chekhov's words. That could sound wanky but I think he's one of the most beautiful writers. Where others would have a whole page of writing, he can condense it to just two sentences. Every single word matters.
How did you research the part of Yelena?
When I accepted it, I knew the play, but I'd never really studied Chekhov the person. So I went to Moscow for a few days and went to the Chekhov museum and asked lots of questions. They said: "If you want to understand Chekhov, learn about a man called [Ivan] Bunin." He was his friend, a contemporary, and he wrote this beautiful book called About Chekhov. You learn so much about the man that you can't help but fall in love with him. It's his whole attitude to life: you must work and work and work. Don't waste a second of it.
I think that's massively informed by the fact that he was dying of tuberculosis, so it mattered even more to him.
Didn't you once say that you liked the theatre because the audience can't see your wrinkles?
Oh God, no! It's not so the audience can't see my wrinkles, where did you get that from?
So there's no truth in that then?
I was asked once if I worried about getting old and I said: "Everyone does, but not on the stage, you've got big bright lights and you can play down your age." So, in Uncle Vanya, I'm 36 and I'm playing 27. That's because of distance and lights, that just stands to reason. As opposed to going: "I'm doing theatre, no one can see me close up!" That would just be about vanity and that would be stupid.
You admitted recently that you had a procedure called the "vampire facelift". That sounds completely terrifying…
If you read into it, of course it's not a facelift. You just put the plasma of your blood into your face, which is what they do to people who have sports injuries. It's not putting poison into your body, it's a natural thing where you put your own blood back. I tried it and I was quite glowy and my skin looked fresh. I will try things and if that slows the tests of time I'll do it.
But you're not starting to feel elderly yet?
At 36! Ooh, I'm sooo old. Of course I'm not. It's just that I was young when I started. I've been in the public eye since I was 16. Believe me, we all have days when we think: "Oh God…" You've not had enough sleep or too much stress – nothing a bit of red lipstick can't cure.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self now?
It all comes down to the writing: you're as good as the writing you're given. I felt that very much with Jimmy McGovern with The Street. And plays. If Capote's written something, it's going to be brilliant and it's just up to you to do the work.
No grand regrets then?
I feel I'm the right age to be doing what I'm doing. I could have burned myself out. Opportunities I was offered that maybe I didn't make the most of in my early 20s, I clearly wasn't ready for. I could say: "I wish I'd made that choice about that film and not come back to England…" But other things take priority in life: you can't plan it and if we could it would be bloody dull.
There's always speculation about whether you'll stay in England or go back to Los Angeles. Does this current role settle it?
People want a black-and-white answer, but it's not possible. I bought a house in LA when I was doing Pushing Daisies and I have an ex [David Thewlis] who is still my friend and is the father of my child. I have a boyfriend [Rhys Ifans], I have schools to consider and I have different jobs. It's all dependent on circumstance, as are most people's lives, but ours are a bit more extreme, particularly if your partner and your ex-partner are actors and you have a seven-year-old daughter.
I was actually offered a big job in LA at the same time as Uncle Vanya that would have earned me a lot of money and brought fame again. I say "fame again", but it would have heightened my profile because more people would have seen it on television. But I thought this part would teach me more. Now, my thinking tends to be, what have I not done? I'd like to have longevity as an actress and be able to do theatre for many, many years and get better at that.
How did you feel that your Brookside lesbian kiss was in a montage at the opening ceremony of the Olympics?
If I'm part of that British heritage then I'm nothing but thrilled. On the day, we were watching Stereophonics in Hyde Park and they did a big open screening of it. It was blink and you'll miss it; you don't think: "Look at me, doing a big kiss with a girl!" It's just something you did when you were 16. But I absolutely loved the opening ceremony. I'm half Irish, but I was born in England and I felt quite patriotic and it moved me. Good old England!
You're a national treasure, up there with the NHS now.
Ah well, long may it continue. I hope to be even more of a national treasure come 80. Maybe I'll up my ambition and say by the age of 50. That gives me 14 years.
Source/Official Bioshock Facebook Page
Beyond excited for this game. Also, going to wear my Splicer costume for Halloween!
I know y'all don't really like this book on here but I am enjoying it for what it is. NHF this cast so much, though.