Entertainment News

After NBC refuses to carry 2022 Golden Globes, HFPA responds, promising "transformational changes...quickly"

HFPA

The embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has issued a statement in response to NBC's decision not to carry the Golden Globe Awards in 2022.

The organization has been under fire both in the press and from Hollywood celebrities who have brought to light accusations of sexism and racism.

Just today, Tom Cruise returned his three trophies in protest.

"Regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational changes as quickly – and as thoughtfully – as possible remains the top priority for our organization," an HFPA statement reads in part. 

"We invite our partners in the industry to the table to work with us on the systemic reform that is long overdue, both in our organization as well as within the industry at large."

The group outlined what it called its "Reform Milestones," which included a schedule of when they'll be implemented; these strategies seek to boost minority membership and representation, and increase transparency into the organization and its inner workings, which have long been shrouded in mystery. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Grey's Anatomy' renewed for season 18, spinoff 'Station 19' returning for season 5

ABC/Mike Rosenthal

Grey's Anatomy lives on! The ABC series, already the longest-running medical drama in primetime television, has been renewed for season 18.

Its spinoff, Station 19, has also been renewed for season 5. Krista Vernoff will remain showrunner and executive producer for both shows.

"The writers, directors, casts and crews...worked so hard to bring these shows to life this past season," Vernoff said in a statement. "Keeping each other safe on set while paying tribute to the front-line heroes and first responders has been a challenge and a privilege."

"I've been truly blown away -- particularly by our tireless crews -- as they reinvented the TV-making wheel," she added. "We are so grateful for the opportunity to tell more stories."

This season Grey's Anatomy has tackled the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the life of Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey in danger as she battled the virus.

Characters from Meredith's past -- including her late half-sister Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), late husband Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and late friend George O'Malley (T. R. Knight) -- returned to ensure she survived.

In a statement, Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, said, "Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy have done an incredible job of honoring real-life heroes by giving audiences an unflinching look at one of the biggest medical stories of our time."

Erwich added, "Krista and her team of writers have continued to deliver the compelling and compassionate storytelling that is hallmark of these shows, and created some of the year's most-talked-about moments in television."

The 17th season finale of Grey's airs May 20. There has been no word on the future of Grey's Anatomy beyond season 18.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Hart shows off his paternal side in 'Fatherhood' trailer; Hulu lands L.A. Lakers docuseries from Antoine Fuqua; and more

Philippe Bossee/NETFLIX

Netflix has shared the first look at Kevin Hart's family-centered film, Fatherhood.

Based on Matthew Logelin's book, Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love, the feature follows a father, played by Hart, who loses his wife soon after childbirth and must now raise his newborn child on his own. Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Paul Reiser, as well as kid star Melody Hurd will star in the Paul Weitz-directed film. Fatherhood arrives June 18th on Netflix.

In other news, Hulu has acquired a yet-untitled docuseries on the Los Angeles Lakers. The nine-part original docuseries, which will chronicle the history of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, comes from Lakers’ CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss, longtime Lakers senior executive Linda Rambis and Emmy Award-winning director Antoine Fuqua. It will detail the past four decades of the Lakers, including "emotional new interviews" from those within the organization, legendary coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, and current and former players like Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The doc is slated to release on Hulu in 2022.

Finally, after its season 3 finale in March, Freeform has announced they're bringing back their hit comedy series Grown-ish this summer. The network revealed on Monday that Grown-ish season 4 will premiere on Thursday, July 8 at 8 p.m. ET. The Black-ish spin-off, which stars Yara Shahidi, Trevor Jackson, Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey and more, will pick up with the cast in their senior year of college.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Tom Cruise returns Golden Globes in protest of HFPA; NBC refuses to air show in 2022

KIM KULISH/AFP via Getty Images

After accusations of sexism and racism were leveled at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) -- the mysterious cabal of foreign journalists behind the Golden Globe Awards -- NBC is refusing to air them in 2022.

What's more, Tom Cruise has joined a chorus of celebs denouncing the organization: he just returned his three acting trophies from the organization in protest.

These are just the latest blows to the organization that had long maintained its status in Hollywood despite having zero minority journalists in its voting ranks, as reported by the Los Angeles Times in a recent expose. 

Additionally, its former president was recently ousted after an email from him surfaced in which he allegedly referred to Black Lives Matter as a "racist hate movement."

The organization recently vowed it was undergoing "transformational change" in response to the controversies, telling The Hollywood Reporter it would be "requiring...that at least 13 percent of the membership be Black journalists."

The moves were seen as too little, too late, according to producer Shonda Rhimes.

Major streamers such as Netflix and Amazon threatened to sever ties with the organization if it doesn't quickly implement its promised changes.

Mark Ruffalo also denounced the organization, and his fellow Avenger Scarlett Johansson told Variety of years of "sexist questions and remarks" she weathered over the years at HFPA events, and lamented its promoting projects backed by disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

In a statement, NBC says it believes "the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform," but adds, "change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right."

The network added, "Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Last stop on the Pineapple Express? Seth Rogen has no plans to work with James Franco after abuse allegations

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Seth Rogen is apparently severing ties with his pal James Franco following accusations Seth's Pineapple Express and This Is The End co-star was abusive towards women. 

Franco had been accused by a pair of his former students of bullying them into sexually inappropriate on-screen situations.

Although it was later settled, a lawsuit claimed Franco was, "engaging in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects."

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Rogen said the scandal surrounding Franco, "[H]as changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic." He also added, "I also look back to [an] interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now."

Last month, actress Charlene Yi had named Rogen as an "enabler" to Franco's actions. Yi had appeared in The Disaster Artist with Franco, which was produced by Rogen. She claimed on Intagram she was "bribed" with a bigger role when she quit because she, "didn't feel safe working with a f**ng sexual predator."

Yi said the producers "minimized" her accusations. 

"Enablers are just as toxic and are abusers too," Yi Instagrammed. Yi added that Rogen  "definitely knows about the bribe and why I quit."

In the Sunday Times interview, Rogen insisted, "What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dave Chappelle talks Kevin Hart, Idris Elba and addresses SNL "fuss" about Elon Musk

Courtesy of Netflix

Dave Chappelle is sharing some rare details about his celebrity friends in a new interview.

During a three hour chat with podcaster Joe Rogan, Chappelle, who discussed a variety of topics, took time to praise his fellow comedian Kevin Hart, who he says "works harder" than most in the entertainment industry.

“And he’s relentlessly kind, and everyone that works with him looks elated and happy," Chappelle said. "He’s not a tyrant. He’s like hanging out with a self-help book or some [stuff]. He just makes you feel good … It’s impossible not to like him. And, in fact, in my mind, he’s a great case scenario that a good person can do well in life, because there are some cynics who believe they can’t."

Chappelle also brought up Golden Globe winner Idris Elba, who he says is a perfect example of why one should treat service people with kindness, because you'll never know where they'll end up.

“Idris Elba, the famous actor, used to be a security guard at [comedy club] Caroline’s on Broadway…” Chappelle revealed. “I used to buy weed from him.”

The funnyman also weighed in on the recent SNL backlash following the announcement that Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, would be guest hosting. Chappelle said that even though Musk had been "incredibly kind" to him, he could understand why people were upset.

“Like you said, no one can be woke enough,” Dave told Rogan. “I’m torn, because I like a warrior for a good cause, but I’m really into tactics. You’re not gonna nag people into behaving … In fact, if you continue with this tone, even if you’re right, you’ll be very hard to hear.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bennifer 2.0? Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez vacationed together in Montana, sources say

Affleck and Lopez in 2003 -- Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Low-rise jeans are making a comeback, but could another popular item from the 2000s -- Bennifer?

Just days after they got gossipers buzzing when they met up at last Sunday's Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World in Los Angeles, comes news that famously former couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez traveled to Montana together for a party. 

This news comes, of course, on the heels of Lopez' split from Alex Rodriguez.

An insider tells Page Six of Ben and J. Lo, "They are friends … they've never not been," evidenced by reports Ben reportedly visited Jen's L.A. mansion three times since she returned from the Dominican Republic where she was filming Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel.

Ben and Jen met in July 2002 on the set of Gigli, but their subsequent relationship became the most lasting legacy of that box office bomb: the pair saw their names combined into Bennifer, and even saw Affleck give Lopez a 6.1-carat engagement ring in 2003.

They nearly made it to their 2003 wedding, which was postponed, and then the pair ultimately split in January of 2004. 

The couple went their separate ways: Lopez married singer Marc Anthony in 2004; Ben married Jennifer Garner in 2005. Both respective marriages ended after 10 years.

Lopez later referred to breaking up with Ben her "first big heartbreak."

Whether the pair are rekindling things remains to be seen. One thing's fairly certain: they're not meeting about Gigli 2.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"It was very emotional": Tom Cruise details the battle to shoot the next 'Mission: Impossible' films during the pandemic

Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" - Paramount Pictures

Sure, he jumps a motorcycle off a cliff and then parachutes to safety, but the biggest stunt Tom Cruise pulled off was getting Mission: Impossible 7 and before cameras at all.

To the U.K. movie magazine Empire, the actor and producer detailed his own impossible mission: filming the two movies concurrently, despite COVID-19.  

While Cruise famously blasted crew members in that viral recording, the article shows the odds he was up against.

"All my friends in the industry...were like, 'What are we going to do? I could lose my house!'" Cruise shared.

"So I told the studio and I told the industry, 'We’re going to get everyone back to work...And we're going to figure out how to do it safely.'"

Tom details the strict COVID-19 safety protocols they designed for the films -- and which were adopted by many other productions even as the pandemic continued.

Cruise said he personally lobbied the governments of Abu Dhabi, Italy, and Norway to show them how production could occur safely. 

Sure enough, it did, with recurring Mission director Christopher McQuarrie at the helm. "[F]or the whole crew to know that we’d started rolling on a movie was just a huge relief," Tom admitted. "It was very emotional, I gotta tell you."

And as for that motorcycle stunt? He called it the most dangerous in his career. "If the wind was too strong, it would blow me off the ramp. The [filming] helicopter was a problem, because I didn't want to be hammering down that ramp at top speed and get hit by a stone...I had about six seconds once I departed the ramp to pull the chute and I don't want to get tangled in the bike..."

The seventh Mission: Impossible film hits theaters May 27, 2022.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mindy Kaling reveals plans for on-screen return, talks being her own "cheerleader" for Mother's Day

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Mindy Kaling is one busy mama. Not only is she a mother of two -- she welcomed her son, Spencer, in September 2020 and her daughter, Katherine, in 2017 -- she's working on a slew of highly anticipated projects including Legally Blonde 3 and Season 2 of Netflix's Never Have I Ever. While the latter will hit the streaming service this summer, fans will have to wait a little longer if they want to see the actress on screen. 

Speaking with ABC Audio as the new face of Propel Immune Support, the brand's latest addition to its lineup of fitness waters, she revealed, "I think in a couple months I'll be excited to come on camera in a real way."

Kaling, 41, added that while she does enjoy doing guest spots on shows like the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, "I think my own kind of thing...maybe next year, I'd be excited to kind of get back out there."

In the meantime, The Office alum is enjoying being home with her children. Ahead of Mother's Day, she told ABC Audio she was looking forward to some adorable artwork from her toddler as a gift, but admitted she'll also spoil herself.

"I'm just decided that I'm going to just buy myself something I really want and... I'm going to be my own cheerleader for this holiday. I'm going to be like 'Kids, we're going out to brunch because it's time to celebrate me,'" Kaling laughed.

"And I think I just have to be the person that is like my own husband here and do that," she shared. "And I'm kind of okay with it now, I'm 41. I've been around long enough so that's what I'm gonna do this year."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Samira Wiley announces she and Lauren Morelli have welcomed their first child

Amanda Edwards/WireImage

The Handmaid's Tale star Samira Wiley ended her Mother's Day on a high note -- she shared the delightful news that she and wife wife Lauren Morelli are moms!  The actress announced early Monday that the two secretly welcomed their firstborn a few weeks ago.

"Happy 1st Mother’s Day to my beautiful wife, who four weeks ago today after laboring for almost 3 days gave birth to our first child," gushed Wiley, 34, while sharing a sweet snap of their newborn holding onto both her mothers' fingers. "Our gorgeous daughter, George."

The Emmy nominee continued, "Welcome to the world, babygirl. We love you and we thank you for giving us the best 1st Mother’s Day two ladies could ask for."

Wiley then listed off her little one's birthday, revealing that George Elizabeth came into the world on "4.11.2021."

Morelli, a screenwriter who met and fell in love with her future wife on the set of Orange Is the New Black, also celebrated her little one's arrival in a separate Instagram announcement on Monday.

 "4 weeks ago today, our daughter came into the world and changed everything," she wrote. "We are so happy, so grateful, and so tired. George Elizabeth, 4.11.21."

Wiley and Morelli wed in 2017.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dan Levy shuts down rumors that his dad, Eugene, has died: "News to me"

ABC

Dan Levy found himself dispelling a rumor claiming that his father Eugene Levy had died.

The report popped up over the weekend when a supposed fan of their hit comedy Schitt's Creek wrote in a since-deleted tweet, "Eugene Levy was such a gift.  It’s so sad to watch knowing he is no longer here."

The three-time Emmy winner personally reacted to the gossip by shutting it down with a succinct, "News to me." 

The supposed fan is now apologizing for sparking the fake news and explained that she somehow thought the 74-year-old actor had died.

"I stupidly thought Eugene Levy had passed away last year," the Twitter user explained. "I am watching Schitt’s Creek for the first time, & was super sad because Eugene is such a gift. I deleted the original tweet because I was mortified & also didn’t want anyone to think it was true now that I know he’s ok."

She also added in a followup tweet, "Everything has been such a blur the last year. I’m happy to know he’s fine. I’m so embarrassed."

Levy, 37, has yet to respond to the apology.

Dan and Eugene Levy's last major public appearance was during the April 4 Screen Actors Guild Awards, where their comedy collected two of the five trophies of which it was nominated.  

Schitt's Creek took home the awards for Best Female Actor and Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Welcome back, Eddie Brock": Check out new trailer to sequel 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage'

Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures has released a new trailer for the sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage

The footage shows Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock getting along with his new "roommate" -- the tar-colored alien parasite that lives inside him, and can envelop him completely, giving him massive power. 

While Eddie gets his day started, his "partner" cooks a messy, massive breakfast for the both of them. Venom's tentacles are busy both prepping food and turning up the classic song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" for it to sing along to.

Brock's "secret" is apparently welcomed by the deli owner they saved in the original: they both warmly greet her as Eddie goes about his day. 

The trailer mimics the black comedy tone of the original Marvel comic, and builds on the 2018 original, which made more than $856 million worldwide.

But, as a mid-credits scene in the first film teased, there's a new menace growing. Woody Harrelson's death row inmate Cletus Kasady has been following Eddie's career as a journalist and an avenging superhero, Hannibal Lecter-style.

However, when Kasady faces his death by lethal injection, let's say it doesn't go as planned. His own alien parasite, called Carnage, is unleashed, setting up a face-off between it and Eddie's own creature.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage will hit theaters September 24.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Golden Globes' future uncertain as HFPA faces increased fallout from streamers, celebrities

HFPA

After spending nearly 80 years lauding television shows and films, the Golden Globes might have taken its last bow after a scandal exposed a lack of diversity among its voting base.

In March, a New York Times exposé found that, among the 87 Los Angeles-based journalists tasked to vote on each years' Globe winners for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, not a single member was Black.

Following the controversy, the HFPA announced "transformational change" to be more inclusive, saying in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, "As a demonstration of our commitment, the board has unanimously approved a plan to increase membership to a minimum of 100 members this year, with a requirement that at least 13 percent of the membership be Black journalists."

Despite that, Black creators panned the HFPA's response, such as Shonda Rhimes who claimed the organization "rejected requests to hold press conferences for major projects with Black-led casts in recent years," yet wanted them to present, adding, "This is why HFPA's house is on fire. They lit the flame w/their own ignorance."

Now, major streamers such as Netflix and Amazon are threatening to sever ties with the organization should it not expedite its reforms, reports Variety.

In addition, A-listers such as Mark Ruffalo are demanding HFPA enact these changes before the 2022 Globes season. 

Furthermore, Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson spoke with Variety and called out the alleged sexual harassment that happens under the HPFA umbrella, such as promoting disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein along with the "sexist questions and remarks" she endured at their conferences.

"I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole," she said.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gwyneth Paltrow drank quinoa whiskey during the pandemic because of course she did

ABC

As previously reported, Gwyneth Patrow says she went "off the rails" with pasta and booze, and gained 14 pounds during the pandemic -- but thanks to a chat with the British tabloid The Mirror, we now know her drink of choice: whiskey. 

And because this is the GOOP boss we're talking about, of course it was whiskey made from quinoa. 

"I was drinking seven nights a week and making pasta and eating bread. I went totally off the rails," she confessed.

"I mean, who drinks multiple drinks seven nights a week? Like, that's not healthy. I love whiskey and I make this fantastic drink called the Buster Paltrow, which I named after my grandfather who loved whiskey sours."

Paltrow said of the poison she picked, "It's this great quinoa whiskey from this distillery in Tennessee [mixed] with maple syrup and lemon juice. It’s just heaven. I would have two of those every night of quarantine."

The Oscar winner noted she didn't get "like, black-out" drunk, but she said her quarantine nightly ritual did make her crave something else that isn't healthy: cigarettes. 

"I miss it," the health and wellness entrepreneur -- and former smoker -- confessed.

Paltrow was a heavy smoker in her teens, but when she found out she was pregnant with daughter Apple in 2004, she quit. However, in 2013 -- pre-Goop -- she admitted she couldn't kick the habit completely, and allowed herself one cigarette a week. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Wrath of Man' tops disappointing kickoff to summer movie season with $8.1 million debut

Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

Wrath of Man, the Guy Ritchie heist thriller starring Jason Stratham, topped the weekend box office with an estimated $8.1 million, signaling a slow start to what is typically considered the kickoff to the summer movie season. Overseas, the film has collected $17.6 million to date.

Last week's number one film, Demon Slayer, slipped to second place in its third week of release, delivering an estimated $3 million.  Its stateside total now stands at $39 million, with a worldwide total of $435 million.

The video game adaptation Mortal Kombat landed at number three with an estimated $2.3 million.  The movie, also available on HBO Max for no extra cost to subscribers, has pulled in $37.8 million domestically and $72 million worldwide.

Grabbing fourth place was Godzilla vs. Kong, earning an estimated $1.9 million.  The fourth installment in the Legendary Entertainment's monster universe has amassed $422 million worldwide, surpassing revenues for its predecessor, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which topped out at $386 million.

Rounding out the top five was Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon, which added an estimated $1.8 million.  That brings its domestic total to $43.8 million.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Video of the Week

"Nick Lick and the Hickies tribute to the city of Swamp Pop and Floyd Soileau, the father of Swamp Pop, from this point on to be known as "Swamp Pa Pa". Ville Platte is one of the backbones of Cajun culture as it has provided seasonings and sauces we all have used in our foods as well as much of the background music we've loved to listen to. In a sense, if we made a cake out of our Cajun culture, Ville Platte would be part of the icing on that cake! Such a special place needed a tribute and we used a parody of the Beatles "Get Back" to do the job. Special thanks to our guest accordionist, Joe Rogers."



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