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AMC refuse to pull Mad Men blackface episode to preserve 'historical authenticity'

AMC bosses won't be pulling a controversial episode of Mad Men, featuring blackface from the network, in an effort to maintain "historical authenticity".

According to the Los Angeles Times, the episode in question - season three's My Old Kentucky Home - will be shown in its entirety, along with trigger warning ahead of the program, warning it contains "disturbing images related to race in America".

"One of the characters is shown in blackface as part of an episode that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963," it reads.

In a statement explaining the decision, AMC officials wrote, "in its reliance on historical authenticity, the series producers are committed to exposing the injustices and inequities within our society that continue to this day so we can examine even the most painful parts of our history in order to reflect on who we are today and who we want to become.

"We are therefore presenting the original episode in its entirety."

Shows including 30 Rock, Golden Girls, Scrubs, and more have been pulled from various networks and streaming services due to episodes featuring blackface, in the wake of ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against systematic racism.

Mad Men stars Jon Hamm and January Jones, and ran from 2007 to 2015.





Pratt 'back at work'

Chris Pratt has confirmed Jurassic World: Dominion is back in production in the U.K. following a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Production on the new dinosaur adventure movie was halted after Britain went into lockdown in March (20), but producers have pulled out all the stops to get shooting going again after restrictions on filming began to be lifted in May.

In a video chat with a fan called Terry who won his All In Challenge prize of a small part being eaten by a dinosaur in the new film, the star said the cast are back at work after quarantining.

"I'm doing well," Pratt told the fan, his wife and daughter in a video posted on the All In Challenge Instagram page. "I'm back in London currently. We're back in production on Jurassic World: Dominion."

Studio chiefs have reportedly spent around $5 million on safety protocols ensuring shooting on Jurassic World can resume, including thousands of tests that will be carried out on cast and crew during filming, a private medical facility with onsite doctors, nurses and isolation booths, 150 hand sanitizer stations; nightly anti-viral 'fogs' to disinfect the set, and 'Green Zones' for cast and crew.

Full shoots will reportedly begin in the second week of July, with Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprising their roles from the first two reboot films, alongside original Jurassic Park stars Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum.



Lovato to detail near-fatal OD

Demi Lovato will reportedly open up on her 2018 overdose in her forthcoming YouTube series.

The Confident hitmaker spent two weeks recovering in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, followed by a stay in a rehab facility, after relapsing following six years of sobriety in July, 2018.

After managing to get clean and return to her career, the star has now reportedly agreed to detail her experience in the new online series, in an effort to quash speculation surrounding the incident.

A source told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Demi's experience in 2018 was horrific and will continue to affect her for years to come, so she hasn't felt able to speak about it properly yet.

"But she has written much of her upcoming album about the situation and wants to address exactly what happened to her in the hope she can prevent anyone else suffering a similar experience."

Adding the star has been "nervous about speaking about what happened because she doesn't want anything to be misconstrued," the insider claimed Demi, "Decided her own series would be the best way as she will have the power to control exactly what is spoken about.

"Much of it has already been done and the plan is for it to be released this summer," they revealed.

The deal has apparently been overseen by manager Scooter Braun, who was behind Justin Bieber's YouTube series, Seasons, earlier this year (20), which supported his chart-topping album Changes.

WENN has reached out to Demi's representatives for comment.





Depp's libel case to go to trial

Johnny Depp's libel case against British newspaper The Sun will go to trial, a U.K. High Court judge ruled on Thursday (02Jul20).

The Pirates of the Caribbean star is suing the tabloid's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article which referred to him as a "wife-beater" in relation to domestic violence allegations made by his ex-wife Amber Heard, which Depp has repeatedly denied.

Although the presiding judge, Mr Justice Nicol's High Court previously ruled that Depp had breached a court order requiring him to disclose all documents from a parallel U.S. case against Heard, according to the BBC, on Thursday he ruled the trial could go ahead.

"I am not persuaded that the trial of the claim would be unfair," Nicol said, granting Depp "relief from sanctions" over the breach of the order to disclose text messages to his assistant containing references to obtaining drugs.

The judge said his decision was conditional on the actor not seeking sanctions against Heard for allegedly breaching another court order, made during the U.S. libel proceedings by providing The Sun's legal team with evidence.

"Subject to the claimant giving the undertaking regarding not seeking sanctions against Ms Heard for any breach of the Virginia protective order because of such assistance as she has already or may in the course of this litigation give to the defendants, I will grant the claimant relief against sanctions," he ruled.

NGN's legal team had argued the texts, sent in late February and early March 2015, showed he was trying to get drugs while in Australia with Heard, during which time an incident of domestic abuse is alleged to have taken place. They claimed the breach jeopardized the prospect of a fair trial. However, Depp's lawyers argued he had been open about his past battles with drug and alcohol problems in other evidence.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, with Depp's exes Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis expected to give evidence in Depp's defense.

Depp and Heard split in 2016, and finalized their divorce the following year, with Heard receiving $7 million in a settlement.



Jamie Foxx to play Mike Tyson

Jamie Foxx is going through a "process" to prepare for his role as Mike Tyson in the forthcoming biopic Finding Mike.

The Oscar-winning actor has already begun to transform his body to match the former boxer's physique, but Foxx's former trainer-turned-stylist told Britain's The Sun newspaper the journey is as much about his mental state as it is his physical strength.

Explaining the star will need to go into a "dark hole" mentally to portray Tyson, Jack Manson insisted his pal has what it takes to deliver a standout performance.

"Will he train, will he be ready for this role? He definitely will be. But I think the story is bigger than just boxing," he shared. "I don't think it's centered around Jamie getting in shape to play this boxer, I think the story is more ... Who is Mike Tyson? What is his journey?

"It'll be good, but I think people will have to be patient and let the process happen," Manson added.

Foxx was initially attached to the movie back in 2014, and revealed Martin Scorsese would direct, with Terence Winter writing the screenplay. Both are believed to still be on board.

Explaining why the film took so long to come into fruition, Manson revealed the team struggled to find "the right script," which would, "tell Mike's story from a place he is now and go back... Mike is a very complex individual."

"He needed someone to tell the story without just focusing on all the bad s**t that went on, humanise him," he shared. "Jamie wants to do it justice, and he also doesn't want to demonize him either, in a way that makes him look like an imbecile.

Tyson has experienced his share of controversies, including being convicted of raping an 18-year-old former Miss Black America contestant in 1992, public battles with depression, and drug and alcohol addiction.



Rebecca Black 'ashamed'

Rebecca Black has apologized for making a joke about the Holocaust, admitting she's "deeply ashamed" of taking part in the skit with shamed YouTuber Shane Dawson.

The Friday singer responded to a video of the moment shared on Twitter, which showed her having to "act out" the genocide for Dawson to guess. In doing so, Rebecca mimicked flames with her hands.

Responding to the video, from seven years ago, Rebecca wrote: "I am deeply ashamed to have taken part in such an offensive bit. Yes I was 16, uncomfortable, and didn't know this was coming...

"I am so sorry to those I have hurt. I wish what I would have done was shut such an offensive joke down, rather than uncomfortably play into something I deep down knew was wrong."

Rebecca also called on Dawson to apologize for his part in the skit, adding: "Shane, I know that deep down you are trying to learn and grow. But we must do better & take complete responsibility for how harmful this is. @shanedawson."

Dawson has been hitting headlines for numerous reasons in the past few weeks, including being accused of sexualising a then 11-year-old Willow Smith and participating in a scheme to bring down fellow YouTuber James Charles.

Since the allegations, YouTube has made the decision to suspend monetisation on all three of Dawson's channels, while U.S. chain Target has removed his books from sale.



Affair allegations shot down

A representative for Jada Pinkett Smith has shot down allegations suggesting she enjoyed an extramarital affair with singer August Alsina.

The No Love musician made the claims in an interview with New York radio personality Angela Yee, insisting he personally received the blessing of the actress' husband, superstar Will Smith, as their 23-year marriage was said to have evolved into a more platonic relationship.

"I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation," Alsina said. "Due to the transformation from their marriage to (a) life partnership that they spoken on several times, and not involving romanticism, he gave me his blessing (sic).

"I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life. I truly and really, really deeply loved, and have a ton of love for her. I devoted myself to it, I gave my full self to it. So much so to the point that I can die right now and be OK with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody. I really loved the person that I experienced that (with) and know what (that feels) like - if some people never get that in this lifetime."

However, Alsina's statements have come as a surprise to the 48-year-old Girls Trip star, whose spokesperson has dismissed the idea of a secret romance between the pair, telling the New York Post the claims are "absolutely not true".

Alsina, 27, was introduced to Jada in 2015 by her 21-year-old son, Jaden, and he even joined the Smith family on vacation in Hawaii in 2016.

Jada and Will are also parents to Willow, 19.



Cardi B slams TikTok rapper

Cardi B has hit out at TikTok rapper Dela Wesst, who alleged the hitmaker stole lyrics from her on two different songs.

Wesst, who is hugely popular on the video sharing site, claimed Cardi stole lyrics from her on Blueface's Thotiana Remix and Offset's Clout, amid a number of other similar allegations against popular artists.

"You ranting for day cause you claim I stole lyrics from you on clout," Cardi tweeted in response. "I WROTE THIS SONG IN JANUARRYYY ! You show me you did your clout song in January b**ch you might have a chance."

The Bodak Yellow hitmaker also addressed the rumor that she stole the lyrics from Thotiana, insisting that she wrote the whole verse in the studio with Blueface and Wack 100, and pointing out that the track was released months later - on 7 February, 2019 - one day before Wesst dropped her freestyle to the same song.

"Sooooo stop WITH YOUR S**T .Never Hurd about you b4 you started using my name for (Tik Tok). Stop chasing clout and chase a bag and a dentist like I DID SIS (sic)," Cardi added.

Following the tirade, Wesst responded to Cardi's receipts on Twitter posting a screenshot video of her notes that date back to 14 February, 2019 - a date that is still later than when Cardi claims she wrote the verse for Blueface's single.

"Starting a record in January does not mean you finished that record in January. I clearly wrote this the day before you debuted it (on) the internet," Wesst fired.

The social media favorite, who boasts over 500,000 followers on the platform, has also previously claimed Quality Control, the City Girls and Doja Cat have stolen music.



Upset with female Jesus

Paris Jackson's role as a female Jesus in a new movie has been denounced by more than 265,000 Christians who have signed a petition calling the film "blasphemous".

Michael Jackson's daughter's role in Janell Shirtcliff's film Habit, which stars Bella Thorne as a "street smart party girl with a Jesus fetish", was announced in April (20).

Now, angry Christians are claiming Paris, a singer and actress who identifies as gay and is dating her bandmate, Gabriel Glenn, will play a "lesbian Jesus", with more than 265,000 petitioning the movie studios Lionsgate and Warner Bros. not to pick up the indie production.

"A new blasphemous Hollywood film is predicted to come out soon depicting Jesus as a lesbian woman," the Change.org petition reads. "The film "Habit" stars Paris Jackson who plays the role of "lesbian Jesus".

"Distributors haven't picked it up as of yet, so let's please spread awareness and wake people up to the Christianophobic garbage that is spread nowadays, but is somehow accepted and praised by society."

Although the petitioners claim Jesus will be depicted as a lesbian, this has not been specified by producers. The movie, which also stars Gavin Rossdale, previously sparked protests from an organization called One Million Moms, who called it "sacrilegious and started a petition which has attracted more than 69,000 signatures.



Mythbusters sex allegations

Adam Savage has denied allegations from his sister that he sexually assaulted her for years when they were children.

The Mythbusters host has been named in a lawsuit by Miranda Pacchiana, after she made her allegations public in a post on her blog, called The Second Wound, on 30 June (20).

In the post, she stated that the New York Child Victims Act, which extends the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, made the lawsuit possible, and that she hopes the legal action will "demonstrate to my fellow survivors that we do not deserve to carry the shame of sexual abuse and assault."

"The public needs to know that Adam Savage sexually abused me when I was a child, as set forth in the lawsuit that I have finally been able to bring after all of these years," she penned. "As a survivor and advocate for victims, I am determined to shine a light on the truth."

Miranda claimed that the abuse started when she was seven years old, and continued for several years, causing her to deal with periods of depression and almost constant anxiety over the following decades. She apparently last made contact with Adam more than 20 years ago.

Responding to the accusations, Savage denied his sister's claim in a statement from his lawyer to Variety, saying: "While I hope that my sister gets the help she needs to find peace, this needs to end.

"For many years, she has relentlessly and falsely attacked me and other members of my family to anyone who will listen," he continued. "By spreading numerous untrue stories about us in pursuit of a financial bonanza, she has tortured our entire family and estranged herself from all of us.

"I will fight this groundless and offensive lawsuit and work to put this to rest once and for all."

Karen Savage, the mother of both Adam and Miranda, also insisted that she supports her son "completely," and that her daughter "suffers from severe mental health challenges". She added that it's "devastating" that Miranda is putting the "entire family" through the allegations and lawsuit.



Condor and Centineo bond

Working on their forthcoming To All the Boys I've Loved Before charity livestream table read has brought Lana Condor and Noah Centineo closer as friends.

The actors are hosting the special event, featuring scenes from all three films in the To All The Boys trilogy, on Tuesday (30Jun20) at 3 pm ET, with the proceeds benefitting Centineo's non-profit Favored Nations.

The funds will also be distributed to groups dedicated to fighting racial injustice, including Black Lives Matter, Know Your Rights Camp, Color of Change, and more, and the pair told Entertainment Tonight that their joint philanthropic efforts have helped their friendship blossom.

"A lot of people were just asking ourselves, like, how can we do our part to help," Centineo shared. "For me, I felt like I was coming from a place of ignorance and a lot of it was just (wondering), 'What can I do to help?'"

He approached Condor with the idea for the project, and the actor explained that their shared passion for making a change united them in a new way.

"Lana and I have always been, I think, bonded by the fact that, yeah we're actors, but we also (care). Lana has a charity as well that she represents," he explained.

"I have a scholarship with The Asia Foundation that puts Vietnamese girls through four years of high school education," Condor shared. "Noah and I have always been close but we really bonded over, like, 'Whoa, I'm doing this thing for my girls that I love and Noah is doing this amazing thing with Favored Nations,' and it's a passion that we both have and we kind of really bonded over that."

Fans can RSVP for the event and donate at https://favorednations.org/idk.



M*A*S*H composer dies

Johnny Mandel, the Oscar and Grammy-winning composer behind the theme from M*A*S*H and more, has died aged 94.

Although details of his death have not been released the news was announced by his friend Michael Feinstein, on Facebook on Monday (29Jun20).

"A dear friend and extraordinary composer arranger and all-around brilliant talent Johnny Mandel just passed away," Feinstein wrote. "The world will never be quite the same without his humor, wit and wry view of life and the human condition.

"He was truly beyond compare, and nobody could write or arrange the way he did. Lord will we miss him. Let's celebrate him with his music! He would like that."

In addition to composing Suicide is Painless, the famous theme to M*A*S*H, the movie and spin-off TV series set during the Korean War, Mandel arrange and composed for vocalists including Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, and Hoagy Carmichael.

His death drew another tribute from Canadian crooner Michael Buble, who tweeted: "I was so sad to learn that a hero of mine, Johnny Mandel, passed away. He was a genius and one of my favorite writers, arrangers, and personalities. He was a beast."

Born in New York in 1925, Mandel studied music at schools including Juilliard, learning trumpet and trombone, before working with jazz bands and eventually moving into composing and orchestral arranging, working for some of music's biggest stars.

Mandel scored more than 30 films during his career, including the 1965 movie The Sandpiper, which contained The Shadow of Your Smile, a song that won him an Oscar and a Grammy for Song of the Year, one of six Grammys he collected in total.



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