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Tag: Current Affairs (21-30 of 519)

Helen Mirren named 2014 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year

There’s actually an honor out there Dame Helen Mirren hadn’t yet received — but she’s taking care of that now.

The actress has been named the 2014 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year, an annual recognition by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation’s oldest theatrical organization. Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year Award has been given to many A-list entertainers, including Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, and, most recently, Marion Cotillard. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce writes essay: Gender equality 'isn't a reality yet'

Beyoncé is a grown woman, which means she’s begun to lend her voice to important causes.

For a long time, Beyoncé’s only public cause was BEYONCE!, which consisted of dancing and singing all over the world without ever really giving opinions about non-entertainment issues. Even her involvement with the First Lady was mostly just more dancing. But as anyone who listened to last month’s Beyoncé knows, Queen Bey has clearly decided the time has come to get a few things off her chest that aren’t sparkling bustiers — which brings us to her new short essay.

The Shriver Report is a “groundbreaking investigation into the millions of women who are doing it all and barely scraping by…It combines research, analysis and ideas from the nation’s top academic institutions and think tanks, essays by leading thinkers, stories of real women struggling with our modern economy, and a comprehensive poll,” commissioned by Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress. In addition to everyday women and expected participants such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg, included in the 400-page report is a brief essay, “Gender Equality Is a Myth!,” by one Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. READ FULL STORY

Dennis Rodman has a meltdown while discussing North Korea trip on CNN -- VIDEO

It’s so hard when people don’t like your friends.

That’s the problem Dennis Rodman once again ran into this morning while discussing his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on CNN’s New Day. Alongside fellow former NBA player Charles D. Smith, Rodman and his team attempted to explain that no one should read into their controversial decision to travel to North Korea to play basketball for the dictator, saying it was “a great idea for the world.”

The interview went downhill from there. Rodman repeatedly referred to Kim Jong Un as his “friend,” but stated there was no political purpose behind his visits. (Idea: What if Rodman is secretly a spy? No one would suspect!)

When host Chris Cuomo repeatedly asked Rodman if he knew anything about Kenneth Bae, the U.S. citizen who has been held in North Korea without any announced charges for more than a year, Rodman snapped.

“Kenneth Bae did one thing,” Rodman angrily said. “If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? ….I don’t give a rat’s a– what the hell you think. I’m saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them … they dared to do one thing, they came here.” READ FULL STORY

'Celebrity Big Brother' contestant Evander Holyfield says homosexuality is disability -- VIDEO

Here we go again.

Boxer Evander Holyfield, who is currently on the U.K.’s Celebrity Big Brother, is in hot water for remarks he made on the program comparing homosexuality to a disability, saying both can be treated by a doctor. All together now: Ughhh.

Holyfield made the remarks on Sunday when reality star Luisa Zissman asked him if there were any gay boxers, according to TMZ. He responded that homosexuality is something doctors can fix.”That ain’t normal!” he says. “The Bible lets you know what’s wrong and what’s right.” He continued his “handicap” analogy: “If you were born, and your leg was turned this way, what do you do? Go to the doctor and get it fixed…The only thing I’m trying to tell you is you know how handicapped people, you can’t say because they’re born that way you can’t move that…Yes, it is a choice.”

When Zissman repeatedly told him he was wrong, and also that they shouldn’t even be having this conversation in the 24/7 camera house, Holyfield replied he was “just telling her my opinion.” While the content of what he’s saying is obviously offensive, the conversation between the two was fairly civil.

Here’s where things get interesting: Unlike on the most recent version of the U.S.’s Big Brother — which also made headlines for racist and homophobic remarks by many of the castmates — on the celebrity U.K. version, producers called out the negative remarks instead of just letting things play out without interference. Holyfield — who never apologizes —  was brought into a room and told by producers his comments were “inappropriate,” and they “aren’t the views that are held by a large section of society.” He was then given a warning to not say remarks like that again, but he continues to be on the show.

Watch both the conversation and the talk with producers below, courtesy of TMZ: READ FULL STORY

Nelson Mandela dies at 95: Five touchstone film moments about his life

Nelson Mandela passed away Thursday at the age of 95. Imprisoned from 1962 to 1990, the former South African president (1994-1999) fought to abolish apartheid and worked to end poverty. Known as “The Father of a Nation” the celebrated leader was the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner and received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many other honors.

It’s no surprise that his inspirational story has made its way to the big screen. In addition to the current film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which is in theaters now, the South African leader has been the subject of several feature films and documentaries in recent years. Below, check out five iconic portrayals of Mandela in pop culture.

1.) Idris Elba is currently portraying Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick. The biopic, about his life from childhood to his election as president of South Africa, was just released on Nov. 28. Check out an interview with Elba about playing Mandela:
READ FULL STORY

Jesse Tyler Ferguson weighs in on Alec Baldwin controversy

You may recall that Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson professed his crush on 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin in a 2010 video championing the legalization of gay marriage in New York, and Baldwin responded with a video, also for FightBackPac.com, showing his support (“Because no one tells a New Yorker that they can’t marry Jesse Tyler Ferguson”). So how does Ferguson feel about Baldwin’s recent headline-grabbing outburst in which he allegedly called a photographer a “c–ksucking f-g” (or a “c–ksucking fathead,” as Baldwin later claimed)?

“Whether or not he said it or not, it [has] brought to attention that that’s not to be said. [C–ksucker is] not a good word. That’s a no-no word,” Ferguson tells Entertainment Weekly editor Jess Cagle in an interview that will air Thursday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. ET during The Editor’s Hour on EW Radio (SiriusXM 105). “I have met him several times, and he’s completely lovely, and certainly I know he’s a supporter of marriage equality, so I was kind of confused by it all,” Ferguson says. “But I think he’s a very talented actor, and I feel for him going though something that seems a little rough right now.” Listen to the clip below.

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Olympians face call to boycott Sochi at 100 Day Countdown event -- and explain why they'll compete

An official Winter Olympics countdown event was disrupted in New York City’s Times Square on Tuesday by gay rights activists protesting Russia’s anti-gay laws. At the 100 Day Countdown, U.S. hopefuls heard chants calling for the United States Olympic Committee to boycott the Games in Sochi. As the publicized media hour began, members of the activist group Queer Nation lined a crowd barrier and unfurled banners with the words “Don’t Buy Putin’s Lies!” and “Boycott Homophobia!” — and chanted while four athletes were interviewed on stage.

On Monday, Russian President Vladmir Putin assured the International Olympic Committee that the host country would make the athletes and guests feel comfortable in Sochi “regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation.” Contacted after the Times Square demonstration, Queer Nation member Andrew Miller noted that the group is working with more than three dozen LGBT Russian activists, supports a boycott of all Russian goods and services and believes international events including the Olympics should not be held in Russia, and sent EW the following statement: “By buying into Putin’s hollow attempts to pacify his international critics, the International and United States Olympics Committees are complicit in the arrests, jailings, beatings, rapes, and murders of LGBT Russians that Putin’s anti-LGBT laws have engendered. Clearly, we’ve succeeded in embarrassing Putin by forcing him to make such hollow assurances. But if Putin wants gay men and lesbians to feel welcome in Russia, he must overturn his country’s anti-gay laws. The real issue is the Russian LGBT community, not Olympic athletes and tourists.”

EW spoke with three of those athletes who’d had their interviews interrupted at the event. Billy Demong, a four-time Olympian who became the first American athlete to win gold in Nordic Combined in Vancouver, understood the timing of the protest. “Obviously it would be nice if they waited, but then they wouldn’t have the platform,” he said. “We live in a free country, and this is also an opportunity for them to voice some of their concerns about what’s happening overseas. As an older athlete, I know enough to allow them to do their thing but focus on what I’m here to do and say.” That will be his mind-set in Sochi, if/when he qualifies for his fifth Olympics in December: “Certainly I have opinions about a lot of things, but I have to remember what my role is: I’m an athlete, and I’m here to compete, train, and do my very best for the United States at the Olympics.”
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'Allegiant' controversial ending: Veronica Roth speaks out

The-Allegiant.jpg

[SPOILERS ABOUND: This post is all about the ending of Allegiant, which you don’t want spoiled for you if you’ve yet to read it.]

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the woman who created Tris Prior isn’t afraid of much.
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Russell Brand calls for revolution in explosive interview -- VIDEO

You say you want a revolution? Well, Russell Brand knows it — and he’s leading the cause.

Fans of Brand know that in addition to being a stand-up comedian, actor, and Katy Perry ex-husband, he’s a passionate advocate against various societal ills, particularly drug abuse and income inequality.

It was that Brand who showed up to a BBC interview last night with journalist Jeremy Paxman (the two have memorably talked before). Brand was on the program because he guest-edited The New Statesman‘s revolution-themed issue, and in the on-camera interview, Brand expanded on his printed op-ed about the change in our political structure Brand believes is coming.
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GLSEN online auction features lunch with Julia Roberts, more

Ever wanted to have lunch (mystic pizza, perhaps) with Julia Roberts or be a guest at Elton John’s Oscar party? The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) launched its charityBUZZ online auction Wednesday and those items plus walk-on roles on True Blood, Modern Family, and General Hospital, tickets to the L.A. premiere and after party for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and more are up for bids through Oct. 30.

The auction is being held in conjunction with GLSEN’s Respect Awards — Los Angeles, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 18 with Scandal‘s Kerry Washington and L.A. Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers as honorary co-chairs.

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