Rapper Jay Z is moving on from the racial profiling controversy surrounding top U.S. retailer Barneys by unveiling plans to launch his first fragrance exclusively at the store. Barney's bosses faced a public backlash in October (13) over allegations two black shoppers had been hauled before New York police during separate shopping trips after staff questioned how they could afford to buy expensive designer items.
Both parties have since filed discrimination lawsuits against executives at the retailer, and the scandal prompted calls for the 99 Problems hitmaker to cut his ties with brand bosses, who he recently teamed up with for a curated designer collection.
Jay Z insisted he was "waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys" before deciding on his next step, and bosses at the New York-based store have since apologised to the rapper for having his name dragged into the racial profiling scandal.
However, it appears he is not too concerned with the controversy as he is pressing ahead with the introduction of his Gold fragrance, which will hit stores on 20 November (13).
And Jay Z is planning a big marketing push to celebrate the launch.
Gold fragrance licensee Donald J. Loftus tells WWD.com, ''We are going to make a big noise. For the 30 days before Christmas, it will be impossible not to know he has a fragrance. Jay stressed that he didn't want to do what had been done before.''
Jay Z, who reportedly went through 3,200 names before deciding on Gold, is planning to expand the fragrance into deodorant and shower gel lines.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is lacing up his running shoes after signing on to play British Olympian Sebastian Coe in a new biopic. The young actor will portray Coe, now a Lord, in a film about the running man's track rivalry with fellow British athlete Steve Ovett.
Radcliffe will reteam with his Woman in Black director James Watkins for the project, titled Gold.
Producers are still casting the actor who will portray Ovett in the film, which is being adapted from Pat Butcher's book The Perfect Distance by Slumdog Millionaire Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy.
The filmmaker recently told the BBC he's thoroughly enjoying researching Coe and Ovett's rivalry: "I hadn't realised how good it was until you dig into their past. They were fantastically different athletes and different people. And they rarely met... apart from on the track."
Filming is scheduled to begin in the U.K. and Russia next spring (Apr13).
Get ready to see Harry Potter wearing a lot of short shorts. In a presumed attempt to further his distance from The Boy Who Lived, Daniel Radcliffe is set to play the Olympic athlete Sebastian Coe in the British sports drama Gold, according to Deadline.
The film will follow the rivalry between middle-distance runners Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett leading up to the 1980 Moscow games, where Coe and Ovett both took home gold for the race that the other was favorited to win. (Who else is super excited to see a whole lot of Radcliffe running for victory in tiny shorts while his hair flaps in the wind? Oh... just us then?).
Gold will reunite Radcliffe with James Watkins, who directed the actor in The Woman in Black. Simon Beaufoy (How to Train Your Dragon) will be penning the script that's based on Pat Butcher's book The Perfect Distance.
Filming is expected to begin in the UK and Russia in April 2014.
Pop superstar Mariah Carey helped to honour her godmother Patti Labelle as a Living Legend on Saturday (26Oct13) at the Black Girls Rock! gala in New Jersey. The Hero hitmaker was on hand at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to present the R&B icon with a career achievement prize and she couldn't contain her excitement as she waited for the big moment.
Taking to her Twitter.com blog, she wrote, "Still backstage waiting... Hey... I would wait forever for the incredible Patti LaBelle".
When the time came, Carey, who bared her midriff in a cropped black halter neck top and a long black and gold skirt, sashayed onto the stage and gushed about LaBelle, before greeting the veteran Lady Marmalade star with a kiss and a tender hug.
Other honourees at the event included rapper, actress and talk show host Queen Latifah, who was handed the Rock Star Award, and tennis ace Venus Williams, who received the Star Power Award.
The show, which highlights the achievements of exceptional black women, also featured performances from Janelle Monae, Jennifer Hudson, and Kelly Rowland and Eve, who teamed up for a remix of the former Destiny's Child star's latest single, Gone.
The 2013 Black Girls Rock event will be broadcast on America's BET network next weekend (03Nov13).
Vampires and zombies seem to get all the guts and glory these days, but we're waiting for another supernatural archetype to take the TV reigns, as American Horror Story: Coven brings back the season of the witch. As the grand supreme witch, Jessica Lange and her finishing school for badass witches in training looks promising already. If anybody can pull off an entire wardrobe of black and skillfully killing people, it's Lange. Not since the 90s did we have a steady stock of magical entertainment, from the fluffy humor of Sabrina to full-on b**h mode with Shannen Doherty in Charmed. So in honor of a new coven in the oven, here's a look back at some of our favorite broom-riding broads.
Anjelica Huston — Witches
Some say La Mer, we say magic is responsible for Anjelica Huston's preternatural complexion. Leave it to Angie to go from glam dominatrix to full on gnarled wicked witch face with ease. Based on the beloved Roald Dahl book, this movie seriously convinced us at one point that all our teachers in school were secretly ghoulish witches underneath those sweater sets.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy — Hocus Pocus
Some people like to watch The Shining every Halloween, others prefer the timeless appeal of projectile vomit of The Exorcist, but will always make time for Hocus Pocus. Considering that Bette Midler has stated that Winifred Sanderson has been her favorite role to date sums up the campy and bawdy appeal of this film. You have SJP hitting on everything in sight, Bette being Bette and Kathy Najimy making the whole thing feel like the best SNL skit you've ever seen.
Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True — The Craft
With their dog-collared chokers, plaid minis and ripped up school uniforms, The Craft set the bar on all other witch films that followed. If Fairuza Balk's portrayal of Nancy seemed like a deep, dark descent into method acting, just remember that Balk also owned an occult pagan marketplace and has appeared on Celebrity Ghost Stories — the girl is legit. Also for the record, Skeet Ulrich is still looking pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer — The Witches of Eastwick
You know how it is, one day you're just shooting the breeze with your gal pals over a couple glasses of White Zin bemoaning the men in the life then POOF...magical powers emerge and Jack Nicholson is on your doorstep. Cast this trio of ladies in anything and you're bound to end up with cinematic gold. The whole film is like a walking advertisement for perms, and we're okay with that.
Nicole Kidman — Practical Magic
We know this whole movie is about the magical powers of sisterhood and tequila, but there's a reason we left Sandra Bullock off the list. If you knew you possessed great powers at a young age but decided to only use them to run some wiccan cum artisanal bath and body works store, then you do not deserve to be called witch. On the other hand, Practical Magic featured the Nicole Kidman at her peak ginger levels and being generally irresistible.
Country icon Dolly Parton has channelled her inner hip-hop star to spit some rhymes for rapper-turned-talk show host Queen Latifah. The singer wore a fitted mini dress and donned gold chains and a blonde afro for a taped appearance on America's The Queen Latifah Show, and shocked fans by sharing lyrics which paid tribute to her famous cleavage.
She rapped, "Now I don't hip and I don't hop, I'd black both eyes with this big top, I know the Queen has got 'em too but she don't work 'em like I do."
Parton also name-checked her godchild, Wrecking Ball hitmaker Miley Cyrus, in the song, adding, "Hey Miley, I got your wrecking balls right here."
The episode is set to air on Monday (21Oct13).
Patrice Wilson has somehow managed to stay in business making overproduced, terribly banal music videos for middle school girls long after Rebecca Black's "Friday" became a national punchline for months. But he's finally worked his way back to the zeitgeist with this orientalist nightmare — uh, music video, called "I Love Chinese Food," performed by preteen Alison Gold. It would great if we could unreservedly love "I Love Chinese Food," but some (or most... or all) of it heads away from the goofy weirdness of "Friday" towards some crazy stereotypes. Literally. The stereotyping is way crazier than it is offensive. You probably have to watch it to see what we mean, followed by 10 things that you absolutely need to know about the music video for "I Love Chinese Food:"
1. "After balling, I go clubbing/Then I'm hugging/Then I'm hungry" is a typical night for Alison, who apparently enjoys clubbing in the suburbs in the middle of the afternoon.
2. There are subtitles of almost every language here, but not simultaneously. So every culture can enjoy one or two lines of this amazing song!
3. There's still a monopoly property called "Oriental Avenue," which is all wrong. (2:22)
4. It's best to mix hot sauce with your fingers. It also makes great lip gloss! (2:35)
5. That "Chow Mein Chow M-M-M-M-Mein" moment is just begging for a rhyme with "Make it R-R-R-R-Rain." Seriously, you have her do the motion and then absolutely nothing? (0:59)
6. Geisha makeup and kimonos are, of course, staples of Japanese culture, not Chinese. I guess it's nice that these very traditional Japanese girls also love Chinese food! (2:45)
7. At one point, Alison orders so much Chinese food that the poor girl behind the counter has to furiously type out her order like the register is a sweet, sweet, lo mein delivering typewriter. (1:07)
8. Chinese food has the powers to release panda bears from the rainbow sky prison in which they usually reside, but only for the span of one fortune cookie's command. (3:15)
9. Don't think we didn't catch the semi-British accent at 1:27. No American teen says it "be-OO-ti-faux."
10. FORTUNE COOKIES ARE NEVER WRONG. But you knew that.
Heavy rocker Zakk Wylde touches late hero Randy Rhoads' gold vest whenever he needs a little greatness in his life. The Black Label Society star was handed the special piece of memorabilia by Sharon Osbourne when he used to back her husband - and he admits he still cherishes it.
He tells Revolver magazine, "She gave me the gold vest he used to wear. Whenever any of my guitar player buddies come over, I go, 'You gotta touch the vest for the mojo'. I don't even have it in a glass case... It's like the holy shroud.
"I touch it for greatness for anything - if I'm gonna clean the dog run and I want to do an amazing job, I just touch the vest. It adds instant greatness to whatever feat you're trying to accomplish."
There have been many, many great sit-com characters over the decades. Here are 10 that were the cream of the crop.
Sophia Petrillo: The Golden Girls
The show was an ensemble, but Petrillo and her sharp tongue and wit often stole the spotlight. She often told long-winded tales that began with "Picture it... " but behind her acerbic demeanor was a woman who fiercely loved her daughter, Dorothy. The interplay between the two often was the funniest part of the show. Shady Pines' loss was our gain.
Dr. Perry Cox: Scrubs
The man gave primers on how to give the best long-winded, angry rants that were simultanously hilarious. John C. McGinley was able to show this doctor who had the shortest fuse with anything that he perceived as incompetent as being capable of then turning around and espousing some wisdom that showed the way for people to figure things out. I am still mad though that they couldn't have a Cox-Dr. Gregory House face-off.
Louie DePalma: Taxi
The dimunitive Danny DeVito gave a heart and personality that was twice his size. In a show that featured such out-sized actors like Christopher Lloyd and Andy Kaufman, DeVito outshone them both.
Frasier Crane: Cheers/Frasier
Kelsey Grammer imbued humanity on someone who could have been viewed as merely pompous. Frasier was someone who often was unable to let his brain and his feelings reconcile while in the pursuit of romance. It didn't help that he had a neurotic brother who was in the middle of his own romantic crisis.
Cosmo Kramer: Seinfeld
Sure, Kramer was a nut, but Michael Richards added layers to the zaniness. The main lesson that I learned from him though is: Always lock your front door. I never understood why Seinfeld always had the door open. What is it with people who leave their front doors unlocked? Oops. I'm going off on a Seinfeld stand-up joke tangent...
Barney Stinson: How I Met Your Mother
Stinson may be a complete womanizer and near-sociopath, but he's also loyal to his friends at the very end. He may have been the archetype of hedonistic bachelorhood, but now we'll find out if he commits to a life with Robin? What makes Barney so great is that while he is a total self-centered buffoon, there's that little, tiny sliver of humanity in him too.
Archie Bunker: All in the Family
In this ultra PC world, I don't think Carroll O'Connor would have been allowed to even play the character, even with the depth that he displayed. Actually, he could, but it would have to be on a cable channel like FX. He's probably be another character on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Cliff Huxtable: The Cosby Show
Here's a man who gave a portrayal of a smart and very involved family man - who was black. That hadn't been seen that often on TV before and Cosby rightfully is hailed for doing so. This was the happy Cosby, not the grumpy one from that different Cosby show that aired years later on another network.
Ralph Kramden: The Honeymooners
One of the first sitcom archetypes -- the loud, blowhard husband. Jackie Gleason, made the character his own, though, and no one else could touch the part. Cedric, I'm looking at you. People might not like that "Bam, to the moon!" threat nowadays, but even back then, you just KNEW that if he had actually laid a hand on Alice, he would have wound up wearing his bus steering wheel around his neck.
Roseanne Connor: Roseanne
Sure, her character was supposedly the product of a writer's imagination, but she was a darn good mother and person on the show, despite her sassy mouth. Under that hard exterior beat a heart of gold. I always loved the back-and-forth with her and Jackie.
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Director Steve Mcqueen has won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival for his new drama 12 Years A Slave. The movie, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, landed the People's Choice honour on Sunday (15Sep13).
A statement released by McQueen reads: "At a festival that has shown so many brilliant films, I cannot be more thrilled to receive this award. I am deeply grateful to all the people who have worked on this film, and that their amazing work has been recognised."
The big win has made the film, which also stars Brad Pitt, an early favourite for the 2014 Oscars. Previous People's Choice recipients have gone on to strike gold at the Academy Awards, including The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and last year's (12) Silver Linings Playbook.
Philomena by Stephen Frear and Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, were named first and second runner-ups, respectively.
The People's Choice Documentary award was handed to Jehane Noujaim for The Square, about the recent protests in Cairo, Egypt, and the People's Choice Midnight Madness prize went to Sion Sono's action movie Why Don't You Play in Hell?.
Sunday's awards ceremony brought the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival to a close after 11 days.