Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
On March 10, 2014, Lena Dunham tweeted a joke about molestation in response to criticism about her on-screen nudity. “You don’t always have to get naked,” one Twitter user said, to which Dunham responded, “Please tell that to my uncle, mister. He’s been making me!”
Dunham has since deleted and apologized for the tweet after other Twitter users deemed it offensive and inappropriate. My purpose here isn’t to suggest that Dunham deserves more criticism, because she doesn’t. Instead, I believe that the response to Dunham’s tweet is indicative of a culture in which celebrities are too often scrutinized and shamed for what they say. The debate about whether or not certain topics should be joked about and who should be allowed to make these jokes has existed for decades. However, in the age of social media where celebrities are quickly called out for offensive remarks on Twitter and then tried for these remarks in the media, the question needs to be asked again: What responsibility do celebrities have to the public, and how mindful should they be about their words?
This question is especially relevant because certain celebrities get away with offensive remarks and others do not. Comedian Louis C.K., for example, uses the “N word” and other offensive terms in one of his stand-up specials in 2008. Since C.K. is a comedian, and one that many consider to be among the best in the business, he is granted more freedom with his words than, say, a politician.
Meanwhile, another comedian Michael Richards infamously made racist remarks in a stand-up comedy show in 2006, and this incident ruined his career. Why does one get a free pass and the other not? Does it come down to who’s funnier, or is there something else going on?
Most of it, I think, depends on the particular person involved and the particular situation in question. C.K. has made a career of finding humor in offensive language, whereas Richards is known to most audiences for the sharp but network-friendly Seinfeld. In other words, we expect C.K. to be provocative but we don’t see it coming from Richards. C.K. and Richards are just two of many examples one can use to highlight this discrepancy.
Dunham rightfully isn’t being punished in the court of public opinion for her tweet about molestation because her apology reminds us that she’s a feminist who supports rape victims. And good for her, but is it possible to live in a world where a celebrity like Dunham can understand rape is a horrible thing and yet still find humor in it? Why must she be pressured to apologize in order to be admired, and why do other celebrities make similar remarks without receiving backlash and pressure to apologize? Moreover, how do we come to terms with the many celebrities who have apologized and still remain blacklisted in Hollywood and guilty in the public’s eyes? I don’t have the answers, but there’s a problem when some celebrities are punished and others aren't for using similar offensive language.
What do you think about Dunham’s joke? Cast your vote below.
Actor Seth Rogen has poked fun at a new tabloid article which lists Lindsay Lohan's alleged sexual partners by offering up a bizarre collection of celebrities he has smoked weed with. In Touch magazine reporters claim to have stumbled across the list of stars Lohan has bedded and they've published the note - said to be in the Mean Girls star's own handwriting - in the latest issue of the publication.
Blotting out 18 names that could land the magazine in legal trouble, the list includes stars like Justin Timberlake, "Zack Effron", Colin Farrell, Heath Ledger, James Franco and Adam Levine, among others - but doesn't include her former partner Sam Ronson.
A Franco also features on Rogen's list of all the stars he enjoyed high times with - James' actor brother Dave.
During a recent appearance on U.S. TV show Watch What Happens Live, the Pineapple Express star reeled off a countdown of people he’d allegedly smoked marijuana with.
His checklist also included Paul Rudd, Snoop Dogg, comedienne Sarah Silverman and Jonah Hill.
Rogen also revealed he and his Guilt Trip co-star Barbra Streisand "talked about it a lot", adding she revealed she had "smoked weed with Peter Sellers."
Lady Gaga stunned her dad when she revealed she was broke after pouring her millions into the stage set for her 2009 Monster's Ball world tour. The Poker Face singer admits she put her $3 million (GBP1.9 million) savings into the design to give her fans the best live experience - and to impress a very important promoter.
In a new documentary, which debuts on U.S. TV this week (beg17Mar14), Gaga explains, "I was bankrupt during the show. I had $3 million in the bank to my name and I threw it all in to make my stage.
"I remember I went home and I was with my dad, and he said, 'I don't understand, Bad Romance is out, you're all over the radio, everyone is talking about you and you don't have a pot to p**s in'.
"I said, 'Just let me do this, let me just put it on the stage because I think if I can do this I think I can get Arthur Fogel's attention."
Fogel is the Live Nation mastermind who manages U2 and Madonna's tours.
The gamble paid off - Fogel was impressed with Gaga's efforts and has since signed on to manage her tour next tour, which raked in over $220 million (GBP137.5 million) and became one of the most profitable concert treks of all time.
She says, "Everybody said it couldn't happen... Everybody said he was crazy... I remember he called me and he said, 'We wanna do this,' and he got Live Nation to write me a $40 million cheque. It changed my life and the life of my whole family."
Lady Gaga will kick off a new world tour on 4 May (14).
Movie veteran Robert Duvall showed off his comedy skills on U.S. TV on Wednesday (12Mar14) when he teamed up with Matthew Mcconaughey's irreverent brother Rooster on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Duvall, who was a billed guest on the show, brought out his prankster pal and asked Kimmel to present a photo of the two men baring their backsides to the host's friend Howard Stern as a belated 60th birthday gift.
The Godfather star then set McConaughey up for a great joke as Rooster crowed about his little brother's Oscar win earlier this month (Mar14).
Duvall said, "I've got an Oscar too," prompting McConaughey to respond, "Yeah, but his fans are still alive!"
Rooster then explained that he and Duvall have become great friends over the years, adding the two men have a lot in common.
He explained, "We both actually have younger wives and both of them are named Luciana. Mine's young enough to be my daughter, his is young enough to be his granddaughter!"
Duvall chuckled and recalled a magical moment while he was courting actress/director Luciana Pedraza: "She said, very romantically when we first met, 'I wonder what it's gonna be like when we grow old together', and I said, 'I already am old!'"
The 83 year old's fourth wife is 41 years younger than him. The couple wed in 2004.
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford bragged of bedding movie beauty Julie Christie, London's Old Bailey court has been told. The public relations guru, whose previous clients have included Frank Sinatra and Muhammad Ali, is on trial on sex abuse charges amid allegations he molested seven young females aged between 14 and 19 over an 18-year period from 1966.
One of the alleged victims has been giving evidence to the court this week (beg10Mar14) and on Thursday (13Mar14), she told the jury Clifford had boasted of sleeping with Don't Look Now actress Christie.
The woman, who alleges she was aged 15 when Clifford abused her, said he promised her she could be "the next Jodie Foster" before forcing her to perform a sex act.
According to Courtnewsuk.co.uk, the woman told the court, "He asked me which actors I liked. I said I liked Julie Christie and had just seen her in Doctor Zhivago. I thought she was beautiful. He said he was the same age as her and mentioned her on several occasions. I remember he was saying he had spoken to Julie Christie on this particular occasion and this had happened to her as well. Presumably the abuse what he was doing to me as well."
Clifford, of Surrey, England, denies 11 charges of indecent assault between 1966 and 1984.
The trial continues.
Actor Rob Lowe once went out on a date with pop superstar Madonna. The West Wing star makes the revelation in his new book Love Life, the follow-up to his 2011 memoir Stories I Only Tell My Friends, revealing he became smitten with the singer after attending one of her concerts in Los Angeles in 1984.
Lowe writes, "She was cute and she was young and she was single, and so I sat front row... she was a revelation... 'Madonna would like to see you backstage,' a security guard said as the house lights came up... She had flawless skin and eyes that imparted secrets... she asked what movie I was working on and so I told her a little about St. Elmo's Fire, which I had just finished. 'I play the bad boy,' I said. Madonna just smiled. She seemed to like that."
The actor goes on to reveal they later went on a date to a "giant dance club" and he was shocked when the pop star suggested they mix with the crowd outside the VIP section, writing, "Madonna and I were discussing where we would sneak off to at the end of the evening when she suddenly jumped up and said, 'Let's dance!'... 'I'll wait here,' I said. 'Suit yourself,' she replied as she waded beyond the velvet rope into the fray... 'You're crazy,' I said, half meaning it. 'No I'm not,' she said... 'I'm just not going to let success f**k up my fun.'"
The book is released next month (Apr14).
Kiss star Gene Simmons has revealed that he and Paul Stanley turned their backs on the chance to perform at the upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony after learning museum bosses only wanted to honour the original members of the group. The bass player tells Entertainment Weekly Radio that he and Stanley spoke to former bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss after learning they had been inducted at last, and the foursome had agreed that they would all accept the honour, but the current KISS line-up, featuring Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, would perform at the Barclays Center ceremony in New York on 10 April (14).
But then Hall of Fame officials made it clear they only wanted the original line-up onstage.
Simmons says, "Paul and I got on the phone and called Ace and Peter: 'Hey, congratulations. It was an honour to stand alongside you then and we’ll be proud to stand alongside of you at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to accept the award'. And they were gracious and happy... and we went off our separate ways (sic).
"And then we found out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will only be honouring the original line-up, with Ace, Peter, Paul and myself, and we said, ‘Oh, OK then, we won’t be playing there. We’ll just accept the award. Thank you very much'. And they go, 'What are you talking about?’ and I said, ‘Well, you have a group like the Eagles, who continue to be our contemporaries... and every member that has even been in the Eagles has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but you’re only gonna honour the first line-up that was together for seven years? We’ve been around 40 years!'
"Tommy and Eric have been in the band 20 years - two and a half times longer than Ace and Peter. You’re going to slap them in the face and we’re supposed to get... get up onstage and do it? No, that’s not going to happen."
He adds, "Imagine you’re being invited to be inducted at an award ceremony and you get to bring only the first person you ever went out with in your life. The one, your beloved right now? She can’t come, or he can’t come. They get to stay home, they don’t get honoured'... That’s not going to fly."
KISS will be inducted alongside Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Hall & Oates, among the Class of 2014.
The moment that Todd Chrisley called his two sons "thug wannabes," hearts the world over soared in appreciation. Chrisley Knows Best is a breath of fresh air in the world of guilty pleasure reality television. The truth is, many of us love getting a glimpse into the fabulous lives of anyone famous. Even if we don't like the Kardashians, we still want to see what a family vacation in Greece looks like. And even if we think most of the Real Housewives are hot messes who should be embarrassed to have made names for themselves by pulling out each other's weaves on television, we still want in on the weave-pulling. With Chrisley Knows Best we get access to the lavish lifestyle of a family that spends approximately $300,000 a year... on clothes... alone. But we also have someone on our side, someone poking fun at the rich kids and putting them in their place. And that someone is Papa Chrisley.
Todd Chrisley has made more money than anyone you know in real estate, and now he's ready to start his next venture in the fashion world. Chrisley & Company is the new department store that he hopes will become "the Bergdorf Goodman of the South," and with his fashion sensibilities this is very much a possibility. The show follows the building and creation of this massive (and massively expensive) store, but the highlights come from the interactions with his family: Mama Chrisley (Julie) and their children Savannah, Chase, Lindsey, Kyle, and Grayson.
Now here's the reality of things. The kids are pretty bad. Well, to be fair, they're probably no worse than your average kid who drives a Range Rover to high school. The distinction here is that Papa Chrisley put a boot and a club on little Chase's Range when Chase snuck off to a football game. This may seem like a small act, but think about the last time you saw a rich kid on television actually get punished for bad behavior. We'll wait.
And even though Savannah was preparing for her super Sweet 16 in the premiere's second episode, she didn't throw a single tantrum, and Papa Chrisley had the final say on her dress (which he demanded come below the knee). And, yes, she does get a super fancy car in the end but she is legitimately shocked to receive it! So in a way, Chrisley Knows Best debunks the traditional ideals of super rich kids with nothin' but loose ends.
The truth is, Todd spends a good portion of the show sort of clowning his kids. Is it mean? Kind of. Do we love it, though? Very much so. Because if we have to watch these kids living their sickeningly fabulous, wonderful, fabulous lives, if we have to look at their kitchen countertops and salivate over the marble granite whatever that stuff was, if we have to watch Savannah's Sweet 16 unfold — at which even the lighting was fantastic — it helps to know that Papa Chrisley is going to (lovingly) knock them down a peg. He gets in their business, insists on meeting their crushes, and gives them little-to-no privacy (he seriously has tracking devices on their cars, and closely monitors their phones and laptops). He's an actual dad! And for that, we thank him, and make plans to keep tuning in to Chrisley Knows Best.
And now, here are some unforgettable quotes from the inimitable Papa Chrisley.
Regarding his children: "I don't wanna control stupid. Ignorance you can fix. Stupid is forever."
Regarding his daughter's shorts: "Smaller or larger, they still look like ASS."
In repsonse to one daughter asking that he be more like a "normal parent": "There's no normal in this house."
Regarding Savannah's Sweet 16 dress: "Class, not ass."
Regarding the dancing at Savannah's Sweet 16: "I'll make a deal with you. You don't drop it like it's hot, and I won't drop it like it's hot."
Scolding Chase, who got caught alone in his car with a girl: "You do that again and YOLO is gonna be a true statement. 'Cause you're only gonna live long enough to do it once."
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Boyle's wedding day is fast approaching on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and he asks Peralta to be his best man — the forlover to his brudgom, if you're Danish — a role that Peralta accepts with enthusiasm. But his duties aren't all whiskey and cigars, and Peralta needs to find a way to help Boyle confess to Vivian that he doesn't want to move to suburban Ottowa with her. Meanwhile, Holt is attempting to coach Diaz into apologizing to a younger officer that she humiliated after he messed up her crime scene, and Terry, Santiago, and Gina are on a crash-diet that involves eating solitary almonds and see-through slices of cantaloupes for lunch. Needless to say, the hypoglycemic rage that results isn't pretty.
So, which characters from "Fancy Brugdom" are going to live forever, and which ones gave up easy? How long was Scully in that coma? And what does Diaz read at her book club?
Terry Jeffords Terry Crews is a delight. He sells even the silliest moments of the diet storyline with enthusiasm (that cantaloupe song is still stuck in my head), and manages to make his more serious moments equally as entertaining. - "My wife heard about it at Mommy and Me Graphic Design. Or maybe it was Toddler Karate. She takes our little ladies to so many classes, I can't keep them all straight!" - On the diet: "Pro tip: lick the baggie. There's food molecules in there!" - Contemplating the see-through thin wedge of cantaloupe that is his lunch: "Santiago! Come hold this so it looks bigger in your tiny hands!" - Terry and Santiago have a "Cantaloupe Time" song. Terry sings bass, Santiago takes the high parts, and it comes with a wonderful head-wiggling dance. Also, for a song that has two lines, it's surprisingly catchy. - "We were on the same team, until you deserted me for Team Eating Food! Was that a good burn? I'm so hungry, I can't tell." - Terry proves how strong he's feeling by casually lifting up a car. - The "fart attack" that Terry has is probably the stupidest gag that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has featured yet, but Crews' humiliated face, and his desperate order to "get back inside!" sold every second of it.
Peralta Despite his usual immaturity, Peralta throws himself completely into his duties as Best Man, and devotes himself to supporting Boyle in all of his decisions. It's clear that Peralta's friends mean a lot to him, and so it was good to see him dedicate his time and effort into helping Boyle get up the courage to talk to his fiancee about their impending move. - Boyle asks Peralta to be his Best Man by hiding a bow tie in his beer, and Peralta is so honored that he learns Danish, buys nurse shoes to last through his day of wedding planning, and forces Boyle to talk to Vivian with a well-timed baton to the knee. - Santiago: "Are you gonna set up shop in a strip club?" / Peralta: "What kind of shop would I set up? Hand sanitizer! I would sell hand sanitizer." - "According to Boyle, the Danes throw the most beautiful weddings. And the most violent funerals." - Boyle: "Hello, my beautiful, big BM!" / Peralta: "Best Man. Best Man is fine." - After Boyle tells Peralta that he's planning to retire and move to Ottowa with Vivian: "We're supposed to die on the force together! Me in a big explosion and you committing suicide at my funeral out of respect." - After Vivian mentions that peasants in Ancient Egypt drank beer for breakfast: "Well, that explains why all of their buildings are crooked." - Peralta always comes up with the smoothest excuses. This week's? "I have a mole on my back that needs looking at, and Charles has eyes." - Boyle: "Am I planning the worst wedding ever?" / Peralta: "Second worst. Red wedding, Game of Thrones."
Holt and Diaz It seems like Holt and Diaz wouldn't be a hilarious pairing, simply because they're so much alike, but Andre Braugher and Stephanie Beatriz find a way to make their sarcastic, deadpan deliveries compliment each other. - Holt, after Terry tells everyone about the twins' various activities: "Childhood truly is a time of wonder." - When Diaz finds out that the officer filed a formal complaint against her, she asks "Did he fill it out in crayon?" and Holt responds "No, but he did fill it out in green pen, which is crazy to me."- Holt staring murderously at Diaz's written apology after he lights it on fire was brilliant. If they said he lit it on fire by channeling pure fury with his eyes, I'd completely buy it. - Holt and Diaz repeating "I'm sorry" to each other in various inflections of deadpan could have been dumb, but both Braugher and Beatriz nailed every second of it. - Diaz's sincere apology: "I'm sorry for your goat face, your rodent brain, and your terrible, goose body!" Also, she's sorry for talking about Officer Deitmore to her book club. "Those people don't even know you. That wasn't cool." - Holt doesn't know who Emperor Palpatine is. - Diaz: "I'm sorry." / Holt: "Please, Diaz. Don't make a scene."
Eddie Murphy/Motown Records
It pays to be able to do a little bit of everything. Since many celebrities have their hands in more than one business, it’s not surprising when actors, models, or athletes release their own albums. After all, you got to make that money. However, whether it's bizarre singing, misguided styling, or just plain buffoonery, plenty of these celebs have made really poor choices in pursuing musical avenues.
In the '80s, Murphy proved himself to be a major comedy kingpin. He found a touch of musical success with “Party All the Time,” but his high voice and lack of stage personality have hindered him since. He sounds disturbingly like Prince but lacks the camp and sex appeal. For example this song, “Put Your Mouth on Me” lacks either the sex appeal or humor to carry such a suggestive song. He’s recently collaborated with Snoop Lion and maybe he’ll be able to erase his misguided attempts at pop music.
Poor Carmen Electra. She’s beautiful, she’s funny, but she can’t seem to catch a break. She never really found much success in television, movies, or marriage. And despite being a Prince protégé, she did not find success in music. Her songs were a little too on-the-nose, with titles like “Go-Go Dancer” and “Fantasia Erotica.”
Oscar de la Hoya
A background in boxing isn't usually the first thing you think about when you're looking for a new music artist to latch onto. De la Hoya doesn’t have the most aggressive speaking voice. That combined with overly sweet ballads make him sound like a sexy baby. His album was originally released in Spanish with some English translations. However, the language barrier was not enough to save his overly high voice and misguided genre choice.
In between Who’s the Boss and Charmed, Milano did find some success in music... in Japan. Her juvenile pop music seems more fitting for karaoke than for the dance charts. But she did a lot of talk-singing and not enough performing. Milano does embody the cheesiness of her time period but she didn’t have the panache to make it in the American music charts.
Lawrence had all the makings of a teen heartthrob. He tried his hand at music with "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" and had decent success with the teen market. However, he didn’t have the musical chops to really deliver on ballads as proven from this video. Had he tried for a more Justin Bieber vibe he probably could have made millions and then got caught into an egg-throwing scandal. Instead, he’s been relegated to basic cable purgatory with Melissa & Joey.
Before she proved her hand at throwing phones, Campbell released an album entitled Baby Woman. That may be reason enough to not want to listen to any of her music. She has a decent singing voice but her sounds seem to both embody and rub against the 1990s. Maybe all of her iPhone-hurtling anger is over the failure of her music career.
It may be a stretch to consider Federline a celebrity. Especially, considering he did not find success with his music career after divorcing Britney Spears. He previewed his first albums with two songs, including “PopoZão” that were so bad they weren’t included on the album. To add insult to injury, said album, Playing with Fire was also a huge dud. Looks like his music is toxic and he’s slipping under.