Just about everyone on planet earth has sounded off on “Operation Varsity Blues,” a detailed effort on the part of wealthy parents to manipulate their children’s chances of entering elite universities via bribes, the retroactive manipulation of SAT scores, and a false declaration of athletic status. Fuller House star Lori Loughlin and Academy Award nominee Felicity Huffman are both in jail as a result. I have nothing new to say of any value, but I would like to point out a video with Lori Loughlin and her daughter which initially troubled me, and it has now been put into a greater context.
If I learned anything from Robert Kelly’s interview with Gayle King, it’s that the art of the interview has been lost. Gone are the Barbara Walters days of truncated, tricky questions that illicit admissions, no matter how prepared and media trained the subject. Many are complimenting King’s composure during Kelly’s volcanic eruption, as she gently and effectively interrupted his useless rant and encouraged him to take his seat. While I also think King’s composure deserves praise, I question whether an interview can be deemed effective when the phrasing of a question causes such a rant in the first place.
An interview is not about accountability, despite the desires of social media. It’s about information gathering. And if you aren’t gathering any information and are instead just witnessing his temperament, we’ve gotten nowhere. If it were me, I’d say, “How would you describe your relationship with Jocelyn Savage?”
Though many have also suggested that R. Kelly does not deserve a platform, I’m fine with it. We’ve interviewed serial killers, pedophiles, etc., and I think those interviews are important — as information gathering. I draw exception when there is a pending criminal case that could influence the potential jury pool. Let investigators do their job before you put this man on television. In fact, interview R. Kelly from behind bars instead.
It’s now widely known that Kylie Jenner’s best friend, Jordyn Woods, hooked up with Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend/baby daddy, Tristan Thompson, at a house party. Woods has since been dragged on social media, and she will appear on Red Table Talk to share her side of the story. The truth-table series was launched by Jada Pinkett Smith, and it is the perfect platform for Woods. According to media sources, the Kardashians are livid with Woods — not only for the hookup, but for the decision to publicly discuss the story without their permission. More specifically, Woods signed a non-disclosure agreement, and this might violate it.
The 91st Academy Awards seemed to be in dire straights with the Kevin Hart debacle, but the host-less ceremony went off without a hitch and even saw a slight uptick in ratings. Does that mean we should forgo a funnyman/woman next year? I’m not sure, but it certainly had to happen this year. No comedian wanted to go near the ceremony after Kevin Hart stepped down, and that was likely the right decision.
I like Justin Bieber. In fact, I might be one of the only people to defend his many random rants. But the news that he’s receiving treatment for depression coupled with the insistence that it “has nothing to do” with his wife Hailey is not surprising. The new couple recently did an interview with Vogue Magazine, and while others thought it a cute inside look at their romance, I saw their mutual misery as absolutely alarming.
“I’ve made some bad decisions personally, and in relationships. Those mistakes have affected my confidence in my judgment. It’s been difficult for me even to trust Hailey. We’ve been working through stuff. And it’s great, right?”
“I prayed to feel peace about the decision [to marry], and that’s where I landed. I love him very much. I have loved him for a long time.”
Justin (on being homebodies)
“She’s trying to be this grown-up. I think we can be married and still have fun and enjoy our adolescence. That’s something we’re talking about.”
If you have any experience in the entertainment industry, then you know how deeply difficult it is for an artist to share the spotlight. While some are generous and humble, others are not and even if that spotlight is occupied by an absolute legend — it’s no matter. Such was the case for Katy Perry, who simply could not pare back her performance during 10-minute all-star tribute to Dolly Parton at The Grammy’s.
Instead of highlighting Dolly alongside the Kacey Musgraves (who I’m told has a stellar reputation for kindness), she railroaded Musgraves with pitchy trills and cartoonish facial expressions — everything Dolly Parton IS NOT. I laughed when Perry held out her hands to introduce one of greatest singer/songwriters of all time, as if this was somehow a generous move.
It’s absolutely unclear why Katy Perry was chosen in the first place. Unlike the other artists, including Dolly’s Goddaughter Miley Cyrus (who had a killer night), she has zero connection to country music. She previously sang with Dolly at the 2016 ACMs, but that performance had far more deference to the superstar and was seemingly before the American Idol judge began to believe her own hype. To be fair, it’s possible Perry just had a bad night. But there’s a difference between being pitchy and a show off.
Before closing this post, I’d like to take a moment of silence to think about the greatness that is Dolly Parton. Even her newest material, most recently from the Netflix original film, Dumplin’, is incredible. And if that’s not enough, she is never, under any circumstances, above a good shout out. Watch the performance by clicking HERE, and notice how she always takes the time to introduce her band and her fellow singers.
Jennifer Lopez’s presence alone just about guarantees a solid, show-stopping performance at any show, but that doesn’t make it an appropriate choice, especially when Motown is involved. She’s received hefty criticism as the choice performer for the Grammys’ Motown tribute, in which she sang “My Girl,” alongside Smokey Robinson, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” with Alicia Keys, “Another Star” with Ne-Yo, “Please Mr. Postman”, and “Money (That’s What I Want).”
Berry Gordy, who founded Motown Records in 1959 sat in the audience and according to Lopez, was “thrilled” with her involvement. During his tenure, Gordy signed some serious titans, including The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Commodores, the Velvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5. The twitter-sphere has rightfully suggested that Gladys Knight or Stevie Wonder would have been a far more suitable choice. Lopez furthered that, “Any type of music can inspire any type of artist. You can’t tell people what to love. You can’t tell people what they can and can’t do, what they should sing or not sing. You gotta do what’s in your heart.” Smokey Robinson also came to her defense, saying, “Anyone who is upset is stupid.”
First, I resent being called stupid for making an extremely obvious-yet-important point. To quote one twitter user, “No doubt Latinos would be upset if they had a black soul singer doing a tribute to Latin music.” Additionally, while Motown lives in everyone’s heart, I find it distasteful to forgo using a black artist, especially during Black History Month. Have we learned NOTHING? Remember Emma Stone’s recent “I’m Sorry” exclamation about playing an Asian-American role in ‘Aloha?” Or how about Scarlett Johansson whitewashing ‘Ghost in a Shell?’ To say it’s simply about the art, is to demean the contribution of African American artists who represent the history of Motown. It’s whitewashing, and it’s extremely important to point out — NOT stupid. Finally, if you’re going to do a Motown tribute — at the very least — change up your standard “JLO.” I love a good leotard, and she can certainly rock it, but nothing about her performance suggested Motown. Nothing except the songs itself.
If you had no knowledge of Maroon 5 and tuned into the Super Bowl halftime show last night, you’d have thought Adam Levine was a solo act. That’s a shame, especially since I’ve seen Maroon 5 live, and the only good part of the show is lead guitarist James Valentine. Mr. Valentine is the extremely well-dressed, long-haired gentleman who can play. He’s often lost in the shadows of Levine, who is less than generous to his band. When I saw them perform live at The Forum, his band was barely visible behind the ridiculous light show and stage placement. If you’re curious what it looks like when a lead singer is generous to his fellow musicians, go see Bruce Springsteen live. I realize that no one compares to The Boss, but given his performing prowess, one might expect that he too would steal the spotlight at the expense of his band — and he does the opposite.
Pete Davidson is dating my girlfriend. People
Lily Aldridge and Caleb Followill welcomed their second child. Us Weekly
NeNe Leakes just came for Lisa Vanderpump. Too Fab
Aly Raisman discussed her ex-boyfriend, The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood. ET Online
Natalie Maines’ estranged husband wants a lot of money in alimony. Dlisted
Birdman and Toni Braxton are back on. The Blast
Cardi B and Offset were spotted canoodling. Hollywood Life
Roger Matthews responded to JWOWW’s abuse allegations. New York Post
Mo’Nique allegedly threatened Steve Harvey during an appearance on his show. The Blast
Gisele’s sobriety ended her relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio. Stuff
Halsey and Yungblud are heating up. TMZ
Brangelina called a brief truce. Socialite Life
Rami Malek said working with Bryan Singer on Bohemian Rhapsody was “not pleasant.” Vulture
Paris Jackson opened up about her mental health. Just Jared
Liam Payne and Naomi Campbell are enjoying each other’s company. Radar
There are just some people who don’t get it, and Mo’Nique is one of them. Though I can’t speak to her personal life struggles, I can speak to the expectation that actors engage in a limited amount of publicity to promote their project, which is in their contract. When they choose to forgo that expectation, they risk being shunned by an industry who relies on it.