Actor Smollett staged 'hate crime' hoax to advance career: Chicago police
Actor Jussie Smollett paid two brothers thousands of dollars to beat him in a staged racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the hip-hop TV drama "Empire," Chicago's police chief said on Thursday.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 8:20 pm

Kelly Rowland, Regina King and More Stars Sizzle at the 2019 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon
Kelly Rowland, Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon, 2019Just days before the 2019 Oscars air on Sunday, Feb. 24, celebrities flocked to the 2019 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards. From Kelly Rowland to Regina King to Octavia Spencer, the...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 7:48 pm

So Sweet! Bindi and Robert Irwin Remember Steve Irwin on His Birthday
Robert Irwin, Bindi IrwinBindi Irwin and Robert Irwin honored their late father, Steve Irwin, with sweet Instagram posts on his birthday. Bindi posted an adorable throwback of her dad holding a koala and her as a...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 7:45 pm

HBO will air 'Leaving Neverland' despite suit by Jackson estate
HBO is standing by its decision to air a four-hour documentary detailing the stories of two men who accuse Michael Jackson of molestation in the face of a suit filed by Jackson's estate that claims airing the film would be a breach of contract.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 21 Feb 2019 | 6:51 pm

Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett Finalize Their Divorce
Hank Baskett, Kendra WilksinsonKendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett's marriage is officially over. A source confirms to E! News that a Los Angeles County judge recently signed off on the pair's divorce...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 6:36 pm

Peter Tork, Monkees guitarist, dead at 77
Peter Tork, the bassist for The Monkees and a jokester on the band's popular 1960s television series, has died at age 77.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 21 Feb 2019 | 6:31 pm

Kim Kardashian Defends "Single Mom" Khloe Kardashian for Attending Event Post-Split
Khloe Kardashian, Kim KardashianKim Kardashian is standing up for her sister, Khloe Kardashian. On Wednesday night, Khloe stepped out for her first public appearance since news broke that she had called it quits with...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 5:33 pm

Offset Reveals He Is "Taking Things Slowly" With Cardi B After Reconciliation
Offset, EsquireBack together and feeling good! Rumors of a reconciliation between Offset and Cardi B started when the couple were spotted in Puerto Rico in December 2018. Earlier this month, they made...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 5:29 pm

Jussie Smollett Returns to Empire Set 2 Hours After Leaving Jail
Jussie Smollett, Mugshot UPDATE: A source confirms to E! News that Jussie Smollett is back on the set of Empire following his release from jail. ______ Jussie Smollett has been spotted leaving court...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 5:26 pm

Joey Fatone Thought His Masked Singer Clues Were a Little Too Easy
The Masked Singer, Joey FatoneJoey Fatone was one of the very first guesses for the Rabbit on The Masked Singer, but he still had some people fooled. From the beginning, it was clear that the tall white rabbit in the...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 5:15 pm

Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO Over Leaving Neverland Claims
Michael Jackson UPDATE: Michael Jackson's estate is suing HBO and parent company Time Warner for allegedly breaching a non-disparagement clause in a contract from 1999. In the complaint filed in a...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 5:03 pm

Long Island Medium's Larry Caputo Reveals His New "Baby Boo" After Divorce
Larry CaputoLarry Caputo appears to be moving on from his divorce. The Long Island Medium star got fans buzzing Thursday afternoon when he took to Instagram and shared a photo with his new...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 4:48 pm

Michael Jackson’s Estate Sues HBO Over Upcoming Documentary on Molestation Accusations

(LOS ANGELES) — The estate of Michael Jackson on Thursday sued HBO over a documentary about two men who accuse the late pop superstar of molesting them when they were boys, saying the film violates a 1992 contract to air a Jackson concert.

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that by co-producing and airing “Leaving Neverland,” as HBO intends to do next month, the cable channel is breaching a deal to not disparage the singer. The decades-old contract allowed the cable network to air “Michael Jackson in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour” and included language that HBO would not disparage Jackson at any future point.

According to the suit, the film implies Jackson molested children on the very tour that the concert footage came from.

“It is hard to imagine a more direct violation of the non-disparagement clause,” says the suit, which asks the court to order arbitration and says damages could exceed $100 million.

The film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where its subjects Wade Robson and James Safechuck received a standing ovation and took questions afterward along with director Dan Reed. The first installment of the four-hour documentary will first air on HBO on March 3, with the second half airing the following night. Britain’s Channel 4 will air it around the same time.

HBO did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, but the channel has consistently defended the documentary in the face of complaints from the estate.

The lawsuit states in its opening sentence that “Michael Jackson is innocent. Period,” and goes on to recount the criminal investigation and 2005 trial in which Jackson was acquitted, highlighting the conflicting statements through the years of Robson and Safechuck, who are described as “admitted perjurers” in the suit. Both men told authorities that Jackson did not molest them, later claiming they were abused in lawsuits filed after the singer’s death and in graphic detail in “Leaving Neverland.”

It also reiterates the estate’s position that it was irresponsible for the film not to include any defense of Jackson from those who knew him or further fact checks of the men.

HBO responded with a statement saying its plans to air “Leaving Neverland” remain unchanged.

“Dan Reed is an award-winning filmmaker who has carefully documented these survivors’ accounts,” the network’s statement said. “People should reserve judgment until they see the film.”

Reed is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

“Michael is an easy target because he is not here to defend himself, and the law does not protect the deceased from defamation, no matter how extreme the lies are,” the lawsuit states. “Michael may not have lived his life according to society’s norms, but genius and eccentricity are not crimes.”

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 4:42 pm

Sammi ''Sweetheart'' Giancola Meets Deena Nicole Cortese's Baby for the First Time: ''He Is Too Cute''
Sammi Giancola, Deena Nicole CorteseCuteness explosion! Earlier today, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola took to Instagram to share an adorable picture of her holding Deena Nicole Cortese 's baby boy, Christopher...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 21 Feb 2019 | 4:40 pm

Jackson estate says HBO film violates non-disparagement contract: lawsuit
The estate of Michael Jackson filed a lawsuit on Thursday against HBO saying that its documentary about allegations of child sex abuse by the late singer breached a previous agreement by the cable channel not to disparage him.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 4:33 pm

Jussie Smollett: US actor 'staged attack over salary'
Police accuse Empire star Jussie Smollett of staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 4:06 pm

Jussie Smollett's supporters were quick to post to social media in the beginning. Now it's his doubters.
When Jussie Smollett said last month that two men using racial and homophobic slurs attacked him in Chicago, supporters of the actor almost immediately expressed their anger.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 21 Feb 2019 | 3:58 pm

Peter Tork: Tributes to Monkees musician who has died aged 77
Peter Tork, a member of one of the first boy bands, The Monkees, dies at the age of 77.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 3:37 pm

The Most Memorable Moments in Oscar Hosting History

At the 1989 Academy Awards, Robert Downey Jr. looked on with disgust as Rob Lowe and Snow White (played by Eileen Bowman) fumbled their way through a turgid, off-key parody of “Proud Mary.”

Thirty years later, the Academy announced that they were looking to Downey Jr., among others, as a solution to a now infamously hostless Oscars. The Hollywood Reporter reported in January that the show’s producers were attempting to reunite as many Avengers as possible in an attempt to save face after an embarrassing turn of events in which Kevin Hart accepted the hosting job and then stepped down after a backlash. (With a few days to go until the ceremony, Downey Jr. has not been announced as a presenter, though fellow Marvel superhero actors Chris Evans, Chadwick Boseman and Brie Larson have.)

It remains to be seen whether the Oscars will pull out a surprise host—rumors have circulated that Whoopi Goldberg might fill the gap—or rely on presenters and performances to keep things moving. But whoever faces the pressure to guide viewers through the evening can take solace in the fact that the 90 years of Oscars history is littered with stars who weathered uneven hosting duties and lived to tell the tale. Underprepared and disorganized hosts aren’t an anomaly—they’re practically tradition. Here are some of the most memorable hosting turns, for better or worse, over Oscars history.

1929: Solemn beginnings at the first Academy Awards

The first Oscars were hosted by the silent film star Douglas Fairbanks and the writer/director William C. deMille (whose brother Cecil’s name is now inscribed on the Golden Globes’ annual honorary award). The entertainment value of this industry party for 270 guests was limited, to say the least. “It was probably very formal, a very serious affair,” Donelle Dadigan, the president and founder of the Hollywood Museum, tells TIME. Tickets cost $5, there was no red carpet and the presentation ceremony lasted only 15 minutes.

1953: Bob Hope sets the standard

When the Oscars were first broadcast in 1953, Bob Hope was chosen to be the first master of ceremonies. Hope, a comedian and vaudevillian, was an apt choice to present in front of a vastly bigger audience: he had hosted three times before and brought a mixture of buoyant charm and self-deprecation to the monologue. He spent most of his time roasting television as a medium, to the delight of a room full of film stars: “Television: that’s where movies go when they die.” He wound things down with a tone of Hollywood self-importance that was typical for the era: “Movies are still your best entertainment—it’ll always be your best entertainment.”

1968: Hope is unprepared for a fraught moment

Hope would remain a steady presence at the Oscars through the ’60s, unflinchingly trotting out zingers and duds alike and lampooning himself for his own lack of nominations. “Not only wasn’t I nominated—on Hollywood Boulevard they just put a manhole cover over my star,” he joked in 1962.

But at the age of 64, he was woefully unprepared to adapt to a shifting culture when the Oscars were postponed for two days due to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Instead of addressing the gravity of the moment, Hope, wearing a white bow tie, made an off-color attempt to defuse the situation: “It’s been tough on the nominees. How would you like to spend two days in a crouch?”

When he predictably turned to Hollywood reverence at the end of the show, he compared movie pioneers to the recently murdered King, saying, “The men who began our industry had one thing in common with the man from Atlanta: they had a dream.” It was to be his last time hosting the ceremony for several years, though he was invited to return twice in the 1970s.

1973: Charlton Heston fails to show

The Oscars were hosted by committee throughout the 1970s, perhaps due to the Academy’s lack of trust in any one star. That skepticism was proven correct when Charlton Heston, who was meant to open 1973’s show with a riff on The Ten Commandments, failed to turn up in time, apparently due to a flat tire on the freeway.

Instead, organizers sent out a disgruntled Clint Eastwood, who did not hesitate to throw everyone else under the bus. “This is supposed to be Charlton Heston’s part of the show, but somehow he hasn’t shown up. So who do they pick? They pick the guy who hasn’t said but three lines in 12 movies to substitute for him,” he said. He then snipped at the cue card holder after he flubbed Heston’s biblical lines: “Come on, flip the card, man. This isn’t my bag.”

1983: Liza Minnelli does her best with a messy musical number

Over the next decade, confusion would continue to play a large role in the ceremonies. Liza Minnelli was given eight minutes to prance around the stage reenacting moments from her own career in 1974; a spacey, modern dance number from Ann-Margret was placed back-to-back with lacerating racial commentary from Richard Pryor in 1977.

But the height of gaudy, clashing maximalism arrived in 1983, when organizers sent all four hosts—Minnelli, Pryor, Walter Matthau and Dudley Moore—out to begin the show with a hokey opening song. Only Minelli fully committed to the bit, while Pryor swung his arms around and substituted lyrics with nonsense syllables. Moore coughed through his lines, while Matthau warbled off-tune and then, in a display of breathtaking awkwardness, held Minnelli’s hand for a less-than-rousing finale.

1988: A new low with Rob Lowe and Snow White

But no show would become more infamous than the 1988 debacle. Over an interminable 11 minutes, a squealing Snow White was paired with a lumbering Merv Griffin and then a strained and discombobulated Rob Lowe. The number resulted in a lawsuit from Disney and a permanent dent in producer Allan Carr’s Hollywood career.

Lowe never lived down the snafu, although he did have the humor to joke about it on Twitter last year:

Seriously, this “best pop movie” category is the worst idea the Academy has had since they asked me to sing with Snow White.

— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) August 9, 2018

1990s: Billy Crystal rights the ship

Desperately needing a savior to dig them out of the hole they’d dug themselves, Oscars organizers turned to Billy Crystal, who was just coming off a starring role in the beloved When Harry Met Sally alongside Meg Ryan in 1989. From 1990 through 1993, Crystal would bring his nimble and biting persona to an ostensibly stodgy ceremony. His peak came in 1992: After the 73-year-old Jack Palance accepted an Oscar by doing one-handed pushups, Crystal spent the rest of the night riffing on Palance’s subsequent imaginary feats of strength. “Jack has just bungee-jumped off the Hollywood sign,” he said.

1995: David Letterman bombs

David Letterman was at still at the height of his popularity when he tried fashioning the Oscars into just another night of his Late Show, introducing prickly cringe humor, forcing celebrities to participate in bits like stupid-pet tricks and gleefully undermining his own jokes. Two often-repeated words epitomized his brutal time onstage: “Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah.” The public introduction of these two famous women was a joke few could make sense of, and it landed with a thud. A few months later, he relinquished his ratings lead over Jay Leno, and over the next five years, the Oscars would entrust only the reliable Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg to lead the ceremonies.

2005: Chris Rock changes the tone

While the Oscars love pageantry, one of the most memorable bits in recent memory hardly necessitated a budget at all. In a pre-taped segment, Chris Rock went to the Magic Johnson Theater in Los Angeles to interview black moviegoers about the films they saw that year, which included White Chicks and Saw but practically none of the Oscar nominees. It deflated the navel-gazing crowd but was a brilliant and subversive piece of commentary.

2014: Ellen DeGeneres in the digital age

The Academy needed to wipe the bad taste out of its mouth following a predictably lewd Seth MacFarlane outing in 2013. It had also misfired by casting two non-comedians, Anne Hathaway and James Franco, in 2011, a pairing that fell flat due to a lack of chemistry and Franco’s attitude, which was nonchalant to the point of appearing apathetic. So it turned to the safe and affable DeGeneres, who struck a careful balance between appeasing both the uptight talent in the room and the restless audience at home. While she won the room over with a light-hearted monologue, in particular teasing Jennifer Lawrence, she moved the show into the social media era by staging a star-studded group selfie, which became the most retweeted photo ever (up to that point). It showed a perfect understanding of a fact that has been true forever but has been amplified in a digital age: Even if the ceremony itself is bloated, singular moments will take on lives of their own.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 3:36 pm

Factbox: List of some reported racial attacks in U.S. deemed to be false
Actor Jussie Smollett of the television drama "Empire" staged an attack on himself that appeared to have racist and homophobic overtones as a publicity stunt, Chicago police said on Thursday.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 2:46 pm

Fox says it's 'considering our options' after 'Empire' star's arrest
The studio and network behind Fox's "Empire" say they are considering their options, following the arrest of television actor Jussie Smollett.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 21 Feb 2019 | 2:25 pm

Ciao Karl: Fendi says goodbye to Lagerfeld at Milan show
Fendi said farewell to Karl Lagerfeld on Thursday, presenting the last line the veteran fashion designer created for the Italian luxury label before his death.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 2:19 pm

Yes, It Was That Important. Fans Have Raised Thousands of Dollars to Get Rid of the Rat From End of The Departed

Martin Scorsese has a film career that spans 50 years. His skill behind the camera has earned him Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmys, and awards from BAFTA and the Directors Guild and many, many others. That doesn’t stop some guy on the internet from thinking he knows better than the famed director, though.

Director Adam Sacks has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally remove the rat from the last scene of Martin Scorsese’s The Departed—a film that earned Scorsese an Oscar for Best Achievement in Directing.

While Sacks considers The Departed “a great Scorsese film,” according to his Kickstarter, he has one quibble with the film’s ending. “Unfortunately, The Departed has one huge problem,” Sacks writes. “The movie ends with the painfully on the nose metaphor of an ACTUAL RAT crawling across screen.”

In the film both Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio play slightly less-furry rats: DiCaprio is a police officer who infiltrates the Boston mob and Damon is a mobster who “rats” from inside the Boston police force. The rodent version is too much for Sacks, who wrote, “It’s always bothered me that a movie as good as The Departed has such a cheesy ending, and I recently realized it could be fixed by digitally erasing the rat from the last shot.”

In the hope of luring funders to help him reach his $4,000 goal, Sacks painstakingly laid out the campaign’s budgetary needs, to ensure complete transparency in the process. That includes, laying out the cost to buy a copy of the film on Blu-Ray, paying an editor to remove the rat, and paying an intern $15 an hour to burn new copies of the “fixed” version of the film to send out to backers of the campaign. After the “fix” is in, Sacks hopes that his new rat-free version of the film will become the official version, claiming the change “will make The Departed a much better movie.”

Of course there are some risks in the project. Namely, that according to Sacks, Warner Bros. owns the copyright to the film and may not appreciate his improvement. He is still going to try though, ensuring would-be backers, “If I don’t receive a cease and desist letter and hit $4,000 it will happen.”

Turns out a lot of movie fans actually agreed with Sacks and his Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its $4,000 goal, with many days still to go. If you want a sneak peek of the rat-free production, Twitter account Eyes On Cinema shared a clip of the scene sans rat, which it wrote was edited by Mark LaCroix.

The Departed rat erased by @Mark_LaCroix pic.twitter.com/Y7b5CUUpz8

— Eyes On Cinema (@RealEOC) February 20, 2019

 

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 2:17 pm

The 1975, DJ Harris triumph at UK BRIT music Awards; Pink honored
Pop rock band The 1975 and DJ Calvin Harris were the main winners at the BRIT Awards on Wednesday, each scooping two prizes at Britain's annual pop music honors.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 2:07 pm

'Leaving Neverland' presents chilling parallel accounts of Michael Jackson's alleged abuse
"Leaving Neverland" is about dreams turned to nightmares, featuring twin accounts of Michael Jackson's alleged sexual predation that derive power and credibility from their strikingly similar parallels. It's an unsettling tale of money, fame and seduction, insidiously marshalled not just at young boys but their equally star-struck parents.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 21 Feb 2019 | 2:05 pm

Inbetweeners creators writing BBC Premier League show
It is the first show Iain Morris and Damon Beesley have written together since The Inbetweeners.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 12:55 pm

Here’s Why People Think Whoopi Goldberg Might Be Your 2019 Oscars Host

With the Academy yet to name a new host for the 2019 Oscars since Kevin Hart stepped down in December, it has seemed like the ceremony may go on without someone running the show. But thanks to a little viral detective work, some people are now speculating that Whoopi Goldberg may be the surprise host of the 91st Academy Awards.

Despite her The View co-host Joy Behar denying the rumor that Goldberg has been secretly tapped as this year’s Oscars host, some people on the Internet seem to think that Goldberg’s recent absence from the talk show means otherwise.

“Whoopi’s still out. She’s not feeling well. And there are all these conspiracy theories that she’s not really sick. She’s secretly preparing to host the Oscars,” Behar said during Thursday’s episode of The View. “But she’s actually recovering from pneumonia. That’s what she had, it’s a serious thing. So I don’t think she’s going to be able to host the Oscars and I’m sure she’s very disappointed.”

Behar’s comments came in response to a tweet from CBC Arts producer Peter Knegt in which he outlined the evidence he seems to think supports the host Whoopi theory.

“Whoopi Goldberg’s absence from The View (she’s sick, they say) since the day after they announced her as an Oscar presenter+the fact that she’s the only previous Oscar host listed as a presenter+she openly said on The View in January that she’d be up for hosting=???” he wrote.

Knegt later issued a correction of his original tweet, noting that Goldberg said she’d be open to hosting in December, not January, and adding that The View also happens to be on the same network that broadcasts the Oscars, ABC.

“Correction: she openly said on The View in *December* that she’d be up for hosting (pre-Kevin Hart),” he tweeted. “Also additional obvious +: The View is on ABC.”

correction: she openly said on The View in *December* that she'd be up for hosting (pre-Kevin Hart). also additional obvious +: The View is on ABC.

— Peter Knegt (@peterknegt) February 20, 2019

At any rate, Goldberg will be presenting alongside stars like Awkwafina, Daniel Craig and Jennifer Lopez.

Tune in to the 2019 Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC to see if Whoopi makes a surprise appearance as the awards show’s host.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 12:21 pm

Jason Reitman attempts to clarify controversial 'Ghostbusters' comments
Jason Reitman is walking back comments he made that seemingly criticized the all-female 2016 "Ghostbusters" remake.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 21 Feb 2019 | 12:03 pm

Factbox: Timeline of incidents in Jussie Smollett's alleged attack
Actor Jussie Smollett of TV's "Empire" staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself as a publicity stunt because he was dissatisfied with his salary, Chicago police said on Thursday.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 12:02 pm

Brit Awards 2019: Beyonce and Jay-Z 'bow down' to Meghan Markle
The Carters accepted their award in front of a portrait of the Duchess of Sussex wearing a crown.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 11:55 am

Jussie Smollett Staged Hate Attack Because He Was Unhappy About His Salary, Police Say

Empire actor Jussie Smollett staged a fake hate crime attack on himself because he was unhappy about his pay on the hit Fox show, Chicago police said Thursday.

The actor turned himself into police early Thursday after he was charged Wednesday night with felony disorderly conduct in filing a false police report. He was released Thursday afternoon after posting a $100,000 bond set at a hearing earlier in the day.

“The stunt was orchestrated because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters in a Thursday morning news conference. “Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”

Johnson, who appeared visibly angry, called Smollett’s actions “despicable.” He also condemned the amount of attention Smollett received after his story became public.

“I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention,” Johnson said, looking at the crowd of reporters who had gathered for the press conference.

It’s the latest twist in a case that began with an outpouring of sympathy for Smollett after the initial reports of the incident surfaced.

Smollett, who is black and openly gay, told police he was the victim of a hate crime, claiming on Jan. 29 that two people yelled homophobic and racist statements at him, beat him, threw bleach on him and put a noose around his neck. Among the things Smollett said the attackers shouted was “this is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan.

Smollet’s story received tremendous media attention and support from the public, including condemnations of the attack from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Kamala Harris and Trump. The support quickly turned to skepticism as certain portions of Smollett’s account were found to be inconclusive. A pair of Nigerian brothers apprehended in the investigation were let go without charges. Police said phone records they had received from Smollett did not help them in the case and the actor had wanted to capture the attack on a camera that was pointed in the wrong direction.

The staged attack lasted 45 seconds and was out of view of the surveillance camera that Smollett had believed would capture the encounter, according to prosecutors. Smollett instructed the two men to appear to attack him near his apartment. He told them to not bring their cell phones along and to put a rope around his neck and yell “This is MAGA country.” Prosecutors said one of the brothers was close friends with Smollett and said he provided him with “Molly,” also known as ecstasy or MDMA.

Last Thursday, Smollett said he’d been “forever changed” by the alleged attack and spoke out against people who claimed his story was a hoax in an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“It’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth. You don’t even want to see the truth,” he said.

Johnson said on Thursday that Smollett had paid the two men $3,500 by check to stage the attack after he sent himself a letter with racist and homophobic language in order to gain attention.

“This publicity stunt was a scar Chicago didn’t earn and didn’t deserve,” he said. “Our city has problems, we know that. But to put the national spotlight on Chicago for something that is both egregious and untrue is simply shameful.”

Representatives for Smollett did not immediately comment. His lawyers did not respond to a request for comment Thursday, but issued a statement saying that they plan to mount an “aggressive defense.”

They added that Smollett “enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,” according to the Associated Press.

Fox, which airs Empire, issued a statement regarding Smollet’s case Thursday.

“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process,” read a statement from 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment. “We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”

The case has been seized upon by conservatives and in right-wing media. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted several times about what he called a “disgusting hoax,” and claimed Wednesday that it’s “only a matter of time” before Smollett’s actions are blamed on “America” and “society.” The National Review posited that Smollett’s hoax is “symptomatic of America’s illness,” claiming people should have been skeptical from the start. Elsewhere on Twitter, Trump supporters asked if Smollett himself should be charged with a hate crime.

And though President Trump had condemned the attack after it was first reported, he jumped into the fray on Thursday to accuse Smollett of insulting his supporters.

.@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 11:23 am

James Corden Mercilessly Mocks Shawn Mendes and Noah Centineo in Calvin Klein Commercial Spoof

Denim brand Calvin Klein recently put out its latest ad, featuring a cast of Hollywood’s hippest young stars: musician Shawn Mendes, model Kendall Jenner, rapper A$AP Rocky and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before‘s Noah Centineo among them.

So of course James Corden decided to take them all down a notch in a clever spoof on the ad, splicing himself into footage of their retro-feeling commercial in a piece for his Late Late Show that he is, appropriately enough, calling “#MyCordens.”

The commercial shows Mendes, for instance, chowing down on a bowl of cereal in a hotel-like environment with slatted shades — so next thing, Corden (wearing a big, fluffy robe over, one presumes, his Calvins) is complaining about the empty cereal box in what appears to be the same room.

Meanwhile, Jenner is hiding in the bathroom, so Corden can’t help but knock on the door when he needs to use it. “Kendall, you grew up with like nine sisters. You know how sharing a bathroom works,” he insists, with his bathroom caddy in hand.

And A$AP Rocky is sunbathing and singing on the roof, which does not go down well with Corden. “A$AP, get off the roof! It isn’t safe!” he insists. Looks like Corden has positioned himself as the house dad. As for Centineo? Since the actor made a point to hit a casual dab while exiting a room, Corden makes sure to copy the move on his own.

But Corden may not be quite hip enough or young enough to join in on their fun in the end. Watch his parody above to see how it turns out.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 11:07 am

Head-to-Head Breakdancing Battles As an 2024 Olympic Sport? It’s a Possibility

The summer Olympic Games are a chance for athletes from around the world to show off their skills in the pool, in track and field and gymnastics, and, if organizers have their way, in breakdancing. That’s right, it’s time to bust out your kneepads, the Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo soundtrack, and your flyest sneakers and start practicing your headspins.

Organizers of the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be held in Paris, have proposed that breakdancing should be included as a new sport in the Olympic program, along with surfing, climbing, and skateboarding, which are already set to debut at Tokyo 2020, The Telegraph reports. The Paris 2024 organizing committee argued for the sport’s inclusion on the grounds that it is already legendary for its dance battles and breakdancing is an “urban, universal and popular sport with more than a million BBoys and BGirls” already busting a move in France. Plus, head-to-head breakdancing battles already made an appearance at last year’s Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The decision to include the sport, which grew up alongside hip hop in the South Bronx of New York City, isn’t final yet, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has until December 2020 to make a decision. However, based on their response to the announcement, they seem all in on the idea. “We are pleased to see that Paris 2024’s proposal for new sports to the Olympic programme is very much in line with the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, which is striving to make the Olympic programme gender-balanced, more youth-focused and more urban,” an IOC statement read, per The Telegraph.

If breakdancing does make the cut, it will join the 28 sports already in the Olympics program. While some people may balk at the idea of breakdancing as an Olympic sport, never forget that both horse long jump, dueling pistols and solo synchronized swimming were all considered worthy back in the day.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 11:02 am

Jussie Smollett arrested over false attack report
Empire star Jussie Smollett said he had suffered a homophobic attack in January.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 9:59 am

'How to Train Your Dragon' flies to finish in 'The Hidden World'
Ambitiously crafted as the end to a cinematic trilogy, "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" takes a long time to get to its best bits, meandering at times along the way. At the end it's a satisfying resolution, without reaching the same heights that the original achieved.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 21 Feb 2019 | 9:44 am

Here’s Who Will Win at the 2019 Oscars

On Feb. 24, the 91st Academy Awards will cap off a strange and contentious season, during which squabbles about the ceremony itself at times distracted from the movies, performers and craftspeople actually up for awards. As the 2019 Oscars approach, it’s time to make final predictions as to who will take home the trophies. Could Marvel make a play for Best Picture with Black Panther? Does Glenn Close, after leaving six previous Oscars ceremonies empty-handed, finally have one in the bag? As 2017’s historic Moonlight win proved, nothing’s sealed until the credits roll, but that doesn’t stop us from placing our bets.

Here are TIME’s predictions for top categories at the 2019 Oscars.

Best Picture

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Black Panther \ BlacKkKlansman \ Bohemian Rhapsody \ The Favourite \ Green Book \ Roma \ A Star Is Born \ Vice

If you look at the movies recognized by the various professional guilds in HollywoodBlack Panther (Screen Actors Guild), Green Book (Producers Guild), Roma (Directors Guild), Bohemian Rhapsody (dramatic) and The Favourite (comedic)(American Cinema Editors)—it’s pretty clear that there’s no consensus pick for Best Picture this year. (The Writers Guild winners, Eighth Grade for Original Screenplay and Can You Ever Forgive Me? for Adapted, aren’t even present in this year’s field of nominees.) But of the two movies that have risen to the top, Green Book and Roma, we’re betting on Alfonso Cuarón’s personal story over Peter Farrelly’s feel-good but contentious dramedy. It would be really something for a black-and-white, Spanish-language Netflix movie to take home Best Picture, but this one has the momentum to do it.

Read More: The Real History Behind the Movie Roma

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce in The Wife
Graeme Hunter PicturesJonathan Pryce, who plays Close’s famous novelist spouse in The Wife, says the actor “scared the bejesus out of me in Fatal Attraction”

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma \ Glenn Close, The Wife \ Olivia Colman, The Favourite \ Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born \ Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

There was a time, back in October, when it looked like this one might belong to Gaga. And then, when Olivia Colman charmed the audience at the Golden Globes and again, more recently, at the BAFTAs, it seemed like the British actor might finally get her long overdue international recognition. But no one is more overdue than Glenn Close, who has been nominated for six Academy Awards before this go-around and never won. Close set her now unstoppable train in motion with a heartfelt Golden Globes speech that compared her mother’s unsung story to that of her character in The Wife, and it’s highly probable that Academy voters want to see her onstage Sunday night to put the finishing touches on this narrative.

Read More: Glenn Close Is One Step Closer to an Oscar With The Wife

Actor in a Leading Role

L-R: Joe Mazzello (John Deacon), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Gwilym Lee (Brian May) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Twentieth Century FoxL-R: Joe Mazzello (John Deacon), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Gwilym Lee (Brian May) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Christian Bale, Vice \ Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born \ Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate \ Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody \ Viggo Mortenesen, Green Book

Rami Malek has taken home a Golden Globe, a SAG award and a BAFTA for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury. In the meantime, Bradley Cooper’s awards season momentum has all but come to a halt, Viggo Mortensen put his foot in his mouth and Christian Bale never really picked up steam after winning the Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. (Willem Dafoe, though a happy surprise in this category, has never been a frontrunner.) Especially after Malek finally addressed the Bryan Singer controversy—about which the Bohemian Rhapsody team’s silence was beginning to become deafeningMalek is poised to win.

Read More: Rami Malek Rises Above Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Messy Excess

Actress in a Supporting Role

Annapurna PicturesKing shines as Tish’s mother, who is dedicated to helping the couple

Amy Adams, Vice \ Marina De Tavira, Roma \ Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk \ Emma Stone, The Favourite \ Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Supporting Actress is an interesting category this year: This marks Amy Adams’ sixth nomination (#JusticeforAmyAdams is a sentiment shared by many on Twitter). Roma‘s Marina de Tavira was one of the biggest surprises the day the nominations were announced. Weisz got a boost when she won a BAFTA earlier this month. And Regina King was shut out of the SAGs entirely. But King, who started the season with the majority of critics associations’ awards and took home the Globe, still feels like a lock for her portrayal of a fiercely loving mother in Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s Beale Street. Her win is also a nice way for the Academy to recognize the film, which didn’t make the cut in the Best Picture field despite being an acclaimed and moving follow-up to Jenkins’ 2017 Best Picture winner Moonlight.

Read More: Barry Jenkins Wants You to Read James Baldwin

Actor in a Supporting Role

Green Book
Universal PicturesViggo Mortensen as Tony Vallelonga and Mahershala Ali as Donald Shirley in Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly.

Mahershala Ali, Green Book \ Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman \ Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born \ Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? \ Sam Rockwell, Vice

If there’s anyone who could pull out a surprise win for Supporting Actor, it’s Richard E. Grant, who has proven as charming throughout awards season as his character in Can You Ever Forgive Me? is (minus the ethically dubious hustling). Although his performance has been almost universally lauded, Mahershala Ali has been relatively quiet on the Oscars campaign trail, in the face of conversations about Green Book‘s authenticity and criticism of its attitude toward racism. But it looks like Ali is going to win his second Oscar in the space of three years, a repeat victory that would be the fastest since Tom Hanks won back-to-back Best Actor Oscars for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump in the mid-1990s.

Read More: The Movie Green Book Is Named for a Real Guide to Travel in a Segregated World. Its Real History Offers a Key Lesson for Today

Directing

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman \ Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War \ Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite \ Alfonso Cuarón, Roma \ Adam McKay, Vice

If you are putting money on this category, the oddsmakers will tell you to put it on Alfonso Cuarón, who won the award five years ago for Gravity. Cuarón won Best Director for Roma at the Golden Globes and the Directors Guild of America awards, and the film is a frontrunner in several categories. But don’t discount the possibility of a surprise upset by Spike Lee, who’s nominated in this category for the first time ever and for whom a win would be, to many, a kind of vindication.

Read More: Spike Lee Wants BlacKkKlansman to Wake American Up

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

BlacKkKlansman
David Lee—Focus FeaturesAdam Driver stars as Flip Zimmerman and John David Washington as Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKLansman, a Focus Features release.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs \ BlacKkKlansman \ Can You Ever Forgive Me? \ If Beale Street Could Talk \ A Star Is Born

But if you’d prefer not to hold your breath for Lee in the Best Director field, look for him and his co-writers in the Adapted Screenplay category instead. Though Can You Ever Forgive Me? took home top honors in this category from the Writers Guild of America, the entire Academy votes on awards (not just specific branches), and Lee’s adaptation of Ron Stallworth’s memoir about infiltrating a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado in 1979 appears to have more weight behind it as the final deadline for voting arrives.

Read More: Cannes Review: Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman Is the Movie We Need NowAnd It’s Funny, Too

Writing (Original Screenplay)

THE FAVOURITE
Twentieth Century Fox Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in The Favourite.

The Favourite \ First Reformed \ Green Book \ Roma \ Vice

It’s quite possible that Green Book‘s more easygoing, crowd-pleasing (to a point) sensibility will win over voters here. But we’ll bet on The Favourite‘s acerbic, witty take on the power dynamic between Queen Anne and the two companions jockeying for her favor. All three actors were nominated for Oscars but it’s more likely we’ll see the award go to the writers who put the words in their mouths.

Read More: The Favourite Is a Wicket Delight Filled With Marvelous Performances

Animated Feature Film

SonyMiles Morales is voiced by Shameik Moore in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Incredibles 2 \ Isle of Dogs \ Mirai \ Ralph Breaks the Internet \ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Pixar has a very good, if not spotless, track record in this category, which was first handed out in 2002. But the animation studio is unlikely to follow up The Incredibles‘ 2005 win with one for its sequel. Instead, look for some fresh energy inserted into the field when Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse takes home a little gold man for bringing something new not just to the well-worn Spidey suit, but to animation itself.

Read More: Why We’ll Never Stop Getting More Spider-Man Movies

Cinematography

Cold War \ The Favourite \ Never Look Away \ Roma \ A Star Is Born

There’s more attention on the Oscar for Best Cinematography this year than there has been in some time, thanks largely to the now-reversed decision to hand out the award during a commercial break. It’s also an unusually international year for the field, with three foreign-language films in the mix. But expect this one to go to Cuarón, who tapped himself as director of photography for Roma when his usual collaborator, Emmanuel Lubezki, was unavailable.

Read More: Venice Review: Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma Is Glorious, Tender Filmmaking

Documentary (Feature)

Summer Docs RBG
Magnolia PicturesRBG, one of this summer’s knockout documentaries, chronicles the adventures of another kind of superhero: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Free Solo \ Hale County This Morning, This Evening \ Minding the Gap \ Of Fathers and Sons \ RBG

Expect this one to be a toss-up between the free-climbing nail-biter Free Solo and Ruth Bader Ginsburg picture RBG. Though it’s a more conventional documentary, RBG might just eke out a win, thanks to the statement it allows Academy voters to make following a tumultuous few months for the Supreme Court.

Read More: 3 Things We Learned from the New Ruth Bader Ginsburg Documentary

ROMA Behind the Scenes
Carlos Somonte—NetflixBehind the scenes of ROMA by director Alfonso Cuarón.

Foreign Language Film

Capernaum \ Cold War \ Never Look Away \ Roma \ Shoplifters

The only scenario in which Roma doesn’t win this award is the one in which voters feel they’ve given it enough love for its directing, cinematography and overall achievement in the Best Picture field and make some room for the much lauded Cold War. But it’s hard to imagine a film that’s nominated in 10 categories not winning the one which, in less inclusive years past, might have been its only shot.

Music (Original Score)

Annapurna PicturesLayne and James light up If Beale Street Could Talk with a love that’s tested by society’s ills

Black Panther \ BlacKkKlansman \ If Beale Street Could Talk \ Isle of Dogs \ Mary Poppins Returns

Nicholas Britell’s gorgeous, emotional soundtrack to If Beale Street Could Talk is central to the film’s ability to communicate its story of a pure and resilient love. It’s even been, according to one Twitter user, the soundtrack to one baby’s entrance into the world. The biggest threat is probably Black Panther, but look for Britell, who was also nominated in 2017 for Moonlight, to take home his first Oscar.

Congrats!!!! 🍾🎊🎈♥️ https://t.co/MdgUVNUy1O

— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) January 7, 2019

Music (Original Song)

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in 'A Star is Born'
Clay Enos—Warner Bros.

“All the Stars” — Black Panther \ “I’ll Fight” — RBG \ “The Place Where Lost Things Go” — Mary Poppins Returns \ “Shallow” — A Star Is Born\ “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” — The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Early in the season, prognosticators thought A Star Is Born might sweep Oscar Sunday as easily as Jackson Maine swept Ally out of a drag bar and onto the big stage. But the only category in which it’s likely to win—and extremely likely, at that—is this one. A win for Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice might be the surest bet of the night—even though “Always Remember Us This Way” is the movie’s true unsung hit.

Read More: How A Star Is Born‘s Music Hit the Sweet Spot

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 9:34 am

We Taught a Computer Program to Predict the Oscars. Here’s the Movie It Says Will Win Best Picture

We predict that the Academy Award for Best Picture will be Roma, putting aside the fact that neither of us have seen it. Not to worry: The machine that whispered this prediction to us hasn’t seen it either.

Our oracle is a fairly simple computer program we wrote that accepts 69 years of data on major film awards, ignores all but the most predictive variables, and returns a statistical model that can predict past winners with extraordinary accuracy. Even in a chaotic year for Hollywood, the model is still bullish on Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón and streamed on Netflix, as the leading contender for the top honors, assigning it a score of 45.5 out of 100, which is four times higher than the closest competition.

That score represents the historical odds that films with the same accolades as Roma have gone on to win Best Picture, with one caveat: This model considers each film’s odds of success independently through the wide lens of history, not as an eight-way race among this year’s nominees. Thus, the probabilities we computed for 2019 do not sum to 100%.

In descending order, our prediction that each film wins is:

  1. Roma (45.5%)
  2. Vice, BlacKkKlansman and The Favourite (tied at 11.2% each)
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book (tied at 1.7%)
  4. A Star Is Born and Black Panther (tied at 0.2%)

Read more: Here’s Who Will Win at the 2019 Oscars

That’s the headline news, but there’s a better story here. Thanks to its elegance and simplicity, our model can tell us precisely why it thinks Cuarón’s drama will win. Its logic is enlightening even if its 2019 prediction turns out to be wrong. Of the 47 variables we fed the program, it ultimately only needed only three pieces of information to guess historical outcomes extremely well.

Those three key factors are:

  • Whether or not the film was also nominated for the Oscar for Best Director
  • Whether it was also nominated for the Oscar for Best Editing
  • Whether it won top honors from the Directors Guild of America, which is announced before the Oscars

Curiously, Roma has only two of these bona fides, given that it missed out on a nomination for Best Film Editing to five other Best Picture nominees. It survived on the power of Cuarón having already won the guild award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film, an honor dating back to 1948. In our data, which goes back to the award year 1950, we found that, of the 69 Best Picture winners since then, 54 won the DGA nod for best director as well. Only one—Driving Miss Daisy—didn’t at least get nominated, though this fact is not a detail that the model considers.

Winning the guild award, according to our approach, gives a movie 66 times better odds to win the Oscar for Best Picture when considered independent of other variables—the highest individual predictive power of any of the 47 factors we considered. That constellation of data points included whether the film (or individuals working on it, like actresses) was nominated for 14 other Academy Awards that are reasonably consistent going back to the 1950 ceremony, and whether it was nominated for and did or did not win 10 Golden Globes, six awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the one Directors Guild award.

Curiously, while the Golden Globes are at least casually scrutinized for hints of Oscar success, the model ignored everything we told it about the junior varsity honors, as well as the Academy’s British counterpart.

We are not the first to notice that the Oscar for Film Editing—which will be awarded this year during a commercial break—has a strong correlation to Best Picture. (Update: the Academy reversed the decision to air Film Editing off-screen.) What’s particularly powerful about deputizing one’s computer in making predictions is that it considers the predictive power of combinations of different awards, which is very difficult to notice on one’s own. The tincture of the two Oscars and the guild award is so powerful, in fact, that it is more accurate than the same trio plus the added contribution of the fourth-best predictor, which is a nomination for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

No matter how hard we pummeled the algorithm, written in open-source language R, that chooses the best model, running simulations for over an hour that forcibly overfeed it with more and more data to consider, we did not get any foie gras. The model only wanted three of the 47 entrees on the menu.

This runs against the grain of a common assumption about Big Data, which feeds astronomically more information into more complicated models under the rallying cry of Machine Learning: That the bigger the data, the better. Our approach could, at most, be called “Medium Data.” Medium Data—a phrase that, based on a Google search, a few others have also alighted on—is not a mere convenience when it comes to sitting around waiting for a model to run. It offers something extremely valuable that Big Data cannot: Human learning.

Because our approach culled only three variables from a list of 47 candidates in our model, we are able to look under the hood and actually learn something about moviedom: that good editors and great directors are indispensable to would-be Best Pictures, assuming you listen to the opinion of other directors.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we couldn’t be absolutely wrong this year. The model lives in a blissful world that is ignorant of the controversy around Green Book or the impenetrable politics inside the Academy. In fact, it doesn’t even know what a movie is, and we didn’t tell it. It didn’t need to, because unlike its bigger, smarter and moodier cousins in industrial-grade machine learning, it still knew how to talk back in a language we can understand.

Methodology

­The source data for the model was compiled and fact-checked using a variety of industry databases including IMDB and the unrelated OMDB. For the model, which is written in the open-source language R, we used a logistic regression powered by 47 variables and 381 films nominated for Best Picture between 1950 and 2018. The “we” we keep referring to is a tag-team of the director of data journalism at TIME and an assistant professor of statistics at Virginia Tech. Full disclosure: said tag-team, jointly known to their respective parents as “CW” and “CF,” have been collaborating, in one way or another, since they met, at age 2.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 8:59 am

Here’s a Look at How Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan Became Such Great Friends

Of the many blessings that Marvel’s Black Panther has bestowed upon us, the special friendship between Michael B. Jordan (who plays Erik Killmonger) and Lupita Nyong’o (who plays Nakia) might rank among the top. While the pair’s chummy antics while on the press tour for Black Panther and beyond (ranging from a hilarious push-up contest prank to some good ol’ fashioned social media trolling) have led some fans to “ship” Jordan and Nyong’o as a couple, their great friendship is something to root for in and of itself.

With Black Panther nominated for seven Academy Awards on Sunday night, including becoming the first superhero film to be nominated for a “Best Picture” Oscar, we’ll definitely be seeing more of Jordan and Nyong’o’s friendship play out on the red carpet. Now that it’s 2019 Academy Awards time∂, here’s a look back at how Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o became such close friends.

Friends that Travel Together, Stay Together

Never underestimate what traveling around the world to promote your new movie can do to bond you with your co-workers. Whether it was wearing matching pajamas or engaging in some impromptu karaoke, it’s clear that Jordan and Nyong’o had a blast traveling together.

A Good Sense of Humor Is the Foundation to Any Great Friendship

At least, that’s the conclusion we came to after seeing Jordan drop and give push-ups at Nyong’o’s command, to the delight of pretty much everyone. While it appears that this arrangement came about because of some sort of bet between the two, it’s clear that everyone else came out the true winners as witnesses to these feats.

Mutual Affirmations and Celebrations

Both Jordan and Nyong’o are generous with their admiration for one another, often taking to Instagram to share their compliments publicly, especially on the occasion of a birthday or career accomplishment.

A Healthy Appreciation for Each Other’s Company

Jordan and Nyong’o genuinely seem to enjoy hanging out with each other, which is good news since their fans enjoy watching them hang out with each other. This fact isn’t lost on the two, who coyly teased fans with a hilarious video clipped where they pretended to make out with each other at a 2019 Golden Globes after-party.

View this post on Instagram

And I'm still KING 👑 😂

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 21 Feb 2019 | 8:46 am

Gwyneth Paltrow counter-sues over 2016 skiing accident
The actress says she was not at fault over the accident and is seeking a symbolic $1 in damages.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 7:55 am

Topsy-turvy season gives Oscars a best picture cliffhanger
Hollywood's awards season reaches a climax at Sunday's Oscars with a cliffhanger over the top prize after a topsy-turvy best picture race marked by the fading of early favorites and the tantalizing question of whether Netflix can trump traditional movie studios.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 7:10 am

Actor Jussie Smollett arrested in Chicago: police spokesman
Actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested after he was charged with lying to police when he claimed he was attacked and beaten by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs, Chicago police said on Thursday on Twitter.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 6:52 am

Karl Lagerfeld: Designer's cat Choupette 'named in his will'
The late designer told a French magazine last year that his cat Choupette is one of his heirs.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 4:49 am

Oscars 2019: What this short speech winner did with his jet ski
Mark Bridges memorably won a prize for having the shortest speech last year, but what happened next?

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 21 Feb 2019 | 3:44 am

'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett charged with faking racist attack
Actor Jussie Smollett was charged on Wednesday with lying to police when he claimed he was attacked and beaten on the streets of Chicago by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs, police said on Wednesday as they sought his arrest.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 21 Feb 2019 | 2:18 am

Who gets to vote for the Oscars?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has had a recruitment drive in an attempt to diversify its ranks.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Feb 2019 | 11:55 pm

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's unexpected tribute
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have paid tribute to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, by swapping her with one of art history's most recognizable figures -- the Mona Lisa.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 20 Feb 2019 | 11:23 pm

Brits 2019: The real winners and losers
From worst-kept secret to most unlikely anecdote, these are the only Brit awards that really count.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Feb 2019 | 11:04 pm

Who will win and who should in a wide-open Oscars race
An unprecedented lack of consensus among the guilds representing actors, directors, writers and producers has flummoxed Oscar prognosticators, with more genuine uncertainty surrounding the best picture race than is usually the case this close to Sunday's ceremony.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 20 Feb 2019 | 8:02 pm

Oscars past might offer hope to host-free awards
Can the 91st Academy Awards be saved? Yes -- at least, grading on the curve that is the Oscar telecast, the mess that the Academy has made of things leading up to this year's show, and the low bar set by the last host-less Academy Awards in 1989.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 20 Feb 2019 | 8:01 pm

No host? No problem. Queen, Lady Gaga bring Grammys vibe to Oscars
There will not be a host and Sunday's Oscars ceremony will not open with the traditional monologue in which celebrities and politicians are skewered.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 20 Feb 2019 | 6:56 pm