Entertainment News

ELLEN DEGENERES ADDRESSES TOXIC ALLEGATIONS, PROMISES TO CHANGE

Ellen DeGeneres is grappling with the controversies surrounding her show head-on. The iconic host returned to the air Monday with her first episode since she and her show were investigated by Warner Bros. for allowing a "toxic" work environment fester. Charges included sexual harassment, racism and bullying. Three executive producers have been fired.

In the opener of Season 18, DeGeneres said: "If you're watching, because you love me, thank you. If you're watching it because you don't love me, welcome. How was everybody's summer? Good. Yeah, mine was great. Terrific. I'm so happy to be back in the studio. There are a lot of things I want to talk about. I've been looking forward to addressing it all directly and unfortunately talking directly to people has been illegal for six months."

DeGeneres continued: "As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show. And then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say, I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I'm in a position of privilege and power. I realized that with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show. This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there. My name is there. My name is on underwear. We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes. And today we are starting a new chapter."

NOT A PHONY

DeGeneres also discussed the claims that her "be kind" persona is fake. "There were also articles in the press and on social media that said that I am not who I appear to be on TV because I became known as the 'Be Kind Lady,'" she continued. "And here's how that happened. I started saying 'be kind to one another' after a young man named Tyler Clemente took his own life after being bullied for being gay. I thought the world needed more kindness. And it was a reminder that we all needed that. And I think we need it more than ever right now. Being known as the 'Be Kind Lady' is a tricky position to be in. So let me give you some advice out there. If anybody's thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the 'Be Kind Lady.'"

She added: "The truth is I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things. I sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress and I'm especially working on the impatience thing because, and it's not going well because it's not happening fast enough. I am a talk show host and you know that. But maybe some of you know I was an actress. I've played a straight woman in movies. So I'm a pretty good actress. I don't think that I'm that good that I could come out here every day for 17 years and fool you. This is me. And my intention is to always be the best person I can be. And if I've ever let someone down, if I've ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that. If that's ever the case, I have let myself down and I've hurt myself as well, because I always try to grow as a person. I look at everything that comes into my life as an opportunity to learn. I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good."

The show's premiere included an interview with Tiffany Haddish; this week will also see appearances from Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin, SuperM and Kris Jenner.

AUDIO: ELLEN DEGENERES ON CONTROVERSY

MEGHAN MARKLE DENIES COLLABORATING WITH 'FINDING FREEDOM' AUTHORS

The authors of Finding Freedom, a royal biography about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, that many see as overwhelmingly positive, has been dragged into a legal battle involving the Sussexes and the publishers of the Mail on Sunday.

In a London hearing Monday, lawyers for the Mail allege that Meghan collaborated with Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, and "caused or permitted information to be provided directly or indirectly to, and co-operated with, the authors of the Book, including by giving or permitting them to be given information about the Letter, before the publication of the Articles complained about; and giving or permitting them to be given a great deal of other information about her personal life, in order to set out her own version of events in a way that is favourable sic to her."

They describe the book as "focussing on events in their lives, including their private lives, since their relationship began and which gives the appearance of having been written with their extensive co-operation."

Lawyers say the book contains "a number of passages referring to her relationship and communications with her father, and a section referring to the Letter which is at the heart of this case."

The Duchess is suing for breach of privacy after the Mail published portions of a letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle. The Mail has argued that they published only after friends of Meghan's mentioned the article in interviews with People magazine. Thomas says he allowed the letter to be published so he could "defend" himself.

‘EXTENSIVE COOPERATION'

Monday's filing argues that if she "provided extensive cooperation to the authors and permitted a detailed account of her private life, relationships, thoughts and feelings to be published, including references to her relationship and communications with her father, it is difficult to see how she can complain that the Letter should not have been published because 'it contained the Claimant's deepest and most private thoughts and feelings.'"

But Meghan's team is responding, saying that she "and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the Book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the Book." Her legal team also claim that "neither the Claimant nor her husband spoke to the authors 'for the purposes of the Book.'"

The trial is set to kick off January 11, 2021.


CELEBRITY GOSSIP

GOT STAR MAY MISS SON'S BIRTH DUE TO COVID: Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is hoping for good news as he awaits the birth of his son. The Game of Thrones alum shared that he is finishing up a quarantine after coming into contact with someone who had COVID. He wrote on IG: "If I am positive it will mean a further 14-day quarantine. Unfortunately this means there is a chance I will miss the birth of my son and unable to be beside my wife to support her as she gives birth and welcomes him to the world."

CHRIS ROCK TALKS LEARNING DISORDER: Chris Rock was diagnosed at age 55 with a learning disorder that makes it tough for him to pick up on non-verbal cues. He tells The Hollywood Reporter that the issue may be partially to blame for his split in 2016 from Malaak Compton after 20 years of marriage. He said: "Any time someone would respond to me in a negative way, I'd think, ‘Whatever, they're responding to something that has to do with who they think I am.' Now, I'm realizing it was me. A lot of it was me."

DENISE RICHARDS TALKS RHOBH: Denise Richards is opening up after news broke that she will not return to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. "I had a great first season. The second season was challenging," the 49-year-old actress said on The Real on Monday, September 21. "I just thought it was the right time for me to go and to just keep focusing on the other projects that I have. I had a great time. I will always be a fan and I will continue to support the show." Richards also said she'd consider returning to reality TV. "Absolutely. Never say never," the former It's Complicated star said. "I love that things have changed."

TAREK EL MOUSSA IS LOVING LIFE: As his ex Christina Anstead shares the news that she and her husband Ant are splitting a year after welcoming their son Hudson, Tarek El Moussa posted about his fabulous life. The Flipping 101 host wrote of his "dream life" with Selling Sunset star and fiancé Heather Rae Young, "I'm just so excited about life!! I'm in love, I'm engaged, Flipping 101 is on the air and Flip or Flop is on the way. I'm telling you...it's possible to accomplish those things you have been dreaming of! I dreamed of this life and I got it by believing I could do it and working my tail off!! If there is something you want just go for it! I'm yelling at you to chase your dreams!"

WENDY WILLIAMS IS BACK: Wendy Williams returned to her eponymous talk show Monday, showing off a 25-pound weight-loss. "Food became disgusting to me," she explained. "I was cooking at first and it was all good, I was shoveling stuff in my mouth." But then when she knew she was headed to the doctor's office, and she lost even more weight than she thought. "I haven't weighed this little since high school," she recalled. "I feel really good, but I'm just alone in my romance." She finalized her divorce from Kevin Hunter at the beginning of the year.

TEDDI MELLENCAMP AXED? Teddi Mellencamp is on the chopping block after three seasons on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, according to The Daily Mail. The insider said: "She is boring and stale and does not offer anything to the franchise with her robotic and staged delivery when interacting with the other cast members. The issue is, the other cast members don't particularly like her and beyond Kyle Richards no one is friends with her."


CLAUDIA JORDAN SAYS WINE COMPANY FIRED HER FOR SUPPORTING BLM AS PORSHA WILLIAMS SPEAKS OUT

Claudia Jordan is claiming that Just Peachy wine gave her the boot for supporting Black Lives Matter. The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum filed a suit Monday against Biagio Cru and Estate Wines in the Southern District of New York, and it claims that her support of the social justice movement caused the company to terminate her contract in late 2018.

Biagio stopped paying her and attempted to "terminate the contract due to Jordan's alleged support for the ‘Black Lives Matter' movement," the documents obtained by Page Six allege.

Jordan adds that the company told her that her social media posts were "too slanted," but that they unlawfully ended their contract because they "did not agree with Jordan's political views on racial issues in 2018."

"Jordan contends that race placed a part in Biagio's actions. We will see what a jury has to say about it," Jordan's attorney, tells Page Six in a statement. "Attempting to terminate contracts in support of African-Americans against police brutality is not something I think the public will tolerate."

She is seeking $500K in damages.

PORSHA WILLIAMS

Meanwhile, in other RHOA news, Porsha Williams wrote an essay for People in which she bemoans the fact that she has "had more jail time than the cops who killed Breonna Taylor." She wrote the essay to share her perspective on the BLM movement, and her support for Taylor, who was gunned down in her own home by police. Williams has been hit with tear gas and arrested multiple times for BLM protests.

Williams wrote: "We are fighting so hard for Breonna because she, like many others, has become a face of our movement. In the fight for Breonna, we can't forget that this could have been or could be any one of us. Justice for Breonna isn't the final step, but it is an important and crucial one."

She continued: "If the officers are ultimately arrested, Breonna Taylor will still be gone. Her beautiful mother that I got to meet in Kentucky will still grieve for the loss of her daughter. Yet by achieving justice we not only get closure for Breonna's family, we also get one step closer to the ultimate goal: equality. I am here to use my voice, my platform, my body and my being to get justice for Breonna Taylor, an African-American Queen. And as we continue to wait on the results of the attorney general's investigation, we need to continue to use our voices, our platform and our love in order to call for and get that justice. Breonna's change.org petition has received over 10 million signatures and nothing has been done. Keep signing and keep letting them hear us."


SAMANTHA BEE REVEALS EMMYS CONSOLATION PRIZE AS RATINGS DROP

There were more losers than winners at the Emmys Sunday night, but this time around, the Television Academy did give out consolation prizes. After losing out to Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Full Frontal host Samantha Bee shared a peek into the mysterious Emmys box.

"BREAKING: Here's what's in the box #Emmys2020," the official Full Frontal Twitter captions a video revealing the contents, which, when Bee busted it open with a butterknife, revealed another box festooned with the Emmys logo. Inside, no Emmy, but a bottle of sparkling wine.

She said she'd wait as a friend looked up the price tage ... When she discovers the $28 bottle of Ferrari inside the "little coffin" she is decidedly unimpressed, eventually collapsing in frustrated laughter.

RATINGS
Meanwhile, it seemed fewer viewers than ever tuned into watch the Emmys, Variety reports. Per early numbers, the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted show, which snagged massive victories for Schitt's Creek, Watchmen and Succession, scored a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49, and 5.1 million viewers overall. The numbers represent a 14% dip year-over-year.


PRINCESS DIANA BLAMES PRINCE CHARLES' 'EMOTIONAL RETENTIVENESS' ON CHILDHOOD

The late Princess Diana once said that the only thing her ex-husband Prince Charles "learned about love was shaking hands." Those claims and others are being laid out in a new biography, Prince Philip Revealed, excerpted by the Mail on Sunday.

Royal scribe Ingrid Seward blamed Charles' parents—Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip—on the fact that he "couldn't be tactile with his own wife."

Diana allegedly blamed Charles' "emotional retentiveness" on his parents.

"Diana reckoned that if Charles had been brought up in the normal fashion, he would have been better able to handle his and her emotions."

"Instead, she said, his feelings seemed to have been suffocated at birth," Seward continues. "According to her, he never had any hands-on love from his parents. Only his nannies showed him affection but that, as Diana explained, was not the same as being kissed and cuddled by your parents, which Charles never was. When he met his parents, they didn't embrace: they shook hands."

"Even when judged by the standards of the time, Philip and Elizabeth saw remarkably little of their offspring," she writes.

Philip was often away, and only attended two of his first eight birthday parties. The Queen left Charles, 2, with his sister Princess Anne, 4 months, one year to celebrate Christmas with Philip in Malta.

The book will be published in the U.S. on October 20th.


INDUSTRY NEWS

THE CROODS TRAILER DROPS: DreamWorks has released a trailer for its upcoming animated film The Croods: A New Age. Emma Stone's character Eep introduces the Croods as they search for the "perfect place to call home." They discover the perfect digs, only to discover the Bettermans already live there. Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener and Cloris Leachman also star, along with new recruits Kelly Marie Tran, Leslie Mann and Peter Dinklage. The Croods drops November 25th.

DISNEY PLOTS MERCH BLITZ FOR THE MANDALORIAN: When the Mandalorian premiered in November 2019, Baby Yoda became a global obsession, but fans were not able to buy Yoda toys because of the secrecy surrounding the new character. As Disney prepares to bow the second season October 30th, a merchandizing blitz is planned, with new products debuting every seven days for nine weeks on Mando Mondays, from October 26-December 21. Toys, books, comics and apparel will all be rolled out.

IN MEMORIUM SNUBS: While many late stars were honored during the Emmys' In Memoriam segment, Kelly Preston, Kobe Bryant and Nick Cordero were overlooked, many pointed out afterwards. Among those honored: Regis Philbin, Naya Rivera, James Lipton, Jerry Stiller, Kirk Douglas and Chadwick Boseman.

FUSE MEDIA SNAGS TRANS MAKEOVER SERIES: Fuse Media has snapped up the transgender makeover series Clothes Minded for the U.S. from Canadian LGBTQ TV channel OUTtv and Vice Studios. The series will tackle gender identity and help trans and gender nonconforming people find a look that reflects their inner selves. Model and activist Richie Shazam and musician and activist Lucas Silveira will host Clothes Minded.


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