Here's everything that's been happening in the world of Pop Culture this past week... in case you missed it! Feel free to comment on any of the stories and info shared here, add any news bits that you caught going on that may have been missed, or at least show us some love if you read the post but have nothing to comment on by clicking on that little heart icon at the bottom of the post...
GENERAL POP CULTURE NEWS:
- Comedian/actor/activist D.L. HUIGHLEY revealed he tested positive for Covid-19 after collapsing during a stand-up set in Nashville and being taken to a local area hospital. 2019 Serbian Tennis player NOVAK DJOKOVIC revealed he and his pregnant wife have both tested positive for Covid-19 after he attended a tennis tournament in Croatia and Serbia that he organized; several other tennis players and coaches that were also at the tournament tested positive as well. “American Idol” winner/country singer LAINE HARDY also revealed he has tested positive for Covid-19.
- Disney+ announced it will no longer offer free seven-day promotional trials. Disney stated it does not need to “dangle freebies to lure new customers” to the streaming service after signing up 54.5 million subscribers worldwide in its first six months. The announcement came two weeks before the streaming site is set to premiere the highly anticipated film recording of the live musical production of “Hamilton” starring the original Broadway cast.
- An abandoned bus made famous by the book and film “Into the Wild” has been removed by an Army National Guard chopper from its location in the Alaskan back country over fears it was “luring the public into danger”. The so-called “Magic Bus” has proven a lure for adventurers familiar with the book and film - which memorialized young philosopher CHRISTOPHER MCCANDLESS who starved to death at the site after rugged conditions prevented him from being able to get himself help; multiple people have drowned attempting to visit the site and roughly about 15 search-and-rescue missions are required every year to save hikers in the area. No decision has been made yet on what to do with the bus, but it was reported it may be put on display somewhere in the near future.
- A California Court of Appeals rules that a 2017 California law requiring subscription-based internet sites like IMDB take down the ages of actors should the actor request it, violates the First Amendment. The law, which had been supported by actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, was created with the intention of preventing age discrimination in Hollywood and when it was created it specifically noted an interview conducted with actress MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL where she plainly stated she was rejected from a role due to her age. IMDB sued just before the law went into effect, arguing it was unconstitutional. A federal judge sided with IMDB and struck down the law in 2018 which prompted the appeal.
- The organization Global Citizen, which was responsible for the “One World: Together at Home” special that aired in April, announced a new special has been organized, dubbed “Global Goal: United for Our Future - The Concert”. Actor DWAYNE JOHNSON will host the primetime telecast, which will not be a telethon like the last special but does aim to “combat the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on marginalized communities” and will put a focus on the need for testing and future vaccines to be made available for the less advantaged. “Global Goal: United for Our Future - The Concert”, which will feature artists including JUSTIN BIEBER, MILEY CYRUS, SHAKIRA, COLDPLAY, and J BALVIN, among others, will air globally on June 27th on tv, radio, and streaming sites including NBC and iHeartMedia in the US.
- Segway announced it is ending production of its two-wheeled personal transporter vehicles.
- Pop singer JUSTIN BIEBER is suing two anonymous Twitter users who have accused him of sexual assault. Bieber adamantly denied the accusations, sharing specific details on his whereabouts on the days of the two alleged incidents including receipts and stated, “Rumors are rumors but sexual abuse is something I don’t take lightly. I wanted to speak out right away but out of respect to so many victims who deal with these issues daily I wanted to make sure I gathered the facts before I made any statement.” Bieber has filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against the two women, who called themselves Danielle and Kadi on Twitter (they are listed in the lawsuit as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 because their real names are not known).
- NASA will rename its D.C. headquarters after MARY W. JACKSON, the space program’s first Black female engineer. It has been said that late former astronaut JOHN GLENN trusted Jackson’s mathematical skills to such a degree he asked her to personally double check the math of the NASA computers before he was launched into space on the Friendship 7. Jackson, who was portrayed by singer/actress JANELLE MONAE in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures”, died in 2005 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019.
- NAMES, HASHTAGS, MEMES, AND TRENDS FROM THIS PAST WEEK -
‘Ring of Fire’ eclipse; #VogueChallenge; Saharan dust cloud; #IStandWithBubba
- THIS WEEK IN SPORTS -
- A rash of new Covid-19 cases across professional and college sports teams have called into question the ability for sports teams to start or resume their seasons. Three Major League Baseball teams had to shutter their spring training facilities amid the league’s attempts to come to an agreement to start some semblance of a 2020 season, all due to multiple new Covid-19 cases being diagnosed among players and other employees. The National Hockey League announced 11 players who entered team facilities for voluntary training have since tested positive for Covid-19. Several college football teams have had to cancel voluntary workouts after multiple student-athletes were diagnosed with Covid-19. And the National Basketball Association is trying to go ahead with plans to hold the remainder of its season and playoffs in Orlando, Florida which will include isolating teams, are growing concerned by the fact that the state’s number of cases are on the rise, which will make it more difficult to keep players and staff safe as they attempt to train and eventually hope to play. Dr. ANTHONY FAUCI, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned that “unless players are essentially in a bubble - insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day” it may be near impossible for team sports, such a football, to go forward this year, especially if a second wave of Covid-19 occurs in the fall and is compounded by the usual cold and flu season.
- Horse Racing: Heavily favored TIZ THE LAW won the Belmont Stakes. The race, which usually is the last leg of the Triple Crown, is the first of the Triple Crown races to be held this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic (The Kentucky Derby is currently set to run on September 5th and the Preakness Stakes is currently set to run on October 3rd); the typically 1 1/2 -mile race was shortened to account for competitors’’ unusual training schedules and was run with only trainers, media, and park staff in attendance and everyone, including the jockeys, required to wear face masks . Tiz The Law is the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont since FORESTER in 1882. DR. POST finished in second and MAX PLAYER came in third.
- MLB: Major League Baseball Commissioner ROB MANFRED announced he will impose a shortened 2020 season after negotiations between the league’s owners and the players union fell apart. Opening Day is now expected to be on or around July 24th and the regular season will be 60 games.
- Running: The 2020 New York City Marathon has been cancelled. The annual race was scheduled to take place in early November as usual but organizers were concerned about the prospect of a second wave of Covid-19 cases in the fall and felt they had to make a call on the race now before preparations would start to begin.
- AWARDS UPDATE -
- Golden Globes: The 2021 Golden Globe Awards will take place on February 28, 2021, the date the Oscars had originally been scheduled before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences decided to shift the award show back to April due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The Hollywood Foreign Press, who hand out the Golden Globes, had yet to pick an official date for the annual ceremony which usually takes place at the beginning of January.
- POLITICS-R-US -
- US: Texas Governor GREG ABBOTT warned he may have to issue another shutdown due to the spreading of Covid-19 occurring at an “unacceptable rate” in the state. Texas has seen 10 straight days of record hospitalization records. Miami, Florida announced it will not move into the next phase of reopening because of concern over the rise in Covid-19 cases in the city and across the state. The state of Louisiana also has paused reopening plans, deciding to remain in “phase 2” for 28 more days amid a rise in cases there. North Carolina is pausing their reopening, staying in “phase 2” for three more weeks due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the state; they also announced they will start to require face masks be worn in public. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut collectively announced they will impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine on any visitors or returning residents coming from any other state that currently has a 10% or higher rate of Covid-19 infections over a 7-day rolling average - the ban would currently apply to anyone travelling from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Virginia is creating pandemic workplace safety mandates for all employers to follow to keep workers from contracting Covid-19 on the job.
- US: Several high-ranking officials in the US Justice Department has announce their resignations in recent weeks including two this week - The head of the Justice Department’s criminal division and the US Solicitor General. The news comes amid a public skirmish between US Attorney General WILLIAM BARR and the Attorney General for the Southern District of New York JEFFERY BERMEN - who was responsible for overseeing multiple cases against several associates of President DONALD TRUMP - after Barr publicly announced Bermen was resigning even though Bermen had done no such thing. Bermen publicly stated he would not step down from the position which led to Barr firing him allegedly with President Trump’s backing although Trump refused to admit he was behind Bermen’s firing.
- ON BROADWAY/ THE WEST END -
- A Broadway revival of the musical “The Music Man” headlined by actor HUGH JACKMAN has been set for a spring 2021 opening.
- THE BOOK NOOK -
- “Outlander” book series author DIANA GABALDON confirmed that a prequel to the book series focusing on main “Outlander” character Jamie Fraser’s parents, Ellen and Brian Fraser, is in the works. Galbadon is currently working on her ninth “Outlander” novel, titled “Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone”, but promised fans the prequel is in progress.
- Netflix sci-fi drama series “Stranger Things” and film franchise “Bill & Ted” are both releasing new comic books - “Stranger Things Meets Dungeons and Dragons” will continue to build on the show’s ongoing storyline while “Bill & Ted Are Doomed” is reportedly a prequel to the upcoming film “Bill & Ted Face the Music”, the third installment in the franchise.
- A federal judge ruled former Trump Administration National Security Advisor JOHN BOLTON’s tell-all style memoir, “The Room Where It Happened” can still be published, though Bolton was rebuked by the judge for having “gambled” with the security of the country by not securing final approval from national intelligence authorities. The Trump Administration sought to block the book’s release, claiming the book endangered national security and broke confidentiality rules within the administration. In the ruling, the judge contended that while Bolton has “exposed the country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability”, the government “failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm” and noted that there were already copies of the book in circulation through newsrooms and snippets on the internet so “there is no restoring the status quo”.
- Author GEORGE R.R. MARTIN shared that he has made steady progress on “The Winds of Winter”, the sixth installment to his “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy book series that spawned the HBO tv series “Game of Thrones”. Martin said the enforced isolation from the Covid-19 pandemic helped him write more of the long-awaited novel and he now projects the book should be completed in 2021.
- TECH TALK -
- Twitter has permanently banned controversial British right-wing columnist KATIE HOPKINS after she breached the social media site’s “hateful conduct policy”.
- Epic Games has removed police cars from “Fortnite”.
- Comcast-backed pay-tv UK broadcaster Sky has added an ‘outdated attitudes’ disclaimer to at least 16 films available via Sky Cinema, including “Jungle Book”, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and “The Last Samurai”. Disney+, whose content is available on Sky in the UK, also has posted similar disclaimers on some films including listing the original “Jungle Book” ‘contains outdated cultural depictions’.
- Paramount and Nickelodeon’s animated adventure feature “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” is skipping its planned theatrical debut and will instead launch on premium digital rental services in early 2021 before landing exclusively on CBS All Access.
- The Disney+ release of the film of the original stage production of Broadway musical “Hamilton” has received a PG-13 rating due to “language and some suggestive material”. The original stage show features multiple expletives that would’ve warranted an R rating, but since Disney rarely releases R-rated films, the expletives have been censored or edited out, save for one f-word, per show creator LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, hence the PG-13 rating.
- Universal Pictures reportedly plans to reboot the weather-themed blockbuster “Twister”.
- Warner Bros. has once again pushed back director CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’s espionage epic “Tenet”, moving the film’s release date back to August 12th. The film had first been set for release on July 17th before being pushed back to July 31st to give theaters additional time to open and get running smoothly under new safety protocols. The studio is now citing new spikes in Covid-19 cases causing some movie theaters, particularly in bigger cities like Los Angeles and New York City, to push back their reopening and the studio does not want to lost out on potential revenue from such markets.
- MOVIE CASTING UPDATE -
- Actress CLAIRE FOY will star in the psychological horror film “Dust”.
- Actor GERARD BUTLER will headline the action film “Kandahar”.
- Actress EMMA ROBERTS and comedian/actor JACK WHITEHALL will costar in the comedy “Robots”.
- YouTube personality/reality star JOJO SIWA will lead the adaptation of the MEGAN SHULL novel “Bounce”.
- Actor JONNY LEE MILLER and rapper/actor COMMON have been added to the cast of the KEKE PALMER-led thriller “Alice”.
- Actors DEMI MOORE, CRAIG ROBINSON, PAUL WALTER HAUSER, and PETER STORMARE have been cast in the pandemic-themed thriller “Songbird”.
- Actress/director ELIZABETH BANKS will play Ms. Frizzle in a live-action “The Magic School Bus” movie, based on the ‘90s animated series.
- Multiple episodes of former NBC comedy series “30 Rock” are being removed from streaming sites (such as Hulu and Amazon Prime), digital purchase platforms (such as iTunes and Google Play), and traditional syndication at the request of series creator/star TINA FEY and show runner ROBERT CARLOCK due to their depiction of blackface. Fey stated, “As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” adding, “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for the pain they have caused.” Also, three episodes of former NBC/Fox comedy series “Scrubs” have also been pulled from streaming services due to the depiction of blackface.
- Former YouTube Premium “Karate Kid” spinoff series “Cobra Kai” has found a new home at Netflix ahead of the show’s third season. The first two seasons of the series will be made available on Netflix later this year before season 3’s premiere, which has yet to be officially set. “Cobra Kai” was left without a home after YouTube Premium effectively shut down once it was decided the video sharing site would no longer make original series; season 3 of “Cobra Kai” was already greenlit and filmed by the time of that decision.
- Producer RYAN MURPHY’s recently announced “American Horror Stories” anthology series and adaptation of “Y: The Last Man” are now both being produced for FX on Hulu rather than for the FX cable channel.
- Netflix made a surprise turn-around this week on the comic book-based series “Lucifer”, renewing it for a sixth season after previously announcing the show’s fifth season would be its last. Netflix, which picked up the series in 2018 for its 4th season after previously airing on Fox for three seasons, announced that the sixth season will now be the show’s final season. Series star TOM ELLIS will return and all other series regulars are expected to return as well. No episode count was announced for the final season.
- TV CASTING UPDATE -
- TV host MIKE ROWE will return to the Discovery channel with the “Dirty Jobs” sequel series “Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip”. The new series will premiere on July 7th.
- Actress KRISTEN BELL will no longer voice mixed race character Molly Tillerman in the forthcoming Apple TV+ animated series “Central Park”. The series’ creative team noted they will recast with a Black or mixed race actress and Bell will take on a new role on the series.
- Actress JENNY SLATE will no longer voice the Black character Missy the Netflix animated series “Big Mouth”. The series plans to recast the role with a Black actress.
- TV RENEWALS* AND PICKUPS/EXTENSIONS** -
* “The Great North”, Fox, renewed for season 2 ahead of season 1 premiere
* “#blackAF”, Netflix, renewed for season 2
* “Lucifer”, Netflix, renewed for a sixth and final season
- TV CANCELLATIONS* AND TRIMMED/NOT-EXTENDED SEASONS** -
* “Council of Dads”, NBC, cancelled after one season
- Late NIRVANA frontman KURT COBAIN’s 1959 Martin D-18E guitar used in the band’s iconic “MTV Unplugged” performance was sold at auction for a record $6.01 million. The previous record for a guitar sold at auction was the $3.95 million fetched for a Black Stratocaster that had previously been owned by PINK FLOYD’s DAVID GILMOUR. Pre-auction bids for Cobain’s guitar already reached $1 million before bidding officially opened; the guitar received seven bids in total, including the winning bid, per Julien’s Auctions.
- The family of late rocker TOM PETTY objected to President DONALD TRUMP’s use of Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down” at his re-election campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the weekend, saying the campaign was not authorized to use the song and that the family has sent a cease and desist letter to the campaign threating legal action if they do not stop using the song.
- Country trio THE DIXIE CHICKS announced they are dropping “Dixie” from their group name and will go forward just as THE CHICKS. The group, which has been under pressure to change their name since the word “Dixie” often refers to the southern states that seceded from the Union to form the short-lived Confederacy, acknowledged a New Zealand group of the same name, stating, “A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to The Chicks of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock!”
- LAST WEEK’S NEW #1 SINGLES AND ALBUMS AROUND THE WORLD –
Australia (ARIA): Song – “Rockstar” by DABABY ft. RODDY RICCH; Album - “Akilotoa (Anthology 1994 - 2006)” by VIKA & LINDA
France (Digital Song Sales): Song – “Trollz” by 6IX9INE & NICKI MINAJ
Germany: Song – “Emotions” by UFO361; Album – “Das Album” by THOMAS ANDERS & FLORIAN SILBEREISEN
Greece: Album – “Greatest Hits Vol. I & II” by BILLY JOEL
Ireland (IRMA): Song – “Rockstar” by DABABY ft. RODDY RICCH; Album - “MTV Uplugged” by LIAM GALLAGHER
Italy: Song – “Karaoke” by BOOMDABASH & ALESSANDRA AMOROSO; Album - “Vita Vera Mixtape” by TEDUA
Japan (Hot 100): Song – “Kanzai Boya” by KINKI KIDS
Mexico (Airplay): Song – “ADMV” by MALUMA
Spain (Digital Song Sales): Song – “Prometo” by PABLO ALBORAN
US (Billboard): Song – “Trollz” by 6IX9INE & NICKI MINAJ; Album - “My Turn” by LIL BABY
UK (UK Official): Song – “Rockstar” by DABABY ft. RODDY RICCH; Album - “MTV Unplugged” by LIAM GALLAGHER
We've spent so much time at home this year, we're starting to blend in with our furniture...https://www.buzzfeed.com/salb34/what-random-object-in-the-house-are-you-81gs5okggi?origin=web-hf
"How very!" Indeed...https://www.buzzfeed.com/victoriagasparowicz/heathers-quiz?bfsource=bfocompareon