ELLEN DEGENERES STAFFER SPEAKS ON ‘TOXIC’ HOST AS WIFE PORTIA DE ROSSI DEFENDS HER – (08/04/2020)
Dozens of Ellen DeGeneres Show employees have spoken out on the show’s “toxic” work environment, and claimed that racism, sexual harassment were rife and tacitly approved on-set. Ellen DeGeneres has sought to distance herself from the allegations, but former producer Hedda Muskat says she was well aware of the issues.
In an interview with The Wrap, Muskat explains she joined the show in 2003, when it was just beginning. She says a “culture of fear” was a problem from the get-go.
“I had never seen this before,” the Daytime Emmy Award winner, who previously worked on The Howie Mandel Show and The Martin Short Show, says. “I had never been around a toxic host.”
Muskat adds that exec producer Ed Glavin made the environment worse. When he “went off” on staffers, she remembers “waiting for Ellen to say something” to Glavin, but she allegedly “giggled” instead. Muskats continues: “She crossed her legs up on the chair and she said, ‘Well, I guess every production needs their dog.’ And from then we knew. Ed was going to be the barking dog — her dog. You could just see everybody’s faces go stiff. We’re professionals; we’re adults. We don’t need a dog to get us to do our jobs. … She was the only one giggling.”
She says she was let go, days before winning her first Emmy. “They call me in and Ed says, ‘Congratulations on the nomination. We really appreciate what you’ve done, but we no longer need your services,’” she recalls, noting that Glavin told her producers were “taking the show in a different direction.”
Warner Bros. is investigating misconduct at the show.
PORTIA DE ROSSI
De Rossi, meanwhile, is standing by her 62-year-old wife.
The 47-year-old writes on social media: “To all our fans….we see you. Thank you for your support,” adding the hashtags #stopbotattacks, #IStandWithEllenDeGeneres, #IStandByEllen, #IstandByEllenDeGeneres and #bekindtooneanother, the phrase with which DeGeneres closes out her show each day.
Other Hollywood insiders have not been as supportive. Comedian Kevin Porter dubbed her “notoriously one of the meanest people alive,” and Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson also slammed her. Other old friends and allies—from Jennifer Aniston to Oprah Winfrey to the Kardashians—have been silent.
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TAYLOR SWIFT BREAKS BILLBOARD RECORDS BY DEBUTING AT NO. 1 WITH BOTH ‘FOLKLORE’ & ‘CARDIGAN’ – (08/04/2020)
Taylor Swift has made history with her new album.
The 30-year-old singer debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with Folklore and the lead single “Cardigan” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Taylor is the first artist to ever debut at No. 1 on both of the charts.
“Cardigan” is Taylor’s second song to debut at No. 1 following 2014’s “Shake It Off.” Swift is the seventh artist with multiple No. 1 Hot 100 entrances, joining Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Drake, Ariana Grande (the leaders with three each), Travis Scott and Britney Spears (two each).
“Cardigan” is Taylor’s sixth song to reach the top of the Hot 100. Two other songs from Folklore have debuted in the Top 10 of the Hot 100. “The 1” debuted at No. 4 while “Exile” featuring Bon Iver debuted at No. 6.
Taylor is the first artist to debut three songs in the top six spots of the Hot 100 in a single week. She also now has more Hot 100 entries than any other female artist with 113 total entries. The only artists to have more are Drake with 224, the Glee cast with 207, and Lil Wayne with 169.
“Cardigan” sold 71,000 copies in its first week and was streamed 34 million times. It debuted at No. 1 on both the Top Digital Song Sales and Top Streaming Songs charts.
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ANREW LLOYD WEBBER DRAGS ‘CATS’ MOVIE – (08/04/2020)
Andrew Lloyd Webber has joined the vocal gang of Cats detractors. The 72-year-old composer, who wrote the musical that became a cultural juggernaut in the 1980s, opened up about his thoughts on the 2019 film in The Sunday Times.
He threw director Tom Hopper under the bus: “The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided, as he had with Les Mis, that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show. The whole thing was ridiculous.”
The film version of Cats starred Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, James Corden and was widely derided by critics, fans and even the stars themselves.
Dench told Vogue she looked “like a battered, mangy old cat.” Dench added, “A great big orange bruiser. What’s that about?”
Corden said he hasn’t seen it but that “I had the loveliest time making that film. It took me six days and I loved every single second of it. So I think you’ve got to be careful not to decide – you’ve got to decide things on your own personal experience. And I had a really great time. So I don’t regret it at all, because I decided to do it in the same way that I’ve decided to do many things. Some have worked, and some haven’t.”
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