Bill Murray, 71, is a Hollywood icon with a career that has expanded for decades. He first rose to prominence in the late 70s replacing Chevy Chase on the late-night sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live (also known as SNL). From there, he transitioned into acting, starring in cult classics that have expanded generations. His performance in the romantic comedy-drama film, Lost in Translation garnered critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In recent news, reports share that production on Murray’s latest film, Being Mortal, has been suspended due to allegations that the Ghostbusters star has conducted inappropriate behavior while on set.
In a letter sent by the movie studio, Searchlight Pictures, to the cast and crew of the film, it states as its reason to halt production, “Late last week, we were made aware of a complaint, and we immediately looked into it.” Although it is unclear as of the time of this writing what exactly Murray has been accused of doing to cause filming on the project to be halted, Searchlight has launched an investigation into the matter and has not yet commented on the details of said investigation. The studio further stated in their letter as far as when filming will resume, “We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project. Our hope is to resume production and [we] are working with Aziz and [producer Youree Henley] to figure out that timing. Production will be in touch with you to share details on the wrap, and we will let you know as soon as we have more information to share.”
The film started its production on March 28 and is reportedly halfway through filming. Whether Murray will be replaced or not, for this reason, has yet to be determined as well as whether the suspension will affect its 2023 release date. Being Mortal marks the directorial debut of actor Aziz Ansari and stars fellow actors Seth Rogan and Keke Palmer.
Abron’s Hot Take
Now, on the surface, it would appear that Murray is a pretty standup guy. I mean you don’t maintain a career this long in Hollywood if you’re a complete jerk; however, there are exceptions to the rule. This isn’t the first time that the actor has been accused of bad behavior. There have been multiple stories from directors and costars alike, who have shared their experiences of aggressive actions and insults hurled towards them by Murray that they have deemed disrespectful if not abusive. In 2021, actress Lucy Liu, 53, opened up about the verbal insults she suffered from Murray on the set of the 2000 action-comedy film, Charlie’s Angels.
So, it’s a bit hard not to believe that the latest complaints on the set of Being Mortal have some element of truth to them and that Murray is in fact the culprit of the “inappropriate behavior.” There are just so many questions to ask about why exactly does Bill Murray find it necessary to berate, insult, or physically attack his costars? Is this a form of a superiority complex? Is he facing personal demons that he refuses to get help for and would rather take his anger out on those around him? Is he suffering from a mental health disorder? There are just so many ways to look at this. But what I will say is that under no circumstances whatsoever, regardless of if the answer to any of the questions asked above is yes, is it ever okay to behave the way Murray has.
We know of the pressures that celebrities face and how it can become isolating and has caused many others to suffer nervous breakdowns. I’m empathetic to their plight. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have eyes on you all of the time, cameras in your face 24/7, and strangers judging your every move and dissecting every word you say. However, with any job, you have to take the good with the bad and if Bill has learned nothing in his nearly five-decade career, you would think it is how to treat people.
The man is 71 years old. At this point, he should be at a stage in his life where he’s working for the pure enjoyment of it all. He has nothing to prove as he’s built a career that most aspiring actors can only dream of. What is the reason for his negative behavior? Here’s a piece of advice Mr. Murray…if working with others has proven to become an issue for you – if you find that sharing in the human experience with others is too much, then perhaps you might want to consider retirement. That way, you never have to work with actors you hate – take instruction from directors you despise, and in return, those same individuals can come to work feeling safe and not having to worry if they’ll have objects thrown at them or forced to listen to your diatribes at their expense. It’s a win-win if you ask me.
It’s known as “the slap heard around the world.” On March 27, 2022, during the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony, actor Will Smith, 53, made headlines but for all the wrong reasons. Forty-plus minutes before Smith would go on to win his first Oscar for Best Actor for his leading role in King Richard, he stormed the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock, 57, across the face after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, 50. Before presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary, Rock joked about Pinkett-Smith’s bald head saying “Jada, GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” referring to the film GI Jane starring Demi Moore who donned a short haircut, similar to the one Pinkett-Smith has had as of late.
Smith was seen on camera seemingly laughing at the joke while Pinkett-Smith was caught rolling her eyes, visibly annoyed by the comedian and the joke she deemed unfunny. As Rock continued with his presentation, Smith was seen walking toward him. As Rock began to laugh, assumably thinking Smith was approaching him for friendly banter, he was struck across the face. Smith, upon returning to his seat was heard shouting expletives at Rock saying, “keep my wife’s name out your f****in mouth.” What was thought as a comedy bit between the two men was proven to be a reality. Rock, to his credit, continued presenting the award and moving the show forward but the awkwardness of the moment was there to stay for the remainder of the night for both the viewers and the live audience of actors, producers, directors, and nominees whose categories had not yet been presented.
What ensued after, was public shock and outrage. Did that really just happen? This is the question most people asked themselves. Smith apologized to Rock via Instagram citing Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia condition as the reason for his reaction. He also decided to resign from the Academy after they announced the launch of their own review to determine what consequences he should face as a result of his behavior. On Friday, April 8, 2022, the Academy Board of Governors released their official statement banning the I am Legend actor from attending the Academy Awards and all future Academy events for the next 10 years. Specifically, the statement reads, “The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.” In his response, Smith accepted his fate saying, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
At the time of this writing, Rock has not made an official statement addressing the matter but was seen on video during the kickoff of his Ego Death tour saying in part, about the incident, “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point, I’ll talk about that s***. And it will be serious and funny.”
Abron’s Hot Take
Now, I wasn’t going to address this issue simply because it’s been discussed ad nauseum at this point. I sort of shared the same sentiment as Daniel Radcliffe in that I became bored with the story and the many opinions from spectators; however, I knew more information would be coming down the pipeline which is what I was moreso interested in. As it pertains to the punishment itself, I lean more on the side that it was fair. Firstly, regardless of what side you stand on regarding Will Smith’s actions (yes, there are people out there who feel that Smith was justified in attacking Rock), you know that with every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. Smith was going to face consequences no matter what. That’s just the nature of how the world works.
Now, I never thought that Smith would have his Oscar taken away (this was a possible consequence discussed in the media), but I did think the Academy would reprimand him, even though I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like. Seeing as though Smith resigned from the Academy on his own volition, there really wasn’t much that could have been done on the Academy’s end. We can speculate that maybe he would have received a shorter ban period but there’s no way to know that for sure. No matter how you slice it, Smith committed an offense that most people would have been arrested for and he did it on live television in front of the whole world. Not to mention, his doubling down and justification of his actions during his acceptance speech, partying after the ceremony as if nothing happened, and his delayed apology to the victim in all of this, Chris Rock, could also be seen as aggravating factors that led to the Academy needing to make an example out of him.
If you’re familiar with Smith, then you would know that he’s actually already suffering the biggest punishment which is falling out of favor with the public. For thirty-plus years, the carefully curated image of Will Smith has been that of the “good guy.” He’s always been known as one of the nicest people in Hollywood but now, this one night has changed that forever. Will it impact his career forever? Most likely not because America loves a comeback story so there is still room for him to redeem himself. However, as of right now, Smith has fallen out of favor with some of his fans, peers, and Hollywood in general. His Oscar win will forever be remembered for the actions that led before him winning and that image he’s worked so hard to craft now has a stain on it that will be etched in pop-culture history in perpetuity. He will indeed feel the heat and things will get worse before they get better as that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. What Smith must now ask himself is, was it worth it? Were those 2.5 seconds of impetuousness worth the trouble that he’s gotten himself into? Would he have fared better had he pulled Chris Rock to the side after the ceremony and addressed his issues with the joke or better yet, used his acceptance speech as a moment to address Jada’s condition with alopecia – explaining then why the joke was not to be laughed at? Hindsight is 20/20. So, although he may have slapped Chris physically, it is Will who has now been slapped back professionally. Again, was it worth it?
At the end of the day, one man was publicly humiliated for the world to see and the other, is now facing a public backlash that was unnecessary from the get-go. But the Academy did what was necessary considering the circumstances and Will must face the music. We all have to at some point.
On the eve of the upcoming Academy Awards (Oscar) ceremony, we often reminisce on some of the more memorable moments that have stood the test of time and continue to resonate throughout pop culture. One of those moments was none other than the historic win for Halle Berry, 55. On March 24, 2002, exactly 20 years ago, Berry made history by becoming the first black woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Actress [in a Leading Role] for her portrayal of Leticia Musgrove in the independent film, Monster’s Ball. During her very emotional acceptance speech, Berry noted the significance of the moment saying, “This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It's for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it's for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
In this press room interview post-ceremony, acquired by Entertainment Tonight, the X-Men star spoke further about the momentous occasion and what it means for actresses of color adding, “This moment although I’m standing here, I meant it, it’s really not just about me. You know it’s about so many people that went before me, that paved the way, and people who are fighting alongside with me and the ones that will come along, whose path will be indelibly easier because of everyone so it’s not really about me as much as it’s about so many other women of color who have tried to permeate this system for so many years and today this meant hope. That glass ceiling was broken wide open and that just feels good. For me and for all of them too.”
Unfortunately, that hope Halle spoke of hasn’t exactly come true in the way that she’d like as of this writing, she is still the first and only black woman to win the award. During a Q&A with AARP, Berry gave this transparent answer when asked if progress has been made since her win 20 years ago, “Definitely. When I won the Oscar 20 years ago, I didn’t see nearly as many faces of color in TV and film as I do now. There has been a 100 percent change. So while no other Black woman stands next to me [with a best actress Oscar] and it’s heartbreaking and I wish there were more, I also know that moment at the Oscars was inspiring and made people believe that anything was possible. Today you’ve got Ava DuVernay, Lena Waithe, Viola Davis. I can go on and on. Women of color are doing things, and you know what? They’re doing things on their own terms, in their way. They’re daring to say, I deserve this. And I say to them, everybody loves an award. We all love when our industry says, you did a great job. But most people will never win an Academy Award or an Olympic gold medal or an MMA championship belt. That doesn’t mean the fight’s not worth it. It doesn’t mean you’re not winning. You’re working in ways you’d never dreamed of before and on projects that are reflective of you or your culture or your gender.”
Having moved past being just a leading lady, Halle has now added director to her resume, releasing her directorial debut, Bruised in November 2021. Berry not only directed the film, but she also produced and starred in it as well.
Abron’s Hot Take
It would be easy to blame this issue squarely on the Academy members and say that the fault rests squarely on their shoulders. One could argue that perhaps the voting members don’t find black actresses worthy enough to win this particular award but that would be intellectually dishonest if not a bit childish. Let’s look at this from a more nuanced perspective. The Academy simply votes based on performances. It is the responsibility of the movie studios and casting directors to hire actors and actresses in these leading roles that will put them on the Academy’s radar to be considered for an award nomination. Halle speaks to that in this interview at the Maker’s Conference in 2017.
So, it’s simple. If black actresses are being hired for strong, leading roles, at the same rate as their white counterparts, they stand a chance to be recognized by the Academy with an award nomination and perhaps even a win. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, even in 2022, there are still practices of biased casting that affect many actors of color, particularly women. Stories that should be universal are often told from a particular viewpoint and through a particular lens, which doesn’t always include different ethnic groups. It’s not enough to sprinkle a few individuals in for diversity purposes. One has to truly believe in the natural and normal makeup of society that is inclusive.
But this can’t be done alone. As with any fight to improve a system that disproportionally affects a group of people, allies are a necessity. That’s where the Academy comes in. Although they can’t force studios to hire black actresses just so they can vote for them for an award, perhaps they can express a stronger interest in wanting to see a full and diverse list of film performances throughout the year – to perhaps entice studios to be mindful of their casting practices – ensuring that every actor has a fair chance to be seen. Movie executives and agents can also take part in the cause – insisting that their clients across all genders and races are given a fair shot to audition for some of the biggest roles of the year – guaranteed to get awards buzz.
As it stands currently, there seems to be a once-in-a-decade opportunity for a black actress to land a leading role that garners her rave reviews and award recognition. However, things are slowly improving but that is mostly due to those same actresses who have decided not to wait on Hollywood and have instead taken hold of their careers. Now more than ever, we’re seeing more films produced and even directed by women of color. More opportunities are presenting themselves, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. In the meantime, I will enjoy the new wave of excellence and #blackgirlmagic that’s permeating the entertainment industry. Even if black actresses aren’t winning awards for leading roles, they sure as hell are winning at life in their LEAD-ership positions as producers, writers, and directors.
When asked by Gayle King during CBS’s Sunday Morning, how he handles the chatter about his marriage to his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, 50, Will Smith, 53, said “I’ve decided that chatter about my life can be of a benefit to people.” He went on to say, “Chatter is the first stage to having a real conversation.” But perhaps what was the most perplexing part of the interview was when Gayle mentioned how both Will and Jada have discussed how they navigated infidelity in the past, to which Will replied, “There’s never been infidelity in our marriage. Jada and I talk about everything, and we have never surprised one another with anything ever.”
Why that might be perplexing you may wonder is because it wasn’t too long ago, when R&B singer, August Alsina gave credence to what many have long speculated, which was that the Hollywood power couple had an open marriage. In his 2020 interview with Angela Yee, Alsina revealed that he and Jada had an affair. The two were photographed often during vacations and in 2017, attended the BET awards together. August even appeared as a guest on Jada’s Red Table Talk in 2018. The public surmised that the two had been more than friends as most of their photos and time spent together did not include Will. In the interview, Alsina said, “I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life. I devoted myself to it, I gave my full self to it — so much so to the point that I can die right now and be okay with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody.” He also said that Will was aware of their relationship and had given him permission to pursue Jada romantically, “I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation ... He gave me his blessing.”
The interview sparked major attention and both Jada and Will addressed the issue on Red Table Talk. During the conversation, the Smiths mentioned that Alsina became a family friend, initially coming to them for help with his own personal problems. Jada and Will were on the outs at that time, and the two separated as a result. Jada shared that she and the “I Luv This S***,” crooner became “really good friends,” and that friendship later turned into an “entanglement.” She said the lesson she learned from her experience is that you can’t help heal others as a means to heal yourself. They concluded their talk by saying in unison, “We ride together, we die together, bad marriage for life.”
Will and Jada married in 1997 and together, share two children, son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 21. Jada is also the bonus mom to Will’s eldest child, Trey, 29, from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino.
Abron’s Hot Take
At the time of this writing, we are in awards season and Will Smith has had a steady winning streak. Picking up the golden globe, critic’s choice, BAFTA, SAG, and NAACP Image Award for his leading role in King Richard, he’s the clear frontrunner to win the Oscar later this month (which I’m excited about!) I mention this because it is during this time when nominated actors do heavy press tours and pretty much campaign for their nominated films to win big during the season. Mr. Smith is not immune to this form of promotion. So, I can’t help but think that the interview with Gayle was just another form of said promotion; however, this bombshell statement is both odd if not very confusing.
On the surface, the Smith family seemingly had it all. Dominating the movie, tv, music, and even sports arena, they were everywhere and “winning,” according to Will as he details the family’s thriving success in his memoir, Will which is also a New York Times best-seller (and a very good read by the way). But he also shares a moment in the book when he and Jada decided to separate due to having reached a breaking point within their union, and ultimately deciding to find their own happiness as individuals and then return to the marriage, fully happy.
During that episode of Red Table Talk, when they addressed the Alsina allegations, it was easily inferred or implied that Jada had a relationship with August outside of her marriage to Will. That by all accounts is considered cheating or an act of infidelity. By Jada’s own words, she and August were in an entanglement which is defined as “a complicated or compromising relationship or situation.” A synonym for the word is an “affair.” Now, Will is saying that there has never been infidelity in their marriage which leads many to assume that their relationship is in fact an open one and that Will most likely knew about Jada’s relationship with August back when it began. How else do you justify your spouse having an outside relationship?
Now, I love Will and Jada but if I’m being honest, the two have a tendency to doublespeak. Sometimes their statements leave you with more questions than answers. Of course, they owe nothing to the public but they’re also the ones willingly inviting said public into their relationship, sharing very intimate details that most people would argue, should be kept private. I don’t understand this latest attempt to explain their marriage. What is the truth here Will? Did Jada, in fact, have an affair with another man that you were clueless about, or were you aware of the ordeal but you two had an “understanding,” about privacy and discretion? That’s the million-dollar question and one we may never know the answer to.
But here's what I’ll say to Will and Jada… at this point, I think it would be highly prudent of you both to refrain from sharing any more details about your relationship. We the public don’t need to know such information. Keep it between you two. While I appreciate the effort to show that everything in Hollywood isn’t rosy all the time, I fail to see what the oversharing will accomplish other than making the public view you both so differently which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Do yourselves a favor and just get back to focusing on why we, the public fell in love with you both from the beginning and that was your immeasurable talent as actors. Trust me, you’ll lose nothing by keeping your private life private.
On Thursday, March 10th, actor, and singer Jussie Smollett, 39, was sentenced to 150 days in jail over false allegations that he was a victim of a hate crime. CNN reports that in addition to the jail time, the “Empire,” actor will serve 30-months of probation and was also ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago as well as a $25,000 fine for filing the false police report. The ruling comes after an extensive trial that stemmed from Smollett’s 2019 claim that he was the victim of a hate crime. In the initial report, Smollett alleged that he was attacked while in Chicago by two men who put a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and yelled racist and homophobic slurs. Many celebrities came to his defense and the Chicago Police Department launched an official investigation. Their findings determined that Smollett had staged the attack himself and that the two attackers in question were Nigerian brothers, Abimbola Osundairo and Ola Osundairo. The brothers claimed that not only did Jussie orchestrate the entire plan of his attack, but that he had paid them to carry out the said attack in order to generate more publicity for himself.
Although he maintained his innocence, Jussie was ultimately charged with six counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to police. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges. In December 2021, a jury convicted Jussie on five of the six counts of felony disorderly conduct where he faced up to three years in prison. During his official sentencing, the judge, James B. Linn lambasted Smollett saying, “You took some scabs off some healing wounds, and you ripped them apart and for one reason: you wanted to make yourself more famous.” He added, “You're not a victim of a racial hate crime, you're not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You're just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that's shameful."
After receiving his sentence, Smollett pulled down his face mask and said to the judge and jury, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this.” He continued saying, “And I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.” As he was escorted out of the courtroom and into custody by the bailiff, he raised his fist and continued to proclaim his innocence. Jussie will serve out his sentence in the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois.
Abron’s Hot Take
Ok, Jussie let’s have a real conversation here. STOP. THE. MADNESS!!! This continued doubling, tripling, and quadrupling down about your “innocence,” is utterly ridiculous at this point. Now, I for one never gave my opinion on the matter when the story initially broke. Even after that disastrous, embarrassing, and cringy interview, he gave with Robin Roberts, I’ve always been more of a “wait and see what information we get first,” type of guy. As more and more details became available and it seemed like Jussie had, in fact, staged the attack himself, I hung my head in shame. Not for me but for him and for what this meant on a bigger scale. Because Jussie is both black and gay, he, as a celebrity and public figure, represents both groups that often face discrimination within society. Now that he’s created this fake story, his deplorable actions will now make it harder for actual victims of hate crimes to be believed. But more than that, his arrogance and narcissism are what is most problematic and sad. His effort to deny the obvious and proclaim that he did not stage this act and his unwillingness to take accountability for his actions further prove that he’s learned nothing from this ordeal and will most likely, never grow from this experience. I find that troubling. It is indicative that while he’s away for the next 5-months, he will not use this time to take corrective action. Moreover, this entire issue says to me, that even after Jussie completes his jail time – after he’s paid his fines and restitution, he will continue the victim narrative, and hold a grudge against society and the justice system for not believing him.
My hope is that he truly does some introspective work on himself, grows up, takes accountability, and pledges to be a better person. But, based on his outburst as he left the courtroom, still insisting that he’s innocent even after a police investigation, trial, and jury decision proved otherwise, I’m not so confident that will be the case.
In October 2021, it was reported that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed by a prop gun on the set of the movie “Rust,” and that the “shooter” was none other than the film’s main character, actor, Alec Baldwin. Some of the primary questions asked were how could something like this happen? Why weren’t they using blanks? Why were real bullets allowed on the set? Baldwin, who was holding the gun and pointed it at Hutchins when it discharged and killed her, was immediately held responsible for her death. What ensued after was a back-and-forth blame game of who should be held responsible for the gun having a live bullet and why it was not properly checked.
In an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin explains that the incident occurred during a “marking rehearsal.” It was during the rehearsal where he claims that Hutchins instructed him on how and where to position the gun for the camera angle – “I let go of the hammer. Bang! The gun goes off.” Baldwin said as he reenacted the scene for Stephanopoulos. He went on to say that he was never meant to pull the trigger but only cock the gun instead. In his most definitive statement throughout the interview, he unequivocally states “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
Speaking out in his first-ever interview since his tragic loss, Matt Hutchins – husband of Halyna and father to their young son had quite a different take than Baldwin. Placing blame directly on Baldwin for the death of his wife, Matt told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, “the idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me.” After watching Baldwin’s interview with Stephanopoulos, he goes on to say “watching him I just felt so angry. I was just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her.” He adds “hearing him blame Halyna in the interview and shift responsibility to others and seeing him cry about it – I just feel – are we really supposed to feel bad about you, Mr. Baldwin?”
In February of this year, the Hutchins family filed a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin, alleging that the actor and producer of the film, “violated numerous rules for the safe handling of firearms.” In addition, the suit suggests that Baldwin “committed reckless discharge of a deadly weapon.” According to the New York Post, Baldwin claims that he “isn’t worried about potential criminal action against him,” further saying “it’s highly unlikely I would be charged with anything criminally.”
Filming for “Rust” has been suspended.
Abron’s Hot Take
One thing is clear. All is not well between Alec Baldwin and the family of Halyna Hutchins. Shortly after her death, Alec took both Matt and he and Halyna’s son to dinner and they all attended a memorial service for Halyna as well. Call me naïve, but I figured that would be the end of things. Of course, I didn’t expect Halyna’s family to easily get over their loss; however, filing a lawsuit and Matt’s candid interview speaking out against Alec is what I did not see coming. Here’s the deal, the situation is tragic, and I think we all understand and get that. However, there is always someone to blame, and I knew from the beginning when the story first broke, that that person would be Alec considering he’s the big star attached to the story. I knew that the tears he cried during his interview would be viewed as insincere and “fake,” considering he’s a trained actor. I knew him absolving himself of responsibility would blow back negatively on him for the very reasons Matt stated in his interview.
Obviously, Matt Hutchins thinks the same thing. Alec may have thought that dinner was a gesture to try and show support for the family, but Matt probably saw it as Alec’s way of trying to ensure that the family wouldn’t sue him. He clearly thought wrong. I think Matt is acting in the best interest of his family. He’s clearly devastated by the loss of his wife and as mentioned earlier, needs someone to blame. I truly hope that with time, he and his son can find peace.
How this story ends is yet to be determined. There are still so many questions…will the Hutchins family successfully sue Alec? Will there be a settlement? Will Alec be found guilty in a court of law? Will he face any jail time? So many questions. One thing I know for sure is even if Alec is successful in legal court, he may be essentially done in the court of public opinion. While America does indeed enjoy a comeback story, I don’t yet see how he can bounce back from this. He could even decide to stop acting. I can’t imagine he’d ever feel comfortable on a movie set again. Much less a set containing prop guns. Based on the actions of the Hutchins family, this is only just the beginning for Alec Baldwin.
Britney Spears has signed on to write and release her own tell-all memoir through American publishing company, Simon and Schuster. The deal is estimated to be worth $15 million dollars – the highest book advance since former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama respectively, signed their book deals with Penguin Random House for an estimated $65 million. This is the first major announcement from the pop star since having her 13-year conservatorship terminated.
According to People magazine, although the conservatorship ended in November 2021, Britney is still facing legal battles – most notably with her father and former conservator, Jamie Spears who’s requesting that his legal fees be paid for by Britney’s estate. Britney responded to the request, alleging that Jamie had “violated California’s standards of conduct with his financial misconduct while acting as her conservator.” Jamie maintains that he’s “only ever had Britney’s best interest at heart during the duration of the conservatorship.”
News of the book deal comes after the release of younger sister Jamie Lynn’s memoir “Things I Should Have Said,” which was released in January of this year. Britney lashed out at the release of the book, saying this in a now-deleted Instagram post “The nerve of you to sell a book now and talk s—t but your f—king lying…..I wish you would take a lie detector test so all these masses of people see you’re lying through your teeth about me !!!! I wish the almighty, Lord would could come down and show this whole world that you’re lying and making money off of me !!!! You are scum, Jamie Lynn.”
At the time of this writing, there is no set release date for the memoir.
Abron’s Hot Take
Well, well, well. The plot thickens. On one end I can’t say I’m too surprised by this considering Britney alluded to one day writing her own book when she posted this picture to her Instagram page and captioned it “Shall I start from THE BEGINNING???” She also said she was “sitting on a vault of stories,” and “Lord have mercy on my family’s souls if I ever do an interview.” So, the announcement that Britney is officially writing a book isn’t exactly “news” to me; however, it gives many people a lot to talk about. Some of the questions I’ve heard thus far are “how detailed will she get?” Do you think she’s going to tell it all?” You can sum up the public interest in this book so far as “we’ll wait and see how it goes.” That’s pretty much all anyone can do at this point.
The conservatorship of Britney Spears will forever go down in pop-culture history as one of the biggest moments in entertainment. Similar to “#Metoo” and “Times Up”, the “Free Britney” movement was dedicated to raising awareness on the abuse of a woman, controlled by those around her, mostly men, and having her voice stolen – so much so that she could no longer advocate for herself. Whether you’re a Britney fan or not (if you’re not, what’s wrong with you. No just kidding ha-ha) you could not ignore this historic moment as many of her fans marched on her behalf, held protests outside of courthouses, and the story was covered on every major news network. The announcement that the conservatorship was officially terminated was definitely a “where were you when” kind of moment.
But with that said, I have to be honest here. I would rather Britney have done an exclusive two or three-part candid interview in the style of 20/20 or with mother Oprah ala Meghan Markle, where she discusses the abuse she suffered as a result of her father being her conservator and taking advantage of her mental health issues and finances. At this point, tell-all books are so common and most likely written by ghostwriters, that you can’t really decipher what’s real or what’s drudged up for entertainment or dramatic effect. I think an interview, in person and unfiltered, would have been the better and “stronger” approach. But there’s always the audiobook version if she reads it herself.
In any case, I’m glad that Britney has been “freed” from her conservatorship and I’m sure once the book is released, it’ll be the hottest topic on the internet. The press tour will be insane that’s for sure.
You may have already heard but Brad Pitt has sued his ex-wife, Angelina Jolie for selling her stake in their French Winery, Château Miraval. According to People magazine, the two Hollywood powerhouses bought the winery back in 2008 where they later married in 2014. Originally, Pitt, 58, owned 60 percent of the business while Jolie, 46, owned 40 percent. In 2013, the shares were split 50/50 for both parties. In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Pitt claims that Jolie “consummated the purported sale without Pitt’s knowledge, denying Pitt the consent right she owed him and the right of first refusal her business entity owed his.”
Jolie declared back in January 2021, she could “no longer maintain any ownership position in the business given her personal objections.” She was cleared to sell her shares of the estate after the finalization of her divorce from Pitt. The strenuous ongoing divorce battle hindered her from being able to sell previously. Pitt was in negotiations to buy back her shares. Angelina filed for divorce from Brad in 2016 and the two have since endured a grueling custody battle over their six kids.
Abron’s Hot Take
There just doesn’t seem to be a happy ending in sight for these two. It’s bad enough that their relationship started under dubious circumstances due to allegations that Brad had started an affair with Angelina while they were filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and he was still legally married to Jennifer Aniston at the time. But as time passed and the public began to love them as a couple, giving them the celeb name “Brangelina,” the two seemed happy. Brad adopted Angelina’s son Maddox, the two started to adopt and have more children of their own, and then they finally married. What could go wrong right?
Apparently, a lot as we learned that Brad struggled with alcoholism, and then there were allegations of child neglect and abuse (towards older son Maddox) that led Angelina to officially file for divorce. Since then, these two have been at war with each other and we, the public have had a front-row seat to the madness. First, the divorce which was filed in 2016, wasn't officially granted until 2019. As of now, they're both undergoing a custody battle for their six kids (these kids will all be adults by the time an agreement is reached), and now this lawsuit.
In the case of the lawsuit, I see both sides. I can understand Brad’s frustration if he in fact was negotiating to buy Angelina’s shares of the estate and then she sold them right from under his nose with no warning. That does seem spiteful. However, if Angelina was cleared to sell her shares to whomever she wanted, I don’t see how Brad has the right to sue her for that. Especially if she never clarified that her shares would be sold to him directly. You would think he would just reach out to the buyer of her shares and try and buy them back. That seems like a quick fix to me rather than drag the mother of your children back into court over something so frivolous. At this point, their divorce, custody battle, and business dealings are lasting longer than the marriage. It’s clear that communication between these two is dead. But for the sake of their children, I would advise them to handle their business more discretely because this is not the way to do it. No one comes out as a winner in this, and the children most likely have to endure the consequences of it all.
Brad and Angelina…please do better. Your children along with the public are watching.
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