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GABRIELLE UNION – NETWORK TO PROBE BIAS CLAIMS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gabrielle Union’s allegations about what happened behind the scenes at “America’s Got Talent” are starting to get increased attention. Both NBC and the union that represents TV stars are looking into Union’s claims that she was fired as a “America’s Got Talent” judge because she complained about racism and other on-set issues. The Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA says it’s looking into those claims – and that they are being taken seriously. Meanwhile, NBC and producers of “AGT” say they’re committed to creating a respectful workplace. Union, who is black, claims racist jokes and comments were made off camera. She also says judge-producer Simon Cowell would smoke inside, in violation of California state law.
“THE NUTCRACKER” MAKES RACIAL HISTORY
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” has broken a barrier. The New York Times reports the company has cast a black player to play the role of Marie – the first time that’s happened. The Times says Charlotte Nebres landed the Marie role in the production, which the New York City Ballet has been putting on since 1954. Nebres is 11 years old – and a student at the School of American Ballet. Her mom’s family is from Trinidad and her dad’s family hails from the Philippines.
MISTY COPELAND – THE CROSSOVER MOVE
NEW YORK (AP) – The first black female principal dancer with American Ballet Theater has crossed another threshold. Misty Copeland has been named to teach an online MasterClass. In it, she speaks of the need for diversity at all levels of the mostly white world of classical dance. She also mentions some of her mentors like Prince – who she says taught her to embrace her uniqueness, instead of worrying about blending in. Meanwhile Copeland has made some major recent forays into pop culture recently. She danced with Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards. She’s in a few fashion ad, rocking a pair of metallic stilettos. Copeland is also producing and starring in a silent film and will be the subject of a Hollywood biopic.
PLACIDO DOMINGO SPEAKS TO ITALIAN NEWSPAPER
MILAN (AP) – Opera legend Placido Domingo is continuing efforts to clear his name in the wake of allegations reported by The Associated Press. He tells a newspaper in Milan he never used his pull to influence casting. That’s in response to allegations by women who say he put the moves on them – and hurt their careers when they rebuffed him. In another recent interview, Domingo challenged sexual harassment allegations against him. He called himself an affectionate, “gallant” Spaniard – and said these days, such gallantry is treated differently than it was in the past. Allegations in the wake of the (hash)MeToo movement have dried up most of Domingo’s bookings in the U.S. – but he continues to have steady gigs in Europe.
“CBS EVENING NEWS” MOVES TO D.C.
NEW YORK (AP) – For more than 30 years now, the nightly network news broadcasts have originated in New York. That has changed, now that CBS has pulled up stakes and moved to Washington D.C. The “CBS Evening News” is being anchored by Norah O’Donnell. The network says it moved to the nation’s capital to cash in on O’Donnell’s experience as a D.C.-based reporter.
TRUMP CAMPAIGN – BLOOMBERG
NEW YORK (AP) – Never mind quid pro quo – President Donald Trump’s campaign says Bloomberg News reporters are persona non grata when it comes to covering Trump re-election events. A rep for the campaign says because founder Michael Bloomberg is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Bloomberg News reporters are no longer welcome at Trump campaign rallies and the like. Spokesman Brad Parscale says now that Bloomberg is trying to unseat Trump, the news organization he founded has “formalized preferential reporting policies.” Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief denies this.
SUSPECT IN DEATH OF UFC FIGHTER’S STEPDAUGHTER TO FACE CAPITAL MURDER CHARGE
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Prosecutors in Alabama are going hard on the suspect in the shooting death of the stepdaughter of a popular UFC fighter. The district attorney in Lee County says prosecutors will seek a capital murder charge and the death penalty against 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed. He was already charged with the kidnapping of Aniah Blanchard, a college student whose stepdad is UFC heavyweight Walt Harris. Blanchard went missing in October. And charges against the suspect were increased after her remains were found.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2