MEGYN KELLY – BLACKFACE
NEW YORK (AP) – Megyn Kelly is walking back her comments about whites dressing in blackface for Halloween – after getting major blowback on the subject on social media. The NBC News host is being raked over the coals for telling her TV audience she saw no problem with a white person making their face look black for Halloween – if they’re dressing as a character. During her morning show, Kelly hosted a panel – all of them white – that discussed whether blackface is OK for Halloween. Kelly, who’s 47, said when she was a kid, people didn’t get upset about people in blackface – even though the issue dates back much further than half a century. She also said she didn’t understand why a white character on a reality TV show got in trouble for darkening her skin to look like Diana Ross. In an email after the show to her NBC News colleagues, Kelly says she now realizes blackface is wrong, no matter the circumstances – and she was wrong to suggest otherwise.
BILL COSBY APPEAL REJECTED BY TRIAL JUDGE
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The judge who handled the Bill Cosby criminal trial has rejected a bid by the comedian’s legal team to grant a new trial. Cosby’s lawyers wanted Montgomery County judge Steven O’Neill to, in effect, say he committed errors in handling the case, leading to Cosby’s conviction. They also asked – without success – that O’Neill grant Cosby a new sentencing hearing. Both requests were denied. And that means if Cosby is to get a new trial, he will have to succeed at the state appeals level. Cosby was convicted earlier this year of drugging and molesting a Temple University official in 2004. He’s serving a sentence of three to 10 years in state prison.
(hash)METOO – ALYSSA MILANO AND TARANA BURKE
NEW YORK (AP) – One coined the phrase (hash)MeToo. The other helped make it a national hashtag. But recently, both activist Tarana Burke and actress Alyssa Milano were at an event where they celebrated the progress made in the past year on the issue of sexual harassment. Burke presented Milano with an award from the New York Women’s Foundation. In accepting it Milano – choking back tears – said the words “MeToo” would continue to be heard – as long as society needs to hear them. She vowed the words would be “reverberating off every closed door, bouncing off every glass ceiling” – and that the echoes would continue “until our work is done.” Burke coined the phrase MeToo more than a decade ago. Milano helped make it more prominent, by retweeting it after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke a little over a year ago.
ROSIE O’DONNELL GETTING MARRIED
NEW YORK (AP) – Rosie O’Donnell is getting married again. She has told People magazine she is going to marry Elizabeth Rooney. But don’t look for them to say their “I do’s” anytime soon. O’Donnell says the wedding date is “a long time in the future.” O’Donnell lives in New York and Rooney is based in Boston. O’Donnell is 56; Rooney is 33. O’Donnell married Kelli Carpenter in 2004, but they separated in 2007. She married Michelle Rounds in 2012 – and they divorced in 2015.
ANGELINA JOLIE – MIGRANTS
LIMA, Peru (AP) – Angelina Jolie is speaking out about the plight of refugees from Venezuela. She says the thousands who have fled the South American country have created a “shocking” migrant crisis – one Jolie says was both “predictable and preventable.” The Hollywood star made the comments at the end of a three-day visit to Peru as part of her work as a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency. During her visit, Jolie met with Venezuelan refugees and visited a border crossing in northern Venezuela. She also met with Peru’s president to discuss potential solutions to the migrant crisis. The U.N. reports nearly 2 million people have left Venezuela since 2015 – with about 400,000 of those refugees ending up in Peru.
MELANIA TRUMP – ANTI-BULLYING CAMPAIGN
WASHINGTON (AP) – First lady Melania Trump has continued her efforts against bullying – even as her office has gone after one of her online critics. Yesterday, Mrs. Trump invited sixth graders to the White House to watch a movie about kindness as part of her “Be Best” campaign. Earlier in the day, the producer for Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show attacked the Trump administration’s immigration policy. Andy Lassner tweeted he’s more afraid of “another Melania” entering the U.S. than of any of the thousands of Central Americans marching to the U.S. to seek asylum. The first lady’s spokesman tweeted back, noting the first lady was hosting kids at the White House to discuss kindness – and asked Lassner: “Should I save you a seat?”
MEGAN MARKLE – FIJI