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September 20, 2018
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September 20, 2018
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NEW YORK (AP) – Not gay. That’s what the producers of “Sesame Street” are saying about Bert and Ernie, despite what a writer for the show says. Sesame Workshop tweets that while the characters it has created do have any number of human traits – they “remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.” The producers say in a second tweet that “Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance.” An interview over the weekend quoted Mark Saltzman, a Sesame Street writer saying that when he wrote scenes for Bert and Ernie he “always felt” they were lovers. Meanwhile, Frank Oz, who created Bert, has tweeted that he and Muppets creator Jim Henson “never created them to be gay.



LOS ANGELES (AP) – A federal judge in Los Angeles has tossed out part of a lawsuit filed by Ashley Judd against Harvey Weinstein. Judd has sued the disgraced movie mogul for defamation and sexual harassment. Her lawsuit claims Weinstein defamed her by falsely calling her a “nightmare” to work with after she spurned his sexual advances. She also claims Weinstein derailed her career after she rebuffed him. But the judge spiked that part of the lawsuit, saying the part of state law Judd cites for that part of her lawsuit doesn’t apply to the professional relationship she and Weinstein had.



UNDATED (AP) – It looks more and more like the Pennsylvania judge who ruled over Bill Cosby’s two criminal trials will also be on the bench when the comedian is sentenced. Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill has denied a defense motion to recuse himself. Cosby’s legal team has been bombarding the court with demands that O’Neill pull himself off the case because of what Cosby’s reps say is a long-standing grudge with a pretrial witness. The request is echoed by Cosby’s wife, Camille – who this week filed a state ethics complaint claiming O’Neill is biased. Cosby’s reps say O’Neill had beef with the former DA who declined to prosecute Cosby for the sexual encounter with a Temple University employee that led to his conviction. The former DA also promised Cosby he’d never be criminally charged in the case. Cosby’s sentencing hearing is to start on Monday. It’s to run two days.



LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ryan Coogler is suiting up for the sequel to “Space Jam.” The man who directed “Black Panther” has teamed up with LeBron James to produce a sequel to the 1996 movie that featured Michael Jordan and a bunch of Warner Bros. animated characters. The director will be Terence Nance. The Hollywood Reporter says production is to start next year – after the NBA season ends.



DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – There is now a guilty plea from the man charged with damaging the Iowa baseball field made famous by the movie “Field of Dreams.” Authorities in Iowa say 21-year-old Austin Pape has changed his plea to guilty. Investigators say Pape admits to driving on the field located in Dyersville in January, damaging parts of it. He’ll be sentenced in November. Authorities say Pape’s vehicle caused more than $5,500 in damage to the field where thousands visit each year to run the bases – and walk through the surrounding cornfields.



NEW YORK (AP) – A man who helped break down barriers for blacks in ballet has died. A niece says Arthur Mitchell died yesterday at a hospital in New York City. He was 84 – and had kidney failure that led to heart failure. Mitchell danced his way into the nation’s consciousness during the 1950s as a star with the New York City Ballet. And he was a driving force in forming the Dance Theater of Harlem. One of his early breakthroughs was when famed choreographer George Balanchine (BAL’-an-cheen) put him several leading roles, including pairing him with a white female dancer in 1957’s “Agon.” The head of the Dance Theater of Harlem says when it came to ballet, Mitchell “believed in a world where all people could have access to this beautiful art form.”


NYACK, N.Y. (AP) – An actor who stars in “Ray Donovan” is off the hook over a dust-up with a photographer near New York City. A judge in Nyack (NEYE’-ak) has dismissed charges against Liev (LEE’-ehv) Schreiber. A local photographer said the actor damaged his camera after he tried to snap a picture of him in June. Schreiber says he never touched him. A judge sided with the actor and the charge was dismissed. The photographer says he’s “greatly disappointed” in the judge’s decision.


by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2