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August 8, 2019
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FOX CONFIRMS JUSSIE SMOLLETT WON’T BE ON “EMPIRE” NEXT SEASON
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Fox is confirming what has been said for months now: Jussie Smollett will not be back on “Empire” next season. The CEO of Fox Entertainment says while the actor will be gone, his character Jamal Lyon will linger on – at least in photos. Charlie Collier says Jamal will be shown as being on his honeymoon when the drama resumes next month for its sixth and final season. Collier addressed Smollett’s situation during a session with TV critics yesterday in Beverly Hills, California. Series creator Lee Daniels decided to drop Smollett from the show – after the furor over the actor’s claim that he was the victim of a racist and anti-gay beating in Chicago in January. Police charged him with staging the attack in an effort to get publicity and a pay raise. The criminal charges have since been dropped – but it’s possible they may be reinstated following a special prosecutor’s investigation into the case.

 

TIMES SQUARE SCARE
NEW YORK (AP) – One of the stars of the Broadway show “To Kill a Mockingbird” says the real-life drama that played out on Tuesday night points out the kind of world we live in these days. Gideon Glick says after a motorcycle backfired as it moved through Times Square, people panicked and ran for cover. Some of those people stormed the doors of the Shubert Theater – forcing the show to be interrupted. The crush of people surging toward the doors also caused some theater patrons to run for cover. Glick lamented on Twitter, “this cannot be our world.”

 

DANNY TREJO HELPS RESCUE BABY TRAPPED AFTER COLLISION
LOS ANGELES (AP) – He’s an actor – who played a hero in real life. Danny Trejo helped rescue a baby trapped in an overturned car after a collision at a Los Angeles intersection. Video shown on local TV shows the actor at the crash scene in the Sylmar neighborhood yesterday. The actor says he crawled into the wrecked vehicle from one side – but couldn’t unbuckle the child’s car seat from that angle. He says another bystander was able to unlatch the car seat – and together they pulled the baby to safety. In all, three people were taken to a hospital – and authorities say none of the three had life threatening injuries. Trejo is 75 – and hails from L.A. He’s best known for playing Machete in the “Spy Kids” series.

 

ASHTON KUTCHER’S TESTIMONY CITED IN MURDER CASE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – An attorney for a man charged with killing two women and trying to kill a third is pointing to testimony by Ashton Kutcher as a key in getting a jury to acquit his client. The lawyer points to Kutcher’s testimony about the time he last spoke with the victim, with whom he was planning to meet for a date the evening she was killed. The attorney for defendant Michael Gargiulo says the timing of the call Kutcher made – indicates that two other men may have been responsible for the stabbings his client is charged with. Kutcher testified in the case back in May, when the trial was just getting under way. Jurors are expected to begin deliberations on the case today.

 

EMMYS WON’T HAVE A HOST, EITHER
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – First it was the Oscars. And now, the Emmys are going without a host. The head of Fox Entertainment says next month’s ceremony will ditch the host when it takes its turn at airing the show. Charlie Collier says going without a host will allow the show more time to salute shows that are going off the air, like HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which has a record-setting 32 nominations. The Emmys are the second big awards show to ditch the host’s gig. The Oscars went host-less after Kevin Hart stepped down over a controversy over past anti-gay tweets – and they couldn’t land a sub. Fox isn’t saying if anyone had declined an invite to host the Emmys, set for Sept. 22.

 

COLIN KAEPERNICK SEEKS TO RETURN TO NFL
UNDATED (AP) – Here’s something to think about for NFL fans of teams that have a less-than-stellar choice as starting quarterback this coming season: Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a job. The former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller has posted a video on social media, noting that he’s “still ready” to play. The clip says he’s been working out at “5 a.m. 5 days a week. For 3 years.” Kaepernick wasn’t signed as a free-agent after his contract ended – amid the furor over his decision to kneel during the national anthem before games. While he’s been away from the game, he has become an advocate for social and racial justice. In February, the NFL settled a collusion grievance filed by Kaepernick and another player.

 

TUCKER CARLSON CRITICIZED AFTER DECLARING WHITE SUPREMACY “A HOAX”
NEW YORK (AP) – Once again, Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson is drawing criticism over a comment he made on his show – this time, that white supremacy is “a lie” and “a hoax.” One of those hitting back at Carlson is Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League. He calls what the Fox host said “disgusting” and something that doesn’t deserve to be on a major news network. Greenblatt also says Carlson’s comments are “incredibly irresponsible” – especially as the nation is “still burying people who were gunned down by a white supremacist.” Carlson has come under fire for incendiary comments in the past, like saying immigration has made America “poorer, dirtier and more divided.”

 

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

AP-WF-08-08-19 0826GMT