PHYLICIA RASHAD BLASTED FOR SUPPORT OF BILL COSBY’S RELEASE
WASHINGTON (AP) – Phylicia Rashad is drawing fire for a public expression of support for Bill Cosby’s release from prison. And the university that hired her to run its fine arts college is distancing itself from her remarks. Rashad tweeted after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, saying “a terrible wrong” was “being righted.” People blasted her on Twitter, with some saying Howard University should drop her as arts school dean. The school didn’t comment on those calls, but did say Rashad’s tweet, “lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.”
COSBY RULING CONTINUES TO REVERBERATE
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Fallout continues to spread from the move by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and set him free. While most law observers say the decision is sound from a legal perspective, public opinion is mixed. (hash)MeToo activists say they’re concerned Cosby’s release will have a chilling effect on survivors leery about reporting sexual assaults. Meanwhile, attorneys for disgraced Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein have praised the decision.
OSCAR INVITES NEWBIES TO HIS PARTY
UNDATED (AP) – Assuming they accept their invitation, the body of movie insiders that nominates and votes on the Oscars will be bigger and more diverse. The Motion Picture Academy has invited 395 industry pros to join its ranks. They include Steven Yeun, Nathan Lane, Issa Rae, Robert Pattinson, Janet Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Laverne Cox. Also invited are hundreds more involved in making movies, both in front of and behind the camera. The academy says about half the new invitees are women -and nearly 40% are from groups traditionally underrepresented within the academy.
MEGHAN McCAIN FADING FROM “THE VIEW”
NEW YORK (AP) – Meghan McCain has put her fellow “The View” colleagues on notice: they only have a few more weeks left to fight with her on the air. The daughter of the late Arizona senator John McCain is leaving the ABC show. Her leave-taking will come at the end of the month, when the current season ends. McCain recently had a baby girl and decided she didn’t want to commute from her Washington D.C.-area home to New York when the show returns to the studio next season. It’s now being done remotely.
AMBER HEARD WELCOMES BABY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Amber Heard is announcing that she’s a mom, but not a wife. The actor says in an Instagram post she welcomed a daughter named Oonagh Paige Heard on April 8. In pointing out that she’s a single mom, Heard said she looks forward to a time when “it’s normalized to not want a ring in order to have a crib.” Heard says she wanted to announce the circumstances of her baby’s birth “to take control” of the story before someone else makes it their business to share it with the public.