John Legend and Mark Cuban go viral with charity vs. politics feud
'Tis the season to … keep on arguing. A Twitter tiff between John Legend and billionaire investor Mark Cuban on Thursday, Nov. 12, landed them both on the platform's list of trending topics, as users weighed in with their thoughts on how to best support those in need ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The spat began when Mark suggested followers skip political party donations in favor of directly supporting charities for the hungry and homeless. "For those considering donating to Reps or Dems in the Georgia Senate run-offs, can you please re-consider and donate that money to your local foodbank and organizations that can help those without food or shelter?" he posted. "Lets put Americans in need above Politics." John, who stumped for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris during their campaign and is a vocal proponent of social programs, took issue with the tweet, pointing out that as the holidays near — with record COVID-19 cases and no further stimulus money in sight for families and small businesses — electing officials who plan to help Americans feed their families in the coming year matters more than ever. "I get that politics is annoying and contentious," John wrote, "but the bottom line is that the Senate flipping would be far more impactful than a food bank donation. We need massive stimulus and aid to individuals and small businesses. Government needs to do this. Charity isn't sufficient." He added: "That being said, I'll be doing both."
Keep reading to see what Alex Trebek's widow, Jean, is sharing with fans after his death and more …
Jean Trebek thanks fans for their support in the wake of Alex Trebek's death
Alex Trebek's wife of 30 years, Jean Trebek, took a moment on Wednesday to share her appreciation for the outpouring of support she's received in the wake of her husband's death. "My family and I sincerely thank you all for your compassionate messages and generosity," she wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo from the couple's wedding in 1990. "Your expressions have truly touched our hearts. Thank you so very, very much." The longtime host of "Jeopardy!" passed away Sunday following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80 — 24 years younger than Jean — but that age difference never seemed to bother either of them, except for the fact that Alex wished they could have had more time together. "I'm pretty satisfied with my life," he told People last year after revealing his cancer diagnosis. "But my wife Jean and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life about what a nice guy he is, and how he and his wife had been together 73 years," he explained. "I thought, oh my gosh … if I'd just met Jean in my 20s we could have had a longer life together."
Kelsea Ballerini claps back at 'insensitive' pregnancy question
After her stunning performance of "Hole in the Bottle" at the 2020 CMA Awards Wednesday night, a Twitter troll not-so-helpfully asked if Kelsea was expecting. Here's the perfect response she posted Thursday: "I'm sure you mean well, but it's incredibly insensitive to ask or assume if another woman is pregnant," she wrote. "I'm not, by the way. Just carrying around my organs. But if I were, I'd want to share that in my own time when I felt ready. Let's not judge bloat levels on the internet." The Twitter user's question has since been deleted, but Kelsea's fans continued to react to the exchange throughout the day. "People keep asking me if I'm pregnant every time I say I feel sick or act emotional. It's tiring," wrote one fan. "I just got married and that's everybody reaction now when I say anything. "I've just started going 'you might be right' or 'possibly.' They usually shut up after that."
Halsey opens up about her first book of poetry: 'Some things you can't sing'
With live music on hold indefinitely because of the pandemic, Halsey — who built a huge fanbase for her Tumblr poems before she got a major record deal — has returned to publishing poetry, this time, in book form. This week, the singer, 26, released "I Would Leave Me If I Could," her debut collection of poems this week. Speaking to Trevor Noah on the Wednesday edition of "The Daily Show," she explained that she's never stopped writing and said poetry gives her an outlet for topics like the serious, personal ones that appear in her book. "Some things you can't sing," she told Trevor of the subject matter (via Billboard), which ranges from sexual assault to living with bipolar disorder. The serious topics also give Halsey a way to be real with her fans, something she "the pop stars of my generation" were never able to do in the early 2000s, when record labels seemed to dictate their images. The next shift, she noted, came with paparazzi and social media putting more out there than maybe artists wanted to make public. "So I think now it's about kind of finding a nice balance between pulling back the curtain in a way that I have control over and also learning to keep some stuff to myself because it's healthy to do so," she mused. "But I think my fans just deserve it."
Jeezy says fiancee Jeannie Mai is 'eating everything in the house,' following throat surgery
"The Real" co-host Jeannie Mai is continuing to make progress in her recovery after her recent emergency surgery to treat epiglottitis, an inflammatory illness that could have closed off her throat completely had she not sought treatment when she did. In an appearance on "The Real," Jeannie's fiance Jeezy thanked Jeannie's co-hosts and fans for their "prayers and support," then said she's "doing well," according to Page Six. "She's eating everything in the house," he joked, "but she's definitely doing well." Later in the show, he rehashed how Jeannie discovered her condition, explaining that she initially was given steroid shots after having "some problems with her throat." Then things went downhill. "It happened again, and I just started to notice she was having problems breathing," he recalled. "She woke up one morning and got up before me and I got up and went behind her, and I saw her, and she couldn't breathe. I grabbed her immediately, took her to the emergency room … they found something, but they didn't know." Finally, they went to yet another doctor who, "immediately looked at her and told her, 'You're done with 'Dancing with the Stars,'" Jeezy said. "This is life-threatening and if you don't get it fixed right now, you could possibly lose your life.'" Jeannie announced she'd have to give up her spot on "DWTS" at the beginning of the month.
Cardi B, Footwear News apologize for appropriating Hindu culture with Durga-inspired photo
Both Cardi B and Footwear News have formally apologized for a photo shoot in which Cardi was depicted as the Hindu goddess Durga, who is often shown with eight to 10 arms. The backlash kicked in soon after the outlet shared an image from the shoot on its social platforms. The fact that the rapper was holding a sample of one of her new Reeboks in the image didn't help matters. "So as a Hindu I want to say that: 1-Wearing a shoe in a temple is prohibited …," wrote one critic on Twitter. "2-Durga maa is not to be used as an aesthetic … 3-Durga maa is NEVER depicted bare bodied … 4-THIS. IS. NOT. HOMAGE. IT'S. DISRESPECT." In her apology on Instagram Stories Wednesday, Cardi admitted she took what she was told about the styling at face value and failed to look into it further. "When I did the Reebok shoot, the creatives told me I was going to represent a Goddess; that she represents strength, femininity and liberation, and that's something I love and I'm all about," she said in one video post. "And though it was dope, if people think I'm offending their culture or their religion I want to say I'm sorry. That was not my intent. I do not like disrespecting nobody's religion. I wouldn't like people to offend my religion," the rapper continued. "I wasn't trying to be disrespectful; maybe I should have done my research. I'm sorry, I can't change the past, but I will do more research for the future." Footwear News posted an apology online and removed the image from its social media. "One of the images was intended to pay homage to Hindu goddess Durga, and our intent was to show a powerful woman. However, we realize we were not considerate of certain cultural and religious perspectives and how this could be perceived as deeply offensive," the outlet told People in a statement. "We take full accountability for this oversight and we apologize. It is important we learn from this example and are sensitive to this sort of religious imagery when creative discussions are taking place in the future."
Pharrell Williams is sharing his experience fighting racism in his hometown with a free mini-course on empathy. This week, the "Happy" singer unveiled a new short video, "Building Empathy," as part of a series of shorts focused on "issues of social injustice and systemic racism," in the interest of helping inspire fans find the "inspiration … to impact change," according to the video's blurb on YouTube. The first of six videos, the mini-class shows Pharrell explaining how and why he created Something in the Water, a music festival in Virginia Beach that "has transformed a weekend with a long-held negative reputation into one associated with goodwill and empathy," according to YouTube. "Empathy is about looking at someone's experience through their lenses," Pharrell says in the piece, which was produced in collaboration with MasterClass and Uninterrupted and is now available on YouTube. According to the New York Post, the other four videos in the series feature Spike Lee, Ken Burns, Misty Copeland, RuPaul, Ron Finley and Neil deGrasse Tyson and will be released between now and Dec. 8.
Matthew Perry announces the 'Friends Reunion' is coming in March 2021
The unscripted "Friends Reunion" rides again! After multiple delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the original cast of the long-running, staple '90s show apparently has a new release date. "Friends reunion being rescheduled for the beginning of March," Matthew Perry tweeted Thursday. "Looks like we have a busy year coming up. And that's the way I like it!" ET reports production is expected to begin early next year. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer are all still on board for the reunion, which was originally supposed to air on May 27 as part of the HBO Max launch. Over the summer, Deadline reported production would start in August, but HBO Max soon "distanced itself" from that date, according to the outlet.
Firefighters called to Denzel Washington's home
A fire scare prompted more than 38 firefighters to visit Denzel Washington's mansion in the Beverly Crest neighborhood of Los Angeles Wednesday night. According to USA Today, smoke was seen billowing out from the second floor of the four-story, 29,000-square-foot home. Further investigation, however, showed no serious cause for concern. "There is no fire and everyone is OK and safe," a spokesperson for the actor told the outlet. Using thermal imaging cameras once they arrived, the firefighters reportedly determined the smoke was coming from a furnaced that had recently been serviced. The furnace has since been taken offline.