Jon Stewart on how Trevor Noah elevated 'The Daily Show'
When Jon Stewart announced he was leaving "The Daily Show" in 2015, he told viewers he had lots of "ideas" about what he'd do next and said the satirical news show "doesn't deserve an even slightly restless host" Now, Stewart's back with a new film, "Irresistible," the apparent follow-through from some of those ideas he had brewing five years ago. As for "The Daily Show" getting the host it "deserves?" Stewart couldn't be more sure Trevor Noah has vastly improved the show. "It's not meant as a denigration of me," Stewart, 57, said on Howard Stern's SiriusXM show on Thursday, June 25. "The evolution of show was also about opening our eyes to some of the realities of business around us." In 1999, Stewart took over "The Daily Show" for original host Craig Kilborn, who stuck with it from the 1996 premiere until Stewart's tenure began, according to People. Under Stewart, "The Daily Show" writers room had serious diversity issues — and Stewart admits he didn't respond well to criticism of that fact. "… It was — like pretty much everything in late-night comedy — that sort of Harvard Lampoon school of pasty white guys sitting in a room," he told Stern. "Evolving the show past that took a really long time. It was a lot of work and often times it came with defensiveness." He went on to explain how the privileged, wealthy folks in charge of radio and TV still come from the same families and social circles as their predecessors because of hiring practices like not paying interns — which leads to interns necessarily coming from a certain socioeconomic echelon. "So it took us a long time to fix a lot of those tributaries," he continued. Moves to change that were little more than "diversity for diversity's sake" at first, Stewart recalled, until he and others figured out they "weren't actually changing the system" that way. "It took 16 years to change it at a glacial pace," he continued. By contrast, Stewart looks to 37-year-old Noah — who's not only younger and more involved with the important social media conversations happening today but also brings with him the experience of growing up under Apartheid in South Africa with mixed race parents — and sees a host who can better identify areas where "The Daily Show" can improve or get more engaged. "… That kind of mindset … because I didn't grow up in it … it's not a part of me," Stewart said. "For Trevor, it's a part of him. It flows from him naturally. You don't do it because necessarily it's the right thing to do — it makes it better. The show is better."
Keep reading to find out why Miley Cyrus was hit with a lawsuit this week …
Photographer sues Miley Cyrus for $150k for posting photo of herself
Miley Cyrus is the latest celebrity to be sued for posting a photo of herself on social media. A $150,000 lawsuit filed by a photographer credited as Chosen Figure in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, June 25, cites a picture of the singer that appeared on her Instagram was not cleared for her use before it earned 2,618,259 likes. The image showed Cyrus leaving a Feb. 12 Marc Jacobs show during New York Fashion Week in a crop top, loose-fitting black pants and red boots. "Defendants ran the photograph on their website to promote their brand," attorney Richard Liebowitz said in the suit, which names Cyrus' company, according to Page Six. "Defendants did not license the photograph … nor did defendants have Plaintiff's permission or consent to publish the photograph," the attorney adds. The language used matches, almost verbatim, that of an April lawsuit filed against Amy Schumer by photographer Felipe Ramales, another filed against Ellen Barkin in March and a third, filed in May, against Jennifer Hudson. That's probably because Liebowitz, the lawyer handling the case against Cyrus, represented the photographers in each previous case. Reps for Cyrus had not yet commented as of Wednesday afternoon.
Demi Lovato shares moving birthday tribute to 'positive beam of light' Max Ehrich
On Wednesday, Demi Lovato celebrated her boyfriend Max Ehrich's 29th birthday with an Instagram tribute so moving and heartfelt it could easily double as Lovato's next love song. The singer, 27, posted a gallery of photos of the two lovebirds in various states of kiss-filled embrace. "BAAAYYBEEE – I have so much fun with you and there's so many things I want to say right now but I want to be present and spend this bday with you so I'll be quick," she gushed in the caption. "Being with you makes life SO MUCH FUN 😆😝 We literally act like hooligans on the daily and don't give a F— if we're embarrassing ourselves if others are around!! I spend my days with you, bare faced and in a bathing suit.. I feel unconditionally loved and accepted by you in a way that I've never felt before." Though she goes on to say she "can't explain it or you … you're indescribable, you beautiful, man," she gives it a pretty strong college try. "Inside and out you are jaw-droppingly gorgeous..," she continues. "You're also such a positive lil beam of light in my life and I can't wait to make more birthday memories together.." The smitten singer wraps things up with a toast to "the future," and "I love you" and a heads up for followers: "everyone swipe to see my dog Ella literally trying to steal my man… 🤣." In response, the "young and the Restless" star commented, "I love you infinitely baby ❤️😌," as hundreds of fans swooned over the couple in the comments. "I love your love 😭❤️," wrote one user. Said another: "May we all find love like this." (Truth.) After multiple rounds of rumors the two were an item, Lovato and Ehrich confirmed their relationship status in the music video for Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber's ode to quarantine love, "Stuck With U."
Cardi B shuts down users posting #CardiBIsOverParty
Cardi B is not here for your #CardiBIsOverParty. After noticing that hashtag was trending on Twitter Thursday, apparently because of a fake account she was accused of maintaining, the rapper hopped online to post a video in response. She sounded less than enthused, one way or the other. "I woke up and I'm seeing that they're trying to make 'Cardi B Is Cancelled Party.' I'm like what the f—. I'm not doing anything," she said in the clip (via ET). "So now I see these people I guess are editing or they're claiming I have a fake Instagram. I don't know, these people must think that I'm a 15-year-old girl." According to Cardi, there's also no truth to a rumor claiming she's feuding with Ariana Grande. "Ariana Grande? I don't even have a problem with her. Why would I ever talk about her? I like her music. I don't know," she said. "If I had issues with anybody, my team wouldn't even talk to nobody that I have issues with. I don't even have issues with any of these girls… Don't make lies about me. It's tiring. It's annoying."
Halsey set to debut her first book of poetry
If you need some inspiration knocking out the rest of those quarantine goals, look no further than Halsey. In the wake of news she's studying to take the bar exam, Page Six reports the singer is also getting ready to release a book of poetry. Due out Nov. 10 via Simon & Schuster, "I Would Leave Me if I Could" is all about "doomed relationships, family ties, sexuality and mental illness," according to a statement quoted by the tab. There's also an audio version coming. "I wrote a few thousand sentences but am somehow struggling to string together a single one to summarize how excited I am about this," she wrote on Instagram this week.
Janelle Monae opens up about the 'triggering' experience of filming 'Antebellum'
In "Antebellum," the forthcoming horror film from the producers of Jordan Peele's "Us" and "Get Out," Janelle Monae plays a successful, present-day author who suddenly finds herself enslaved in a hellish version of America where the South won the Civil War. Psychologically, it was … a lot to take (understatement). "Oh, I brought all of my ancestors home with me," Monae says in a roundtable for dramatic actresses published by The Hollywood Reporter this week. "This is a project that is so of the times, and it was not going to be a yes for me because I knew the responsibility and the weight of it and I knew what this character was going to have to go through physically and emotionally," she continues. "And we were filming most of the stuff at night on a plantation, and I felt everything. There were just certain conversations even at craft services that if I heard would be triggering for me. I couldn't even talk to my family sometimes. It was kind of unhealthy when I think back. But, also, this past year, I filmed 'Antebellum,' I went on tour and then I started 'Homecoming,' so I didn't have a break mentally." "Antebellum" is due out Aug. 21.
Reese Witherspoon admits she 'didn't understand what homosexuality was' as a teen
In Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington's Hulu series, "Little Fires Everywhere," themes around sexuality, race and class are so central they're almost characters themselves. That's particularly true because of how the story's '90s setting guides the way those issues are talked about — or glossed over. As Witherspoon, 44, told her former "Legally Blonde" co-star Regina King in a recent video conversation for Variety, she looked to her own childhood for reference when it came to playing Elena, a wealthy white and privileged surburban mom who struggles to communicate with one of her daughters as she navigates new feelings about her sexual identity. Reflecting on what she called, "that great experience of being able to look at a time that was actually 30 years ago and think: 'I was a teenager then,'" Witherspoon said she asked herself, "What did my mom say about sexuality, race, class? What were the things that I was told that maybe were true or not true? How was I insensitive?" She recalled one thing, in particular. "I didn't understand what homosexuality was," she said. "My grandparents didn't explain it. My parents didn't explain it. I had to learn from somebody I met on an audition in Los Angeles." Witherspoon, who joined Washington as the show's co-producer and co-star, said some of what she remembered about how she was (not) taught about homosexuality even made it into the script. "We incorporated some of the conversation I had with my grandmother afterwards, where she said, 'Homosexuality is very rare, Reese, that's not a thing that happens very often,'" Witherspoon recalled. "And we put it in the script. Elena says it because that's what was said to me in Nashville [growing up]."
Sherri Shepherd took a swipe at 'Friends' on its lack of diversity and was never asked back: Report
Earlier this week, Jon Stewart acknowledged that when he was called out for the lack of diversity on "The Daily Show," during his tenure, he reacted by going on the defensive. It's possible the powers that be helming "Friends" did the same thing. During a conversation between ABC News and pop culture commentator Jawn Murray, who counts Sherri Shepherd as his best friend, Murray said that after Shepherd sent out a postcard announcement about her appearance on the show that included a playful swipe at the lack of diversity on "Friends," she was never asked to return. According to Murray, "Sherri was one of the few black faces that was on 'Friends,'" he explained (via Page Six). (Shepherd played a museum tour guide in "The One With Phoebe's Uterus.") "Her, Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union. And Sherri was on 'Friends' at a time that you sent out postcards to let people know, 'Hey, I'm going to be on TV,'" he continued. "Well, [Shepherd] also sent that postcard to ['Friends' co-creator] Marta [Kauffman], and she got the postcard and [Shepherd] was never asked back on the show." The postcard reportedly featured a photo of Shepherd and the line, "'Friends' get a little color." Page Six adds that Kauffman did cop to not having given much thought to the matter back then when she spoke at the virtual ATX Television Festival earlier this month. "Now, all I can think about is, what can I do, what can I do differently?" Kauffman said. "How can I run my show in a new way? That's something I wish I knew when I started show-running."
Ellen DeGeneres is developing new shows with Tiffany Haddish, Ellie Kemper and Sarah Hyland
Good news for "Ellen" fans! Ellen DeGeneres' new-ish Ellen Digital Network announced this week that the daytime TV host and comic is developing three new shows based on conversations and interviews led by Tiffany Haddish, Ellie Kemper and Sarah Hyland. While details on Haddish's series have not been released, JustJared reports Kemper is set to host a digital series about trends in the Gen Z world called, appropriately, "Help Me Gen Z." Hyland, who has shared her health struggles with fans in recent years, will co-host a comedic digital show about women's sex-related topics, anatomy and more. It's called "Lady Parts," and will be co-hosted by OB/GYN Dr. Sherry Ross.
'13 Reasons Why' star Katherine Langdon explains her absence from the final season
The controversy around "13 Reasons Why," which aired its final season this spring, had nothing to do with the marked absence of the show's central character, Hannah Baker, from Season 4. Turns out actress Katherine Langford was just too busy to participate. "I think I was still filming 'Cursed,' so I wasn't able to go in and shoot anything," Katherine recently told press (via Digital Spy). While she does appear in one scene of the finale, Digital Spy reports she was edited in using footage from a previous season. "It's funny because I haven't fully seen Season 3 or 4 – but I'm making my way through Season 3 and watching Season 4 now that that chapter's closed," she added. "I'm really proud of everyone in the cast, and we're still really tight. In many ways, I already know what happens and I'm just so proud for them. Closing that chapter was such a special part instilled in all of our lives."