Miley Cyrus looked to her family history for sobriety motivation
It's probably no coincidence Miley Cyrus called her Instagram Live interview series, "Bright Minded" — or that she was an early celebrity adopter of the Instagram Live talk show format that's become a major player in entertainment media during the pandemic. Cyrus' brain really is bright these days. Once something of a weed poster girl, the singer revealed on Variety's latest "Big Ticket" podcast that she's been completely sober for 6 months. And yes, that includes the green stuff. "One of my favorite interviews is when I say, 'Anyone that smokes weed is a dummy.' That one I love to send to my parents, who are big stoners …," she said when asked if she ever looks back with regret on things she's done, presumably in her wilder, post "Hannah Montana" phase. (The multi-story tongue set pieces and Robin Thicke stage grinding, after all, seem to be a thing of the past.) "It's been really important for me over the last year living a sober lifestyle, because I really wanted to polish up my craft," she explained. "I had really big vocal surgery in November. I had freaking four weeks where I wasn't allowed to talk. I was so ripped writing on the whiteboard, yelling at everybody [Laughs]. I had this one big bicep from just yelling at mom and still trying to do meetings. But it prepared me for the stillness and the quietness." Asked if she's "sober, sober," Cyrus said she is, and that's in large part because of therapy that's delved into the mental health and addiction issues that run in her family. "I've been 'sober sober' for the past six months," she continued. "At the beginning, it was just about this vocal surgery." But she was also thinking about her parents' backgrounds and their abandonment issues. "I did a lot of family history, which has a lot of addiction and mental health challenges. So just going through that and asking, 'Why am I the way that I am?'" she recalled. "By understanding the past, we understand the present and the future much more clearly. I think therapy is great." Miley — whose boyfriend Cody Simpson, was also sober as of last fall, according to his rep — admitted that at 27, sobriety comes with a "stigma of 'you're no fun.'" Her response? "It's like, 'honey, you can call me a lot of things, but I know that I'm fun.'" Cyrus added that what she really "loves" about sobriety is how she starts each day: "I don't want to wake up feeling groggy. I want to wake up feeling ready." As for the future of "Bright Minded," Cyrus wouldn't confirm or deny whether she's taking it the series to television, teasing only, "we'll see."
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Kerry Washington talks diversity, and lack thereof, in Hollywood
At some point, the stories that get told in the theater and on the screen need some deep re-examination if the industry can ever live up to its current calls for real and lasting diversity. "When we say we're committed to diversity — it's diverse from what?" she asked on the latest "Hollywood the Sequel podcast (via JustJared). "We're still centering whiteness as the most important thing and inviting diversity around that or when we talk about inclusivity, there's still an in and an out … We're still centering certain kinds of people and maybe in tiny fractions allowing other people to the table. There's just so much of it that needs to reexamined." While the "Little Fires Everywhere" producer allowed that she hopes her industry has "the courage to make room for one another," she said changing Hollywood will take the kind of pro-active approach adopted by the Black Lives Matter movement. "… It's not enough to just not be racist," she said. "We have to be actively anti-racist and for that desire to come from a deep understanding that we all deserve full rights of humanity."
Will Smith reflects on how fear, divorce and his parents made fatherhood a struggle
For Will Smith, fatherhood has been a long and emotional journey affected by self-doubt, memories of his own father's parenting and of his dad physically abusing his mom. The actor got candid about all of that and more on Jada Pinkett Smith's Father's Day-themed "Red Table Talk." Recalling his "stark terror" the day he and his now ex-wife Sheree Fletcher brought home their son Trey, now 27, Smith admits he "cried so hard" because he realized he was "totally responsible for this life" (via People). He was tearing up at that point in the show. "It hit me how fragile parenting is," he said. "In that moment, I could see all the spectacular lessons my father had instilled in me, and I was like, there's no way. I'm not that good." The anxiety only got worse after he and Fletcher split. "Divorce was the ultimate failure for me," he explained. "I've been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don't think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my 2-year-old son's mother. Sheree and I ran into that — if a man's not a great husband, then he loses his parental rights." Smith said he knew he'd never subject his kids to witnessing their father hit their mother after his own experience. "But in the first couple years of Trey's life, because Sheree and I were divorced, I think my desire to never have my son see me in that way made me more absent as a father. I wanted to create enough distance." Eventually, he said, Trey "came looking for his father," they reconnected and have stayed close since.
RELATED: New celeb dads celebrating their first Father's Day in 2020
Laverne Cox auctions off 2019 Emmys Pride-themed purse for a good cause
Last fall, Laverne Cox accented the layers of voluminous, dusty lavender tulle she wore to the Emmy Awards with a special, custom clutch by Edie Parker. Now, she's auctioning off a replica to raise money for the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which works to end violence against members of the LGBQT and HIV-affected communities and provides counseling services to survivors, according to Page Six. It's an apt auction item. Featuring the colors of the Pride flag and emblazoned with the words "#transisbeautiful" and "Oct. 8, Title VII, Supreme Court," the clutch highlights what was, when Cox took it to the 2019 Emmys, still an upcoming date for the Supreme Court to hear arguments concerning the extension of Title XII job discrimination protections to LGBTQ workers. On June 15, the court ruled, 6-3, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does indeed protect any worker from being fired on the basis of sexual preference. Or, as the "Orange Is the New Black" star put it on social media the day the decision came down, it is now illegal "to fire someone #LGBTQI+ from their job for being who they are." The purse is valued at $2,500 and 100 percent of proceeds go to the Anti-Violence Project, according to CharityBuzz.com. The auction ends July 8.
Orlando Bloom is 'really excited' to have a daughter
As summer gets underway, Katy Perry's due date is creeping closer — but she and Orlando Bloom have no name picked out for their daughter-to-be. "We have yet to decide specifically on her name because, I think, we've got options and she'll tell us," Katy said this week on Mix 104.1's "Karson & Kennedy" show (via People). "I'll look at her and go, 'Oh yeah yeah, you are her, you are that!'" The singer also shared that while Orlando has a 9-year-old son, Flynn, "he's really excited for a little girl," adding, "They say that little girls are 'Daddy's little girl,' that's how it's gonna be, [so] we'll see!" The engaged couple announced they were expecting earlier this year.
Jimmy Kimmel formally apologizes for blackface impressions
Calls to "#CancelKimmel" trended on Twitter this week after clips resurfaced showing Jimmy Kimmel in blackface for a recurring skit and repeatedly using the "N"-word on a 1996 comedy Christmas album. He issued a statement to CNN and other outlets on Tuesday in which he said he'd been "reluctant to address" the incidents for fear "doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us." He continued: "That delay was a mistake. There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke." Giving context, he explained: "On KROQ radio in the mid-90s, I did a recurring impression of the NBA player Karl Malone. "In the late '90s, I continued impersonating Malone on TV. We hired makeup artists to make me look as much like Karl Malone as possible. I never considered that this might be seen as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being, one that had no more to do with Karl's skin color than it did his bulging muscles and bald head." Referencing his other impressions over the years, he wrote: "In each case, I thought of them as impersonations of celebrities and nothing more. Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices." Kimmel said he's "evolved and matured" in the decades since he filmed those skits. "I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me," he wrote. "I love this country too much to allow that," he wrote. "I won't be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas." He added that his summer break was planned over a year ago as a vacation, though many Twitter users posted that he left because he "knew this was coming." In closing, he wrote: "Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I've disappointed, I am sorry." Kimmel was also widely criticized this week for making a chauvinistic joke at Megan Fox's expense when she described being objectified at age 15 by Michael Bay.
Mel Gibson denies Winona Ryder's claim he used the phrase 'oven dodger' while asking if she was Jewish
A rep for Mel Gibson is slamming Winona Ryder's claim the actor used anti-Semitic and anti-gay language about her and a friend at a "crowded party" in 1995. In an interview with The Sunday Times published over the weekend, Ryder, who's heritage is Jewish, recounted a story she's shared in the past about Gibson. She said that at a Hollywood bash in the '90s, "… we're all talking and he said to my friend, who's gay, 'Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?' And then something came up about Jews, and he said, 'You're not an oven dodger, are you?'" On Tuesday, Gibson's rep called the claim "100 percent untrue" in a statement emailed to the New York Post. "She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she's lying about it now," the spokesperson wrote to the Post. "Also, she lied about him trying to apologize to her back then. He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies, and she refused to address it with him." Gibson has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments in the past, including to police who were booking him with DUI in 2006.
Nicole Kidman shared close relationships with both Joel Schumacher and Steve Bing
In less than 24 hours on Monday, Hollywood lost "Batman Forever" and "St. Elmo's Fire" director Joel Schumacher, followed by producer, film financier, writer and philanthropist Steve Bing. Nicole Kidman was close to both, according to the Daily Mail, which reports the actress looked to Schumacher as a "mentor" and Bing as a "close friend." On her Instagram Story Tuesday morning, as Los Angeles police confirmed Bing taken his own life the evening before, Kidman paid tribute to Schumacher on her Instagram Story. "I'm heartbroken," she wrote of the 80-year-old, who suffered from cancer for a year prior to his death this week. "Joel was a friend of intelligence, compassion and humour [sic]- a director with a twinkle in his eye, a nurturing spirit and many stories to tell," she continued. "He will be missed." Though she didn't mention Bing, 55, in her post, the Mail reminds us she was rumored to have been involved romantically with him following her split from Tom Cruise. Steve's ex-wife Elizabeth Hurley and their son, Damian Hurley, have both shared posts about Bing following news of his suicide.
Lena Waithe calls out Hollywood mags for acting 'like Black television is invisible'
Despite an increasingly strong push for better representation in pop culture, Lena Waithe is still seeing a lack of acknowledgment of shows about Black people from major publications. She stopped by "The Late Late Show" Monday to BET series "Twenties," which James Corden praised as being Emmy-worthy, ET reports. Waithe remained unconvinced her show has a shot, though. "Look, I just read The Hollywood Reporter, and The Hollywood Reporter has some explaining to do," she said. "Because their list of TV/Emmy nominees, like, people that are hopefuls, all the Black shows are, like, on the long shot list or a major threat. It's, like, don't act like Black television is invisible," she continued. "And that's up to places like The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety, and all these trades, to not ignore the 'Insecures,' the 'BlackAFs' the 'Dear White Peoples.' They have ignored our shows for so long, and they act like we don't even belong in the conversation. And I think it's unfair. I think it's not cool, and I don't have any qualms about calling them out on that." Corden , for his part, urged viewers not only to check out "Twenties" but to spread the word to friends and others about how good it is.
Fergie is 'focusing on being a mom' after leaving Black Eyed Peas
After a long hiatus from pop, the Black Eyed Peas are back this month with a new album, "Translation." Featuring a new singer, J. Rey Soul, it's their first major studio release since Fergie left the group. And as they assured Billboard in a recent interview, they all remain friends and understand why she opted out a decade ago to start a family. "We try to keep in touch. We reach out every once in a while and say our hellos and happy birthdays and Merry Christmas and Happy Easter," said will.i.am. "She knows where we're at! We're at the studio. And we love her, and she's focusing on being a mom [to son, Axl, 6]. That's a hard job, and that's what she really wants to do and we're here for her, and she knows how to contact us for a retreat or a breakaway. It's really the way Fergie designed it, so we're respecting her design. We love Fergie, and we don't want anything but awesomeness for her." Will also said Fergie has not yet heard the album.