"Glee" co-stars call out Lea Michele for past on-set bad behavior following Black Lives Matter tweet
After taking to Twitter to share her support for the Black Lives Matter movement while condemning the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25, Lea Michele was hit with backlash from some of her former "Glee" co-stars. Samantha Marie Ware, who starred on the sixth season of "Glee," replied to Lea's tweet, "LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISION GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE I'LL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD 'S— IN MY WIG!' AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD…" Others chimed in as did Heather Morris, who on June 3 tweeted of Lea, "Was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out." She added that implying Lea is racist, however, is an assumption. The same day, Lea took to Instagram to apologize, though it rang hollow for many. "Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused," she wrote. "We can all grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings."
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ABC names Matt James as the next star of "The Bachelor"
On June 12, "Good Morning America" revealed that Matt James, a 28-year-old real estate broker, community organization founder and entrepreneur will be the star of the next season of "The Bachelor" — making him the franchise's first ever Black lead. According to ABC executive Rob Mills, who's responsible for overseeing the "Bachelor" franchise, they had their sights set on Matt even before recent renewed scrutiny over the show's lack of diversity erupted. "Matt was somebody who was on our radar and we were thinking about him. We were thinking, 'Do we announce him early, or do we put him on Clare [Crawley's upcoming] season [of 'The Bachelorette'] and then announce him later if it doesn't work out with Clare?' We didn't make a final decision until recently, but this has been talked about for quite some time." Season 25 of "The Bachelor" should air in 2021. But first, Clare's season of "The Bachelorette" will begin filming this summer in a single location in Southern California, Variety reported, instead of traveling around the world in order to mitigate health risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"That '70s Show" star Danny Masterson charged with raping three women
On June 17, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office charged "That '70s Show" star Danny Masterson with raping three women in separate incidents that took place between 2001 and 2003. The actor was arrested the same day and released after posting a $3.3 million bond. Police have been investigating the actor over sexual assault allegations made by multiple women — some of whom previously filed a civil suit against him and his religion, the Church of Scientology, which they allege engaged in a conspiracy to cover up what happened — since 2017. Danny maintains he's innocent.
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Alex Trebek, Kelly Clarkson among notable winners at Daytime Emmys
The 47th Daytime Emmy Awards were broadcast on CBS on June 26. It's the first time the show was back on television in five years, even though stars were not able to gather in one location to celebrate. Instead, TV stars delivered acceptances speeches from home. The most notable winners? "The Young and the Restless" was named best daytime drama and took home eight prizes in total, the most for any show, while "Jeopardy!" was named best game show and its leader Alex Trebek, earned his seventh best game show host Emmy. Kelly Clarkson won best entertainment talk show host for her work on her very first season of her eponymous show while "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" won best entertainment talk show. "The View" was named best informative talk show and "Entertainment Tonight" won for best entertainment news show.
Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart hit back at sexual misconduct allegations aimed at "Riverdale" stars
On June 21, a series of tweets from anonymous Twitter accounts accused "Riverdale" stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse and Vanessa Morgan of sexual misconduct. Cole addressed the claims, tweeting, "Earlier today myself and three other cast mates were falsely accused of sexual offense by anonymous accounts on twitter. I take these accusations very seriously, and will be working with the right teams to get to the root of it. False accusations do tremendous damage to victims of actual assault. Furthermore, I would never seek to silence anybody. I encourage that people look into the accusations themselves, as the events detailed were factually untrue. This seems to be the latest claim in a series of incidents seeking to baselessly cancel my cast mates and me." Lili reposted his tweet, adding, "I have always taken sexual assault allegations seriously. But it was proven that this account was created specifically to create false stories about me and my cast. I can't think of something more twisted than lying about sexual assault. It invalidates the men and women who are… brave enough to come forward with the truth. This kind of lie can ruin lives and careers — and I can call it a lie because the person who made the allegations already admitted that the stories were fabricated. We are looking into taking legal action. This kind of sick behavior only harms true survivors. This was incredibly triggering for me and scary because I've always supported survivors and believed them."
"The Walking Dead" actor Khary Payton introduces transgender son on Twitter
On June 15, "The Walking Dead" actor Khary Payton, who played King Ezekiel, took to Twitter to introduce his 11-year-old transgender son, Karter. "This my kid. One of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals I've ever known. My son, Karter. Karter with a K because it reminded him of my name. He chose it. You see, he was born female but has always identified as a boy," Khary wrote. "He thought it would be cool if I announced it on social media." Khary's decision to introduce Karter came moments after the Supreme Court's groundbreaking 6-3 ruling in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ workers from job discrimination by federal law. Before making the announcement, the "General Hospital" actor reminded his son that some people might be unkind to him online, to which Karter responded, "Yeah, I know about trolls, daddy. I can handle trolls." While the announcement was Karter's idea, Khary also felt a sense of pride in writing it. "Man, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves," the actor said. "This is his journey, and I am here for it. I hope you all have the opportunity to feel the unquenchable love that I am feeling right now."
"Fuller House" addresses Aunt Becky's absence during Lori Loughlin college admissions scandal
Following her 2019 arrest for her involvement in a college admissions cheating scandal, "Fuller House" star Lori Loughlin was not asked back to the family sitcom. As a result, Aunt Becky was noticeably absent from the show's fifth and final season. On the 15th episode entitled "Be Yourself, Free Yourself," her TV husband, played by John Stamos, finally explained where his wife has been all this time. "Aunt Becky is in Nebraska helping out her mother. I don't want to bother her with a tiny little thing like this," he told DJ Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) when she suggested asking Becky for approval before devising a plan to figure out which of his daughter's classmates is responsible for biting her at school.
Jimmy Fallon apologizes for wearing blackface
During the June 1 episode of "The Tonight Show," Jimmy Fallon addressed a resurfaced 2000 "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which he wore blackface while impersonating Chris Rock. He told viewers that he wasn't going to put on a "normal show" and that he'd spent time reflecting on his behavior. "I had to really examine myself, really examine myself, in the mirror this week because a story came out about me on 'SNL' doing an impression of Chris Rock in blackface — and I was horrified," the late night host said in part. "Not at the fact that people were trying to cancel me or cancel the show, which is scary enough, but the thing that haunted me the most was: How do I say I love this person? I respect this guy more than I respect most humans. I'm not a racist. I don't feel this way." Jimmy went on to share that he was initially advised to keep quiet out of fear that him saying something would only result in more backlash. "So I thought about it and I realized I can't not say I'm horrified and I'm sorry and I'm embarrassed," he added.
Howard Stern addresses 1993 blackface sketch
On the June 15 episode of his SiriusXM radio show, Howard Stern addressed a resurfaced 1993 sketch in which he wore blackface and made derogatory comments while parodying actor Ted Danson, who'd worn blackface during a New York Friars Club roast that same year. "I won't go back and watch those old shows; it's like, 'Who is that guy?' But that was my shtick. That's what I did and I own it," Howard said. "I don't think I got embraced by Nazi groups and hate groups. They seemed to think I was against them too. Everybody had a bone to pick with me." Howard went on to say that he recognized the need to "figure out a better way to communicate." He continued: "If I had to do it all over again, would I lampoon Ted Danson, a white guy in blackface? Yeah, I was lampooning him and saying 'I'm going to shine a light on this.' But would I go about it the same way now? Probably not. Not probably, I wouldn't."
Jimmy Kimmel addresses blackface sketches
On June 23, Jimmy Kimmel apologized for wearing blackface and using insensitive racial language in past comedy sketches on "The Man Show," which aired from 1999 to 2004, in which he impersonated Black people including basketball star Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey. "I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew 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. 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," the late night host said, explaining that at the time, he didn't think his skits about the NBA star would be seen as any more than an imitation, "one that had no more to do with Karl's skin color than it did his bulging muscles and bald head." He insisted that he didn't approach the impersonations in racial terms. But, he added, "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." The comedian said he's matured since then. "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. I love this country too much to allow that," he said. "I won't be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas."
Jon Hamm is dating a former "Mad Men" co-star
Us Weekly reported on June 23 that recent rumors speculating that Jon Hamm has been dating actress Anna Osceola — who appeared on the 2015 finale of "Mad Men" (she played Clementine, the woman in braids at the counter at the Esalen Institute when Don Draper was figuring out how to get home) and later starred on "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders" — are true. The duo have been seen together several times since 2017, often playing tennis, though it was unclear at the time that they were anything more than friends.
Gabrielle Union files discrimination complaint against "America's Got Talent" producers
On June 4, Gabrielle Union filed a harassment complaint against NBC and "America's Got Talent" producers accusing them of "racial bullying" by failing to "promptly investigate" her complaints regarding racist and misogynistic behavior on the show's set in 2019. According to Variety, Gabrielle also alleges that NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy threatened her about speaking out about claims she experienced racism on the popular competition show. "When Gabrielle Union informed NBC of racially offensive conduct during the taping of 'America's Got Talent,' NBC did not 'stand' with her in 'outrage at acts of racism,'" said Gabrielle's attorney, Bryan Freedman while citing the company's show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. "Instead, NBC did not care enough to either promptly investigate Ms. Union's complaints or even ask HR to get involved. Rather, NBC stood against her and directed its 'outrage' at Ms. Union for whistleblowing about the racially offensive conduct she experienced while working for NBC on 'America's Got Talent.'" Gabrielle's former "AGT" co-star Terry Crews — who previously failed to support her battle against the show's producers — apologized to her via Twitter on June 4. "I want to make further amends with Black women, and in particular [Gabrielle Union] for not recognizing the privilege I have — especially in the workplace," he wrote. "If we are to move forward as a people we must do the work required to heal the relationships in our community first. To whom much is given, much is required. I have a huge responsibility — and I vow to honor it."
Hayden Panettiere is in a "good place" following split from Brian Hickerson
On June 17, Us Weekly reported that "Heroes" and "Nashville" alum Hayden Panettiere and on-off boyfriend Brian Hickerson have ended things for good following his February arrest for domestic abuse. "She's in a good place right now," said a source. "She's on the path to recovery." Brian was previously arrested following an argument with the actress in May 2019, though charges were ultimately dropped. "She and Brian haven't had contact," the source continued. "He's moved back to his hometown in South Carolina, and friends are praying this is the end of her journey with him." According to a second source, Hayden "has done a 180-degree turn since her terrible ordeal with Brian" and is ready to move on. "She's moving ahead with her life and getting back into working in Hollywood and being creative again. It's all very therapeutic for her."
Bravo and MTV fire reality TV stars after past racist actions resurface
On June 9, Bravo released a statement confirming that Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Matt Boyens and Brett Caprioni would not be returning to "Vanderpump Rules" after information regarding their past racist actions resurfaced. The move came after former castmate Faith Stowers, who's Black, recounted a story of how she was falsely accused of committing a crime by Stassi and Kristen — who reported her to police — in 2018. Matt and Brett were axed from the series after fans discovered a series of racially charged tweets they'd posted between 2011 and 2013. Similarly, on June 16, MTV announced that it was "cutting ties" with "Siesta Key" star Alex Kompothecras and "editing the current third season" of the reality show to "minimize his presence" after racist social media posts and comments he made recently come to light. And on June 17, Bravo announced that "Below Deck Mediterranean" star Peter Hunziker had been terminated for posting a racist and misogynistic meme on his Instagram Story.
Chris D'Elia denies sexual misconduct allegations
On June 17, TMZ published a statement from comedian Chris D'Elia denying allegations that he asked underage women to send him sexually explicit photos of themselves. "I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point," he told TMZ. "All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me. That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That's MY fault. I own it. I've been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better." Fans pointed out the irony as he played a sexual predator on the second season of Netflix's "You." Chris later released multiple emails exchanged with his accusers in an effort to clear his name. The controversy exploded on June 16 when a woman tweeted several screenshots of her interactions with the comedian from when she said she was 16. As a result, anonymous sources also came forward to share their own stories of how Chris allegedly solicited them for explicit photos and sex.
County sheriff says the will of Carole Baskin's missing husband was "100% a forgery"
On June 2, Chad Chronister, the sheriff of Hillsborough County, Florida, said that two experts had determined that the will of millionaire Don Lewis, "Tiger King" star Carole Baskin's missing husband, was "100% a forgery." According to Chad, "the only reason" legal action has not been taken is because the statute of limitations has passed. In an interview with a local news station, Chad added that the forgery "certainly cast another shadow of suspicion" on Don's disappearance. "Investigators have some great leads, they're working through them. I hope something pans out," he said. Carole inherited her long-missing husband's fortune after he was declared dead in 2002, five years after he disappeared. Over the years, there has been much speculation about whether she could have been involved in his vanishing. "Don was not easy to live with and like most couples, we had our moments," Carole said in statement on her Big Cat Rescue website. "But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance. When he disappeared, I did everything I could to assist the police. I encouraged them to check out the rumors from Costa Rica, and separately I hired a private investigator."
"Tiger King" star Joe Exotic moved to prison hospital bed from isolation after claiming "I'll be dead in 2-3 months" in letter to fans
On June 8, TMZ released a three-page letter penned by Joe Exotic to his supporters just five months into his 22-year federal prison sentence. In the letter, the "Tiger King" star asked "President Trump to keep his word and look into making this wrong a right and grant me a miracle." Joe went on to request the help of prison reform advocates Kim Kardashian West and Cardi B to help get him released. "Please ladies I've done nothing wrong but act a fool to protect my zoo from arson and people hurting my animals. Hear my scream for help," he wrote. The former big cat zoo owner also wrote about his mental and physical health. "My soul is dead, I struggle everyday to hold on to what little hope I can find. [The guards] keep me locked down 24/7 with no phone, email or commissary, and you will never understand the mental abuse this does to a person," he said, adding that he requires "blood infusions every 4 weeks" as he was born with CVID, an antibody deficiency, but has not received one since January. "I'll be dead in 2-3 months," he claimed. According to Joe, husband Dillon Passage abandoned him behind bars, though Dillon has since shared that he's "been writing letters and it is a shame to hear that [Joe] isn't receiving them." On June 23, a rep for the Netflix star revealed on Instagram that Joe had been released from isolation — he had been in a security housing unit — and placed in "a room with a hospital bed and a WINDOW," his rep wrote on Instagram, following a letter-writing campaign from 2,000 fans.
Notable TV names we lost in June
On June 10, the official Twitter account for the "This Is Us" writers announced the death of Jas Waters, who was a staff writer on the series' second season. "The entire #ThisIsUs family was devastated to learn of Jas Waters passing. In our time together, Jas left her mark on us and ALL over the show. She was a brilliant storyteller and a force of nature. We send our deepest sympathies to her loved ones. She was one of us. RIP @JasFly." The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's later revealed that the 39-year-old died by suicide… On June 2, character actress Mary Pat Gleason died at 70 following a cancer battle. She was known for her work on TV shows like "Saved by the Bell," "Sex and the City," "Desperate Housewives" and, more recently, "Mom," as well as her work in movies like "A Cinderella Story," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "Basic Instinct," "Traffic," "Bruce Almighty," "13 Going on 30" and "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser."
Stacey Dash files for divorce, Zooey Deschanel's divorce is finalized
On June 15, "Clueless" alum and former Fox News contributor Stacey Dash filed to divorce her fourth husband, attorney Jeffrey Marty, in Pasco County, Florida. According to "Entertainment Tonight," she indicated their date of separation as Oct. 1, 2019. Stacey, who was married to Jeffrey for about two years, first announced their split in April. In other TV star divorce news, Us Weekly reported on June 24 that "New Girl" alum Zooey Deschanel's divorce from producer Jacob Pechenik had been finalized nine months after news of their split broke. She's since been dating "Property Brothers" star Jonathan Scott.
Brian Austin Green seen with Courtney Stodden following Megan Fox split
On June 13, "Beverly Hills, 90120" alum Brian Austin Green and reality TV star Courtney Stodden were seen grabbing takeout from a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, sparking romance speculation on the heels of his split from Megan Fox. But TMZ soon reported that they're just friends "who met about a month ago via social media." According to the webloid, the two "share similar political views, the kind that makes them want to make a change that's bigger than themselves," and while their relationship was "platonic" at the time, "things could change." TMZ also stated that Courtney, who recently finalized her divorce from "Lost" actor Doug Hutchison, is "committed to herself and not looking for a relationship."
Bill Cosby granted right to appeal his sexual assault convictions
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled on June 23 that disgraced comedian and TV star Bill Cosby can appeal two key issues in his 2018 conviction for sexual assault crimes. His legal team has questioned the allowance of "prior bad act" testimony about assaults he allegedly committed that were not part of the charges against him, arguing that it shouldn't have been heard (prosecutors had sought to demonstrate a pattern of bad behavior). The "Cosby Show" star's legal team has also taken issue with a judge allowing testimony that the actor gave in a civil case — he admitted he procured Quaaludes for women he wanted to have sex with — because the district attorney at the time had "promised to never bring a criminal case based on the allegations," CNN reported.
"Friends" co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow reunite via video chat for Variety's Actors on Actors issue
On June 22 in celebration of its Actors on Actors issue, Variety posted a video chat between former "Friends" co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow during which they reminisced about the series and praised each other's work since. "You were so completely 'The Morning Show' host that it wasn't you anymore. I would go, 'Wait, that was Jennifer?'" Lisa said of Jen's work in the Apple TV+ original series. Lisa went on to share that she's had "commitment issues" since "Friends" ended. "Just fear of committing to something because nothing will ever be as good as 'Friends'? I understand," responded Jennifer. "'Friends,'" it's not like, 'Oh, it was such hard work for 10 years.' It's not that. It was that I know that show worked because we all committed to each other too. It wasn't just committing to a role, committing to a contract. We all still love each other. Our cast is like that, and that's why that worked. I think part of me died. I can't do that again." The women then shared their love of randomly coming across episodes of the famed sitcom. "I love it. I love stumbling on a 'Friends' episode. This one time I was with Courteney [Cox], and we were trying to find something to reference, an old "Friends" thing. And then we stumbled on — there's bloopers online — and we sat there at the computer like two nerds watching these bloopers laughing at ourselves," said Jen. Lisa chimed in, "I've done it too. I've done that, hours of watching bloopers."
Dick Wolf fires "Law & Order" spinoff writer for threatening to "light up" looters
On June 2, Variety released a statement from "Law & Order" creator and executive producer Dick Wolf announcing his decision to fire "SVU" spinoff writer Craig Gore. It came after Craig posted photos of himself on Twitter holding a weapon while threatening to "light motherf—–s up who are trying to [mess] w/ my property" amidst Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles. "I will not tolerate this conduct, especially during our hour of national grief. I am terminating Craig Gore immediately," the series creator said. The former "Chicago P.D." writer was also dropped from his agency after his controversial comments came to light. "Craig Gore is no longer a Paradigm client. We condemn his post in the strongest possible terms," the agency told Variety.