TIME controversy

Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz Backtrack on Israel and Gaza Letter

"The Counselor" - Photocall
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz attend a photocall for 'The Counselor' at The Dorchester on October 5, 2013 in London, England. Dave J Hogan--Getty Images

The Oscar-winning actors issue clarifying statements on the Israel-Hamas conflict, after being heavily criticized for co-signing an open letter lamenting Israel's actions in Gaza

Spanish actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz have each released statements clarifying their position on the war in Gaza after the married couple were heavily criticized for co-signing an open letter in a Spanish newspaper which condemned Israel’s actions.

The letter, published by El Diario earlier this week, included the signatures of many heavyweights in the Spanish film industry and called on the European Union to “condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”

Since the letter was published, the Oscar-winning couple has faced fierce criticism and accusations of anti-Semitism in Israel and beyond. The response has been so hostile that both actors issued statements in order to clarify their personal intentions. The No Country for Old Men star released a statement titled “Plea for Peace” on Thursday, which read:

“My signature was solely meant as a plea for peace. Destruction and hatred only generate more hatred and destruction.

While I was critical of the Israeli military response, I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses. I am now being labeled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife – which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings. We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war.

I was raised to be against any act of violence, and the consequent suffering of humanity for it, regardless of religions, ethnicities and borders. Too many innocent Palestinian mothers have lost their children to this conflict. Too many innocent Israeli mothers share the same grief. There should not be any political reason that can justify such enormous pain on both sides. It’s my hope that leaders involved in this complicated struggle will heed the call of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, ‘In the name of humanity, the violence must stop.’

Palestinians and Israelis in the region deserve to have their safety and human rights recognized and respected so in the near future they may find peace and co-existence, for themselves and their innocent children. So generations to come could bring hope, forgiveness and compassion for each other. This is the most basic and necessary way to peace for all of us.”

Bardem’s statement came hot on the heels of his wife’s own public clarification, as Cruz released a statement to USA Today on Wednesday, which said:

“I don’t want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I’m not an expert on the situation and I’m aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border. I wish for unity, and peace.”

Earlier this week, TIME’s Lily Rothman wrote about the backlash that often follows when celebrities wade into the thorny issue of Middle East politics. Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Scarlett Johansson have all faced blow-back in recent years after expressing opinions on the situation in Israel, whether on social media or in interviews about endorsements. The public ire is often harsh enough that these celebrities are quick to walk back on — or delete — their original statements.

In the case of Bardem and Cruz, the pair appear to be attempting to neutralize the backlash by expanding on their sympathies for civilians on both sides of the border and emphasizing their wish for peace.

TIME celebrity

Emma Watson Laughs In The Face of Turkish Politician’s Sexism

2014 Tribeca Film Festival - "Boulevard"
-Actress Emma Watson attends the premiere of "Boulevard" during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 20, 2014 in New York City. Steve Mack--FilmMagic

The Harry Potter actress and newly named Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women laughs in the face of sexism

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc sparked outrage earlier this week when he addressed a crowd celebrating the end of Ramadan and then launched into a lament about the erosion of traditional values. The politician noted that “A woman should be chaste. She should know the difference between public and private. She should not laugh in public.”

Public backlash was swift, and it seems Arinc has even annoyed Hermione with his comments. On Thursday, Emma Watson joined the online protest — where women have been defiantly tweeting and posting photos of themselves laughing — by sharing a photo of herself doubled over. And on the street, no less!

The Harry Potter star and newly named Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women is just one of thousands of women who have been protesting the politician’s remarks and even included the hashtage #direnkahkaha, which translates to “resist laughter.” Enough people have joined in on the backlash against Arinc’s remarks that both the hashtags ‎#direnkahkaha and #direnkadin (“resist woman”) have become trending topics on Twitter.

So far, more than 16,000 people have retweeted Watson’s photo.

TIME celebrity

Katy Perry Doesn’t ‘Need A Dude’ to Have a Baby

Rolling Stone

The pop icon opens up to Rolling Stone

Pop star Katy Perry talked babies and cultural appropriation for Rolling Stone’s new cover story.

The star says she’s interested in having a child someday, but does not need society to tell her how to do it. In other words: a man is not key to Perry’s baby plans.

“I don’t need a dude,” said Perry. She cited friends and celebrity couple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka,”I mean, Neil and David, their twins are beautiful. It’s 2014! We are living in the future; we don’t need anything. I don’t think I’ll have to, but we’ll see. I’m not anti-men. I love men. But there is an option if someone doesn’t present himself.”

Perry also commented on criticism about several aspects of her stage show, including a geisha-inspired American Music Award performance and dancers dressed as mummies with big, fake butts on her current tour. But Perry says none of the costumes are meant to play up racism and cultural stereotypes.

“Those girls aren’t African-American,” she told Rolling Stone. “But it’s actually a representation of our culture wanting to be plastic, and that’s why there’s bandages and it’s mummies. I thought that would really correlate well together… It came from an honest place.”

But for now, Katy Perry is just going to focus on making music.

 

TIME celebrity

Alicia Keys Pregnant With Her Second Child

The announcement was made on Instagram

Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz announced via Instagram on Thursday that they’re expecting a second child.

Beatz posted a photo with his clearly pregnant wife with the birthday message: “Happy Anniversary to the love of my life @therealswizzz !! And to make it even sweeter we’ve been blessed with another angel on the way!! 🎊🎉🎊🎉 You make me happier than I have ever known! Here’s to many many more years of the best parts of life! 😍☺️😘”

The couple already has a three-year-old son named Egypt.

TIME movies

Jamie Foxx Will Reportedly Play Mike Tyson in Upcoming Biopic

Grand Opening Celebration at W Hoboken - Inside
Jaime Foxx performs during the grand opening celebration at The Chandelier Room at W Hoboken Dimitrios Kambouris—Getty

Jamie Foxx has been cast to play Mike Tyson, one of the most polarizing modern sports figures, in an untitled biopic, Variety reports. Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter is set to write the film.

Although details are sparse, Tyson certainly has a wealth of biographical details to mine, including but not limited to: his rise and fall as a heavyweight champion, his six years in jail on rape charges, the Holyfield ear-biting incident, the tragic death of his daughter, his bankruptcy, and his re-entry into pop culture.

This wouldn’t be Foxx’s first foray into boxing films. The actor, who will appear next in the Annie reboot, played Muhammad Ali’s corner man in Ali.

[Variety]

TIME celebrity

Watch Brian Williams Pull The Ultimate Dad Move When Announcing His Daughter’s Peter Pan Casting

Adorable. Embarrassing.


Brian Williams: News anchor, amateur rapper, embarrassing dad.

Wednesday night, Williams reported his daughter, Allison Williams, was cast in NBC’s Peter Pan, the network’s first live musical since the ratings-pulling Sound of Music.

“The actress and singer is currently in the cast of Girls on HBO,” Williams said, unable to stop himself from putting an image of a young Allison in a Peter Pan costume on screen, adding, “Family members confirm she has been rehearsing for this role since the age of three, and they look forward to seeing her fly.”

Embarrassing. Adorable. If only he had made the announcement while rapping.

TIME

“Plizzanet Earth” Narrated by Snoop Dogg Is Your New Favorite Nature Show

Grab some gin and juice, sit back, and enjoy

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It’s hard to imagine watching Planet Earth without the sweet, sweet sound of David Attenborough’s silky smooth voice. It’s like the aural version of a scone with butter and jam — how can you beat that? But it turns out Snoop Dogg is pretty excellent as a narrator too. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, the rapper offered some very high-level commentary about some of nature’s greatest mysteries while watching scenes from the popular BBC nature show. For example: “This is a seal. What’s he doing acting like a dolphin?”

Somebody give this man his own nature show, please.

TIME viral

Prince Harry Continues The Royals’ Photobombing Streak

His grandmother Queen Elizabeth II went viral for photobombing a selfie a week before this photo was uploaded to Facebook

Prince Harry is giving two thumbs up in the background of this photo uploaded to Facebook last night, Monday, July 28, by former Olympic boxer Trevor Shailer. Shailer (center) was sitting with fellow New Zealanders, Sir Gordon Tietjens (left), who coaches the country’s men’s rugby team, and Gary Hermansson (right), a sports psychologist.

His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, went viral last week for photobombing an Australian field hockey player’s selfie at the games.

At this point, photo-sharing sites should just add a “Royal treatment” filter so everyone can insert their favorite member of the royal family into their selfies.

(h/t Mashable)

 

 

TIME celebrity

DMX Goes on a Ruff Ryde at the Amusement Park

He pretty much loses his mind (up in here, up in here)

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When DMX isn’t busy crashing wedding parties or soundtracking videos of llamas prancing, he’s screaming his face off on amusement park rides. The folks over at TMZ took great care to edit out X’s many, many expletives — but the beauty of this video isn’t really in the words. It’s in the grunts.

(h/t Vulture)

TIME celebrity

Here’s Benedict Cumberbatch Doing His Dragon Voice From The Hobbit at Comic-Con

He sure knows how to please a crowd

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At San Diego Comic-Con this year, Benedict Cumberbatch was quite the busy little bee. When he wasn’t off chillin’ with penguins, he was indulging his fans (er, excuse me, his Cumberbabes) by practicing the dragon voice that he crafted for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Sadly, he only says one phrase in this very special voice, but come on, don’t be greedy.

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