"You get a degree! You get a degree!" Oprah to speak at Skidmore Graduation

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

OWN(NEW YORK) — Oprah Winfrey will be a speaker at the graduation ceremony for a New York state college that some graduates of her South African school attended.

The Skidmore College website says the author, actress and former talk show host will be a speaker at the May 20 commencement.  She’ll also receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters in the Arts from the private liberal arts college, located in Saratoga Springs, 165 miles north of New York City.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, a boarding school for underprivileged South African girls, opened outside Johannesburg in 2007. Several graduates of the school have attended Skidmore.

Winfrey was at Skidmore in October of 2013 to visit two of the graduates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

"You get a degree! You get a degree!" Oprah to speak at Skidmore Graduation

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

OWN(NEW YORK) — Oprah Winfrey will be a speaker at the graduation ceremony for a New York state college that some graduates of her South African school attended.

The Skidmore College website says the author, actress and former talk show host will be a speaker at the May 20 commencement.  She’ll also receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters in the Arts from the private liberal arts college, located in Saratoga Springs, 165 miles north of New York City.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, a boarding school for underprivileged South African girls, opened outside Johannesburg in 2007. Several graduates of the school have attended Skidmore.

Winfrey was at Skidmore in October of 2013 to visit two of the graduates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Homer Simpson inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

FOX(NEW YORK) — The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, will feature a very familiar face during its Hall of Fame Classic Weekend on May 27: none other than Homer Jay Simpson.

The Hall of Fame announced that to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the classic Simpsons episode “Homer at the Bat” — which had Mr. Burns staffing a company softball team with ringers including Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry, José Canseco, Ken Griffey, Jr., Roger Clemens, Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith and Wade Boggs — Homer will be inducted into the hallowed hall.

The episode not only ended with Homer winning the game with a run scored when he was drilled by a pitch, but it was chock-full of classic moments like Springfield’s Police Chief Wiggum arresting Sax for every unsolved crime in New York City, Bart and Lisa heckling Strawberry to tears, and Smith condemned to an eternity of falling through the wondrous Springfield Mystery Spot.

It also featured Terry Cashman spoofing his own hit “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke (Talkin’ Baseball)” with the episode recapping “Talkin’ Softball.”

The commemoration will feature the unveiling of memorabilia from the show, and a roundtable with Boggs and Smith, as well as the episode’s executive producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, and casting director Bonnie Pietila.

The Simpsons has left an impressive imprint on our culture as the longest-running American sitcom, and ‘Homer at the Bat’ remains as popular today as when the episode aired in 1992,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a statement.

“Baseball is recognized as our National Pastime due to its wide intersection with American culture over the last two centuries,” he added. “[And] The Simpsons is a perfect example of that connection to Americana.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Homer Simpson inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

FOX(NEW YORK) — The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, will feature a very familiar face during its Hall of Fame Classic Weekend on May 27: none other than Homer Jay Simpson.

The Hall of Fame announced that to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the classic Simpsons episode “Homer at the Bat” — which had Mr. Burns staffing a company softball team with ringers including Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry, José Canseco, Ken Griffey, Jr., Roger Clemens, Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith and Wade Boggs — Homer will be inducted into the hallowed hall.

The episode not only ended with Homer winning the game with a run scored when he was drilled by a pitch, but it was chock-full of classic moments like Springfield’s Police Chief Wiggum arresting Sax for every unsolved crime in New York City, Bart and Lisa heckling Strawberry to tears, and Smith condemned to an eternity of falling through the wondrous Springfield Mystery Spot.

It also featured Terry Cashman spoofing his own hit “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke (Talkin’ Baseball)” with the episode recapping “Talkin’ Softball.”

The commemoration will feature the unveiling of memorabilia from the show, and a roundtable with Boggs and Smith, as well as the episode’s executive producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, and casting director Bonnie Pietila.

The Simpsons has left an impressive imprint on our culture as the longest-running American sitcom, and ‘Homer at the Bat’ remains as popular today as when the episode aired in 1992,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a statement.

“Baseball is recognized as our National Pastime due to its wide intersection with American culture over the last two centuries,” he added. “[And] The Simpsons is a perfect example of that connection to Americana.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

See four minutes of "Alien: Covenant" in "Last Supper" teaser

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

20th Century Fox – 2017(LOS ANGELES) — 20th Century Fox had already been teasing single frames of its upcoming thriller Alien: Covenant, but now it’s gone the opposite way — and released a full, four minute scene of the star-packed sci-fi movie.

The movie, which takes place after Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, but before his 1979 classic, features a scene familiar to fans of the original: the crew of a spaceship gathering for a meal. In this case, the “last supper” refers to the colonizing crew’s last get-together before they are put in a lengthy hypersleep before their return to earth. 

While the original film saw John Hurt famously fall victim to a “chestburster” alien parasite in the middle of the meal, this one hints that the captain of the Covenant, played by James Franco, is the first of the crew to be affected: he’s wrapped in a blanket, and excuses himself after complaining of a fever. 

After he leaves, the rest of the crew, which features Danny McBride, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, and Empire‘s Jussie Smollett, among others — starts partying.

Michael Fassbender, who played the android David in Prometheus, apparently plays another android of the same model, though named “Walter” in this scene. In a nod to Alien, he even comes to the aid of one of the crew who starts choking, though in her case, it’s nothing more than some going “down the wrong pipe.” 

The movie, about the discovery of an idyllic planet that turns out to be anything but paradise, opens May 19.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

See four minutes of "Alien: Covenant" in "Last Supper" teaser

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

20th Century Fox – 2017(LOS ANGELES) — 20th Century Fox had already been teasing single frames of its upcoming thriller Alien: Covenant, but now it’s gone the opposite way — and released a full, four minute scene of the star-packed sci-fi movie.

The movie, which takes place after Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, but before his 1979 classic, features a scene familiar to fans of the original: the crew of a spaceship gathering for a meal. In this case, the “last supper” refers to the colonizing crew’s last get-together before they are put in a lengthy hypersleep before their return to earth. 

While the original film saw John Hurt famously fall victim to a “chestburster” alien parasite in the middle of the meal, this one hints that the captain of the Covenant, played by James Franco, is the first of the crew to be affected: he’s wrapped in a blanket, and excuses himself after complaining of a fever. 

After he leaves, the rest of the crew, which features Danny McBride, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, and Empire‘s Jussie Smollett, among others — starts partying.

Michael Fassbender, who played the android David in Prometheus, apparently plays another android of the same model, though named “Walter” in this scene. In a nod to Alien, he even comes to the aid of one of the crew who starts choking, though in her case, it’s nothing more than some going “down the wrong pipe.” 

The movie, about the discovery of an idyllic planet that turns out to be anything but paradise, opens May 19.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Stars speak out after Trump rescinds transgender protections

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Celebrities took to social media after Trump rescinded transgender guidelines.

Stars speak out after Trump rescinds transgender protections

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Celebrities took to social media after Trump rescinded transgender guidelines.

Live with Kelly’s annual After Oscars Show features Ripa, Ryan — and whomever else shows up

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

(NEW YORK) — After the Academy Awards on ABC Sunday night, you can see what the winners look like — and sound like — after their big night on Live with Kelly‘s annual After Oscar Show, airing Monday, February 27 at 9 a.m. ET.

Live’s After Oscar Show is absolutely and anything can happen. Executive Producer Michael Gelman tells ABC Radio, “Live is so exciting, and in this day and age, when you can edit things, there’s nothing like live to give you that kind of rush…It’s just a very special show for us.”

That’s one reason why the show has tapped Ryan Seacrest to be Kelly Ripa’s co-host on the show — Gelman calls him “a master of live TV.”  In addition, Jerry O’Connell will provide a red carpet report package, and there’ll also be a fashion panel to talk about all the Oscar night looks.

As for the rest of the guests, Gelman reveals that the show begins scrambling for winners during the actual Oscars telecast, trying to line up stars for the next morning.

“There’s a lot of partying that goes on that night, so as people are winning, we’re calling their publicists and trying to get them to commit to either staying up all night and coming in for 6 a.m. West Coast time, or going home for a couple of hours of sleep and then coming to join us,” Gelman tells ABC Radio.

At least the musical guests are booked and ready to go: rapper Flo Rida and house deejay DJ Khaled.

“We definitely want the party atmosphere,” Gelman explains. “Flo Rida is actually debuting a song on live TV with us…[and] DJ Khaled is always entertaining to talk to, but also he’s a great DJ and so he’s gonna have this crowd and the entire place really going and excited.” 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Live with Kelly’s annual After Oscars Show features Ripa, Ryan — and whomever else shows up

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

(NEW YORK) — After the Academy Awards on ABC Sunday night, you can see what the winners look like — and sound like — after their big night on Live with Kelly‘s annual After Oscar Show, airing Monday, February 27 at 9 a.m. ET.

Live’s After Oscar Show is absolutely and anything can happen. Executive Producer Michael Gelman tells ABC Radio, “Live is so exciting, and in this day and age, when you can edit things, there’s nothing like live to give you that kind of rush…It’s just a very special show for us.”

That’s one reason why the show has tapped Ryan Seacrest to be Kelly Ripa’s co-host on the show — Gelman calls him “a master of live TV.”  In addition, Jerry O’Connell will provide a red carpet report package, and there’ll also be a fashion panel to talk about all the Oscar night looks.

As for the rest of the guests, Gelman reveals that the show begins scrambling for winners during the actual Oscars telecast, trying to line up stars for the next morning.

“There’s a lot of partying that goes on that night, so as people are winning, we’re calling their publicists and trying to get them to commit to either staying up all night and coming in for 6 a.m. West Coast time, or going home for a couple of hours of sleep and then coming to join us,” Gelman tells ABC Radio.

At least the musical guests are booked and ready to go: rapper Flo Rida and house deejay DJ Khaled.

“We definitely want the party atmosphere,” Gelman explains. “Flo Rida is actually debuting a song on live TV with us…[and] DJ Khaled is always entertaining to talk to, but also he’s a great DJ and so he’s gonna have this crowd and the entire place really going and excited.” 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nick Cannon and Brittany Bell welcome a son

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The actor revealed his son’s name is Golden "Sagon" Cannon.

Nick Cannon and Brittany Bell welcome a son

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The actor revealed his son’s name is Golden "Sagon" Cannon.

How ‘Moonlight’ became the little film that could and made it to the Oscars

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Photo by David Bornfriend, courtesy of A24(NEW YORK) — Perhaps no one is more surprised by the success of Moonlight than the director, Barry Jenkins.

The film is nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture, directing, editing and cinematography. Stars Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are also up for Oscars in the best supporting actor categories.

“We didn’t make the movie with any expectations,” Jenkins told The Los Angeles Times last month. “I remember being at Telluride and Toronto and getting this first inkling that people were seeing something that they didn’t expect to see and, because of that, it was moving them in a way that they — and us — couldn’t anticipate.”

The coming of age story follows Chiron, “a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami,” according to the official synopsis.

How Jenkins and his production team were able to accomplish this could well become a primer for other filmmakers. Here’s the road map to the Oscars for Moonlight, the little film that could:

Jenkins created a specific story that could resonate universally

“I think if you create something that’s distinct and unique, you’ll get a genuine, a visceral reaction out of the person receiving it,” Jenkins told ABC News “Popcorn” last month.

“It’s not that the movie and its specificity is relatable to everyone. That’s not what I found,” he continued. “What I found is because Tarell (Alvin McCraney, the screenwriter) and I are two guys from a certain block, in a certain neighborhood, in a certain era and our moms went through a certain ordeal, somebody as far as Boise, Idaho, goes, ‘My neighborhood’s nothing like Miami, and yet I went through this thing, on this corner with my uncle and my mom.’ It starts at our feet, and you can see how it relates to your feet.”

The film doesn’t pander to the audience

“I think it shows that it’s one thing to invite an audience in, which I think we did. But once we did, we don’t try to show them things we anticipate they need to or want to see,” the director told the LA Times last month. “I do think audiences, at least with this film, respect that. I give it up for the audience because they have been willing to walk a mile in Chiron’s shoes. I think they respect that I’m not trying to bring their shoes into my cinema.”

The film strived for authenticity

Beginning with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, the film is rooted in actual events, people and places. McCraney wrote the play in the summer of 2003 while graduating from Chicago’s DePaul University and losing his mother to AIDS-related complications. “I was very lonely,” he told Out magazine. “I still feel very alone most of the time and so I tried to figure out and put down as much of the memory that I could.”

When Jenkins read the play, he recognized his own upbringing. Both men grew up in the same inner-city Miami neighborhood with mothers who succumbed to the crack epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s. “It was definitely Tarell’s story — but it was close enough that I could maybe still have one foot in emotionally, but at least that one foot would be hella personal,” Jenkins told the Daily Beast. “Of course, there was no way to not put both feet in.”

He ended up rewriting the play for the screen, putting some of his own story in it. And when it came time to direct it, he returned to the neighborhood where they grew up, even choosing the little boys who play Chiron and his friend Kevin from a Miami middle school similar to the ones Jenkins and McCraney attended. Directing the film, he told The New York Times, “was very visceral, like working an open wound.”

Jenkins kept it in the family

Jenkins worked with six of his fellow film school graduates from Florida State University to make the film: producer Adele Romanski; her husband, James Laxton, the cinematographer; co-producer Andrew Hevia; actor Andre Holland; and editors Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon.

Like Jenkins, McMillon made history with her nomination — as the first black woman nominated for an Oscar in film editing.

“It shows that the warmth and love that we put into the film — myself, the crew and the cast — that people are responding to that,” Jenkins told the press at the Toronto film festival.

The film got great reviews

Great reviews — like the one from The New York Times, headlined “Is this the year’s best movie?” — certainly helped. The film’s approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes is nearly perfect, at 98 percent, with an average rating of 9 out of 10.

The film had a strong opening

Those reviews, coming out of the Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals, helped propel the film to a strong opening on Oct. 21, 2016. In just four theaters, the film grossed $413,175 its opening weekend. According to Indiewire, among indie releases over the last two years, it was second only to “The Revenant,” which opened on a Christmas weekend.

The film got grass-roots support

Accepting the Golden Globe for best dramatic film, Jenkins told audience members and viewers at home, “All I have to say is, please, tell a friend, tell a friend, tell a friend. Much love.”

That kind of approach has worked to publicize the film. After the Oscar nominations were announced, Jenkins told The Los Angeles Times, “It’s been this very grass-roots thing. People see the movie, and they tell someone. I think these nominations this morning are just proof positive that enough people told a friend.”

Timing is everything

“Moonlight” comes eight years after Jenkins’s first film, the well received “Medicine for Melancholy,” and a year after #OscarsSoWhite went viral, but the director says it’s not a reaction to the push for more diversity in Hollywood.

“Movies take a long time. This movie took three and a half years. It’s great that they can all be framed in the way that you’re seeing it now because of #OscarsSoWhite, but really what you’re seeing is all these filmmakers who felt voiceless, or felt this lack of presence amongst different kinds of storytellers and different kinds of story modes,” he told The Daily Beast. “Those people took it upon themselves to create these stories, and now we’ve arrived at this moment because everybody else got fed up and created this uproar — and now the films exist to fulfill them, but they’re not a response to the uproar.”

Nevertheless, Jenkins was happy to tell ABC News, “The nominations this year reflect the world I live in.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

How ‘Moonlight’ became the little film that could and made it to the Oscars

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Photo by David Bornfriend, courtesy of A24(NEW YORK) — Perhaps no one is more surprised by the success of Moonlight than the director, Barry Jenkins.

The film is nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture, directing, editing and cinematography. Stars Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are also up for Oscars in the best supporting actor categories.

“We didn’t make the movie with any expectations,” Jenkins told The Los Angeles Times last month. “I remember being at Telluride and Toronto and getting this first inkling that people were seeing something that they didn’t expect to see and, because of that, it was moving them in a way that they — and us — couldn’t anticipate.”

The coming of age story follows Chiron, “a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami,” according to the official synopsis.

How Jenkins and his production team were able to accomplish this could well become a primer for other filmmakers. Here’s the road map to the Oscars for Moonlight, the little film that could:

Jenkins created a specific story that could resonate universally

“I think if you create something that’s distinct and unique, you’ll get a genuine, a visceral reaction out of the person receiving it,” Jenkins told ABC News “Popcorn” last month.

“It’s not that the movie and its specificity is relatable to everyone. That’s not what I found,” he continued. “What I found is because Tarell (Alvin McCraney, the screenwriter) and I are two guys from a certain block, in a certain neighborhood, in a certain era and our moms went through a certain ordeal, somebody as far as Boise, Idaho, goes, ‘My neighborhood’s nothing like Miami, and yet I went through this thing, on this corner with my uncle and my mom.’ It starts at our feet, and you can see how it relates to your feet.”

The film doesn’t pander to the audience

“I think it shows that it’s one thing to invite an audience in, which I think we did. But once we did, we don’t try to show them things we anticipate they need to or want to see,” the director told the LA Times last month. “I do think audiences, at least with this film, respect that. I give it up for the audience because they have been willing to walk a mile in Chiron’s shoes. I think they respect that I’m not trying to bring their shoes into my cinema.”

The film strived for authenticity

Beginning with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, the film is rooted in actual events, people and places. McCraney wrote the play in the summer of 2003 while graduating from Chicago’s DePaul University and losing his mother to AIDS-related complications. “I was very lonely,” he told Out magazine. “I still feel very alone most of the time and so I tried to figure out and put down as much of the memory that I could.”

When Jenkins read the play, he recognized his own upbringing. Both men grew up in the same inner-city Miami neighborhood with mothers who succumbed to the crack epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s. “It was definitely Tarell’s story — but it was close enough that I could maybe still have one foot in emotionally, but at least that one foot would be hella personal,” Jenkins told the Daily Beast. “Of course, there was no way to not put both feet in.”

He ended up rewriting the play for the screen, putting some of his own story in it. And when it came time to direct it, he returned to the neighborhood where they grew up, even choosing the little boys who play Chiron and his friend Kevin from a Miami middle school similar to the ones Jenkins and McCraney attended. Directing the film, he told The New York Times, “was very visceral, like working an open wound.”

Jenkins kept it in the family

Jenkins worked with six of his fellow film school graduates from Florida State University to make the film: producer Adele Romanski; her husband, James Laxton, the cinematographer; co-producer Andrew Hevia; actor Andre Holland; and editors Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon.

Like Jenkins, McMillon made history with her nomination — as the first black woman nominated for an Oscar in film editing.

“It shows that the warmth and love that we put into the film — myself, the crew and the cast — that people are responding to that,” Jenkins told the press at the Toronto film festival.

The film got great reviews

Great reviews — like the one from The New York Times, headlined “Is this the year’s best movie?” — certainly helped. The film’s approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes is nearly perfect, at 98 percent, with an average rating of 9 out of 10.

The film had a strong opening

Those reviews, coming out of the Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals, helped propel the film to a strong opening on Oct. 21, 2016. In just four theaters, the film grossed $413,175 its opening weekend. According to Indiewire, among indie releases over the last two years, it was second only to “The Revenant,” which opened on a Christmas weekend.

The film got grass-roots support

Accepting the Golden Globe for best dramatic film, Jenkins told audience members and viewers at home, “All I have to say is, please, tell a friend, tell a friend, tell a friend. Much love.”

That kind of approach has worked to publicize the film. After the Oscar nominations were announced, Jenkins told The Los Angeles Times, “It’s been this very grass-roots thing. People see the movie, and they tell someone. I think these nominations this morning are just proof positive that enough people told a friend.”

Timing is everything

“Moonlight” comes eight years after Jenkins’s first film, the well received “Medicine for Melancholy,” and a year after #OscarsSoWhite went viral, but the director says it’s not a reaction to the push for more diversity in Hollywood.

“Movies take a long time. This movie took three and a half years. It’s great that they can all be framed in the way that you’re seeing it now because of #OscarsSoWhite, but really what you’re seeing is all these filmmakers who felt voiceless, or felt this lack of presence amongst different kinds of storytellers and different kinds of story modes,” he told The Daily Beast. “Those people took it upon themselves to create these stories, and now we’ve arrived at this moment because everybody else got fed up and created this uproar — and now the films exist to fulfill them, but they’re not a response to the uproar.”

Nevertheless, Jenkins was happy to tell ABC News, “The nominations this year reflect the world I live in.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Inside Kensington Palace’s Princess Diana fashion exhibit

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Princess Diana died 20 years at the age of 36.

Inside Kensington Palace’s Princess Diana fashion exhibit

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Princess Diana died 20 years at the age of 36.

Sinead O’Connor apologizes to Arsenio Hall over Prince drugs claim; Hall drops lawsuit

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Remember last year, when singer Sinead O’Connor claimed Arsenio Hall had supplied drugs to Prince?  And then Arsenio sued Sinead?  Regardless, it’s all been settled now.

To recap: Shortly after Prince died last April 21 from an overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, O’Connor posted on her Facebook page: “Two words for the DEA investigating where prince got his drugs over the decades…. Arsenio Hall.”  She added, “Arsenio I’ve reported you to the Carver County Sherriff’s office. Expect their call. They are aware you spiked me years ago at Eddie Murphy’s house. You best get tidying your man cave.”

Three days later, Hall filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit in LA Superior Court against O’Connor, claiming she “maliciously published outlandish defamatory lies” about him.

Wednesday, a representative for Arsenio Hall provided ABC News with both a joint statement by Hall and O’Connor, and a copy of a retraction and apology by O’Connor.  The joint statement reads:

“Arsenio Hall and Sinead O’Connor announce that Sinead has retracted and apologized for statements she made about Arsenio last year, which prompted his defamation lawsuit against her, and the lawsuit has been resolved. Below is Sinead’s retraction and apology:

“I apologize for my Facebook posts about Arsenio Hall to the extent that anyone thought I was accusing him of acting as Prince’s drug dealer and supplying him with illegal hard drugs, or insinuating that Arsenio had something to do with Prince’s death. I sincerely apologize because those statements would be false, and I retract them unequivocally.”

The statement ends with, “Arsenio’s lawyers confirm that now that Arsenio’s reputation has been restored by O’Connor’s unequivocal retraction and apology, the lawsuit will be dismissed.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ coming to digital next month

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Disney/Lucasfilm(NEW YORK) — You won’t have to wait much longer to snag a home copy of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  It’s coming to digital HD and DVD next month.

A trailer released Tuesday announced that the first of the Star Wars stand-alone films will be available on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on March 24, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand April 4.

Both releases include behind-the-scenes interviews with filmmakers, as well as cast members Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed. The home versions also reveal hidden Easter Eggs fans may have missed in the theater.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released theatrically December 16 of last year and so far has earned nearly $529 million domestically, and over a billion dollars worldwide.

Star Wars is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

 Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sinead O’Connor apologizes to Arsenio Hall over Prince drugs claim; Hall drops lawsuit

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Remember last year, when singer Sinead O’Connor claimed Arsenio Hall had supplied drugs to Prince?  And then Arsenio sued Sinead?  Regardless, it’s all been settled now.

To recap: Shortly after Prince died last April 21 from an overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, O’Connor posted on her Facebook page: “Two words for the DEA investigating where prince got his drugs over the decades…. Arsenio Hall.”  She added, “Arsenio I’ve reported you to the Carver County Sherriff’s office. Expect their call. They are aware you spiked me years ago at Eddie Murphy’s house. You best get tidying your man cave.”

Three days later, Hall filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit in LA Superior Court against O’Connor, claiming she “maliciously published outlandish defamatory lies” about him.

Wednesday, a representative for Arsenio Hall provided ABC News with both a joint statement by Hall and O’Connor, and a copy of a retraction and apology by O’Connor.  The joint statement reads:

“Arsenio Hall and Sinead O’Connor announce that Sinead has retracted and apologized for statements she made about Arsenio last year, which prompted his defamation lawsuit against her, and the lawsuit has been resolved. Below is Sinead’s retraction and apology:

“I apologize for my Facebook posts about Arsenio Hall to the extent that anyone thought I was accusing him of acting as Prince’s drug dealer and supplying him with illegal hard drugs, or insinuating that Arsenio had something to do with Prince’s death. I sincerely apologize because those statements would be false, and I retract them unequivocally.”

The statement ends with, “Arsenio’s lawyers confirm that now that Arsenio’s reputation has been restored by O’Connor’s unequivocal retraction and apology, the lawsuit will be dismissed.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ coming to digital next month

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Disney/Lucasfilm(NEW YORK) — You won’t have to wait much longer to snag a home copy of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  It’s coming to digital HD and DVD next month.

A trailer released Tuesday announced that the first of the Star Wars stand-alone films will be available on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on March 24, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand April 4.

Both releases include behind-the-scenes interviews with filmmakers, as well as cast members Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed. The home versions also reveal hidden Easter Eggs fans may have missed in the theater.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released theatrically December 16 of last year and so far has earned nearly $529 million domestically, and over a billion dollars worldwide.

Star Wars is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

 Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jackie Evancho ‘disappointed’ in Trump move on transgender protections

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The singer performed at the president’s inauguration last month.

Jackie Evancho ‘disappointed’ in Trump move on transgender protections

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The singer performed at the president’s inauguration last month.

Arsenio Hall to dismiss $5 million lawsuit against Sinead O’Connor

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The singer also apologized for claiming Hall provided Prince with drugs.

Arsenio Hall to dismiss $5 million lawsuit against Sinead O’Connor

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The singer also apologized for claiming Hall provided Prince with drugs.

Survey: Trump & Clinton supporters watch the Oscars very differently

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Jeff Lipsky(LOS ANGELES) — During his daily press briefing Monday, President Trump’s spokesperson Sean Spicer was asked if POTUS would be watching Sunday night’s Oscars, and what we could expect from his Twitter feed if any “Meryl Streep moments” took place during the telecast. 

The reference, obviously, was to the multiple Oscar winner’s screed against the president during her Golden Globes acceptance speech — one which is expected to be emulated by many stars, who have made no secret of their opposition to President Trump’s policies. 

As such, it’s promising to be a very political Oscars, and in a new survey — “Trump vs. Clinton and the Politics of Oscar Viewers” — The National Research Group discovered what viewers think about that comes down to what side of the political aisle you’re standing on.

The organization polled 800 average moviegoing Americans, half whom were Hillary Clinton voters, and the other half of whom pulled the lever for Donald Trump. 

Some key findings, published in The Hollywood Reporter, include: 

  • 66% of Trump voters turn off awards shows when speeches get political, compared to just 16% of Hillary supporters.
  • In general, 68% of Trump voters say they “dislike” political speeches at the Oscars while only 23% of Clinton voters feel the same.
  • 44% of Trump viewers declared award show speeches to be “too political” in the current climate, while 35% in the opposite camp thought those same speeches were “touching.” 
  • 43% of Hillary supporters want Trump’s demeanor to be addressed, while 61% of the self-described Trump voters don’t want any hot button topics, including education policies, gun rights, or Black Lives Matter to be addressed while stars collect their mantle bling.

The survey wasn’t totally political. It also revealed that 2/3 of Americans polled don’t know Jimmy Kimmel is hosting, and that some 60 percent of Americans can’t name one Best Picture nominee.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

GOP town hall backlash is ‘hybrid’ of real concern, ‘manufactured’ anger, WH says

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Sean Spicer said “just because they’re loud doesn’t mean that there are many.”

Bindi Irwin posts tribute to late "Crocodile Hunter" father Steve on his birthday

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

FilmMagic/Gabriel Olsen(LOS ANGELES) — Steve the “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin would have been 55 today. The late TV show personality and wildlife champion died in 2006 when he was stabbed in the chest by a stingray, in a freak underwater accident while Irwin was shooting a documentary.

He was 44 at the time and his daughter Bindi was just 8.

The now 18-year-old took to Instagram to post a tribute to her beloved dad, writing, “Always in our hearts.” The caption is coupled with a photo of her smiling father spending time with a crested bird.

Bindi has followed in her father’s footsteps, working at the Australia Zoo in her home country. She also won Dancing With the Stars in season 21, paying tribute to her father on numerous times during the show.

Last year, she also posted another tribute to her dad on the 10th anniversary of his passing.

“You’ll be my hero for my entire existence. I love you more than words can describe,” she wrote.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tom Hiddleston reveals Loki’s reaction to Dr. Strange in "Thor: Ragnarok"

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Marvel Studios – 2017

(LOS ANGELES) — Tom Hiddleston, about to be seen next month in Kong: Skull Island, will also be in theaters later in the year as Loki, opposite Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok.  Also in the cast: Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.  So what does the trickster god think of the Sorcerer Supreme?

“I think he probably dismisses Strange,” Hiddleston tells IGN about Loki. “Yes, his sorcery is very impressive, but Loki has been doing that for centuries, so who cares?”

However, Hela, the powerful character played by Cate Blanchett in the movie, “is a different beast,” Hiddleston says. She’s “full of surprises, and actually might have been someone with whom at one time he could have gotten along, but the circumstances have changed.”

In fact, it’s Hela that brings Loki and his adoptive brother Thor back together, after Loki betrayed him at the close of Thor: The Dark World.

“[She] brings destruction in her wake … on a scale of terror that they haven’t ever, ever seen before,” says Hiddleston. “So they fall back on their brotherhood, fractured though it is, to see what they can do to stop her.”

In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on a faraway planet, desperate to stop Hela from wreaking havoc on his world. But The God of Thunder, stripped of his powerful hammer, must first survive a gladiatorial battle with someone close to him: The Hulk.

Thor: Ragnarok opens November 3, 2017.  It’s from Marvel Studios which, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tom Hiddleston reveals Loki’s reaction to Dr. Strange in "Thor: Ragnarok"

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Marvel Studios – 2017

(LOS ANGELES) — Tom Hiddleston, about to be seen next month in Kong: Skull Island, will also be in theaters later in the year as Loki, opposite Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok.  Also in the cast: Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.  So what does the trickster god think of the Sorcerer Supreme?

“I think he probably dismisses Strange,” Hiddleston tells IGN about Loki. “Yes, his sorcery is very impressive, but Loki has been doing that for centuries, so who cares?”

However, Hela, the powerful character played by Cate Blanchett in the movie, “is a different beast,” Hiddleston says. She’s “full of surprises, and actually might have been someone with whom at one time he could have gotten along, but the circumstances have changed.”

In fact, it’s Hela that brings Loki and his adoptive brother Thor back together, after Loki betrayed him at the close of Thor: The Dark World.

“[She] brings destruction in her wake … on a scale of terror that they haven’t ever, ever seen before,” says Hiddleston. “So they fall back on their brotherhood, fractured though it is, to see what they can do to stop her.”

In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on a faraway planet, desperate to stop Hela from wreaking havoc on his world. But The God of Thunder, stripped of his powerful hammer, must first survive a gladiatorial battle with someone close to him: The Hulk.

Thor: Ragnarok opens November 3, 2017.  It’s from Marvel Studios which, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jimmy Kimmel wishes he had a time machine to ruin past Oscar shows

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Jeff Lipsky(LOS ANGELES) — Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who will be hosting the 89th Academy Awards this year, shared how he is preparing for the show in an interview that aired today on Good Morning America.

Kimmel, who has hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live for 14 years, is a veteran awards show host. He has hosted the American Music Awards five times, the Emmy Awards twice, and the ESPYs once.

This is the first time, however, that he will host the Oscars. “It’s funny because you’d think it would be the same. You walk on stage. You tell some jokes. You try to stay loose and lively throughout the broadcast. You try to stay involved,” the comedian said. “But people keep reminding you that it’s the Oscars and that there are three times as many people watching, and that it’s the most important awards show.”

Kimmel admitted that he is even studying past Oscar hosts for tips. “I know it sounds like I’m being nice but I thought everyone did at least a good job, and some of them did great jobs hosting the Oscars,” Kimmel said. “And that actually makes it worse for me because what I would’ve loved is if the last 14 Oscar hosts had bombed miserably. That’s my dream, get in a time machine and go back and ruin the Oscars for all those hosts,” Kimmel joked.

Kimmel revealed that he was being paid $15,000 to host the Oscars, but added that “between, like, the tuxedo, and the dress for my daughter, and tuxedo for my son, and my parents, and the limos, and all that stuff, there’s no doubt I lose money on this deal.”

“This is a very bad investment,” Kimmel said jokingly, adding, “We don’t do this for the money. We do this for the love of giving awards to strangers,” he said. “We do this because we love to present baubles to millionaires.”

Kimmel said that his wife, Molly, will be helping him write his jokes and will also be backstage working with him throughout the night.

He added that he originally wanted to give Meryl Streep a “real pony” to celebrate her 20th nomination, but his wife ended up vetoing that idea.

“At first, she thought, ‘Oh, yeah, I could, I could probably hold a pony on a leash for three hours,'” Kimmel said. “And then I think she came to her senses and decided that was not a good idea.”

Kimmel also said that he was not looking forward to seeing his “arch enemy.”

“Unfortunately, we will see Matt Damon,” Kimmel said. “I have to look at his face in the audience. Odds are I’m gonna say something. He’s my arch enemy, really. I mean, if the Joker and the Batman were face to face, there would be some kind of a standoff and I would imagine that that will be the same for this,” Kimmel said of Damon, who has been nominated as a producer of Manchester by the Sea.

“I don’t want the film to lose,” Kimmel added. “I want him to lose.”

Kimmel and Damon have actually been good friends for years, appearing in skits together on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” where they go to couples therapy or pull pranks on each other.

Kimmel added that he hopes the audience enjoys the awards show and that he will watch the show after.

“After the Oscars, I’m going to go home and I’m going watch the broadcast,” Kimmel joked. “And I’m going see who was clapping and who was laughing. And more importantly, who was not. And I vow to destroy those people, for the rest of my days … I will not relent until they are out of show business.”

The 89th Academy Awards will air on Sunday on ABC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.