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2016's most controversial figures

Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 @ 3:01 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 @ 3:01 PM

Most Controversial People of 2016

It has been an interesting 12 months for 2016. World news in sports, politics and entertainment made for some polarizing people -- and in one case, a polarizing gorilla.

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In no particular order, here are some of 2016's most controversial figures:

Ryan Lochte

The 2016 Summer Olympics probably didn't go the way gold medalist Ryan Lochte planned it to. Controversy began with an August incident in which Lochte and U.S. swim teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen allegedly destroyed a gas station restroom, but video of the swimmers didn't appear to show them near the restrooms. Lochte claimed they were robbed at gunpoint by men claiming to be police, but later said he "over-exaggerated" the story. Lochte lost four endorsement deals in one day after the incident.

Lochte's attempt at an image rehab on "Dancing With the Stars" in September was overshadowed his first night when protesters stormed the stage.The end of 2016 is looking up for the star, though: He's engaged to his girlfriend, a former Playboy model, and they are expecting their first child in 2017.

Stacey Dash

Former "Clueless" actress Stacey Dash makes a name for herself by expressing opinions that are very polarizing. In January, she called for an end to Black History Month during an appearance on "Fox & Friends." Her awkward attempt at self-deprecation at the Oscars in February seemed to make things worse when most of the so-called mainstream media didn't seem to get the joke.

In June, Dash said during an interview with "Entertainment Tonight" that being transgender is a lifestyle choice. In response to North Carolina's "bathroom bill," Dash said trans people should "go to the bushes" to use the restroom.

Harambe the gorilla

Harambe alone isn't necessarily controversial, but the May 28 incident in which a 3-year-old boy got into the Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla enclosure that led to the gorilla being shot and killed plagued the park. Memes and jokes persisted months after the incident and the zoo's director, Thane Maynard, told The Associated Press the zoo was "not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe." But in the internet age, nothing ever really dies, and even in December, there are still people actively tweeting about Harambe the gorilla.

Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew criticism and applause for sitting during the national anthem at NFL preseason games. The athlete said he did so in protest of police brutality of African-Americans. He later began kneeling, but still drew criticism from Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka; and from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, although Ginsburg has since expressed regret over her remarks.

Kaepernick's decision led him to be named the "most disliked player" in the NFL in one research poll in September, he made the cover of Time magazine that same week. And if kneeling during the anthem was bad to some, Kaepernick then told reporters he wouldn't be voting in the 2016 presidential election. "I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote," Kaepernick told reporters. "I said from the beginning I was against oppression … to me, the oppressor isn't going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression."

Kanye West

The election year brought a lot of opinions out of Kanye West. During multiple stops on his Saint Pablo Tour, West vented about his frustrations with industry friends Jay Z and Beyonce, even claiming that Jay Z did not call him after his wife, Kim Kardashian, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris in October. West also claimed Beyonce would not perform at the MTV VMAs unless she won Video of the Year, and that although he did not vote in the election, he would have voted for Trump if he had.

The rapper was briefly hospitalized in November. In one of his first appearances since his hospitalization, West posed for photos with President-elect Donald Trump, another controversial figure, outside Trump Tower in New York in December.

Hillary Clinton

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was mostly surrounded by controversy once emails began to surface. Leaks plagued her campaign, including emails sent from a private server while she was working as Secretary of State and pieces and full versions of other paid speeches she gave to banks and other organizations.

Clinton was also under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October just before Election Day. And her "basket of deplorables" comment about "half of Trump supporters" in September drew so much criticism, she had to issue a statement to attempt to clear the air.

Donald Trump

The president-elect of the United States didn't run for office without controversy. Donald Trump made headlines when he called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," according to a since-deleted statement on his website. Some other controversies Trump became involved in include his feud with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, a leak of audio before a 2005 "Access Hollywood" interview that Trump later called "locker room banter" and multiple accusations of sexual assault.

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Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall during Tampa show

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 1:22 PM

Acrobats rehearse before a recent Cirque Du Soleil show.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
Acrobats rehearse before a recent Cirque Du Soleil show.(Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

A Cirque du Soleil acrobat who fell during a Saturday performance in Tampa, Florida, died from his injuries, a hospital spokeswoman told WTSP on Sunday.

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According to a video viewed by WTSP and The Tampa Bay Times, the aerial acrobat lost his grip on a ribbon strap during the company’s “Volta” show and fell 10 feet to the stage below.

A spokesman for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group identified the performer as Yann Arnaud, a longtime aerialist, WFLA reported.

The show was stopped, and Arnaud was taken to Tampa General Hospital. He died from his injuries, spokeswoman Ellen Fiss told WTSP. 

The two performances scheduled for Sunday were canceled, the company in charge of publicizing the show said in a statement.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him," company CEO Daniel Lamarre said. "Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the ‘Volta’ team, as we go through these difficult times together."

Arnuad’s death is the second performer fatality in Cirque du Soleil's history, WTSP reported. According to the BBC, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died during a 2013 show in Las Vegas when she fell 94 feet to the floor when a safety wire detached.

Olivier Rochette, a 43-year-old technician, died in 2016 while setting up for a performance.

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Donald Glover meets Girl Scout who sang ‘Redbone,’ buys 113 boxes of cookies

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 1:02 PM

Donald Glover Meet Girl Scout Who Sang His Song to Sell Cookies

Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, met a special Girl Scout who used his song, “Redbone,” to sell cookies in a viral video on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Wednesday night.

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Charity Joy went viral last week when the Duluth, Georgia, girl and her father, Seymore Harrison Jr. creatively remixed Glover’s song to sell Girl Scout cookies. 

Late-night host Stephen Colbert was so impressed with the video -- which has more than 4.5 million views -- that he invited Charity Joy, 6, and her father onto the show, where they got to meet Glover.

Girls Scout Cookie Sales Get a Bump Thanks to Singing Six-Year-Old

“I never was like, ‘I’ll make this, and then one day a little girl will sell Girl Scout cookies to it,’ Glover said. “It’s pretty great. A lot of people sent (the video) to me. I was really touched.”Before they got to meet, Colbert asked Glover for his thoughts on the video.

Related: Georgia dad, daughter sing their way to more Girl Scout cookie sales

Charity Joy had to sell 113 more boxes of cookies to meet her goal, and Glover bought them all.

Colbert then brought out a basket full of Thin Mints -- Charity Joy’s favorite -- and helped the Girl Scout, her father and Glover hand out boxes to the audience.

Watch Charity Joy’s appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” at the 7:25 mark at the video below.

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WATCH: Bill Hader's Stefon returns to 'SNL,' and fans just can't get enough

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 5:37 AM

caption: NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 31: Creator/executive producer/writer/actor Bill Hader arrives at the FYC event for IFC's 'Brockmire' and Documentary Now!' at the Saban Media Center on May 31, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
caption: NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 31: Creator/executive producer/writer/actor Bill Hader arrives at the FYC event for IFC's 'Brockmire' and Documentary Now!' at the Saban Media Center on May 31, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He's baaack!

"Saturday Night Live" alum Bill Hader returned to the comedy show as host this week – and, much to fans' delight, revived his beloved character, New York City correspondent Stefon.

>> Click here to watch the full sketch (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Hader brought his character-breaking comedy to "Weekend Update," recommending some unusual St. Patrick's Day hot spots.

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"New York's hottest club is Gooosh," Hader's Stefon said. "Inspired by true events, this former CVS, which became a Chase Bank then became a CVS again, has a troubling yet familiar feel, like when Larry King would play himself in a movie."

>> See the clip here

Another suggestion? "If you're Irish, or just white and violent, I have the St. Paddy's place for you. New York's hottest Irish club is 'Off to Church, Mother,'" he said, adding, "This place has everything: Peeps, TED Talks, Roman J. Israel, Esq., and be sure to hit the dance floor and do a jig with Ireland' s hottest Farrah-cauns — leprechauns that look like Farrah Fawcett."

>> Watch the clip here

John Mulaney, Stefon's co-creator, also joined Hader as Stefon's lawyer, Shy.

During the segment, fans flocked to Twitter to sing Stefon's praises. Scroll down to see what they were saying.


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The Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrested

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:20 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:20 AM

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Questlove of the Roots perform during halftime of the NFC Championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Questlove of the Roots perform during halftime of the NFC Championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Update, 2:14 a.m. CDT Sunday: Austin police have arrested a man in connection with a bomb threat that led to the cancellation of The Roots’ show Saturday at South by Southwest. 

The city of Austin tweeted the following statement early Sunday:

Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, was arrested on charges of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, the release said.

Police also tweeted Ingram’s booking photo:

ORIGINAL STORY: A South by Southwest performance by The Roots at Fair Market in Austin, Texas, was canceled Saturday night due to a “security concern,” event organizers said.

>> Visit for the latest on this developing story

A police spokesman said around 9:30 p.m. that more information would be released via Twitter, but nothing had been posted by 11:30 p.m. CDT.

However, the Austin Chronicle reported that it had two staffers at the event. One staffer heard event workers discussing the concern as a bomb threat, according to a report the weekly posted online, and "a second Chronicle staffer spoke with someone working at Fair Market tonight, who confirmed that Austin police were canvassing the property to determine whether there is any validity to the threat."

The cancellation of the show on the final night of the South By Southwest Festival comes at a time of heightened concern in the city following three deadly package bombs – two on Monday – that have exploded in East Austin this month, killing two people and seriously injuring a third.

>> Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say

Representatives for the event issued the following statement Saturday night after the cancellation

“Due to a security concern, we have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s Bud Light x The Roots SXSW Jam. After working proactively with SXSW, the Austin Police Department, and other authorities, Bud Light believes this is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and artists, and appreciate your understanding. We are truly sorry to have to cancel the event, but we felt it was necessary to take all safety precautions.”

>> Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

In an Instagram post, Fair Market representatives said Anheuser-Busch made the call to cancel the event.

In a tweet that was later deleted Saturday night, frontman Questlove wrote, “Uh, welp can’t say much but for those in Austin waiting in line to see us tonight. Tonight’s show has been cancelled. They’ll make official announcement but I’d rather save y’all the trouble of waiting in line.”

>> On Complete coverage of SXSW

In response to fans who were upset after waiting in line for hours, Questlove also tweeted:

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