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‘Confederate’ series facing vehement backlash, critics demand HBO scrap it

Published: Monday, July 31, 2017 @ 5:56 PM

A confederate flag is pictured here at a political rally in Wakefield, Va. HBO is taking heat over a planned series called ‘Confederate’ that explores the idea that the South did not lose the Civil War and that slavery still exists.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.
A confederate flag is pictured here at a political rally in Wakefield, Va. HBO is taking heat over a planned series called ‘Confederate’ that explores the idea that the South did not lose the Civil War and that slavery still exists.(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.)

Any hopes HBO had that it had calmed the “Confederate” fallout last week were dashed big time on Sunday night. Foes of the future series from “Game of Thrones'” creators took to Twitter during the “GOT” season finale to make their feelings known.

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As the latest “Winter is coming” machinations played out onscreen, HBO came out with a formal statement about “Confederate,” a series set in some alternate universe where the South successfully secedes from the Union and slavery remains in place. In it, the prestige premium cable channel cited the GOT/Confederate team’s track record and urged people to wait to see the finished product before passing judgment.

“We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate. We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity,” the statement said. “The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”

That may be wishful thinking on HBO’s part, though. As of Monday morning, #NoConfederate was still popular on Twitter. A sample:

>> Related: Critics demand HBO scrap plans for ‘Confederate’ series

The actual Civil War ended in 1865, leaving more than 600,000 Union and Rebel troops dead. 

There’s apparently no Appomattox Courthouse scene in the new show. Instead, the HBO series assumes the fighting ended without reuniting the union, and instead the USA and CSA persist, a la North Korea and South Korea or East/West Berlin, with the Mason-Dixon Line serving as a DMZ.

“The story follows a broad swath of characters … freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall,” Deadline reported.

>> Related: Atlanta History Center: Don’t tear down Confederate monuments

Programming president Case Bloys said during a Television Critics Association event that he hopes viewers will “judge the actual material versus what it might be,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Network brass issued a statement saying they have “great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around ‘Confederate'” and are sure the creative team will approach the subject with care and sensitivity.”

>> Related: Across the South, confederate statues take their last stand

Pussycat Dolls were a front for ‘prostitution ring,’ former member alleges 

Published: Sunday, October 15, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

Kaya Jones, Former Pussycat Dolls Members, Alleges Group was a Front for ‘Prostitution Ring’

A former member of the popular girl group and dance ensemble   Pussycat Dolls, Kaya Jones, is claiming that members of the pop music hit-makers were a part of a “prostitution ring.”

>> UPDATE: Pussycat Dolls founder responds to former member's 'prostitution ring' allegations

“My truth. I wasn’t in a girl group. I was in a prostitution ring,” Jones said in a post on Twitter.

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“Oh and we happened to sing and be famous. While everyone who owned us made the money,” she said.

Singer Kaya Jones and former Pussycat Dolls member arrives at the 2016 City Gala Fundraiser at The Playboy Mansion on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Jennifer Lourie/FilmMagic)

How bad was it? People ask—bad enough that I walked away from my dreams, my bandmates and a 13 million dollar record deal. We knew we were going to be #1.”

Jones also referenced a “den mother” but stopped short of naming names, writing, “I want the den mother from hell to confess why another 1 of her girl group girls committed suicide? Tell the public how you mentally broke us,” Jones said.

There has been no confirmation of who Jones was referencing, but reports suggest that Jones was talking about G.R.L. singer Simone Battle, who killed herself in 2014, according to E! Online.

She continued her accusations, saying, “To be a part of the team you must be a team player. Meaning sleep with whoever they say. If you don’t, they have nothing on you to leverage…Yes I said leverage. Meaning after they turn you out or get you hooked on drugs they use it against you. Correct. Victimizing the victim again.”

<< Related: Fifth Harmony singer takes a fall on stage and absolutely slays it

The Pussycat Dolls, including lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, have not responded to Jones’ allegations.

WATCH: Kate Middleton dances with Paddington Bear despite battling morning sickness

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 1:45 AM

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16:  Paddington Bear dances with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Charities Forum Event on board the Belmond Britigh Pullman train at Paddington Station on October 16, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Paddington Bear dances with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Charities Forum Event on board the Belmond Britigh Pullman train at Paddington Station on October 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)(Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

Dancing Queen? Duchess Catherine took a spin with adorably cuddly Paddington Bear on Monday during a surprise appearance with her husband, Prince William, in LondonUs Weekly reports

>> Kate Middleton debuts tiny baby bump in first public outing since pregnancy announcement

Third Child Coming for Prince William, Kate Middleton

The duchess, who announced her third pregnancy in September, surprised Londoners at the Paddington train station with the giant dancing bear, the Mirror reported. Young guests were taken on a ride in 1920-1930s-era vintage train from the station as part of the royals’ Charities Forum, according to People. Before the ride, the beloved character danced with the royals and the children in the crowd.

The lovable character’s next film, “Paddington 2,” premieres in the United Kingdom on Nov. 10. At one point, Duchess Catherine danced with the bear and was spotted spinning around the platform.

>> Watch the moment here

>> On Rare.us: Duchess Catherine has a new secret weapon to help aid against morning sickness

Children from charities including Place2Be, Anna Freud National Center for Children and Families and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice were all present for the festivities. The Charities Forum supports more than 30 organizations in which the royals are involved.

>> Read more trending news

This is Duchess Catherine’s second public appearance since sharing the pregnancy news. The Duchess has canceled several appearances as she suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum, acute morning sickness, in her pregnancies.

Last week, she was spotted out for the first time since the announcement in honor of World Mental Health Day. Her severe morning sickness kept her from escorting her eldest son, Prince George, to school for the first time in September.

7 Interesting Facts about the Royal Family

‘Trailer Park Boys’ actor John Dunsworth dead at 71

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 8:46 PM

Actor John Dunsworth, pictured as Dave Teagues in the series,
Actor John Dunsworth, pictured as Dave Teagues in the series, "Haven," has died at age 71.(Michael Tompkins/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

John Dunsworth, the Canadian actor known for playing Jim Lahey in the Canadian TV series “Trailer Park Boys,” has died at age 71.

>> Read more trending news

Variety reported that Dunsworth’s daughter, Sarah Dunsworth confirmed the news in a tweeted statement. Sarah Dunsworth also acted on the show, which had a cult following.

“With heavy and broken hearts the family of John F. Dunsworth would like to let people know that our amazing husband, father and grandfather John Dunsworth has passed away,” the statement said. “John left this world peacefully after a short and unexpected illness. The family would like to request that our privacy is respected during this time of grief.”

The official Twitter page for “Trailer Park Boys” responded to the news in a post that said it was “in shock and heartbroken” by the loss.

Other than “Trailer Park Boys,” Global News Canada reported that Dunsworth’s TV and film career dated back to 1978 and included roles in the Canadian drama series “Haven,” CBC Radio dramas and stage plays.

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander wed in secret ceremony

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 6:26 PM

Reports say actors Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander got married in a private ceremony over the weekend.
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images/Getty Images
Reports say actors Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander got married in a private ceremony over the weekend.(Andreas Rentz/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Congratulations are in order for actors Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander.

People reported that the couple secretly tied the knot over the weekend in a super secret ceremony in Ibiza. Rumors of marriage started swirling after the couple was spotted with what looked like wedding bands on their ring fingers in photos obtained by The Daily Mail.

>> Read more trending news

Vikander, 29, and Fassbender, 40, were spotted hanging with pals on the Spanish island ahead of the nuptials on Friday and according to E! News, a professional photographer was onsite to take photos of the couple and the guests. Vikander was seen wearing a flowing white dress as she soaked in the sun.

The two worked in remote locations between Australia and New Zealand for the film.

“I knew that Michael was attached to play Tom, and I think he’s one of the most brilliant actors out there,” Vikander told reporters at the Venice Film Festival last year.

Lasy year, Fassbender confirmed on “Good Morning America” that he and Vikander were seeing each other since meeting on the movie set in 2014.

“(W)e met on that job and have been seeing each other since,” he said.