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Gabrielle Union says more needs to be done to ensure all actors are paid fairly in Hollywood -- especially those of color.

Speaking to 9 to 5ish with theSkimm, Union explained why she's a big believer in being transparent about salary, saying the pay disparity is worse among Black actresses and calling upon her own pay negotiating experiences to illustrate the matter.

"As Black actresses, there's almost shame involved because we get paid so much less," Union began, noting that Black actors take note of who tops the Forbes' highest paid celebrity list year after year.  "You're like, 'Oh, I'm a failure. I'm a failure!  That's what they're making? And I'm nowhere close.'  But that's because Black actors don't talk to each other."

She says the best way to obtain better pay is by knowing what your colleagues are making. Union says studios are counting on talent to not know what to ask for because it allows them to offer a much lower salary.

"They assume, justifiably [and] rightly so, that none of us are talking and that's how [we] screw each other," the Bring It On star explained, noting that some studios have even been deceitful about what other actors are earning in order to trick someone into thinking they signed a great contract.  

Union says that's more than enough reason to make actors of color want to talk money with each other, because it can save them from accepting a potentially bad deal. She says actors of color can then negotiate a better deal by asking studios, "Okay, now please tell me again why you're low-balling me based off of nothing, hoping that I'm an idiot?"

Union closed by referencing a meme she recently saw, which read, "They know your worth. They just hope you don't."

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20th Century Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are helping out in a big way. Together the couple is gifting $1 million to the ACLU and to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The Free Guy actor shared the news on Tuesday that he and his wife would be donating to the organizations that help provide legal support and other services to fight civil injustices. 

"Honoured and excited to launch this," Reynolds shared in an Instagram Story. "THANK YOU ACLU and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for your tireless work defending rights and protecting civil liberties."

Over on Twitter, the ACLU gave the celebs a shout out, announcing, "Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are announcing today a $1M grant, split between us and our friends at the @NAACP_LDF, to support the work to protect our democracy."

The Defense Fund also took to Twitter to thank the couple for their kindness. "LDF is hugely grateful to Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds for matching all gifts up to $1,000,000 split between LDF and @ACLU through October 8," the tweet reads. "Their generosity comes at a critical time for our democracy."

Reynolds retweeted the sentiment, adding, "We still believe in you, 2021" and encouraged his 18 million followers to chip in as well. "Let’s help @ACLU and @naacp_ldf change it together," he wrote. 

 

 

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Courtesy of Starz

Demetrius "Lil Meech" Flenory Jr. is literally following in his father's footsteps in the new Starz series Black Mafia Family.

In the new crime drama, Flenory Jr. plays his father Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory, the eldest brother behind the Black Mafia Family, one of the most influential crime families during the 1980s. Flenory Jr. tells ABC Audio that having his mother watch him on set during production was an emotional experience.

"I swear she couldn't hold her tears in. She started crying from the moment they said, 'Action' and I started doing my lines," he says. "She said that I reminded her so much of my dad that [she] couldn't even fathom it... it was just so surreal for her because my dad was taken away from me at 6 years old... [but] I grew his mannerisms and... it was blowing her mind."

Flenory Jr.'s relatives also had the same reaction, including his grandma who says he and actor Da'Vinchi, who plays Flenory's younger brother Terry, "really look like [her] sons."

"And you know once she says that we know that it's true," Flenory Jr. says. "She couldn't stop crying...  Everybody's... just blown away... It's so authentic and natural that people [are] blown away."

While Flenory Jr.'s father may not get the immediate opportunity to see his son on set like the rest of his family -- since he's currently serving out a 30-year sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering -- Flenory Jr. says he knows his father definitely approves of his portrayal.

"He was just proud of what he's seen from the... trailer. So I'm just happy... he's proud," he shares. "He loves it. He's happy. So that's all that matters."

BMF premieres this Sunday, September 26, at 9 p.m. ET. 

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ABC

Chelsea Handler is "in love" and she wants everyone to know.

“Just sitting here in Mallorca thinking about how grateful I am to have so many people that I love in my life, to live the life I do and to be going on tour doing what I love,” the 46-year-old comedian captioned a photo of herself on Instagram, adding “And that I’m finally in love, with the best kind of guy there is."

"There is hope for everyone! That kind of stuff,” the post concluded.

So who's the lucky guy? Chelsea didn't say, but a source tells the New York Post that it's fellow comedian Jo Koy.

Koy, 50, is featured in several of Handler's Instagram Stories, razzing her about her appearance.

"@jokoy this is my life now. Being called out all day long," Handler captioned the series of videos.

 

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iStock/Joel Carillet

Uma Thurman is protesting Texas' restrictive new anti-abortion law by opening up for the first time about the abortion she obtained when she was a teenager.

In a Washington Post op-ed, the actress said the legislation fills her "with great sadness, and something akin to horror."

"I am sharing my own experience," Thurman, 51, continued, saying it was her "responsibility" to speak out and "stand up in their shoes."

"In my late teens, I was accidentally impregnated by a much older man," she disclosed, adding that she originally wanted to keep the pregnancy until her parents "warned me how difficult it would be to raise a baby as a teen on my own."

"My childish fantasy of motherhood was soundly corrected as I weighed answers to their very precise questions. I was just starting out in my career and didn’t have the means to provide a stable home, even for myself," Thurman admitted. "We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice. My heart was broken nonetheless."

"There is so much pain in this story. It has been my darkest secret until now," Thurman closed. "The abortion I had as a teenager was the hardest decision of my life, one that caused me anguish then and that saddens me even now, but it was the path to the life full of joy and love that I have experienced. Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be."

Thurman is the mother of three children: Luna, nine, Levon, 19, and Maya, 23.  She shares Maya and Levon with ex-husband Ethan Hawke and Luna with former fiancé Arpad Busson.

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Seventy Hollywood celebrities, including Anne HathawayCiara and Debbie Allen, have signed an open letter to world leaders, urging them to help stymie the spread of COVID-19.

Other signatories include Jordana BrewsterConnie BrittonYvette Nicole BrownPeter DinklageAnnie LennoxJoel McHaleIdina MenzelDebra MessingAlyssa MilanoTamera Mowry-HousleyEdward James Olmos and Michelle Williams.

The letter, published by model Iman's global nonprofit CARE on Tuesday, calls on global leaders "to make 7 billion vaccine doses available before the end of 2021, and an additional 7 billion doses by mid-2022 to fully vaccinate 70% of the world by next summer."

“To get this done," suggests the letter, "the world community must also invest in last-mile delivery systems, public education and frontline health care workers to get vaccines from tarmacs into arms.  Millions of doses could go to waste because low-income countries don’t have the support they need to get vaccines to vulnerable people.”

“We can save millions of lives -- and trillions in further economic damage -- by meeting this moment with the resources and political will needed to end COVID-19 for everyone, everywhere. Because none of us are safe until all of us are safe,” the letter concludes.

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Hollywood is mourning Sex and the City star Willie Garson, who unexpectedly passed away.  He was 57. 

Son Nathen Garson confirmed his father's passing on Tuesday by sharing a collage of photos and videos of the late actor while writing, "I love you so much papa. Rest In Peace and I’m so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much. I’m so proud of you. I will always love you, but I think it’s time for you to go on an adventure of your own."

Garson was best known for playing the fabulous and sharp-tongued Stanford "Stanny" Blatch on Sex and the City, a role he reprised in the sequel And Just Like That..., as well as Mozzie on the USA series White Collar. He also starred in Hawaii Five-0John from Cincinnati and many other shows.

A cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Tributes have been pouring in for the late actor.  Here's what his friends and former co-stars have written:

Cynthia Nixon: "So deeply, deeply sad we have lost @WillieGarson. We all loved him and adored working with him. He was endlessly funny on-screen and and in real life. He was a source of light, friendship and show business lore. He was a consummate professional— always... My heart goes out to his son, Nathen Garson. Nathen, I hope you know how much he loved you and how proud he was to be your dad."

Kim Cattrall: "Such sad news and a terribly sad loss to the SATC family. Our condolences and RIP dear Willie xo."

Mia Farrow: "Rest in peace @WillieGarson Thank you for your kind heart."

Mario Cantone: "I couldn’t have had a more brilliant TV partner. I’m devastated and just overwhelmed with Sadness. Taken away from all of us way soon. You were a gift from the gods. Rest my sweet friend. I love you."

Rob Morrow: "Our sweet pal #WillieGarson has passed on. Dear soul, rest easy."

Matt Bomer: "Willie. I don’t understand. And it’s not fair. This past year, you taught me so much about courage and resilience and love. I still haven’t wrapped my head around a world without you in it- where I can’t call you when I need to laugh, or be inspired. The last thing you did when we said goodbye was pull down your mask (I hate covid), smile, and wink at me. I know that it wasn’t reflective of the pain you were going through, but it was indicative of everything you were and are to me: some one who lifted me up, who made me better, and who always, always made me smile. This also reminded me how strong our White Collar family is. We were all there for Willie, and for each other. I love you forever Willie Garson. You live on in our hearts and minds always: and your White Collar family is always here for Nathen. Save a place for me, because you know I want to be at your table up there."

David Eigenberg: "Willie …the kindest most beautiful beautiful man. There are none better. Sleep well my friend. You will always be remembered."

Evan Handler: "This is a tragedy for the entire #SATC #AJLT family, for Willie’s family, and for the world. Willie was a prince, the Mayor of every group he ever existed within, and - most importantly - a parent. My heart grieves for his son. A consumate funny man. Bless you."

Titus Welliver: "There are no words.  I love you dear brother.  We are fewer."

Julie Bowen: "This breaks my heart. Willie Garson, a friend who loved me at my worst, (and always let me know it) is gone. Goodbye, Fatty. I love you always."

Kevin McHale: "Willie Willie Willie. I’m absolutely heartbroken you’re gone. Your presence filled every room you were in. Your generosity with your time and your heart for me and my friends and family was always appreciated more than you could’ve known (or maybe you did). Watching how you loved Nathen was otherworldly. Thank you for allowing us into your life and for being one of the only people I trusted enough to see during the pandemic, even if over a tennis net. Please keep talking shit at the poker table of wherever you are now. Love you, Willie."

Jason Alexander: "The wonderful Willie Garson has left us. A dear, funny, kind man and delightful actor. Too soon. Rest well. #ripwilliegarson"

Chad Lowe: "Sadly, it is true… Willie Garson has died. He was so talented, so committed to social justice, so loved by so many. But most of all, he was a great, devoted, father. He will be sorely missed."

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Disney+

Disney has declared Friday, November 12 Disney+ Day, and to celebrate, the streaming service announced it's debuting content from its properties Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Among the launches on November 12 will be the streaming debut of the latest Marvel Studios blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as well as the hit Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt, and Disney+ Original movie Home Sweet Home Alone, based on the hit Home Alone series. 

Also on the docket are a series of shorts called Olaf Presents, starring Frozen's favorite snowman retelling several classic Disney tales; the Oscar-winning shorts Feast and Paperman; and a new Simpsons short that pays tribute to Disney IP.

Disney+ will also debut a Star Wars special about the origins and legacy of bounty hunter and fan favorite Boba Fett, a new Marvel Studios special feature, new episodes of The World According to Jeff Goldblum from National Geographic, as well as special sneak peeks of upcoming shows and celebrity guest stars to help celebrate the occasion.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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There’s another Britney Spears documentary in the works.

On Tuesday, Netflix teased Britney vs Spears ahead of a promised full trailer premiere on Wednesday.

The 18-second clip begins with text that reads, “The following audio is a voicemail from Britney Spears to a lawyer on January 21st, 2009 at 12:29 a.m.”

We then hear Britney’s voice saying, “Hi, my name is Britney Spears, I called you earlier. I’m calling again because I wanted to make sure that during the process of eliminating the conservatorship."

The Netflix doc comes after Hulu/FX’s documentary The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears reignited the #FreeBritney movement back in February.

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Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix has released the first trailer for Passing, Rebecca Hall's directorial debut, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga.

As previously noted, the film is based on Nella Larsen's 1929 novella of the same name. It follows two mixed-race women, played by Thompson and Negga, who reunite in their adulthood and discover that one of them is now passing for a white woman. André Holland, Bill Camp, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and Alexander Skarsgard also star. Passing hits select theaters on October 27, before becoming available to stream on Netflix November 10.

In other news, Ashton Sanders has been tapped to play yet another music icon, Deadline as learned. Sanders, who currently plays RZA in Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga, has joined the cast of the Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody. He will take on the role of New Edition singer -- and Houston's ex-husband -- Bobby Brown. As previously reported, Naomi Ackie will play the legendary singer in the new feature, which producer Clive Davis says will "present the full story of Whitney Houston impeccably and [ensure] that it will be realistic in every respect." Kasi Lemmons serves as director, while Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten will write the script. A release date for I Wanna Dance With Somebody has not yet been announced.

Finally, Ashanti is taking her talents back to the screen. According to Deadline, the singer will produce and star in the upcoming rom-com The Plus One. She will play Lizzie, a soon-to-be bride who asks her “Male of Honor,” Marshall, not to bring "his hated ex, Marie, to her destination wedding." Unfortunately for Lizzie, Marshall invites Marie as his "plus one." Additional casting has yet to be announced.

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ABC/Mike Rosenthal

Ellen Pompeo provided an update about the fate of her long-running medical drama Grey's Anatomy, and teased that the show may be ready to hang up the scrubs after 18 successful seasons.

"They're not far off," Pompeo, 51, told Entertainment Tonight when discussing fans' theories that the five-time Emmy winning show will come to an end soon.

The actress, who stars as Doctor Meredith Grey, continued, "I mean, I've been trying to get away for years. I have been trying. It's not because I haven't been trying. I have strong relationships at the network and they have been very, very good to me, and have incentivized me to stay."

Pompeo insisted that "creatively, as long as there's something to do" she will continue starring on the ABC medical drama. "Miraculously, we keep coming up with ways to have a reason to stay and if there's a reason, that warrants it," she teased.

Season 17, she says, was the definition of creativity because it was filmed during a global pandemic. "We had to work around COVID obviously and so we had to be creative and think of ways to keep the show going and still be safe," she said.

When asked about the possibility of a groundbreaking 19th season, the actress joked, "Oh please! Oh my goodness, can we pray together?"

However, Pompeo insisted her hands are tied when it comes to confirming if Grey's is about to enter its final season, telling ET, "I'm not really supposed to say anything about it... I don't want to be disrespectful to people I've promised things to."

Grey's 18th season premieres September 30 on ABC.

 

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Kidman in Nine Perfect Strangers - Hulu

Once upon a time, Nicole Kidman was married to Tom Cruise. Now she's reflecting on that time in her life, specifically about how she was treated by the media. 

When asked by Harper's Bazaar if she was annoyed with the media's obsession over the high profile relationship, the Australian actress replied, "I was young. I think I offered it up?"

"Maybe I’ve gotten a bit more trepidatious, but I’m always trying to be as open as possible. I just prefer to live in the world that way," she continued, before a moment of silence. She then continued, "I’m wary at times, and I’ve been hurt, but at the same time I much prefer a warm approach rather than a prickly shutdown approach."

Referencing her current husband, country singer Keith Urban, the Nine Perfect Strangers star added, "My husband, Keith, says that when he met me, he said, 'How’s your heart?' And I apparently responded, 'Open.'"

Kidman, 54, and Cruise were married for 11 years before divorcing in 2001. They share two children: Isabella Jane, 28, and Connor, 26.

The Big Little Lies star and Urban wed in 2006 and they also have two children together -- daughters Sunday Rose, 13, and Faith Margaret, 10.

 

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Courtesy Peacock

Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi has been open about the fact that she gains 10 to 15 pounds while taping each season of the show.  So of course, Meghan Trainor was concerned about the issue when she signed on to host the new Peacock cooking competition Top Chef: Family StyleBut as Meghan tells ABC Audio, she wasn't going to let it happen to her.

Meghan started out with two strikes against her: Not only was she required to eat delicious and fattening food every episode, but when she started hosting the show, her son Riley was just two months old. "I was [also] trying to lose my baby weight," she tells ABC Audio. "So I was on a mission!"

"I worked out every single day before that show -- and after that show, sometimes," she reveals. "But I was the only person -- I think I'm the only person in history, dare I say -- to lose weight on Top Chef!

Yes, believe it or not, through diligent workouts and a nutrition plan, Meghan was able to avoid packing on the pounds while shooting the series.

"I was very excited. I kept coming in each week telling people, like, 'We're another pound down!'" she laughs. "So I worked very hard, and it showed me, too, like, you don't have to be afraid of carbs and all the treats. Because if you balance it out, you can still lose weight. So I did very well!"

Top Chef: Family Style, which features kids and their relatives competing in teams, will be about halfway through its first season when Meghan's other show, Clash of the Cover Bands, premieres on E! on October 13. She's also working on a new album.

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Eli Joshua Ade/HBO -- Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix

Tobias Menzies couldn't accept his Emmy for his work in The Crown on Sunday night, but he just gave his "acceptance speech" via social media -- and dedicated his win to actor Michael K. Williams, who died on September 6. 

A "very humbled" Menzies congratulated his "brilliant fellow nominees," adding, "[I] want to dedicate this to Michael K Williams, his performance as Omar in The Wire is one of the great screen performances, he will be deeply missed. RIP."

Williams, 54, was also nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category, for his work on HBO's Lovecraft Country.

The actor, who had been open with his struggles with addiction in the past, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment earlier this month. ABC affiliate WABC-TV in New York reported that drug paraphernalia was found at the scene. Police said the investigation is ongoing and the medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

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A24 Films

Academy Award-winning Fargo co-writer-director Joel Coen has raised the curtain on his upcoming take on Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Featuring multiple Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, Coen's wife and frequent collaborator, the teaser is brief, but creepy and stark. Shot in black and white, it shows Washington as the title character and McDormand as his Machiavellian wife, who eyes Scotland's throne for her husband.

The teaser features no dialog from the acclaimed actors, only The Witch's haunting line, "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."

The project is a return to The Bard for Denzel, who has performed Shakespeare both on stage and on the big screen, the latter in Kenneth Branagh's 1993 adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.

Also starring Brendon Gleeson and The Queen's Gambit co-star Moses IngramThe Tragedy of Macbeth -- Coen's first movie without his filmmaking partner and brother, Joel -- hits theaters December 25, and Apple TV+ on January 14.

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