Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Actor Jussie Smollett found guilty of staging fake hate crime
Actor Jussie Smollett, one-time star of the TV drama “Empire,” was found guilty on Thursday of staging a hate crime against himself in what prosecutors said was a bid to gain sympathy and boost his career. Prosecutors said Smollett, who is Black and gay, lied to police when he told them that he was accosted on a dark Chicago street by two masked strangers in January 2019.
‘And Just Like That’: ‘Sex and the City’ characters return to the small screen
Members of the original cast of the popular U.S. television show “Sex and the City” reunited on the red carpet in New York on Wednesday to celebrate the release of their series reboot, “And Just Like That”. Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis will appear in the program that picks up with the same characters after roughly two decades. Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones, the fourth member of the group of close girlfriends on “Sex and the City,” will not appear in the new series.
Michael Nesmith, musician and TV star of ‘The Monkees’ fame, dead at age 78
Michael Nesmith, one of the stars of “The Monkees,” a 1960s TV comedy series about a rock quartet modeled after the Beatles, died on Friday of natural causes at the age of 78, his family said in a statement on his website. Nesmith, known for his trademark wool watch cap and quiet demeanor, was a singer, guitarist and songwriter for the band, a made-for-television ensemble that would form the cast of the NBC series.
White House respects jury decision to convict Jussie Smollett
The White House on Friday said it respected the jury’s decision to convict actor Jussie Smollett, one-time star of the TV drama “Empire,” of staging a hate crime against himself. Spokesperson Jen Psaki said false accusations can divert valuable law enforcement resources away from important investigations.
Alec Baldwin shares ‘Rust’ crew letter, saying set morale was high
Actor Alec Baldwin on Thursday shared a letter on his Instagram account by members of the “Rust” crew in defense of the film production in which a cinematographer was killed by a live bullet. In the open letter, cast and crew members pushed back against the portrayal by some other crew of “Rust” as an unsafe production, and described instead a set where morale was high and working conditions fair.
Travis Scott says he was unaware of issues that led to Astroworld concert crush
Rapper Travis Scott has said he was not aware of any problems at his Astroworld concert last month that would have caused him to stop the show and denied that the high energy culture he encourages contributed to the crush that killed 10 people. In his first interview about the crowd surge that injured scores of fans at his Houston concert on Nov. 5, Scott said he did not know people had been killed or injured until after he left the stage.
Can’t shake this: Taylor Swift to face copyright lawsuit
Pop superstar Taylor Swift must face a lawsuit from songwriters who claim the Grammy-winning singer copied their lyrics in her 2014 hit single “Shake It Off,” a California judge has ruled. In a decision issued on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald rejected Swift’s bid to throw out a suit that said she took wording from 2014 song “Playas Gon’ Play” by R&B girl group 3LW.
Reality TV personality Josh Duggar convicted over child sex-abuse images
Former reality television personality Josh Duggar was convicted by a jury in Arkansas on Thursday on federal charges relating to downloading and viewing photos and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, the U.S. Justice Department said. Duggar, known for the TLC reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting” that focused on his parents and their 19 children, was convicted on two criminal charges. Duggar, 33, tried to hide his actions by using a password-protected partition on the hard drive of a desktop computer he kept at his used car sales lot, prosecutors said.
Hobbit, Sauron and Gollum makeovers in New Zealand as Lord of the Rings turns 20
Middle-earth came to life again this week as New Zealand celebrated 20 years since the premiere of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy with special screenings, costume exhibition and art displays. Friday marked the 20th anniversary of when the first feature film of the J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies premiered at Odeon Leicester Square in London on Dec. 10, 2001, bringing instant fame to New Zealand’s rolling hills, meadows and forests, which were the backdrop for the mythical Middle-Earth.
Biden jokes about poor cooking skills in late-night TV debut on ‘Tonight Show’
U.S. President Joe Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, vowed to combat inflation and joked about his lack of cooking skills during his first late-night TV appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” on Friday. Biden, 79, told host Jimmy Fallon that he and first lady Jill Biden had convinced the White House staff to let them make their own breakfast at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)