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‘Bachelor’ Matt James Is Seeing Final Rose Recipient With Racist Past

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It isn’t over.

Matt James, who became the first Black lead of the dating reality series “The Bachelor,” told People on Wednesday that he’s been seeing Rachael Kirkconnell, the woman he chose but then rejected after her past racially insensitive social media posts were unearthed.

“I’ve seen Rachael a handful of times,” James said. “I’m not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that. I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it.”

Kirkconnell received James’ final rose on ABC’s reality series. After the season was in the can, pictures emerged on social media showing Georgia native Kirkconnell attending a slavery-era plantation-themed party and liking photos containing Confederate flags.

Kirkconnell apologized and said she “will continue to learn how to be anti-racist.” James said in the “After the Final Rose” episode last month that they broke up and that Kirkconnell had work to do on her own.

As for her progress, James told People “that’s something you could talk to her about.”

A report last week said the two were not speaking to each other, but that does not appear to be the case.

Stay tuned.





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Swizz Beatz And Timbaland Say Triller Social Platform Stiffed Them For ‘Verzuz’

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Legendary hip-hop producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz say in a $28 million lawsuit that TikTok rival Triller hasn’t paid them for the sale of their popular music battle show “Verzuz.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges the short-form video platform still owes them for the livestreamed show they created in 2020, Billboard reported.

“Defendants have failed and refused to respond to plaintiffs’ written notice and demand for payment,” the complaint says, according to Billboard. “To date, defendants have failed and refused to make any payment to Mosley and Dean of the past due sums due and owing, and defendants continue in default of their payment obligations.”

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz started Verzuz after facing each other in a DJ battle during the pandemic. They expanded the idea into a music battle show featuring matchups of popular artists, like Nelly vs. Ludacris, Brandy vs. Monica and DMX vs. Snoop Dogg.

The producers say they received two payments in 2021, but Triller missed the January 2022 payment. After a renegotiation and a payment in February, the two say they’ve gotten nothing. They claim they’re owed $18 million for past months and an additional $10 million for future payments.

The Washington Post reported this month that Triller’s payments to Black content creators have been “erratic and, in some cases, nonexistent.”

Triller didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.





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Trevor Noah Impressed By Ex-Australian Prime Minister’s Weird Scandal

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Trevor Noah was both outraged and impressed at the latest scandal in Australian politics.

Australians recently learned that former Prime Minister Scott Morrison had given himself extra powers during the coronavirus pandemic by secretly appointing himself to five other ministerial roles.

“This is such a strange story. Yeah, because this is one of those scandals that’s like, is this a scandal? No, because I’m outraged, but I’m also kind of impressed,” Noah said Tuesday on “The Daily Show.” “A politician chose to do extra work and not tell anyone. How dare you!”

“But for real, but that’s not how government works. You can’t just give yourself a job. You have to earn it by having your dad give you the job,” he added.





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Kendrick Lamar Shouts Out Young Fan Also Named Kendrick, Gifts Him Inspirational Note

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A young concert attendee just got the shoutout of a lifetime at a recent Kendrick Lamar show.

During a performance on Sunday, Lamar shared an endearing moment with a young fan — also named Kendrick — during his set at a Big Steppers Tour stop at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.

In footage that’s since gone viral, a 9-year-old concertgoer with a sign reading “My name is Kendrick. This is my 1st concert. Can We Take a Pic” caught the rapper’s attention.

Lamar spoke uplifting words to the child from the stage, telling him to “respect and honor” his parents.

“Always honor them, man,” the Grammy-winning artist said. “They brung you to your first concert. Always respect and honor them.”

“You will forever be great. You’re great right now. You can do whatever you wanna put your mind to, you know it? You understand that?” Lamar added. “Little Kendrick, do what you wanna do in life.”

The child’s father, David Stewart, later gushed about the experience on social media, sharing a clip of Lamar’s speech on Instagram.

“I was hoping for a picture but this was a million times better! @kendricklamar gave my son a speech,” Stewart wrote in the caption.

After the set, Lamar sent the kid home with a note that he wrote on the back of his sign. “Young Kendrick. Thank you for coming,” it read. “I’m glad we got to exchange energy. You are special.”

Lamar added, “Continue to manifest the great energy you possess!!! See you next time!!! Luv!!!”

Two days after the performance, young Kendrick’s father explained on his Instagram Story how the interaction with Lamar was a full-circle moment.

“I named my son after Kendrick 9 years ago. I was at a Kendrick Lamar concert the moment my son was born!! And for that moment to take place is definitely amazing that the universe came back full circle like that!” Stewart said.

Last month, Lamar became the center of another viral moment when a clip emerged from his tour showing a security guard being brought to tears by his live performance of 2017’s “DAMN” tune “Love.”

In an interview with Jazzy’s World TV, Lamar said he’d seen the viral clip and explained that he wanted his music to bring out positive emotions in people.

“It’s really just about the feeling of it at the end of the day,” Lamar said. “Past all the politics, past all the numbers. It’s what music makes you feel, how it makes you feel.”

In a shout-out to the security guard, he added: “I was like, man, I wonder what he going through? But at the end of the day, that’s how you want everybody to perceive your music.”





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Zoë Kravitz Addresses ‘Scary’ Backlash Over Her Reaction To Oscars Slap

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In the days following the Oscars slap, practically everyone with a WiFi connection was moved to broadcast their very necessary opinion about the incident ― solicited or otherwise.

One such figure was Zoë Kravitz, who unfortunately found herself assuming the role of Twitter’s main character after strongly condemning Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the ceremony, in which she was also in attendance.

The backlash to her comments, in which she described the show as “where we are apparently screaming profanities and assaulting people on stage now,” was swift. Twitter users relentlessly came for Kravitz, whose name began trending on the platform, digging through her own past for so-called problematic moments.

Speaking with WSJ. Magazine in a profile published on Tuesday, “The Batman” star addressed the controversy for the first time, admitting she wished that she “had handled that differently.”

“I’m torn about what to say right now, because I’m supposed to just talk about it; I have very complicated feelings around it,” she told the outlet. “I wish I had handled that differently. And that’s OK.”

“It’s a scary time to have an opinion or to say the wrong thing or to make controversial art or statements or thoughts or anything,” she continued. “It’s mostly scary because art is about conversation. That should, in my opinion, always be the point. The internet is the opposite of conversation. The internet is people putting things out and not taking anything in.”

In addition to her initial comments about the awards show, Kravitz also responded “nope” when a fan asked if she supported Smith’s behavior.

The “Big Little Lies” alum went on to share that currently she’s taking the approach not to “express myself through a caption or a tweet,” preferring instead to let her work speak for itself.

“I was reminded that I’m an artist. Being an artist is not about everybody loving you or everyone thinking you’re hot,” she added. “It’s about expressing something that will hopefully spark a conversation or inspire people or make them feel seen.”

The tweets aimed at Kravitz after her Oscars post took issue with her past romance with actor Ezra Miller, who’s been arrested multiple times within the past year, and her ongoing friendship with Alexander Wang, who has faced a slew of sexual assault allegations, which the designer has denied.

Twitter users also resurfaced past comments Kravtiz, who has been in the Smith’s family’s orbit for years, made about a then-underage Jaden Smith, which some found to be inappropriate.

The “King Richard” star himself has, of course, since expressed his deep remorse over his actions, which he described as “unacceptable” in an apology video released last month.

“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out,” he said. “So I will say to you Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you are ready to talk.”

Smith went on to address people who felt let down by his behavior, adding that he’s committed “to putting light and love and joy into the world.”

“If you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again,” he said.

Only time will tell if Kravitz is open to accepting the offer.





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Florence Pugh And Zach Braff Split And She Wants You To Keep Your Opinions To Yourself

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Florence Pugh and Zach Braff have called it quits after four years of dating, months of rumors about their breakup and a seemingly endless amount of fascination with their 21-year age gap.

The “Black Widow” star, 26, confirmed in a Harper’s Bazaar profile published on Monday that she and the “Scrubs” alum, 47, quietly ended their relationship earlier this year.

“We’ve been trying to do this separation without the world knowing, because it’s been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on,” Pugh told the outlet. “We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we’re not together. So we’ve done that. I automatically get a lumpy throat when I talk about it.”

The low-key couple, who were first linked in 2019 after working on a short film together, have largely kept their relationship out of the public eye, notably never walking a red carpet together.

Instead, the duo preferred casually interacting with each other on social media, where they shared photos and first confirmed the romance with a sly nod to their age difference.

Privacy remains paramount for Pugh, and she pushed back on the negative press about their relationship from the onset, describing the invasive attention surrounding her personal life as “incredibly wrong.”

“Whenever I feel like that line has been crossed in my life, whether it’s paparazzi taking private moments, or moments that aren’t even real, or gossip channels that encourage members of the public to share private moments of famous people walking down the street, I think it’s incredibly wrong,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.

“I don’t think that people, just because they have this job, that every aspect of their life should be watched and written about,” she added. “We haven’t signed up for a reality TV show.”

The “Little Women” star has made a habit of publicly addressing the conversation about her age gap with Braff, previously slamming internet trolls for “bullying” them on Instagram.

Last year, Pugh even offered a theory as to why their romance attracts so much attention.

“It’s not who they expected,” she told The Sunday Times, noting that her fans presumed she might date a Timothée Chalamet type. “But it’s my life and I’m not doing anything to please people or to make it a better headline or story. I want to also be a person!”

In recent months, speculation has swirled that two went their separate ways, especially after Pugh was seen vacationing with her “Midsommar” co-star Will Poulter and friends earlier this year.

But she came to Braff’s defense again after the internet preemptively celebrated the split, shutting down rumors that she and Poulter were romantically involved and reiterating that “there’s literally no need to be horrible online.”

“There’s no need to drag people through this. Regardless of your opinion on who I should or shouldn’t be with, at the end of the day if you’re complimenting someone by trolling another person.. you’re just bullying,” Pugh wrote in May.

Braff has yet to offer a public comment on their relationship. The two seemingly remain on good terms, as Pugh went onto praise the experience of collaborating with Braff in the forthcoming film “A Good Person,” which he wrote and directed.

“The movie that we made together genuinely was probably one of my most favorite experiences,” Pugh told Harper’s. “It felt like a very natural and easy thing to do.”





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Diva War! Glitter Flies As Mariah Carey’s Move Hits Sour Note With Rival Queens

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Mariah Carey wants to be known as the “Queen of Christmas,” and might have a strong claim for the title given her inescapable holiday hit.

However, at least two other singers say that crown belongs to them, including a rival diva who recorded a season-defining track years before Carey was even born.

Variety reported that Carey is trying to trademark “Queen of Christmas,” not only embracing a nickname she once rejected but also giving her exclusive use on a wide range of merch.

Darlene Love, singer of the classic 1963 tune “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” objected to the move on Facebook.

“David Letterman officially declared me the Queen of Christmas 29 years ago, a year before she released ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You,’” Love wrote, referring to how she sung the tune on Letterman’s late-night show every year for decades.

“At 81 years of age I’m NOT changing anything,” she added. “I’ve been in the business for 52 years, have earned it and can still hit those notes! If Mariah has a problem call David or my lawyer!!”

Singer Elizabeth Chan, who focuses almost exclusively on Christmas songs, has been calling herself the “Queen of Christmas” for years, and has filed a declaration of opposition to the trademark application.

“I feel very strongly that no one person should hold onto anything around Christmas or monopolize it in the way that Mariah seeks to in perpetuity,” Chan told Variety. “That’s just not the right thing to do. Christmas is for everyone. It’s meant to be shared; it’s not meant to be owned.”

Carey filed for the trademark in March 2021; it was published for opposition just last month.

The filing includes the title’s use on a range of merchandise including songs, cosmetics, clothing, dog clothing, food and drinks ― and, of course, Christmas tree decorations.





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‘Kimmel’ Host Desus Nice Has Field Day With Fox News’ Latest Pro-Trump Meltdown

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“Multiple passports. Lots of cash. Hunted by the FBI,” Nice said. “He’s like a racist Jason Bourne, but more orange.”

Trump has ripped the Justice Department and the FBI over the search warrant at his Florida residence.

“Trump says the documents the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago are covered by his white privilege,” Nice said. “Wait, excuse me, I mean his executive privilege.”

But his favorite part of the events wasn’t the search itself or even Trump’s reaction.

It was how Fox News and others on the right went bananas over it ― in some cases, literally.

Check it out in the Monday night monologue:





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