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‘Doctor Strange’ Sequel Banned In Saudi Arabia Reportedly Over LGBTQ Character

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The ban on the highly anticipated sequel to Marvel’s mind-bending blockbuster starring Benedict Cumberbatch is said to be related to LGBTQ representation, as the film introduces the character America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez), who is gay in the comics she first appeared in, according to THR.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was set to be released across the Gulf on May 5. However, advance tickets can no longer be purchased in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Qatar.

Advance tickets still appear to be available in the United Arab Emirates, a hint the film may still be released there.

IMAX Egypt also announced a ban for the theatrical release of the film, which is scheduled to premiere across most of the world on May 6.





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Joe Exotic Presses ’90 Day Fiancé’ Pal Jesse Meester For Biden Pardon

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Joe Exotic, the disgraced animal handler and incarcerated “Tiger King” star, is trying to turn a newfound friendship with “90 Day Fiancé” alum Jesse Meester into a presidential pardon.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, made that baffling claim of political reach Monday in an Instagram post that included a shirtless photo of the reality TV star.

“Meet my amazing dear friend Jesse Meester, actor, model, and so much more,” wrote Exotic, imprisoned since 2020 for animal abuse and attempted murder. “You will see him around on my stuff more and more as he is going to help me get a voice to the White House for President Biden to sign my pardon before November of this year.”

“Show him some love,” Exotic added. “Love you, Jesse.”

Exotic’s escapades were captured for the world in “Tiger King,” which became a COVID-19 lockdown hit on Netflix. His rancor toward fellow animal sanctuary owner Carole Baskin initially seemed amusing, but it was later revealed he tried to have her killed.

Behind bars, Exotic got divorced and was briefly engaged with a fellow inmate, according to PageSix.

He failed to convince Kim Kardashian to press his clemency case in 2020. Meester, though, seems all in.

“We love you too Joe!” Meester replied in the Instagram comments. “People close to you turned their back on you, but not us. You helped many people through lockdown and we should never forget the truth and authenticity you lived your life with.”

“It’s sad that the backstabbing and lying has become the norm [in] this society,” Meester continued. “Time to unite and fight back to get you out.”

Unlike Kardashian, whose support led to clemency for several inmates during Donald Trump’s administration, the “90 Day Fiancé” star appears to have no special political clout with the Biden administration.





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Raymond Briggs, ‘The Snowman’ Creator And Illustrator, Dead At 88

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Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for creating The Snowman, has died aged 88.

His family said in a statement that he died on Tuesday morning.

The Snowman was first released as a picture book in 1978, selling more than 5.5 million copies around the world, and was turned into a beloved TV adaptation.

Briggs was also the creator of the classics Fungus the Bogeyman and Father Christmas.

The Snowman is Raymond Briggs’ most famous work.

The Royal Mint via PA Media

“We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news,” his family said in a statement. “Drawings from fans – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio.”

Born in London’s Wimbledon district, Briggs fell in love with illustrations while in grammar school. He attended a number of schools focused on art including UCL Slade School of Fine Art, a top-ranked art school at University College, London.

Briggs also taught students about illustration at Brighton School of Art, including three-time Kate Greenway Medal winner Chris Riddell. The award honors illustrations in children’s books every year. It’s an award Briggs won twice.

The Snowman, a book without words, depicts the story of a snowman that comes to life after a boy makes it. The tale later found an audience in the form of a cartoon that featured an introduction from rock legend David Bowie.

The book, and its accompanying film, were beloved classics in the lead up to Christmas and received an Academy Award nomination in 1982. The British Film Institute named “The Snowman” to its “100 Greatest British Television Programmes” in 2000.

“The Snowman and the Snowdog,” a 2012 sequel to the 1982 cartoon, was dedicated to the original’s producer, John Coates. The film also inspired a video game as well as plays.

Briggs, whose wife Jean died from leukemia in 1973, spent his later years living in Westmeston, Sussex. He also shared a home with his partner Liz, who died in 2015 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, and her family.

“He lived a rich and full life, and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean, and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life. He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales,” the family stated.

Briggs was particularly known for his sense of humor.

“He played practical jokes and enjoyed them being played on him. All of us close to him knew his irreverent humor – this could be biting in his work when it came to those in power. He liked the Guardian editorial describing himself as an ‘iconoclastic national treasure,’” the family added.





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21 Savage Contests Critics On Twitter Over His Violent Lyrics

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21 Savage is shutting down criticism over his lyrics, letting fans know his words aren’t an “instruction manual” for life.

The 29-year-old surfaced on Twitter Monday to defend the violent stories he often narrates in his song lyrics after tweeting a message about gun violence in Atlanta.

“Atlanta we have to do better put the f****** guns down!” he tweeted.

A Twitter user quickly swooped in, replying to the Atlanta-based rapper’s message with a GIF of a man looking confused alongside some of 21 Savage’s lyrics from “Jimmy Cooks,” his Billboard chart-topping collaboration with Drake.

“Spin the block twice like there ain’t nowhere to park,” the user wrote, referencing the artist’s lyrics in the song.

“A song is for entertainment it’s not an instruction manual on how to live life in real life I give away a lot of money and spread financial literacy to my community,” 21 Savage wrote in defense of his lyrics.

“Stop trying to make me one-dimensional,” he added.

Last year, 21 Savage similarly came under fire for advocating for more love in the universe on Twitter.

“I wish all this violence would stop it seems like it’s more hate than love in the universe right now!” he wrote at the time.

Twitter users reminded him about his brutal lyrics in a slew of tweets.

“How about you start by rapping less about guns and violence and concentrate more on LOVE @21savage,” one person tweeted.

“You rap about killing ppl,” another Twitter user wrote.

In 2020, 21 Savage released “Savage Mode II,” his third collaborative album with producer Metro Boomin, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart.





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Watch Lady Gaga Kick Off U.S. Tour With Fiery Messages About Abortion, LGBTQ Rights

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Lady Gaga kicked off the U.S. leg of her Chromatica Ball Tour this week with some pointed messages for lawmakers.

The pop icon paused her Monday night concert at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., to express her support for abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s June overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Shortly before launching into a piano-driven performance of her 2011 smash, “Edge of Glory,” Gaga told the crowd that she hoped “to dedicate this song to every woman in America” who “now has to worry about her body if she gets pregnant.”

A video of Gaga on stage at the D.C. show sharing her thoughts on abortion rights was widely circulated on social media.

“I pray that this country will speak up, that we will stick together,” she said, as seen in the clip. “We will not stop until it’s right!”

The 13-time Grammy winner, however, didn’t stop there.

“What about all the women who are raped?” she asked the audience moments later. “What about all the women that are dying giving childbirth?”

She went on to explain why she took a moment to address these issues during her performance.

“I didn’t mean to be like a downer,” she continued. “But there’s some shit that’s more important than show business.”

The Supreme Court’s ultraconservative rulings on abortion and gun control as of late have sparked justifiable fears among many Americans that LGBTQ rights, including same-sex marriage, could soon be rolled back at the federal level.

Such concerns prompted Gaga, a longtime LGBTQ rights advocate, to use a portion of her set to share her thoughts on the prospect of the Supreme Court reconsidering its stance on marriage equality.

Lady Gaga is currently touring in support of her 2020 album, “Chromatica.”

Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

“This might not be the national anthem, but it’s our national anthem,” she reportedly declared before segueing into 2011’s “Born This Way,” a track long embraced as a rallying cry for the LGBTQ community. “They better not try to mess with gay marriage in this country!”

Gaga launched the pandemic-delayed Chromatica Ball Tour before a sold-out crowd in Düsseldorf, Germany, last month. She will return to the concert stage Wednesday with a performance at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, before hitting San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other cities.





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Pete Davidson In Trauma Therapy To Deal With Kanye West’s Online Abuse

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A source close to Davidson, 28, told People that the comedian “has been in trauma therapy in large part” due to the many threatening posts that the rapper has posted on social media.

“The attention and negativity coming from Kanye and his antics is a trigger for [Pete], and he’s had to seek out help,” the source said.

Most recently, West, 45, reacted to the breakup by posting a now-deleted photo of a fake newspaper front page on his Instagram declaring “Skete Davidson Dead At Age 28.”

The insider stressed to People that Davidson “has no regrets for dating Kim and wants it to be made very clear that she’s been nothing but supportive of him throughout their relationship.”

However, Davidson has decided that, “moving forward he just wants to focus on his career,” the insider said.





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Steve Harvey Left Speechless By Comedian’s Answer On ‘Celebrity Family Feud’

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Steve Harvey apparently doesn’t keep up with the gargantuan dictionary of whacky New Zealand slang.

The “Celebrity Family Feud” host was visibly shocked on Sunday night’s episode when New Zealand actor and comedian Rhys Darby offered up some new terminology in response to one of the game show’s prompts.

″‘Passed away’ is a nice way of saying someone died. Name a not-so-nice way,” Harvey asked.

“I’d like to say: Carked it,” Darby answered.

Darby clarified: “You know, as in, ‘What happened to that guy?’ ‘Oh, he’s carked it.’ Cause it’s short for ‘carcass.’”

Other contestants jumped in to clarify that there’s an “r” in the word.

“What the hell’s going on?” Harvey asked, still baffled.

One of Darby’s teammates, Samba Schutte, assured Harvey he wasn’t alone.

“I need subtitles sometimes for these guys, too,” Schutte said.

“Carked it” is a phrase commonly used in Australia and New Zealand that means something has died or stopped functioning.

Watch the segment on “Celebrity Family Feud” below:





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Stephen Colbert Taunts Alex Jones With An Epic ‘Dick Pic’ Fact-Check

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Stephen Colbert declared right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones “the worst human on the planet” for the “outrageous lies he told about the Sandy Hook tragedy.”

Jones used his talk show on Infowars to claim the shooting was fake, which led to the families of the victims being harassed by his listeners. Last week, a jury ordered him to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of a child who was killed in the 2012 mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

One key piece of evidence against Jones came when his attorneys accidentally turned over his text messages to the attorneys for the parents. Jones later downplayed that to his listeners, saying the text messages were “no dick pics, no nothing.”

“Oh, Alex,” he said. “I beg to differ: Every picture of you is a dick pic.”

See more ― including Colbert’s impression of Jones ― in the Monday night monologue:





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