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Entertainment

    Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren will read a bedtime story during a one-night fundraising event to help fight global homelessness. Smith and Mirren will each tell their story from different locations during the World's Big Sleep Out on Dec. 7. The campaign will encourage people in 50 cities globally to sleep outside for a night in hopes of raising $50 million for the charity. Smith's reading will take place in Times Square in New York City. Mirren will appear in Trafalgar Square in London. Each location is expected to feature live performances. The sleep out will also be held in other major cities including Chicago, Amsterdam, Madrid and Los Angeles. All the proceeds raised will go toward registered charities helping homeless and displaced people.
  • The Latest on a new allegation of sexual impropriety against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (all times local): 5:10 p.m. The chairman of the Senate committee that hosted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings is ripping The New York Times for publishing 'unsubstantiated' allegations. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday said the paper's publication of a new, uninvestigated allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh is a 'shameful' and 'irresponsible' move that undermines the paper's credibility. The latest claim mirrors one offered during Kavanaugh's confirmation process by Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate who claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party. The Times story said another, unidentified woman was supposedly involved but declined to be interviewed, and her friends say she doesn't recall the episode. Grassley says his team never received an allegation like the one referenced by the Times. ___ 4:12 p.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is standing by Brett Kavanaugh as some Democrats seize on a new, uninvestigated allegation of sexual impropriety against the Supreme Court justice. The Kentucky Republican said Monday that the allegation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh while at Yale 'probably felt a little like Groundhog Day' after The New York Times reported on it over the weekend. McConnell called it 'yet another poorly sourced, thinly reported unsubstantiated allegation.' The latest claim mirrors one offered during Kavanaugh's confirmation process by Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate who claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party. The Times story said the other woman supposedly involved declined to be interviewed and her friends say she doesn't recall the episode. Several Democratic presidential candidates have called for Kavanaugh's impeachment.
  • The New York City medical examiner says Ric Ocasek , the 75-year-old frontman for The Cars, died of heart disease, worsened by emphysema. Ocasek's wife, model and actress Paulina Porizkova, posted a statement on Instagram , saying he was 'recuperating very well after surgery' and that their two sons were making sure he was comfortable. Porizkova did not say what type of surgery Ocasek was recovering from. She says she went to bring him his Sunday morning coffee and 'realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on.' The Cars chart-topping hits in the late 1970s and 1980s included 'Just What I Needed,' ''Shake It Up' and 'Drive.' The band was inducted last year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Porizkova announced the couple's separation last year.
  • Saturday Night Live' has rescinded its invitation to a cast member who posted a video last year in which he used a racial slur for Chinese people and derided Asians trying to learn English. A show representative said Monday that the language Shane Gillis used was 'offensive, hurtful and unacceptable,' and the show was not aware of the past remarks that have drawn criticism. 'Saturday Night Live' apologized, saying it's vetting process 'was not up to our standard.' In a tweet, Gillis said he respected the show's decision and is 'honestly grateful for the opportunity.' He said he had hoped to have the opportunity to prove himself, but 'I understand it would be too much of a distraction.' He ended with a slight swipe at the show, mentioning that he was always a 'Mad TV' guy anyway. In the clip of video apparently posted in 2018, Gillis refers to an unidentified city's Chinatown as being 'nuts' and used a derogatory word for Chinese people. He also complained about 'hearing an Asian trying to learn English.' The 'Saturday Night Live' representative said the show hired Gillis 'on the strength of his talent as a comedian and his impressive audition for SNL.' The clip of Gillis re-emerged last week just hours after NBC said that he and two others, including the show's only Asian American performer, were joining the cast as featured players. 'Saturday Night Live' has taken heat over the years for an overall lack of ethnic diversity, with scant Asian representation among its cast members or hosts. Former players Fred Armisen and Rob Schneider both are one-quarter Asian, but neither has been widely recognized for their Asian ancestry. Among hosts, the long history of 'SNL' includes a short list of Asian or Asian Americans, with Awkwafina, Aziz Ansari and Jackie Chan among them. ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
  • Move aside, 'Friends' and 'The Office.' Netflix now has a new gem — a show about nothing. The company announced Monday it would start streaming all 180 episodes of 'Seinfeld' in 2021, gaining a hugely popular addition to its library as the battle for viewers heats up. Netflix Inc., which pioneered the binge-watching culture of streaming, was dealt a double blow this summer when it lost 'The Office' and 'Friends,' two of its most popular shows, as their respective owners pulled them to add to their own streaming services. 'The Office' will leave at the end of 2020 to join NBCUniversal's new streaming service, and 'Friends' will leave at the beginning of 2020 to join the upcoming HBO Max service. It's a battle not likely to wane as the streaming TV space grows more crowded. Netflix has created significant momentum with its original shows, but new competitors are constantly popping up, including streaming arrivals from Apple and Disney. Still, Netflix has a head start in the online space, with its deep library of past and new shows. It struck the five-year deal with Sony Pictures Television for the global streaming rights to 'Seinfeld,' the Emmy-winning television comedy which aired its final episode in 1998. Terms were not released. The Los Angeles Times reported Netflix paid well above the speculated $500 million NBCUniversal paid to retake 'The Office,' and the reported $130 million Hulu parent Walt Disney Co. paid for 'Seinfeld.' Both of those deals are for U.S. streaming only — Netflix has bought the global rights to show 'Seinfeld.' 'Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against,' Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. Netflix noted it is still focused on producing its own shows — but it can't ignore the demand for rewatching old hits. The company spent $12 billion on original and non-original programming last year. Jerry Seinfeld's show 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' and his standup special 'Jerry Before Seinfeld' are already distributed by Netflix.
  • Brad Pitt, star of the new space movie 'Ad Astra,' had a burning question for a real-life astronaut. 'Who was more believable? Clooney or Pitt?' In a televised call Monday, NASA astronaut Nick Hague answered Pitt — 'absolutely' — getting a big laugh. Pitt's Hollywood pal George Clooney starred in the 2013 space film 'Gravity.' Hague and the rest of the International Space Station crew previewed 'Ad Astra' a few weeks ago. The movie opens Friday down here. Pitt portrays an astronaut who travels through the solar system to find his father. The film includes actual NASA shots of the moon and Mars. 'How'd we do? How was our zero-G?' Pitt asked from NASA headquarters in Washington. 'I got to tell you, it was really good,' said Hague, six months into his own 6 ½-month mission. 'The depictions, the settings all as you can tell look very similar to the type of setting I've got around me. I got to imagine it was a lot easier for me to kind of enjoy the zero-G than it was you,' he added, flipping in weightlessness. Pitt noted the movie's spaceship was 'a bit cleaner' than the station. After asking about spacewalking and seeing Earth from space, Pitt said, 'Most important question: Who controls the jam box?' Answer: The astronauts take turns. With three Americans, two Russians and an Italian on board, the music has an 'international flair,' Hague said. The 20-minute chat ended with Pitt sharing, 'I can't wait to brag to my kids.' ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • Christie Brinkley has been sidelined for Monday's season premiere of 'Dancing with the Stars.' ABC said in a statement that Brinkley is unable to continue this season following surgery to her wrist and arm. No details of her injury were given. Sailor Brinkley-Cook will replace her mother on the show. Brinkley-Cook is a model who has appeared in Sports Illustrated. Celebrities competing in season 28 include Hannah Brown of 'The Bachelorette,' former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Lauren Alaina, Ally Brooke, Mary Wilson and athletes Lamar Odom and Ray Lewis. Kate Flannery, Karamo Brown, Kel Mitchell and James Van Der Beek are also competing. Spicer's selection raised eyebrows. He quit as press secretary six months into President Donald Trump's term and had a contentious relationship with the press.
  • Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander are among the 10 authors on the young people's literature longlist for the National Book Awards. The wide-ranging list, which includes graphic fiction, historical narratives and stories in verse, was announced Monday by the National Book Foundation, which presents the awards. Longlists for translations, poetry, nonfiction and fiction will be unveiled over the following four days Anderson, best known for the million-selling 'Speak,' was cited for 'Shout,' a poetic memoir about surviving sexual assault. Alexander also used verse for 'The Undefeated,' illustrated by Kadir Nelson and billed as a 'love letter to black life in the United States.' Reynolds was nominated for 'Look Both Ways,' 10 stories connected around what happens after school ends for the day. Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the National Book Award in 2013 for 'The Thing About Luck,' was nominated for 'A Place to Belong,' about a displaced Japanese American family during World War II. Both books were illustrated by Julia Kuo. Others on the longlist include the graphic novel 'Kiss Number 8,' written by Colleen AF Venable and illustrated by Ellen T. Crenshaw; Hal Schrieve's queer-trans zombie tale 'Out of Salem,' Laura Ruby's 'Thirteen Doorways: Wolves Behind Them All' and Randy Ribay's 'Patron Saints of Nothing,' a novel centered on Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. The other nominees were Martin W. Sandler's '1919: The Year That Changed America' and Akwaeke Emezi's 'Pet.' The longlists will be narrowed to five nominees on Oct. 8. Winners will be announced Nov. 20.
  • Between an offensive tweet and a significant revision, The New York Times' handling of a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attracted almost as much attention as the accusation itself. The story also gave President Donald Trump and his allies fresh ammunition in his campaign against the media, where the Times was already a favorite target. The revelation that led several Democratic presidential contenders to call for Kavanaugh's impeachment came in the 11th paragraph of a story labeled 'news analysis' that ran in the Sunday opinion section. The story is based on an upcoming book by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, 'The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,' about the junior justice's brutal confirmation battle last year. Headlined 'Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not,' the story was primarily about Deborah Ramirez, a Connecticut woman who alleged that Kavanaugh, as a freshman at Yale in 1983, had pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her. Kavanaugh has denied those claims. Yet the authors said they'd uncovered a similar story involving Kavanaugh at another freshman-year party, where he allegedly exposed himself and friends pushed his penis into the hands of a female student. The story said former classmate Max Stier reported the incident to the FBI and senators as Kavanaugh's nomination was being discussed, but the story said Stier would not discuss it with the authors. Kavanaugh would not comment on the story, a court spokeswoman said Monday. After the story was posted online but before it was in the print edition, the Times revised the story to add that the book reported that the woman supposedly involved in the incident declined to be interviewed, and that her friends say she doesn't recall the incident. While an editor's note pointed out the revision, it did not say why those facts had been left out in the first place. A Times spokeswoman said no one was available for an interview on Monday. The Times' deputy editorial page editor, James Dao, posted answers to readers' question on the newspaper's website Monday evening but did not address this issue. The failure to initially report that the woman did not remember the alleged incident 'is one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent memory,' John McCormack wrote in the conservative magazine National Review. The Washington Post, detailing its own decision on the story, called into question the Times' decision to run with the accusation in the first place. The Post said that last year it had independently confirmed that lawmakers and authorities knew of the second accusation against Kavanaugh, but did not write about it because the woman involved would not comment and the alleged witnesses were not identified. The book's authors wrote that they had corroborated the second misconduct allegation with two officials who said they had communicated with Stier. The newspaper did not identify them. 'Based on the corroboration, we felt mentioning the claim as one part of a broader essay was warranted,' Dao wrote. Placement of the accusation in the midst of an opinion-section piece struck many in the journalism community as odd. 'How is this not a front-page story?' wrote Tom Jones of the journalism think tank the Poynter Institute. In a statement, the Times said the opinion section frequently runs excerpts of books produced by the newspaper's reporters. The new accusations were uncovered during the authors' reporting process for the book, which is why they had not appeared in the newspaper before. Still, this doesn't explain why the new accusations weren't pointed out to editors and given more prominence in news pages. Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University journalism professor, suggested bureaucratic inertia might partly explain it - since it had been determined that the piece would run in the opinion section, no one stepped forward to question that. 'There have been a number of decisions on this that strike me as dubious,' Gitlin said in an interview. Dao said opinion section pieces have made news in the past, citing a Maureen Dowd interview with actress Uma Thurman with accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. He noted that the Times' news section did write about it — after reactions came in from presidential candidates. Trump, not unexpectedly, was harsh in his assessment. He said his Supreme Court appointee was 'the one who is actually being assaulted ... by lies and fake news.' The White House also distributed a copy of a New York Post editorial headlined 'The latest Times hit on Brett Kavanaugh is a clear miss.' 'How many stories are wrong? Almost all of the stories the New York Times has done are inaccurate and wrong,' Trump wrote in a tweet Monday. Trump said Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. Yet Roy Gutterman, a journalism professor at Syracuse University and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech, said the Justice Department has nothing to do with the case, and a libel case would be tough. 'Given the developing nature of the allegations and the sourcing of the story, coupled with the correction, it still does not appear to rise to anything that would be actionable under libel law,' Gutterman said. The Times also apologized for an offensive tweet sent out by the opinion section advertising its initial story. The tweet said: 'Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun. But when Brett Kavanaugh did it to her, Deborah Ramirez says, it confirmed that she didn't belong at Yale University in the first place.' The Times deleted the tweet and said it was 'clearly inappropriate and offensive' and was looking into how it was sent.
  • A trio of Emmy-honored actors are winners again for their guest performances in TV series, joined by an awards newcomer. Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones received trophies for their 'The Handmaid's Tale' roles at Sunday's creative arts Emmy ceremony. Jane Lynch and Luke Kirby won on the comedy side, both for 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.' 'Game of Thrones' led with 10 Emmys in technical and other categories at the two-night weekend ceremony, which is the precursor to the main Emmy Awards that will air Sept. 22 on Fox. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' was the top comedy series winner, with six awards. Jones, who previously won for '24,' heaped praise backstage on fellow nominee Phylicia Rashad ('This Is Us'), calling it 'absurd' that Rashad has yet to win an Emmy despite four nominations, and saluted Cicely Tyson, nominated for 'How to Get Away with Murder.' 'I got to tell Ms. Tyson tonight that watching the 'Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman'. is one of the things that made me want to be an actress, and I tell her that every time I see her and she always rolls her eyes,' Jones said. Whitford has an Emmy for 'The West Wing' and one for 'Transparent' — the latter for guest actor in a comedy, making him the first actor to win comedy and drama guest star Emmys. In his acceptance speech, Whitford struck a political note as he thanked Margaret Atwood for the titular novel that is the basis of the dystopian 'The Handmaid's Tale.' Atwood is 'giving us perspective in this disorienting moment as we are inundated and undermined by a misogynistic, radical, right-wing ideology,' he said. 'She understands three things: Despair is not an option. Our children can't afford it. Action is the antidote to despair.' Lynch, who added to her four previous Emmys for series including 'Glee' and 'Hollywood Game Night,' said she based her portrayal of a 1950s comic on the women she grew up watching. 'I went right to the source: Phyllis Diller, Totie Fields, Moms Mabley,' Lynch said. 'Back then, in order for a woman to be in comedy, she had to have a gimmick. Usually that meant cracking wise about her own looks, her bad body, how she can't hold on to a man . but these women did it with such panache and style and such self-possession, and they inspire me.' Kirby, who played Lenny Bruce on 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,' has also appeared in 'The Deuce' and 'Rectify.' The British marital comedy 'State of the Union' won the Emmy for best short-form comedy or drama series, with short-form acting honors going to its stars, Chris O'Dowd and Rosamund Pike. 'Leaving Neverland,' which details two men's allegations that pop star Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children, was honored at Saturday's ceremony as best documentary or nonfiction special. Before his 2009 death, Jackson denied repeated, similar allegations against him, and his estate has denounced the documentary. Among other awards presented: — Animated program: 'The Simpsons: Mad About the Toy.' — Character voice-over performance: Seth MacFarlane, 'Family Guy: Con Heiress.' — Host for a reality or competition program: RuPaul, 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' — Unstructured reality program: 'United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.' — Documentary or nonfiction series: 'Our Planet.' — Commercial: 'Dream Crazy,' Nike. — Music composition for a limited series, movie or special (original dramatic score): Hildur Gudnadottir, 'Chernobyl: Please Remain Calm.' — Music composition for a series (original dramatic score): Ramin Djawadi, 'Game of Thrones: The Long Night.' ___ Online: http://emmys.com