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Former 'Sesame Street' writer says Bert and Ernie are gay; The show, Bert creator Frank Oz, say otherwise

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By Stephen Iervolino

Courtesy of Sesame Workshop(NEW YORK) — Following an interview given by a former Sesame Street writer who said he wrote the beloved characters Bert and Ernie as if they were gay, the show has said otherwise.

Sesame Workshop on Tuesday tweeted, “Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance. It’s a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds are welcome. Bert and Ernie were created to be best friends, and to teach young children that people can get along with those who are very different from themselves.”

The tweet was an update to an earlier post that added, “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics…they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

The response from the show comes two days after Mark Saltzman, who is openly gay, spoke to Queerty about his own coming-out story, and the iconic duo came up. Saltzman was a writer on the show from 1985 to 1998.

“I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them,” he said. “The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie [Glassman, his partner of 20 years before he died in 2003] and I as ‘Bert and Ernie.'”

Saltzman admitted he never told the head writer he was writing the characters this way, adding, “There’s not a Bert and Ernie float in the Pride Parade.”

For his part, puppeteering legend Frank Oz took to Twitter to deny the claim, noting to one argumentative follower, “I created Bert. I know what and who he is.”

It didn’t take long for people to start flaming Oz, accusing him of being anti-gay. Oz was outraged by that reaction, and later tweeted, “It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It’s fine that he feels they are. They’re not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.”

He soon walked away from Twitter, thanking fans, and adding rhetorically, “Next time I would be very interested to know: If Bert and Ernie were indeed gay, would they be different than they are now?”

Incidentally, a 2013 New Yorker cover suggested the muppet pair were gay, and the show released a similar statement at the time, once again saying puppets don’t have a sexual orientation.

Still, Saltzman added, “The New Yorker cover was kind of vindication.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

'Get Out' coming to theaters with a live orchestra band starting this month

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By Stephen Iervolino

Universal(LOS ANGELES) — Jordan Peele’s Get Out is headed back to theaters– but this time with a heart pounding twist.

The social thriller is set to go on a live-concert tour at select theaters with Get Out composer Michael Abel’s score performed by an live orchestra band.

The upcoming performances currently scheduled are: September 20 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; October 28 at The Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY; and November 8 at The State Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

The film, which won Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, follows a young African American man who visits his white girlfriend’s family estate and gradually becomes ensnared in a sinister plot — which is the real reason for his invitation.

Information on how to purchase tickets for an upcoming performance can be found on the respective theater’s websites.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

Kelly Clarkson's new talk show will be like "a weekday brunch party"; set to debut in fall 2019

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By Stephen Iervolino

NBC/Andrew Lipovsky(NEW YORK) — Kelly Clarkson announced her new syndicated daytime talk show last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and now we have more details on the project.

The show, which will come on before The Ellen DeGeneres Show, will debut in fall 2019 and will air on select NBC-owned stations across the country.

It’s described as “a weekday brunch party with a fascinating guest list of people who would otherwise never meet.” Each episode will include human interest stories, celebrity guests, good music and fun surprises.

“I love connecting with people, playing games, music and finding ways to help or give back to communities/organizations,” Kelly says in a statement. “Having my own talk show where I get to do all of these things is pretty much a dream job!”

Before launching the new talk show, Kelly will defend her title as The Voice season 14 winner when the singing competition kicks off its new season September 24 on NBC.

Kelly will also launch the Meaning of Life tour — her first trek in three years — January 24 in Oakland, CA.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

"SURPRISE" - Jessica Simpson announces she's expecting third baby

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By Stephen Iervolino

Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) — Jessica Simpson and her husband Eric Johnson are expecting baby number three, and it’s another girl.

Simpson made the announcement and gender reveal in a series of Instagram snaps featuring the couple’s two children, six-year-old daughter Drew and five-year-old son Ace.

“SURPRISE…” the fashion mogul captioned the first — a shot of Drew and Ace holding up a set of giant-sized balloons.

A second post revealed the contents of the balloons — a bunch of smaller pink ones. “This little baby girl will make us a family of five. We couldn’t be happier to announce this precious blessing of life,” read the caption.

A third post featured featured Jessica showing off her baby bump, with the caption, “My baby love.”

Simpson and Johnson, a former professional football player, tied the knot in 2014.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

Report: Patrick Stewart closing in on big-screen 'Charlie's Angels' reboot

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By Stephen Iervolino

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Patrick Stewart is close to landing the role of Bosley in the latest reimagining of the 1970s TV series Charlie’s Angels — along with Elizabeth Banks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That’s right, Bosley, who was the face of the never-seen Charlie Townsend, owner of the Townsend Detective Agency — now a security and intelligence service with teams stationed around the word — will have two Bosleys.

Banks will also direct the reboot, slated for a 2019 release.

A previous film based on the series starred Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

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