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Terry Crews insists 'America's Got Talent' is "the most diverse place" he's ever worked

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NBC/Trae Patton(NEW YORK) — America’s Got Talent host Terry Crews apparently had a very different experience on the set of NBC’s variety series.

Amid the network’s investigation into Gabrielle Union’s departure from the show following claims of a toxic culture, Crews tells NBC’s Today that he begs to differ.

“First of all, I can’t speak for sexism because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments. That was never my experience,” he said. “In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.”

“The Top 10 acts were Asian, women, older, younger, black, white, it was everything in the gamut,” he continued, defending the shows’ diversity.

Crews went on to say that he even sought out the advice of his wife, actress Rebecca King-Crews, and her thoughts on what she should do in the wake of Union’s claims.

“She was like, ‘first of all, if it’s coming from an unnamed source – because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement to this day about any of these allegations publicly …if she hasn’t made a statement, why would you?'”

When asked if he’s spoken to Union, beyond his tweet in December where he told Union she “will be missed,” Crews replied, “I haven’t reached out, but I haven’t heard anything,” he said.

As previously reported, Union was fired from America’s Got Talent following her reported complaints about the allegedly racially insensitive work environment on set. Following the immense backlash about her firing, Union confirmed that she met with NBC to discuss her complaints and “express [her] unfiltered truth.”

Crews, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel are all expected to return to AGT for its next season.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

After getting jacked for 'Marvel's The Eternals', Kumail Nanjiani gets treated to junk food by Jimmy Kimmel

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Around the holidays, if you recall, actor Kumail Nanjiani found himself an unlikely viral star, when he posted a snap of his ripped body, which he whipped into shape for Marvel’s The Eternals.

He talked about the situation with Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night, explaining he loved the attention — particularly from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who gave him a thumbs-up online. 

The visit to Kimmel was just two days after Nanjiani’s final day on the set, adding that his strict diet continued.

“I have not had pizza or a donut in over a year!” he declared. “I have had no refined sugar in a year. I’ve had almost no carbs at all.”

For his part, Kimmel, who’s a foodie, surprised the actor with a mobile full of desserts, which descended from the ceiling to come to rest around Nanjiani’s head.  Kimmel also offered Nanjiani a pizza, courtesy of Jimmy’s sidekick, Guillermo.

The 41-year-old Silicon Valley alum freaked out, exclaiming, “I’m literally gonna cry right now. I’m not joking.” He took a bite of pizza and his ecstasy was evident: “Oh my God. I’m shaking. Hey, pizza’s really good!”

After breaking for a commercial, the actor was still working over various desserts while trying to promote his Apple TV Plus show, Little America. “What were we talking about again?” he asked, mouth full.

Marvel’s The Eternals is set for release on November 6 from Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Joker' director Todd Phillips says "intense" Joaquin Phoenix was "kind of light" on set

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L-R Phoenix, Phillips/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(LOS ANGELES) — Oscar-nominated Hollywood filmmaker Todd Phillips has worked on a range of movie genres, but his latest hit, Joker, broke a box office record and set a high bar for awards season.

Phillips, who directed, co-wrote and produced the Batman villain origin story, told Good Morning America that despite early criticisms, fans flocked to the film that now leads the Academy Awards with 11 nominations, including best picture.

Joaquin Phoenix, who stars as the disturbed comedian Arthur Fleck in the film, is an “intense” actor, but “kind of light” on set, Phillips found. 

“To inhabit the character of Arthur slash Joker in the movie, he had to go to some dark places…[But] we would say ‘Cut!’ and we’d be off to the side joking around or laughing about something and then we’d get back into it.”

Joker set the record as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time with over $1 billion at the box office.

“This movie has been a wild ride for sure,” said Phillips.  “Ultimately, when I look back at it I’m not surprised that a movie called Joker made so many people crazy.  It got painted very early with a brush that the violence in it was irresponsible and we felt differently. We thought we could show real-world implications on violence and that seems responsible to me, as opposed to celebrating violence in movies.”

Phillips added that, “ultimately it was the audience [who] turned up and it became their movie.”

The 92nd Oscars air Sunday Feb. 9 on ABC.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Move over, Kristin Bell: Brad Pitt might take your man to the Oscars

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Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — As we learned recently, Brad Pitt is on Tinder, but he already might have locked in a date for the Oscars: Dax Shepard.

Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood nominee Pitt received the Maltin Modern Masters Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Wednesday night, when he joked to E! that Shepard could walk the red carpet with him. 

Truth be told, Dax started this back-and-forth, when he revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he had a crush on Pitt. Pitt returned the compliment at one point last year, and Shepard flipped.

Dax and Brad told Ellen that they recently went riding their motorcycles together, during a day that also included a helicopter ride. “I went on a date with him,” Dax joked.

Shepard, who’s married to Frozen and The Good Place star Kristen Bell, said, “I felt like Pretty Woman.” 

To this, Pitt laughed to E!, “He’s a funny fella.” When asked if he’d consider Dax as his Oscars date, Pitt responded, “Yeah, yeah that’s a great idea.”

Pitt was still in a joking mood when he accepted his award, from his Se7en and Fight Club director David Fincher. Now 56, Pitt said, “I can’t do night shoots anymore,” and added at his age, “I no longer remember the first rule of Fight Club.”

For the record, it’s the same as the second rule: You do not talk about Fight Club.

The 92nd Academy Awards telecast airs Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8p.m. Eastern on ABC.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Experts say China's coronavirus could make Hollywood's bottom line sick

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iStock/jarun011(LOS ANGELES) — The potentially deadly coronavirus has led Chinese health officials to quarantine people and cancel many public activities — and some of those will hurt Hollywood’s bottom line.

Deadline reports amid the outbreak, all local film releases scheduled for the highly lucrative Chinese New Year period have been canceled, and theaters closed.  And that could spell a one-billion-dollar blow to global box office, or more.

The Chinese New Year period — the New Year itself begins Saturday — is huge for movies in China, which is the globe’s second-biggest moviegoing market.

What’s at stake is not only the box office receipts for Chinese-made films, but for Hollywood movies for which the Middle Kingdom’s audience normally has a healthy appetite.

Indeed, many films that were considered bombs in the U.S. became hits thanks to audiences in China and throughout Asia.

As for the coronavirus’ impact, an industry insider tells Deadline, “Moviegoing is so concentrated during this period, even with later releases, it will be impossible to overcome the massive loss.”

How concentrated? Chinese box office receipts tallied $1.6 billion bucks by February’s end in 2019.

China has also extended its severe travel ban to additional cities, cutting off travel for 20 million people during a time when millions are expected to be traveling for the holiday.

The quarantine began Thursday in Wuhan, the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities shut down transportation in the 11 million person city, prohibiting people from using buses, trains or ferries, and canceling flights and trains leaving Wuhan.

Those travel restrictions have since been extended to the nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, both in China’s Hubei province.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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