Below is a summary of the entertainment news briefs.
Disney CEO, responding to LGBTQ employees, says company stories promote inclusion
Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Chapek said Monday, in response to calls for the company to take a public stand against a Florida bill that would ban classroom discussions about the sexual orientation and identity of genre, that Disney stories “are our corporate statements” in support of a diverse, inclusive world. In a memo to Disney staff, Chapek wrote that he met with a group of LGBTQ+ leaders at Disney on Friday to discuss the legislation and its potential impact on their communities. He expressed the leadership team’s support for Disney employees and their families and the company’s commitment to inclusion – although Disney is not releasing a statement.
Ed Sheeran denies borrowing ideas in ‘Shape of You’ copyright lawsuit
British singer Ed Sheeran has denied simply altering other artists’ music and lyrics to pass off their work as his own, as he gave evidence in a copyright trial on Monday over his 2017 hit ‘ Shape Of You”. The award-winning singer is in a legal battle with grime artist Sami Chokri, who plays Sami Switch, and music producer Ross O’Donoghue, who claim ‘Shape of You’ violates ‘particular lines and phrases. from their 2015 song “Oh Why”.
US Supreme Court refuses to restore Bill Cosby’s conviction
Bill Cosby avoided further legal peril on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a bid from prosecutors to overturn last year’s decision in Pennsylvania that overturned the actor’s sexual assault conviction and 84-year-old comedian in 2018.
Justices let stand a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that Cosby should never have faced charges because a former local district attorney publicly promised in 2005 not to prosecute him, dismissing an appeal prosecutors. The state court ruling freed Cosby after spending nearly three years in state prison, angering sexual assault victims and their attorneys.
Italian dancer leaves the Bolshoi Ballet because of the war in Ukraine
Italian Jacopo Tissi said on Monday he was quitting his role as principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “I am shocked by this situation which is happening to us overnight, and quite honestly I find myself unable to continue my career in Moscow,” Tissi wrote in an Instagram post.
F1-motor racing ‘marriage’ with Netflix has even more mileage
The fourth season of ‘Drive to Survive’, the Netflix docu-series that turbocharged Formula 1 for new and younger audiences, debuts on Friday with the sport still committed to ‘marriage’ despite controversy and criticism. The 10 new episodes provide a behind-the-scenes look at the 2021 season, one of the most exciting and hotly contested championships in Grand Prix racing.
Oscar nominees celebrate “a year like no other” ahead of the awards show
Will Smith, Kristen Stewart and other Oscar nominees gathered Monday to celebrate the annual Oscar nominee luncheon, one of the film industry’s biggest gatherings since the COVID-19 pandemic limited the circuit Hollywood awards. Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Steven Spielberg and Bradley Cooper also joined the crowd in a packed ballroom at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. The stars mingled with sound mixers, costume designers and other behind-the-scenes workers vying for this year’s Oscars, which will be awarded in a live ceremony on March 27.
Ed Sheeran sings, says he wants his name cleared in copyright lawsuit
UK chart-topper Ed Sheeran sang part of his 2017 mega-hit ‘Shape Of You’ outside court on Tuesday during a copyright lawsuit over the song, and said the tunes may sound similar without being copied. The chart-topper is in a legal battle with grime artist Sami Chokri, who plays Sami Switch, and music producer Ross O’Donoghue, who argue that “Shape of You” breaks “lines and phrases.” special” from their 2015 song “Oh Why”.
(With agency contributions.)