Justin Timberlake is adding his voice to the chorus of those calling for the removal of Confederate monuments. The Tennessee native took to Instagram to share his support for the ongoing process of tearing down tributes to Southern secession and slavery.
"A lot of you know I’m from Tennessee ...a state that happens to be the home of many many confederate monuments," Timberlake wrote in a post he shared Monday. "I’ve been listening closely to the ongoing debates about what to do with these statues -- and I really want to take a minute to talk about this."
"When we protest racism in America, people think we are protesting America itself. Why is that the reaction? Because America was built by men who believed in and benefitted from racism. Plain and simple," the singer continued in his caption.
The post included a video created by the ACLU discussing the history of Confederate statues in America, their links to Jim Crow–era segregation and racism, and the painful legacy that they represent.
Timberlake went on to rebuke one common argument against the removal of the monuments, which is that the Civil War is "all in the past" and that the statues only represent states' heritage.
"Let’s be clear... those men who proudly owned and abused Black people are STILL celebrated all over the country," he wrote. "There are roughly 1,848 confederate statues of in the US. More than half are in The South, and it’s not acceptable. No one should be protecting the legacies of confederate leaders and slave owners."
The artist argued that, if America wants to move forward with unity, "These monuments must come down." He also stressed that simply removing the monuments and tributes "does not erase our country’s vile history of oppression."
"Removing them is a symbol of respect for Black people in America and it’s a step towards progress and actual equality for all," Timberlake explained, before urging his fans to watch the video, get involved, and to "learn more about the history of the monuments in your own states and counties."
In the wake of the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism, there has been increased pressure by activists to remove monuments, statues and plaques honoring and commemorating the Confederacy and Confederate political figures.
Many statues have been removed, either by protesters tearing them down or city and state officials having them removed and placed in storage. Additionally, the Confederate flag has been banned from NASCAR races, and Mississippi passed a bill in June removing the Confederate symbol from its state flag.
Zendaya shared the first look at a mysterious new project on Wednesday, posting a photo from her upcoming film, Malcolm & Marie.
The actress shared the shot on Instagram, a black and white photo of her and co-star John David Washington as the intimate titular couple. She tagged Washington in the pic as well as Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who directed the project, and cinematographer Marcell Rév. ET can confirm that Malcolm & Marie was shot with a minimal crew between June 17-July 2 at Caterpillar House -- an environmentally conscious LEED Platinum Custom Home, in Carmel, California -- in compliance with WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA approvals.
Not much is known about the film, though Deadline reports that it has "echoes of Marriage Story, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now."
Deadline's report also includes an extensive rundown of how the production -- which was funded by Zendaya, Washington, Levinson, and producer Kevin Turin -- pulled off their two-week shoot in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. Cast and crew were quarantined separately prior to filming, and rehearsals took place outside to maintain social distancing. The house's unique architecture and temperate location also allowed for minimum use of circulating air via air-conditioning or heating.
Actors were responsible for their own costumes and mics, and on-set food, beverage and transportation was coordinated by small groups, with extra time allotted each day to sanitize all filming equipment. Sets were pre-dressed and reviewed by the director via video chat, crew members underwent daily temperature checks and no one was allowed to arrive or depart the location during filming.
The production came together after Zendaya and Levinson had to shut down production on season 2 of Euphoria back in March.
Concerts and filming projects aren’t the only things that had to be called off over the past few months. Like many other couples, Ase Wang had her wedding plans thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The model-actress-entrepreneur and Phoon Huat scion was supposed to ROM with Thailand-based Chinese American entrepreneur Jon Lor on March 31 before jetting off to the Maldives for an intimate ceremony with their parents.
But, well, that obviously couldn’t happen.
Fast-forward three months and Ase and Jon are finally man and wife. The couple officially registered their marriage in Bangkok on July 8 in front of a throng of photographers, and the lovely photos (they took off their masks to show off their gorgeous smiles) are now up on her Instagram.
“Today we are officially married,” read the caption on one of her posts. “It’s been a very uncertain time for most of us. We had to postpone our wedding ceremony both in Singapore and New York but at least today we got to take one step closer to where we want to be. Even though we did not have our families with us here today they are very much in our thoughts. We miss u all! So excited for what’s to come for both of us my love @jonlor. In a year of such turbulence there comes a new beginning of something so wonderful. There’s to the story of us. (sic)”
Wedding ceremonies in Singapore and New York? Looks like we’ve got more pictures to look forward to. When the time is right, of course.
While Ase is usually known to flaunt her bod in bikinis and other va-va-voom outfits on her socials, the 38-year-old opted for a more conservative, long-sleeved dress by Thai bridal couture brand Maison Tutti.
Ase and Jon met through mutual friends five or six years ago but didn’t start dating until about a year ago, after Ase boldly made the first move by confessing her feelings to him first (yes, girls can do that too!). Jon is the Managing Director of Wonderfruit, an annual arts and music festival in Thailand.
South Korean actress Seo Ye Ji has been hogging headlines lately, thanks to her role as a super stylish children's book author in It’s Okay To Not Be Okay. The K-drama also stars Kim Soo Hyun, who plays a caregiver at a psychiatric ward.
In the latest episode, there was a scene which showed Ye Ji's character at the hospital dressed in an all-pink two-piece outfit that accentuated her tiny, tiny waist. Viewers clearly couldn't get over what they saw as they immediately went online to react to the 30-year-old actress' "ant waist", a term that K-netizens use to describe a very tiny waistline.
“Can all her organs fit in there? No way! Her waist is smaller than my thigh!” commented one netizen.
While some netizens were envious of her svelte figure, there were also those who felt that the 1.69m-tall Ye Ji’s tiny waist might be the result of digital retouching. Truth be told, it probably all boils down to genetics. According to some netizens, Ye Ji's mum and older sister, who both worked as air stewardesses, are equally slim.
Then there were the concerns about her physical well-being. “She's too skinny now. She could stand to gain some weight,” wrote one netizen.
Ye Ji's waist isn't the only body part that has gotten people talking. Soo Hyun created a stir in the drama's third episode when he bared his chiseled abs.
In that scene, Ye Ji's character bumps into a shirtless Soo Hyun in the hospital's changing room. When she reaches out to touch his abs (can you blame her?), Soo Hyun immediately grabs her and spins her around.
Of course many netizens took to Twitter to leave thirsty comments about the 32-year-old actor's abs after the ep aired.
“Kim Soo Hyun, how long have you been working out?” a fan asked, while another hilariously tweeted: “Search history: Kim Soo Hyun abs, shirtless, wet look.
Demi Lovato isn't taking one day for granted.
The 27-year-old singer, who suffered a traumatic overdose that landed her in the hospital in 2018, exclaimed via Instagram on Tuesday that she is "grateful for every day I have on this earth."
"This year hasn't been easy for any of us," she said, seemingly referencing all the time we've spent at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and the continued fight for racial equality. "It's been a time to reflect, to heal, to grow, to educate, and to spread love."
The post also featured a series of pics from Lovato's new cover shoot for Bustle. In her accompanying interview with the online magazine, the Albuquerque, New Mexico, native opened up about everything from what she's learned about herself in quarantine to why she keeps her circle smaller these days.
"Before quarantine, it was very difficult for me to cry. I had programmed the thought into my head when I was 16 that I'm only going to cry if people pay me to," she admitted. "I started doing all this work, allowing myself to feel the pains of all the losses that I've had or the adversities or traumas that I've faced. I think my ability to be vulnerable and be more intimate with people has really heightened."
"It's very common for people to only really work on themselves when crisis happens or when they notice that they're slipping into old patterns or behaviors," she continued. “So to be able to walk into this experience without a personal crisis and just be like, 'I can do the work on myself now because I have the time,' it was a beautiful thing."
Lovato added that the people she surrounds herself now, like new boyfriend Max Ehrich, are those she feels "very connected with" and can trust.
"I can be totally vulnerable, transparent, and honest. And if I'm having a panic attack in the middle of a photo shoot or something that I can sit in the dressing room with whomever is there, and they can help me with it," she explained.
Earlier this year, Lovato made her highly anticipated return to the spotlight by performing her emotional hit, "Anyone," at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles. Just one week later, she sang the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV inside the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. They were her first public events since completing treatment for substance abuse issues in November 2018.
"Demi will be releasing new music this year, and it will be extremely raw but very real," a source teased to reporters at the time, prior to the pandemic. "The album will be like a rebirth for Demi."
"She's spent a lot of time in the studio last year writing and recording and is ready to share her journey with the world," the source added. "Demi is nervous to be sharing such intimate details, but also knows her story can save lives."
Will Smith is addressing the Black Lives Matter movement and getting candid about his own experiences facing prejudice and racism. The movie megastar sat down for a conversation about the current culture revolution and explained how, despite his fame and wealth, he has never been insulated from systemic hate.
"I grew up in Philadelphia," Smith recalled while speaking with political commentator and activist Angela Rye as part of her podcast, On One With Angela Rye. "I grew up under Mayor Rizzo. He went from the chief of police to becoming the mayor, and he had an iron hand."
Smith was born in West Philadelphia in 1968, four years before Frank Rizzo became mayor and began to push his anti-desegregation platform. Rizzo's time as police commissioner and mayor was documented in a Pulitzer Prize–winning exposé chronicling the marked rise in racially motivated incidents of police brutality that occurred under his watch.
"I've been called n**ger by the cops in Philly on more than 10 occasions," Smith recalled. "I got stopped frequently. So I understand what it's like to be in those circumstances with the police."
Smith explained that he attended a Catholic school in the suburbs, which showed him "what the disparities are" in the relationships white people have with police and the interactions experienced by people of color.
Which is why he's been excited to see the universality of the Black Lives Matter protests and how they've garnered the attention and consideration of the entire world.
"We are in a circumstance that we've never been in before," Smith said of the protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black men and women killed by police in recent years. "The entire globe has stood up and said to the African American people, 'We see you and we hear you. How can we help?' We've never been there before."
The actor went on to explain that he understands the anger and rage that so many people feel toward systemically racist institutions and individuals.
"Rage is justified under oppression. But it also can be really dangerous," he said. "You got to be careful not to be consumed by your own rage, and that's something that I've worked really hard on."
In Smith's opinion, the greatest demonstrations against oppression are peaceful protests that serve as a contrast to the actions of racists and bigots.
"Peaceful protests put a mirror to the demonic imagery of your oppressor. And the more still you are in your peaceful protest, the more clear the mirror is for your oppressor -- for the world to see and for them to see themselves," Smith said. "I was really encouraged by how powerfully this generation was able to hold that mirror, and then the response of the world seeing and responding. I was deeply encouraged by the innate connectivity of the protesters, globally."
The actor went on to say that he doesn't think racism and prejudice will ever be eradicated from the hearts of some people, explaining, "You are going to come across people that have made poisonous conclusions and have false beliefs, and they've got insane narratives running through their minds."
However, Smith said he hopes that part of what people learn from being confronted with the realities of racism is how destructive "loveless, godless leadership" can be on the world.
That's why he wants the next generation -- who are poised to take the reins of the country and the culture -- to use their vote and lead with love and compassion.
"Don't succumb to lovelessness no matter how much evil you face, because [then] you poison yourself and you poison your own community," Smith said, as his takeaway message for the politically active youth who have been fighting to have their voices heard and enact change.
"I am pledging my unending devotion to the evolution of my community and the evolution of my country, and ultimately the world, towards the greatest harmony that we'll be able to create," Smith concluded. "I am happy to be alive during this time, and to serve."
Hongkong singer-actress Gillian Chung’s ex-husband, Taiwanese doctor Michael Lai has gone through quite the glow-up since news of their divorce broke in May. After they officially signed the papers in March, Michael has evidently turned to exercise to get his mind off things, showing off his toned bod on his socials.
Apart from that, media reports are now claiming that the 31-year-old has been indulging in a spot of post-divorce retail therapy to numb his heartbreak. Michael, who is said to have an annual income of NT$20mil (S$946,000), reportedly blew NT$2mil (S$94,689) on shopping these past few months.
And here’s what he allegedly bought— a second-hand luxury car, which he got from one of his friends for NT$1.3mil (S$61,500), a NT$500,000 (S$23,600) watch, as well as high-end designer clothing.
In fact, Michael is said to have spent so much at a particular shop that the sales assistants even threw a mini-party for the big spender. Not bad at all.
According to reports, Michael’s net worth grew dramatically as a result of his marriage to Gillian. Using his newfound fame, the enterprising doctor seized the opportunity to establish a brand new clinic, which received quite a bit of coverage from the media.
He also managed to snag a seat at a number of business meetings with Chinese businessmen simply because he was “Gillian Chung’s husband”.
Michael also counts a number of Taiwanese celebs as his friends, like host Blackie Chen. Oh, and Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu is said to have sold some of her million-dollar properties so she and her Chinese businessman husband Wang Xiaofei can invest in Michael’s new clinic.
An anonymous source, who claimed to be Michael’s good friend, also went to the media to spill some tea about the ex-couple’s split. The source said that Michael and Gillian’s marriage was an unhappy one, and that Michael “didn't even dare to buy new clothes during the span of their one-year marriage”, which could be why he’s going on a shopping spree now.
Remember when a netizen complained about how every headline involving Pace Wu revolved around her giving birth or getting pregnant? [Ed: To be fair, those headlines are better than the ones about her and her boyfriend being in financial trouble.] After all, the former actress gave birth to four children — five-year-old Hilary, four-year-old Hans, two-year-old Hudson and six-month-old Hailey — in the span of five years.
That very same netizen would probably to be happy to hear that Pace, who has been dating billionaire businessman Ji Xiaobo for five years, has no intention of making headlines for that reason again. The star declared on IG on July 6 that she’s done with having kids. “[My friend] Jeremy asked me what I would turn into if I had another son (…) I’m not going to have any more [children],” she wrote. Her post was accompanied by a photo of her with Hilary and Hans rock-climbing with friends.
The 41-year-old previously said she wanted a big family with five children. Although she’s just one kid shy of her goal, Pace reportedly doesn’t think she can cope with having one more child.
Pace also geotagged British international school Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong in her post, which led Apple Daily to ask if that's where her children are enrolled in. While Pace said that “[her] kids aren’t studying there”, she seemed to know a lot about the school as she was able to share with a netizen about the school's curriculum.
Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong's fees reportedly cost HK$188K (S$34K) a year, with an additional HK$35K (S$6.3K) required for miscellaneous fees. If Pace were to enroll all four of her kids at the school, it would cost her a whopping S$161K a year.
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Jessica Simpson is celebrating her wedding anniversary with a massive gift from her husband! The 39-year-old fashion designer took to Instagram on Sunday to wish Eric Johnson a happy sixth wedding anniversary and show off what he gifted her in honor of the occasion.
In the sweet pic, Simpson and Johnson, 40, are all smiles as they hold up the giant, purple crystal butterfly that he gave her.
"Eric Johnson, my Husband, I love you. 6yrs ago today I married my perfect soulmate. Our unity was written in God’s sky of colliding stars," she captioned the post. "Together we manifest dreams, nurture desire, and hold space. Destined, it always has been and always will be, forevermore."
"Also, anyone who knows me at all knows that this crystal butterfly is my dream gift 🦋," she added.
Back in May, the couple celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the day they met. They now share three kids, Maxwell, 8, Ace, 7, and Birdie, 1. When ET's Katie Krause spoke to Simpson in February, the Open Book author called Johnson's love for her "unreal."
"The pride that he takes in our love and in me, as a woman, is so sexy and it is so empowering, because he just knows that this is my calling. He knows that this is my path and he's just there to hold my hand through it," she gushed. "He's really the backbone to who I am, because anytime I feel like I can't stand, he's there to hold me up and tell me that I actually can."