Oprah Winfrey receives honorary Oscar for her charitable work
Oprah Winfrey was awarded an honorary Oscar for her charitable work on Saturday.
According to MSNBC, the talk show host and actress called receiving the award an unimaginable moment for a black woman who grew up poor in Mississippi and rose to the top of Hollywood stardom.
Winfrey was given a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by a young woman who was sent through high school on a financial grant she earned through Winfrey’s foundation. Winfrey, who was nominated for a supporting-actress Academy Award for 1985’s “The Color Purple,” teared up when accepting her honorary Oscar.
She said, “All of us can make a difference through the life we lead. We’re all here to help each other.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annually bestows its Governors Awards on those who have made an impact on the industry. Other honorary Oscars this year went to actor James Earl Jones and makeup artist Dick Smith.
Stars in attendance included John Travolta, Glenn Close and Alec Baldwin.
Zoe Saldana and her fiancé, Keith Britton, have ended their 11-year relationship.
The “Avatar” and “Star Trek” actress and her entrepreneur fiancé have “amicably separated after 11 years,” Saldana’s rep said in a statement to Access Holly on Saturday.
While the movie star, 33, has not made a direct statement regarding the split, on Friday she tweeted, “’You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.’ – Buddha.”
Saldana and Britton, 35, are business partners, having co-founded My Fashion Data Base, a fashion website, and will maintain their business relationship.
The statement continued, “Saldana and Britton remain committed business partners as co-founders of fashion resource MyFDB.com. Respect of their privacy is appreciated during this time.”
The couple announced their engagement in June 2010 after 10 years of dating.
American Eagle Airlines fined for long tarmac delays
The Department of Transportation said Monday that it has fined American Eagle Airlines $900,000 for keeping hundreds of passengers stuck on planes for hours due to tarmac delays.
According to the department, American Eagle Airlines, a regional affiliate of American Airlines, experienced tarmac delays of more than three hours for 15 flights arriving at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on May 29. A total of 608 passengers were aboard delayed flights.
The airline has to pay $650,000 of the fine within 30 days, but up to $250,000 can be credited for refunds, vouchers and frequent flyer mile awards provided to the 608 passengers.
The department implemented a new rule in April 2010 which limits tarmac delays on domestic flights to three hours, after which airlines must either return to the gave or provide passengers with the option of safely exiting the plane.
Airlines that violate the rule can be fined up to $27,500 per customer.
American Eagle blamed delays on airport congestion caused by weather. They have apologized to the customers and provided them with travel vouchers and frequent flyer miles.
Clinton joins NBC as full-time special correspondent
Chelsea Clinton has been hired by NBC News as a full-time special correspondent.
The network announced Monday that it has hired the only child of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to work on projects for “NBC Nightly News” including the segment, “Making a Difference,” and Brian Williams’ news magazine “Rock Center.”
Clinton has become a more notable figure over the years, by working for her father’s foundation and speaking during her mother’s 2008 presidential campaign.
According to the New York Times, Clinton approached Steve Capus, president of NBC News in July saying that “she was kicking around what she wanted to do next.”
Clinton told Capus that during her mother’s campaign, she had been moved by the stories of people making personal contributions.
NBC News already has one daughter of a former president among its employees – Jenna Bush Hager works for the “Today” show. Meghan McCain, daughter of presidential candidate John McCain, is a contributor to MSNBC. Capus said that the topic of other political daughters did not arise in conversations with Clinton.
Capus told the Times, “We both want to see how this goes. It will be full time for the near future. But I hope it’s the beginning of a nice, long-term relationship.”
Actor/Singer accompanies Cpl. Kelsey De Santis to her unit’s annual ball
Justin Timberlake attended the 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday night.
After receiving Corporal Kelsey De Santis’ YouTube invitation, the singer/actor agreed to be her date for the event, which he called on his blog, “one of the most moving evenings I’ve ever had.”
Timberlake was asked out by De Santis after he encouraged his “Friends With Benefits” co-star Mila Kunis to accepts a video invite to the upcoming Marine Corps Ball during a Fox News interview.
Timberlake said he was more nervous than De Santis to attend the event. In his blog, Timberlake called De Santis “humble and honest.”
He said, “It hit me all of a sudden that these were the type of people who look after us and our freedom…Humble, concerned for others before themselves…This was the type of person our Marine Corps was building. I was blown away.”
De Santis tweeted, “The ball was epic! Had a wonderful time.”
“I don’t ever get asked out, ever, so I was very flattered by that,” said Timberlake.
Kunis will attend the ball with her date Sgt. Scott Moore later this week.
Dakota Fanning perfume ad considered too racy for U.K.
Great Britain has banned Marc Jacobs’ new perfume ads featuring actress Dakota Fanning, claiming that the ad sexualized children.
According to the New York Daily News, the Advertising Standards Authority in the U.K. has refused to allow ads for Marc Jacobs’ new fragrance, “Oh, Lola!,” because of the image of 17-year-old Fanning with a large bottle of scent with an oversized floral top positioned between her legs.
The ASA agreed with complaints and judged that while the actress may have been 17 when the ads were shot, she appears much younger.
“We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality,” the ASA said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News, “Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualize a child.”
It did not help the Jacobs cause that the ad was created with intentional controversy. Designer Jacobs created “Oh Lola!” to be a companion scent to 2008’s “Lola,” but to be “more Lolita than a Lola.”
Actor quits Oscars less than 24 hours after friend/producer Brett Ratner
Less than 24 hours after director Brett Ratner resigned from his Oscar producing-role after receiving harsh press for using an anti-gay slur, Eddie Murphy has followed suit.
The actor and comedian stepped down as host of the 84th annual Academy Awards Wednesday.
Ratner and Murphy’s unexpected departures have left the Academy scrambling to find a replacement team less than four months before the ceremony, one of the more elaborately staged on television.
Ratner, who was named Oscar co-producer on Aug. 4, resigned Tuesday morning because of the anger sparked by his public anti-gay slur, followed by a distasteful discussion of his own sexual habits on Howard Stern’s radio show.
Murphy followed Ratner, his friend and director of his recently released film, “Tower Heist,” on Wednesday.
According to the New York Times, Murphy said, “I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”
Academy president Tom Sherak said, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”
Actress named special envoy for AIDS, US adds $60 million to funding
As the U.S. pledges more funding to preventing the spread of AIDS, actress and TV personality Ellen DeGeneres has been named new special envoy to raise global awareness about the life-threatening disease.
The Obama administration has announced $60 million was added to funding to fight AIDS transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, according the Associated Press. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the money will help scale up and assess new prevention strategies.
Clinton added that DeGeneres will “bring her sharp wit and big heart, and her impressive TV audience and eight million followers on Twitter” to support U.S. efforts to save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Prevention methods will drive infections down, making treatments available to more people, said Clinton. AIDS, which Clinton referred to Tuesday as “the worst plague of our lifetime,” has killed 30 million people around the world and 34 million are living with HIV today.
DeGeneres’ “The Ellen Show” on CBS is currently being filmed in Nashville, Tenn, and the actress was unable to attend the National Institutes of Health’s Masur Auditorium in Bethesda, Md.
Regardless of her absence, Clinton said, “I know we can look forward to many contributions from Ellen and her Loyola fans across the globe.”
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” fame are expecting this 20th child this spring.
The couple revealed their exciting news Tuesday morning on “Today.” “We are so excited,” said Michelle, 45, who is three and a half months into her pregnancy. Jim Bob, 46, added, “We didn’t want to stop on an odd number.”
The mother of 19 admitted that she was most shocked to learn she was expecting at age 45. “I was not thinking that God would give us another one, and we are just so grateful,” she said.
The couple lives in Tontiown, Ark., with their children ranging in ages 23 to almost 2. Josie, the youngest, survived a medical emergency when she was born at only 25 weeks. Although she suffered from gall-bladder problems as well as preeclampsia during her past pregnancy, Michelle says she abstains from birth control and leaves her family planning up to God.
Doctors have given Michaelle the “ok” on her current pregnancy. The birth of this child will mark Michelle’s first Cesarean section after her last child’s complicated delivery required a cut be made to the inside of her uterus.
Director quits Oscars production after gay slur – Is Eddie Murphy next?
Director Brett Ratner resigned Tuesday as producer of the Oscar telecast after apologizing for an anti-gay slur.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the motion picture academy is scrambling to find a new team to create the 84th February award show.
Ratner, director of such films as “Rush Hour” and the recently released “Tower Heist,” was reportedly an unconventional choice for the job and was hoped to be someone who could shake up the program and bring in more viewers. While the Oscars’ viewers have decreased recently, it remains one of the most-viewed broadcast of the year, typically only second to the Super Bowl.
Spectators wonder whether Ratner’s handpicked host for the broadcast, comedian and actor Eddie Murphy, would also resign.
Ratner issued a public apology for his slur Monday. Following Ratner’s resignation Tuesday, academy President Tom Sherak said, “He did the right thing for the academy and for himself. Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent.”