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Hot-button topics coalesce at the Sundance Film Festival
(Photo by Chris Pizzello - Invision)
By LINDSEY BAHR
From Associated Press
January 18, 2018 3:50 PM EST

The Sundance Film Festival has always been a place for boundary-pushing programming, but from the Me Too movement, to diversity and representation in film and even the current presidency, this year the snowy mountain town of Park City, Utah, is primed to be an epicenter of conversation around some of the most burning issues of the day.

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Thu Jan 18 16:20:20 EST 2018

Meghan Markle had no shortage of hugs on Thursday.

For her third outing as a working royal and first official visit to Cardiff, Wales, with fiancé Prince Harry, Meghan got an adorable group hug from school children during a stop at Star Hub, a local community center.

And it was all thanks to Harry!

As the kids gathered around Meghan to say goodbye, Harry couldn’t resist telling them, “Everyone give Meghan a group hug! Go!”

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The kids, of course, descended on Meghan. Some children were so excited that they didn’t let go of the future royal. And after a few seconds, Harry took notice and reminded the kids that he’s now the primary receiver of Meghan’s hugs.

“And release,” he joked. “She’s mine.”

Meghan was undeterred, however, and continued to hug the children who were standing around her.

Their stop at Star Hub was the second during Harry and Meghan’s afternoon in Wales. First, they visited Cardiff Castle, where they had the chance to try a cheesy wedding cake.

Thu Jan 18 15:54:31 EST 2018

Ricky Martin has revealed that his decision to come out as gay in 2010 was “extremely painful,” but the international pop star, actor, and sex symbol felt that failing to do so would be lying to his kids.

“I was surrounded by a lot of friends that were telling me ‘Don’t! Don’t come out, it will be the end of your career!'” Martin said during an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Tuesday night. “People that love me, people that mean well, people that were just victims of homophobia.”

The 46-year-old went on to explain that he grew up in a culture that told him his feelings were evil. “If you add to that the fact that I was like a heartthrob, like a sex symbol — Everybody was telling me, ‘It’s going to be the end of your career.’ It was extremely painful for me until I said, ‘I can’t take it anymore. It’s all about me now, it’s not about what’s happening outside. It’s about what I need in order to be happy.'”

But the game-changing factor for Martin was becoming a father to twin boys, Matteo and Valentino, 9. “I had my kids, and I said ‘I have to come out. I’m not going to lie to these beautiful kids.'”

In the eight years since he came out, Martin says he uses his acting to spread out on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

RELATED VIDEO: Surprise! Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef Are Married: Report

Last year he took on the role of Antonio D’Amico — the love of late fashion designer, Gianni Versace — in FX’s true crime anthology series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

The program doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of homophobia, prevalent throughout the late fashion icon’s life. “There’s a lot of injustice in the Gianni Versace story,” he says. A major factor in his decision to sign on to the series is to ensure that these injustices don’t continue.

“One of the reasons that I jumped into this character with the level of passion that I jumped into was because in 1997, something happened. Someone was killed…a criminal that went on a killing spree. He was on the list of the most wanted men of the FBI, he was living in Miami Beach, not hiding, and no one caught him,” Martin told E! News. “For me that is frustrating. For me that is injustice,” he continued. “For me, the most important thing was to be able to be a spokesperson for, maybe the LGBT community, and say open your eyes. We’re still being attacked and a lot has to be done.” The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST until March 21 on FX.
Thu Jan 18 15:52:30 EST 2018

Prince William, is that you?

The royal stepped out on Thursday to meet with military veterans who are working with Britain’s National Health Service. And his look sparked a slight double take: The royal dad, 35, was sporting a shorter ‘do than he was on Tuesday, when he and Kate Middleton stepped out for a day of events in Coventry, England.

Much shorter, in fact: William’s hair had all but been shaved off, making it the shortest look we’ve ever seen on him.

Prince William on ThursdayDaniel Leal-Olivas - WPA Pool/Getty Images

To compare, take a look at William’s hair on Tuesday (below) versus Thursday (above).

However, eagle-eyed royal fans will remember that a shave of the head is something of a tradition for William. Around this time two years ago, in 2016, he showed off his newly chopped locks while attending church with his family at Sandringham.

William’s own loved ones haven’t held back when it comes to teasing the second-in-line to the throne about his receding hairline. In 2014, during their visit to Australia, Kate  suggested that her husband could use a tuft of alpaca wool to cover his bald spot.

“The prince was interested in the alpaca, and as I showed it to them the princess said he should put it on his head,” Lyn Crejan, the farmer who showed the royal couple the wool, said during the visit, according to the BBC. “She said, ‘You need it more than me,’ and pointed to his head and he laughed.”


The #MeToo movement has been embraced by legions of women as a vital step toward countering widespread sexual abuse and misconduct.

NEW YORK (AP) — Jonas Kaufmann, the world's most sought-after tenor, hopes his cancellations are mostly in the past. Back in the United States after a four-year absence caused mostly by illness but partly by a desire to spend more time with his children, the 48-year-old German with the clarion voice and heartthrob looks is giving recitals in California and New York this week and returns in April for performances in Boston and New York.

The Chick Corea + Steve Gadd Band, "Chinese Butterfly" (Concord Jazz) Compared to other genres, flexibility of lineups is one of the most fascinating aspects of jazz bands.

PARIS (AP) — The celebrity allure of Paris Fashion Week was at its height Thursday as notables from the worlds of sports, film and fashion attended the swansong show of Louis Vuitton designer Kim Jones.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors preparing for Bill Cosby's retrial on sexual assault charges told a judge Thursday that they want to call 19 other accusers to try to show a pattern of "prior bad acts" over five decades.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Paul Rudd, the versatile and forever young actor and screenwriter who stars in "Ant-Man" was named 2018 Man of the Year by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals on Thursday.

NEW YORK (AP) — In her first televised interview, Dylan Farrow described in detail Woody Allen's alleged sexual assault of her, and called actors who work in his films "complicit" in perpetuating a "culture of silence."

PARIS (AP) — Former French actress and sex symbol Brigitte Bardot says most actresses who have protested sexual harassment are "hypocritical" and "ridiculous" because many of them "tease" producers to land film parts.

NEW YORK (AP) — HuffPost is shutting down its contributor platform, which has allowed more than 100,000 people to post opinions on its site since it was introduced in 2005.

LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry has introduced his American fiancee to a new part of Britain ahead of their planned nuptials in May. On Thursday, the 33-year-old prince took Meghan Markle to Wales, where they delighted crowds outside Cardiff Castle despite arriving an hour late because of train problems as high winds buffeted Britain.

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Timberlake says he has made up with Janet Jackson following the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl in 2004.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is working on a picture book. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers announced Thursday that Nyong'o's "Sulwe" will come out next January.

LONDON (AP) — Britain's media say police in London are investigating a third allegation of sexual assault against two-time Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey.

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Winners of the Screen Actors Guild Awards often remark on their statuettes — their green-black appearance, their hefty weight — but the awards start out in a decidedly different state: as molten metal.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA announced Thursday that 11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip-hop-rock band N.E.R.D will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles next month.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Three performers at last year's Route 91 Harvest Festival where a gunman opened fire on fans will perform a tribute at this year's Grammy Awards to honor victims killed at live music events this past year.

LONDON (AP) — London Zoo has honored Prince Harry's fiancee by naming its newborn okapi after her. The zoo said Wednesday the animal born in early December was named Meghan to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.

What makes a private sexual encounter newsworthy? A little-known website raised that very question after publishing an unidentified woman's vivid account of comedian Aziz Ansari's sexual advances while the two were on a date.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on upcoming programming from the TV Critics meeting in Pasadena, California (all times local): 4:55 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" sold more than 190,000 hardcover copies last week, the book's first full week of publication, a company which tracks the retail market told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Benedict Cumberbatch had a ready answer when asked when he might star in another "Sherlock" on PBS. "Goodbye," he said, pleasantly, as he darted out of camera range during a satellite Q&A Wednesday.

NEW YORK (AP) — Television viewership for the NFL's divisional round playoff games was down 16 percent compared to last year, offering ammunition to critics of the football league, but there are a couple of compelling explanations.

On May 4, 1959, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Gene Autry and other musical luminaries sat down to formal dinners and golden statues in Los Angeles and New York simultaneously for the very first Grammy Awards.