Disney Defies Malaysia Censors, Won’t Cut ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Gay Moment

Disney will not cut the gay moment from Beauty and the Beast, after a request was made by the Film Censorship Board in Malaysia to do so.

The studio says that the movie will not be altered, but it will instead move the release date to March 30, to allow more time for Malaysia’s censor board to make a decision on whether or not to release Beauty and the Beast without changes. 

Malaysia has strict laws against homosexuality. The country’s Film Censorship Board allows for LGBT characters to be depicted onscreen as long as they show “repentance.”

Two weeks ago, director Bill Condon revealed that Josh Gad’s character in the film, Gaston’s sidekick LeFou, was gay.

Last week, it was reported that Russia was considering a ban of Beauty and the Beast over the gay moment, but the country’s culture ministry said the film will be allowed to play but audience members under the age of 16 would not be admitted to screenings.

The Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Henagar, Ala., announced it won’t screen the Disney release because it features a gay character.

Despite potential release issues in Malaysia, a relatively small film market, Beauty and the Beast tracking for a $200 million worldwide box office debut. 

Beauty and the Beast will hit theaters Friday in the U.S.

This article originally appeared in THR.com.

‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Rips Trump in Politically-Charged Video for ‘F.U.W.’: Watch

While TV star Jussie Smollett was in the recording studio working on his own music apart from Empire, set for release later this year, he couldn’t help but write a song about what’s going in the world, from injustice to President Donald Trump.

That’s when he penned “F.U.W,” short for “(expletive) up world,” around President’s Day and immediately directed a music video to bring his words to life. The clip will debut late Wednesday on his YouTube page.

The black-and-white video features men and woman of various ethnicities and highlights injustices, from human and LGBT rights to religious and racial prejudices. A woman wears a hijab in one scene, a boy wears a hoodie in another and four women put their fists up as they stand in front of the words, “My body, my rights.”

“This song is for the oppressed. That’s why I feel like people will connect with it because it is very broad, because oppression is so broad,” he said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press.

In another scene, a man in a wheelchair runs over a Donald Trump mask.[embedded content]

“That mask is a representation of this false idea of patriotism. And that mask is a representation of this idea of white male privilege,” 34-year-old Smollett said. “It’s so much bigger than him. It’s what he represents, and it’s because of that representation, that’s why he’s the president of the United States currently.”

“It’s our opportunity to take those masks off and shatter them, so that’s what I did,” he added.

Trump’s apparent mocking of a disabled reporter was widely criticized last year. Some of Smollett’s “F.U.W.” lyrics focus on Trump and his administration: “Why are we back in the past?/It’s the same script different cast/All of these alternative facts/Catch me outside how about that?/Why is it so hard to keep hope?/Who got that popular vote?/Was the whole thing just a joke?/Was the whole thing just one big joke?”

On Wednesday, Trump fired back at rapper Snoop Dogg days after the release of a music video in which he points a toy gun at a clown dressed like Trump and pulls the trigger.

Trump tweeted: “Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!”

The White House did not immediate return a request seeking comment about Smollett’s video, which also features a black man standing in front of a noose, images of barbed wire and two water fountains with “white” and “colored” signs above them.

“We had written so many other great songs for my album, but this just felt like ‘I can’t wait for the album, I can’t wait for a single,'” said Smollett, who plans to release an official single this summer. “You couldn’t follow, you know, normal rules or normal protocol with this, you just had to get it out and luckily Columbia (Records) stood behind me.”

During the presidential campaign, Smollett and other Empire cast members appeared in an ad endorsing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Smollett, who was one of the kid stars of The Mighty Ducks film, is set to appear in Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Alien: Covenant this year. He said it was “freeing” to release a song apart from his Empire persona, and he challenged himself by directing the video.

“Because the song means so much to me and the message means so much to me, and what we’re going through right now means so much to me, I wanted to do it justice. And I knew what was in my mind would do it justice,” he said.

Nile Rodgers Talks Joni Sledge, His First Post-Chic Album In 25 Years & Rock Hall of Fame Confusion

The death of Sister Sledge’s Joni Sledge is weighing on Nile Rodgers, who co-wrote and co-produced the group’s 1979 breakthrough album We Are Family.

“It’s really heartbreaking,” Rodgers told Billboard backstage before his keynote speech at the South by Southwest conference Wednesday (March 15) in Austin, Texas. “To me, they always felt like our younger sisters. How can they die before us, you know?”

Rodgers considered Joni — who died March 10 at the age of 60 from natural causes — as the alpha sibling of Sister Sledge. “She was sort of like the leader of the group, the most outspoken,” he explained. “Even though Kathy had that magical voice, Joni was the one who, when you ask a question she’s the one who gives the answer, ‘cause all four people can’t speak. It would be a cacophony.”

And even after 38 years, Rodgers still considers the We Are Family album “the best record I ever made.” “That was the record that proved we (Rodgers and his late Chic partner Bernard Edwards) could do what we do for ourselves for others, that we could look inside someone’s soul and put our version of their truth onto them and superimpose it onto them and create this new entity we believed we understood. There’s no filler on Sister Sledge; Every song is awesome. It was a record that was really incredible to us.”

Rodgers is currently in the midst of finishing another album — It’s About Time, his first Chic effort in 25 years. The set was previewed by the single “I’ll Be There” in 2015 but he opted not to release it in 2016 after the year began with the deaths of David Bowie and continued with others and also included a vitriolic presidential campaign. “I had this great, fun, celebratory record and instead of seeing this positive, wonderful world there was this negative world of dark, dark, dark stuff. So I just felt that it wasn’t the time,” Rodgers said. And though he’s not exactly loving the Trump presidency, Rodgers promises this will be the year the album sees release; In fact, he was in Atlanta this week working on the last song for the set before flying to Austin. 

“It hit me that 2017 was the 40th anniversary of Studio 54 and the 40th anniversary of Chic. We started together,” he said. “So I’m thinking that’s a good omen for putting this thing out soon.”

Rodgers said during the keynote that the current incarnation of Chic will be back on the road this year, playing shows with Duran Duran and Earth, Wind &Fire. Before that, however, he’ll be attending the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 7 in Brooklyn, though he still has mixed feelings about getting an Award For Musical Achievement for himself rather than being inducted with Chic, which has failed to be voted in after 11 nominations.

“I’m still weird and ambivalent about that,” Rodgers says. “It’s like, OK, the other stuff I’ve done achieved more than Chic? We were only successful for two years and only have three albums, but the collective sales and influence is pretty incredible. ‘Le Freak’ alone, that song went to No. 1 three different times on Billboard.” To that end, Rodgers will not bring Chic to perform at the ceremony either. “It doesn’t make any sense to me; ‘wow, we’re OK to play, but not OK to be in?’ It’s weird, I’m cool; I’m fine with them recognizing the other achievements I’ve had in music. That’s great, and I’m thankful and grateful for it. But it’s still…weird.”  

Kehlani Postpones European Tour Due to ‘Unexpected Surgery’

Kehlani has called time on her European tour to go under the knife. 

The R&B singer revealed in a social media post she will undergo “unexpected surgery” to repair a hernia, and all subsequent shows on the Continent are postponed. Just in case there was any doubt, she’s pointed out where the problem lies in a squeamish Instagram post. 

“I’ve enjoyed being on the road in Europe so so much these past weeks,” she writes. “I’m deeply saddened to announce that I have to fly home for sudden unexpected surgery on my stomach, as some of you know I have a hernia (that squishy ball thingy above my belly button) and it’s gotten to a point if necessary surgery.”

Her planned shows in Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium and Netherlands will now be rescheduled to allow her to get the surgery done and “heal up,” and she’s promised to refund ticketholders. It’s unclear whether her upcoming U.S. tour, due to start April 1 at Philadelphia’s Transfer Union, will be affected. 

The Oakland native kicked off a 60-date world jaunt last month in support of her debut solo studio album SweetSexySavage, which bowed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 last month and opened at No. 1 on the R&B Albums chart.

A one-time America’s Got Talent runner-up with the teeny-bopper band Poplyfe, Kehlani left reality TV behind with a pair of critically-lauded mixtapes, the second of which, You Should Be Here, scored a 2016 Grammy nomination.

Gregg Allman Scraps All Tour Dates for 2017

Gregg Allman has canceled all of his scheduled tour dates for the year.

The 69-year-old rocker posted Monday on his website that “it has been determined that Gregg will not be touring in 2017.”

In November, Allman said he was taking several months off from touring so he can “focus on his health,” but still had plans to tour.

The new statement said that fans who bought tickets for concerts in June should “contact the ticket outlet from where you purchased the tickets for a refund.”

More details about why Allman has canceled all of his 2017 shows were not available. He has faced multiple health issues, including contracting hepatitis C and having a 2010 liver transplant.

Flume, Kelsea Ballerini & More to Play iHeartRadio Music Festival Daytime Village: See the Lineup

The iHeartRadio Music Festival returns to Las Vegas on Sept. 22-23.

Flume, French MontanaNoah Cyrus, Judah & The Lion, Kelsea Ballerini, Hey Violet and All Time Low are a few of the artists who will play at the iHeartRadio Music Festival’s Daytime Village event Sept. 23 in Las Vegas. 

Last year’s show included performances by Panic! at the Disco, Troye Sivan and Hailee Steinfeld.

The seventh annual iHeartRadio Music Festival will take place on Sept. 22 and 23. Organizers will announce the full two-day lineup later this year. 

Lea Michele Reveals Release Date for ‘Places,’ Shares New Song ‘Anything’s Possible’: Listen

Lea Michele gets personal on “Anything’s Possible,” the second track lifted from her forthcoming sophomore album Places, which now has a release date.

The former Glee star’s emotional new song opens as a piano-supported tear-jerker and builds into sweeping power ballad. “It’s time to crack the open door/It’s time to leave every teardrop on the bathroom floor/If I’m scared I’ll go in scared/Yeah I’ve got nothing to lose, it’s only up from here,” she sings.

“Anything’s Possible” follows the release last month of her first song in three years, the ballad “Love is Alive.” Both tracks will appear on her next set Places, which is due out April 28 and is the follow-up to Louder, her 2014 full-length debut (Louder peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200). A tour in support of the album will kick off in May.

Michele explained to USA Today that “Anything’s Possible” has been her own “personal anthem” for the past two years. “This is a song about having faith through whatever life brings your way,” she said. “To always believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that anything is truly possible. It’s about leaving the negativity and the past behind and moving forward with confidence and strength.”

Michele recently told Billboard that the process of creating Places was “so much more personal than the last one,” as she balanced her pop debut with the rigors of Glee, as well as the shock death of Cory Monteith from an overdose in July 2013.

Listen to “Anything’s Possible” below.

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Tyra Banks to Host Season 12 of ‘America’s Got Talent’

Tyra Banks is hosting the 12th season of America’s Got Talent. NBC said Sunday that the supermodel, Emmy-winner and creator of America’s Next Top Model will be joining the competition series alongside returning judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.

Banks will be taking over hosting duties from Nick Cannon, who left the show earlier this year after eight years in the post.

Banks said she looks forward to “connecting with the dreamers” and will try to get a few to “smize” for the audience.

Contestants in the popular summer series come out to show off a wide array of talents to compete for a $1 million prize.
Episodes will be aired live this summer from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Kids’ Choice Awards 2017: The Winners List

The Orange Blimps are being handed out Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Hollywood is about to be slimed! Nickelodeon is handing out its 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday night (March 11) in Los Angeles. Justin Timberlake leads with seven nominations, followed by Kevin Hart with six.

Actor and WWE star John Cena is host of the show, featuring performances by Little Mix, Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello.

The 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards, which are voted on by kids, this year features nine new categories, including Favorite Frenemies, Favorite #squad and Most Wanted Pet. A staple of each KCA is the anticipated moment when green slime is splashed onto various stars.

The 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards took place at the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles and aired live on Saturday, March 11, starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on Nickelodeon.

A complete list of winners follows.

Favorite Kids’ Show

Game Shakers
Girl Meets World
Henry Danger (Winner)
Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn
The Thundermans

Favorite Family Show

Big Bang Theory
Black-ish
Fuller House (Winner)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Supergirl
The Flash

Favorite Reality Show

America’s Funniest Home Videos
America’s Got Talent (Winner)
American Ninja Warrior
Paradise Run
Shark Tank
The Voice

Favorite Cartoon

​ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks
SpongeBob SquarePants
Teen Titans Go!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Amazing World of Gumball
The Loud House

Favorite Male TV Star

Benjamin Flores Jr. (Triple G, Game Shakers)
Aidan Gallagher (Nicky, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn)
Jack Griffo (Max, The Thundermans)
Jace Norman (Henry, Henry Danger) (Winner)
Casey Simpson (Ricky, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn)
Tyrel Jackson Williams (Leo, Lab Rats)

Favorite Female TV Star

​Zendaya (K.C., K.C. Undercover) (Winner)
Rowan Blanchard (Riley, Girl Meets World)
Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie, Liv and Maddie)
Lizzy Greene (Dawn, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn)
Kira Kosarin (Phoebe, The Thundermans)
Breanna Yde (Tomika, School of Rock)

Favorite Movie

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Captain America: Civil War
Ghostbusters (Winner)
Pete’s Dragon
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Favorite Movie Actor

Ben Affleck (Batman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Will Arnett (Vernon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows)
Henry Cavill (Superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Captain America: Civil War)
Chris Evans (Captain America, Captain America: Civil War)
Chris Hemsworth (Kevin, Ghostbusters)

Favorite Movie Actress

Amy Adams (Lois, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Megan Fox (April, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows)
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Captain America: Civil War)
Felicity Jones (Jyn, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Melissa McCarthy (Abby, Ghostbusters)
Kristen Wiig (Erin, Ghostbusters)

Favorie Animated Movie

Finding Dory (Winner)
Moana
Sing
The Secret Life of Pets
Trolls
Zootopia

Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie

Ellen DeGeneres (Dory, Finding Dory) (Winner)
Kevin Hart (Snowball, The Secret Life of Pets)
Dwayne Johnson (Maui, Moana)
Anna Kendrick (Poppy, Trolls)
Justin Timberlake (Branch, Trolls)
Reese Witherspoon (Rosita, Sing)

Favorite Villain

Helena Bonham Carter (The Red Queen, Alice Through the Looking Glass)
Idris Elba (Krall, Star Trek Beyond)
Will Ferrell (Mugatu, Zoolander 2)
Kevin Hart (Snowball, The Secret Life of Pets) (Winner)
Charlize Theron (Ravenna, The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Spencer Wilding (Darth Vader, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

Favorite Butt-Kicker

Ben Affleck (Batman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Henry Cavill (Superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Chris Evans (Captain America, Captain America: Civil War)
Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman, The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Captain America: Civil War)
Felicity Jones (Jyn, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique, X-Men: Apocalypse)
Zoe Saldana (Lieutenant Uhura, Star Trek Beyond)

BFFs (Best Friends Forever)

Ruby Barnhill & Mark Rylance (Sophie/BFG, The BFG)
Kevin Hart & Dwayne Johnson (Bob/Calvin, Central Intelligence) (Winner)
Kevin Hart & Ice Cube (Ben/James, Ride Along 2)
Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto (Captain Kirk/Spock, Star Trek Beyond)
Neel Sethi & Bill Murray (Mowgli/ Baloo, Jungle Book)
Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson (Derek/Hansel, Zoolander 2)

Favorite Frenemies

Ben Affleck & Henry Cavill (Batman/Superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Chris Evans & Robert Downey Jr. (Captain America/Iron Man, Captain America: Civil War)
Ginnifer Goodwin & Jason Bateman (Judy/Nick, Zootopia)
Dwayne Johnson & Auli’I Cravalho (Moana/Maui, Moana)
Anna Kendrick & Justin Timberlake (Poppy/Branch, Trolls)
Charlize Theron & Emily Blunt (Ravenna/Freya, The Huntsman: Winter’s War)

Most Wanted Pet

Baloo from The Jungle Book (Bill Murray)
Dory from Finding Dory (Ellen DeGeneres)
Po from Kung Fu Panda 3 (Jack Black)
Red from The Angry Birds Movie (Jason Sudeikis)
Rosita from Sing (Reese Witherspoon)
Snowball from The Secret Life of Pets (Kevin Hart) (Winner)

#Squad

Finding Dory – Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Willem Dafoe, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy (Winner)
Captain America: Civil War – Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman
Ghostbusters – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson
X-Men: Apocalypse – James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Ben Hardy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Olivia Munn

Favorite Music Group

The Chainsmokers
Fifth Harmony (Winner)
Maroon 5
OneRepublic
Pentatonix
Twenty One Pilots

Favorite Male Singer

Drake
Justin Bieber
Bruno Mars
Shawn Mendes (Winner)
Justin Timberlake
The Weeknd

Favorite Female Singer

Adele
Beyoncé
Ariana Grande
Selena Gomez (Winner)
Rihanna
Meghan Trainor

Favorite Song

“24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” – Adele
“Side to Side” – Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj
“Work From Home” – Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign (Winner)

Favorite New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Daya
Lukas Graham
Solange
Rae Sremmurd
Hailee Steinfeld
Twenty One Pilots

Favorite Music Video

“24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
“Formation” – Beyoncé
“Juju on That Beat” – Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall
“Me Too” – Meghan Trainor
“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

Favorite DJ/EDM Artist

Martin Garrix
Calvin Harris (Winner)
Major Lazer
Skrillex
DJ Snake
Zedd

Favorite Soundtrack

Hamilton
Me Before You
Moana
Sing
Suicide Squad (Winner)
Trolls

Favorite Viral Music Artist

Tiffany Alvord
Matty B
Carson Lueders
Johnny Orlando
Jacob Sartorius
JoJo Siwa (Winner)

Favorite Global Music Star

5 Seconds of Summer (Australia/New Zealand)
BIGBANG (Asia)
Bruno Mars (North America)
Little Mix (UK) (Winner)
Shakira (South America)
Zara Larsson (Europe)

Favorite Video Game

Just Dance 2017
Lego Marvel’s Avengers
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Minecraft: Story Mode
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Pokémon Moon

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

Joni Sledge, Member of ‘We Are Family’ Hitmakers Sister Sledge, Dies at 60

Joni Sledge, the second eldest sister in the hit pop group Sister Sledge, has died, a representative for the band says.

Sledge passed away at home in Phoenix, Ariz., Friday afternoon (March 10). She was 60 years old. Her cause of death has not been disclosed.

“Yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. Pray for us as we weep for the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin Joni Sledge. We thank you for privacy as we hurt for her presence, but also for embracing her radiance and the sincerity with which she loved life,” a statement issued by her family says.

Sister Sledge formed in 1971 and went on to record such hits as “We Are Family,” “He’s the Greatest Dancer,” “Frankie” and more.

The Grammy-nominated “We Are Family,” released in 1979, peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100; the song also topped the R&B and disco charts. The album of the same name reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

“Recording the track ‘We Are Family’ was like a one-take party — we were just dancing and playing around and hanging out in the studio when we did it,” Sledge once recalled to the Guardian.

She is survived by her son, Thaddeus, and sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy.

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