BEYONCÉ, BARACK, MICHELLE OBAMA ADDRESS ONLINE COMMENCEMENT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former first lady Michelle Obama says the continuing protests following George Floyd’s death are a “direct result of decades of unaddressed prejudice and inequality.” And she says she understands graduates who are “scared or confused or angry, or just plain overwhelmed” with events over the past few months. She was one of many celebrity speakers at an online graduation ceremony yesterday — an event made necessary because most in-person commencements were canceled by the coronavirus pandemic. Others who addressed YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” event were Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Tom Brady.
HEAD OF SECOND CITY IMPROV STEPS DOWN
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Alexander, CEO and co-owner of The Second City improv theater is stepping down. His leave-taking comes after a former performer said the comedy institution practiced racism. In a letter posted on the company’s website, Alexander says he “failed to create an anti-racist environment” — and for that, he’s “deeply and inexpressibly sorry.” Second City, originally based in Chicago and Toronto, was a training ground for “Saturday Night Live” stars like John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and Chris Redd (RED). Alexander’s resignation came after Second City alum Dewayne Perkins complained online that the company refused to do a benefit for Black Lives Matter unless half the proceeds went to the Chicago Police Department. Perkins also said the comedy troupe created obstacles for people of color.
FOX APOLOGIZES FOR CHART PEGGING STOCK GAINS TO BLACK DEATHS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fox News has apologized for putting up a chart comparing the stock market’s performance with the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Martin Luther King Jr. and Michael Brown. Fox says the graphic, shown Friday, “should never have aired” without proper context. The chart, during Bret Baier’s show, illustrated gains made by the S&P 500 after King’s assassination in 1968; the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014, and the May 25 death of Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Former GOP national chair Michael Steele posted that the chart shows Fox mourns the loss of black men “by how much the stock market goes up.”
“HARRY POTTER” AUTHOR CRITICIZED FOR TRANSGENDER POSTS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — J.K. Rowling is drawing heavy criticism online after a series of posts about transgender people. The “Harry Potter” author took to Twitter on Saturday to criticize an opinion piece that used the phrase “people who menstruate” to describe biological women. Rowling tweeted, “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people" — then mused if the word was “Wumben,” “Wimpund” or “Woomud?” She also commented on another thread about the concept of biological sex. Rowling’s tweets drew the ire of GLAAD, which went on Twitter to call her remarks “inaccurate and cruel.”
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2