Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Comedian Jon Stewart assails Congress for ignoring 9/11 first responders fund
Jon Stewart, the popular former host of the late-night comedy program The Daily Show, criticized members of Congress for not attending a hearing on Tuesday on renewing funding for a program that provides health care to first responders who were sickened responding to the Sept. 11 attacks. “Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak and no one,” Stewart said, pointing to a mostly empty dais. “Shameful, it’s an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution. You should be ashamed of yourselves for those who aren’t here but you won’t be because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.”
Rapper Bushwick Bill dies at 52 after four-month battle with cancer
Rapper Bushwick Bill, best known for his work with the Houston-based trio Geto Boys, has died after a four-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Billboard magazine reported on Monday. The 52-year-old recording artist, publicly acknowledged in a video statement posted on May 1 by the celebrity website TMZ.com that he had been diagnosed with stage-4 pancreatic cancer in February.
‘Central Park 5’ prosecutor says Netflix series defames her with false information
A prosecutor of the men known as the “Central Park Five” said a new Netflix Inc series about their rape conviction and exoneration defames her with false information about how the case unfolded and her role in it. Linda Fairstein, who has come under renewed scrutiny since the debut of “When They See Us” on May 31, wrote in an op-ed published on Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal that the dramatic series is “so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication.”
Scorsese gets playful with Dylan in ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’ film
Director Martin Scorsese has made his second film about Bob Dylan, and this time the filmmaker has taken a cue from the elusive rock star to weave a fantastical mix of facts and imagination. “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story,” to be released on Netflix and in limited movie theaters on Wednesday, depicts one of the singer’s strangest concert tours – his 1975 U.S. road trip that had the playfulness of an old-time medicine show and a camera crew in tow.
Woodstock 50 loses NY site for anniversary music festival
The troubled Woodstock 50 music festival on Monday lost the site of a planned anniversary event in August, the latest setback for the weekend marking the famed 1969 “peace and music” festival, but organizers said they were pursuing a new location. The Aug. 16-19 festival was to have taken place at the Watkins Glen motor racing venue in upstate New York with a line-up including Jay-Z and Miley Cyrus.
Singer Steve Lawrence, of ‘Steve and Eydie’ duo, says he has Alzheimer’s
Steve Lawrence, the 1960s-era singer and comedian who performed at nightclubs and on television with his wife Eydie Gorme, said on Tuesday he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In a letter released by his publicist, the 83-year-old Lawrence said the disease was in its early stages and he was “being treated with medications under the supervision of some of the finest doctors in the field.”
U.S. appeals court to revisit Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway’ decision
A U.S. appeals court decided on Monday to review its recent decision regarding whether Led Zeppelin stole the opening guitar riff for its 1971 anthem “Stairway to Heaven,” but the plaintiff’s lawyer still expects a retrial to go forward. The rock band, lead singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page had been accused of copyright infringement for stealing the riff from “Taurus,” a song written in 1967 by the guitarist Randy Wolfe of the lesser-known band Spirit.
Samoa bans ‘Rocketman’ over gay scenes: media
Samoa has banned “Rocketman”, the movie-musical based on the life of British musician Elton John, over its depiction of homosexuality, the South Pacific island’s censor has said. The film was banned last week because it clashed with Samoa’s “culture and our Christian beliefs”, the censor, Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, told the Samoa Observer newspaper on Monday.
Without pop culture contenders, Tony awards audience slumps to all-time low
The television audience for Broadway theater’s Tony awards slumped to an all-time low in the absence of pop culture juggernauts like “Harry Potter” and “Hamilton.” Nielsen data on Monday showed that just 5.5 million Americans watched Sunday’s ceremony broadcast on CBS from New York, down 20 percent from 2018 when “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” took home six Tonys and rocker Bruce Springsteen won a special award for his sold-out one man show.
O.J. Simpson says ‘Life is fine’ 25 years after notorious homicides: AP
Former football star and television personality O.J. Simpson said that he and his family have moved on from the “trial of the century” that saw him cleared of a double murder, but forced to pay millions in a civil suit, according to an Associated Press exclusive. Simpson told the AP in an interview that “Life is fine.”