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Photographer David LaChapelle Is Credited With “Discovering” Paris Hilton — Where Is He Now?

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In September of 2000, David photographed Paris and her sister Nicky in a NSFW photoshoot for Vanity Fair. Since that infamous shoot (and a certain sex tape), Paris was a starlet that no one could avoid. 

 David told The Guardian, “Paris had a charisma back then that you couldn’t take your eyes off. She would giggle and laugh and be effervescent and take up a room. She was desperate to be in my photographs and one day we needed her for a jeans shoot.”  

He explained that the model hired for the jeans shoot couldn’t fit into the sample size provided, so it was up to Paris to fill the position. “She came over, she hadn’t been home for, like, three days, but she looked incredible,” he recalled. “You never saw that girl looking messed up.” 

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HBO Thoroughly Defeated Netflix at the Emmy Awards

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When the virtual Emmy Awards telecast came to an end on Sunday night, one thing was clear: reports of HBO’s demise had been greatly exaggerated. Despite the absence of both Game of Thrones and Veep, the cable network still thoroughly dominated the Emmy Awards. HBO led all networks and streaming platforms with 30 total Emmy wins, including awards for best drama series (Succession), best limited series (Watchmen), and best variety talk series (Last Week Tonight With John Oliver). The network also secured every lead acting award in the drama and limited series categories, including a surprise and historic win for Euphoria star Zendaya.

Yet while victories for Succession and Watchmen—particularly the acting awards for Regina King and Jeremy Strong—had been predicted by a number of awards experts, the results still came as a relative surprise, especially in light of HBO’s underdog status heading into the night. This year, Netflix scored a record 160 total Emmy nominations—53 more than HBO managed, and a show of dominance never before seen during an Emmys season. (Netflix received more Emmy nods than all four major broadcast networks combined.) 

But viewers would have been forgiven for thinking of the streaming giant as an afterthought on Sunday. Though it nabbed major nominations for Ozark, Stranger Things, The Crown, Dead to Me, Unorthodox, and Unbelievable, among other shows, Netflix only won two awards during the main Emmys broadcast: best supporting actress for Ozark costar Julie Garner (her second consecutive win in the category) and a best director in the limited series category for Unorthodox filmmaker Maria Schrader

All told, Netflix received 21 Emmys this year, with 19 awards coming during the Creative Arts Emmys ceremonies last week. The streamer’s most honored shows, with three total wins, were the embattled reality series Cheer (breakout star Jerry Harris was arrested last week on child pornography charges) and the Dave Chappelle comedy special Sticks & Stones. (While many viewers have gotten hooked on Emmy-winning juggernaut Schitt’s Creek via Netflix, the show itself actually aired on Pop TV in the United States and the CBC in Canada.)

If these relatively disappointing results seems familiar, it’s because the streamer also experienced a similar fate at the Academy Awards ceremony in February. Heading into the Oscars, Netflix led all studios with 24 total nominations, including 10 for The Irishman. In the end, despite major contenders in all significant categories, the service came away with just two wins: best supporting actress for Marriage Story costar Laura Dern and best documentary for American Factory.

So, what happened? It’s arguable that Netflix was undone at both ceremonies by the cultural climate. Movies like Parasite and Joker (which won Joaquin Phoenix best actor) and shows like Schitt’s Creek, Succession, and Watchmen had more to say about life in 2020 than Netflix’s nominees—an issue its flood-the-zone programming strategy may continue to buck up against. As co-CEO Reed Hastings told Vanity Fair recently, when asked about encroaching competition from TikTok and other video platforms, Netflix wants to keep presenting something for everyone. “The danger is someday Netflix becomes like the opera—a sort of super-high-end niche thing,” he said.

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Kanye West Reportedly Spent Over $3.5 Million to Get on the Ballot in Just 12 States

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It’s a good thing Kanye West is a billionaire, because he’s reportedly had to put a whole lot of his own cash into funding his struggling presidential campaign.

According to TMZ, a source at Let the Voters Decide—the third-party petitioning group hired by West and led by Mark Jacoby, who was arrested on voter fraud charges and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 2008—the rapper paid the group between $3.5 million and $4.5 million to have them gather signatures on his behalf in 15 states. Much of that money allegedly went to workers in Arizona, where West spent $1 million to get 93,000 signatures. But despite all the money and manpower the rapper pumped into the state, his bid to appear on the election ballot was rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court who ruled that his electors failed to file a necessary document stating their names and political parties. According to the court, any signatures gathered before the electors filed these documents are invalid. West faced similar obstacles in Ohio and Virginia, where he, according to TMZ, allegedly spent $325,000 and $300,000 respectively, only to not make it onto the ballot after each state’s Supreme Courts ruled against West. This is hardly the first time West’s campaign has faced questions of electoral fraud. 

But all of that isn’t to say that West’s financial investment in the electorate has been for naught. The reported $400,000 he spent in Kentucky and $80,000 in Iowa won him a spot on both ballots, despite two objections being filed against him in Iowa questioning him running as a no-party candidate while being a registered Republican in his home state of Wyoming and, once again, over the legitimacy of signatures on his nomination papers.

The rapper has landed himself on the ballot in 12 states total thus far, which while nowhere close to securing the 270 electoral votes he’d need to become president is just enough to inspire him to try again, apparently.

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Covid-19 Support Groups Are a Potential Research Goldmine

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Unless you or someone you know has contracted Covid-19, you’re likely just being exposed to the major coronavirus news: the vaccine trials, the updated infection prevention measures, the rising death toll. Smaller, more personal news about the pandemic tends to get drowned out on the open internet. To combat this, people who have tested positive for the virus congregate on their own, finding and founding dedicated online spaces where they post about the minutiae of a crisis more often described in giant, global arcs.

These groups are both distressing and hopeful. “I’m 21, with no prior health conditions,” writes one redditor on r/COVID19positive. “I advise anyone my age to please take all precautions. It hurts my fucking heart knowing I gave my family this horrible virus.” Commenters urge them not to be too hard on themselves, and to focus on getting well. On the Facebook group Survivor Corps, a poster has good news about an ailing loved one: His oxygen levels are finally holding steady. “This is the first improvement we have seen,” they write. “Thank you for your encouragement and your prayers.” Others mourn people lost to Covid-19 with memorial posts, list out their symptoms so people can compare and offer advice, seek help coping with the anxiety of their new or worsening diagnosis, or even just rant about anti-maskers they’ve encountered.

As infection rates continue to rise, these groups have become quite popular, drawing in hundreds of thousands of sick people seeking support. According to Jay Sinrod, founder of the Covid-19 Support Group (have it/had it) on Facebook, their members represent 102 countries from the UK to Tajikistan, and he sends a welcome message to about 300 people per day. Despite the much-heralded perils of social media groups like misinformation and harassment, for many people with Covid-19, these groups have been a source of solace. For medical researchers, they’ve been a source of data—free, easily harvestable, and ripe for analysis.

Online support groups tend to surge after any major crisis, whether it’s a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. However, according to John Naslund, who studies digital mental health at Harvard Medical School, the Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented surge in online activity. “What we’re seeing is the impact of the pandemic on mental health,” Naslund says. “It’s increasingly difficult to access in-person services. Here in Boston, most hospitals have stopped outpatient mental health services. It’s interesting that they’re not considered essential.” In his research into online groups dedicated to mental health issues, he’s found such communities to be incredibly helpful for some people’s wellbeing. But “I want to be careful about saying it can work for anyone,” he cautions. “People who are still in crisis or have maybe more complex challenges need professional help.” Returns also diminish the less the group is moderated, as anybody who has ever been on social media could probably guess.

Read all of our coronavirus coverage here.

Covid-19 support groups aren’t purely Pollyanna. “I was really surprised at the trolls,” says Jean Oja, moderator of r/Covid-19Positive. “People have posted that they tested [positive] for Covid and they’re in high school, but then we check them out and none of that is true. Or when a trans girl that was sick [posted]. The hate that came from people who are transphobic—I was very much not happy with that.” Still, Oja and the rest of her team of moderators (about half of whom are teenagers) work hard to scrub all that negativity away, even now when the subreddit has grown to more than 86,000 people. Meanwhile, Sinrod’s Facebook group has cut down on noise and misinformation but limiting all posts to personal experience—no screaming headlines allowed. Yet, even after the culling of meddlers, most groups are brimming with people (mostly women) eager to give testimonials. “I check Survivor Corps daily. It is a strong community. It continues to give me positivity and ways to give back,” says Dina Ganz Traugot, a 51-year-old Covid survivor from New York City.

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