‘Sesame Street’ debuts Ji-Young, first Asian American muppet
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Ernie, a muppet from the popular children's series "Sesame Street," appears with the new character Ji-Young, the first Asian American muppet.

By Terry Tang, AP News

What’s in a name? Well, for Ji-Young, the newest muppet resident of “Sesame Street,” her name is a sign she was meant to live there.

“So, in Korean traditionally the two syllables they each mean something different and Ji means, like, smart or wise. And Young means, like, brave or courageous and strong,” Ji-Young explained during a recent interview. “But we were looking it up and guess what? Ji also means sesame.”

At only 7 years old, Ji-Young is making history as the first Asian American muppet in the “Sesame Street” canon. She is Korean American and has two passions: rocking out on her electric guitar and skateboarding. The children’s TV program, which first aired 52 years ago this month, gave The Associated Press a first look at its adorable new occupant.

Ji-Young will formally be introduced in “See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special.” Simu Liu, Padma Lakshmi and Naomi Osaka are among the celebrities appearing in the special, which will drop Thanksgiving Day on HBO Max, “Sesame Street” social media platforms and on local PBS stations.

Some of Ji-Young’s personality comes from her puppeteer. Kathleen Kim, 41 and Korean American, got into puppetry in her 30s. In 2014, she was accepted into a “Sesame Street” workshop. That evolved into a mentorship and becoming part of the team the following year. Being a puppeteer on a show Kim watched growing up was a dream come true. But helping shape an original muppet is a whole other feat.

“I feel like I have a lot of weight that maybe I’m putting on myself to teach these lessons and to be this representative that I did not have as a kid,” Kim said. But fellow puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph — who performs Abby Cadabby — reminded her, “It’s not about us … It’s about this message.”

Ji-Young’s existence is the culmination of a lot of discussions after the events of 2020 — George Floyd’s death and anti-Asian hate incidents. Like a lot of companies, “Sesame Street” reflected on how it could “meet the moment,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, executive vice-president of Creative and Production for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind “Sesame Street.”

Sesame Workshop established two task forces — one to look at its content and another to look at its own diversity. What developed was Coming Together, a multi-year initiative addressing how to talk to children about race, ethnicity and culture.

One result was 8-year-old Tamir. While not the show’s first Black muppet, he was one of the first used to talk about subjects like racism.

“When we knew we were going to be doing this work that was going to focus on the Asian and Pacific Islanders experience, we of course knew we needed to create an Asian muppet as well,” Stallings said.

These newer muppets — their personalities and their looks — were remarkably constructed in a matter of a months. The process normally takes at least a couple of years. There are outside experts and a cross-section of employees known as the “culture trust” who weigh in on every aspect of a new muppet, Stallings said.

For Kim, it was crucial that Ji-Young not be “generically pan-Asian.”

“Because that’s something that all Asian Americans have experienced. They kind of want to lump us into this monolithic ‘Asian,’” Kim said. “So it was very important that she was specifically Korean American, not just like, generically Korean, but she was born here.”

Click here to read the full article on AP News.

Rihanna honored as ‘national hero’ of Barbados
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By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Rihanna’s homeland wants her to continue to “shine bright like a diamond.”

The singer was honored Monday in her native Barbados during its presidential inauguration, which served to mark the country becoming a republic.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the crowd, “On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty.”
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions and to do credit wherever you shall go,” Mottley said.

The makeup and fashion mogul was appointed as an ambassador of Barbados in 2018.

According to a statement from the Barbados Government Information Office released at the time, the position gives the celeb “specific responsibility for promoting education, tourism and investment for the island.”

She also became one of the Caribbean island country’s cultural ambassadors in 2008, doing promotional work for its tourism ministry.

In a move that received a great deal of support in the country, Barbados formally cut ties with the British monarchy by becoming a republic almost 400 years after the first English ship arrived on the most easterly of the Caribbean islands.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Sandra Bullock Discusses How Her New Film Made Her a Better Mother and Inspired Her to Get Tattoo
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Sandra Bullock in The Unforgivable | CREDIT: KIMBERLEY FRENCH/NETFLIX

By Dan Heching, People

Sandra Bullock is sharing details about how preparing for her newest film turned into an inspiring lesson in parenting.

The Oscar winner, 57, plays an incarcerated woman trying to reenter society in the upcoming Netflix film The Unforgivable, and in researching the movie, Bullock met with real-life women behind bars.

“One of my tattoos was in honor of one of the women that I got to interview that helped me with insight to my daughter,” the Practical Magic star told Extra on Monday.

The star revealed to PEOPLE in 2015 that she had adopted a daughter, Laila, who had been in foster care in Louisiana.

“She, too, went through the foster care system and there was something that was similar and she says, ‘Oh, my God, that happened to me. That’s who I was.’ ” Bullock said.

“I got home and I go, ‘How is it that I went there to get her story, and I left there being a better parent because of the gift that she gave me?’ ”

In addition to Laila, 9, Bullock is also has a son Louis, 11, whom she adopted in 2010.

As for the tattoo that the interaction inspired, the star said “it was a barbed wire with a butterfly on it.”

Bullock also shared that in researching the new film and speaking to incarcerated women, it became important for her to share “the truth of their journey to how they got there.”

Bullock stars in and is a producer on The Unforgivable, which marks her second project with Netflix after 2018’s wildly successful thriller Bird Box.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Wedding planning, driving and potentially more music: What’s next for Britney Spears post-conservatorship
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Britney spears smiling at camera. She is no longer in a conservatorship

By , Yahoo! Entertainment

Britney Spears has spent the last three days blissfully happy following the termination of her 13-year legal conservatorship.

“What an amazing weekend … I felt like I was on cloud 9 the whole time !!!” Spears wrote Monday on Instagram. “I actually got my first glass of champagne at the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever seen last night !!!! I’m celebrating my freedom and my B day for the next two months !!!!!!!!!!! I mean after 13 years … I think I’ve waited long ENOUGH !!!! I’m so happy my lawyer Mathew Rosengart came into my life when he did … he has truly turned my life around … I’m forever thankful for that !!!! What a sight seeing so many people celebrating my victory …. I love my fans so much … so thank you !!!!⁣”

Spears has a lot of famous fans cheering her on, too, including Lady Gaga, Dionne Warwick, Jameela Jamil and Andy Cohen.

So what’s next for the superstar now that she’s free? As her lawyer said immediately after Judge Brenda Penny made her ruling in a Los Angeles courthouse, “What’s next for Britney, and this is the first time this could be said for about a decade, is up to one person: Britney.”

Here are a few things we know are on the horizon:

Planning her wedding
When Spears gave a shocking testimony in court in June, she flat-out said that she would like to “get married and have a baby.” And she’s moving ahead on that front.

She and Sam Asghari, the personal trainer and actor she has dated for four years, announced their engagement in September, less than a week after her father, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to end her conservatorship. “She would love a beach ceremony at a tropical destination,” a source told People at the time. “It will be a small wedding.”

Then, just last week, Spears said that designer Donatella Versace — a longtime friend — is already making the bridal dress.

On the family front, Spears had said in court that she had been forced to use birth control, but that obviously won’t be the case any longer.

Making her own medical decisions
Speaking of, Spears will also no longer have to take anything she doesn’t want to take, and that includes the antidepressant lithium. The singer said in a June hearing that it made her feel “drunk” and unable to have a conversation. But no more.

Harry Nelson, the founder and managing partner of Los Angeles-based law firm Nelson Hardiman, tells Yahoo Entertainment that, without a conservatorship over her person, Spears is free to make all her own health choices.

Driving whenever and wherever she wants
Spears was reportedly thrilled to be driving again, once her conservatorship allowed her to do so, over the summer, for the first time in years. (MTV’s 2008 For the Record documentary on Spears, filmed at the start of the conservatorship, contained a scene that showed her explaining that the last time she had felt free was when she had gotten to drive her car a lot.) So, of course, she spent her first free weekend cruising around by herself, too. According to TMZ, at one point, Spears drove her Mercedes to Catch restaurant in West Hollywood, where she had a date with Asghari.

That goes for shopping, too
Remember in July when Spears wrote about having splurged for new sneakers? Spears controls her own finances now, so she can look forward to as many new kicks as she’d like. Spears’s considerable assets are now being transferred from the conservatorship into a trust that she controls.

Nelson explains: “A trust is a highly flexible legal structure set up by a person to protect property assets. In setting up a trust, Britney can decide who the trustees of the trust, who will manage the trust, are, and who the beneficiaries will be. She can name herself as a trustee and a beneficiary, designate other trustees or beneficiaries, and change trustees and beneficiaries over time. She can set up the rules by which the trust is managed. Absent some dispute between trustees or beneficiaries, the trust is easy to manage. This is in sharp contrast to conservatorship, which is governed by the court and cannot be set up, amended, or removed without court approval. Conservatorships are only necessary when the person who is the subject won’t cooperate and is putting themselves at risk. The trust structure will allow Britney to protect herself, her children, and other loved ones, with the flexibility to make the structure work for her needs.”

Click here to read the whole article on Yahoo! Entertainment

Rebel Wilson Says She ‘Never Thought’ She ‘Could Overcome’ Emotional Eating
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Rebel Wilson wearing a blue velvet blazer while smiling at the camera

By Nicholas Rice, People

Rebel Wilson is looking back at how far she’s come after her recent weight loss.

While chatting with PEOPLE, the 41-year-old actress opened up about the feelings she experienced during her self-imposed “year of health” in 2020. “One of the emotions was that I’m sad I didn’t do it before,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“Last year, I lost a lot of weight — close to 80 lbs. — and then I’ve maintained it for this year. [So] part of me was like, ‘Well, damn! If I could have done it before, should I have done it?'” she continues. “And I felt a bit sad about that point.”

Wilson said that it was partly do to a lack of faith in herself.

“I thought I was the person that [would] never do it,” she says. “Like, yeah, I can lose a few pounds if I try really hard one week and be really strict with myself, but then I’ll always gain it back. So I never thought that I could successfully do it.”

“Last year, I — for the first time ever — prioritized my health,” she continues. “And even though that was my 40th year, I was just like, it’s never too late to improve yourself or to improve your health.”

“I shouldn’t feel sad or beat up on myself because of that. I should just feel proud of myself for actually doing it,” Wilson adds.

Still, the Isn’t It Romantic star says she has “always been a very confident person,” and it’s not as though her weight loss has made her that way. “But you do feel better in yourself,” she explains.

“I’m not perfect, like, I still emotionally eat at times, there’s stressful things that still go on in my life and in my work that can be high pressure, … but I’m not perfect. I’ve [just] learned to manage things.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Jung Ho Yeon Reveals What She Learned From Her “Squid Game” Role And Reaction To Her Instagram Following
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Portrait of Jung Ho leaning on a wall and gazing at the camera

By Soompi

“Squid Game” actress Jung Ho Yeon participated in an interview for fashion magazine Cosmopolitan, where she shared her reaction to the immense popularity of the Netflix series.

Jung Ho Yeon first discussed what she learned while acting in her role as Kang Sae Byeok. “While acting as Sae Byeok I learned that no matter what, we have to live as humans should,” she shared. “I think learning about life and finding the answer through my character is what acting is. I’m excited that I’ll be able to have different thoughts when I meet my next character.”

Having made her acting debut through “Squid Game,” Jung Ho Yeon commented on being a novice in the field as she said, “It’s great to have people rely on me as an experienced model, but I also think that it’s something wonderful to be a rookie with no experience in an unfamiliar environment. Everything is new, the speed at which you pick things up becomes faster, and you don’t think of coasting through any task.”

Jung Ho Yeon gained a huge following on her Instagram account thanks to the drama, with her current following standing at over 20 million. Expressing her astonishment at celebrities such as The Weeknd following her account, she said, “I’m just surprised that so many people I like and respect watched ‘Squid Game.’”

Jung Ho Yeon continued, “I reposted The Weeknd’s original post, and it was interesting that he then reposted that. I was most amazed that Zendaya followed me.” She added, “In the future, I want to work together with Hirokazu Koreeda, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, and Bong Joon Ho.”

Click here to read the full article on Soompi.

Kate Moss’ Daughter Lila Walks Runway With Insulin Pump: ‘You Are an Inspiration’
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Kate Moss' 19 year old daughter Lilly Grace on the runway

By Francesca Gariano, NBC

Kate Moss’ daughter, Lila Grace Moss, made a big statement on the runway to close out Milan Fashion Week.

Moss walked the catwalk at Fendi and Versace’s combined show, appropriately dubbed “Fendace,” on Sunday, Sept. 26. The 19-year-old model, who has type 1 diabetes, donned a cropped jacket and a baroque-pattered bodysuit with her legs on full display, including her insulin pump below her hip on her thigh.

The model shared a snap from the runway on Instagram in a carousel post, adding videos of her walk as well as behind-the-scenes moments from the show.

Though she didn’t call attention to her insulin pump in her caption, fans in the comments lauded Moss for not hiding her insulin pump and giving type 1 diabetes visibility in the fashion industry.

“The whole T1d community salute you 💙,” one commenter wrote.

Another added, “I love showing my 11yr old T1 daughter your pics. 👏❤️.”

“As a fellow T1 diabetic (and ex model), THANK YOU for wearing your device on the freaking runway!” one user wrote. “You are a queen and I want these pics everywhere cos the more we share of T1 diabetes the better 🙌.”

One fan penned a touching note to Moss, calling her decision “groundbreaking,” adding, “You have no idea how inspiring this photo is, not only to type 1 diabetics, but young girls everywhere to show the real you and not let anything hold you back.”

“You are an inspiration to those girls everywhere,” they added. “Your strength and resilience shows. Keep up the great work and thank you for your representation.”

According to the CDC, type 1 diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. An insulin pump is a tubeless pump filled with insulin that is worn directly on the body to deliver doses of the hormone around the clock.

Moss opened up about her diabetes last August in an interview with The Kit. When asked about something that most people wouldn’t know about her, the model revealed her diagnosis publicly in her response.

“I think not many people know that I have diabetes,” she said. “It’s not visible from the outside, so no one would really know just by looking at you. I have type 1.”

Click here to read the full article on NBC.

Adrienne Warren, Sheila Atim Join Viola Davis in Historical Drama ‘The Woman King’ (Exclusive)
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The woman king actresses Adrienne Warren Sheila Atim COURTESY OF STEPHANIE DIANI; SONY

BY BORYS KIT, The Hollywood Reporter

Adrienne Warren, the newly minted best actress in a musical at Sunday’s Tony Awards for her work in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, and Olivier Award-winning actress Sheila Atim, have joined the cast of The Woman King, a historical epic from TriStar.

Viola Davis and Thuso Mbedu are toplining the drama that also counts Lashana Lynch and John Boyega on the roll call.

Gina Prince-Bythewood, who most recently directed Netflix’s sci-fi actioner The Old Guard, is on board to helm the feature that will begin shooting in November in South Africa.

Per the studio, the project is inspired by true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The story follows Nanisca (Davis), general of an all-female military unit, and Nawi (Mbedu), an ambitious recruit, who together fight enemies who violated their honor, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.

Warren and Atim will play warriors in Nanisca’s elite unit.

Dana Stevens wrote the original screenplay, with the current draft from Stevens and Prince-Bythewood.

Producing are Cathy Schulman via her Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon via JuVee Productions and Maria Bello via her banner, Jack Blue.

Warren starred as iconic singer Turner in Tina, which, on top of Sunday’s Tony, has earned her Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Antonyo awards. Warren also received a special Tony Award this year for her work as co-founder of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, which was founded by members of the Broadway Community as a direct response to racism and police brutality in the U.S. The actress will return to her acclaimed starring role for a limited engagement when Tina reopens at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Oct. 8.

Atim appeared with Mbedu in Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed limited series, The Underground Railroad. She will be seen in Bruised, the directorial debut of actress Halle Berry, as well as the live-action retelling of Disney’s Pinocchio from Robert Zemeckis.

Click here to read the full article on the Hollywood Reporter.

Amy Schumer Reveals Tumor Was Found During Uterus Removal Surgery, Says ‘Lifelong Pain’ Has Healed
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Amy Schumer wearing a black top while smiling at the camera

By , US Weekly

She’s a survivor. Amy Schumer shared an update a week after her uterus was surgically removed. “I’m feeling stronger and thrilled about life,” the comedian, 40, shared via Instagram on Sunday, September 26.

Her doctor walked her through everything they found in surgery. Of the 30 specimens that were taken to the lab, 26 tested positive for endometriosis. Her appendix was removed during the hysterectomy because the endometriosis had attacked it, but pathology revealed that there was actually a tumor there. Many “chocolate cysts” — noncancerous, fluid-filled cysts — were also found.

Schumer is over the moon that the surgery removed so much. Not only has the pain stopped, but the surgery confirmed that there were very serious medical factors causing her body to suffer.

“All my lifelong pain explained and lifted out of my body. I am already a changed person,” the Trainwreck star added. “I am busting with joy for the new energy I have to be with my son.”

Many women suffer from endometriosis without diagnosis for years, with the 2016 documentary Endo What? reporting that the average time for a diagnosis after the onset of symptoms is about 8 to 10 years.

The leading lady, who also suffers from Lyme disease, opened up about her surgery on September 18 when she shared photos and videos from the hospital. She said she was already feeling her energy return hours after surgery.

Schumer, who married chef Chris Fischer in February 2018, has been open in recent years about her health struggles. She had a difficult pregnancy with her son, Gene, now 2, and a year before having her uterus removed, she said her body can’t handle being pregnant again.

“We did IVF and IVF was really tough on me. I don’t think I could ever do IVF again,” she said during an appearance on Sunday Today With Willie Geist in August 2020.

Click here to read the full article on US Weekly.

Exclusive: ESPN to debut its first all-women baseball broadcast
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The two sports announcers will be ESPN's first all-woman broadcast team for a nationally televised Major League Baseball game on September 29.

By Frank Pallotta, Eirie News Today

Melanie Newman and Jessica Mendoza aren’t done making history.

The two sports announcers will be ESPN’s first all-woman broadcast team for a nationally televised Major League Baseball game on September 29. The game will mark the first time ESPN has had an all-woman broadcast team for a MLB, NBA, NFL regular season or playoff game. The teams that will be playing are not yet determined.

Newman and Mendoza have put their names in the history books before. Newman was a part of MLB’s first-ever all-female broadcast in July while Mendoza became the first female analyst to call a nationally televised MLB playoff game in 2015. Mendoza, ESPN’s first regular female MLB analyst, has been with the network since 2007.

Mendoza is a two-time Olympic medal winner and was a four-time All-American on Stanford University’s softball team.

“Honestly, each earmark is just another page,” Newman told CNN Business. “I feel fortunate to be the one handed this chance, it’s our responsibility until there are no more firsts and its just an even playing field of all-qualified professionals who happen to look different.”

Mendoza echoed Newman’s sentiments, saying “it is important to have more people represent the game of baseball.”

“For young girls, women and Latinas, to hear a voice that represents them is so impactful for not only the sport to grow its audience, but to continue to broaden the opportunities for more young girls, women and Latinas to do the same,” she told CNN Business.

Newman, who also made history as the first woman in Orioles history to call a regular-season game in 2020, will provide play-by-play commentary for two ESPN baseball telecasts as the network puts together its “pennant race” stretch of 11 games in 11 days. Her first will be Wednesday, when the San Francisco Giants take on the San Diego Padres.

She also believes that representation is important in growing America’s first professional sport.

“Representation absolutely matters,” Newman said. “The number of younger girls who have felt they couldn’t be a fan of sports in general solely out of not seeing women in front still amazes me.”

Click here to read the full article on Eirie News Today.

‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: JoJo Siwa, pro-partner Jenna Johnson make history, lead the pack
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Pop star JoJo Siwa and pro dancer Jenna Johnson were last to dance Monday night and first on the judges' leaderboard with 29 out of 40 points.

By George Pennacchio

“Dancing with the Stars” waltzed back into primetime for its 30th season. And after just one dance apiece, the stars and their professional partners know this season is going to be a very competitive one.

Pop star JoJo Siwa and pro dancer Jenna Johnson were last to dance Monday night and first on the judges’ leaderboard with 29 out of 40 points. As the show’s first same-sex dance couple, JoJo says the night couldn’t have gone any better.

“I actually didn’t want the audience to say anything. I wanted the audience to smile,” said Siwa. “And I wanted the audience to just be like, ‘Huh, wow, two girls dancing together, that’s cool.'”

One point behind them: a tie between Olympian Suni Lee and Sasha Farber and talk show host Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten. Actor Martin Kove and Britt Stewart landed at the bottom of the leaderboard with only 13 points for their paso doble.

“Dancing with the Stars” is always a challenge and when you want to win, you can be driven.

“I don’t have time for fear. You have one opportunity. Here we are. We’re live. You have to make it happen,” said Kenya Moore.

“Right after our dance, I sat down next to her and I cried a little bit,” said Cody Rigsby. “This is so much hard work, and it’s an emotional release. I’m happy. I’m getting emotional about it right now.”

And week one is done for real-life couple Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess.

“It’s the unknown, and now I feel like ‘This wasn’t as difficult or scary as I thought it was going to be. Let’s get in and work on next week’s performance,'” said Brian Austin Green.

All 15 couples return to dance again next week but by the end of the evening, the first couple of the season will go home.

Click here to read the full article on ABC 7.

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    January 31, 2022
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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. NAWBO Leadership Academy – Winter 2022
    January 31, 2022
  3. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  4. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022
  5. WiCyS 2022 Conference
    March 17, 2022 - March 19, 2022