5:26am PDT, Jun 9, 2023
'Inaccurate' vaccine claims
An unsubstantiated, now viral claim Jamie Foxx's recent health crisis was caused by a Covid vaccine is "completely inaccurate," the actor's rep tells NBC in a report published Wednesday, June 7. The rumor reportedly came courtesy of gossip columnist A.J. Benza, who appeared on the "Ask Dr. Drew" podcast after Jamie's family announced he had been hospitalized with an undisclosed "medical complication." At that point, Jamie had been "out of the hospital for weeks" and was recovering well, according to an Instagram post from his daughter Corrine Fox. A.J., however, claimed on the podcast that "somebody in the room" told him Jamie had suffered "a blood clot in his brain after he got the shot" and that he was now "partially paralyzed and blind." A.J. never backed up that claim, but conspiracy theorists, far-right commentators and celebs like singer John Rich shared it widely on Twitter.
The Covid-19 vaccines available in the U.S., none of which have been linked to blood clots, are proven to be safe and effective. Blood clots were linked to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as an extremely rare potential side effect within two weeks of vaccination — about 60 cases of a clotting disorder were reported out of 18 million vaccinations — before it was suspended in the U.S., according to a May 2023 Yale Medicine report. In fact, researchers have found contracting a Covid infection "promotes formation of blood clots," according to Yale Medicine cardiologist Hyung Chun, M.D.
Stars react to hazardous air quality conditions
Bradley Cooper and his daughter were among the countless New Yorkers who donned pandemic-era face masks to brave the thick smoke that blanketed the city on Wednesday, June 7, as a result of ongoing wildfires in Canada. "Please tell me someone is shooting a prestige dystopian epic for a streamer…and this isn't our actual air…," tweeted Jon Stewart. Kevin Jonas and former "Real Housewives" star Ramona Singer, meanwhile, shared views of the orange and yellow haze that had taken over the region. "This is like the end of the world walking around here with all this smoke," Andy Cohen wrote on his Instagram Stories, showing a haze-obstructed view of Manhattan. "Look, you can't even see midtown back there," he said. "I mean, we're just dealing with this smoke, but I'm praying for everybody around these fires and thank you to the firemen who are doing the Lord's work." The smoke disrupted normal activities indoors as well, including on Broadway, where Emmy-winning "Killing Eve" star Jodie Comer halted a matinee performance of her play, "Prima Facie," telling the audience she couldn't breathe, according to Variety.
More than 75 million people on the East Coast were under alerts for hazardous air quality levels because of the smoke on Wednesday, with New York and Bradley's hometown of Philadelphia among the hardest hit cities. On Thursday afternoon, NBC reported the Big Apple was still in first place for "the worst air pollution in the world."
Pink got a little assistance onstage in Bolton, England, on Wednesday, June 7, when her 12-year-old daughter, Willow, joined her mom to help sing their 2021 duet, "Cover Me in Sunshine" on the first night of Pink's tour. According to Rolling Stone, Willow "strode onstage with confidence and wowed" her mom's fans as soon as she grabbed the mic. She also seemed to wow Pink, who reportedly looked emotional as she watched her daughter take the spotlight. Willow's dad, Carey Hart, was understandably excited for his little girl, too. "So proud of Willz to get up on stage w/ mama @pink!!!!! Must be a surreal moment for mama to have w/ her lil girl on stage ????," Carey gushed on Instagram.
"I'm so overwhelmed with love and pride for this gorgeous Willow and her beautiful superstar parents. ????," Pink's close pal Selma Blair wrote in the comments. "Well done. And what an incredible night it looks and sounds…" Pink and Carey are also mom and dad to Willow's 6-year-old brother, Jameson Hart.
Breach of contract?
The launch of Tucker Carlson's new Twitter show, "Tucker on Twitter," has reportedly escalated his drama with Fox News. The former prime time anchor debuted his Twitter show on Tuesday, June 6, nearly two months after he was ousted by Fox following the network's $787 million defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems and amid a discrimination suit filed by a producer on his show.
Now, lawyers for Fox say "Tucker on Twitter" constitutes a breach of contract, Axios reported on Thursday. According to the outlet, Fox News general counsel sent a letter to Tucker's lawyers right after as his new show aired. The letter reportedly cited lines in the host's Fox contract that state, "Mr. Carlson's services shall be completely exclusive to Fox" and remains valid until 2025. The contract also notes Tucker is "prohibited from rendering services of any type whatsoever, whether 'over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised,'" according to the letter.
"Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds," an attorney for the conservative commentator told Axios in a statement. "Now they want to take Tucker Carlson's right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events."
Lung cancer recovery procedure
Kathy Griffin just took another big step in her lung cancer recovery — surgery to repair her left vocal cord ahead of her upcoming performance in Las Vegas. In a TikTok posted to her account on Wednesday, June 7, the comic warned she was about to show "a medical graphic," then invited fans into her "pre-op appointment" with Dr. Anca Barbu, M.D., whom she described as "a really kick-a** female voice surgeon." From there, Kathy's video and follow-along-text showed the doctor taking a better look inside her throat by inserting a long thin tube with a camera attached into her larynx. "First step is the numbing spray," she wrote over the clip, which also showed a video screen beside Kathy that the doctor was watching. "Then the scope goes down the nose down into the vocal cords! As you can see the left cord is paralyzed." Making a joke about how the cords resembled a certain part of the female anatomy, she quipped, "deal with it."
The clip then fast forwards to Kathy's post-op. "I'm a little scratchy today, but I'll be in good shape," she says from a hospital bed. Before signing of, Kathy tells viewers the surgery was "part of my recovery post-lung cancer surgery," adding that she's "cancer free." The comic, 62, announced she'd been diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer in 2021. She later underwent surgery to remove what she said was half of her left lung.
Tom Holland is taking an extended break from acting to recover from the emotional toll "The Crowded Room" took on him, personally. "It was a tough time for sure," the "Spider-Man" star recently told "Extra" about the Apple TV+ limited series, which sees his character grappling with trauma, mental illness and abuse. "We were exploring certain emotions that I have definitely never experienced before, and then on top of that being a producer dealing with the day-to-day kind of problems that come with any film set just added that extra level of pressure, but I really enjoyed it," he explained. Adding that he's "always sort of lived by this idea that hard work is good work," Tom reiterated that he "really enjoyed" the process. "But then again, the show did break me," Tom said. "There did come a time where I was sort of like, 'I need to have a break.' I disappeared. I went to Mexico for a week and had some time on a beach and lay low. And I'm now taking a year off, and that is a result of how difficult this show was."
And the nominees are …
Nominees for the 2023 BET Awards were announced Thursday, June 8, and Drake leads the pack with a grand total of seven nods for categories including Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Male R&B/Pop Artist, Best Group (with 21 Savage) and Best Collaboration (with Future and Tems). GloRilla trails just behind Drake with six nominations — she's up fo Best Female Hip Hop Artist, Best New Artist and Album and Video of the Year). Lizzo and rapper 21 Savage snagged five nods apiece, while Beyoncé, Chris Brown, SZA, Burna Boy and Ice Spice are all up for four trophies at the annual show, which airs live from Los Angeles on June 25. Other nominees with multiple chances to win this year include Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Jack Harlow and more.