All Articles Tagged "celebrity scandals"

Blame It On Social Media: Do Today’s Stars Need Old-School Etiquette Classes?

August 5th, 2015 - By Nneka Samuel
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meek mill violates probation

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You may not have heard of her, but Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell was a model turned charm school powerhouse who set out to change beauty standards and the way people of color were seen in America.  She taught dress and diction to the likes of Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll and Faith Evans, the same kind of etiquette that Motown offered its many acts back in the day.  This was no Flavor of Love, TV-ratings type of charm school. It was the real deal. If DeVore-Mitchell were alive today, she could teach certain controversy-prone artists a thing or two about how to navigate the circus that is fame.

Case in point: Meek Mill. Where to start with him?  Oddly enough, Meek was ordered to attend a $10,000 etiquette class in 2013, partly to ameliorate his social media habits (which an assistant district attorney insisted caused social media users to send death threats to the rapper’s parole officer).  A judge mandated the class following an uncouth court appearance over a probation violation stemming from the 2008 gun and drug conviction that saw Meek serve about six months in jail.  But if the last few weeks are any indication, the etiquette class didn’t work.  Interesting, considering the fact that after he completed the course, Meek willingly hired his instructor, Gail Madison, for additional training.  Apparently, thanks to Meek’s extensive foreign travel, he wanted to learn international etiquette.  He might have that part of the lesson down, but Meek could use a refresher course in how to behave on social media.  Yes, beef is to hip-hop what boy bands are to pop, but despite Meek’s best efforts to clown Drake, his tweets (and onstage commentary for that matter) left him looking rather foolish.  But then again, maybe there’s no room for etiquette in today’s hip-hop.

There are many pitfalls and traps to fame, and I commend Meek for taking the classes in the first place.  Celebrities today are in a whole new ballgame.  Not only is there social media, but cameras watching, which in DeVore-Mitchell’s day solely belonged to paparazzi.  That means anyone and everyone with a cellphone can record celebrities without their knowledge, and quickly upload damning or embarrassing footage online.  While they shouldn’t alter their daily interactions for fear of the third party gaze, celebrities should be aware of the media’s penchant for reporting the minutiae of their everyday existence.  Charm school is not meant to silence or rob artists of their rights or of their unique identities, but to help them stay out of trouble, present their best selves and keep the focus on their art.

Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

Another charm school candidate?  Ariana Grande.  She’s young, and young artists often go to extraordinary lengths to prove to the world that they are indeed grown and can handle their own. But that’s not a good explanation for the behavior she’s displayed in recent months.  Donutgate ring a bell?  If Grande were in charm school, she might have thought twice about licking those donuts.  It would have saved her a lot of embarrassment and kept her from having to issue an apology in the first place.  While I’m on the subject, public apologies are so common today that everyone from pop stars to politicians issue them.  But just like our overuse of antibacterial hand gel, apologies don’t always wipe the slate clean.  I know that sounded a little awkward, but you get the point.

And there should be a separate charm school altogether for reality stars.  They don’t reach the same worldwide heights as celebrities in music, film and television, and thus, have a different caliber of fame.  But it’s fame nonetheless, and often for the wrong reasons.  VH1 practically owns the reality market and has scores of shows that should require participants to take charm school as part of their post-show re-entry into civic life.  Or at least a free sit-down with Iyanla Vanzant.

If given the opportunity to be famous, many of us might not perform or act so well under a microscopic lens either.  Stars are people too – they make mistakes, they falter.  But they are in the public eye and are therefore held to slightly different standards than us regular folk.  Charm school might help them cope with those standards and have more fulfilling, long-term careers. And a lot less drama.

Who else, in your opinion, could benefit from charm school?

The 11 Biggest Scandals Of 2014

December 29th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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Some stars had a stellar year and saw their careers reach new heights in 2014, but others made headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Whether they were facing serious rape allegations, busted making racist comments or having secret children pop out of the woodworks, these were the biggest scandals of the year.

The 11 Biggest Scandals Of 2014

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Donald Sterling’s Racist Comments

Donald Sterling bought the Los Angeles Clippers back in 1981 but his reign as owner ended this year in controversy. Sterling was caught on tape making racist and disparaging comments about Blacks during his conversation with gal pal V. Stiviano. His comments set off a firestorm and immediately plenty of people spoke up and called for Sterling’s resignation, but he wouldn’t go away without a fight. After NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned him for life, Sterling filed a lawsuit against the league. Against his wishes, his wife Shelly Sterling began proceedings to sell the team. Sterling dropped his lawsuit against the NBA and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer purchased the team for $2 billion.

Cocaine Is A Helluva Drug: Celebs Who Lost It All To Drugs

December 19th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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These celebrities’ love for the “CoCo” was to blame for their erratic behavior and may have even ruined their careers, not to mention their bank accounts.

Columbus Short

For several seasons, Columbus Short played a Gladiator on “Scandal” but his run came to an end when his personal life began to make headlines. Short’s character was killed off last season and the recently unemployed actor sat down with “Access Hollywood” and confessed that his cocaine addiction was the root of the problems. “I’ll be candid: I was struggling with drugs,” Short admitted. “I had a lot on my plate, and you know, I was using unhealthy ways to kind of self-medicate and deal with a lot of heavy duty stuff in my life… I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot, and trying to balance a 16-hour work schedule a day, and a family, and I just lost myself back then.”

Bill Cosby Offers Ticket Holders Refunds On Upcoming Shows, Resigns From Temple U Board

December 1st, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Guillermo Proano/WENN.com

Guillermo Proano/WENN.com

As the Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations keep growing, the comedian is now saying he will offer refunds to ticket holders who don’t want to attend upcoming Tarrytown, New York shows.

According to the Journal News, Cosby’s two December 6 shows at the Tarrytown Music Hall will still be going on as scheduled, but ticket holders received emails from the box office offering refunds.”The email said Cosby’s management would reimburse patrons who don’t want to attend the show,” reports The New York Daily News.

Some of Cosby’s other shows were canceled after various women came forward alleging he sexually assaulted them. However, Cosby still has more than 30 shows left on his calendar through May 2015.

Many of the shows Cosby has already performed have been sold out, such as shows he recently did in Florida. In Melbourne, FL, Cosby was greeted with a standing ovation, reports Reuters. The show was sold out even though there were some empty seats.

Many ticket holders at that particular show said they weren’t concerned about the allegations.

“It’s his personal life, and I don’t really care,” said Melbourne resident Russ McDonald, 62, a retired teacher.

Separately, Temple University has accepted Cosby’s resignation from the school’s board of trustees. The board was just about to convene a meeting to discuss his relationship with the school. In a terse statement, Cosby said:

“I have always been proud of my association with Temple University. I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the University and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from temple University Board of Trustees.”

Additional contribution by Tonya Garcia

Father Knows Best? TV Dads With Messy Personal Lives

November 24th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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On television these actors played caring fathers who doled out sage advice to their children. But behind closed doors, their personal lives were a wee bit messy and they ended up making headlines for scandals, ruined marriages and secrets.

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Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is responsible for bringing the first upper middle class Black family to television and his character Dr. Cliff Huxtable was voted as America’s number one TV dad by “TV Guide.” But his legacy is in serious danger of being overshadowed by numerous rape allegations that have resurfaced along with new accusers stepping forward. In recent weeks eight women have accused Cosby of drugging and raping them, including supermodel Janice Dickinson. The legendary comedian has remained mum throughout the growing scandal but his lawyer has vehemently denied all claims.

I Plead The Fifth: Celebs Who Never Address Their Scandals

November 19th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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In this country we’re afforded the freedom of speech but instead of speaking up, these celebrities have been noticeably silent amid scandals or controversies.

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WENN

Bill Cosby

Most of us grew up watching Bill Cosby play America’s dad on television but behind closed doors, the comedian was accused of using his fame and power to rape and sexually assault women back in the day. Over time, 13 women have come forward to say that Cosby raped them and one case was even settled out of court. However the allegations of rape resurfaced last month and in response, Cosby cancelled several public appearances including a visit to both “The Late Show with David Letterman” and Queen Latifah’s talk show. His lawyer released a statement saying the 77-year-old comedian wouldn’t be addressing the old allegations.

No Take-Backs: Cringeworthy Tweets We Haven’t Forgotten

June 25th, 2014 - By Meghan Williams
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In the world of social media, celebrities have a tendency to post things, regret them, and subsequently delete them. We’ve seen it happen on Instagram and Facebook quite often, but no social media platform has seen more deleted content than Twitter has. And unfortunately for celebs, although tweets can be deleted, they can’t necessarily be forgotten.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Jaden Smith’s Anti-Education Tweet

We’re not quite sure who made a 15-year old boy the authority on education, but okay…

Somebody Call The Real Olivia Pope: The Biggest Scandals Of 2013

December 26th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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The year would not be complete without a countdown of the messiness that surpassed over the past 12 months. Here are the biggest scandals of 2013.

Paula-Deen1The N-Bomb

When the National Enquirer leaked a video of Paula Dean admitting to using the n-word and dreaming about a wedding catered by slaves, her career came to a screeching halt. Sure she tried to apologize, but there are some things “sorry” just doesn’t cover.

Are We Too Sensitive? 15 Celebrities Under Fire Who Deserve A Break

December 2nd, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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It seems like every time you turn on the news, another celebrity is under fire. Is it really that serious? Or do some of these celebrities under fire deserve a break?

Celebrities Under Fire

Jay-Z

The Crime: Moving forward with a Barney’s deal despite Barney’s racism.
Reason for Appeal: Maybe a good way to stop Barney’s from being racist is to make them give a black man some money.

People want Jay-Z to boycott Barney’s for reporting a man to the police for shopping while black. But maybe Jay-Z should move forward with the deal. “Money” is a language that executives speak. Having a black man make them some may help them change their antiquated prejudices.

‘I’m Not Guilty Of No Rape:’ CeeLo Green Cleared Of Sexual Assault Charges

October 21st, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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CeeLo Green

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Last week we told you that the Los Angeles District Attorney was preparing to make a ruling on whether or not there’s enough evidence available to charge The Voice star CeeLo Green with date rape, after a woman accused him of drugging her back in 2012. During a recent interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, CeeLo discussed the allegations.

“This is the second time that I’ll ever address it [the accusation] directly. First of all man, I’m totally innocent. I know that sounds like something that you’re told to say. I’m really advised from people that you shouldn’t speak too much on it because the case is still pending, but it’s like, come on, man. How long do it take? Do it take a year for toxicology reports to come back? Apparently it does. This is my first time experiencing anything of this nature, so it’s very unsettling to me. Unfortunately for me, I have daughters. I have adult daughters now. They’ve gone through it with me. They understand the nature of this industry and it’s not unlawful to print an accusation. It doesn’t have to be a whole truth. That’s an inconvenient reality,” he expressed.

He went on to proclaim his innocence.

“Just to be plain and clear, I’m not guilty of no rape. I would not and could not disrespect a woman in that fashion. I don’t gotta rape nobody.”

Fortunately for the 39-year-old Georgia native, the D.A. has since concluded that there is not enough evidence available to charge him with date rape over the incident, TMZ reports. Sources close to the case say that there were multiple issues with the woman’s story, including the fact that she and CeeLo for months and had already been sexually intimate prior to the incident.

Though CeeLo has been cleared of the sexual assault charges, he still faces felony charges for allegedly furnishing ecstasy. Insiders say that the criminal complaint will not accuse the singer of supplying ecstasy with criminal intent to harm his accuser, and that he will be arraigned on the charges as early as this morning. Since it’s his first offense, reports have implied that he will more than likely walk away with a probation sentence if he is found guilty.