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Brigitte Bardot: 'MeToo' actresses are 'hypocritical'

Former French actress and sex symbol Brigitte Bardot said in an interview published Thursday that she thinks most actresses protesting sexual harassment in the film industry are "hypocritical" and "ridiculous" because many play "the teases" with producers to land parts.

The star of "And God Created Woman" also said in the interview with weekly Paris-Match magazine that in her view, so many actresses are coming out with sexual misconduct allegations "so that we talk about them."

Bardot, 83, is the second French film legend to distance herself from the worldwide protest movement against sexual misconduct, known as the #MeToo campaign. Last week, Catherine Deneuve signed a collective op-ed that said "insistent or clumsy hitting-on is not a crime."

Bardot, who is known as an animal rights activist these days but inspired the term "sex kitten" as a young actress, said she never had been a victim of sexual harassment and found it "charming to be told that I was beautiful or that I had a nice little ass."

"This kind of compliment is pleasant," she said.

Bardot said her comments on sexual misconduct only concerned actresses, not women in general. She added that actresses campaigning against sexual harassment in the entertainment industry are "of no interest."

"This (issue) takes the place of important topics that could be discussed" instead in the news, she argued

As for actresses who allege they have been victims of misconduct, Bardot suggested they might become the targets of a personal backlash instead of the publicity she thinks they want.

"Actually, rather than benefit them, it only harms them," Bardot said.

In an open letter published last week in Le Monde newspaper, Deneuve and 100 or so performers, scholars and other prominent French women said men are being unfairly accused of sexual misconduct and harassment and should be free to hit on women.

The signatories argued that the "legitimate protest against sexual violence" stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal had gone too far and threatened hard-won sexual freedoms.

After the op-ed encountered intense criticism in the French press and on social media, Deneuve, who is known as a women's advocate, apologized to victims of "odious" acts of sexual abuse.

Bardot has a different profile. Since ending her acting career more than four decades ago, she has dedicated herself to the cause of animal welfare. Politically, she defines herself as a right-wing conservative.

Bardot also has been convicted of multiple racial hatred offenses for comments about Islam and the Muslim community.

HuffPost shutting down contributor section

HuffPost is shutting down its contributor platform, which has allowed more than 100,000 people to post opinions on its site since it was introduced in 2005.

The site's top editor, Lydia Polgreen, says HuffPost needs to take ownership of what it publishes. HuffPost will cast a wide net for contributors to a new curated opinion section — and these writers will be paid, Polgreen says in a statement Thursday.

She says there are many more outlets for people to express their opinions online than there were 13 years and online platforms that once seemed radically democratizing now threaten through a flood of false information to undermine democracy.

Polgreen says that when everyone has a megaphone, no one can be heard.

Dolly Parton earns two Guinness World Records

Dolly Parton has yet another accomplishment to add to her already legendary list: two world records.

Billboard reported the singer and songwriter holds Guinness World Records for the most decades with a Top 20 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, with six decades, and most hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart by a female artist, with 107 hits.

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Parton has Top 20 Billboard hits across six consecutive decades, starting with 1967’s “Something Fishy” and ending with a 2016 version of her 1974 song, “Jolene” with Pentatonix. That same 2016 song set the record for her 107th Hot Country Songs chart entry. Her first was “Dumb Blonde” in 1967.

“To receive these two Guinness World Records is so great,” Parton said in a statement. Joining so many wonderful singers and songwriters who have been honoured this way feels so special to me. You never know when you start out with your work how it’s going to turn out, but to have these two world records makes me feel very humbled and blessed!”

Parton’s six-decade run puts her in the company of George Jones, the only other country artist who spent more than five decades on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Speaking to Guinness World Records about her songwriting process, Parton said it comes from her own experiences.

“I’ve always just written from my heart,” she said. “I try not to dwell on just trying to be commercial and what's a radio hit or whatever. Usually when an idea hits me, it comes from my heart, but I still try to be alert and to be aware and to try to be as up-to-date as I can be, and evidently I’m doing alright after all these decades.”

Prince Harry, Meghan Markel visit Wales in whirlwind tour

Prince Harry has introduced his American fiancee to a new part of Britain ahead of their planned nuptials in May.

On Thursday, the 33-year-old prince took Meghan Markle to Wales, where they delighted crowds outside Cardiff Castle despite arriving an hour late because of train problems as high winds buffeted Britain.

The prince and his soon-to-be-royal bride greeted fans and shook hands with dozens who had waited in the cold for a chance to greet them.

Markle wore a black coat by British designer Stella McCartney and stylish jeans from a Welsh designer, Hiut Denim. Harry wore a blue sweater.

Harry and Markle have already made pre-wedding trips to Nottingham and to the Brixton neighborhood in south London. They will marry on May 19 at Windsor Castle.

Justin Timberlake says he's made peace with Janet Jackson

Justin Timberlake says he has made up with Janet Jackson following the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl in 2004.

When asked on a Beats 1 radio interview broadcast Thursday if he and Jackson have since made peace, Timberlake said, "Absolutely."

The singer, who is preparing for the release of his fourth solo album, says he and Jackson have talked privately about the incident.

"I don't know that a lot of people know that," Timberlake says. "I mean, I don't think it's my job to do that, because you value the relationships that you do have with people."

At the infamous halftime show, Timberlake ripped Jackson's costume to reveal her right breast, bare except for a nipple ring. Jackson was barred a week later from the Grammy telecast.

Stars turn out for swansong of Louis Vuitton designer

The celebrity allure of Paris Fashion Week was at its height Thursday as notables from the worlds of sports, film and fashion attended the swansong show of Louis Vuitton designer Kim Jones.

Here are some highlights of the fall-winter 2018-19 menswear shows:

VUITTON DESIGNER'S LAST ACT DRAWS VIPS

The stars were out in force to bid farewell to Jones after Michael Burke, Vuitton's chairman and chief executive officer, confirmed he would be departing the fashion house's menswear division after six years at the helm.

When Victoria Beckham arrived solo at the Palais Royal show venue, dressed in a beige menswear coat and oversize bellbottoms, that alone was enough to trigger mayhem.

But that was little in comparison to the frantic scene that ensued the moment she was joined by her husband, David, in a midnight blue Vuitton sweater, and their 18-year-old son Brooklyn in a jazzy red Vuitton-branded shirt.

Soccer player Neymar then pulled up and sent paparazzi leaping to get close to the stars.

During the show, there were screams of delight as supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell strutted down the catwalk in sexy monogrammed rain coats for their final ode to the influential designer.

It's not known where Jones will be headed — and Versace has not confirmed reports they held discussions to bring him on.

David Beckham, a personal friend of the 38-year-old British designer, came to see him off.

"I can't wait to see what he's going to do next," Beckham said. "But it's been an amazing journey for him."

___

VUITTON'S CONSTANT VOYAGE

Exploration and travel were the touchstones in Jones' sportswear-influenced collection, inspired by aerial photos of the Kenyan landscape.

The images, taken from a helicopter, appeared as swirling prints and kinetic motifs on dark navy bombers, or on flat-fronted organza hunting shirts and sporty leggings.

The colors of rocks — slate, granite and sandstone — influenced the collection's masculine palette, which was shot through with the brights of rock climbing attire such as neon yellow, orange and silver.

Adventure was at the heart of this fun show that had big hiker boots stomping down the runway.

References spanned from the Wild West (a gray cowboy hat) to Siberia (an intarsia mink coat.)

Jones said it was about "discovering something new. A constant voyage."

He could have been referring to the collection — or perhaps his personal journey, wherever that may take him next.

___

ISSEY MIYAKE GOES URBAN

Issey Miyake has been known to travel to the Arctic and the far-flung natural world for fashion inspiration. But on Thursday the Franco-Japanese house didn't stray far from home — channeling the urban environment.

It may have been a smart thematic way to stay on-trend with the utilitarian work wear mania stomping men's runways of late.

A utilitarian mac with zippers and toggles, notable for its voluminous proportions and twinned with white sneakers, was colored in a Renaissance-worthy carmine pink. The house designer Yusuke Takahashi always mixes in a gentle touch.

The show demonstrated why Issey Miyake is known as a techno-fabric-loving brand — several designs had an intentional "scrunched" effect owing to stretch tape stitched along the body.

A messy-looking oversized suit in gunmetal, described as "wearable without ironing," looked useful for those who need to get to work without having enough time to prepare. The model himself had slightly wild hair.

Stripes and bright colors punctuated what was a rather tame display this season.

___

RICK OWENS' GREEK MYTHS

Designer Rick Owens used his funky, grungy menswear runway show to explore Greek myths.

Primitive-style fabrics in rough camel hair flannel and double-knit cotton were fashioned in slashed and almost-Biblical frayed silhouettes. The collection was inspired by the arrogant King Sisyphus, who was condemned by Zeus to roll a boulder up a hill and down forever.

The story was, said Owens, a lesson that it's easy to fall into "unhealthy cycles" in real life.

"Does this mean unhealthy cycles and base urges are an integral part of the human condition?" asked the designer-cum-philosopher. His 40 designs, which relied on layering, seemed to answer Owens' rhetorical question in the affirmative.

Huge lapels on an unstructured rock-colored coat unfurled as if they were being yanked open, above bare legs. While some white tunic looks evoked an inverted blown-up sleeve, slashed sections seemed to hint that the garment had been damaged by the impact of a boulder or by a long perilous journey.

Chains that descended down some bare chests over nipples evoked bondage but other designs included covered-up looks — huge paneled statement coats — as Owens wrestled with opposing instincts.

___

DRIES VAN NOTEN'S CHECK

The Belgian master of menswear Dries Van Noten explored check patterns and prints Thursday evening for a dapper and sartorial collection — with a hint of madness.

The silhouette was oversized — long square-shouldered coats and baggy sweaters twinned nicely with blown up check in tartan, Nashville and traditional styles that captured the trendy and playful edge.

The program notes said the collection was about "taking time honored codes of menswear to a restrained extreme."

This could be seen in one luxuriant and classic staple — a silk gunmetal-colored shirt that was jazzed up with multicolored flower motifs down the torso.

Classic gray check pants were elsewhere paired with a shimmering gold shirt in a joyous marbled pattern. (That motif was attained using a historic marbling technique usually reserved for paper brought to fabrics — a sensitive detail typical of Van Noten.)

This wild shirt was stiffly buttoned right up — in a good example in how the collection sagely towed the line between the traditional and the wacky.

___

Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K

2018 Kiss Kruise Adds Ace Frehley, Bob and Bruce Kulick to Lineup

Next year's Kiss Kruise will feature performances from both Ace Frehley and Bruce and Bob Kulick.

Continue reading…

Dead and Company Announce 2018 Tour

Dead & Company are hitting the road again this summer, and they've lined up two dozen dates that will take them throughout the U.S.

Continue reading…

Long before SAG Awards, statuettes start out as molten metal

Winners of the Screen Actors Guild Awards often remark on their statuettes — their green-black appearance, their hefty weight — but the awards start out in a decidedly different state: as molten metal.

Winners often tell stories about how much the award, conferred to them by the 121,000-plus members of the guild SAG-AFTRA, mean to them. And for individual film acting winners, the honor often means another piece of hardware: an Academy Award.

Long before the glitzy awards ceremony, which will be held Sunday at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium, the statuettes are forged in a decidedly unglamorous foundry on an industrial side street in Burbank. Men in welding masks and reflective suits craft the trophies using a metal-working that is process centuries old to create the award, which depicts an actor holding the drama and comedy masks. Once the statuette is done, a process that takes several weeks, the award weighs 12 pounds — nearly four pounds heavier than an Oscar.

The statuettes are created by pouring molten bronze into a wax mold. The bronze is heated to approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, said Angel Meza a production manager at the American Fine Arts Foundary who has helped oversee the crafting of the award, called "The Actor," for several years. Machines whir and chains clank as the heavily-protected workers pour the liquid metal into molds, which grow bright as they're filled. After cooling down for several minutes, the men dismantle the molds and despite their oversized protective mitts, bobble the pieces in their hands as they pass them onto a table.

"To see the labor and see what really goes on, the artistry of it, I think is magnificent. These skills — I don't think people are aware," said Ann Dowd, who is nominated for a SAG Award as part of the cast for "The Handmaid's Tale." She was one of several celebrities who watched the creation of several statuettes during an event earlier this month.

"We see these beautiful old buildings, we see statues, and they're going away because that craftsmanship — it's rare, I think, to have those skills and that artistry," she said.

The initial molding process takes about 15 minutes.

It takes weeks to cast, polish, apply a patina to the dozens of statuettes needed for the SAG Awards. The show honors the best performances in film and television from the previous year. The show awards several large cast ensembles, including stunt performers, making it impossible to know before the ceremony exactly how many will be handed each year.

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is the leading film nominee, while the HBO drama "Big Little Lies" leads all television nominees.

Whether Dowd is among the winners Sunday, she said watching the crafting of the statuettes was a treat.

"Nothing thrills me more than seeing how things come together," Dowd said. "I've gone to factories, to quarries, and this was extraordinary."

___

For full coverage of awards season, including a time-lapse video of the creation of the SAG Actor statuette, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason

Underwear dance in dorm nearly gets Russian cadets expelled

An underwear dance video filmed in a college dormitory nearly got some Russian cadet pilots expelled and sparked a discussion among Russia's political elite.

The mock striptease recorded by cadets at the Ulyanovsk Civil Aviation Institute went viral earlier this week. Some Russian politicians called on the public training school located in Lenin's birthplace to expel the students. The Federal Agency for Air Transportation decried the video as an "immoral incident" and an "insult to civil aviation professionals."

The students' all-male rendition of the official video for Benny Benassi's "Satisfaction" showed a dozen freshmen wearing boxer shorts, boots, chest straps and cadet caps, thrusting their hips to the beat as they walked around the dorm, mopped the floor and ironed their shirts.

The college video looks light-hearted, but the outcry over it highlights Russian unease with gay visibility.

Following legislation in several regions, Russia adopted a federal law in 2013 prohibiting the dissemination to minors of "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations." The law has been condemned as an outright ban on public discussions of LGBT issues, but authorities defend it as being in the interest of children.

Students at colleges elsewhere in Russia recorded their own videos as tributes to the one made by the Ulyanovsk cadets. Two posted Thursday on YouTube showed students at an agriculture college and at school affiliated with the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry also dancing to "Satisfaction."

Earlier this week, Ulyanovsk Governor Sergei Morozov ordered an investigation of whether the future pilots who reportedly filmed the video in the dorm violated the institute's charter. But Morozov disagreed that the students deserved to be expelled.

"You cannot educate them further or make them more patriotic" by kicking them out of college, he said.

The region's transportation prosecutors concluded Thursday that the cadets and their video that "displayed signs of erotica" didn't violate any laws or school rules. However, they issued a warning to the college's rector for "failing to ensure the educational process."

The prosecutors' statement comes after two days of intense public discussion.

A legendary Russian test pilot, Magomed Tolboyev, told the Govorit Moskva radio station on Tuesday that "when children dance like this, it's a tragedy." He called on the rector of the college and the chief of the Russian Aviation Agency to resign.

A top news show on a state-owned channel devoted 20 minutes Wednesday to a segment with lawmakers and pilots discussing the young men's stunt.

Ivan Mokhanchuk, a member of the Kremlin-sponsored People's Front movement, argued that the video was damaging to Russia's image abroad because graduates of civil aviation colleges can be conscripted as army pilots in wartime.

"Is this what they're going to show to our enemies?" Mokhanchuk fumed.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the eccentric leader of the LDPR party, rushed to the freshmen's defense Thursday, saying he thinks they were undressed because the dorm was too hot.

"The central heating was working well," he said.

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