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Tag: Controversy (1-10 of 23)

Lady Gaga's mom defends charges that Born This Way charity spent millions on overhead and donated only $5,000

Cynthia Germanotta has gone on the record about reports that daughter Lady Gaga’s foundation has spent millions on expenses like its website and publicity instead of charity grants, insisting that the Born This Way Foundation “carries out its work directly.”

“It is important for us to set the record straight regarding Born This Way Foundation’s mission and how the organization allocates its funds. … First and foremost, we are an organization that conducts our charitable activity directly, and we fund our own work,” wrote foundation co-founder and president Germanotta in an op-ed published March 12 by the Huffington Post. “We are not a grant-maker that funds the work of other charities, and were never intended to be.”

The defensive op-ed comes just days after ShowBiz411.com wrote a scathing article about the foundation’s spending, revealing that the foundation spent just $5,000 of its $2.1 million in net assets. READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber caught on camera mistreating Argentine flags

Argentines are expressing outrage over the latest scandal to emerge from Justin Bieber’s wild tour through Buenos Aires, saying the way he treated the Argentine flag shows he has no respect for his fans or the country.

Videos from Saturday night’s concert show how Bieber reacted when fans tossed two Argentine flags onto the stage. Most musicians on world tours usually hold up the flags in appreciation to their fans.

Not Bieber. The videos show him treating the flags like dirty rags, using his shoes and then a microphone stand to sweep them off the stage.

Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun tweeted that Bieber will be back to Argentina. He might want to think carefully on that: Insulting Argentina’s flag is a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.

Miley Cyrus responds to pot-smoking controversy following EMAs

As your newsfeed has no doubt informed you several hundred times by now, Miley Cyrus sparked a J onstage Sunday night during MTV’s European Music Awards.

In the wake of the fresh batch of hand-wringing over her Just Being Miley, Cyrus took to Twitter to lay out her case. “Sometimes in life you just gotta decide to not give AF,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, MTV finds themselves in the good graces of a group that typically condemns them: The Parents Television Council. That group applauded MTV for editing out the footage of Cyrus smoking when the show was rebroadcast on Stateside MTV.

“Last night MTV made a responsible decision and they executed it perfectly,” PTC President and M.I.A. nemesis Tim Winter said. “It is unclear whether MTV’s actions suggest stricter content guidelines for its TV-14 programming, or whether this is just an example of the old saying that ‘even a broken clock is right twice each day.’ We certainly hope it is the former. We applaud MTV for taking responsible actions to eliminate the drug use from its U.S. broadcast, and we urge them to make that a uniform policy for all of its programming.” READ FULL STORY

Eminem on SiriusXM's Town Hall: 'I'm in this game to press buttons and spark conversation'

For a relative recluse, Eminem sure gets around when it’s time to do business. In the lead-up to the release of his new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, out today, Mr. Mathers was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, stopped in to spit “Rap God” and collect a prize at the YouTube Music Awards, and finished up his New York media tour with a long conversation on his own SiriusXM station Shade 45. 

In the latest entry in SiriusXM’s Town Hall series, Eminem sat down with host Sway for a lengthy chat about the rapper’s early days (Sway first met him way back in the mid ’90s when he was co-hosting The Wake Up Show on KMEL out of Oakland), his new album, his inspirations, and the controversy that constantly follows him around. He was a little elusive in spots, ducking questions about his daughter and his relationship with his mother despite the fact that thoughts about them both appear on MMLP2. “What I said on the record is what I have to say about that,” he told Sway when asked about being the father of a teenager. “There’s no need for me to elaborate on it. I’m just gonna leave that part of my life out from now on.”

But when confronted with a question from a fan in the studio about his controversial lyrics, he laid out his goals head-on. READ FULL STORY

Eminem defends gay slurs: 'I think people know my personal stance on things'

Eminem’s new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 comes out tomorrow, and in the lead-up to its release, there have essentially been two conversations happening. The first is obvious: Is MMLP2 any good? (EW’s Nick Catucci is conflicted.) But the second is a bit more complicated: In 2013, what’s the deal with Eminem still using gay slurs, especially on the single “Rap God”?

In that song, Eminem takes down rivals with the lines “Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy” and “You f–s think it’s all a game ’til I walk a flock of flames.” Those lines have both widespread controversy and confusion, considering Slim Shady has constantly had to walk back his stance on homosexuals.

He attempted to clear everything up in the pages of Rolling Stone this week: “I don’t know how to say this without saying it how I’ve said it a million times,” he told the magazine. “But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words . . .”

At that point, the writer helps him along. “To mean homosexual?” he asks.  READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z defends deal with Barneys after profiling accusations

Jay-Z — under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers — said Saturday he’s being unfairly “demonized” for just waiting to hear all of the facts.

The rap mogul made his first statement about the controversy in a posting on his website. He has come under fire for remaining silent as news surfaced this week that two young black people said they were profiled by Barneys after they purchased expensive items from their Manhattan store.

An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating this week, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys for the holiday season, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.

But Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — defended himself, saying that he hasn’t spoken about it because he’s still trying to figure out exactly what happened.
READ FULL STORY

How country music went crazy: A comprehensive timeline of the genre's identity crisis

Are you aware that Nashville is currently embroiled in an outright civil war?

The country music genre has gone through quite a transformation in the past couple years, adopting the electric guitar sounds of nearly-defunct rock radio, the rap-infused cadences and AutoTune normally reserved for hip hop, and, most controversially, the pop elements left behind as that genre gravitated toward electronic dance music. And attitudes have become ever more contentious between traditional and modern-country fans in 2013. Lately, the frustrations have reached a boiling point.

The straw that broke the camel’s back arrived two weeks ago, when Zac Brown called Luke Bryan’s No. 1 single “That’s My Kind of Night” the “worst song I’ve ever heard.” That remark caused Jason Aldean to hop on Instagram and tell Brown, “trust me when I tell u that nobody gives a shit what u think.” The country community quickly took sides in the debate, and the resulting feud has catapulted country music’s identity crisis straight into the spotlight.

These days, pop-country is more popular than ever — but also more despised than ever. Stars like Brown, Alan Jackson, Kacey Musgraves, and Gary Allan have begun publicly expressing unhappiness with their format, which this year has become an increasingly homogenous platform for men (a few weeks ago, Carrie Underwood was the only solo female in the Top 20) singing about trucks and beers and girls and then more trucks.

Tensions have been brewing all year long (and really, much longer than that) — and there’s been no shortage of public feuding among the genre’s A-list. As country fights to figure out what it should look and sound like, its biggest stars are airing some very honest (and sometimes harsh) opinions. Here’s a timeline of country’s wild, crazy, and sometimes mud-slinging year:

January 23: Blake Shelton calls classic country fans “old farts” and “jackasses”
While speaking in a GAC special, The Voice coach angered thousands of elderly country fans when he remarked, “Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, ‘My God, that ain’t country!’ Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.” The comment caused a controversy that endured for weeks and helped spark this year’s debate about traditional-country vs. pop-country.
tumblr_lzra85ej5d1rp44uwo1_500_zpsfb76f65e READ FULL STORY

Billy Ray Cyrus on Miley's 'Wrecking Ball' video: 'It wouldn't have mattered if Miley would have worn a nun's habit'

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Opinions about Miley Cyrus’ hammer-licking “Wrecking Ball” video are like tongues—everybody has one.

But some, like Miley’s famous father Billy Ray, are more relevant than others. He had the opportunity to make a definitive statement about parenting and teen sexuality when he commented on his daughter’s video yesterday; instead, he sort of side-stepped the issue.

Talking to Entertainment Tonight, Billy Ray said he thought everybody was missing the point. “The song’s a smash,” the elder Cyrus said. “It wouldn’t have mattered if Miley would have worn jeans and a flannel shirt, a tux, or a nun’s habit—her performance vocally on the tune reflects her roots and sheer God-given talent.”

“I’m a song man,” he added. “A musician singer-songwriter who loves all styles of music. I come from the old school where it starts with an artist and a song, colliding if you will, in a moment where the song, the singer, the producer, the band, and the listener become one.”

Yesterday, Miley herself told New York radio personality Elvis Duran, “If people can take their minds off the obvious and go into their imagination and see what the video really means, it is so vulnerable.”

It all continues the build for Cyrus’ new album Bangerz, which arrives on October 4.

Russell Simmons on his new YouTube channel and the controversial 'Harriet Tubman Sex Tape'

Russell Simmons is no stranger to controversy: Over the course of his career as the business mastermind behind outlets like Def Jam Records and Def Comedy Jam, he’s gotten plenty of heat over content that was considered edgy, political, and vulgar. As he notes, “They almost shut down my company over Public Enemy.”

But the swirl of negativity surrounding Harriet Tubman Sex Tape, one of the shorts that is a part of his just-launched All Def Digital channel on YouTube, was too much. The piece, which depicted the famous titular abolitionist bedding an older white man she refers to as “Massa,” was taken down—though not without considerable hand-wringing from Simmons.

“For my entire life, I have been protective of artistic freedom and protective of artists,” he told EW via phone. “In the history of Def Comedy Jam or Def Poetry Jam or Def Jam Records, I have never censored an artist. But I took it down, because all the artists involved agreed it was okay. What broke my heart was how upset and enraged black women were.” READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake responds to 'Take Back the Night' controversy, says song title was a coincidence

Justin Timberlake was too busy bringing sexy back to go to college — which, on the whole, seems to have worked out just fine for him.

Unfortunately, it also means that when Timberlake decided to call his next single “Take Back the Night,” he apparently had no idea that the name was already trademarked by a sexual assault awareness foundation that’s been holding emotionally-charged campus events since the ’70s.

Luckily, the Internet was there to inform Timberlake of his folly — leading the singer to release the following statement to Radar:

READ FULL STORY

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