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Madonna’s bio-pic – the one starring Julia Garner as Madge – has been shelved. [Dlisted]
Senators are the biggest Taylor Swift fans. [Gawker]
The backlash against Beyonce’s Dubai concert. [LaineyGossip]
Girls Trip 2 has been greenlit. No comment. [Pajiba]
Dior’s show was fine – we’ll see that silver gown at the Oscars, I’m sure. [Go Fug Yourself]
Shaquille O’Neal’s “bangs” are hilarious. [Seriously OMG]
Michelle Williams’ Dawson’s Creek costars celebrate her Oscar nom. [Just Jared]
Here are the other looks from the Schiaparelli show. [RCFA]
What is the MLM Plexus? Nvm, I don’t want to know. [Starcasm]
Emily Ratajkowski really is an in-demand model. [Egotastic]
I love these compilations of work fails. [Buzzfeed]
Marjorie Tayor Greene is still on her bullsh-t. [Towleroad]

As Prince Harry was promoting his memoir on and around his sister-in-law’s 41st birthday, we were gifted with a few promises to be keen from the Princess of Wales. It’s an annual birthday event for Kate, as she looks ahead to the new year, she often promises that this will be the year she finally does something big and important. I think we already got Kate’s big expertise for the year: nursery schools are important. That and “talking therapies don’t work for some people.” Which was more of a pointed slam on Harry. Anyway, you get the idea, there was suddenly a lot of hype around Kate launching a “substantial” new Early Years initiative by the end of January. We wondered if it would be a new survey and new pie charts. We still don’t know!

Kate was at Windsor Castle today to do an event with her new Keenwell advisors. She’s appointed “eight professionals, who have been appointed to offer her strategic advice and provide oversight of the work of her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.” These professionals are being tasked with “supporting” and “advising” Kate’s work. “Nursery schools are important, a scientist told me that!”

This event happened mid-day at Windsor Castle and Kate wore… a McQueen tuxedo suit. That is her idea of dressing like a professional to meet her advisors – a tuxedo jacket in the middle of the day, like she’s just rolling into the meeting after spending the entire night at a Monte Carlo craps table. Anyway, I pity these poor advisors. Wait, no I don’t – this is probably the only time they’ll get face time with the wiglet all year. They’ll write their reports and recommendations and Kate will slap her name on all of it and that’s all, folks. Is this the big announcement? The big initiative?

(She brought a small notebook! To take notes and doodle pie charts.)

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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So the covid shot is going the way of the flu shot: it’s about to become an annual thing. The FDA just proposed that the covid vaccine switch to a schedule like the flu shot: dispensed once yearly in the fall/winter before the seasonal surges. People will only need one dose to have immunity for a period of time and the FDA is hoping this switch will make things easier for everyone. The FDA also said that it will retire the original vaccine from 2020 and only use the newer iterations that include protection against the omicron variant.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced new changes for how the COVID-19 vaccinations could be administered moving forward.

On Monday, the agency published a briefing document proposing that the COVID vaccine switch to an annual shot ahead of the winter months when the virus would be the most dominant — similar to the strategy used when administering the flu vaccine.

Individuals would only need one dose of the vaccine to “restore protective immunity for a period of time.” The change was proposed in hopes of making the process simpler for the public and manufacturers and minimizing errors from doctors.

“This simplification of vaccine composition should reduce complexity, decrease vaccine administration errors due to the complexity of the number of different vial presentations, and potentially increase vaccine compliance by allowing clearer communication,” the briefing document read.

The agency also announced that it plans to retire the original vaccine, which first hit the market at the end of 2020, and use only Moderna and Pfizer’s doses that protect against both the original strain of COVID and the omicron variant.

[From People]

We kind of suspected this would happen, that covid would soon be treated more like the flu. So it’s good to see it confirmed. Not everyone will get the vaccine, just like not everyone gets the flu shot, but hopefully we’ve reached the point where covid is largely manageable, if not completely preventable. People are always going to act in their own interests, but hopefully this new of the vaccine switching to an annual shot like the flu shot will convince some holdouts. After nearly three years, covid finally got me in December, just a month after I’d gotten my second booster. I had mild versions of literally every symptom except shortness of breath, so I was laid up for a week, but it probably would be been so much worse if I hadn’t been double vaxxed and boosted. Luckily rates of this and the other respiratory illnesses are finally going down after the winter. Hopefully this schedule change will make things easier, convince some holdouts, and get us back to something closer to normal.

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Vanity Fair had a great profile of Liz Garbus, the woman who directed Netflix’s Harry and Meghan. Garbus was a well-known documentary filmmaker and producer before she met the Sussexes, and her projects were usually about feminism, surviving abuse, civil rights, women’s rights and social issues. It seemed like Garbus was somewhat surprised to see those subjects come up with an attractive royal couple, although Garbus always made it clear to the Sussexes that she wanted to bring in the larger social issues to the Netflix series of their “love story.” You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

The Sussexes’ love story: “They certainly did see this documentary, and do see it, as very much their love story. Their interest was very much in telling their love story from their point of view, as opposed to the love story as told by others, and to share their personal archive in order to have that look behind the curtain.”

The social issues: “For me, what was really important was to connect the dots to these larger historical issues,” says Garbus, referencing the story lines about racism, colonialism, and how important white supremacy has been to the British Empire monarchy. Speaking about Harry and Meghan, Garbus says, “They were, to their credit, very open and willing to journey down some of the paths that they might not have originally considered. [The love story] is the spine, but, for me, it was always necessary to…connect the dots to the personal story and the larger historical context.”

The British crown is not exempt from investigation. “I don’t feel that [questioning] the monarchy is sacrilege, in the way that I don’t feel [questioning] the American government is sacrilege. It’s our role as storytellers and critical thinkers to raise these questions.”

Garbus knew the Netflix series would probably be her most-watched project: “Obviously, I knew walking in there was going to be extraordinary interest. Just being aware of the microscope of the film was a challenge.” When it was released on December 8, Harry & Meghan proved such a media event that it broke Netflix’s viewership record for unscripted content with 81.55 million hours watched in the first week. The second week, viewing time climbed to 97.7 million hours. “It was exciting that people stuck with it, even with the sort of critical perspective I tried to bring to the story,” says Garbus.

The response to all of the bad reviews of the series: “People are very happy to read everything about Harry and Meghan when it’s somebody else writing about them. But when Harry and Meghan want to tell their story in their own words, it suddenly becomes an issue. People are not forced to watch a documentary. It’s not going to be required in school. It is your choice what you binge and what you don’t binge. There have been more documentaries and books written about Harry and Meghan than Harry and Meghan have produced themselves. So I think it’s an interesting kind of pearl-clutching that doesn’t quite add up with the public’s appetite for reading stuff about them from other people.”

It was a surreal immersion into the palace mind games: “For instance, Buckingham Palace said that we didn’t reach out for comment [on the docuseries] when we did. They did that to discredit us…and by discrediting us, they can discredit the content of the show.… We lived through some of those moments that were a little bit like Alice Through the Looking Glass.” Another moment came when British TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson published a hate-fueled column for The Sun shortly after the release of the second half of the series—which highlights the negative and unfair press coverage of Meghan. Clarkson described “dreaming of the day when [Meghan] is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.” Says Garbus, “That was an extreme example of the kind of coverage they’ve been getting. I certainly lived through it a bit.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Garbus’s point about “when Harry and Meghan want to tell their story in their own words, it suddenly becomes an issue.” If anything, the Netflix series made me mad because I wish it had come out months earlier, maybe even a year earlier. It effectively adjusted the narrative around the Sussexes’ story in a way which should have been done a long time ago, before three years of Sussexit narratives from the peanut gallery in the British media. Garbus should have also mentioned all of the backtracking Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace had to do after they lied repeatedly about not being contacted. And it’s not “sacrilegious” to question, examine and speak truth to power.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Netflix.

Picture it, London in early 2015. Prince Harry was about to end his decade-long Army career, likely because he was being heavily pressured to do so by his father and brother. The then-Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with Charlotte, and as such, Kate is taking it easy because of her history of morning sickness. William and Kate have also escaped London and based themselves in Norfolk, where William is plotting to set himself up with a part-time “co-pilot” job with the East Anglia Air Ambulance. Back then, in the pre-Meghan days, the British media would actually criticize William and Kate. Not consistently and not with the same kind of contempt they had for an American actress, but yes, sometimes the British media absolutely ripped into the Cambridges. Interestingly enough, Prince Harry has a fascinating little story about that:

The papers were awash with stories about Willy being lazy, and the press had taken to calling him “Work-shy Wills,” which was obscene, grossly unfair, because he was busy having children and raising a family. (Kate was pregnant again.) Also, he was still beholden to Pa, who controlled the purse strings. He did as much as Pa wanted him to do, and sometimes that wasn’t much, because Pa and Camilla didn’t want Willy and Kate getting loads of publicity. Pa and Camilla didn’t like Willy and Kate drawing attention away from them or their causes. They’d openly scolded Willy about it many times.

Case in point: Pa’s press officer berated Willy’s team when Kate was scheduled to visit a tennis club on the same day Pa was doing an engagement. Told that it was too late to cancel the visit, Pa’s press officer warned: Just make sure the Duchess doesn’t hold a tennis racquet in any of the photos! Such a winning, fetching photo would undoubtedly wipe Pa and Camilla off the front pages. And that, in the end, couldn’t be tolerated.

Willy told me that both he and Kate felt trapped, and unfairly persecuted, by the press and by Pa and Camilla, so I felt some need to carry the banner for all three of us in 2015. But selfishly, I also didn’t want the press coming for me. To be called lazy? I shuddered. I never wanted to see that word attached to my name. The press had called me stupid for most of my life, and naughty, and racist, but if they dared to call me lazy…I couldn’t guarantee I wouldn’t go down to Fleet Street and start pulling people out from behind their desks.

[From Spare by Prince Harry]

Harry goes on to say that William vented that the media was punishing him for not parading Kate and George around and giving them more access. Which I believe – that was the period of time when William was constantly flouting the “invisible contract” and refusing to do any work OR give people access to Kate and the kids. That all changed just a few years later. Basically, as soon as Meghan showed up. Suddenly, William was all about the invisible contract. Suddenly, William and Kate trotted out those kids as often as possible. Around the same time, the British media stopped calling William lazy and work-shy. Weird!

Also: while I believe that Charles and his staff “berated” William and Kate for stealing focus or whatever, keep in mind that it was also widely known that QEII and Prince Philip wanted William and Kate to base themselves in London and do more work. I’m sure Charles loved that his heir was lazy, but make no mistake: William and Kate also love being lazy and doing next to nothing.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.

Mandy Moore and husband Taylor Goldsmith welcomed their second son, Oscar Bennett Goldsmith, last October. Ozzie, as he’s called, joined big brother Gus, who was a little over a year and a half at the time of Ozzie’s birth. Mandy shared some thoughts on motherhood to Instagram recently, about being mom to two young boys and going back to work: its hard! She recently posted a pic of her nursing little Ozzie, while seemingly trying to get some rest, with the caption “Two under 2. It’s a lot.”

Mandy Moore is getting real about working mom life.
Sharing a photo on her Instagram Story Saturday where she nurses son Ozzie, 3 months, the This Is Us actress admits that she’s got a lot on her plate as a working mom of two under two.

“2 Under 2. It’s a lot,” the 38-year-old mom captioned the photo, where her eyes are closed.
Moore shares Ozzie and son Gus, 23 months, with husband Taylor Goldsmith, and has been documenting her return to acting after welcoming her second baby boy.

Last month, Moore opened up about juggling work with her sick family in another post shared on Instagram.

She captioned the shot in checklist form, listing that she has a “toddler with the flu and croup,” an “exhausted household,” and is “trying to keep myself and the newborn healthy and nursing around the clock.”

[From People]

Oh my. If those little guys just got done being sick and Mandy is back at work, ‘a lot’ is putting it mildly. “Two under” any age is a lot, I don’t care if they have jobs and spouses. We were just musing this morning about what a quiet house might sound like. However, as a person who is decidedly in the “not a baby person” column, yes, kids under the age of seven are so much more work. And having them in multiple is just a very bad idea – I kid! It’s a fine idea, but you will never know privacy again and I promise you, you’ll miss it. Good news, you *do* actually get (much of) your life back when the kids turn 12. And they are both teens, and it’s really, so much better. But it’s still A LOT.

It looks like what Mandy is working on is Dr. Death. I’m not family with that show but just reading up on it for this post, color me curious. Mandy also cancelled her tour because Ozzie’s pregnancy proved too much for her. I wonder if she’ll return to that? After she catches her breath, of course. She’s got plenty to focus on for now. Poor thing. Man, I don’t miss those days. I swear that’s why they make kids so cute. Speaking of, Jimminey Crickets, Mandy’s boys are such dolls!

Photo credit: Instagram and Cover Images

Y’all, we need to pay closer attention to this unsettling Ham Drama. In recent weeks, Sean Penn and Robin Wright have been seen together several times in LA. They’ve been divorced from each other for over a decade and they used to talk so much sh-t about each other. Then they both remarried other people, and in 2022, both of those marriages came to an end. Sean and Robin’s kids are grown and it’s like they’re playing out the plot line of Nancy Meyers’ It’s Complicated. Only angrier and douchier.

Sean Penn and Robin Wright are happy to spend time together again — but they’re not back together as a couple, a source says. The pair — who were married from 1996 to 2010 — recently sparked rumors that they rekindled things after they were spotted together at the Los Angeles International Airport and in Los Angeles for a meetup.

But an insider tells PEOPLE they’re not a romantic item.

“They are both single right now and get along great,” the source says. “Sean has always said that Robin is the love of his life. He regrets many things that happened during their marriage. He really enjoys spending time with her now.”

The exes were spotted together at LAX last week carrying their bags up an escalator in a rare public appearance together. The two were last photographed in 2017 heading to New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. Reps for both stars didn’t immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment about the sighting.

[From People]

That quote made me stop in my tracks. An insider saying “Sean has always said that Robin is the love of his life. He regrets many things that happened during their marriage” is basically a confirmation that Sean is trying to win back Robin. This is Penn trying to “court” his ex-wife. Don’t fall for it, Robin! Stay far away. Jesus.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

Apple Martin went to the Chanel show in Paris. [JustJared]
I’m obsessed with this Doja Cat-Kylie Jenner interaction. [Buzzfeed]
Genuinely love how much everyone hates Todrick Hall. [OMG Blog]
Leo DiCaprio hit up Hyde with the P-ssy Posse like it was 2006. [LaineyGossip]
Chris Evans’ fans need to get a grip. [Dlisted]
Florence Pugh is really doing her own cooking show now? [Pajiba]
Gwendoline Christie looked great at the Dior show. [Tom & Lorenzo]
Seth Rogen has been making an effort on red carpets ever since he did that movie with Charlize Theron. I love that he tries! [GFY]
Hundreds of UK cops could be fired soon. [Towleroad]
Kylie Jenner is enjoying Paris Fashion Week. [Egotastic]
The “vaccine tremor fakers” are so f–king stupid. [Jezebel]
The Razzies nominations are also here. [Gawker]

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In his interview with good friend Bryony Gordon, Prince Harry spoke about his concerns for his niece and nephews. He didn’t get super-specific, but he was basically like: the royal system is fundamentally broken and the next generation of heir-and-spares will face similar difficulties. Which is true – it’s not like Harry becoming a generational cycle-breaker suddenly means that the institution will begin to heal. If anything, that heir-and-spare dynamic will become even more entrenched, more abusive, more cut-off from oversight and introspection. Prince William and Kate have already shown everyone that they treat “the heir” differently than the spares. George gets included while Charlotte and Louis are excluded. George gets special gifts, while Charlotte and Louis are ignored. George is already hyped as an artistic genius and a brilliant kid, while Charlotte and Louis are already being assigned their “backup” personalities and roles. Katie Nicholl has some thoughts about this and would you believe? Kate’s hagiographer thinks the kids are perfectly fine.

The Prince and Princess of Wales have ‘it all worked out’ when it comes to navigating Charlotte’s position as ‘spare’, a royal expert has claimed. Speaking to The Telegraph earlier this month, Prince Harry voiced concerns about the future of the other ‘spares’ in the royal family to his brother Prince William – who ‘made it very clear that the children are not his responsibility’.

However Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl has said she is sure Prince William and Kate Middleton have it ‘all worked out’ when it comes to Princess Charlotte and her future role in The Firm.

Speaking on the podcast Dynasty, she said: ‘George, Charlotte and Louis are enjoying a childhood Harry and William didn’t get to enjoy and I think that is why William and Kate are channeling everything they can into raising their children with an understanding of who they are as royals but as ordinary children too.’

She explained: ‘No one wants the next generation to suffer as Harry has suffered…it’s not a pretty picture.’

The royal expert said the family were enjoying a childhood which the brothers didn’t, adding: ‘I think when you look to the Cambridges and how they are raising their children, away from the spotlight, in pretty ordinary schools, in a regular cottage on the grounds of Windsor, having bucket and spade holidays and teaching them to sail on the broads in Norfolk….’

‘It does open up the question of the next spare, of Princess Charlotte. I’m sure William and Kate have got that all worked out. Reading Spare, if they do, I think at points it will be deeply uncomfortable for them.’

[From The Daily Mail]

In some sense, Nicholl is correct that the Wales kids’ childhoods are vastly different from Harry and William’s childhoods. Harry and William had parents going to war with each other in the media and at home, and it’s also clear that William always got preferential treatment by everyone (except maybe his mom). Harry and William also grew up without social media and, for part of their childhood, without a mother. I think Kate and the Middletons give the three Wales kids more stability in general, but I would also bet that Carole treats the heir and the spares differently too. And no, I fundamentally do not believe that William and Kate do “have it worked out.” While certain circumstances are different, the system is still f–king dysfunctional. The institution is still broken, abusive and neglectful.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

For those of us paying attention in 2016 and 2017, the British media’s racist abuse of then-Meghan Markle was despicable. Then it became so much worse when Meghan married Prince Harry in 2018. As the Duchess of Sussex, she was subjected to a coordinated and racist character assassination, a campaign which still continues to this day. In Prince Harry’s Spare, he lays out in pretty simple terms the onslaught of racist coverage towards Meghan and the utter lack of support they received from the institution. Of course, we could easily argue that the institution was and is working in concert with the British media to feed this narrative of Meghan as an angry Black woman, the maniacal schemer who, in Jeremy Clarkson’s words, deserves to be stripped naked and marched through the streets. What’s worse is that the same British media which has abused Meghan for years is ALSO obsessed with gaslighting her about the racist abuse and minimizing what she’s been through. Enter Richard Eden’s Daily Mail column, where he interviewed a mixed-race opera singer who talked sh-t about Meghan.

Meghan Markle’s claims of widespread racism in Britain were described as ‘very unsettling’ by opera star Danielle de Niese in comments to the Mail last night. Like the Duchess of Sussex, De Niese is a prominent woman of colour in her profession who married into an white, upper-class British family intertwined with a famous institution.

However, the soprano, who is married to Gus Christie, executive chairman of the Glyndebourne opera festival, said did not appreciate the comments made by the Duchess during bombshell interviews with Oprah Winfrey.

‘What I think is strange is to get your home country of America to say that the entire country of Britain is racist… I find that very unsettling. It’s not to say that racism isn’t everywhere, because it is, but I don’t think you can tar everyone with the same brush like that. To say a whole community of people are racist, that hasn’t been my experience.’

The soprano, 43, whose parents are from Sri Lanka with mixed European heritage, spent her childhood in Australia before emigrating with her family to America as a teenager. Now chatelaine of the estate in the South Downs, East Sussex, where music lovers enjoy picnics on the lawn before watching the world-famous opera during the summer, she considers Britain to be her home.

She did not agree with Meghan and Harry’s slurs about ‘racism’ in the Royal Family – which the Prince rowed back from in recent interviews – saying Meghan should have followed her example.

‘I am a mixed-race person and I have married a man who is not in the Royal Family but is still part of a big institution,’ de Niese told the Mail. ‘I’ve set out to support my husband and learn about the people around me. I very much set about learning about what happens here. There were people who tried to imply that I was ”trailblazing”, but I wasn’t into that because it feeds the ego.’

The First Lady of Glyndebourne has two young children with Christie and is stepmother to his four sons from his first marriage. ‘When Meghan and Harry first came to public attention, everyone was super happy for them,’ she adds. ‘I feel like we’ll never really know why it went wrong. It’s a complex story.’

[From Eden Confidential]

I laughed at “I feel like we’ll never really know why it went wrong.” Harry and Meghan have told everyone what went wrong in very specific terms repeatedly, on camera and in print. If you choose to play dumb and participate in the British media’s gaslighting of a Black woman, then sorry, you’re as despicable as the British media. Meghan didn’t “slur” the Windsors nor did Meghan call the entire country “racist.” Both Meghan and Harry have said: it is the media and the institution of the monarchy. “To say a whole community of people are racist, that hasn’t been my experience” – so this B is leaving open the possibility that different women of color have different experiences?

As for “how dare you, America is racist too!” – like, we know. The difference is, America’s national media would never be able to run such a wall-to-wall racist character assassination on a prominent Black woman/public servant. It just wouldn’t happen, our media doesn’t function that way, it would be called out and newspapers and TV channels would lose advertisers.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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