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While the verdict is still out on the SAG-AFTRA strike ― i.e., the union that represents actors, performers and on-screen talent ― the writers strike is officially over! After 146 days, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement with the Writers Guild of America on Monday evening. Thank you to senior culture reporter Marina Fang, who has been spearheading HuffPost’s strike coverage.
The topic that quite literally never seems to die, though, is the clear PR stunt between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, which some are referring to as “Swiftce.” After dating an alleged racist, Swift is aligning herself with a beloved NFL player, a man who is mutually benefitting from being associated with America’s favorite white woman. Last Sunday, she attended the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Chicago Bears and was seen in the skybox with Kelce’s mother.
I think what happened here is that Kelce got a little too much dip on his chip with the friendship bracelet, committed to the bit a little too hard, and now has to follow through. Per Page Six, he has a type (which, Swift does not particularly fall into) and his very first ex-girlfriend has taken to Inside Edition to talk about their relationship from *checks notes* seven years ago. The only thing I’m looking forward to from Swiftce is the breakup anthem we may get soon.
Speaking of football: In other, much better news, Usher is the confirmed 2024 Super Bowl halftime show performer. My first reaction when I learned this was, “He hasn’t performed at the Super Bowl yet?!” It is a long-awaited and deserved accomplishment, and I can’t wait to see what Usher Raymond opens with. I’m guessing either “O.M.G.” or “Yeah!” but only time will tell. I would love to see him and his protege Justin Bieber run this 2011 Grammys performance back.
What is sadly approaching its end is Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour. With one date left, Beyoncé has broken the record for the highest-grossing month, earning $179 million in a single month and paving the way for her “on the list of artists with the highest-grossing tours,” according to Forbes. Beyhive, we speculated about the set lists and a Destiny’s Child reunion. We sobbed and stressed over tickets. We got dressed to the nines en route to the stadiums. We cheered for Blue Ivy and laughed, danced and sang our hearts out. But when one member of the hive was unable to make it due to ableist constraints, Parkwood flew him out.
Longtime fan Jon Hetherington, 34, was en route to see Bey in Seattle but was denied access to his flight because his wheelchair reportedly wouldn’t fit into the plane properly. After his story went viral on TikTok and fans tagged the Parkwood account, amends were made and Hetherington got to meet Beyoncé and her mother, Ms. Tina. While he got his wishes, Hetherington made a note that this is not just about one singular airline, but about a “society built to exclude disabled people.” And he is absolutely correct.
Before we say goodbye to this transformative tour (and speculate about Renaissance: Act II), read up on the latest edition of the Culture Catchall.
We’re Still Talking About It
- Apart from the PR stunt that is “Swiftce,” the second press tour that has caught everyone’s attention is Kerry Washington’s promotion of her memoir, “Thicker Than Water.” While this Olitz reunion makes me yearn for “TGIT” and the days of “Scandal” on ABC, the bigger bombshell is what Washington shared about her personal life. In the book, she details that the man she thought was her biological father, in fact, is not. HuffPost’s Kelby Vera has all the details.
- Her hips don’t lie, but those tax returns might. Spain has charged Colombian superstar Shakira with tax evasion for a second time. She’s set to be tried in Barcelona on Nov. 20 in a separate case in which prosecutors allege she failed to pay 14.5 million euros ($15.4 million) in taxes. Authorities said on Tuesday that she has failed to pay 6.7 million euros ($7.1 million) in tax on her 2018 income.
- Chris Brown is unsurprisingly facing another lawsuit, but this time, it’s over $2 million worth of buying a Popeyes chicken joint. According to Complex, City National Bank is alleging it loaned Brown $2 million “to acquire a pair of Popeyes locations” — and has been trying to get its money back since 2018. Read up here.
- After Angelica Ross exposed the messages between her and Ryan Murphy, Ross shared that she’s quitting Hollywood in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. THR reporter Seth Abramovitch conducted a Q&A with Ross in which she discussed her time on “Pose,” explained the fallout while on the set of “American Horror Story” and shared her next move. The activist and self-taught coder by trade is returning to politics — and may run for public office.
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