Petitioners Demand Sony Release ‘The Interview,’ Stand Up To Terrorist Threats

Want to see "The Interview"? So do a lot of other would-be moviegoers, dissatisfied with Sony Pictures' decision this week to scrap the controversial film (which depicts the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un). And some have whipped up online petitions in an attempt to change studio executives' minds.

Sony's decision -- made following terror threats sent by the hacker group responsible for breaching the corporation's computer systems in November -- was met with plenty of criticism this week. On Friday, President Barack Obama said Sony "did the wrong thing." Writer and producer Aaron Sorkin called the ordeal "an unprecedented attack" on free speech, while celebrities posted reactions on Twitter in various shades of disgust.

The hackers, of course, were pleased with the company's decision. The group, which the FBI has claimed is connected to North Korea, released a statement calling the decision "very wise" and suggested additional leaks would not be made unless the studio "made additional trouble."

For those who would like Sony to do just that, options are limited. The studio, which not even George Clooney could convince industry leaders to defend, has said it has no plans to release the film in any form. But petitioners hope Sony might listen to the voice of the people.

From Change.org: "Please release 'The Interview' and stop letting terrorists decide which movies Americans get to see."

From the statement:

When Sony and the major theater groups declined to release "The Interview" because hackers threatened us and told them not to, they literally negotiated with terrorists. And, as even a cursory knowledge of modern American cinema would tell you, negotiating with terrorists is bad.


Add your signature here.

From We the People: "Urge Sony pictures to release the film 'The Interview' and protect our 1st Amendment."

From the statement:

We want our government to defend our first amendment by urging Sony to release "The Interview" and offer protection to movie goers as well as those involved in the production of the movie.


The White House is expected to respond to any We the People petition that receives more than 100,000 signatures within 30 days. You can also add your signature here.

Will signatures get anything done? We can't say. Although their exact impact remains unquantified, online petitions have achieved results in the past.

And besides, there's always the (very, very) slim chance Sony lets Gawker screen the film instead.
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Jimmy Kimmel Made ‘Dora The Explorer’ One Of The Dirtiest Shows Of 2014

With 2014 coming to a close, Jimmy Kimmel looked back at his weekly tribute to the FCC to find the most bleep-worthy moments from TV this year and assemble them into a highlight reel of made-up profanity.

“This Year In Unnecessary Censorship” features clips from "Dora the Explorer," Steve Harvey and, of course, Vice President Joe Biden.

Yes, these are all actually innocent clips, but Dora should still probably keep her monkey away from that horse.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.
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Azealia Banks’ Emotional Explanation For Her Problem With Iggy Azalea

During an emotional 47-minute interview with Hot 97, Azealia Banks explained her much-publicized problems with Iggy Azalea and the music industry in general with regard to how it treats black recording artists.

"I feel, just like in this country, whenever it comes to our things, like black issues or black politics or black music or whatever, there's always this undercurrent of kind of like a, 'Fuck you,'" Banks told Ebro in the Morning hosts Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg. "There's always like a, 'Fuck y'all, niggas. Y'all don't really own shit. Y'all don't have shit.'"

Banks referenced Macklemore winning Best Rap Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards as an example, before taking on Azalea.

"That Iggy Azalea shit isn't better than any fucking black girl that's rapping today, you know?" Banks said. "When they give those awards out -- because the Grammys are supposed to be accolades of artistic excellence, you know what I mean? Iggy Azalea is not excellent. [...] When they give these Grammys out, all it says to white kids is: 'Oh yeah, you're great, you're amazing, you can do whatever you put your mind to.' And it says to black kids: 'You don't have shit. You don't own shit, not even the shit you created for yourself,' and it makes me upset."

Banks, who called Azalea's attempts to appropriate Nicki Minaj's success over the past two years a "cultural smudging" (Banks cited how Azalea released a reissue album called "Reclassified," which was similar in title to Minaj's album, "Roman Reloaded"), later explained why this is all so important to her.

"Everybody knows that the basis of modern capitalism is slave labor. The selling and trading of these slaves. There are fucking huge corporations that are caking off that slave money and shit like that. So until y'all motherfuckers are ready to talk about what you owe me," she said while breaking down in tears. "At the very fucking least, you owe me the right to my fucking identity. And to not exploit that shit. That's all we're holding on to with hip-hop and rap."

In response to Banks' interview, Azalea blasted the rapper on Twitter for being "poisonous," "miserable" and a "bigot." (Banks has been criticized in the past for her use of the slur "faggot.")



















Banks perhaps knew she was going to get backlash for her words. "In general, whenever I have to say anything about anything, then it's like, 'Oh, here goes this crazy black bitch,'" she said. Watch Banks' full interview -- where she also discusses her issues with T.I. -- with Hot 97 below.

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Why Tim Burton Made A Film About The ‘Most Quiet, Under-The-Radar Feminist You’ve Ever Met’

Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" tells the story of an epic art fraud centered on "the most quiet, under-the radar feminist you've ever met." In many ways, Margaret Keane's story embodies the early women's movement. That, along with the rise of the kitsch -- and another "worst" artist to add to the list with "Ed Wood" -- is what Burton has set out to explore here. HuffPost Entertainment interviewed the director to talk about creating his lowest budget film in years (and whether he would ever re-consider making "Superman Lives").

big eyes

You commissioned Margaret Keane’s work before this film was even pitched to you. What drew you to “Big Eyes” and telling her story?
I felt like it was suburban art. There weren’t Matisses or Picassos hanging on people’s walls. There were Keanes. You would see them in people’s living rooms, dentists’ offices and doctors’ offices. It was very present, and very much a time of that when I was growing up. I think they stayed with me, because they were all over the place, but also because I found them quite disturbing. I liked that kind of juxtaposition of things. I found it fascinating that so many people had them up in their houses.

That rise of the kitsch and suburbia have always been prevalent themes in your work. Is that something you wanted to explore here?
Even for people who hated it, you had to acknowledge it had a power to connect with people. There were a lot of artists who tried to rip it off. A lot of people who bought it. It became like a movement. Look at artists who were trying to copy it ... This sort of came to me growing up in suburbia: this idea of the American dream, and then you have this couple -- this sort of horrific couple -- creating these strange mutant children. That seemed slightly representative of the end of that American dream era. This is sort of a twisted version of that idea of the nuclear family.

The true story of the Keanes is actually much more insidious than what we see on screen. What made you leave things out like Walter abusing Margaret’s dog or keeping her locked in the attic?
You know, truth is stranger than fiction. For instance, in the courtroom scene [in which the Keanes have a paint-off for ownership of Margaret’s body of work], we had to tone it down, because it was even worse than that. In fact, people have trouble believing that even now. So, it was fine line between trying to create the extremity of it and do it in a way where you’re still semi-believable. With Margaret mentioning how she is in the attic, you get the idea of it.

big eyes

In a way, Margaret Keane embodies the early women’s movement -- surviving her husband's psychological abuse and striving for her independence in spite of it.
She’s one of the most quiet, under-the-radar feminists you’ve ever met. She doesn’t have a big voice. She’s not out there on the streets, saying, you know, “Vote for women’s rights!” She did it in her own private, personal way, which I found amazing given the type of person she is.

Toning down this story is certainly another way “Big Eyes” is a departure for your work. There are not a lot of visual effects, it’s much smaller. How was the process different?
Well, it was low-budget. For me, after doing a lot of big-budget movies, it was kind of reconnecting me to having to move quickly and be resourceful. I mean, you have to do that on any film. But this you’re moving locations four or five times a day, you know, trying to make Vancouver look like San Francisco is not easy.

What was the biggest challenge with the low budget?
I think Vancouver to San Francisco, because the actors were all great. I was lucky to deal with solid people who were willing to go into the same thing of moving quickly, being there, not having to wait for people to move out of the trailer. Everyone got into the same spirit, which helped make it.

You’ve made films for two distinct generations. Do you think of this one differently?
You pick projects based on feelings. That’s why you can’t pick projects too far in advance. You don’t know how you’re going to feel. I think I felt that this one, basically because of "Ed Wood," I like these characters that are sort of marginalized and the connection between what’s good and bad. Those are the themes that I relate to. Also, just wanting to do a low budget film after doing so many big budget films.

big eyes3

What do you think about the rise of the superhero franchise. How would your "Batman" do today?
It is amazing. I feel lucky to have been around in the time before franchise was created. I was lucky on “Batman” to never hear the word “franchise,” that was a real pleasure. Now, that’s all it’s become. The amazing thing is that trends come and go. That’s a trend that obviously not only stuck, but continues to keep going. How many tortured, you know, people that become superheroes are there going to be? It’s the same story.

Okay, half joking here, but how about "Superman Lives"? Would you ever reconsider making that one? Superman films are in, meta commentary is in ... the Internet would explode.
Oh, good. I’d love to make the Internet explode! That’s a good idea. I’d love to see that happen.

"Big Eyes" is out in wide release Dec. 25.
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Reese Witherspoon Cites New Yorker Article As Low Point In Her Career

The Reese-urgence is alive and well with the much-anticipated release of "Wild" and the probability of an impending Oscar nomination. It's arguable that Reese Witherspoon never truly lost her status as one of America's sweethearts, but, she says in a new "60 Minutes" interview, the year after her Oscar win for "Walk the Line" was "tough."

Throughout the press she has done for her role as Cheryl Strayed, who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail to ameliorate the pain following her mother's death, Witherspoon has said she wanted to break away from the post-Oscar films that boxed her into nice-girl romantic comedies -- movies like "Four Christmases," "How Do You Know" and "This Means War." The nadir came when Witherspoon saw herself listed among "washed-up" actors who were no longer seen as box-office draws in a 2012 article from The New Yorker.

“I thought I was reading, like, a profile on another actor," she recalled. "Then somewhere down at the end, it said [...] ‘the people who are washed-up.' I mean, it really hurt my feelings." (To be fair, the piece Witherspoon is presumably referring to -- a profile of Ben Stiller -- never uses the term "washed-up." Regardless, she was named alongside Keanu Reeves, Mel Gibson, Demi Moore, Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta.)

As she's said several times, Witherspoon challenged herself to find stronger roles, which led to the creation of her production company, Pacific Standard. With Australian producer Bruna Papandrea, Witherspoon has fought to get powerful female stories on the big screen. First up was "Gone Girl," which she produced. Then came "Wild," which she optioned in March 2012, three months before Oprah Winfrey selected it as the inaugural entry in her Book Club 2.0.

“I was just kind of floundering career-wise. I wasn't making things I was passionate about,” Witherspoon said. “And it was really clear that audiences weren't responding to anything I was putting out there.”

Audiences are paying attention now: "Wild" has received remarkable praise, and it made a strong mark at the box office when the movie opened in limited release on Dec. 5.

Witherspoon's full "60 Minutes" interview with Charlie Rose airs Sunday on CBS. Watch an excerpt:
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The Top 100 Baby Names Of 2014, According To Nameberry

According to Nameberry, the most popular baby names for 2014 are Imogen for girls and Asher for boys. Nameberry's Top 100 list is based on the number of views each name attracted on the website, out of a total of nearly 50 million views in 2014.

But the biggest news is the huge influence of television and celebrities on names zooming up Nameberry’s popularity list. The "Game of Thrones"-inspired girls’ name Khaleesi ranks at Number 2, with Daenerys also in the Nameberry Top 100.

On the boys’ side, new names entering the Top 10 are Silas, popularized by "Weeds," along with Jasper, Milo and Ezra. The biggest leaps were the Jolie-Pitt-influenced Knox, up 60 places, followed by Archer and Ryker.

The three names climbing furthest up the Nameberry Top 100 for girls are Ellie, Cordelia and Maya; others include Adeline, plus four stylish L-names: Lucy, Lila, Louisa and Luna.

Names that made the biggest slides are emblematic of pop culture shifts. For girls, names losing popularity include Katniss from "The Hunger Games" along with popular celebrity baby choices Harper, Seraphina, and Everly. For boys, Flynn, of "Breaking Bad," dropped 67 places, followed by Christian of 50 Shades of Grey and Arlo of "Justified." Even George, as in 2013’s little prince, lost 36 spots.

Here are Nameberry's lists of the Top 100 baby names for girls and for boys in 2014:

Girls

1. Imogen
2. Khaleesi
3. Charlotte
4. Isla
5. Cora
6. Penelope
7. Violet
8. Amelia
9. Eleanor
10. Hazel
11. Claire
12. Adelaide
13. Adeline
14. Ivy
15. Lucy
16. Alice
17. Olivia
18. Evangeline
19. Genevieve
20. Maisie
21. Lila
22. Beatrice
23. Rose
24. Maeve
25. Scarlett
26. Ava
27. Aurora
28. Nora
29. Willa
30. Elizabeth
31. Eloise
32. Elodie
33. Caroline
34. Emma
35. Matilda
36. Clara
37. Grace
38. Cordelia
39. Clementine
40. Aurelia
41. Ellie
42. Poppy
43. Arabella
44. Elsa
45. Ella
46. Harlow
47. Harper
48. Iris
49. Seraphina
50. Katniss
51. Luna
52. Mila
53. Ruby
54. Aria
55. Sophia
56. Mae
57. Mia
58. Juliet
59. Eliza
60. Evelyn
61. Audrey
62. Josephine
63. Maya
64. Isabella
65. Emmeline
66. Emily
67. Stella
68. Chloe
69. Olive
70. Anna
71. Sadie
72. Wren
73. Louisa
74. Annabelle
75. Lily
76. Piper
77. Daenerys
78. Jane
79. Gemma
80. Lola
81. Esme
82. Margaret
83. Willow
84. Zara
85. Ada
86. Frances
87. Everly
88. Mabel
89. Lydia
90. Daisy
91. Pearl
92. Madeline
93. Phoebe
94. Delilah
95. Kinsley
96. Isabel
97. Georgia
98. Hannah
99. Abigail
100. Millie

Boys

1. Asher
2. Declan
3. Atticus
4. Oliver
5. Silas
6. Henry
7. Jasper
8. Finn
9. Milo
10. Ezra
11. Leo
12. Levi
13. Jude
14. Wyatt
15. Felix
16. Sebastian
17. Soren
18. Beckett
19. Miles
20. Theodore
21. Bodhi
22. Jack
23. Liam
24. Archer
25. Owen
26. Emmett
27. Ethan
28. William
29. Sawyer
30. Caleb
31. Benjamin
32. Oscar
33. Josiah
34. Julian
35. James
36. Andrew
37. Hudson
38. Knox
39. Hugo
40. Alexander
41. Zachary
42. Dashiell
43. Ryder
44. Ryker
45. Ronan
46. Lucas
47. Thomas
48. Elijah
49. Luke
50. Samuel
51. Callum
52. Noah
53. Arthur
54. Isaac
55. Jacob
56. Theo
57. Weston
58. Axel
59. Roman
60. Rhys
61. Everett
62. Zane
63. Grayson
64. Rowan
65. August
66. Kai
67. Harrison
68. Beau
69. Gabriel
70. Jackson
71. Griffin
72. Austin
73. Nolan
74. Xavier
75. Daniel
76. Nathaniel
77. Charles
78. Nash
79. Simon
80. Jonah
81. Holden
82. Micah
83. Flynn
84. John
85. Wesley
86. Christian
87. Elliot
88. Graham
89. Nathan
90. George
91. Nicholas
92. Lincoln
93. Cassius
94. Tristan
95. Gideon
96. Maxwell
97. Tobias
98. Lachlan
99. Arlo
100. Matthew



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Nicki Minaj Is Nicki Minaj’s Biggest Fan

Nicki Minaj discusses how unbelievably great Nicki Minaj is.
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Steal This Relationship Secret From Scarlett Johansson

Three big benefits to keeping the details of your relationship between the two of you.
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Tina Fey Parodies NPR In Flawless Vintage Improv Sketch

As though we needed yet another reminder of Tina Fey’s pre-"Saturday Night Live"/"Mean Girls"/"30 Rock" comedic genius, Chicago’s Second City has us covered once again.

This week, the comedy school where Fey and so many other greats got their starts released freshly unearthed footage of Fey, along with Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit and others, hilariously spoofing National Public Radio in an incredible 1997 clip.

Prompted by the Second City audience’s suggestion of “bananas!” as the troupe’s subject matter, Fey plays the role of an NPR host leading a segment “exploring the banana, its place in religion and history and art, its resonance in our lives” on a segment of the fictional, perfectly titled “Urban Wind” program.

The incredible segment goes on for 15 minutes, never straying from NPR’s signature sincere-and-scholarly, soft-spoken tone. Dratch’s turn as a University of Chicago professor of creative writing, diarist and jewelry maker living in “a barn house in Wisconsin” is particularly on point. Did we detect a note of "Schweddy Balls" in there?

H/T Chicago Sun-Times
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Tina Fey Parodies NPR In Flawless Vintage Improv Sketch

As though we needed yet another reminder of Tina Fey’s pre-"Saturday Night Live"/"Mean Girls"/"30 Rock" comedic genius, Chicago’s Second City has us covered once again.

This week, the comedy school where Fey and so many other greats got their starts released freshly unearthed footage of Fey, along with Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit and others, hilariously spoofing National Public Radio in an incredible 1997 clip.

Prompted by the Second City audience’s suggestion of “bananas!” as the troupe’s subject matter, Fey plays the role of an NPR host leading a segment “exploring the banana, its place in religion and history and art, its resonance in our lives” on a segment of the fictional, perfectly titled “Urban Wind” program.

The incredible segment goes on for 15 minutes, never straying from NPR’s signature sincere-and-scholarly, soft-spoken tone. Dratch’s turn as a University of Chicago professor of creative writing, diarist and jewelry maker living in “a barn house in Wisconsin” is particularly on point. Did we detect a note of "Schweddy Balls" in there?

H/T Chicago Sun-Times
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