Today in celebrity gossip: True Blood's Luke Grimes was allegedly recast after refusing to play gay, Justin Bieber's being sued again, and Channing Tatum is NOT divorcing Jenna Dewan-Tatum.
At the time of last Sunday's season premiere of True Blood—its last ever—the most controversial thing about the episode seemed to be viewers' inability to decide if it was brilliant or horrible. For whatever reason the mainstream turned on the show in a big way around Season 4 and every subsequent year has inspired more and more vitriol. But a long view of the series shows that it began as a frequently laughable exercise in insanity and has never wavered from that mission, so those claiming a drop-off in quality are very much misremembering its origins. But exhaustion is exhaustion, no matter how restrained, tense, and intimate this final season promises to be, so fine. Anyway, you didn't come here for a critical essay about how one of TV's top-rated shows devolved into an underdog story. No, you came here because for the first time in a while the typically desperate-to-shock True Blood has managed to generate an honest-to-goodness controversy!
In a truly good piece of reporting, BuzzFeed's Louis Peitzman busted wide open the case of Luke Grimes, the actor who joined Season 6 as James, Jessica's high-cheekboned, brooding loner boyfriend in the vampire concentration camp. Tons of eyebrows were raised last December when reports surfaced that Grimes had left the production—his highest profile role to date—over "creative differences." But now we know what those creative differences might've actually been: The True Blood writers were refashioning James as a not only a love interest for Jessica, but also a love interest for Lafayette. So, in a truly retrograde bit of homophobia, Grimes decided that playing a gay (or, really, bisexual) role was unacceptable, whereas playing a blood-sucking demon and occasional murderer was totally fine. Also, before anybody claims that Grimes was right to walk away from a role when he wasn't given fair warning about his character's sexuality shift, remember that this is TRUE BLOOD, one of the gayest shows of all time and one in which almost every vampire character becomes bisexual over time. Both of the show's male heroes have had same sex dalliances (Bill Compton in fantasy sequences, and Eric Northman in actual sexual intercourse with a man he intended to murder). So yeah. Gay stuff is never not in the cards on True Blood. Anyway, Grimes' publicist informed Peitzman that Grimes' exit was almost entirely due to scheduling issues, but of course his publicist would say that. Meanwhile it's 2014 and career-panic homophobia continues to thrive in Hollywood. Very cool! [BuzzFeed]
These days it seems like you can't even hit a pedestrian with your white Ferrari and not get sued! That's what Justin Bieber's realizing as he's just been slapped with a lawsuit over something that happened over a year ago. Apparently Bieber was driving away from noted hellhole The Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard and hit a man in a crosswalk, who claimed he suffered "lacerations, hematomas, deep abrasions on his left knee and leg and deep venous thrombosis." But his most severe medical condition seems to be a low bank account, so it's lawsuit time! TMZ points out that at the time of the incident "Justin was actually investigated for hit-and-run but cleared." If you ask me the man's story is most suspicious in that he claims that a white Ferrari hit him when a normal person would react to the sight of a white Ferrari by jumping backward, waving a hand in front of his impressed face, and exclaiming "DAAAAAAMN!" Because that is a sweet ride. Anyway, good luck, everybody. [TMZ]
How dare you imply that 2014's answer to Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman—Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum—are getting divorced! Apparently Star magazine declared on its most recent cover that the former Step Up co-stars were experiencing domestic drama and that Channing Tatum "removes his wedding ring" and "constantly hits on women." But, uh, the pair would like to set the record straight! Here's what they said, through a rep: "It's disappointing to see another example of Star magazine using outright lies to sell their weekly covers and trying to pass it off as journalism." TOLD. So there you have it, guys. The Tatums have their marriage on lockdown, deal with it. [Us Weekly]
I don't know much about raising children or girls or girl children, but how old should a child be before one pierces her ears? Twelve years old? Ten years old? According to Kim Kardashian the best ear piercing age is actually ONE year old, as that's how old she waited for daughter North West to become before mutilating her earlobes. The incident happened at the Kardashians' infamous Kidchella incident, which honestly does make sense. It's not a true Coachella experience without some ill-advised bodily harm. Stay tuned for when North turns 18-months and is finally introduced to the world of Bump-its and Spanx. [Us Weekly]
Cara Delevingne is a hard-partying, oft-photographed model (?) who is friends with tons of famous people (Reese Witherspoon most importantly/excellently) and spends a lot of her free time making out with Michelle Rodriguez in public. If you're not already used to hearing her name pop up in gossip reports for no real reason, get used to it. She's one of those. Anyway, E! has a very amusing story about how recently Delevingne was being interviewed by Vogue and managed to fall asleep TWICE during the interview. (No, this was not a phone interview, this was an in-person interview.) Interviewer Plum Sykes had fun with the situation by straight-up calling Delevingne out for dozing off so much and even quoted other fashion industry professionals who confirm it's sort of a thing Delevingne does. Well, after Sykes' writeup went live, Delevingne immediately took to Twitter to defend herself:
Why do people in the industry lie so much???? They would rather see you fail than succeed. What happened to supporting each other— Cara Delevingne (@Caradelevingne) June 25, 2014
All I can say is that I work extremely hard and 'sleeping' is proof that sometimes I work too hard. I apologise for being so ambitious— Cara Delevingne (@Caradelevingne) June 25, 2014
The half-hearted scare quotes around "sleeping" are particularly amusing, as is her belief that sleeping on the job is a sign of professionalism. And you know what? I think I might agree with Delevingne here. We should ALL be allowed to sleep on the job. I honestly can't think of a better working situation than that. So kudos, Cara Delevingne for standing up for what's right. Sleeping. [E! Online]
Here's Madonna trolling both liberals AND conservatives by taking a burqa selfie:
Old sitcom nostalgists, or perhaps mega fans of Survivor or The Worst Witch, may enjoy this reunion selfie featuring The Facts of Life's Lisa Whelchel and Charlotte Rae:
Guess who went surfing!
(Kellan Lutz went surfing.)