Freeform supports star amid backlash
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Disney-owned cable network has taken aim at critics who disagreed with the decision to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming adaption of “The Little Mermaid.”
Freeform posted an open letter on Sunday in support of Bailey after some on social media used the hashtag #NotMyAriel to object to a black woman portraying the red-headed mermaid princess of the animated film. But the network says “Danish mermaids can be black because Danish people can be black.”
Bailey is half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle. She will star in the live-action version that will include songs from the 1989 animated Disney hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Cup winners are ESPYs bound
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fresh off their victory at the Women’s World Cup, members of the U.S. national soccer team, along with top NBA draft pick Zion Williamson and world No. 1 golfer Brooks Koepka, will be among the attendees at The ESPYs on Wednesday.
The show honoring the past year’s top athletes and achievements airs live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Comedian Tracy Morgan hosts the 27th edition.
The appearance by the soccer team will be part of a day on which they are celebrated on both coasts. The players will fly to Los Angeles for The ESPYs after a ticker-tape parade in New York on Wednesday morning.
Nominees set to attend include Saquon Barkley, Drew Brees, Todd Gurley, Oregon basketball player Sabrina Ionescu, Olympic champion snowboarder Chloe Kim, Patrick Mahomes, Mikaela Shiffrin, Breanna Stewart and Trae Young.
NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Hundreds honor rock pioneer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hundreds of family members, friends, fans and fellow musicians gathered in New Orleans Monday to bid farewell to rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Dave Bartholomew.
A trumpet-shaped flower arrangement stood next to the open casket at the music-filled service at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, The Times-Picayune/ The New Orleans Advocate reported. Musicians who came to pay their respects included Robin Barnes, Kermit Ruffins, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Charles Moore, Irvin Mayfield, Ivan Neville and Dr. Brice Miller, the newspaper reported. Many played in his honor.
Bartholomew was 100 when he died June 23 in a suburban New Orleans hospital.
Along with Fats Domino, Bartholomew co-wrote and produced classics including “Ain’t That a Shame,” “I’m Walkin’” and “Let the Four Winds Blow.”
Bartholomew was a trumpet player since childhood and a bandleader and arranger before World War II. He befriended Domino in the late 1940s and they collaborated on dozens of hits that captured Domino’s good-natured appeal, made him one of rock’s earliest stars and made New Orleans a popular music center.
Al “Lil Fats” Jackson evoked Domino with a rendition of “Blue Monday” during the visitation, the newspaper reported, and Jon Cleary sang “Someday.”
Despite the restrictions of segregation, Bartholomew rose to become a pop music icon, said the Rev. Tony Ricard, who led the funeral mass and joined in the spirited dancing on the church steps as the crowd followed the casket outside afterward.