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TV show creator Ryan Murphy joins Walk of Fame

HOLLYWOOD — A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Dec. 4 honoring Ryan Murphy, the six-time Emmy winning creator of such television series as “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and “Nip/Tuck.”

“I look at this star as the halfway point in my career,” Murphy said in the late-morning ceremony in front of the Hudson Hollywood Apartments on Hollywood Boulevard. “I’ve done a lot of work and I’ve been so lucky, but I have so much more to say and to do. I’m blessed. I know that. I’m excited with what’s to come.”

Murphy recalled his 1989 arrival in Hollywood from Washington D.C. in a “broken-down used yellow Subaru with under $100 in my pocket and I didn’t know a single soul.”

“All I had was a dream that I would be somebody someday,” Murphy said.

Murphy said that in his first week in Hollywood, his car ran out of gas across the street from the site of his star because “I had to make a decision of gasoline for the car or styling gel.”

“And of course, I chose the styling gel,” Murphy said.

Murphy was preceded in speaking by actresses Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson, who have appeared in multiple projects produced by Murphy; Murphy’s producing partner Brad Falchuk and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who appeared on “Glee,” where she met Falchuk, who she married this year.

“Ryan Murphy is one of the most creative and brilliant minds in television,” said Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “His shows open the doors for people to see things they may have never thought of and invites viewers to his world of exhilarating programming.”

Murphy was born Nov. 30, 1965, in Indianapolis and is an alumnus of Indiana University. He was initially a journalist, writing for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and Entertainment Weekly.

Murphy began his entertainment career by selling a script to Steven Spielberg titled, “Why Can’t I Be Audrey Hepburn?” which has not been produced.

The first television series Murphy created was “Popular,” a teenage comedy-drama that aired on The WB from 1999-2001. The next show he created was “Nip/Tuck,” a drama about plastic surgeons that ran on cable’s FX from 2003-2010 and brought Murphy the first of his 29 Emmy nominations, receiving an outstanding directing for a drama series nomination in 2004 for the series pilot.

Murphy then created the Fox musical comedy-drama about a high school choir “Glee,” which ran from 2009-15. It was nominated for outstanding comedy series each of its first two seasons. Murphy received the first of his six Emmys in 2010, winning for outstanding directing for a comedy series for the pilot.

Murphy produced the Emmy winner for outstanding miniseries two of the past three years, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” the 2016 winner, and “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” the 2018 winner. Both aired on FX.

Murphy won an outstanding directing for a miniseries movie or a/dramatic special Emmy for “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”

Murphy’s other Emmys were for producing the outstanding made for television movie, “The Normal Heart,” in 2014 and outstanding short form nonfiction or reality series, “Inside Look: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” in 2016.

Murphy is also the creator of the FX anthology series “American Horror Story” and the Fox procedural drama “9-1-1.”

Murphy directed the films “Running with Scissors” and “Eat Pray Love.”

Murphy’s next television project is the Netflix comedy “The Politician,” set to debut in 2019, with a cast including Lange and Paltrow.

 

Kevin Hart won’t apologize, out as Oscars’ host

HOLLYWOOD — Actor/comedian Kevin Hart announced Dec. 6 he was stepping down as host of the 2019 Oscars, after he said officials from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told him to apologize for homophobic tweets or he would be replaced as host. Hart was named to host the Oscars Dec. 4.

“I passed on the apology,” Hart said in a video posted on his Instagram account. “The reason I passed because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’ve done it.

“I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old. I’ve moved on. I’m in a completely different space in my life.

“The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put in to finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years. We feed the internet trolls and reward them. I’m not going to do it man. I’m going to be me. I’m going to stand my ground.

“Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm, no foul.”

Hart later tweeted, “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s. … This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

“I’m sorry that I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love and appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

Hart drew criticism for a 2011 tweet “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice “stop that’s gay.” The tweet was deleted Dec. 5 or 6.

Hart was also criticized for a joke featured in a 2010 stand-up comedy special — “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people. But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

When asked about the segment by Rolling Stone in 2015, Hart explained that the joke was supposed to be about his worries as a father. He admitted it was not a joke he would make anymore, but not necessarily because he considered the joke or his attitude problematic.

“I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now,” Hart told the Rolling Stone.

After being named to host the Oscars, Hart wrote on his Instagram page: “For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same, I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.

“I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time. To be able to join the legendary list of [hosts] that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time. I will be sure to make this year’s Oscars a special one.

“I appreciate (the Academy) for the opportunity. Now it’s time to rise to the occasion.”

 

Walgreens fatal shooting victim was targeted, attorney says

HOLLYWOOD — A 21-year-old man who was fatally shot by a security guard at a Hollywood Walgreens store was not shoplifting, but was targeted because he was black and gay, an attorney for the man’s family said Dec. 11.

Jonathan Hart, 21, who was homeless and was also known as Sky Young, was fatally shot at 8:10 p.m. Dec. 2 inside the store at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street.

The guard allegedly claimed that Hart was shoplifting. Authorities said there was a brief confrontation between the unarmed Hart and the unidentified guard, who opened fire when Hart tried to leave the store.

An at emotional news conference, attorney Carl Douglas said Walgreens only has armed security guards at four stores in the Los Angeles area.

“Each of these stores are in the black, brown and homeless and LGBT communities, and we want to know why,” Douglas said on behalf of Hart’s family.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from Walgreens. The company earlier issued a statement saying, “We’re deeply concerned about this incident and the loss of life. We’re gathering facts and fully cooperating with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation of the incident. The safety and security of all our customers and employees is our top priority.”

Douglas insisted that Hart was not shoplifting. He said Hart and another black man were in the store, and at one point while inside the store, one of them picked up a $2.99 water flavoring product. The guard confronted the men and got into an argument with Hart, the attorney said.

“The guard feels the man push him one time,” Douglas said. “The guard pushes the man back one time. The guard watches as the man turns to run toward the back door. The guard raises his gun and points at the man. The guard says, ‘Freeze,’ as the man travels toward the door. The guard fires one shot, striking the man in the back of the neck. The guard watches as the man crumbles to the ground.”

Hart died at a hospital. Douglas said the only thing in Hart’s hands when he died was a California ID card.

“Jonathan was not shoplifting,” he said. “Let me repeat that. Jonathan was not shoplifting when he was shot. That’s the propaganda Walgreens wants you to report.”

He added: “I dare say, Jonathan Hart was profiled because he was homeless. He was harassed because he was gay and he was shot because he was black.”

Douglas said he plans to file a lawsuit against Walgreens seeking $525 million in damages and an explanation about why it has armed guards only at stores in minority communities.

“The only way that we will be able to make our community safe for all the Jonathan Harts of the world is by hitting Walgreens where it hurts,” he said.

 

 

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