Info Grammy President says There’s no ‘race problem’

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow is aware of the discussion about whether race played a role in Adele winning the album of the year Grammy on Sunday over Beyoncé.

And he dismisses it.
“No, I don’t think there’s a race problem at all,” Portnow said in an interview with Pitchfork.
Beyoncé’s loss has been questioned not only by fans of her album “Lemonade,” but also by the woman who won album of the year.
Adele, one of 14,000 members of the Recording Academy who select the Grammy winners, said “Lemonade” got her vote.
Portnow said it’s “always hard to create objectivity out of something that’s inherently subjective.”
“We don’t, as musicians, in my humble opinion, listen to music based on gender or race or ethnicity,” Portnow said. “When you go to vote on a piece of music — at least the way that I approach it — is you almost put a blindfold on and you listen.”
Portnow added that the Recording Academy is always working to make the organization more diverse in race, gender and age.
He also referenced an example of another voting process with contentious results.
“At the end of the day, we just went through a popular election, but you had the overlay of an electoral college,” Portnow said. “And so the popular vote doesn’t necessarily in and of itself create the recipient of the election. In our case, the popular vote stands by itself and completely determines who receives an award in any given year.”
For those in the music industry unhappy with this year’s Grammy results, Portnow offered a suggestion.
“Just become members, join and vote,” Portnow said. “Then you have the say if you want it.”

News Beyonce and Adele show future of feminism

Upon accepting the award for album of the year at the 2017 Grammy Awards on Sunday night, Adele did the right thing: She said that she couldn’t accept it because she knew that it was Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” and not her own album, that truly deserved to win. Her speech was gracious and passionate, highlighting the monumental importance of Queen Bey’s creation, and Bey seemed genuinely moved by Adele’s gesture.

Unfortunately, this mutual love fest has been marred by some negative reactions to Adele’s comment about her “black friends” feeling particularly empowered by “Lemonade,” with some on Twitter expressing their discomfort right away with Adele’s choice of words.
However, the reactions on what is affectionately known as “black Twitter” were far from unanimous, and many actually appreciated Adele’s gesture. Renowned black author and blogger Luvvie Ajayi said in her Grammys recap: “I don’t find anything wrong with Adele calling out what LEMONADE meant to her Black friends.” To Ajayi and also to noted critic Brittney Cooper, Adele’s recognition that, as a white woman, her experience of “Lemonade” was different, mattered a good deal. As Cooper wrote for Cosmopolitan: “She acknowledged that she had a different experience of the music than her black friends.
“That is incredibly important, because it gives lie to the myth of universalism. Though it is rarely ever a good idea for a white woman to invoke her black friends as proof of anything, Adele’s remarks seemed to come from a genuine place of understanding the power of particularity.”
Indeed, although as a white woman it’s not my place to weigh in on whether Adele’s comment was offensive, I had much the same reaction as Ajayi and Cooper. I think the whole “controversy” is really not a controversy at all, but rather a red herring that distracts from the real polemic: the fact that a superior album did not win the Grammys’ top prize because it represents a black woman’s perspective.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that “Lemonade” was ghettoized by the Grammy voters, recognized as one of the top achievements within black music, but not within music writ large. This, despite the fact that Beyoncé put in double the work of all the other nominees by essentially creating two albums, one audio and one visual (there were significant differences in the versions of each song on the two albums). “Lemonade” was not only Bey’s most ambitious project to date, but also her most diverse in terms of genre. From rock (“Don’t Hurt Yourself”) to country (“Daddy Lessons”) to ballad (“Sandcastles”), to her trademark contemporary and hip-hop influenced R&B, the Queen covered virtually every major genre of contemporary American popular music on “Lemonade.”
If one considers Adele’s comment about “black friends” in context, it should be quite clear that she was not invoking this phrase to ghettoize them, or use them to counter charges of racism, as it is sometimes used. Instead, she was highlighting the particularity of Beyoncé’s objectives with “Lemonade,” i.e., to empower black women. This does not mean, as some people have claimed about Black Lives Matter (and responded, “All Lives Matter”), that Bey ONLY wantsblack women to feel empowered, at the expense of non-black women; it simply means that she’s speaking specifically from the subject position of a black woman modelling self-love to other black women. I’m quite sure she welcomes non-black women also viewing her as a role model.
In this sense, I think Adele completely understood Bey’s intentions when she said that “Lemonade” had empowered her black friends in a particularly meaningful way. Although Adele felt a very deep connection with “Lemonade” (as do I and countless other non-black women), her comment suggests she understands who this album was made for. She could have treated “Lemonade” as a generically feminist statement, but she decentered herself and focused on the album’s importance for black women.
In doing so, Adele displayed precisely the type of intersectional feminism that women of color have been advocating for decades, one that decenters white subjectivity and recognizes that traditional “white” feminism often excludes and/or discounts the experiences of non-white, queer, transgender and disabled people.
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This is the type of feminism that is desperately necessary in our contemporary moment if we are to create true solidarity and build a resistance movement against a reactionary Trump administration that espouses misogynist, racist, homophobic and xenophobic views. So, instead of nitpicking what was a beautiful and genuine moment of admiration between the two most talented female singers currently working, let’s applaud her inclusive, intersectional feminism and, for us white people, follow Adele’s lead and understand that it’s not about us.

News Ivanka and Melania Trump will share ‘the First Family Office’

The former First Lady’s office is being turned into “The First Family Office.”

D.C. insiders tell us that Ivanka Trump has brought in designers to revamp the East Wing office that is traditionally used by the First Lady.

“Not only is Ivanka moving into the First Lady’s office, she’s redecorating it,” according to a White House insider. “It’s what they’re going to call ‘The First Family Office.’”

Melania Trump has decided to stay in New York with her son Barron until he finishes the school year. She has expressed a vague interest in battling cyber-bullying as First Lady, which she shouldn’t even have to leave home to do, considering her husband’s penchant for Twitter spats.

Despite rumors Melania may stay in Manhattan indefinitely, our source assures us that the Donald’s missus will eventually move to the nation’s capital, where she and Ivanka will see a lot of each other.

“When Melania gets there, they’ll share the office space,” we’re told. “There’s no competition between the two. They have totally different agendas.”

While Melania, 46, seems to have conceded the office’s aesthetic to her 35-year-old step-daughter, the First Lady will be in charge of making the White House feel like home.

“Melania has hired a decorator to do the White House family quarters,” we’re told. “It’s going to be a more European-esque, refined look. More gold, more classic.”

Melania, who according to our spy “won’t be moving to the White House before June,” has been busily sprucing up her Trump Tower fortress on Fifth Ave.

“Melania has found time to reupholster two Louis the XIV chairs,” says our insider. “They were in the living room where Donald did interviews during the campaign.”

Melania’s reupholstering appears to have been a Valentine’s Day gift toherself.

“The chairs are gold-gilded, but the fabric is like a light blue with two cupids in a circle,” says our source, adding that the fabric came from a high-end shop on 63rd St. and Third Ave. “Those will likely stay in Trump Tower.”

Movie Review Of ‘Fist Fight’ with Charlie Day, Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan packs a brutal, funny wallop

You’ll want to stay after class for this one.

Charlie Day, at his most hilariously screechy, and Ice Cube, reverting to the ferociousness of his younger years, square off in the bonkers comedy “Fist Fight.” And everyone gets an A for effort.

TV director Richie Keen (“The Goldbergs,” “New Girl,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) throws a haymaker in his feature film debut. From the first scene it’s evident this is more than just a string-of-scenes for comic actors to jab with some jokes. This all-in-one-day story of a meek English teacher who learns lessons of his own is vulgar, brutal, surreal and extremely funny.

The rotten kids who terrorize the teachers have a tradition of pulling pranks on the last day of school, and this year they’ve upped their game. A horse on meth prances the halls, for instance. Additionally, budget cuts mean that no one on the faculty knows if they’re about to get the axe.

It’s enough to set the already on-edge disciplinarian Mr. Strickland (Cube) to blow a fuse, and when his comrade Andy (Day) doesn’t have his back, he challenges him to a 3 o’clock rumble in the parking lot.

As #TeacherFight begins to trend, the silliness spills over into the town, somewhat reminiscent of another high school classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” A dream team of comic supporting players makes things worse for Andy, as he scrambles to avoid the fisticuffs.

Tracy Morgan, in his first post-accident film, is a scream as the belligerent coach, as are Dean Norris as cruel principal and Kumail Nanjiani as the weirdo security guard. But it’s Jillian Bell (“22 Jump Street,” “Office Christmas Party,”) who once again steals the show, this time as the world’s most inappropriate guidance counselor.

Along with these known faces are the many horrible and selfish teens that make life miserable for poor Andy. Everybody on screen gets a laugh.

But the title is no joke. The eventual beat-downs put the last few Bourne movies to shame.

This is a comedy that frequently trades in shock (like the adorable little girl singing profane Big Sean songs) but always in ways that are clever. The ticking clock helps a lot.

It’s rare that a movie with so many F-bombs and drawings of male reproductive organs has such a witty Ken Burns gag. “Fist Fight” is a knockout.

Great NSYNC reuniting for Hollywood Walk of Fame star

*NSYNC isays hi, hi, hi.

The ’90s boy band will reunite this year to receive their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lance Bass told Entertainment Tonight.

“We’ll all be there!” Bass said. “We just have to decide on a date. We’re terrible at planning things.”

The group, made up of Bass, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone, announced a “temporary hiatus in 2002 and haven’t recorded new music since then.

Bass officially declared them broken up in 2007 after eight career Grammy nominations.

The group is also releasing a vinyl edition of their 1998 “Home for Christmas” album to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

“We’re doing something (special),” Bass told ET. “I don’t know if I can announce it yet.”

Despite their breakup, *NSYNC has appeared together for various events, including the 2003 Grammy Awards for a Bee Gees tribute and the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

They also reunited for Chasez’s 40th birthday in August.

Bass officially declared them broken up in 2007 after eight career Grammy nominations.

The group is also releasing a vinyl edition of their 1998 “Home for Christmas” album to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

“We’re doing something (special),” Bass told ET. “I don’t know if I can announce it yet.”

Despite their breakup, *NSYNC has appeared together for various events, including the 2003 Grammy Awards for a Bee Gees tribute and the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

They also reunited for Chasez’s 40th birthday in August.

Movie Reviews Of ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ with Keanu Reeves a deadly retread

“John Wick: Chapter 2” is more of the same from Keanu Reeves.

Once again Reeves’ titular assassin is dragged out of retirement by a cruel act. But this time around, it all feels like warmed-over Deja Vu.

To action fans, the original “John Wick” three years ago was an invigorating breath of fresh air compared to all the CG-enhanced action movies. The stunt work was gritty and visceral. Reeves killed enemies with the grace of a ballet dancer.

The sequel begins where the action left off. Wick gets back the car that was stolen from him, although it’s a little worse for wear. Just as he’s about to go back into retirement, an Italian mobster (Riccardo Scamarcio) requests a favor from Wick. When he declines, the gangster blows up his luxury house. Uh-oh. So Wick agrees to help, and sinks deeper into trouble.

“Chapter 2” builds upon the secret network of assassins based around a high-scale hotel introduced in the first movie, making it obvious that the filmmakers would love “John Wick” to be the next “James Bond.” But like Reeves’ “Matrix” movies, the continuation leads to diminishing returns.

Director Chad Stahelski still thrives when getting into the high-paced quick-cut action. The movie’s best moments are Wick’s fights with a competing hitman, played by Common. Their feud plays itself out over the course of the movie.

But between these action sequences, there’s a lot of talking, with every syllable exaggerated to give words more weight and gravity. Reeves growls out Wick’s few words in similar fashion. The verbal stunt doesn’t play quite as well a second time around, especially since the revenge motivation guiding Wick the first time around is missing.

If you loved the original movie, you might not care so much about being given warmed-over seconds. Otherwise, this Wick has burned itself out.

News Roman Polanski probably seeking to end 1977 child rape case in L.A. court next week

Famed director Roman Polanski will move next week to finally resolve his 40-year-old child rape case and fugitive status, his lawyer confirmed to the Daily News.

The director, 83, is looking to receive no additional jail time.

Lawyer Harland Braun said a Polish court recently reviewed Polanski’s case with “active participation” by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and ruled the famed director had served enough jail time to satisfy his conviction.

“(The Polish court) determined that Roman was promised less than 90 days custody,” Braun told The News.

Braun said that finding, along with Lacey’s agreement that Polanksi served an additional 300 days in Switzerland during an extradition battle, should convince the California courts “he already served his time as promised and owed no more time.”

In a letter sent to Judge Scott Gordon on Feb. 6, Braun asked the court to unseal transcripts from 2010 in which the Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson gave sworn testimony about his knowledge of the original Polanski proceedings.

Braun believes the testimony will further support Polanski’s claim he reached a formal plea deal in the case involving the rape of 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Geimer) in 1977.

 “The sworn testimony of Mr. Gunson taken together with the Polish decisions raise the question of whether the principle of comity should command or persuade the court to follow the findings of the Polish court,” Harland wrote in his letter to Judge Gordon, obtained by the The News.

A hearing on the matter has been set for Feb. 24.

If Braun convinces the California court to uphold the Polish decision, it could mean Polanski might soon return to the U.S. as a free man.

Polanski was arrested in 1977, took a plea deal and served a 42-day stint in a maximum security prison before his formal sentencing.

He fled when he learned the judge planned to ignore the Probation Department recommendations and give him more jail.

His victim, who now lives in Hawaii, previously told The News she supports an end to his case.

“I have forgiven him and moved on,” Geimer said in 2015. “He pled guilty, served his time, and I’m not quite sure what anyone expects beyond that. That’s satisfactory to me. It should be to everyone.”

According to TMZ.com, Polanski seeks to travel Europe freely and be able to visit his wife’s gravesite in Culver City, Calif.

His second wife, actress Sharon Tate, was a Manson Family murder victim in 1969, at the age of just 26. She was killed by the cult while 8 1/2 months pregnant with Polanski’s child.

For the 83-year-old, the threat of extradition has also left him unable to visit his daughter, who’s located in London.

Polanski is an Oscar-winning director behind films such as “Chinatown,” “Tess,” “The Pianist” and “The Ghost Writer.”

Information Stereotype-peddling fashion magazine editors are hypocrites

High fashion has become the Donald Trump of dressing: Ostentatious, vulgar, cruel, crude, rude, clueless, racist, dumb, demeaning and as confused as a meeting of the White House cabinet.

Take the March 125th anniversary issue of Vogue, which is bizarrely hailed as “the diversity” issue. Diversity? This thing has as much female diversity as Robert Palmer’s 1988 “Simply Irresistible” video. These cover models-of-the-moment all look like slightly different versions of each other-from white to not-as-white.

Face it folks, Kendall Jenner is not even close to having the same skin color as Imaan Hammam in real life. I’m darker than all of them — and I’m white!

Then there’s Liu Wen, the first Chinese model to appear on the cover of American Vogue.

More insane, in that same diversity issue, they have — I swear — white modelKarlie Kloss posing as a Geisha. Nothing says “diversity” like using a white model to personify an Asian stereotype. This is like white Charlie Chan from the 1930s!

The accompanying article is written by someone named Liesl Schillinger, which sounds as Japanese as Karlie Kloss.

Did they even think to use Wen, who is on the damned cover? Wen is Chinese — not Japanese — but at least she’s more representative of Asian women than Kloss.

Equally as dumb is Vogue’s idea of what is an overweight woman — that would be supermodel Ashley Graham. First off, her body is hidden on the cover for the most part in black, and by the skinny others.

Secondly, Graham is fat the way Kim Kardashian is fat, which isn’t fat, it’s curvy. But next to these boney babes she looks like Walter Hudson.

Another fact: Most plus-sized women aren’t cellulite-and-bulge-free like Graham, any more than than the rest of us are as fat-free as anorexic models.

Finally, there’s this week’s annual cruel idiocy known as New York Fashion Week, which became meaner and certainly uglier than even the clothes the other day.

First off, who the hell is going to buy those ridiculous costumes? Real women can’t afford them, can’t fit into them and can’t stand them.

Half the overpriced outfits look like something you’d don only if your work involved a pole — and I don’t mean in a firehouse.

These shows are just extravaganzas for celebrities who often get paid to show up to sit in the front row so that they’ll get photographed. It’s like sitting courtside at the Knicks without being stuck next to James Dolan.

But even if there was a saving grace to all this nonsense — and there’s not — it evaporated the other day when snotty fashion editors refused to sit next to Tiffany Trump at Philipp Plein’s show. Why? Because of her father’s racist, sexist reputation. Racist, sexist stereotypes of women are fashion editors’ stock and trade — see Geisha, above.

They’re the ones who should be ashamed of what they’ve done to American women. They think they’re politically correct by being so incorrect as to snub a 23-year-old kid?

If you push stereotypes for a living, then you need to sit down — next to anybody — and shut up.

This Why Fashion designer Philipp Plein defends Tiffany Trump

At least someone had Tiffany Trump’s back at fashion week.

Designer Philipp Plein defended the daughter of President Trump after she was shunned by editors during Plein’s show on Monday night.

“I mean can you blame someone, like a family member, can you blame a daughter for having… a father who has the wrong political direction,” the German designer told TMZ.

“I’m not a politician… I just don’t think it’s right to judge or treat someone not with respect because she or he is the daughter or son of somebody people don’t like. I think that’s so bad,” he continued.

Tiffany’s appearance reportedly caused a seating nightmare at the show as the two fashion editors who were assigned seats next to her refused to sit in those spots.

“Seating s–tshow at Philipp Plein because no editors want to sit near Tiffany Trump,” Alyssa Vingan Klein, the editor-in-chief of Fashionista.com, tweeted. “SHOCKER.”

The 23-year-old was later photographed seated next to her good friend Andrew Warren and another woman.

Plein also shared that he did not invite Tiffany, but she expressed interest in attending and he approved the request because “why not?”

“I do fashion and we are in a free country,” he explained. “I let everybody come to the show who want to come and who are interested. It’s my first show in New York, why shouldn’t people come in?”

Plein’s show also featured an appearance by “hot convict” Jeremy Meeks, who became an internet sensation for his steamy mug shot after his arrest in 2014.

News Blac Chyna, Rob Kardashian reportedly break up again

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian have split.

The on-again-off-again couple are living apart and have called off their engagement, according to Us Weekly.

“Rob thinks it’s the right decision,” a source told the magazine. “Chyna has disappeared for days at a time without communicating or providing any updates. This won’t end well.”

The “Rob & Chyna” stars went public in January 2016 and were engaged by April. A month later, they announced Chyna was pregnant.

The former recluse’s famous family didn’t acknowledge his engagement,according to People, which caused problems between the celebrity sisters.

Dream Kardashian was born in November.

By mid-December, Chyna reportedly ditched her fiancé and left with Dream on the eve of their “Rob & Chyna” baby special.

“Chyna took the baby, took the whole nursery we built,” Kardashian said in a Snapchat video.

“I’m pretty upset and sad because it’s about to be Christmas and I want to be with my baby.”

Chyna also cleaned out the bedroom of King, her 4-year-old son with rapper Tyga, who’s now dating Kardashian’s younger sister Kylie Jenner.

The couple had seemingly reunited when they appeared at an Upper East Side strip club in mid-January, their first public appearance since Dream was born.

But their storybook romance, it seems, was not written in the reality TV show script.