Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host After Refusing Academy Demand

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Kevin Hart

The abrupt move comes after a mounting controversy over the star’s past anti-gay tweets.

Kevin Hart is stepping down as Oscars host just two days after the Academy announced he would take on the high-profile gig. The move came amid a mounting controversy after old tweets surfaced in which Hart expressed anti-gay sentiments and used homophobic terminology and slurs.

In a tweet late Thursday, Hart officially withdrew from hosting the Oscars, a role he had long wanted to step into. “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,” Hart wrote.

He added seconds later, “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 & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

Earlier in the evening, Hart had posted an Instagram video from Sydney, Australia, where he is touring, saying that he had refused a demand from the Academy to apologize. He said the Academy gave him an ultimatum: Apologize for his old tweets or step down as Oscars host.

“I passed. The reason I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up,” he said. “Regardless, to the Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul,” Hart added.

Ironically, in giving up the hosting spot, Hart actually offered the apology that earlier he had refused to provide.

The Academy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But for the Academy, the situation smacks of déjà vu. In late 2011, Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the 84th Academy Awards after saying “rehearsal is for fags” in a public Q&A for his film Tower Heist. Ratner’s exit led to the departure of Eddie Murphy, that year’s announced host, who stepped down in solidarity. (Billy Crystal filled in.)

Losing Hart as host will put even more pressure on Donna Gigliotti, who is producing the 91st Oscars, set to be broadcast by ABC on Feb. 24. This week’s announcement that Hart would host came relatively late in the process. Now, finding a new host to take on emcee duties could be even more difficult.

Earlier in the day, Hart issued an Instagram video in which he said, “I swear, man, our world is becoming beyond crazy. I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially when I worked hard to get to the mental space that I am at now.”

He continued, “My team calls me, ‘Oh, my God, Kevin, this world is upset about tweets you did years ago.’Guys. I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man,” Hart says. “I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity.”

The tweets in question included a 2011 tweet in which the comedian and movie star had written, “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.'” In another from 2010, Hart says someone’s profile pic looks “like a gay bill board for AIDS.” In another written in 2009, he called someone a “fat faced fag.”

Those tweets and many more like them could be found as recently as Tuesday, the day Hart was announced as host. But as word of them began to spread in the days following, they began to disappear.

The tweets drew condemnation from the likes of actor-comedian Billy Eichner, who tweeted, “You can tell its not just a joke — there’s real truth, anger & fear behind these. I hope Kevin’s thinking has evolved since 2011.”

Journalist Mark Harris went even further, tweeting the choice of Hart as host was “out-of-sync for a year in which Rami Malek, Melissa McCarthy, Olivia Colman, Mahershala Ali, Richard E. Grant, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Lucas Hedges could all get nominated for playing LBGTQ characters.”

GLAAD reached out to ABC, the Academy and Hart’s management to “discuss his rhetoric and record as well as opportunities for positive LGBTQ inclusion on the Oscars stage,” said Rich Ferraro, chief communications officer for GLAAD. He said they did not immediately respond.

It was not the first time Hart’s thoughts on LGBT people have caused controversy. A 2011 standup routine about his then 3-year-old son having a “gay moment” — “You’ve got to nip it in the bud!” he warned the audience — was criticized as promoting homophobic and dangerous parenting, according to The Guardian.

Pose star Indya Moore — whose groundbreaking trans series drew Golden Globe nominations for best drama and best actor (for Billy Porter) — penned a lengthy Twitter thread that laid into Hart for “sexualizing” his son in his 2011 routine, adding, “‘Your choice to prevent’ your child from being ‘gay’ is fear driver. You ARE homophobic Kevin.”

“You @KevinHart4real are NOT FIT a model, or representative to Host for the @TheAcademy which CELEBRATES & WELCOMES talent of all genders, sexualities, & ethnicities,” Moore continued. Pose executive producer Ryan Murphy retweeted several of the tweets.

Hart told Rolling Stone in 2015 that he wouldn’t tell the joke again, “because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now.”

[“source=forbes]

Jim Kelly chosen as legends captain for Pro Bowl

Jim Kelly greeted fans on the sidelines during warmups at New Era Field on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly was selected as one of four 2019 Pro Bowl Legends Captains for the NFL’s annual all-star game.

Kelly will be the captain of the AFC offense with DeMarcus Ware serving as the captain of the defense. Emmitt Smith will captain the NFC offense with Brian Urlacher captaining the defense.

The four have a combined 30 Pro Bowl appearances. According to a news release, the legends “will serve as mentors for the Pro Bowl players and be present on the sidelines on gameday.” They also will attend various events during Pro Bowl Week in Orlando. The Pro Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 27.

Kelly is coming off another procedure last week in New York related to his cancer. According to his wife, Jill, doctors have told the Kellys that they expect this will be his last surgery to address the reoccurrence of cancer diagnosed last spring.

[“source=ndtv”]

Could social media emerge as a new critical infrastructure sector?

Social media has become an important conduit for official and emergency government communications with the public. With such communications having the power to critically affect national security, social networks have become a hacker’s paradise and need to be taken more seriously.

US President Donald Trump’s official Twitter account is one example of how social media is now a popular channel for engaging with the public in realtime. At the more extreme end of the scale, recent events in Hawaii and Japan saw false missile alerts sent due to human error, causing populations to spiral into turmoil. These incidents highlight how social media accounts are becoming part of the critical infrastructure that governs our day-to-day lives.

It’s clear that communications, or mis-communications, of this kind have the potential to wreak havoc. But the question is: should the use of these social media accounts — like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and more — for official and emergency purposes, be regulated by legislation?

“Until these platforms are officially treated as critical infrastructure, we should consider applying the same cybersecurity practices followed by the energy, water, gas and ports industries.”

In Australia, telecommunications carriers are subject to the Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms (TSSR), while other critical infrastructure falls under the recently introduced Security of Critical Infrastructure Act (2018). This act is primarily focused on major infrastructure assets like power and water, that supply essential services to more than 100,000 people.

In both the TSSR and the act, scope is given for the relevant minister to direct a provider or intermediary “to do, or not do, a specified thing that is reasonably necessary to protect networks and facilities from national security risks.”

Under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act, the relevant minister can also nominate additional industry centres for inclusion, provided the minister is satisfied there is a risk that the assets or services could have a prejudicial effect on national security.

Top of the priority list currently are airports and data centres. It’s possible the minister will declare social media communications as subject to the act, but, at this stage, it’s unlikely.

Top-grade cybersecurity practices essential

So, what should governments be doing when it comes to securing social media accounts used for timely or sensitive communications? Until these platforms are officially treated as critical infrastructure, we should consider applying the same cybersecurity practices followed by the energy, water, gas and ports industries.

Government personnel operating social media for official or emergency purposes should undertake a review of how their accounts are managed. Hardening communication platforms should include stepping up password management practices. This will help eliminate the chance of delays to the delivery of critical information or the exploitation of accounts for nefarious purposes, such as issuing false or misleading information.

“To strengthen these platforms against both external and internal attacks by unauthorised personnel, government departments should treat their social media accounts as privileged.”

Hackers know the value and vulnerability of social media today, and are already hijacking official accounts. In 2017, a rogue Twitter employee shut down Donald Trump’s Twitter account for 11 minutes in an act of protest.

Disgruntled employees aren’t the only risk – hackers could use any one of several social engineering techniques, such as phishing, to gain access to passwords for social media. If they did so, they’d be able to issue false statements on a public social media account, potentially causing fear and panic.

Government personnel within specific departments or offices commonly share access to social media accounts. This means that potentially dozens of people throughout an agency have access, admin or editing rights on these platforms. Not least, passwords for these accounts are usually shared between team members, rarely changed, and often re-used across a number of accounts.

Any account with a shared or re-used password can be an easy target for a hacker or corrupt insider. There is also rarely a record of which team member published each post — increasing the possibility of a false alert being deliberate and untraceable.

Just two minutes after the missile alert was issued on Twitter in Hawaii, the governor was told it was a false alarm. While other government officials rushed to assure the public there was nothing to worry about, the governor did not tweet for more than 17 minutes. The cause of his silence? He forgot his username and password.

To strengthen these platforms against both external and internal attacks by unauthorised personnel, government departments should treat their social media accounts as privileged. That way, simple acts of forgetting, sharing or re-using passwords won’t cause delays, such as what happened in Hawaii.

Privileged account security tips

As best practice to properly secure and protect social media accounts, government departments should employ privileged account security, including:

  • Arrange transparent access: To make it harder for hackers to find and exploit credentials, authorised users must be able to seamlessly authenticate access to an account without having to remember passwords. This allows for immediate access in emergency situations, such as the incident in Hawaii.
  • Remove shared credentials: Use a digital vault to store passwords and remove the accountability challenges of shared logins. Users will then need to login individually for access to shared social media platforms.
  • Automate password rotations: Continuously changing privileged credentials safeguards against attackers using retired passwords. Regularly automating password changes can also update access privileges, reducing the possibility of an outsider getting their hands on valid credentials.
  • Review account activity: For visibility of individual users’ activity across social media accounts, a record of events can be created. This way, posts can be linked to authorised users, and rogue employees can be more easily identified.

Governments the world over are reviewing their critical infrastructure safeguards and national security precautions. As we continue to see in situations such as those in the US, Hawaii, and Japan, the public has developed a huge level of trust in communications distributed by government organisations.

Social media has become a credible and dependable medium for official communications, and it’s clear these platforms are neither inherently secure nor infallible. It’s critical to re-think how any medium used for official and emergency communications is treated and secured.

[“source=cnbc”]

This Pic Of Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao And Azad, Dressed As Asterix Characters Is The Cutest Thing On The Internet Today

This Pic Of Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao And Azad, Dressed As Asterix Characters Is The Cutest Thing On The Internet Today

Aamir Khan with Kiran Rao and Azad. (Image courtesy: _aamirkhan)

Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao and Azad are giving us major family goals and how. Well, for those who don’t know, we are referring to the latest series of pictures posted by Aamir Khan on social media and we must tell you that the cute can’t even begin to describe them. BTW, did we tell you that Aamir, Kiran and Azad can be seen dressed up as the characters of the famous French comics Asterix. Yes! You read that right. Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao managed to take some time of their busy schedules and decided to dress up as Obelix and Getafix, respectively, while Azad made for a super cute Asterix. However, it will be difficult to say if it we liked Aamir and Kiran’s OTT costumes more or Azad’s cute expressions. Needless to say, Aamir’s Instafam loved the picture and the 62,000 likes on the picture prove that.

[“source=ndtv”]

Zero: Shah Rukh Khan wants to keep Sridevi’s song as a surprise!

Shah Rukh Khan and Sridevi

Updated: Nov 27, 2018, 05:23 PM IST

Ever since the trailer of Shah Rukh Khan starrer Zero was released, fans have been eagerly waiting to see the superstar on the big screen essaying the role of a dwarf for the first time in his illustrious career. The first song from the film Mera Naam Tu has already got the fans humming its tunes and is fast catching on to the trends charts.

While the movie’s trailer and music have have successfully created a lot of buzz, not many are aware that Zero will have a host of other Bollywood stars making cameo appearances in the movie. Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Abhay Deol, Rani Mukerji, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Kajol and the late legendary diva Sridevi are the few known names all set to appear in the film.

According to a report in Times of India, just like Deewangi Deewangi from Om Shanti Om, Zero also features a song which will have Shah Rukh Khan shaking a leg with a number of leading ladies, one of them being Sridevi. The late actress had shot for her cameo appearance last year in October. She plays herself in the film.

The film’s leading hero, Shah Rukh Khan, is leaving no stone unturned  to give the diva a tribute in the best way possible. The song which features multiple stars along with Sridevi will not be out until the release of the film. The superstar wants fans to take a look at the late legendary diva’s last cinematic outing directly when the film releases on the big screens next month.

In February this year, Sridevi bid goodbye to the world due to accidental drowning in the bathtub of her hotel room in Dubai. Her demise had sent shockwaves in Bollywood industry and her fans across the globe.

Directed by Anand L Rai, Zero also stars Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif in leading roles. The film is slated to hit the theatres on December 21 this year.

[“source=magtheweekly.com]

Kangana replaces Deepika as Bollywood’s highest paid actress

Bollywood’s bold and beautiful starlet Kangana Ranaut has replaced Deepika Padukone in the Hindi film industry as the highest paid actress.

With a whopping salary of INR 14 crores Kangana has overtaken Deepika as the undisputable queen of the box office.

According to media reports, Kangana charged a hefty 14 crores for Rani Laxmibai character she was roped in for in the biopic ‘Manikarnika’.

Bollywood’s notorious gender wage gap where male protagonists get paid almost double the amount as their female counterparts was broken by Deepika Padukone when she was remunerated more than Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh for her role in ‘Padmaavat’.

[“source=magtheweekly.com]