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Bryan Adams Cancels Concert Over LGBT Laws

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Apr 11, 2016 03:45 pm

Bryan Adams: Profile

Bryan Adams is the latest star to cancel a show in protest over new LGBT laws.

“Mississippi has passed anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ bill 1523. I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi,” he wrote in a statement. “I cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation. Therefore I’m cancelling my 14 April show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill. Hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day.”

The news follows the cancelation of Bruce Springsteen’s show in North Carolina over the weekend.

Stars Unite To Celebrate The ASPCA’s 150th Anniversary

Apr 11, 2016 01:00 pm

The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) today announced the start of a months-long celebration of its 150th anniversary this April withASPCA 150: Come to Their Rescue – a national campaign honoring the ASPCA’s 150 years of animal rescue by inspiring public action to help save and protect dogs, cats, horses and farm animals from cruelty.

Video: Join the ASPCA’s 150 Days of Rescue Campaign

As part of the celebration, notable stars from movies, television and music have come together in a video to encourage public participation in “150 Days of Rescue,” a call-to-action campaign encouraging the public to help animals in their community. The video, conceived and directed by photographer and filmmaker Dewey Nicks, features a variety of celebrities speaking up for animals in need and encouraging the public to do the same. Celebrity participants include Jason Schwartzman, George Lopez, Adrienne Moore, Julie Bowen, Krysten Ritter, Miles Brown, Beth Behrs, 50 Cent, Jennifer Coolidge, Ke$ha, Martha Stewart, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, and Keith Stanfield. The soundtrack for the short film is provided by composer and musician Owen Pallett.

In the 150-day campaign, which begins on the ASPCA’s April 10 birthday, the ASPCAwill encourage animal lovers to visit ASPCA.org/150days and pledge at least 15 minutes of their time to helping animals in need, toward an ultimate goal of 150,000 acts of compassion through September 7, 2016. Possible actions include volunteering at a local shelter, fostering and/or adopting homeless animals, and advocating for stronger animal welfare laws. Those who log their actions on the campaign website will be encouraged to enter their favorite shelters or rescue groups in a grant contest in which one of these organizations will receive a $150,000 grant from the ASPCA.

In addition to the “150 Days of Rescue” campaign, the ASPCA’s celebration will also include two large-scale public adoption events in New York City on Sunday, April 10 in partnership with the Alliance for NYC’s Animals, as well as an ‘NYC Paws Parade’ in partnership with the NYPD. The ASPCA will also premiere its first-ever documentary, “Second Chance Dogs” on Animal Planet on April 16. For information on all events surrounding the ASPCA’s 150th anniversary, visit www.aspca150.org.

Stars Speak Out Against Tennessee Legislation Targeting Transgender Students

Apr 11, 2016 12:00 pm

Emmylou Harris: Profile

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has announced that some of the biggest stars in the country music industry are uniting with pediatricians and child welfare advocates, civil rights organizations, the business community and supporters of equality to oppose legislation in Tennessee attacking transgender students in public schools and universities.

Emmylou Harris, Chely Wright, Ty Herndon, Miley Cyrus, and Country Music Television are speaking out against HB 2414 and SB 2387 – discriminatory proposals that would further marginalize transgender students and make it illegal for them to use restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.

“For a moment a few weeks ago, it seemed like lawmakers in Tennessee had really heard the brave testimony of a transgender young person and her parents,” said Miley Cyrus. “A mother’s simple ask to legislators about what they would do if it was their child who was transgender hit a nerve, and the anti-transgender bill was sent to a summer study session, seemingly killing if for this year. But that was two weeks ago – a lifetime ago, it seems, in light of all that has happened since – and that bill is back.”

“Transgender youth already face incredibly high levels of discrimination, bullying, and harassment, and it is appalling that the state of Tennessee would consider requiring public schools to discriminate against them, too,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, some of the biggest stars in the country music industry are using their voices to try and protect these young people. They join a broad chorus of parents, teachers, child welfare advocates, pediatricians, businesses and civil rights organizations urging Tennessee lawmakers to do the right thing and stop discrimination against transgender youth. Tennessee should block this hateful legislation and commit to ensuring every child has the right to learn without being subjected to discrimination or fear.”

On Wednesday, HRC also released an open letter from executives at the Dow Chemical Company, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Choice Hotels International, Inc., and Alcoa, Inc. urging Tennessee’s lawmakers to abandon the legislative assault on transgender students in Tennessee. Major CEOs and business leaders are speaking out because they know the legislation is bad for business and bad for Tennessee.

“Those who love and make country music do so because at its best it speaks to the pain and suffering everyone shares in this life,” said Emmylou Harris. “Let’s not make that life harder still for some, with this mean spirited and unnecessary legislation.”

Over the last month, bills with language similar to Tennessee’s proposal were vetoed in South Dakota, but enacted in North Carolina, where lawmakers have faced serious backlash. While South Dakota Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard listened to child welfare organizations, pediatricians, parents, and met with transgender children before deciding to veto a similar bill, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the state legislature rammed through a measure that, among other discriminatory provisions, includes a similar appalling attack on transgender students. As a result of North Carolina’s HB2 law, which puts thousands of youth, citizens, employees, and visitors to the state at risk, more than 130 business leaders are calling for a repeal effort during the upcoming legislative session and a number of businesses have begun to remove investments from the state.

“As an artist living and working in Nashville for more than 20 years, I know how hard it was to struggle for acceptance as a gay woman,” said Chely Wright. “The deck is stacked even higher against transgender students who face dramatically increased rates of bullying. This bill will send a devastating message to transgender youth that they are not welcome, included or valued. It goes without saying that their classmates and their communities will hear this message loudly and clearly too; emboldening many of them to double down on that harassment. I have a lot of friends in Nashville with great, big voices and it’s time that we all use our voices to stand up against this scourge of unnecessary, hateful legislation in Tennessee.

”The entertainment industry turned out in force Thursday night in support of MPTF’s(Motion Picture & Television Fund) fifth annual “Reel Stories, Real Lives” event, a unique evening of powerful readings which told the stories of industry members and their families who have benefitted from MPTF’s services in recent years.

Stars Attend Reel Stories, Real Lives
Stars Attend Reel Stories, Real Lives

The event, held at Milk Studios, featured readings by renowned Hollywood actors including Matt Bomer, Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Idina Menzel, and was hosted by actor Adam Scott. The event was sponsored by Delta Air Lines, with Entertainment Weekly serving as the official media partner.

Each story was written by some of Hollywood’s leading feature and television writers including Jeremy Doner, Callie Kloves, Michele & Kieran Mulroney, and Drew Pearce.

“RSRL is a powerful reminder why MPTF is so critically important to our industry. Hearing these personal stories written with such dignity by talented writers and presented with such passion from the actors who give of their time and talent inspires us all to do what we can to support MPTF. I am grateful to Michael Douglas for allowing his family’s story of support to be shared since their many contributions are such a significant part of the contemporary history of MPTF’s 95 years,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation and Chairman of the MPTF Foundation.

The event, which drew approximately 500 industry leaders and celebrity guests, was produced by Guymon Casady, Julie Darmody, William Gerber, Eric Kranzler, Kevin McCormick, Karen Rosenfelt, Greg Sills, Courtenay Valenti, and Warren Zavala.