JK Rowling defends decision to cast South Korean actor as Nagini in Fantastic Beasts

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has defended herself after being criticised for casting a Korean actor to play the character of Voldemort’s snake Nagini in the latest Fantastic Beasts film.

The revelation that Nagini would feature in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, emerged in a promotional video for the film released on Wednesday. The video shows South Korean actor Claudia Kim turn from a woman into a snake. The Fantastic Beasts series has previously attracted criticism for its largely white cast, and while some are excited by Kim’s role in the film, others have raised concerns about a South Korean actor playing the role of Nagini. In the Harry Potter books, the snake is a submissive character that is the property of villain Voldemort, who drinks her milk for strength before he is restored fully to his body. One critic wrote to Rowling on Twitter, saying “Listen Joanne, we get it, you didn’t include enough representation when you wrote the books. But suddenly making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage.” Rowling responded, writing that Nagini is a Naga, which are “snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology”, adding that “Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including “Javanese, Chinese and Betawi”.

J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day 🐍 September 26, 2018 She also wrote that she had been holding onto the secret that Nagini was a “maledictus” – a human who had turned into an animal due to a blood curse – for 20 years. But many thought Rowling’s response was insufficient. One Twitter user shared translated screenshots of posts from Korean viewers, angry about the casting. “An Asian woman who was on exhibit in a circus … Gets beheaded later and dies? She ate people as a snake in [Harry Potter]”, wrote one angry viewer. Another objected to the way race was dealt with in the Harry Potter series. “You can’t be admitted to Hogwarts unless you’re English and we don’t know if there’s any wizarding schools in Asia, home of 4.4 billion people … [and] a homicidal white man traps an Asian woman inside a snake form and brainwashes her.”

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Rowling has previously attracted praise for her support of the casting of Noma Dumezweni, a black actor, to play Hermione Granger in the London production of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In 2015, when the casting announcement was made, Rowling tweeted: “brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione”. Rowling has confirmed there will be five movies in the Fantastic Beasts series. The first film, starring Eddie Redmayne, was released in 2016. The second film, which is scheduled to be released this year has already caused controversy, for its casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, despite accusations against him of domestic violence. It also stars Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore, and fans have expressed disappointment that the character – whom Rowling has confirmed is gay – will not be “explicitly gay” in the film. The screenplay of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald was written by Rowling, who is also a producer on the film.


Music to return to Molineux with Rod Stewart concert next year

Music to return to Molineux with Rod Stewart concert next year

Singing superstar Sir Rod Stewart will play Molineux next summer, it has been revealed. The 73-year-old rock legend is touring the UK to support of the release of his 30th studio album Blood Red Roses, and will perform at the Wolves ground on Saturday June 8. Fans can expect to hear classics such as Maggie May, The First Cut is the Deepest and Hot Legs from across Sir Rod’s more than 50-year career, as well as tracks from the new album. The Molineux performance – the first gig to be held at the ground since Bon Jovi played in 2003 – will be the fifth of seven Sir Rod concerts at stadiums across England and Scotland.

Although Sir Rod played at Shrewsbury Town’s ground last year, it is his the first time he has toured his home country for three years. And Wolves season ticket holders and members will be able to purchase pre-sale tickets via a special sales window next week. ‘Significant for the city’ Wolves Managing Director Laurie Dalrymple said: “It has been 15 years since Molineux hosted a live music event, so today’s announcement is very significant for both Wolves and the city of Wolverhampton. “Attracting top performers like Rod Stewart to Wolverhampton is part of our wider strategic plan to make Molineux a multi-purpose entertainment destination that welcomes visitors from the city and further afield. “We will work closely with the city council to ensure a successful event that drives local economy whilst being considerate to residents.” With his signature voice and style, Sir Rod has produced chart-topping originals and covers in every decade of his career, transcending genres of rock, folk, pop and soul. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 200 million records sold worldwide, and is releasing Blood Red Roses almost 50 years to the date from when he signed his first solo recording contract. The 13-track album is released on September 28, is described as a ‘deeply personal’ collection of originals and covers and follows Another Country which was released in 2015.

How can I buy tickets? Tickets go on sale at 9am on September 21 from ticketmaster.co.uk, but before that there will be two pre-sale windows. The first pre-sale will be at 9am on September 19 but can only be accessed by pre-ordering Sir Rod’s new album Blood Red Roses from hmv.com. Wolves season ticket holders and members will be able to pre-order tickets at 9am on September 20. More information on how this sale can be accessed will be emailed to eligible Wolves supporters next week. The Rod Stewart Live In Concert tour will also visit Southampton, York, Milton Keynes, Ipswich, Aberdeen and Bolton.


TV Review: ‘Maniac’ With Emma Stone and Jonah Hill

TV Review: ‘Maniac’ With Emma Stone and Jonah Hill

The most striking shots in Netflix’s new series “Maniac” — not an easy choice to make, given how unusually filmed and how askew the show’s multiple fictional universes are — tend to be the ones in which Emma Stone is emerging from an exhausting stage of a drug trial. While she’s being interrogated about what she experienced, we see her in profile, staring down a nest of cameras positioned invasively close.

When we see her straight-on, she’s drained of colour and dwarfed by a wall of video feeds of her own face, surveilled from every possible angle like the prisoner she’s become. Even as multiple simultaneous shots could expose a single false note, Stone — one of the defining movie stars of her generation — exerts supreme control over her character. She’s not just absent of vanity, but inventive and curious about what a performer can reveal, and how she can reveal it. Under the guidance of “True Detective’s” Season 1 director Cary Joji Fukunaga, Stone and her co-star Jonah Hill mark career highs in “Maniac.” Beautifully made, “Maniac” plunges viewers into a fictional world that’s both divergent from our own and instantly recognizable — and then reinvents itself several times over, skittering across time, space and genre to tell a story of connection that feels urgent and deeply, painfully human.

The two actors’ chemistry is emphasized by the degree to which they’re forced to tamp down their shared charisma. In movies, Stone has made her name on ebullience, and Hill is not far behind; both prove powerful TV presences as well, remaining eminently watchable as they introduce new skills. (Annie is fidgety and watchful; Owen looks away, unable to meet the gaze of the world, or even of his friend.) They bloom together in dreams and, returning to reality, are forced to meet with a more limited emotional vocabulary and test their relationship. Credit the streamer with producing the sort of series in which Emma Stone appears in one episode in hospital scrubs, another in gangster-moll drag and a third in an outfit that’s too good to spoil. But credit Netflix, too, with investing in a show whose tightness of narrative — 10 episodes, none much more than 45 minutes long, in a close-ended season — allows for exploration within constraints. Its power comes, in part, from its refusal to sprawl. As a trial of something new, “Maniac” passes every test, and ascends instantly to take its place among the very best TV of the year. Its eagerness to expose unexpected angles is its great gift.

Hailey Baldwin Confirms She’s Working Less To Focus On Fiancé Justin Bieber

Hailey Baldwin Confirms She’s Working Less To Focus On Fiancé Justin Bieber

Hailey Baldwin has made it crystal clear where her priorities lie rn, as she’s confirmed she’s being super “choosy” with fashion week in order to spend time with Justin Bieber and her family. The model got chatting at the Carolina Herrera fashion show during New York Fashion Week, and she responded to a bit of advice her uncle Alec Baldwin gave her.

Alec advised the pair to spend as much time together as poss: “People who get married young — and they are very young — I want them to just spend time with each other,” he said. And it looks like Hailey is 100% in agreement, as she’ll be super selective about her modeling jobs going forward in order to make time.

“It’s smart, and it’s important. You have to always put family above work, no matter what,” Hailey said. She added: “I’ve tried to be really choosy with fashion week going forward, just because I want to have the time to spend being relaxed and being with family and my fiancé.” Getty Makes total sense if you ask us, family always comes first. Plus it’s not like Hailey is saying adios to the modeling world altogether, as she’s been a firm presence throughout New York fashion week (even dragging Justin along a few times). Sounds like Hailey’s got her head screwed firmly on.


Coronation Street star Maureen Lipman ‘depressed’ over battleaxe character’s costume

Coronation Street star Maureen Lipman ‘depressed’ over battleaxe character’s costume

NEW Coronation Street star Maureen Lipman has revealed her dowdy getup as Evelyn Plummer has her feeling “depressed”. The national treasure has joined the show as Tyrone Dobbs’ grandmother and while fans are thrilled at her performance, playing the dowdy battleaxe has had a different effect on the actress – especially when she looks in the mirror. Maureen has revealed Evelyn’s wardrobe has left her depressed. According to the Daily Star Maureen told them how she “gets depressed at the sight of Evelyn” adding: “There isn’t much comedy in the actual storyline by the very nature of what it is. But the lines are dry and in a way you have to put your own personality into it, and the writers start to respond to the way it is going so I can only wait and see.” It comes as fans have hailed her as the new Blanche Hunt after her cobbles debut. The new grandmother of Tyrone Dobbs – who is played by Maureen Lipman in the ITV soap – has made an immediate impact as Tyrone and Fiz tracked her down and revealed he is her grandson. Evelyn has made an immediate impact in Corrie. After a hilarious first scenes, fans likened her to the legendary mother of Deirdre Barlow who ruled Weatherfield with her iron tongue right up until her death in 2009. One wrote: “Evelyn is already so classic! Reminds me of Blanche #Corrie” A second added: “We needed a newer Blanche and Evelyn could very well fit that bill with her bitter vitriol. #Corrie”

Another tweeted: “On the positive side, Maureen Lipman is rather good as Evelyn/Blanche 2.0 #Corrie”

ITV Tyrone had a candid chat with gran Evelyn about his mum. She made her presence felt after telling the mechanic she doesn’t have any pictures of his biological mum because she lost them all in a fire. But she will soon move into Tyrone’s house despite her immediate rejection. She also annoys all the locals at the Rovers Return when she takes part in the pub quiz and shouts out the wrong answer, causing her team to lose. Fiz, played by Jennie McAlpine, suggests that it might be time for Evelyn to find somewhere else to live but Tyrone fiercely disagrees. Coronation Street’s Tyrone Dobbs gets a shock from his dad ITV She claimed all pictures of his mum were lost in a fireLater Evelyn, played by screen legend Maureen Lipman, is extremely interested to learn that Tyrone was once engaged to Maria Connor. She then upsets him by telling him that she lost all the photos she had of his mum in a house fire. Tyrone, Alan Halsall, was left stunned recently when it was revealed the woman he believed to be his mum, Jackie Dobbs, wasn’t he biological mum after all. Darren, the man he thought was his dad, dropped the bombshell on him last week that Jackie hadn’t given birth to Ty.


Paul McCartney responds to Quincy Jones calling him ‘the worst bass player I ever heard’

Paul McCartney responds to Quincy Jones calling him ‘the worst bass player I ever heard’

“He’s a crazy motherfucker” Paul McCartney has revealed how Quincy Jones rang him to apologise, after he described the Beatles icon as “the worst bass player I ever heard.”

The controversial comments by the legendary producer came in the same career-spanning interview that saw Jones describe the Beatles as “no-playing motherfuckers” who were “the worst musicians in the world”. Speaking to GQ, McCartney revealed how Jones rang him to apologise – and claimed that he had never made the comments in the first place. “He rang me, and I’m at home on my own,” said McCartney. “And I’d finished work, so I had a drink, and now I’m grooving at home, I’m cooking, I’ve got a little bit of wine going, I’m in a good mood, and I don’t give a shit. So I get a phone call: ‘Is this Mr. McCartney?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Quincy would like to speak with you.’” “Because he’s always worked through security guys. I said, ‘Hey, Quince!’ ‘Paul, how you doing, man?’ ‘I’m doing great—how are you, you motherfucker!’ I’m just living with him. ‘Paul, I didn’t really say that thing—I don’t know what happened, man. I never said that. You know I love you guys!’” Paul McCartney Sir Paul continued: “I said, ‘If you had said that, you know what I would have said? Fuck you, Quincy Jones!’” “And he laughed. I said, ‘You know I would say to that: Fuck you, Quincy Jones, you fucking crazy motherfucker!’ So actually we just had a laugh. And he was like, ‘Oh, Paul, you know I love you so much.’ ‘Yeah, I know you do, Quince’”.

Although Jones denied making the comments to Vulture, he later issued an apology after receiving a dressing down from his six daughters. “I love Quincy, even after this. He’s a crazy motherfucker”, McCartney added. “But I respect him, he’s done a lot of very good things.” He added: “He’s an old guy. I don’t know what it was. But I don’t think I’m the worst bass player he’s ever heard. Or maybe he’s never heard bad bass players.” Yesterday, McCartney revealed how John Lennon once unsuccessfully attempted to convince him to drill a hole in his skull.

McCartney also discussed group masturbation sessions that he and Lennon took part in and whether the rest of the Beatles had watched George Harrison lose his virginity. His new album ‘Egypt Station‘ is out now.


BBC coverage of Cliff Richard raid was over the top, says Tony Hall

The director general of the BBC has told MPs the broadcaster’s coverage of a police raid on the home of Sir Cliff Richard was over the top and had so far cost it more than £1.5m in costs and damages. Tony Hall told the digital, culture, media and sport committee, the total cost of Richard’s high court privacy victory over the BBC was not yet known, but most of it would be covered by an insurance policy. Lord Hall also said free licence fees for over-75s would be reviewed. “The concession, as it’s currently formulated, comes to an end in June 2020 … we, the board, have got to decide what to replace it with,” he told MPs. It could continue or be reformed, he continued.

The BBC was mindful that those over 65 or 75 “consume many, many more BBC services than others”, he said, adding: “There is real hardship among some, or many, of those over 75 too.” MPs heardthe BBC has so far paid £143,500 in damages and £850,000 in costs to Richard. It has also paid £515,000 in costs to South Yorkshire police. But followup hearings to deal with the singer’s specific claims in relation to the financial loss were ongoing, Hall said. Hall said his own view of the BBC coverage, which used a helicopter to fly over the Richard’s Berkshire home to film a police raid on the property in 2014, was that “we overdid it”. “I think the helicopter was overdoing it … it was something to report but down the bulletin,” he said. Officers from the South Yorkshire force were investigating a historical sexual assault allegation made against the singer. Richard, who has always denied any wrongdoing,  was not arrested and not charged with any offence. He later sued the BBC and won. The BBC decided not to appeal against the ruling. Hall said the judge took the view privacy was more important than the public interest. “I felt the case itself was not one I was happy to go to appeal on because of the way I thought we overdid it, to be blunt with you, ”Hall said.

The legal advice was it was very unlikely the BBC would win an appeal, he continued, adding it would cost more money and prolong Richard’s ordeal. But Hall said parliament needed to clarify this issue over reporting, “which I don’t think is for judges to decide”. “The policy issue is at what point does the balance between the freedom to know and information outweigh the individual’s right to privacy. And that is very complex,” he told the committee. He said he was out of the country at the time of the raid and not involved in decision making on the story. Hall said he had approached Richard to suggest they sat down and tried to “sort this out without going to court. Sadly, but I guess understandably, the legal view came back which was: ‘We don’t want to talk. We are prepared to settle if you say you’ve acted illegally.’ But I don’t think we acted illegally.” Hall also told MPs the BBC had lost some of its big names partly because their pay had been published. Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans has announced he is to join Virgin Radio, while former Radio 4 PM host Eddie Mair has joined LBC. MPs heard the BBC was dealing with just over 200 cases involving equal pay through an informal process and that 68 formal grievances were outstanding.

“We are seeking to answer these historic issues as quickly as possible in a proactive, open way,” Anne Bulford, the deputy director general, told the committee. Before giving evidence to the committee, Hall said the BBC was planning to streamline its online presence after internal research found just a handful of its numerous platforms accounted for 90% of its audience. In future it will focus on its main core services: iPlayer, news, weather, sport, children’s programming, the study resource Bitesize, and the audio and music app Sounds, which is to replace iPlayer Radio. “In the global marketplace against well-resourced competition, we have to concentrate on a smaller number of stand out services that deliver our very best content online,” Hall said in a speech to BBC employees in Salford. The BBC Earth and BBC Arts sections of the website will be removed and there will be fewer features as well as less focus on celebrity gossip. The cull of services comes as the BBC attempts to overcome the challenge posed by services such as YouTube and Netflix.


Chloe Ayling and married Jermaine Pennant sneak into hotel together at 4.50am after CBB wrap party – despite her …

Chloe Ayling and married Jermaine Pennant sneak into hotel together at 4.50am after CBB wrap party – despite her …

BROTHERLY LOVE? The pair were seen in a taxi together heading to a hotel after the boozy CBB wrap bash MARRIED Jermaine Pennant headed into a hotel with Chloe Ayling at 4:50am after the Celebrity Big Brother wrap party. The Sun Online’s exclusive snaps show the pair in a taxi before walking into a hotel in North London together. Splash News Chloe Ayling and Jermaine Pennant were spotted in a cab after the CBB wrap party Celebrity Big Brother star Jermaine Pennant looks beyond awkward as ex-housemate Chloe Ayling tells Rylan their flirting ‘wasn’t just banter’ on CBBBOTS Splash News They were then pictured heading into a hotel together.

They left the CBB wrap party by taxi in the early hours of this morning Splash News Chloe looked like she was laughing with the former footballer.

The former footballer, 35, who is married to model Alice Goodwin, was seen laughing with Chloe, 21, in the back of the cab as they pulled up outside the hotel after the boozy wrap party. The model hid her face under a baseball cap as she smiled playfully at Jermaine. Our pictures then show them getting out of the car and walking into the hotel together. They looked at ease in each other’s company just hours after Chloe declared she never wanted to see him again. Splash News Jermaine got out of the cab first after leaving the party with Chloe Splash News Chloe walked into the hotel with Jermaine Splash News It looks like Chloe may have forgiven Jermaine for dismissing their relationship as banter Jermaine Pennant apologises to fiancee for flirting with Chloe Ayling.

Jermaine is married to glamour girl Alice Goodwin Instagram He won Alice back after being seen flirting with Chloe in CBB. They were seated apart during the final itself and they looked like they barely spoke at all during the show. There was then a very awkward reunion on Bit On The Side, as Chloe slammed Jermaine for dismissing their flirty relationship as “just banter”.

When host Rylan Clark Neal asked if they will be seeing each other again after the show, Chloe said: “No.” The pair got very close during their time in the house, leaving Jermaine’s marriage to Alice Goodwin hanging in the balance. After his eviction, he apologised to his wife and confessed he over-stepped the mark with his flirting. PA Chloe and Jermaine barely spoke at the final as they sat on either side of Ben Jardine Jermaine Pennant admits his wife, Alice Goodwin, would ‘probably’ be upset after after leading Chloe Ayling on in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

Alice had forgiven Jermaine after lengthy crisis talks. Jermaine managed to win her back by cooking a romantic dinner, but after seeing these pictures it could take more than a home-cooked meal to convince Alice to forgive him once again.

Bodyguard: The show’s ‘bold’ twists are keeping viewers guessing

There are unanswered questions about Richard Madden’s character David Warning: This contains a lot of spoilers! Seven million people tuned in to the fourth episode of BBC One’s drama Bodyguard on Sunday – and the political thriller has left viewers guessing about what’s really going on in a way that hasn’t been the case with many recent shows. In Sunday’s episode, DS David Budd (played by Richard Madden) tried to deal with the aftermath of a bomb during a speech by Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). And one major plot twist, in particular, has generated conspiracy theories.

The show revolved around Madden’s and Hawes’ characters – but on Sunday, viewers were told Hawes’ home secretary was killed in the bomb. The show’s creator Jed Mercurio – who was also responsible for Line of Duty – told Radio Times viewers would never see her death coming. “I like to try to do things that move the story on,” he said. “With Bodyguard I wanted to have this event mid-series that would completely alter the dynamic.” Growing up, he struggled to believe in TV drama because he knew the central characters wouldn’t die, he said. “I remember watching TV as a kid and, whenever there was some sort of jeopardy involving the hero, I could reassure myself that they were what I’d call a ‘can’t-die’ character, so everything would be OK.” Hawes herself thanked fans for their reactions on Twitter. Breaking the TV rules It’s highly unusual for a drama to kill off one of the central characters halfway through. “It’s a real shock because the whole show, the whole advertising, the whole talk about this entire drama has been the dynamic between her and the bodyguard,” Buzzfeed TV editor Scott Bryan told BBC Radio 5 Live. “And then, in episode three – not a pivotal episode in a normal run of things – to kill off your main character is a bold, bold move.” Sarah Hughes from The Guardian said echoed those thoughts, writing: “The death of Home Secretary Julia Montague at the drama’s half-way point was a bold move, but I’d argue, despite the hole it now leaves, a brilliant one.” We know from Line of Duty that Mercurio is the master of the plot twist – Hawes was in series two and three before being bumped off in that too. It’s unusual for shows to unexpectedly kill off a major character – although it happens, like with Lisa Faulkner in the second episode of Spooks, or Sean Bean’s Ned Stark in the first season of Game of Thrones. But it’s even more bold when a show centres so closely around two people. Was Montague’s death fake news?

Mercurio said: “He’s the genuine article, a real leading man. And I think this role has put him very much in the spotlight for bigger things.” Talks with the BBC about a second series are unlikely to happen until the first season has finished. “You have to wait until the end because anything can happen,” Mercurio said. “Some shows do nosedive at the end, or some piece of content could become incredibly controversial and affect the way the show is seen. In the end, you have to accept that the broadcaster holds all the cards.”


Emmerdale spoilers: Robert Sugden delivered Rebecca White shock in creepy Lachlan twist

Emmerdale spoilers: Robert Sugden delivered Rebecca White shock in creepy Lachlan twist

Emmerdale fans have been gripped to the ongoing saga involving Lachlan White (played by Thomas Atkinson).  The troubled teen was mercifully sent to prison after his evil ways were discovered on the ITV soap.  However, he has been using his wily ways to con the police into giving him information he wants.  Particularly, Lachlan is using Rebecca White (Emily Head) as a bargaining tool.  In the coming weeks, it will be Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) who presses Lachlan for information on the killer’s aunt.  Lachlan immediately turns on the mind games and toys with Robert. The murderous teen reveals he had planned to kill Robert and Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele).

Furthermore, Lachlan reveals he didn’t kill Rebecca after threatening to when he kidnapped her.  Robert immediately tries to get information on where the mother of his child is.  But will Lachlan give up the vital information? Or will he keep toying with Robert? However, it seems Rebecca is alive and well, but there’s a big twist on the horizon.  It transpired last night she has been kept in a separate house in the middle of nowhere.  She appeared to look healthy and clean – miles away from her last appearance in Emmerdale when she was being mistreated by Lachlan.  However, there will be one final twist on the horizon after it seems a nurse who has been looking after her could turn out to be the end of her.  It seemed the nurse was completely on Lachlan’s side , as she defended him on multiple occasions.  While being force-fed drugs, Rebecca begged to be left alone, insisting she was not mad.  The sinister nurse reassured: “You’ve had a head injury, you get confused sometimes.” Rebecca hit back: “Look I told you, my nephew tried to kill me, he killed our whole family.”

The nurse soothed: “It was a tragic accident. Nobody’s fault. He loves you. He’s paying me a lot of money to help you rest and recover.  “ You don’t want to end up in an institution do you? Then you won’t be able to be with your son.” Will Rebecca ever be able to overcome Lachlan’s killer grip on her?