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Aziz Ansari responds to sexual misconduct allegations

Comedian Aziz Ansari released a statement Sunday in response to allegations of sexual misconduct first reported on women's website Babe.net.

According to the article published Saturday, a 23-year-old photographer said Ansari pressured her into having oral sex and "repeatedly asked her for sexual intercourse after she had already declined" after the pair went on a date in September.

>> Eliza Dushku says she was molested by 'True Lies' stunt coordinator at age 12

She said she gave physical cues that she was not interested, but the comedian either did not notice or ignored them.

The woman added that she told Ansari during the encounter that she "didn't want to feel forced because then I'll hate you, and I'd rather not hate you."

She said Ansari texted her the next day to say it was fun meeting her.

"Last night might've been fun for you, but it wasn't for me," she said she wrote back. "You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances."

After explaining her discomfort, she said Ansari apologized, saying he had misread the situation.

>> Read the full story here (WARNING: Graphic content.) 

"In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual," the statement read, according to USA Today.

>> Read more trending news 

"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said."

The statement added: "I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."

Read more here.

Sam Rockwell's vulgar ad-lib on 'SNL' has Twitter buzzing

When Golden Globe-winning actor Sam Rockwell made his “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut Jan. 13, he was probably hoping to wow viewers with his impeccable comedic timing — but they ended up being stunned by his potty mouth instead.

>> Read more trending news

That’s right, the “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” star dropped the F-bomb during his very first sketch.

The cringeworthy incident occurred during a PBS parody skit called “Science Show” that also featured regular “SNL” cast members Cecily Strong and Mikey Day. Rockwell plays a Bill Nye-esque science teacher who attempts to teach two of his more intellectually challenged students about the wonders of science using experiments.

In fact, Strong and Day played dumb so well that Rockwell couldn’t help but go off-script and dropped the vulgar expression.

Needless to say, the great minds over at Twitter had a field day:

Here is the skit, with the offending word bleeped out:

Liam Neeson says sexual harassment scandals becoming 'a witch hunt'

According to Liam Neeson, the sexual harassment allegations plaguing Hollywood and other industries are turning into “a bit of a witch hunt.”

>> Click here to watch

In an interview on Ireland’s “The Late Late Show,” the 65-year-old addressed the growing slew of accusations in the industry stemming from the bombshell claims against Harvey Weinstein in October, reported The Hill.

>> On Rare.us: After being slammed for an unpopular opinion, Matt Damon still isn’t backing down

“There is a bit of a witch hunt happening too. There’s some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee or something, and suddenly, they’re being dropped from their program or something,” Neeson said.

Neeson was referring to the story of NPR’s radio host and writer Garrison Keillor, who was fired from Minnesota Public radio after being accused of inappropriate behavior with a co-worker, according to the New York Post.

According to the actor, the incident regarding Keillor differed from those involving Kevin Spacey, who was disgraced after news broke of him allegedly displaying inappropriate behavior toward a then 14-year-old Anthony Rapp in 1986, and Harvey Weinstein.

>> Read more trending news 

Neeson went on to describe that the allegations lobbied against Dustin Hoffman were “childhood stuff.”

“I think Dustin Hoffman … I’m not saying I’ve done similar things like what he did, apparently, he touched a girl’s breast and stuff, but it’s childhood stuff,” Neeson said.

The accusations against Hoffman include exposing himself and groping a teenage intern on one of his movie sets.

>> On Rare.us: Liam Neeson has announced his retirement from action movies and the world is weeping

The “Taken” star continued his statements by acknowledging that the #MeToo movement has been positive for all industries.

“There is a movement happening and it’s healthy, and it’s across every industry. The focus seems to be on Hollywood, but it’s across every industry,” he said.

Katie Couric shares thoughts on Matt Lauer's firing

Katie Couric shared her opinions about Matt Lauer's firing from the "Today" show in an exclusive People interview published Saturday.

Couric's opinion on the controversy was sought last month immediately after the bombshell sexual harassment and assault allegations against Lauer were made public, but at the time, Couric said that while the news was "incredibly upsetting," she wasn't ready to talk about it.

>> Read more trending news 

Couric, 61, and Lauer hosted the "Today" show together for 15 years. 

Couric told People that the allegations have been painful for her to learn, and that she had no idea such activity was going on during her "Today" tenure. Couric said that she and Lauer had a "brother-sister" relationship and that he treated her with respect. She also addressed a 2012 clip of her on Andy Cohen's late-night show when she said Lauer pinched her on the buttocks a lot. Couric told People the comment was a joke.

Couric called the allegations made against her former co-host "disturbing, distressing and disorienting” and said such behavior is “completely unacceptable.” 

Legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson dead at 89

Keith Jackson, whose Southern drawl and homespun, folksy phrases endeared him to college football fans for more than half a century, died Friday night, ESPN reported. He was 89.

>> Read more trending news

Jackson died surrounded by his family, according to NBC Sports' Todd Harris.

Born in Roopville, Georgia, on Oct. 18, 1928, Jackson was also the first play-by-play broadcaster for “Monday Night Football” when it debuted in 1970 and covered a wide range of sports. He was known for his signature phrase “Whoa, Nellie!” after a big play. Jackson said the origin of the phrase came from his great-grandfather. He also coined the phrase “Big Uglies,” and christened Michigan’s football stadium “The Big House,” ESPN reported.

Jackson called 15 Rose Bowl games and was credited with calling the New Year’s Day game “The granddaddy of them all,” The New York Daily News reported. The final game he broadcast from Pasadena was the 2006 game in which Texas rallied to defeat USC for the national title.

Jackson was named national sportscaster of the year five times, the Daily News reported.

Jackson spent four years in the Marines and later graduated with a journalism degree from Washington State University, where he broadcast the team’s games.

He joined ABC’s college football announcing team in 1966, but also called NBA games, auto racing and was a staple on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” He also announced World Series games, 10 Olympics and traveled to 31 countries, ESPN reported.

Jackson also had fun playing off his signature phrase, as this commercial for Miller Lite demonstrates:

Tributes to Jackson rolled in on Twitter:

'Game of Thrones'-themed ice hotel opens in Finland

In collaboration with HBO Nordic, a Finnish hotel chain has built the ultimate experience for fans of “Game of Thrones,” made entirely from ice and snow.

>> Read more trending news

Lapland Hotels’ SnowVillage, set about 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, opened last month with an ice restaurant, an ice bar, an ice chapel and a “Game of Thrones”-themed ice hotel. The hotel features a life-sized, ice Iron Throne guarded by an ice Gregor Clegane, a Braavosi Hall of Faces carved from snow and a dragon-shaped ice slide. Adventurous travelers can even sleep under the watchful, glowing eyes of a white walker made of snow.

>> Photos: See the real life filming locations of ‘Game of Thrones’

>> Related: ‘Game of Thrones’ costumes came from ... IKEA?

Wendy Williams angers Carrie Underwood fans with 'face-lift' comments

Talk show host Wendy Williams is in hot water with Carrie Underwood fans after making some comments about the country star on her show on Jan. 8.

>> Click here to watch

During the segment called “Hot Topics,” Williams recapped Underwood's recent fan club blog post in which she opened up about sustaining a facial injury during a fall at her home last November. The injury required 40 to 50 stitches, and Underwood told her fans she wasn’t sure if she would look the same as a result.

>> On RareCountry.com: Carrie Underwood offers fans a tease of a big new song

Williams got some of the facts wrong when she talked about Underwood's fall, including claiming that the country superstar said she would be unrecognizable after the fall. You can see it all for yourself in the YouTube video of the show.

>> Carrie Underwood tells fan club that she injured face in fall, needed 40-50 stitches

Williams said, “When I heard about Carrie Underwood, I was more shocked. Did you hear about her? We’re not really talking about it because I really don’t know a whole bunch about it other than she allegedly fell down a bunch of steps at her house, broke her wrist. She released on Twitter that we might not recognize her when it’s all said and done. I don’t know what that means. An excuse for a face-lift? No, ’cause we’re cynical. She was already cute, so I don’t know what she’s doing or what had happened.”

>> On RareCountry.com: Carrie Underwood just gave an update on her status after major surgery

As you can see from these comments on Twitter, Underwood fans aren’t pleased at all with Williams' insinuation that the 34-year-old faked a fall to get a face-lift.

One fan even accused Williams of using her October 2017 onscreen fainting spell as a ratings gimmick. Twitter user @MrDetailed writes, “This comes from a woman who had to collapse on her show to pull in some ratings. @WendyWilliams you are just a disgrace. @carrieunderwood is worth a million of you.”

>> Carrie Underwood photo taken after fall surfaces on social media

Another fan wondered if Williams' career would survive the backlash from Underwood's fans.

And the tweets just kept on coming …

Underwood was in good company among the women being dragged through the mud during Williams' monologue, though. The talk show host started off her “Hot Topics” segment taking shots at Oprah Winfrey, who electrified viewers with her Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech at the Golden Globes on Jan. 7.

>> Read more trending news 

Williams said Winfrey looked great, but then went on to say that she probably had an old-school corset on underneath her gown to slim her body down. Wendy also said Winfrey was not the best spokesperson for a weight-loss company, referring to Winfrey's involvement with Weight Watchers.

Roseanne Barr thinks she would be a better president than Oprah

Roseanne Barr apparently thinks that she would make a better president than Oprah Winfrey — or Susan Sarandon for that matter.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barr told reporters during a press tour that should Winfrey run for president in 2020, as many Americans are calling for after her emotional and riveting Golden Globes acceptance speech, she would possibly consider an opposition run.

>> Oprah 2020? Winfrey 'would absolutely' run for president, partner Stedman Graham says

“I do love Oprah. Of course, I love Oprah like everybody else. But you know what? I think it was time for us as a country to shake things up and, you know, try something different,” she said. “Actually, I think I’d be a better president than Oprah and Susan Sarandon, probably even President Trump. And I did run in 2012.”

The actress also told the room that politics will not be off-limits in the upcoming reboot of her classic sitcom “Roseanne.” According to Barr, the series will take on some of Trump’s presidency, as it is a show about a working class family.

>> On Rare.us: We finally know how both Beckys will be used in the highly-anticipated 'Roseanne' revival

“In ‘The Roseanne Show,’ I’ve always tried to have it be a true reflection of the society we live in. I feel like half the people voted for Trump, and half didn’t, so it’s just realistic,” she said. “And, in fact, it was working-class people who elected Trump, so I felt like that was very real and something that needed to be discussed and especially about polarization in the family and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American.”

The season premiere of the reboot reportedly will focus on a fight between Roseanne, a Trump supporter, and her sister Jackie, who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

>> Read more trending news 

The actress, an outspoken Trump supporter, reportedly fired back when one reporter accused the president of being xenophobic.

“Well, that’s your opinion,” she said, adding, “Well, he says a lot of crazy [expletive] … I’m not a Trump apologist. There are a lot of things he’s said and done that I don’t agree with, just like there are a lot of things Hillary Clinton has said and done that you don’t agree with. Nobody is brainwashed into agreeing with 100 percent of what anybody says.”

The reboot of “Roseanne” premieres at 8 p.m. ET March 27 on ABC.

Oprah 'intrigued' by idea of running for president, friend Gayle King says

Longtime pal Gayle King said Tuesday that Oprah Winfrey is “intrigued” by the idea of running for president, although she said it’s still unclear whether the media mogul is seriously considering a run.

>> Read more trending news

“I don’t think at this point she is actually considering it,” King said on “CBS This Morning.”

“She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way, but I don’t think she’s actively considering it.”

Two of Winfrey’s friends, who were not identified, told CNN on Monday that she was “actively thinking” about running for president. Her long-time partner Stedman Graham told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that Winfrey “would absolutely do it."

"It's up to the people," he added.

King said Tuesday that she thought Graham misunderstood the Times reporter’s question.

“He thought the reporter said to him, ‘Would she make a good president?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely she would,’” King said. “That's how he interpreted the question, because this is the thing. Stedman would never so cavalierly say absolutely she would do it. It's up to the people. He would never do that.”

Winfrey fueled speculation that she could look to mount a campaign in a rousing, nearly 10-minute speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Still, she denied having any presidential ambitions while speaking with a Bloomberg News reporter backstage at the awards show.

She was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her contributions to the entertainment industry and used her time onstage to address the “#MeToo” movement. The movement has encouraged more women to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

"I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," Winfrey said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me too' again.”

King, who was at the Golden Globes when Winfrey gave her speech, described being in the room as “electrifying.”

“It was the right person giving the right speech at the right time,” she said. “She wanted that moment to be more than women wearing black dresses of solidarity. She really did want to speak to young girls around the country. She really did want to say, ‘Enough already,’ and I think she delivered on all that in a very eloquent way. Will she run for president? I think it's a very, very intriguing idea myself."

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