Plus, more nudes you can use …
What did Joan Rivers want for her 80th birthday? Her "Fashion Police" co-host sporting a fancy birthday suit. Giuliana Rancic doffed her duds at the end of her E! News segment on Thursday, all because Joan dared her to.
Meanwhile, in other naked news, a quartet of Miss USA winners is supporting a cruelty-free lifestyle by posing naked for PETA. Shanna Moakler (1995), Susie Castillo (2003), Shandi Finnessey (2004) and Alyssa Campanella (2011) touch each other and themselves in a "say no to fur" ad that urges everyone to "feel beautiful in your own skin, and let animals keep theirs."
As the thrust of their campaign, the ladies want pageants to stop offering fur coats as prizes.
"I've been an animal lover all my life," says Castillo, "and the more I learned of the torture that animals go through in the name of fashion, I just think it's so unnecessary. It's unbelievable actually."
And thus concludes today's naked news.
Say what? Quotes from previous weeks
The most effective way to get RiRi to cover up her breasts: Do it yourself
In another, she's outfitted in what's either a teeny strapless dress or a frumpy skirt. "Somebody has stapled a dress on to this Rihanna poster on Church St," tweeted the resident who snapped the pic. "Well done, you complete nutcase."
The clothes didn't last long. "I'm devastated to report that Rihanna's billboard on Church St has been disrobed," the snapper later tweeted. "Shocking loose morals in this country. Lord bless us all."
Even a tube top is apparently preferable to bare breasts:
Rihanna's boobs, which also earned the ire of an Irish farmer back in 2011, declined a request for comment.
Disney uses its powers for good ...
It seems Disney Theatrical Productions recently tested an array of sets and thespian performances from some 85 actual Muppets at Disney's New Amsterdam Theater in New York to see if some version of Kermit, Miss Piggy and friends would work as a musical for the stage.
Variety reports that Tony-nominated Alex Timbers directed the presentation as a means of testing out technical issues such as the manual operation of the puppets.
"It was a test of concept," producer Thomas Schumacher told the magazine. "I'm very intrigued."
Seen only by Disney staffers, the mini-show was just 15 minutes long and included renditions of tunes from what we'll call the Great American Muppet Songbook. (Think "The Rainbow Connection.")
The whole thing was reportedly Timbers' idea, and was staged around the Muppets' very busy schedule -- they apparently just completed filming "The Muppets … Again!" a sequel to Jason Segel's well-received 2011 movie.
Fingers crossed that the critics are kind; after all these years, Piggy certainly deserves her shot on the Great White Way.
(Statler and Waldorf goodness, courtesy of muppetsgifs.tumblr.com)
Animated classics land on a satiricist's chopping block
The FW's Christine Gritmon has done just that in a series of what she calls "9 Honest Disney Movies."
The tale of a young woman who falls in love with and ultimately saves her captor from a lifetime of monster-ness?
How 'bout that retelling of "The Princess and the Frog" in which the princess is African-American and the story is set in New Orleans? You know, the one with the mask-wearing Haitian voodoo doctor whose princess went on to appear on the cover of watermelon-flavored candy ...
Or "Aladdin," the story of a poor, vaguely American-looking thief in the Middle East whose opening musical number involved the lyrics, "where they cut off your ear/ If they don’t like your face ... It's barbaric, but hey, it's home." Disney capitulated to protests and tweaked a few of those lines before releasing the movie on DVD, but that doesn't really make TheFW's take on this one any less dead-on:
The artist also tackles women's issues burbling beneath the surface of some classics, such "Change For Your Man," story of a little mermaid who loved the ocean but became human for her boyfriend. Check 'em all out over at TheFW ...
Says he didn't mean to 'expose anything' ...
Are we alone in contemplating whether to hit the "unlike" button on George Takei's Facebook page now that we know he doesn't always write those meme-packed posts that we've loved and shared, from adorable animals doing adorable things to sincere messages about gay rights? Didn't think so. The revelation disappointed many of the "Star Trek" icon's devotees, a fact that has led the ghostwriter who spilled the beans to issue a mea culpa.
Writer Rick Polito unwittingly let the cat out of the bag last week in an email to Jim Romenesko, revealing he receives $10 for every joke he contributes to Mr. Sulu's insanely popular page (4.2 million likes and counting).
On Wednesday, Polito told the site that he'd written an apology to Takei and his husband, Brad: "I just said that I'd been looking for any mention of my book ['Dark Shift'] I could get and that I hadn't meant to expose anything. I don't update his page. I've had no direct contact with George. I've sent him some memes, as have other comedian types, and I was happy for the exposure."
The actor, 76, wasn't sure why the disclosure caused such a fuss, especially considering he freely admitted in his 2012 e-book "Oh Myyy (There Goes the Internet)" that he has social media assistance. He even has an affectionate nickname for the contributors: "George Fakei."
"What is this hoo-ha about my FB posts?" he said in an email to Wired after the story broke. "I have Brad, my husband, to help me and interns to assist. What is important is the reliability of my posts being there to greet my fans with a smile or a giggle every morning. That's how we keep on growing."
George says he always credits any meme-y pics on the page (they're labeled "from a fan"), and he insists any posts that go along with the funny photos are pure Takei.
"The commentaries are mine," he says. "They are authentically mine, I assure you."
We're going to give George the benefit of the doubt here, because try as we might, we just can't quit him or his animal gifs ...
Mainstream-ified Minaj couture scales back the crazy
Alas, it appears to be wig-free.
And while not even a freakishly neon wiglet can be found in her new behind-the-scenes teaser, we gotta admit that the studded bustiers, spanxy black and gold dresses and faux leopard-lady-ship-captain hats have us psyched to see what else is in store.
"Comfortable equals confident," a conservatively coiffed Minaj tells the camera. "I'm doing this for women in general to feel beautiful and sexy. Any woman can wear it and feel confident."
She notes that it was important potential shoppers not be intimidated by assumptions that her line would be full of "crazy stuff." Which might explain the relatively staid baby doll dresses HuffPo spotted on her Twitter feed:
Vaguely nautical? Not too tight? Barely there cleavage scoop? Sure but ...
Safe for work dresses aside, Minaj is breaking just enough rules with the new duds. In fact, we're not sure which we dig more: Spree candy-colored cosmos-print leggings ... or the fact that models with actual hips are wearing them.
Factory collapse, class action suit fall by the wayside in actor's speech
"I've wanted to come here for quite some time, actually, because the culture you have here is like no other," Tom Cruise told an audience of thousands at Wal-Mart's shareholder meeting on Friday. "I truly admire your company. [It's] a role model for how business can address some of the biggest issues facing our world."
It was just one of many praises heaped on Wal-Mart, the largest private employer on the planet, during the celeb-heavy event, held in Fayetteville, Ark. Hugh Jackman also addressed the large crowd, and the festivities included performances by Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Jennifer Hudson.
The high entertainment value raised eyebrows across the web in the days that followed, as skeptical reports arrived from Women's Wear Daily (via Jezebel), the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Global News and others seethed alongside a slew of irate tweets. Most of the churn focused on the company's notoriously questionable pay practices and its refusal to sign a legally binding safety agreement for workers making its garments in factories like the one that recently collapsed in Bangladesh, killing more than 1,100 people, many of whom were reportedly working for about $37 a month.
On the … um ... bright side, the executive director of the Bangladeshi Center for Worker Solidarity, Kalpona Akter, also spoke at the meeting. A former child laborer herself, Akter urged shareholders -- and specifically, chairman Rob Walton, whose family is the wealthiest in the world -- to commit to fixing factory buildings and keeping them safe. "Forty-two companies have already signed an accord that represents a real commitment to worker safety. Wal-Mart is only one of a few retailers that refused to sign. Wal-Mart p.r. said [it has] an alternative agreement, but not a single meaningful detail has been provided," she said.
Cruise's other teleprompted, foot-in-mouth moment came when he saluted Wal-Mart for "using its size and scale to improve women's lives across the world."
Cruise may have been unaware that his favorite role model and female life-improving retailer recently faced the largest class action gender discrimination lawsuit in history. Plaintiffs in Dukes v. Wal-Mart claimed the company discriminated against women in pay, promotions and job assignments, according to the website MakingChangeatWalmart.
The class action suit got tossed out by the Supreme Court in 2011 "for technical reasons" but some 2,000 women hailing from 48 states have since filed suits pursuant to the same allegations.
Then again, the actor also gave a peripheral nod to the issue of women moving up the ranks, saying "Women make a difference to this company, not only as customers but as associates."
Another kinda sorta bright side: Wal-Mart spokesperson Dianna Gee assures MSNBC that the celebrities who attended this year's meeting and previous meetings are not paid for their appearances or performances.
No word on whether all the dough they're saving on Hollywood-izing the affair will be spent instead on making factories safer or paying their employees fair wages. But at the end of the day, shareholders issued dissenting votes against Wal-Mart brass, including chairman Rob Walton and CEO Mike Duke.
Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Miley Cyrus and Mariah Carey have all appeared at previous shareholders' meetings. Reps for Cruise, Jackman and Timberlake declined or dodged MSNBC when asked to comment.