In an extraordinary confession via a series of tweets, comedian/actor Steve Rannazzisi admitted Wednesday he lied about being in one of the World Trade Center twin towers during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York.
Tweeting in response to a New York Times story uncovering his longstanding false narrative, Rannazzisi, 37, said he was an “immature” young man who made a mistake, said he didn’t understand why he said what he said 14 years ago, that he was “truly, truly sorry,” and that he begged for forgiveness.
As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough.
— Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
He said he started telling people he was in the World Trade Center during 9/11 soon after in 2001. But he was actually somewhere else, he acknowledged. He had no explanation for why he claimed this, he said.
I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry. For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
He apologized to the actual victims of the terrorist attacks and asked for forgiveness.
it is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them–and the people that love me–that I ask for forgiveness.
— Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
It was not immediately clear what the consequences would be, if any, to Rannazzisi’s career. He has starred for seven seasons on The League (about a fantasy football league) on FXX, and has a one-hour special scheduled for Saturday on Comedy Central, where he’s starred in other specials. He’s also the face of the ad campaign for Buffalo Wild Wings, one of the special’s sponsors.
The Times quoted a statement issued by Buffalo Wild Wings Tuesday night, in which the company said it was “disappointed” about the revelation and is “re-evaluating our relationship” with Rannazzisi. Comedy Central expressed similar sentiments Wednesday. Rannazzisi’s special, Breaking Dad, will debut Saturday night. “We just learned about this last night,” said Comedy Central spokesman Steve Albani. “We are very disappointed to hear about Steve’s misrepresentations and are currently determining how we will move forward.” FXX was disappointed, too, but ultimately forgiving.
The League is in its final season. “We are disappointed to learn that Steve Rannazzisi lied about being in the World Trade Center on 9/11, said John Solberg, the network spokesman, said in a statement. “It is upsetting that he would fabricate a story about having survived that horrible tragedy. It is also unfortunate that he did not admit to the truth sooner. That said we believe Steve is sincere in his apology and will do everything he can to make amends moving forward.” Rannazzisi is not doing interviews and his publicist, Matthew Labov, did not return a call for comment.
According to the Times, Rannazzisi has been telling his 9/11 story in interviews as a way of explaining how he switched from New York stockbroker to an entertainment career in Los Angeles. His story was that he was at his desk at Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the south tower when the first plane struck the north tower. He fled to the street minutes before the second terrorist-controlled plane slammed into his building, he said, and decided then that life was too precious to waste opportunities. So he left New York to pursue a career in showbiz.
But it wasn’t true. “Actually, he had been working in Midtown that day, and not for Merrill Lynch, which has no record of his employment and had no offices in either tower,” the Times reported. When confronted, Rannazzisi waited a day, then confessed. He tweeted that he had long wished the story would go away and that he felt shame before his own children. “The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated,” he tweeted.
silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man.It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
when I hadn’t come clean about this?
— Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
Not everyone was shocked by the revelations.
Even Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson, whose firefighter father died in the World Trade Center, relented after initially tweeting sarcastically to Rannazzisi. He said he loves The League and thinks Rannazzisi is a funny comic.
Take it easy on @SteveRannazzisi … He reached out to me and is truly sorry. We all sometimes lie and exaggerate a story to seem cooler …
— Pete Davidson (@petedavidson) September 16, 2015
..Unfortunately this is a very touchy topic n very near n dear 2 peoples hearts.Its years later but he apologized n owned up 2 it like a man — Pete Davidson (@petedavidson) September 16, 2015
Emmy Nominations 2019: See The Full List
The 2019 Emmys have arrived. The 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Fox this Sunday, September 22, at 8 pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific, and honor some of the biggest television achievements of the past year.
As usual, the major awards will be split into separate categories for comedy and drama. On the drama side, the 2019 nominations are both dominated by Game of Thrones — which is expected to set a new record for most Emmy wins by a single season — and unusually wide open. Many shows that would otherwise be contenders — including The Crown, Stranger Things, and The Handmaid’s Tale — did not air during the eligibility window (June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019), either because they wanted to avoid competing against Game of Thrones or because they simply couldn’t produce a new season in time.
The thought held by many was that Game of Thrones would turn in an unbeatable swan song and the race would open up again in 2020. In hindsight, that final season was widely criticized and not nearly as unrivaled in its Emmy worthiness as many expected it to be. Nevertheless, Game of Thrones is still the frontrunner in multiple drama categories.
Game of Thrones is also the only show to be nominated in all seven drama categories. In addition to nods for Outstanding Drama Series, Directing for a Drama Series, and Writing for a Drama Series, stars Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke are nominated for Lead Actor in a Drama and Lead Actress in a Drama, respectively.
And the show has pretty much overwhelmed the final two drama categories, with Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams all nominated for Supporting Actress in a Drama, and Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage all nominated for Supporting Actor in a Drama. In total, between the Primetime Emmys and the Creative Arts Emmys, Game of Thrones’ final season earned 32 nominations, the most received in a single year by any show in the history of the awards.
Having already won 10 awards at the Creative Arts Emmys — which were held last weekend and mainly honor the technical elements of TV production like cinematography, editing, and visual effects — Game of Thrones needs just two more to tie its own record for most Emmys won by a single season of any show. It needs only three to break that record.
The few contenders looking to upset Game of Thrones include This Is Us, Better Call Saul (returning to the race after being nominated in 2017 and sitting out last year), Killing Eve, Pose, Succession, Ozark, and Bodyguard.
Perhaps the biggest player on the comedy side is the final season of HBO’s Veep. After star Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, Veep, the reigning comedy champ, sat out the Emmys in 2018. And in its absence, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took home the major awards.
With Veep back in contention this year — and for its final season, no less — the series easily snagged a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. Its fellow contenders in the category include last year’s winner, Mrs. Maisel; returning nominee Barry; and newcomers to the race Russian Doll, The Good Place, Fleabag, and Schitt’s Creek.
Louis-Dreyfus is also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, an honor she has as already won six times for her role as Selina Meyer (on top of a Lead Actress in a Comedy win for The New Adventures of Old Christine and a Supporting Actress in a Comedy win for Seinfeld). She’ll go head to head with Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne, Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan (who won last year), and Schitt’s Creek’s Catherine O’Hara, among others.
Here’s the list of 2019 Emmy nominees in all the major categories:
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Good Place
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Game of Thrones
This Is Us
Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Mahershala Ali, True Detective
Benicio Del Toro, Escape at Dannemora
Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
Aunjanue Ellis, When They See us
Joey King, The Act
Niecy Nash, When They See Us
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal
Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl
Paul Dano, Escape at Dannemora
John Leguizamo, When They See Us
Michael K. Williams, When They See Us
Asante Blackk, When They See Us
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Emily Watson, Chernobyl
Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon
Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Patricia Arquette, The Act
Marsha Stephanie Blake, When They See Us
Vera Farmiga, When They See Us
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, Dead To Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Stephen Root, Barry
Henry Winkler, Barry
Anthony Carrigan, Barry
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Tony Hale, Veep
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Sarah Goldberg, Barry
Sian Clifford, Fleabag
Olivia Colman, Fleabag
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Billy Porter, Pose
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Laura Linney, Ozark
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Chris Sullivan, This Is Us
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Julia Garner, Ozark
Outstanding Reality Competition Series
American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
At Home With Amy Sedaris
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman
Saturday Night Live
Who Is America?
Outstanding Television Movie
My Dinner with Hervé
Outstanding Limited Series
Escape at Dannemora
When They See Us
Blade Runner Star Rutger Hauer Has Died Aged 75
Hollywood star Rutger Hauer has died aged 75.
The actor was best known for playing Roy Batty in the 1982 movie Blade Runner and also Sin City, Batman Begins and TV show True Blood.
His agent Steve Kenis confirmed Hauer died on Friday following a short illness. His funeral was held on Wednesday.
Tributes have begun pouring in for the star, with Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro tweeting to say: “RIP the great Rutger Hauer: an intense, deep, genuine and magnetic actor that brought truth, power and beauty to his films.”
KISS musician Gene Simmons wrote: “Sad to hear Rutger Hauer has passed away. He was always a gentleman, kind and compassionate. Sending our condolences and prayers to his family, friends and fans.”
Hauer was born in Breukelen in the Netherlands and did stints in both the merchant navy and army before he became an actor.
He got his big break in 1969, when he became the lead in TV series Floris.
Away from acting, Hauer launched The Rutger Hauer Starfish Foundation, which aimed to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, especially within children and pregnant women.
Issuing a statement following his death, the foundation said: “The Rutger Hauer Starfish Association announces with infinite sadness that after a very short illness, on Friday, July 19, 2019, Rutger passed away peacefully at his Dutch home.
“He leaves his beloved wife Ineke, after they have been together for fifty years.
“We at Starfish will always cherish the many unforgettable memories we have of Rutger and his dedication to the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association.
“One of Rutger’s last wishes was that Starfish should continue its charity activity and its fight against the AIDS disease, and with Ineke’s precious help, involvement and direction we will follow Rutger’s wish and will do our best to carry on Rutger’s inestimable legacy.”
Freeform defends Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”!
Just in case you haven’t heard, Halle Bailey is the new Ariel, in an upcoming “The Little Mermaid” movie! She has been receiving messages from fans and other celebrities, congratulating her for landing the role!
Amongst those who congratulated her is Halle Berry, in a tweet she posted, “In case you needed a reminder… Halles get it DONE. Congratulations @chloexhalle on this amazing opportunity, we can’t wait to see what you!” She also added that she was “thrilled” for the 19 year old. However, not everyone was happy about Disney’s decision to cast a black woman for this role.
Some critics went as far as petitioning Disney to recast for this role, and titled their petition #NotMyAriel! They suggested that Halle should be replaced by a white woman with red hair, who would resemble the Ariel that they know from the 1989 animated version of The Little Mermaid. Now Freeform, Disney’s cable network, has decided to issue an open letter in response to this.
The letter read, “Yes. The original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. Ariel…is a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy). But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish”.
Freeform also added that, “Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black. Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and this mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair”! Freeform then went on to remind the critics that Ariel and the story, is only fictional!
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