(CNN)The holidays were rough for Amanda Kloots.
(CNN)The holidays were rough for Amanda Kloots.
More than 200 people have complained to the UK’s media watchdog Ofcom about Channel 4’s alternative Christmas message, which featured a deepfake of the Queen.
The broadcaster said its intention had been to give a “stark warning” about fake news in the digital age.
But commentators said the jokes made in the show were “disrespectful” and in “poor taste”.
The watchdog is now deciding whether to take action.
In the video, the deepfake referred to rumours of rifts in the Royal Family, toilet roll shortages and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s number of children.
The computer-generated version of the monarch also gyrated to music while dancing on top of a desk to show off “moves for TikTok”.
While the message did not carry a warning that it had been faked, its ending revealed the conceit: an actress was shown seated in front of a greenscreen, having her face mapped to create the digital replica.
Deepfakes use technology to create what can be convincing digital copies of real people, which can be used to spread misinformation.
But in this case, Channel 4 said it should have been obvious this was not the real Queen.
“It is very clear in the four-minute film that it is a parody of the Christmas Day address and viewers were left in no doubt that it was not real,” a Channel 4 spokeswoman said.
“However, while the film is light-hearted, affectionate and comedic in tone, it carries a very important and timely message about trust and the ease with which convincing misinformation can be created and spread.”
The video forms part of a series of programmes examining the spread of misinformation, she added.
Some viewers expressed their distaste on social media, with some labelling the video as being “disgusting”.
Making “cheap jokes” about the Royal Family was in “poor taste”, Penny Junor, a royal biographer and commentator, told the BBC.
“The Queen has had a tough year and making those things into a national joke is tasteless.
“She has been extraordinary during the pandemic and shown real leadership and courage, stepping up at a time when many had lost trust and faith in politics.”
Ofcom confirmed it had received 214 complaints about the episode and was now consulting the Broadcasting Code to decide whether a formal investigation is required.
But this represents a relatively low number of complaints compared to:
A review in the Telegraph noted that Channel 4 had a remit to take creative risks, but criticised the script for its “toothless satire” rather than for being offensive.
Heather Morris is apologizing after making “insensitive” remarks about Glee co-star Mark Salling.
On Monday, Dec. 21, the actress issued a statement of remorse over her comments about Mark. She wrote, “To all those who felt triggered by my message, I want to sincerely apologize for the harm I caused. Whether you, a friend, a family member has been a victim of pedophilia, I realize my words may have been insensitive to your experience and for that I can’t express enough how sorry I am.”
The 33-year-old previously responded to negative comments about the late actor on Friday, Dec. 18. She told critics that despite the charges of possession of child pornography, which Mark plead guilty to prior to his suicide, he remains a member of the Glee “family.”
She added, “We did not loose (sic) just 2 cast members, we lost 3. And it is SO incredible tough to have to act like that 3rd one is invisible, because even though his actions are unjustifiable, he was a part of our family at one point and he was mentally SICK.” She went on to sarcastically thank people for treating her “with such disrespect and unkindness during a time that I can’t get through a day without balling my eyes out at the loss of my entire Glee family.”
At the time of his passing, Mark was the second Glee actor to die under tragic circumstances.
In December 2015, the actor was arrested for possession of child pornography, but he committed suicide before his sentencing in March 2018. At the time, his attorney Michael J. Proctor said in a statement, “Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
His 2018 suicide was preceded by the accidental overdose of co-star Cory Monteith in July 2013. And in July 2020, Naya Rivera drowned while swimming with her son, Josey, who survived the incident.
This baby’s already a smash.
Katharine McPhee just revealed her very first baby bump picture, and fans quickly noticed that it might offer a few sneaky clues as to the sex of her first child.
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, the American Idol alum shared two mirror selfies wearing a thick blue coat as the mom-to-be cradled her bump and popped her leg. The only caption was two blue hearts and a butterfly. But given the color of the trench and the emojis, she seemed to hint she’s expecting a baby boy.
For what it’s worth, the Waitress actress posted an Instagram picture just one day ago of her in pink, alongside several pink bow emojis, perhaps to throw fans off.
Her husband David Foster commented on her baby bump debut, writing, “My most AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL GLOWING wife.” The Young and the Restless actress Kelly Kruger Brooks wrote, “I KNEW IT!! I just had a feeling,” adding, “baby congrats!!!”
News broke in October that the 36-year-old Smash star is pregnant with her first baby with the 71-year-old music producer. David has five adult daughters, including entertainers Sara and Erin Foster.
No stranger to Instagram clues, Katharine subtly confirmed she joined “Club Knocked Up” on Oct. 10, when she shared a pic of an alcoholic gift from Aperol Spritz. “I won’t be drinking this for a while,” she said in an Instagram video. “Wink, wink. But I’m so excited.”
A source told E! News in October, “Katharine has always wanted to be a mom and to have a baby with David.” The insider continued, “They weren’t necessarily trying for a baby but were open to it happening this year. Since work has slowed down for both of them, they knew this year would be a great time for it to happen.”
If the baby is a boy, he would sure shake things up as David’s only son. Not to mention, he’d be the perfect playmate for 1-year-old Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the royal son of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
In fact, David and Kat went out for dinner with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex the night before their pregnancy news leaked. They double dated at Lucky’s restaurant in Montecito, Calif., where Meghan and Harry now have a place to call home. A source told E! News, “Harry was very attentive and had his hand on Meghan’s back as he guided her inside.”We can only speculate that it was a celebration of Kat’s baby on the way. It seems likely their children will be close, considering Meghan and Katharine grew up together and co-starred in musicals as kids.
n 2019, the singer exchanged her vows with David at St. Yeghiche in London. It was his fifth wedding and her second following her split from actor Nick Cokas in 2016.
Take a look back at Katharine’s love story with David.
Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis says she hopes the festival can go ahead in 2021, despite the “huge uncertainty” surrounding live music in the pandemic.
“We’re doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare,” she told the BBC, “but I think we’re still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident 2021 will go ahead.”
Eavis said Glastonbury lost “millions” in 2020. Her father, Michael, has previously warned the festival “would seriously go bankrupt” if they had to cancel again next year.
The live music industry has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19, with more than 90% of the gigs planned for 2020 cancelled.
Despite the arrival of a vaccine and rapid-turnaround tests, there are still uncertainties about when concerts can resume.
Organisers are also facing difficulties in obtaining cancellation insurance, putting huge sums of money at stake if an event is called off.
Eavis and other festival organisers are calling on the government to launch an insurance scheme to fill the void left by commercial underwriters.
In an exclusive BBC interview, Eavis added that some sets could be live-streamed from Worthy Farm “if we can’t run the full show next year”; and that this year’s headliners – Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar – would all be welcomed back in the future.
You can read the full interview below.
2020 was due to be Glastonbury’s 50th birthday party. How hard was the decision to cancel?
Oh, it was really hard. We obviously had so many plans for the 50th birthday, and it was set to be a full blown celebration. To be honest, we stayed optimistic about being able to run right until the 11th hour. I remember we had a meeting in February where we talked about there being a 10% chance of us being forced to cancel because of Covid. But that chance kept creeping up day by day, and by the middle of March, it had become clear there was simply no way we could plan, build and run the show. So we had to pull it. And within a week of us cancelling, the Covid crisis had moved up several levels and the whole summer’s events had basically shut down.
Thousands of fans really want to be back at Worthy Farm next June. At this point, what would you say the odds are?
I can’t tell you how much we’d love to welcome everyone back to the farm! It’s been way too quiet here this year and we want to get people back here as soon as we possibly can. Obviously the vaccine news in recent weeks has increased our chances, but I think we’re still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident 2021 will go ahead.
We’re doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare, but there are still just so many unknowns and factors which are completely out of our control. What we definitely can’t afford to risk is getting too far into the process of next year, only for it to be snatched away from us again. We lost millions this year, and we can’t risk that happening again.
What changes would have to be made to ensure the festival can go ahead?
That’s sort of the issue, really: It’s just too early to say. We’re talking about a situation where the goalposts move weekly and sometimes daily. Clearly the vaccine is being rolled out, and that’s great news, but there isn’t yet any kind of clarity or consensus on what things will look like in May – when we’d usually have thousands of staff on site – or June, when we’d obviously have the festival.
We’re doing everything we can to plan for next year. The hard part is understanding exactly what we’ll be planning for, and what impact that will have on what we’re able to do. But, right now, I’m not sure there’s anything we could do that would completely ensure we can welcome 200,000 people to spend six days in some fields in June 2021.
The DCMS has launched an inquiry into the future of the festival industry. What support would you like to see being offered?
I think everyone – including government – wants there to be festivals next summer. But because of the huge uncertainty I just spoke about, and the fact that events take months to plan, there’s a huge risk for organisers that they’ll spend an awful lot of money and then see their events being cancelled for reasons completely outside of their control. And when those events go down, a huge number of jobs and livelihoods will disappear again too.
So, for that reason, I would certainly love for the UK government to offer some kind of support for events in the case that they are forced to cancel. Germany announced a €2.5bn (£2.3bn) event cancellation fund last week, and the whole UK festival industry would certainly welcome something similar from our government.
This summer, we should have seen Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift headlining the Pyramid Stage – what are the chances that they’ll come back for 2021?
Well, I certainly hope they’ll be coming at some point! Again, it’s much too soon for us to be able to confirm line-up for 2021, but we were so pleased with our line-up for 2020 and I really hope all three of those headliners will be here at the farm before too long.
Now that Taylor has started recording indie albums in a woodland cabin, will she have to be re-booked for the acoustic stage?
Good question! She’d be great there, wouldn’t she? Her album has been a soundtrack to us on Worthy Farm this year, and rather than imagining what could have been, I’ve definitely been listening to it imagining what eventually will be! That moment is definitely coming.
And when she does finally come and deliver a Pyramid headline set, she’s welcome to play as many sets in other venues as she fancies! I certainly get the impression she’ll be staying for the whole weekend and getting stuck in.
What was the music that got you through the lockdown?
Oh, so many things. It feels like we’ve had music on constantly. Taylor, Laura Marling, Nick Cave, Phoebe Bridges, Michael Kiwanuka, Dua Lipa, Sault and Bob Dylan have all been on heavy rotation.
Livestreams and virtual gigs really took off this year. Did you tune in? And were there any that particularly impressed you?
They’ve been great, haven’t they? We’ve watched quite a few. I absolutely loved Dua Lipa’s one. It was designed by the team behind Block9, one of our late-night areas, and it really captured that proper club feel. It had us dancing around in the living room, by the fire. It really set the bar for live streams, I think, and I heard 5 million people tuned in, which is huge.
There’s a unique feeling that comes with sharing a music event online with millions of others, knowing everyone else is stuck at home too. It’s a new sensation, the 2020 version of gigs, and I think we’ve needed those connections.
We’re actually looking into the possibility of streaming some things from here if we can’t run the full show next year. We really want to get busy with planning some gigs – even if they’re to be streamed!
The BBC showed highlights from its Glastonbury archive over the summer… Did you wallow in the nostalgia like the rest of us?
Absolutely! It was certainly a bittersweet weekend for us, but the BBC created what I was just talking about, a shared weekend of musical reflection and connection. And I don’t normally get to watch Glastonbury on the telly! It was really lovely.
And there’s no doubt that watching crowds of people experiencing something together has a new level of emotion attached to it now. That’s why I think live music is going to return bigger and brighter – and also more moving and joyous – than ever. I can’t wait for the next time I’m at a big show.
Outside of music, what’s the main thing that’s helped you survive 2020?
I was thinking the other day, actually, it almost feels like we’ve been as busy this year as any year, trying to plan and manage the difficult situations we’ve found ourselves in. But at the same time, I am hugely aware that I’m really lucky to have experienced these crazy times in good health and with my family, surrounded by Somerset countryside. Those are things which have definitely made this whole thing much easier to survive than the experiences of so many other people. I really can’t complain at all.
Related: Selena Gomez Had Depression at Start of COVID-19 Pandemic
If you happened to cross paths with Selena Gomez Monday on the New York City streets, we bet you did a double take.
Of course, on a normal day, it would be hard not to notice the 28-year-old if you just happened to walk by her in the Big Apple. And even more so on Monday, Dec. 7 when the actress was photographed sporting a particularly colorful ensemble: plaid pants paired with a vibrant marigold sweater layered under a cropped orange fur bomber jacket. To complete the look, the performer accessorized with sunglasses, a pair of bright headphones, lace-up boots, an over-the-shoulder purse and a coordinating yellow hat.
Needless to say, she was a stylish ray of sunshine outside in Manhattan. If you’re wondering where exactly she was headed all dressed up, Gomez was actually on the set of the upcoming Hulu series, Only Murders in the Building, co-created by Steve Martin. PHOTOSSelena Gomez’s Most Candid Quotes
“Today is the first day of filming our new TV show, ‘Only Murders in the Building,’ in Manhattan,” Martin wrote on Instagram Dec. 5. “Starring the incredible Selena Gomez and the just okay Martin Short.”
According to Hulu, the 2021 original comedy series centers on three strangers who “share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a murder occurs in their NYC apartment building, they are forced to work together to figure out what happened.”
This is far from the first time famed Father of the Bride co-stars Martin and Short have been cast in a project together. Meanwhile, the show will also feature Aaron Dominguez, who recently appeared in the 2020 rom-com Words on Bathroom Walls.
As for Gomez, this role marks her first on a scripted TV series since her Disney Channel days as Alex Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place. While there’s still much to learn about the show and her character, one thing is clear: She’s got a style all her own.
The same can be said of the star herself. Keep scrolling for Gomez’s best looks to date.