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Is Lorde criticising the Grammys?

Lorde has highlighted the Grammys' lack of recognition for female artists in a full-page newspa..

Lorde has highlighted the Grammys' lack of recognition for female artists in a full-page newspaper advertisement.

The star attended Sunday's ceremony, where only 17 of the 86 winners were women, or female-fronted acts.

Grammy president Neil Portnow provoked further criticism by saying women needed to "step up" if they wanted recognition.

In her letter, Lorde thanked fans "for believing in female musicians," adding: "You set a beautiful precedent."

Although she did not directly criticise the awards, the statement could be read as a response to the controversy.

The 21-year-old added she'd seen "a lot of crazy wonderful things" at the ceremony, saying she "almost cried" after meeting Stevie Nicks and noting that "Jay-Z's hands are really soft".

The pop star had already been dragged into the debate over female representation at the Grammys when it emerged she was the only album of the year nominee who was not invited to give a solo performance.

According to Variety magazine, the pop star was asked to perform with other artists – possibly as part of a tribute to the late Tom Petty – but declined the offer.

Following the ceremony, she appeared to address that rumour with a tweet saying: "If you're debating whether or not I can murder a stage… come see it for yourself."

The Grammys has been criticised for the lack of recognition for female artists, after several groundbreaking, critically-adored albums were shut out.

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Confessional R&B star SZA, who went into the ceremony with five nominations, left empty-handed; while Kesha, whose album Rainbow is a powerful document of surviving emotional and physical abuse, was beaten by Ed Sheeran in the pop categories – despite giving what many declared to be the night's key performance.

Asked about the gender imbalance, Portnow said: "[Women] who want to be musicians, engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level [need] to step up."

Condemnation came swiftly.

"Women in music don't need to step up. Women have been stepping up since the beginning of time," said Pink, who performed at Sunday's ceremony.

"Stepping up, and also stepping aside.

"When we celebrate and honour the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women step up every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal."

Nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow added: "Who will young girls be inspired by…. when most every category is filled with men? I'm not sure it is about women needing to 'step up'."

Lou Taylor, Britney Spears' business manager, put it more bluntly, saying Portnow "needs to pull [his] head out of his ass".

'Women face barriers'

Portnow later apologised for his comments, saying the phrase "step up" had been taken out of context, and did not "convey my beliefs".

"Our industry must recognise that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced," he continued. "I regret that I wasn't as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought."

"I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer, and more representative place for everyone."

However, even his apology attracted criticism.

"Neil Portnow and the Academy are the ones who need to step up," added Marcie Allen, a 24-year industry veteran. "Women stepped up creatively big time in the past year – just look at Lorde, Kesha, SZA, St. Vincent, Taylor Swift, Pink, Cardi B.

"It's nice to see a lot of these accomplishments recognized in the nominations but it feels like there's something else holding women back structurally from succeeding in the music business," she added, pointing out there were only two female CEOs at major record labels.

"The bottom line is, you have to lead by example," she concluded. "Literally no one asked for two very long segments [at the Grammys] featuring Sting and Shaggy that could have been given to Lorde or Kelly Clarkson or several other female artists who received nominations.

"They need to show the industry that those female artists and producers and executives are stepping up – but we need to be given an equal opportunity."

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected]

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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.

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"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
Image: Dr No featured the famous scene with Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in a white bikini

Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

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She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

"As an actrRead More – Source (more…)

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Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.

The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.

But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.

Taron Egerton on Sir Elton: 'I adore him'

The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.

Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".

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"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.

"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.

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"We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to pushRead More – Source

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Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)

Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.

The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.

Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.

On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck was on parent duties (Picture: Backgrid)

Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.

More: Ben Affleck

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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck has a number of roles in the pipeline (Picture: Backgrid)
Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck with son Samuel and daughter Seraphina (Picture: Backgrid)

We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source

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