The daily gossip: Will Smith resurfaces with on-camera slap apology, Taylor Swift under fire for reported huge carbon footprint, and more
Today's top entertainment and celebrity news
Will Smith is 'trying not to think of myself as a piece of s--t'
Slap Discourse is like a slasher villain that somehow just keeps coming back. After laying low for months, Will Smith re-emerged Friday with his first on-camera apology for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. "There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave," he says as he apologizes to Rock and clarifies Jada Pinkett Smith had "nothing to do with" his actions. Now, he says he's "trying not to think of myself as a piece of s--t," and he reveals he reached out to Rock but was told "he's not ready to talk." The apology comes after what Smith described as months of "replaying and understanding the nuances" of the incident, though he won't "try to unpack all of that right now" — meaning, yes, we're nowhere near done with this saga, which is on pace to continue beyond the end of the Avatar franchise, The Winds of Winter's publication, and the heat death of the universe itself.
Taylor Swift under fire over reported huge carbon footprint
Taylor Swift (allegedly) did something bad for the planet, and Swifties aren't taking it all too well. The pop star is facing backlash from her own fans after the digital marketing agency Yard listed her number one among celebrities responsible for the most CO2 emissions from their private jets this year. According to the report, Swift has taken a whopping 170 flights on her private jet since January, despite not being on tour right now, resulting in 8,293 metric tons of CO2 emissions — "or 1,184.8 times more than the average person's total annual emissions." The report sparked outrage even on the official subreddit for Taylor Swift fans. "This is terrible and people should not make excuses for her," one Swiftie wrote, while another said they'd "never take a statement from her about the climate seriously after seeing this." Guess that doctorate isn't in climate science, huh?
Beyoncé slammed by Kelis over 'theft' of her music
Some sampling drama has cast a bit of a pall over an otherwise momentous day for the Beyhive. Kelis has slammed Beyoncé for alleged "theft" after her music was sampled on the singer's highly anticipated new album Renaissance. A song on the album, "Energy," samples Kelis' 2003 song "Milkshake" — and she says she received no advance notice about this at all. "It was stupid and disrespectful, and she should have at least reached out," Kelis said on Instagram, adding this is just "common decency." Beyond this, Kelis explained her bigger issue is with the fact that she claims she was "swindled" out of the rights to her music by Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, the credited writers on "Milkshake," and allegedly never made any money off sales of her first two albums. "Some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled," Kelis said, vowing, "I'm coming for what's mine and I want reparations." Get ready for "Milkshake (Kelis' Version)."
Bob Dylan sexual abuse accuser drops case
A woman who leveled some shocking allegations against Bob Dylan last year has reportedly dropped her case. The singer in 2021 was slapped with an explosive lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in 1965, leaving her "emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day." The lawsuit claimed he groomed the girl, gave her drugs and alcohol, and abused her multiple times. But less than a year later, the woman reportedly dropped the case after Dylan's team alleged she destroyed key evidence by deleting texts and emails. Dylan's attorneys previously said she failed to produce "dozens of critical emails we know exist," and the judge warned of possible sanctions. The case has now been dismissed with prejudice, so it can't be refiled. Dylan's team celebrated the end of the case, saying they're "pleased that the plaintiff has dropped this lawyer-driven sham."
Ben Affleck once again returning as Batman in 'Aquaman' sequel
How many times can Ben Affleck emerge from Batman retirement before he just … is Batman again? Over three years after declaring it was "time to let someone else" take over the role, Affleck is apparently returning to play Batman yet again in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The news was casually revealed by Jason Momoa, who shared Instagram photos of the two of them reunited. Affleck famously hung up his Batman cowl after the disastrous 2017 Justice League film, with a friend warning him he'd "drink [himself] to death" if he stayed on for a solo movie, leading to Robert Pattinson's casting. But Affleck then returned as Batman for reshoots on the "Snyder Cut," and he's also reprising the role in The Flash (assuming that movie ever comes out). We don't know what Batman's role in Aquaman will be, but it's presumably just a brief cameo — unless Warner Bros. really took an unconventional approach to recasting Amber Heard.