Celebrity news: Tamar Braxton blames near suicide on reality TV culture
By Debra YeoToronto StarFri., July 31, 2020timer5 min. readTamar Braxton confirmed Thursday that she attempted suicide earlier this month and blamed the culture of reality TV for damaging her mental health and pushing her to the point where she tried to take her own life.“I believed that, that as a black woman, as an artist, an influence, a personality I could shape my world, and with whom I believed to be my partners, they could help me share my world,” the singer and reality TV personality wrote in a long social media post.“Over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave. I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid.”Braxton, who has a new reality series scheduled for a Sept. 10 debut on WeTV — “Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!” — appeared on WeTV’s “Braxton Family Values” and “Tamar & Vince,” competed on CBS’s “Celebrity Big Brother” and co-hosted the syndicated daily chat show “The Real.” “Get Ya Life!” which had been set to debut July 30, was pushed to September after Braxton was found unconscious by boyfriend David Adefeso in a Los Angeles hotel room on July 16. She was subsequently hospitalized.Braxton said in her post that although she strived to be a good mother, daughter, partner, sister and person, the only thing that mattered was how she was portrayed on television.“I felt like I was no longer living, I was existing for the purpose of a corporations (sic) gain and ratings, and that killed me,” she said.In a June 2 letter to WeTV executives that was obtained by the Blast, Braxton reportedly likened them to the “cruel white slave masters who once chained our forefathers.” She warned them she was suicidal, accused them of exploiting secrets she was not yet willing to share and blamed them for turning her family members against one another, the Blast reported.Braxton lamented the lack of a union or formal representation to protect those who appear on reality TV. Executives “promise us opportunity but produce exploitation, which has only developed a poor portrayal of black people in show business,” she said.Ryan Reynolds to pay trainees from marginalized communities from his own salaryRyan Reynolds is using his Hollywood superstar status to launch an on-set film production inclusivity program for marginalized communities.The Vancouver-born “Deadpool” actor announced plans on Friday for the Group Effort Initiative, which will recruit 10 to 20 trainees from Black, Indigenous and “all other marginalized communities” to work alongside experienced professionals on his next movie.Reynolds didn’t name the film in a video posted on social media, but he confirmed the production is to begin shooting this fall, in partnership with Netflix and SkyDance.The actor says expenses for the trainees including pay, housing and travel will come out of his salary.Reynolds called on others “with the privilege that I’m lucky enough to experience” to join his effort to expand diversity and inclusivity in the film industry.‘Evita’ and ‘Midnight Express’ director Alan Parker dead at 76Filmmaker Alan Parker, one of Britain’s most successful directors whose movies included “Bugsy Malone,” “Midnight Express” and “Evita,” has died at 76, his family said.Parker’s diverse body of work includes “Fame,” Mississippi Burning, “The Commitments” and “Angela’s Ashes.” Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards.In a statement, the family said Parker died Friday in London after a long illness.Get more of what matters in your inboxStart your morning with everything you need to know, and nothing you don’t. Sign up for First Up, the Star’s new daily email newsletter.Sign Up NowParker was born in London in 1944 and, like many other aspiring British directors including Ridley Scott, began his career in advertising.He moved into television with critically acclaimed 1974 drama “The Evacuees,” which won an international Emmy AwardThe next year he wrote and directed his first feature, “Bugsy Malone,” following that with “Midnight Express,” based on an American’s harrowing incarceration in a Turkish prison. It won two Oscars and gained Parker a Best Director nomination.Parker was a notable director of musicals, a genre he both embraced and expanded. “Fame” was a gritty but celebratory story of life at a performing arts high school; “Pink Floyd — the Wall” was a surreal rock opera; “The Commitments” charted a ramshackle Dublin soul band; and “Evita” cast Madonna as Argentine first lady Eva Peron in a big-screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.Parker also championed Britain’s film industry, serving as the chairman of the British Film Institute and the U.K. Film Council. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.‘Into the Wild’ bus could get new home at Alaska museumAn infamous bus appears headed to a new home at a museum in Fairbanks after being removed from Alaska’s backcountry to deter people from making dangerous, sometimes deadly treks to visit the site where a young man documented his demise in 1992.The state Department of Natural Resources said Thursday it intends to negotiate with the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North to display the bus, which was popularized by the book “Into the Wild” and a movie of the same name, and flown from its location near Denali National Park and Preserve last month.The bus became a beacon for those wishing to retrace the steps of Christopher McCandless, who hiked to the bus in 1992. The 24-year-old Virginia man died from starvation when he couldn’t hike back out because of the swollen Teklanika River. He kept a journal of his ordeal, which was discovered when his body was found.McCandless’s story became famous with author Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book “Into the Wild,” followed nine years later by director Sean Penn’s movie of the same name.Two women have drowned in the Teklanika River on visits to the bus, one from Switzerland in 2010 and the other from Belarus nine years later. There have been 15 other search-and-rescue missions since 2009, state officials said, including five Italian tourists who needed rescue last winter. One had severe frostbite.The draw of the bus became too much for state officials, who arranged for the Alaska Army National Guard to remove the bus with a helicopter last month as part of a training mission.Rhode Island businesses get refunds from Walt Disney and Mickey MouseRhode Island mistakenly sent more than 175 tax refund cheques signed by Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, rather than the state treasurer and controller.The Rhode Island Division of Taxation uses the signatures on test files, which were mistakenly printed on the real cheques and sent out on Monday, a spokesperson told WPRI-TV.The tax division has voided the cheques, which were refunds for corporate, sales and tax credits, and will issue new cheques signed by the general treasurer and state controller within one week, Borgeson said.