- Rapper Nipsey Hustle was shot and killed outside his Marathon Clothing shop in South Los Angeles on Sunday.
- Two other men were shot during the incident and the suspect remains at large.
- Fans and friends have been mourning the loss of the star both in the community and online.
Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hustle was killed in a shooting outside of his clothing store in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s critical response team confirmed the news Sunday evening saying, “Today we lost a great musician, Nipsey Hussle.”
The rapper, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot multiple times in the parking lot at his Marathon Clothing shop in South Los Angeles at around 3:20 p.m. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after.
Two other men were also shot during the incident and police are still searching for the suspect. One of the men injured was also taken to a hospital while the third man declined treatment, according to police Lt. Chris Ramirez.
Police are still piecing together what happened and said they do not have a motive for the shooting, which they are investigating as a homicide. According to the Los Angeles Times, a law enforcement source said Hussle was shot by a young man who opened fire at a close range and then ran to a waiting getaway car.
However, Lt. Ramirez only described the suspect as a black male and said that detectives were still interviewing witnesses and trying to recover security video that might exist.
“At this point, we’re not even sure as to whether he walked up, rode a bicycle or drove up in a car,” Ramirez said.
Shortly before he was killed, the rapper tweeted, “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
Hussle grew up in South L.A. in the 1990s and has since gone on to reach widespread acclaim for his music. Hussle’s debut studio album, “Victory Lap,” was nominated for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.
He has also collaborated with dozens of artists including Snoop Dogg, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Ty Dolla Sign, Meek Mill, and Young Thug.
A crowd of fans and friends gathered outside Marathon Clothing on Sunday night to mourn the loss of the musician. Many of them carried candles and handmade signs while singing along to his music.
It’s just after 9pm PT, crowds are growing. @NipseyHussle music playing loud. A big party is surrounding the whole intersection of Slauson and Crenshaw. #NipseyHussle @NBCLA @RickNBCLA pic.twitter.com/iSJQIP3koR— Kenny Holmes (@KHOLMESlive) April 1, 2019
Hussle’s Community Work
Hussle has long been open about upbringing and his association with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, one of Los Angeles’ largest street gangs. He publicly acknowledged his involvement with the gang in a 2010 interview with Complex magazine.
In an interview last year with Forbes, Hussle talked more about his
In more recent years, he has shown interest in technology and community development. He was part of a team of artists and entrepreneurs who created Destination Crenshaw, an open-air museum dedicated to honoring African-American artistic achievement.
L.A. City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson called him “the inspiration” behind its naming.
Hussle was also an investor in a co-working space in South Central Los Angeles called Vector 90. At Vector 90, young people can take classes in science, technology, and mathematics. The project was designed to help address the lack of diversity in STEM fields by providing youth with resources, mentorship, and support.
“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,’”Hussle told The LA Times in 2018.
“And that’s cool, but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg,’” He continued.
“I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that’s waving that flag.”
Hussle and two co-owners opened Marathon Clothing in June 2017 as a “smart-store,” complete with a smartphone app which fans could use to buy exclusive content and products.
The rapper was also described as a pillar in the community who often put much of the money he made back into the neighborhood.
L.A. locals said he owned several businesses on the block where he was killed, including a burger restaurant, a barbershop, and a fish market. He was also known to give jobs to residents who were struggling to make ends meet, including some who were homeless.
Hussle even once gave a pair of shoes to every student at 59th Street Elementary School and donated money to renovate the school’s playground and basketball courts. Others said that when a local family lost a loved one to gun violence, he would sometimes help pay for funeral costs.
The rappers commitment to address gang violence in his community was also well known. In fact, he had plans to sit down with the president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and the city’s chief of police they day after he was killed to tackle the issue.
According to Steve Soboroff, president of the city’s police commission, Hussle had wanted “to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids.”
His death highlights a surge of violence hitting South Los Angeles, which Police Chief Michael Moore has promised to address.
Along with fans and friends, Hussle’s death impacted the lives of athletes, actors, and fellow musicians who took to social media to express their condolences.
Hussle is survived by his two children, a son with his girlfriend, Lauren London, and a daughter from a prior relationship.
See what others are saying (NBC News) (The Los Angeles Times) (The Washington Post)
Hollywood Writers Sue Their Agents Over Pay and Competition Issues
- The Writer’s Guild of America is suing four major talent agencies alleging unfair competition practices and pay issues.
- The WGA claims that the packaging fees that agents take as part of representing writers are illegal under California and federal law.
- In some cases, the WGA says agents take 80 percent of packaging fees that are paid by the studios, rather than the standard 10 percent of a writers’ income.
- The lawsuit was dropped after the agencies refused to sign the WGA’s code of conduct, which banned packaging fees.
The Writers Guild of America filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against four major talent agencies in a fight over writers’ wages and unfair competition practices.
The Guild and eight other writers, including The Wire creator David Simon, filed the complaint in a California superior court against William Morris Endeavor, Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, and ICM Partners.
The main issue at hand focuses on “packing fees.” These are deals that allow agents to be paid directly by studios for bringing clients together on a project, instead of having agents receive a standard 10 percent of a writers’ income.
According to the WGA, the Big Four agencies currently receive about 80 percent of the packaging fees that are paid by studios.
One plaintiff, Meredith Stiehm, who created the CBS police drama Cold Case, said that after about six years with CAA, she learned that the agency made 94 cents for each dollar she made from the show.
“That is indefensible,” she during a press conference. “An agency should make 10% of what their client makes—not 20, not 50, not like in my case, 94%. 10% is enough.”
Along with issues about pay, the writers are also concerned about other ways the industry operates. For instance, they take issue with the trend of agents becoming producers themselves, which creates conflicts of interests.
In the lawsuit, WGA makes two legal claims: that packaging fees violate state fiduciary duty laws, and that those fees violate federal unfair competition laws.
First, under California state law, talent agents are considered fiduciaries. This means they are bound to represent writers, without conflicts of interest. Second, the Guild says that packaging fees constitute illegal “kickbacks” to agents, which would be a violation of both state and federal law.
The lawsuit cites the Taft-Hartley Act, a federal law passed in 1947. The anti-kickback section of the act prohibits “any employer or association of employers to pay, lend, or deliver, or agree to pay, lend, or deliver, any money or other thing of value … to any representative of any of his employees who are employed in an industry affecting commerce.”
Lawyers for the WGA argue that agency packaging fees fall under this ban.
“The plaintiffs will seek a judicial declaration that packaging fees are unlawful and an injunction prohibiting talent agencies from entering into future packaging deals,” Tony Segall, general counsel for the Writers Guild of America West, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
“The suit will also seek damages and repayment of illegal profits on behalf of writers who have been harmed by these unlawful practices in the past,” he added.
How We Got Here
The WGA has been trying to address this issue in recent days. The writers and agents have been without an agreement to govern their relationship with each other since one expired last weekend.
In fact, the WGA had even drafted a code of conduct for agencies that calls for the banning of packaging fees. Around 95 percent of the Guild’s members voted in favor of implementing it and the Guild then asked agencies to sign it. The Big Four agencies refused.
At one point during negotiations, Talent Agencies offered writers a 1 percent cut of their production fee money, but the Guild says that proposal was unacceptable.
On Saturday, the WGA told writers to fire agents who refuse to sign the union’s code of conduct. Some writers complied and have posted images of the letters they had sent to their agents. The letters say that under union rules, they can’t be represented by the agency until a negotiation is reached.
WGA West President David Goodman said the lawsuit shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. “We always had this as part of our strategy,” he said.
“The lawsuit is really at attempt to try and address the situation and make agencies realize this has to be fixed. It wasn’t a matter of the negotiations falling apart and then there was a lawsuit. It’s all part of the same thing.”
The Association of Talent Agents stands by the packaging fees. In its FAQ sections, the ATA writes, “Packaging agencies help assemble a show’s creative elements before the show is pitched to potential buyers and continue to service the show during its lifecycle.”
If packaging fees were to be eliminated, the ATA says “those packaging fees likely would not be redistributed in any way to talent.“
The ATA also noted that United Talent Agency’s analysis found that its writers earn more money on shows that the agency packed and less on shows that it didn’t.
They issued a response to the lawsuit late Wednesday saying, “This development is ironic given that the guild itself has agreed to the legitimacy of packaging for more than 43 years. Even more ironic is the fact that the statute the WGA is suing under prevents abuses of power and authority by labor union leaders, even as the guild has intimidated its own members and repeatedly misled them about their lack of good faith in the negotiating room.”
Neither side appears to be willing to budge on the issue. The WGA says negotiations can continue as the lawsuit moves forward, with Goodman saying the WGA is waiting for the ATA to make contact with his team.
Without a deal soon, Hollywood productions could be stuck in limbo, leaving thousands of writers without work and hundreds of studio projects on hold.
“The agencies are the ones who’ve made it clear that they’re not taking it seriously. If they’re ready to do that, we’re here,” Goodman said.
The WGA has released a list of agencies that have agreed to their code of conduct and can represent its members. However, the Big Four agencies dominate much of the industry.
The tension unfolding between both parties is unprecedented and a meaningful agreement could change the industry practices for years to come.
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Washington Post)
Taylor Swift Donates to Tennessee LGBT Group
- Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to an LGBT rights group in Tennessee.
- The group is specifically fighting several bills that are currently floating in various stages of the state’s government and that will impact the rights of the LGBT community.
Pop star Taylor Swift donated $113,000 dollars on Monday to an LGBT rights group in Tennesse.
Swift’s donation was given to the Tennessee Equality Project, which fights to stop anti-LGBT legislation from passing within the state, and aims to educate the community on equality.
TEP’s Executive Director, Chris Sanders, posted news of Swift’s charitable contribution to Facebook. He thanked her for being a long-time ally and said, “she sees our struggle in Tennessee and continues to add her voice with so many good people.”
With his post, he also shared a hand-written letter Swift addressed to him, where she said she was “inspired” by TEP’s work, specifically noting their stance against the “Slate of Hate.”
Anti-LGBT Bills in Tennessee
The “Slate of Hate” Swift mentions in her letter refers to a series of bills proposed in Tennessee’s General Assembly that could negatively impact the LGBT community. TEP created “The People’s Petition Against the Slate of Hate” to fight against them.
These bills include HB1152 and HB836, which both aim to allow adoption agencies to deny services based on religious beliefs, which TEP called “state-sanctioned discrimination.”
The slate also includes HB1369, which is known as “The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act.” This act defines natural marriage as between a man and a woman and allows courts to void the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized gay marriage.
There are also two pieces of legislation that TEP specifically believes will target the transgender community. The first being HB1151, which is an amendment to the state’s indecent exposure rules that expand it to specifically include incidents in restrooms, fitting rooms, and locker rooms. The TEP called this bill a “devious attempt to criminalize transgender and gender nonconforming people” in these settings.
Then there is also HB1274, which some refer to as the “bathroom bill.” This would require the state’s Attorney General to defend schools that mandate that students and faculty use the bathroom of their “biological sex.” This bill also just passed through Tennesee’s House on Monday.
TEP released a statement on these bills, that was also backed by over 100 religious leaders in the state, ranging from pastors to rabbis.
“As residents of Tennessee, we oppose these bills in the Tennessee General Assembly,” the statement reads. “They promote discrimination rather than justice and demean the worth of LGBTQ people in our state. We call on people of good will to join us in speaking out for basic fairness.”
Reactions to Swift’s Donation
The “Shake it Off” singer’s donation trended online, and was met with positivity.
Ellen Degeneres tweeted her praise.
The Human Rights Campaign thanked her for supporting their “incredible partners.”
Taylor’s Past Political Actions
This hefty donation is not Swift’s first jump into Tennessee politics. Back in October, she made a long post on Instagram about her choice to use her voice for politics and endorsed Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen.
She also encouraged her followers to head to Vote.org to register before the upcoming midterms, which lead to a surge of registrations. The site said they received 65,000 new registrations in the 24 hours after she posted, which is more than they received throughout the whole month of August.
See what others are saying: (Tennessean) (The Hollywood Reporter) (Jezebel)
Amanda Seyfried’s Fans Defend Her After Nude Photos Resurface
- Old explicit images of actress Amanda Seyfried have resurfaced online.
- The photos were stolen from the star and released in 2017 during the second wave of celebrity nude photo leaks.
- Fans have defended Seyfried in recent days, calling for social media users to stop sharing the photos.
Explicit nude photos of actress Amanda Seyfried resurfaced on social media over the weekend, prompting fans to speak out in her defense and condemn the invasion of privacy.
Seyfried is one of several stars who had personal photos stolen and released without consent in 2017. The leak was dubbed “The Fappening 2.0” which is a reference to the first major celebrity nude photo leak that happened in 2014.
Along with Seyfried, the second wave of leaks affected stars like Emma Watson and Jillian Murray. The leaked photos of Seyfried reportedly show the actress performing a sex act on her then-boyfriend, Justin Long.
Seyfried and others have taken legal action to fight back against the invasion of privacy, but the images have been lingering on the internet for years.
Many Twitter users make jokes about the photos, calling the actress “goals” and “iconic.”
However, the jokes outraged fans who reminded users that this is a huge invasion of privacy.
amanda seyfried is probably having THE worst moment of her life knowing that this picture will follow her for the rest of her fucking life, compromising her job as an actress and the respectability in the industry. and y’all got JOKES?! whew. the lack of humanity. tragic.— alexi (@90sgypsy) April 7, 2019