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Celebrities Without Symptoms Find Quick Access to Coronavirus Tests While General Public Struggles

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  • Everyday Americans are having a hard time getting tested for the coronavirus, but celebrities don’t seem to be facing the same troubles.
  • Kris Jenner, NBA athletes, and influencers have all been able to get tested, in many cases, without showing any symptoms.
  • Meanwhile, in hospitals all over the country, severely ill patients are being told there are simply not enough tests.
  • This has led to a large online discussion about inequality and the impact it’s had on the severity of this pandemic.

The NBA’s Advantage

While the general American public is struggling to get tested for the novel coronavirus, celebrities seem to have easy access to tests.

According to NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, eight full teams have been tested for COVID-19. The Brooklyn Nets, for instance, were just one of several teams who faced backlash for their ability to get a large number of tests and speedy results.

The Nets announced Tuesday that four players, including Kevin Durant, tested positive for the virus. Three of those four players displayed no symptoms.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that wealthy athletes who show no symptoms should not have ready access to these tests while severely ill people all over the country cannot get their hands on them.

The Nets have defended their ability to test players, saying that their close proximity and frequent travel justifies the need for testing. They also said they acquired the test privately as to not strain the CDC of its public resources.

During a press conference, President Donald Trump was asked about large quantities of NBA players so easily getting the tests, and whether or not this was fair. 

No I wouldn’t say so,” he responded. “But perhaps that’s been the story of life.” 

Celebrities Find Tests

Athletes are not alone in having an easy time getting tested, with or without symptoms. Reality star Kris Jenner told Entertainment Tonight that she tested negative, after receiving one despite feeling just fine. 

Jenner had previously attended the birthday party of someone who contracted the virus. That party, however, was 16 days before Jenner announced she took the test. 

Actor Idris Elba also took the test without symptoms, though it is unclear if he was tested in the United States, where the public has been specifically feeling the impacts of a lack of testing. 

Not all stars who had access to tests were asymptomatic. New York-based fashion influencer Arielle Charnas told her Instagram followers that she had been feeling ill herself. She was able to call on her friend, Dr. Jake Deutsch, who is the founder of an urgent care network. 

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🤍

A post shared by Arielle Charnas (@ariellecharnas) on Mar 18, 2020 at 5:46am PDT

Her test came back positive, but it was that connection to a higher-up medical professional that helped her finally learn that result.

Some celebrities have had to jump through hoops to get their tests. Model and host Heidi Klum said she had symptoms that were in line with coronavirus, but was told by two doctors she could not be tested. Not long after her messages were shared, she was able to update her followers that both she and her husband were tested. Some believe her far reach online could have given her an advantage in getting those tests.

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Like many of you, I also have been sick all week and, unfortunately, my husband who returned from his tour a couple of days ago is also feeling ill. To be safe, we are staying apart until we get the results of our Coronavirus tests (that we were finally able to get today) back. We don’t want to spread germs and risk others getting sicker… even each other! As much as I want to embrace him and kiss him, it is more important to do the right thing and not spread further. ❤️ These are strange times… but in these moments, you remember what’s really important- the people you love and keeping them safe. Social distancing is what we all need to do right now to be responsible citizens of the world. We are all in this together and it is up to us to protect our loved ones, and our neighbors and our communities. Please listen to the officials and stay at home if you can and physically distance yourself from other people… especially if you are not feeling well. I see all the beautiful things people are doing for each other all over the globe and that gives me hope! Sending all of you love and positivity and healing vibes… together we can get through this but we need to be proactive so that we can all have a bright and healthy future. 🥰😷✌🏻🧼❤️ #socialdistancing #washyourhands #stayput #bekindtoeachother

A post shared by Heidi Klum (@heidiklum) on Mar 14, 2020 at 7:02pm PDT

Everyday People Struggle

The dynamic of the wealthy and famous seemingly being able to use their status to get this medical care has ignited outrage online. The rest of the public is dealing with severe shortages of tests, no matter how sick they are. 

One Twitter user said their brother had respiratory problems and a high fever but was told to simply quarantine because there are not enough tests. 

Others have just wondered how celebrities without symptoms can get tests if there is a nationwide shortage.

Doctors have also chimed in, saying that it is frustrating to see their patients struggling while celebrities are not. 

BuzzFeed compiled tweets and photos from those facing difficulties in hospitals to make a startling comparison to the breezier situations of the elite. Some Twitter users posted photos of them in hospital beds, looking ill, but still being denied testing.

Meanwhile, people like Charles Barkley has people telling him “they didn’t want [him] to take any chances,” resulting in him getting quickly tested.

And he’s not alone, other reality stars, influencers, and even politicians are able to find tests for themselves, while everyone else is told that there are just not enough. Some have acknowledged this, with Charnas addressing her privilege on Instagram. 

“I realize that there are many individuals, both in New York City and nationwide, who do not have the ability to receive immediate medical care,” she wrote. “I acknowledge how lucky I am to have had that access.”

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Harvey Weinstein Reaches Tentative $19 Million Settlement in New York

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  • Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative $19 million settlement in New York that creates a compensation fund for his alleged victims. 
  • This comes after he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape charges. He is also awaiting trial for more sex crime charges in Los Angeles. 
  • While New York Attorney General Letitia James and several plaintiffs celebrated the settlement as a win for victims, not everyone is happy with it. 
  • Two attorneys representing six of Weinstein’s accusers think it does not go far enough because Weinstein is not required to accept responsibility or pay up himself.

Settlement Reached

A nearly $19 million tentative settlement has been reached between disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein and several of his accusers, according to New York’s Attorney General.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General’s office released a statement announcing the settlement, which will create an $18.87 million compensation fund for Weinstein’s victims if it is approved by bankruptcy and district courts. The release did not state specifically how many women would be accessing this fund, but reports indicate it will be split between dozens of women. Weinstein, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape charges in March, had been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women.

The settlement stems from two lawsuits. The first was a 2017 class-action suit brought forward on behalf of women who claim Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. The second was filed in 2018 and alleges that Weinstein maintained a hostile work environment at the Weinstein Company. That lawsuit also claims that his brother, Robert Weinstein, aided in creating the degrading workplace. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the funding will break down into two different tiers. Women will be able to submit a form describing their experience with Weinstein and its effects. Tier 1 claimants will get between $7,500 and $150,000, while Tier 2 claimants will receive between $7,500 and $750,000. The settlement will also release women from their non-disclosure agreements with the Weinstein Company.

“For more than two years, my office has fought tirelessly in the pursuit of justice for the women whose lives were upended by Harvey Weinstein,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “This agreement is a win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer.”

Plaintiffs Respond

As part of their two-year investigation, the Attorney General’s office has interviewed Weinstein Company employees, executives, and survivors of misconduct and assault at the hands of Weinstein. The lawsuits leading up to this settlement allege that he persistently sexually harassed and berated female employees. It also claims that some female employees were required to perform work while Weinstein was partially or fully naked and that he demanded or forced them to engage in unwanted sexual acts while he dangled the promise of career advancement. According to the suits, Robert Weinstein aided and abetted these actions by choosing to not investigate complaints into this behavior. 

“Harvey Weinstein left a trail of trauma that was crushing for many women. We had aspirations for careers in a business we truly loved, and Weinstein took that dream from us and much more,” said Louisette Geiss, who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct in 2017. “I knew that I wasn’t alone, and by linking arms with survivors, we were able to fight for meaningful change in this groundbreaking case.”

Guess was one of the plaintiffs involved in this case. Caitlin Dulany, another plaintiff who also accused Weinstein of harassment, released her own statement following the news of the settlement as well. 

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice,” Delany said. “Knowing that we will help so many women who are long overdue for relief gives me hope that this settlement will continue to empower others to speak.”

Backlash Against Settlement

However, not everyone involved with this case was applauding the tentative settlement. Attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represents six of Weinstein’s accusers, called it a “total sellout.”

“We are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels,” they said in a statement, obtained and published in full by the Hollywood Reporter. “While we do not begrudge any survivor who truly wants to participate in this deal, as we understand the proposed agreement, it is deeply unfair for many reasons.”

Wigdor and Mintzer listed numerous critiques of the settlement, including the fact that Weinstein is still accepting no responsibility for his actions, as well as the fact that he is not required to pay the settlement himself. The attorneys also claim that it puts up a roadblock for women who did not join the settlement because they will not be able to access a big chunk of money protected by insurance companies in the fund. They plan on objecting it in court. 

Throughout the onslaught of accusations against him, Weinstein has maintained his innocence. According to his lawyer, he plans on attempting to appeal criminal convictions against him, and defending himself in civil lawsuits. He is also facing multiple sex crime charges in Los Angeles County, where he plans on defending himself as well. 

It is unclear when his Los Angeles trial will begin because coronavirus has held up many aspects of court proceedings. 

See what others are saying: (Los Angeles Times) (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter)

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Lili Reinhart Apologizes for Using Topless Photo to Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

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  • After backlash, Lili Reinhart deleted a topless Instagram photo she posted with the caption, “Now that my sideboob has gotten your attention, Breonna Taylor’s murderers have not been arrested. Demand justice.”
  • Fans felt her post played into the trend of memeing or using Taylor’s name for a punchline, which many say disrespects and trivializes her story. 
  • Reinhart apologized, saying she never meant to come off as insensitive and is trying to learn and do better. 
  • While some responded with name-calling, others called it an opportunity to educate, noting that Reinhart has been amplifying Black voices and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement on Instagram. 

Reinhart Posts Topless Photo 

“Riverdale” star Lili Reinhart apologized Monday for the photo she chose to use when demanding justice for Breonna Taylor on Instagram.

Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by Louisville police on March 13. The night of her death, Taylor and her boyfriend were in bed when officers with a no-knock warrant began to force their way into their apartment. When her boyfriend fired his gun at who he believed were intruders, officers returned fired, striking Taylor at least eight times. 

In recent weeks, her name has been used as a rallying cry during Black Lives Matter protests, along with the names of other Black individuals who were unjustly killed by authorities like George Floyd, Eric Garner, and others. 

With Taylor’s case, in particular, people have continuously called for the officers involved to face charges. It seems like Reinhart tried to join in on those calls when she posted a photo of herself topless with the caption, “Now that my sideboob has gotten your attention, Breonna Taylor’s murderers have not been arrested. Demand justice.”

@lilireinhart

Photo Prompts Outrage for Memeing Taylor’s Name 

However, fans were quick to slam the actress for the post. “This is sick, why do she use Breonna Taylor’s name as an excuse to post her sexy pic? weird and gross,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another said, “The only thing that post did is get a bunch of people to talk about lili reinhart’s boobs. it was a thirst trap with a BLM caption. what are the odds that someone looks at a pic of lili’s boobs and says yas lemme demand justice!”

After likely seeing similar responses in the comments, Reinhart quickly deleted the caption but left the photo up. Doing so further caused people to question her intentions, with some saying this proved she was using Taylor’s name for a “quirky caption.”

Still, fans came to her defense, saying they didn’t see and issue with the post and that she was just trying to support the movement. 

Some noted that it’s very common online for people to post something that lures people in, only to redirect their focus towards real issues. 

However, in recent weeks, people have become increasingly worried that the Black Lives Matter movement is being treated as a trend for likes on social media. With Breonna Taylor’s case specifically, many have been especially frustrated that her name and phrases like “arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor” have become a meme or a punchline. 

Some use the phrase, or a variation of it, in tweets, while others edit the message into images.

This subject is actually something that has been a point of debate for a while now. For instance, musical artist Lil Nas X faced similar backlash in June when he posted a meme about arresting the officers in her case. 

That tweet began with, “yeah, i’m gay.” Then it continued, 

“g- arrest,

a- Breonna Taylor’s

y- murderers.”

Image
@LilNasX

After seeing some negative responses, he deleted the post and tweeted, “i want u guys to know if i make a meme out of something it doesn’t mean i don’t care about it, my following usually reacts the most when humour is involved. it’s my most efficient way of bringing awarness to anything. i do understand the backlash tho, and i’m learning.”

Like in Reinhart’s case, some felt his intentions were good and that this approach grabs people’s attention. However, the majority of people think these memes trivialize Taylor’s death and are asking that people respect her name and her story.

Reinhart Apologizes 

In response to all this frustration, Reinhart deleted the photo and took to Twitter on Monday to apologize. 

“I’ve always tried to use my platform for good. And speak up about things that are important to me,” she wrote.  “I also can admit when I make a mistake and I made a mistake with my caption. It was never my intent to insult anyone and I’m truly sorry to those that were offended.”

She then referenced some of her IGTV posts of conversations with Black entrepreneurs, writers, and activists.

@lilireinhart’s IGTV posts

“I’ve tried very hard to be honest on my IGTV lives that I’m still learning and trying to be better,” she wrote. “But I understand that my caption came off as tone deaf. I truly had good intentions and did not think it through that it could come off as insensitive.”

For the most part, fans seem glad that she admitted her mistake. While some people responded with name-calling, most argued that isn’t helpful, especially against someone who uses her platform to amplify Black voices and speak about the movement. 

Many are hoping that Reinhart’s case serves as a lesson to anyone who might be using Taylor’s name in a similar way on social media, and are using this as an opportunity to educate others. 

See what others are saying: (Fox News) (NBC News) (Nylon

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Smith Family Weighs in After Shane Dawson Apologizes for Racist Skits and Pedophilia Jokes

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  • YouTuber Shane Dawson apologized in a video Friday for a long history of racist jokes and caricatures, as well as for jokes he made about pedophilia.
  • “I don’t have hate in my heart for anyone, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that I made jokes about everyone,” he said. 
  • Following the release of that video, Jada Pinkett Smith and her son Jaden offered strong rebukes of the YouTuber, who once pretended to masturbate to a poster of an 11-year-old Willow Smith.

Smiths Rebuke Shane Dawson’s Apology

YouTuber Shane Dawson apologized Friday for a myriad of controversial remarks and actions over his 15-year career on the platform, but it seems like many weren’t ready to accept it.

In fact, some people are now resurfacing even more offensive moments from his past. Not lost among the critics are mother and son duo Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith. Their rebuke of his apology is especially notable because in one clip, Dawson simulates a sexual act to a poster of an 11-year-old Willow Smith.

“To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses,” Jada Pinkett Smith said on Twitter. 

“SHANE DAWSON I AM DISGUSTED BY YOU,” her son wrote in all caps. “YOU SEXUALIZING AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO HAPPENS TO BE MY SISTER!!!!!!  IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM FUNNY AND NOT OKAY IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT.” 

Prior to his apology, Dawson was already facing a number of different scandals, including allegations of him sexualizing other children such as his cousin, a fan, and even a baby. Aside from accusations of pedophilia or pedophilic behavior, Dawson is also facing intense backlash for racist moments, including his repeated use of blackface and his use of the n-word.

Over the weekend, Dawson’s apology video—titled “Taking Accountability”—trended number one on YouTube. Since Friday, it’s garnered over 10.6 million views. 

In it, Dawson begins by saying that he hates much of his past and that he’s tried to remove himself from those situations by deleting old videos. 

Dawson also noted that this isn’t his first apology video. In fact, he issued an apology in 2014 for his use of blackface, and in 2018, he denied he was a pedophile after those rumors circulated following an edited clip where he joked that he found naked babies “sexy.”

“Those apologies suck,” he said of them. “I don’t know who that person is anymore. Every apology video I’ve ever made has been from fear. It’s me sitting at home thinking the whole world hates me, crying and hyperventilating and just turning on a webcam and just saying ‘I’m sorry’ and hoping people know I’m a good person and it’ll go away, and that is stupid. That is something that a child does.”

Dawson “Taking Accountability”

In his apology, Dawson first addressed his history of racism on YouTube, including a number of times where he played very stereotypical versions of Black, Asian, and Mexican people.

While he said he thought those skits were funny at the time of recording them, he said he now hates the person he was in the past.

“That person was filled with sadness, filled with anger about their own issues, in the closet, constantly projecting on others,” he said. “Just like, I don’t know, just that person is someone I don’t like seeing. And I think that’s why I’ve been avoiding this because I’m like, ‘No, I’ve already apologized. I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to see it again.”

Dawson then directly mentions his repeated use of blackface.

“I am so sorry,” he said. “I am so sorry to anybody that saw that and that also saw that people were lifting me up and were saying, ‘You’re so funny, Shane. Oh my, God, you’re so funny.’ I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Black and to see this white fucking guy do blackface and the whole internet at that time being like, ‘LOL.’” 

“I should lose everything for that,” he continued. “I can tell you this. I don’t have hate for any race or any people with weight issues or any of that, special needs. I don’t have hate in my heart for anyone, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that I made jokes about everyone.” 

Dawson also addressed his use of the n-word, saying that at the time he justified using it because he was playing a character and it was in the name of comedy. In multiple videos, Dawson can be heard saying the word, including instances where he uses a “hard r.” In one video, he even coerces his young cousin to say the word. 

Dawson admitted in the nearly 21-minute video that he should have never used the n-word, adding that he thinks he should have lost his career for saying the word. 

He also addressed why he made yet another apology video, saying that his past apologies fell flat because he would take criticism as attacks on his character and would automatically jump on the “I’m not racist” card.

“And it’s like, you know, ‘Okay, but look what you’re making, Shane,’” he said. “Like I don’t know how I didn’t see that. That is scary, and I’m sorry.” 

Dawson promised his viewers that he’s changed since he made clips and videos like that, saying that he’s educated himself and that he stopped using racial slurs years ago.

Dawson Addresses Pedophilia Accusations

Dawson continues the video by then addressing a 2013 podcast clip where he compares pedophilia to being a normal fetish and talks about finding naked babies “sexy.” As Dawson has noted in the past, some of the clips circulating online omit lines where he says he is joking about those subjects.

“I shouldn’t have been joking about it anyways, which is my problem. My fault,” he said in rebuke of those jokes. 

Shane also apologized for that video he made with his then 12- or 13-year-old cousin, where he talks about sexual acts around her in an inappropriate way. In that apology, he said he also apologized to her mother years ago.

I can’t believe I can’t believe I talked to, you know, my cousin like that,” he said. “And [my aunt] was like, ‘Oh my, God, we know. We know. It’s okay. It was funny, like we all thought it was funny, like that’s just how our family is’ So I kind of took it as, ‘Well, I don’t need to apologize for it,’ but I do.”

Dawson then went on to again talk about his personal life and a lot of the pain he saw in his childhood and with his family, saying that he was projecting that pain into wildly inappropriate jokes. 

“I swear on my life, I am not somebody who would ever talk about a child, like in seriousness, I would never talk about a child in any way that was inappropriate,” he said. “That is disgusting. That is gross. It is not something that I would ever do. It was something I did for shock value or because I thought it was funny or ‘Oh my, God, I’m a child molester character.’ Whatever. It’s all gross, and I promise that is not real. That is not me.” 

Dawson Debunks Rumors About Orchestrating the James and Tati Fued

Toward the end of the video, Dawson denies speculation that he was some sort of mastermind behind last year’s massive feud between Tati Westbrook and James Charles. 

Dawson previously denied that accusation in a now-deleted Twitter post earlier this month. In that note, he seemed to justify the barrage of criticism against James Charles, saying the then 19-year-old influencer deserved a slice of “humble pie.”

In fact, Dawson said he wrote that Twitter note after he started seeing narratives like that pop up and people pressuring him to respond. While he said he had tried to be funny in that note, he admitted that it came across very angry, notably because he said he was angry.

“So the part of the Twitter note that I regret more than anything in my life was the part where I said that James deserved a slice of humble pie the size of the Empire State building,” Dawson said.

He also said he wanted to come at this situation with love and started by apologizing.

“I’m sorry, James,” he said. “I’m really sorry. First of all, nobody deserves what happened. Nobody. The whole internet ganging-up on someone. Nobody deserved that. And who am I to say that somebody needs to be humble? Me? Like who am I to say that? I literally have put so much hate into the internet over my last 15 years of YouTube world.” 

He also addressed criticism that came after he said he was leaving the beauty community in that tweet. In his apology, he agrees that he was never really in it, as many have argued.

“So to know I hurt those people, who are problematic, and just love makeup, and who have been working their ass off for years, for me to shit on that, I am so sorry.” 

“I’m ready to own up to this stuff and to hopefully show you guys that it’s okay to admit when you’re wrong. It’s okay to be upset at your past self for making mistakes. But also it’s okay if people don’t want to accept your apology or if people don’t want to support you anymore, that’s okay too.”

Reaction to Dawson’s Apology

Reaction to Dawson’s apology has been mixed. Currently, about a third of the reactions on that video are dislikes.

In the comments, many criticized his apology, saying he was victimizing himself and using his past trauma to try to justify his actions. 

“Depression and anxiety isn’t a reason to sexualise children, Shane,” a number of people repeated in separate comments. 

On Twitter, hundreds of others shared this comment: “In Shane’s apology, he keeps saying things like “I would never do that” “that’s something I wouldn’t do in my whole lifetime” that is not me” “I wasn’t myself” when referencing things he ACTUALLY DID. He is not taking responsibility, he is removing himself from his past by creating two different Shane’s.”

Others, however, did strike more of a sympathetic tone.

“I’m honestly glad that he came out and apologized,” one person said in the comments section of his video. “Some of the stuff he talked about ppl won’t forgive him for, and that’s ok. I’m just glad he apologized.”

“Accepting his apology IS NOT excusing his actions,” another person said. “Some people need to realise this.”

Still, many others said Dawson would need to take even further action before he could find forgiveness.

“I think you’re trying to ‘do the right thing’ and honestly I’ll never say it’s too late but dude you can’t continue to call yourself Jeffree Star’s friend and be on the right side of all this drama, please understand that,” one person said.

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (Essence) (CNN)

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