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Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.

In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.

In one scene, the dog is told to go to his "zen place" when he objects to having his testicles touched by a show judge.

In another scene, the dog is urged to overcome his resistance to being touched to become a champion.

Parenting bloggers first raised objections to the scenes, which they said resemble tactics used by abusers.

"During the movie, I kept thinking, 'This is wrong, it doesn't need to be in a kids movie," wrote blogger Terina Maldonado. "Everything else in the movie is good fun except for this.'"

Distributor Global Road Entertainment said in a statement Wednesday it "decided to remove two scenes from the film 'Show Dogs' that some have deemed not appropriate for children."

The statement added: "We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of 'Show Dogs' sent an inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend."

Maldonado said she was especially disturbed that her daughter said one of the scenes was her favorite part of the movie.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation had also objected to the scenes, and urged that they be cut.

The film starring Will Arnett and the voice of Ludacris was released last weekend and was the No. 6 film at the box office after earning $6 million.

Prince Harry called ex Chelsy Davy before royal wedding, sources say

Prince Harry reportedly called his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy ahead of his royal wedding to Meghan Markle last week.

>> Read more trending news 

According to Vanity Fair, Davy was invited to the royal wedding but learned she wasn’t invited to the evening reception. 

A family friend told Vanity Fair that Harry called Davy out of courtesy and they shared a “tearful phone call.”

“It was their final call, a parting call in which they both acknowledged Harry was moving on,” the source told Vanity Fair. “Chelsy was quite emotional about it all, she was in tears and almost didn’t go to the wedding. In the end, she went and promised Harry she wouldn’t try and gate-crash the party.”

Harry and Davy dated for seven years, from 2004 to 2011, PEOPLE reports

Before their split, it was rumored that Davy was uncomfortable with being in the spotlight.

The pair are reportedly still friendly and have several mutual friends.

Davy, 32, was born in Zimbabwe. Her father, Charles Davy, is a safari farmer and her mother, Beverly Donald Davy, is a former Coca-Cola model and was Miss Rhodesia 1973, according to Elle Magazine

Davy studied economics and earned a law degree in 2009. She launched her own jewelry brand, Aya, in 2016. 

Davy wasn’t the only ex-girlfriend at the wedding.

Harry also invited Cressida Bonas, who he dated from 2012 to 2014.

Vanity Fair reports that Bonas, an English model and actress, was not invited to the exclusive evening reception, either. 

Morgan Freeman apologizes in wake of harassment accusations

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman apologized on Thursday to anyone who may have felt "uncomfortable or disrespected" by his behavior, after CNN reported that multiple women have accused the A-list actor of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior on movie sets and in other professional settings.

"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," the actor, now 80, said in a statement sent to The Associated Press by his publicist, Stan Rosenfield. "I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent."

Freeman won the 2005 Oscar for best supporting actor for "Million Dollar Baby." He was nominated four other times, including for "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Shawshank Redemption," and is renowned for his prolific voiceover work.

Earlier this year, he was honored by SAG-AFTRA with a lifetime achievement award. In a statement to The Associated Press, the organization, which represents actors, journalists and others, called the allegations "compelling and devastating" and contrary to its attempts to make sure working environments are safe in the industry.

"Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment," the statement read. "Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union's most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time."

The CNN report includes the account of a production assistant on the 2017 heist film "Going In Style," who detailed an incident in which the actor repeatedly tried to lift up her skirt, and asked if she was wearing underwear. She alleged that Freeman subjected her to unwanted touching and comments on a near-daily basis on the film.

Several women alleged that he made frequent comments about their bodies, or would stare at them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. CNN spoke to 16 people about Freeman; eight said they had experienced harassment or inappropriate behavior, and eight said they had witnessed such conduct. Seven of them described harassment or inappropriate behavior at Revelations Entertainment, a company he co-founded with Lori McCreary.

The CNN report also cited accounts by three entertainment reporters of inappropriate remarks they allege Freeman made at press junkets, including the report's co-author, Chloe Melas, who describes Freeman shaking her hand, "not letting go while repeatedly looking her up and down and saying more than once a variation of, 'I wish I was there'" — and also "You are ripe."

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.

The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands on her at a hotel and suggested they go to a bedroom for massages.

Paltrow said she told Pitt what happened and the actor confronted Weinstein at a Broadway opening. Paltrow said, "It was like the equivalent of throwing him against the wall."

Paltrow said Pitt leveraged his fame and power to protect me at a time when she didn't have fame or power.

The two, who were briefly engaged, broke up in 1997.

Representatives for Weinstein and Pitt did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Michelle Obama unveils cover for upcoming memoir

Michelle Obama has a picture to share.

On Thursday, the former first lady unveiled the cover for her upcoming memoir, "Becoming." She posted that image, a smiling close-up shot taken by portrait photographer Miller Mobley, on her Instagram account. She wrote on Instagram that working on the book has been "meaningful and illuminating" and urged others to tell their stories.

"Becoming," one of the year's most anticipated books, comes out Nov. 13.

'Arrested Development' co-stars apologize to Jessica Walter

Jason Bateman and Tony Hale are apologizing for comments they made in defense of their "Arrested Development" co-star Jeffrey Tambor, who has been accused of harassment on the show's set.

In a series of tweets Thursday, Bateman says his comments were "wrong" and that it seemed like he was "condoning yelling at work." He adds that he's "incredibly embarrassed."

Bateman was reacting to a cast interview in The New York Times in which actress Jessica Walter alleged Tambor verbally harassed her on the set.

Bateman responded in the interview that "a lot of stuff happens in 15 years." He later tweeted "I realize that I was wrong here." Hale also apologized Thursday, tweeting that his words "served to minimize Jessica's pain."

Netflix scrapped plans for the "Arrested Development" cast to meet fans in London on Friday, saying it had decided "not to move ahead with promotional activity."

Tina Fey makes surprise visit to her former high school

Tina Fey has made a surprise visit to her former Pennsylvania high school.

District officials say Fey stopped by Upper Darby High School in Upper Darby Wednesday to film a promotional video for her Broadway musical "Mean Girls."

Fey graduated from Upper Darby in 1988, and she previously said her time there loosely inspired the 2004 "Mean Girls" film.

The district welcomed the actress in a Facebook post, saying "Once a Royal, Always a Royal."

Fey spoke with students who had seen the musical during her visit, and she was serenaded by the school's Encore Singers. Fey called the singing, "beautiful."

"Mean Girls" has received 12 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical.

The awards will be given out in June.

Bartoli returns to La Scala for 3-year Baroque project

Mezzosoprano Cecilia Bartoli is returning to Milan's famed La Scala opera house next year for a three-year Baroque music collaboration, the opera house announced Thursday.

The program is part of general manager Alexander Pereira's focus on bringing neglected Italian musical traditions back to La Scala's stage, this time leveraging on his long friendship with Bartoli and her love of Baroque music repertoire.

"Baroque music has been in a certain sense somewhat forgotten in Italy. We live in Baroque cities. We breathe Baroque in Italy. For this it is interesting to bring back to light compositions and authors of Baroque musical scores," Bartoli told The Associated Press.

She called Baroque music, composed from the 17th century through the first half of the 18th, Italy's "cultural treasure, our immense treasure."

"When we think of Verdi, when we think of Puccini, we shouldn't forget that these composers became what they were, thanks to those who came before them," Bartoli said. "It is true, Mozart was a genius. But he had a composer like Hayden who was a big inspiration for him."

The Baroque program begins in 2019 with Handel's "Giulio Cesare in Egitto," followed by his "Semele" in 2020 and "Ariodante" in 2021. Pereira said he wants to bring the three productions to other Italian opera houses, in particular the San Carlo theater in Naples, known for its Baroque tradition.

"The biggest Baroque musicians and composers have passed through Naples," Bartoli said, citing as examples Nicola Antonio Propora and Domenico Scarlatti.

To woo Bartoli, Pereira said he first set up a group of La Scala musicians with period instruments, something the pair had done for a similar project when he was director of the Zurich Opera House.

Bartoli sang several times at La Scala in the 1990s; her last appearance was in 2012, when she was booed by the upper balconies of the tiered theater.

She said her long absences were due mostly to scheduling difficulties and commitments elsewhere, and the fact that the La Scala repertoire until recently focused largely on the 1800s.

"I already had many commitments in Salzburg, Zurich, Vienna. To be able to speak of a multi-year project, it is clear it couldn't be done right away," she said. "From 2019 I found free time."

Spain issues arrest warrant for rapper convicted over lyrics

Authorities in Spain issued arrest warrants Thursday for a Spanish rapper sentenced to prison for lyrics that praised terror groups and insulted the royal family.

Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, a 24-year-old rap singer and composer from Palma de Mallorca best known as Valtonyc, was being sought, a prosecutor's statement said.

The rapper was supposed to turn himself in voluntarily to serve a two-year sentence, the statement said, adding that Spanish, European and international arrest warrants have been issued in his name.

Lower courts ruled that he distributed songs online that praised terrorism, insulted Spanish royals and threatened a Spanish politician with violence.

In February, the Supreme Court rejected Beltran's argument that he was expressing his right to free speech and that rap songs aim to be provocative.

Valtonyc's case became a cause celebre in Spain among organizations who claim Spanish authorities are cracking down on free speech rights. One of them, the Platform for Freedom of Information, said Thursday the court rulings were "a clear violation of fundamental rights and fly in the face of international principles on freedom of expression which Spain has signed up to."

Beltran had announced that he would be disobeying the court summons to go to prison. "Tomorrow they will knock down the door to my house to put me in prison. For a few songs," the rapper wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

"I'm not going to make it so easy. Disobeying is legitimate and a must before this fascist state," he said, adding that Spain was "once again making a fool of itself."

Others expressed little sympathy with his plight, including the parliamentary spokesman for the pro-business Citizens party, who tweeted, "Brave when breaking the law, cowardly when it's time to accept the consequences."

Scottoline has new publisher, writing book inspired by Roth

Lisa Scottoline, the best-selling crime writer, has a new publisher and is working on a different kind of book.

A book inspired in part by Philip Roth.

G.P. Putnam's Sons told The Associated Press on Thursday that it had reached a six-book deal with Scottoline, who previously published with St. Martin's Press. The deal includes her first historical fiction, a planned trilogy set in Italy during the fascist reign of Mussolini. The first novel in the series is called "Eternal," and Scottoline is citing Roth, who died Tuesday at age 85, as a reason for writing it. In the 1970s, she studied under Roth while attending the University of Pennsylvania, taking seminars on the "Literature of Desire" and the "Literature of the Holocaust."

"In both courses, we did a close, almost line-by-line, analysis of the books he chose for us, evidence of Roth's famous saying that he became an author because he 'liked sentences,'" she told the AP in a recent statement. "I myself became an author because of him, his seminar and his books, especially his survey of the harrowing first-person accounts of the Holocaust. Roth admired very much the books of Primo Levi, notably his 'Survival in Auschwitz,' which haunted me for decades to follow. I knew that someday I would write about the Holocaust in Italy and have been researching and studying it since then."

"I owe it to Philip Roth," she added. "I will mourn him always."

Financial terms for her book deal were not disclosed. With Putnam, Scottoline also plans three domestic thrillers "centered on strong female characters up against impossible odds." The first work, "Someone Knows," is scheduled for next spring. Scottoline, 62, is known for novels such as "After Anna" and "Final Appeal."

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