G-Dragon rep says blackface photo is a 'huge misunderstanding'

A self-portrait of K-Pop star G-Dragon from Instagram. (G-Dragon / Instagram / July 31, 2013)
August 1, 2013, 3:37 p.m.
Earlier this week, the K-Pop superstar G-Dragon apuestas de futbol posted an image to his Instagram account that shocked many U.S. fans with its resemblance to a widely shared image of the Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin.
Though the post didn't mention Martin by name, the photo's uncanny similarity to the Martin shot -- similar framing, a gray hood over his head and what appeared to be an ugly "blackface" makeup job -- prompted an uproar from fans and media who thought G-Dragon had made a very awkward sort of tribute in line with the "I Am Trayvon Martin" meme. Artists like Frank Ocean, The-Dream and Diddy had also recently posted similar photos of themselves online.
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Now a rep for G-Dragon has told Spin, one of the first outlets to report on the resemblance, that the entire situation was a "HUGE misunderstanding" and that the image was a visual concept in line with the art for G-Dragon's upcoming album.
"The face paint is only a color variation for his album cover which includes black, white, and red," the rep told Spin. "It is in no way meant to be a political or racial statement." Nonetheless, the photo did spur a conversation about how African-Americans are represented in Korean pop culture.
G-Dragon is slated to appear in L.A. this month at the popular K-CON festival, a showcase of contemporary K-Pop culture. Perhaps this whole episode can be a lesson that any non-African Americans posting context-free photos of themselves in black face paint and hip-hop-inspired attire is probably not a wise move.
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Whatever Augest Brown you really don't deserve this job you treat it and your wrtiting with no fact, respect or truth.
I'm glad this story was posted, it should be addressed that the Kpop community that borrows so much of its sound from the black music industry constantly mocks that same influential industry. I can't tell you how often I see blackface and mocking ebonic-like accents on Korean TV (which my family, being of Korean heritage watch every weekend)! Always there is someone mocking black people for laughs and Americans just look.

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He's not wearing a hoodie he pulled a shirt over his head.  His "hip hop attire" is a T shirt.  Now no one can wear a basic T shirt without getting approval from August Brown of the LA Times Music blog?
The "spur a conversation" link you provides is to another blog.  And the "conversation" consists of 2 posts, both of which are criticizing the slant of the article, nothing about "how African-Americans are represented in Korean pop culture."
How did you manage to mangle the takeaway from all this to be that people shouldn't wear hip hop clothing.  You didn't get any sort of inkling that maybe the lesson is BE A JOURNALIST? Is dropping an email to YG for comment that hard? It looks like you still haven't even bothered to look at the original photo since you continue to insist it's a hoodie.
the LA Times blog sourced its entry entirely from a SPIN online entry that based itself (down to the talking points and mistatements) from an entirely unsourced LIVEJOURNAL rant from a teenager.
August Brown, you're probably aces as a human being but when it comes to your job ur doin it rong man.
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Taylor Swift and Carly Simon duet on 'You're So Vain'

Carly Simon, left, joined Taylor Swift at Gillette apuestas de futbol Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., to sing Simon's hit "You're So Vain." (Theo Wargo / TAS / July 27, 2013)
August 1, 2013, 1:25 p.m.
Taylor Swift has built a career dropping hints to the identities of bad boyfriends in hit songs as an example ver futbol en vivo of the adage for the broken-hearted, “Don’t get mad — get even.”
Last weekend when Swift's “Red” tour reached Foxborough, Mass., she brought out Carly Simon, the woman who has kept listeners guessing for more than 40 years about the subject of her kiss-off song “You’re So Vain.”
“When I heard ‘You’re So Vain,’ I thought, that is the best song ever," Swift said. "That is the most direct way anyone has ever addressed a breakup.... Every girl out there will be thinking of someone when we’re singing.”
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The two sang it together Saturday in front of some 55,000 fans at Gillette Stadium, one of two sold-out shows at the venue as part of Swift’s tour that reaches Southern California for shows at Staples Center on Aug. 19, 20, 23 and 24.
Here’s the video with excerpts from the “You’re So Vain” performance and interview footage of Swift.

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What a glorified karaoke act that Taylor Swift. 
Poor Carly....
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Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres may calm waters after Seth MacFarlane

Ellen DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / February 25, 2007)
August 3, 2013, 6:00 a.m.
After Seth MacFarlane's polarizing performance as this year's Oscars host, producers are calling on a reassuring presence for the 2014 telecast, naming Ellen DeGeneres emcee of Hollywood's biggest night.
DeGeneres, a syndicated talk-show personality with a huge following, also hosted the Academy Awards in 2007. She's expected to bring a steadying hand to a telecast that faced heavy criticism in 2013. Though total viewership reached its highest point since 2010, MacFarlane drew a backlash from those who said that bits such as a parody song titled "We Saw Your Boobs" were offensive.
The selection of the openly gay DeGeneres will no doubt register as a sign of progress at a time when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is pushing for greater diversity. Earlier this week the group elected its first-ever African American board president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. The deal for DeGeneres is believed to have come together quickly in recent days, though it is unclear how much Boone Isaacs was involved in the decision.
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DeGeneres broke the news Friday morning to her millions of Twitter followers. "It's official," she wrote. "I'm hosting the Oscars! I'd like to thank The Academy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra."
She later quipped in a release from the motion picture academy that "I am.

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so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say — the third time's the charm," echoing a joke she made in the 2007 telecast in which she told eight-time nominee Peter O'Toole that "third time's the charm."
ABC will telecast the Oscars on March 2 from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
This year's Oscars producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who also oversaw the controversial 2013 show, praised DeGeneres' onscreen persona in a statement. "There are few stars today who have Ellen's gift for comedy with her great warmth and humanity."
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In 2007, DeGeneres also was brought in as a stabilizing presence after a provocative telecast the prior year by Jon Stewart. Her red-suited act gave the evening an informal feel — she took a page from her talk-show playbook as she wandered the aisles bantering with Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood. Television critic Tom Shales of the Washington Post called her turn "crisp and unpretentious."
But to some, DeGeneres failed to bring much edge or surprise. A Variety review called her a "bland guide" for the night's festivities. DeGeneres was lauded more strongly for her performance at the Emmys in 2001 shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, with many praising her delicate handling of a difficult moment.
Like her reviews, DeGeneres' Oscar ratings were middle-of-the-road; with 39.9 million viewers, the 2007 Oscars rated exactly fifth in total viewers among the last 10 years. She was aided by the multiple wins for Scorsese's "The Departed," one of the bigger blockbusters to win best picture in recent years. Last year's MacFarlane-led telecast brought in 40.3 million viewers.
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DeGeneres is likely to get a boost from a strong social-media presence that has developed since her last stint. With 21 million Twitter followers, she is among the most popular personalities on the site. She also has a highly watched channel on YouTube.
In choosing DeGeneres, the academy would also seem to have avoided the drama that ensued two years ago when it went with the unconventional choice of film producer Brett Ratner for its telecast and then Eddie Murphy as host. The move blew up when Ratner was forced to exit the show after insensitive comments in a radio interview. Murphy quickly followed suit, prompting new producer Brian Grazer to tap the veteran Billy Crystal.
Unlike some other recent hosts such as Anne Hathaway and James Franco, DeGeneres has not been a big-screen mainstay. But her voice does anchor "Finding Dory," the "Finding Nemo" sequel that ABC sister company Pixar will release in 2015.
For producers and network ABC, DeGeneres will also bring another key asset: a daily presence on television that will allow her to promote the show and welcome guests from Oscar-nominated films.
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"Pre-Oscar show publicity has become increasingly important and necessary in recent years as competition for viewers has escalated. A host's ability and willingness to participate in these opportunities is essential in that effort to boost ratings," said Tony Angellotti, a veteran publicity executive and member of the academy.
Though many in Hollywood say they believe the choice of DeGeneres is also a direct response to the criticism heaped upon last year's show, veteran Oscar producer and director Don Mischer disagrees.
"I really doubt that's the motivation," he said. "Having been in the producer's shoes many times, you are primarily looking for someone you have confidence in, someone that can roll with the punches, is quick on their feet, is likable and has a track record for live performance. She's done it all and has done it well. I doubt there was any other reason for choosing Ellen."
Still, brevity may not be on the agenda. At 3 hours and 51 minutes, the last DeGeneres-hosted Oscars was the longest of the last 13 years.
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Historically, return hosts have tended to do well. Billy Crystal added to his audience in each of the first five times he hosted, and Chevy Chase added 5% to his audience on his second go-round back in 1988. But most sophomore hosts who do well tend to take the stage in successive years. When Jon Stewart returned in 2008 after taking a year off (for DeGeneres), numbers plummeted by nearly 20%.
Mischer recalls that he was the first producer to hire DeGeneres for a live TV gig — co-host of the 1994 Emmys telecast. At the time it was a decision that was much criticized by his peers in the industry because the sitcom she was then headlining had only aired six times when producers approached her for the job. (She co-hosted the telecast with "Home Improvement's" Patricia Richardson.)
"I took a lot of flack from people in our industry. They said, 'Ellen has only had six shows in prime-time television and she gets to be the co-host?'" recalled Mischer. "Monday after the show, nobody asked me that question again. She was wonderful. She brought a spark and a light to it."
steve.zeitchik@latimes.com
nicole.sperling@latimes.com

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Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times
So, Bob Hope passed away?
Her wit is pure. Comedy should be natural like the old standbys, the look of Jack Benny or Carol Burnett or Lucille Ball. It doesn't have to be crass and disgusting like the last few hosts, a-hem! Ellen is a sweet comic. She doesn't effort or have to do the by lines or lose audience by not glorifying a punch line. She is what America is about. She has always had my vote!
Seth MacFarlane was creepy, unfunny, and extemely sexist, and should not have been hired in the first place.  Maybe the producers think that hiring Ellen will make up for the offensive juvenile display last year that revealed a lot about what today's movie honchos really think of women.  It won't.
At the bland suck-up fest that is the Oscars, the bland, faux-humble Ellen won't be the trainwreck she was on American Idol (who hired her to be a judge there in the first place?)  But Ellen isn't about female empowerment or comedic truth telling.  She's about Ellen, people who love Ellen, and celebrities who love Ellen. She is a gay activist, but not a feminist, based on her priorities and associations.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would save the Oscars, but they are too talented and too knowing to waste their time on that schlockfest.  They rejected an offer to host.  Has Ellen ever rejected an opportunity to promote herself?
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