Celebrity Buzz: ESPN suspends Dan Le Batard; 'The View' auditions turn ugly


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Today's pop-culture roundup includes a taunt to King James, alleged nastiness on a mock set, Emmy predictions, our mystery music video and much more.

SUCH A HOMER: Once upon a time, journalists didn’t do this, per The Hollywood Reporter, “ESPN has announced that Dan Le Batard — host of the ESPN2 show Highly Questionable and the ESPN Radio show The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz — has been suspended for two days for putting up a Miami billboard that mocks NBA star LeBron James. Both of Le Batard's shows air daily.

“ "Dan Le Batard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday," reads a statement ESPN released to The Hollywood Reporter. "His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN's standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance." ’’

A TRUE DETECTIVE STORY: Or not, per Rolling Stone, “True Detective recently earned a slew of nominations for this year's Emmys (including Outstanding Drama Series), but the celebratory mood has been dampened for the show's creator, Nic Pizzolatto. A newly hyped rumor campaign claiming that the first season of his psychological HBO drama borrowed elements from the work of horror author Thomas Ligotti has been revived, centered around the nihilistic outlook of Detective "Rust" Cohle. As Deadline reports, Pizzolatto defended his creative choices in a statement, saying, "Nothing in the television show True Detective was plagiarized." ’’

CHRISSY TEIGEN’S BUTT: Read on, per Celebuzz, “I mean, as if reading her hilarious response to Nicki Minaj's crazy ass fans or watching her drunkenly throw the "honorable" first pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers game wasn't enough for you... You'll quickly learn to love Chrissy Teigen after reading her article in Esquire magazine. She's literally everything right now.

“The 28-year-old wife of John Legend is known for showing off her now-famous booty on the cover of Sports Illustrated while posing topless with Nina Agdal and Lily Aldrige... And yet she still can't stand her "little" butt.”

THE EMMYS: Of early predictions, per the Los Angeles Times, “Watching the Emmy ceremony last year produced a nasty case of whiplash as the evening veered wildly between rewarding the expected winners ("Modern Family," Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jim Parsons) and delivering absolutely shocking surprises. Bobby Cannavale? Really? Jeff Daniels, not Kevin Spacey or Bryan Cranston? Huh. Merritt who? Wever? OK, then. Gotta go. Bye.

“Wever didn't know how to react to her win, but she should have at least allowed for the possibility, as the Emmy acting categories are judged not for the whole season but for a single submitted episode. (At least that's how voters are directed to proceed.) Sometimes this methodology can produce some bizarre outcomes, though usually not as many as last year. Who might pull off an upset in 2014? Read on for our early predictions.”

‘THE VIEW’: A screen test of sorts, per The Wrap, “TheWrap confirms co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell did chemistry tests with several candidates on Thursday. ABC's “The View” spent the day testing candidates for Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd‘s vacated seats, individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

“On Thursday, “View” watchers may have realized that Goldberg was absent from the season's last taped episode. She was on the inactive New York City set of “The Chew” with returning co-host O'Donnell for the chemistry tests. At least nine candidates have been identified in multiple reports. All of the women's backgrounds/careers lie heavily in politics or sports.”

MEANWHILE: Of familiar cat fights, per TMZ, “Rosie O'Donnell got into a heated showdown over abortion with CNN's S.E. Cupp during a 'View' test show taping with Whoopi Goldberg ... who ended up taking a thinly-veiled shot at Barbara Walters. Production sources at "The View" tell us Cupp -- who's vying for the conservative role on the show -- had a "nasty" debate yesterday over the Australian couple making headlines for asking their surrogate to abort a Down syndrome baby.

“We're told things escalated when Whoopi jumped in and asked Cupp if she ever had to make a decision about abortion. That shut everyone up momentarily ... until Rosie chastised Cupp, saying she didn't want another Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Here's where Babs comes in. After the taping ... Whoopi -- in front of producers and several potential replacement hosts -- said she'd been "working with a cranky 85-year-old woman who's mad about everything for 2 years, and I need a break." ’’

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: Just the facts, per The Insider, “Indio Downey, the 20-year-old son of actor Robert Downey Jr., has been charged with felony drug possession. The younger Downey was arrested June 29 after law enforcement officers saw him appear to smoke a pipe while riding in the passenger seat of a car in L.A. On Thursday, Yahoo obtained the felony complaint charging Indio with a felony for possessing a controlled substance (cocaine), and a misdemeanor for possession of a smoking device.”

A DIFFERENT LOOK: No matter, per People, “When Chantelle Brown-Young was 4 years old, a mysterious white patch appeared on her stomach. Diagnosed with the skin disorder vitiligo, Brown-Young watched as similar spots spread all over her body over the next few years, including on her hands, knees and face.

“. . . Her striking appearance caught the attention of Tyra Banks, who discovered Brown-Young on Instagram and asked her to compete in cycle 21 of America’s Next Top Model, which premieres Aug. 18.”

WHATEVER: But some people eat this up, of course, per Us Weekly, “No matter what, Khloe Kardashian will always be there for her younger brother Rob. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians reality star posted a supportive message and adorable throwback picture of the two via Instagram on Friday, Aug. 8.

“ "I'll never let you carry more than you can hold my sweet brother," Khloe, 30, wrote. "Almost home kiddo!" In the snapshot, the close siblings appeared to sit courtside at a sporting event. (They often attended basketball games to cheer on Khloe's ex-husband Lamar Odom). ’’

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Terrapin Station, or something like that, per Variety, “ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is off to a strong start at the box office, racking up an estimated $4.6 million in Thursday screenings.

“The shelled adventure debuted in approximately 2,651 locations, and is expected to make just shy of $50 million this weekend in the U.S. Paramount Pictures, which is releasing the film, compared the overnight results to “Maleficent’s” $4 million Thursday haul en route to a $69.4 million opening earlier this summer. The studio contends both films are family pictures, although “Maleficent” drew an overwhelmingly female crowd and “Ninja Turtles” seems pitched at a different gender and could draw twenty-somethings prone to associate Michelangelo with a pizza-eating reptile instead of simply a Renaissance great.”{ }

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video:

--Skip Wood