x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Today's entertainment news: Outcry over pulling ads from All-American Muslim

Also: Jolie hailed for Balkan war film; Mahfouz's prized cache up for sale at Sotheby's; Abhishek Bachchan talks friendship with Tom Cruise; and 50 Cent releasing fitness book.

Sisters Shadia and Suehaila on Shadia’s wedding day in a scene from the TV show All-American Muslim. The hip-hop magnate Russell Simmons, top right, has criticised the American company Lowe’s for pullings its advertisements from the show. Courtesy TLC
Sisters Shadia and Suehaila on Shadia’s wedding day in a scene from the TV show All-American Muslim. The hip-hop magnate Russell Simmons, top right, has criticised the American company Lowe’s for pullings its advertisements from the show. Courtesy TLC

The hip-hop magnate Russell Simmons has criticised the retail home improvement store Lowe's for its recent move to pull advertising from the TLC reality series All-American Muslim, calling the move "Islamophobic".

Simmons told Entertainment Weekly that Lowe's could face outrage from civil rights groups. "They can't get away with that, it's ridiculous," he said. "This country is built on religious freedom. This is the kind of hate that tears this country apart."

Simmons, the founder of the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, is also the chairman of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which promotes interfaith harmony, particularly among Muslim-Jewish relations.

Lowe's claims it pulled the ads after extremists groups protested against the docu-soap's positive portrayal of ordinary Muslim families. "This programme is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad," The Florida Family Association said.

The hardware store defended its decision on Twitter: "It is never our intent to alienate anyone. Lowe's values diversity of thought in everyone."

Jolie hailed for Balkan war film

Angelina Jolie has won praise for her directorial work for In the Land of Blood and Honey, which tells the story of love amid the atrocities of the Bosnian war.

The film's cast are all local actors who lived through the conflict as the former Yugoslavia was ripped apart. The movie was made in Bosnia and Budapest, in two languages: English and Serbo-Croatian.

"We want people to feel what it is like to live in war, and to pray that ... something will stop this," she told reporters at a press screening in Hollywood on Thursday.

The film has also won praise from Bosnian war victims' groups.

"This movie is objective and sincere," said Hatidza Mehmedovic, the head of an association of mothers of Srebrenica massacre victims after a special screening in Sarajevo on Friday. She added that she wanted to "thank Angelina for her intellectual and financial investment in making this movie that will tell the world the truth about Bosnia's war".

* AFP

Mahfouz's prized cache up for sale at Sotheby's

Sotheby's London is offering for sale a major collection of unpublished manuscripts by Naguib Mahfouz, probably the most important Egyptian novelist of the 20th century and the only Arab writer to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The archive, estimated at £50,000-£70,000 (Dh288,000-Dh403,000), will be sold in the English Literature, History, Private Press, Children's Books and Illustrations sale on Thursday. The manuscripts span seven decades of the author's career, from the 1930s to his death in 2006.

Abhishek Bachchan talks friendship with Tom Cruise

The Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan had nothing but good words to say about Tom Cruise after talking to the Hollywood superstar at the recent India premiere of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

"Oh it was wonderful meeting Tom. We didn't get much time, about 15 minutes or so, but we spoke a lot about the country," Bachchan told DNA India. "He seemed extremely happy about his visit and said he wanted to come back for a holiday with his family. He is a very sweet man, a great gentleman. It really felt good that he came here."

The two first met during this year's Oscars ceremony, which Bachchan had attended with his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Bachchan added that he grew up watching Cruise's films and that his favourite performance of the actor was in the film Tropic Thunder.

50 Cent releasing fitness book

The rapper 50 Cent is working on a fitness book titled Formula 50: A 6-Week Total Body Transformation Plan. The hip-hop star says he wants to help people "make positive changes and take charge of their overall health".

The book, set to be published in January 2013 by Avery Books, will promote metabolic resistance training as the key to getting in shape. It will also include a nutrition guide.

Formula 50 will be the latest credit for 50 Cent as an author after the recent release of his teen novel Playground.

* AP