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The Oscars New Members Are Mostly Minorities ... But #OscarsStillSoWhite

6/29/2016 1:43 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

062916-academy-awards-logoThe Oscars added 683 new members to its voting body Wednesday ... in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite bruhaha, and while nearly half of the new class are minorities, it barely put a dent in the overall white and male demo.

According to the Academy ... 46 percent of the new class are female and 41 percent ... people of color. Sounds like a lot, but when you factor in the pre-existing members it's only a 2-3%.

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Notable names on the list include Idris Elba, Vivica A. Fox, Morris ChestnutMichael B. Jordan, Nia Long, Gabrielle Union, and Marlon and Damon Wayans. 'Star Wars' newcomer John Boyega is the youngest at 24 added to the list. O'Shea Jackson also made the cut ... interesting since the "Straight Outta Compton" snub ignited the controversy.

The Academy says the new class reps "the best in our global film community." It also added this: "We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry."

Baby steps.

'Grey's Anatomy' Star Jesse Williams Go Tell Dead Black Victims Racism Is Gone

6/27/2016 6:17 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Jesse Williams brought down the house at the BET Awards Sunday, with a powerful indictment of police brutality and racism in America.

The "Grey's Anatomy" star nabbed the Humanitarian Award for his work in civil rights, and used his time to remind the audience how far the country needs to come before it can truly say there is liberty and justice for all.

Rather than reading, you gotta listen ... it's unbelievably powerful.

Jamie Foxx Coolest Dude in Hollywood

6/27/2016 6:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Jamie Foxx dissolved in tears during Jesse Williams' BET acceptance speech, but later Sunday night he was out on the town, chillin at Chow.

Jamie proclaims mad love for Samuel L. Jackson, and it's pretty hilarious.

Jennifer Hudson Pays Off BET's Prince Threat ... Look Away, Madonna

6/27/2016 7:17 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

BET did a lot of trash talking about Madonna's tribute to Prince ... and Jennifer Hudson had to back it up by performing that same song. No pressure.  

You'll recall ... the BET Awards called out the Billboard Awards for its tribute to Prince -- featuring Madonna and Stevie Wonder singing "Purple Rain." As they put it on Twitter ... "Yeah, we saw that. Don't Worry. We got you."

Sunday night, J. Hud had to put up or shut up ... check out her performance.  

Who sang it better?

BET Awards Weekend LAPD On Alert for Sizzurp Sippin'

6/25/2016 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0624_lapd_training-for-lean_composite_gettyThe LAPD officers just got schooled on sizzurp, aka lean ... but the department swears there's nothing racial about it.

Law enforcement sources tell us LAPD brass has held meetings with cops to go over the basics when it comes to codeine. We're told they've been briefed on how users mix the syrup, how it looks, smells and most importantly ... to be on the lookout for double cups. 

The brass insisted it has nothing to do with this weekend's BET Awards show ... which will draw scores of rappers. They say cops will not specially hunt for double cups ... but officers will arrest anyone if they happen to notice during normal patrol.

Interestingly ... one of the LAPD divisions where a meeting was held was near the BET venue in downtown L.A. But the Hollywood Division didn't have such a meeting, and that's where lots of the after-parties will go down. We're told Hollywood cops already know what's up.

BET Awards Weekend Strip Clubs Join Forces ... to Import Highest Quality Ass

6/24/2016 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0623-launch-bet-strippers-instagram-02How's this for rapper's delight ... 2 elite strip clubs are flying in more than 50 of the nation's HOTTEST strippers to meet demand from thirsty ballers in L.A. for the BET Awards.

Ace of Diamonds L.A. and Crazy Girls have both jumped in on the action ... and sources tell TMZ the strip joints expect to haul in at least $500k ... thanks to a swarm of rappers who have expressed keen interest. 

Some of the heavy hitters include Currency, Tokyo, Henny, Mercedes Fox and Malani Ca$h ... just some of the most sought-after strippers headlining clubs in New York, Houston, Miami and Atlanta.

Get those bands ready.

Whitney Houston Estate Can't Beat the Emmys ... Court Blocks Auction!

6/24/2016 6:34 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0624-whitney-houston-oscar-GETTY-01Whitney Houston's estate and the Whitney fan who already bid $10,000 for her 1986 Emmy are both outta luck -- a federal judge has shut down an auction for the trophy.

Heritage Auctions had put the statuette up for grabs, but TMZ broke the story ... the Television Academy opposed the auction, citing its rule that all Emmys must be returned to them if the winner or winner's heirs no longer want it.

Heritage was hawking the Emmy on behalf of Whitney's estate, but the Academy sought and was granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the live auction from going down Friday.

The online auction had already begun, and as we told you ... someone put up a $10k bid. Sorry, Charlie.

Heritage says it will respect the court's decision and the Emmy will be returned to the Houston family.

Whitney Houston Here's Proof Emmy Auction Is Illegal ... TV Academy Sues

6/22/2016 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0622-whitney-houston-emmy-getty-03Whitney Houston's Emmy award will NOT be auctioned off without a fight ... the Television Academy just filed a lawsuit accusing Heritage Auctions of theft.

TMZ broke the story ... the Academy is trying to block Heritage from putting the statuette on the block -- on behalf of Whitney's family -- claiming it contractually MUST be returned to the Academy.

In the docs -- filed in L.A. and obtained by TMZ -- the Academy included the sticker it says has been affixed to the bottom of EVERY Emmy handed out between 1978 to 1994. Whitney won hers in 1986.

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The sticker makes it clear the statuette is the Academy's property and the winner's heirs are "obligated to return" it ... as opposed to selling it or throwing it away.

Heritage thinks the Academy is bullying the Houston family ... because more than 3 dozen other Emmy awards have been auctioned off without a peep. The live auction for Whitney's trophy is set for Friday, but the online auction is already up and running ... and someone's already bid $10k!

Whitney Houston Emmy Battle Heading for Court

6/22/2016 8:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0622-whitney-houston-emmy-gettyWhitney Houston's only Emmy award is about to go up for auction IF Emmy honchos fail in their last ditch effort to block the sale ... TMZ has learned.

The Television Academy says it's going into court Wednesday morning to request a restraining order against Heritage Auctions ... which plans to put Whitney's 1986 Emmy statuette up for grabs on Friday.

Heritage is hawking the award on behalf of Whitney's estate -- but the Television Academy has strict rules about its awards. According to the Academy, all winners sign an agreement that their heirs or successors must "return the statuette to the Academy, and we hold it in storage in memory of the recipient.”

A rep for Heritage tells TMZ ... they've asked the Academy multiple times to produce Whitney's signature on that agreement, but no dice to this point. Heritage says it's moving forward unless a judge drops the hammer.

They expect the award to sell for upwards of $10,000. By the way, Whitney won the Emmy for her performance on the Grammys. Weird, right?

James Corden Orlando, You Are Not Alone ...

6/12/2016 5:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

James Corden opened the Tony Awards in NYC with a heartfelt dedication to the victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre and their families.

It's a tough position for Corden -- hosting something as trivial as an entertainment award show ... while the country is reeling in the wake of its worst mass shooting ever.

Corden and the show's producers probably handled it the best way possible, under the circumstances -- addressing the horrific events head-on, while vowing ... "Hate will never win."

Bravo.

J.J. Watt to Carrie Underwood: You Married a Hockey Player???

6/9/2016 8:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

J.J. Watt threatening to fight Carrie Underwood's hockey player husband??? That happened ... sorta. 

It was all part of Watt's big comedy bit at the CMT Music Awards Wednesday night -- when Watt jokingly hit on a bunch of hot married famous chicks ... including Carrie. It culminated in a funny standoff with Mike Fisher

Watt was actually pretty good as a co-host ... considering hosting's not really his day job. 

J.J. Watt Gone Country Hosting CMT Awards

5/25/2016 9:09 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0525-jj-watt-gettyMVP meets CMT. 

J.J. Watt has officially been tapped to co-host the CMT Music Awards next month -- after impressing producers as a presenter during last year's show. 

CMT announced Watt will join Erin Andrews -- who hosted the show last year along with Brittany Snow. But Snow's out -- and Watt's in. 

"I am very excited to be involved in a much larger capacity this year as co-host,” Watt said.

"I can’t wait to host the awards with Erin and be part of such a great night, honoring the biggest stars in country music.”

Andrews also commented -- saying, "I can’t wait to see what antics J.J. and I will get into together."

Ciara Half-Off Special

5/23/2016 6:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0523-ciara-billboard-pricetag-shoe-GETTY-01Ciara chic is awesome ... a blend of a sexy physique, amazing threads and super expensive shoes, which is evident from the price tag.

We're guessing this isn't a humble brag ... just an oversight.

Oops. 

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