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'Cooking on High' Star Weed Food ... More Than Just Brownies!!!

6/22/2018 1:46 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Cooking on High" star Ngaio Bealum has a message for all stoners and non-stoners out there -- limiting your weed palate to just brownies is the stuff of amateurs.

The resident culinary weed expert for the new Netflix show was on "TMZ Live" dropping serious knowledge on how cannabis food has come a long way in just a short period of time. The show -- which premiered Friday -- is a new cooking show that pits 10 cannabis chefs who will compete and strut their stuff for a panel of judges.

Check it out ... Ngaio breaks down how fancy weed food can get. Think lobster and steak. He also gives some thoughtful advice on how to stay focused when chowing down 3 or 4-course weed meals.

So, put the chips down, pull up a chair and get cultured on cuisine ... weed style!!

'Evil Genius' FBI Agent Prostitute's Shocking Confession ... Is Pretty Much B.S.

5/27/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The FBI elite agent who investigated the murder of Brian Wells -- a case that inspired Netflix's 'Evil Genius' -- isn't buying the shocking twist at the end of the documentary ... at least not most of it.

Dr. Jerry Clark -- who's heavily featured in the 4-part doc -- tells TMZ ... former prostitute Jessica Hoopsick's confession doesn't mesh with loads of evidence and investigatory work he did for years, so he doesn't believe she's credible.

If you haven't seen it, a big mystery of 'Evil Genius' is how much Wells knew about the bank heist that led to his death -- Jessica claims he knew nothing and she helped set him up ... but Jerry strongly refutes that and has some solid reasons.

Clark does agree with Jessica on one major component ... and 'Evil Genius' fans are going to want to hear his take on Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and Bill Rothstein, too.

They should also check out what the director of the documentary, Trey Borzillieri, told us about Floyd Stockton.

FYI -- Clark spent 27 years in local and federal law enforcement, and retired from the FBI in 2011. He now teaches criminal justice at Gannon University.

Ben Foster & Laura Prepon First (Legal) Steps to Tie the Knot

5/27/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ben Foster and Laura Prepon appear to be inching closer to husband and wife -- 'cause they hit up the one place in NYC they gotta go to make it happen. 

The couple of about 2 years waited in line this week for the City Clerk, where marriage licenses are issued to residents. We don't wanna get ahead of ourselves -- there are lots of reasons Ben and Laura could've been at that office.

Maybe they were enrolling as lobbyists, requesting City Council transcripts or submitting their Oaths of Office as elected officials. Okay, definitely not the last one, but you get the point ... marriage license seems to fit the bill here. 

As we reported ... Ben and Laura announced their engagement by flashing her massive rock in the fall of 2016. They already have 1 kid together.

We've reached out to their reps, but no word back yet.

Fun fact: the marriage license is only good for 60 days, so go ahead and cue up "Here Comes the Bride" ... they're gonna need it soon. 

Ex-Prez Vicente Fox Forget Netflix Money Grab, Obama ... The World Needs You!!!

5/23/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Barack and Michelle Obama are making a huge mistake with their Netflix deal ... according to Vicente Fox, who says they should focus on helping people, instead of making money.

We got the ex-Mexican Prez Tuesday in D.C. and asked him about the Obamas locking up a production deal to make films, series and documentaries for Netflix. He's not on board.

In fact, he fully challenged the former first couple.

Fox says their jump into entertainment comes at the worst time, because their leadership's desperately needed in other arenas.

Vicente's no fan of President Trump, and doesn't call him by name, but watch -- he urges Obama to help the Democrats win in November.

Translation: take down Trump's Republicans now ... make your showbiz bucks later.

Jason Bateman & Will Arnett Involved in Car Accident in NYC ... Their Taxi Hit a Car

5/21/2018 6:02 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Jason Bateman and Will Arnett got into a car accident Monday evening while riding in a taxi in New York City, but they seem to be okay ... TMZ has learned. 

Eyewitnesses tell us the "Arrested Development" stars and 2 other people were cruising in a taxi van near Madison Square Park, when their driver rear-ended a sedan in front of them. We're told cops were called, but no one was transported to the hospital.

Law enforcement sources say the driver of the black Ford sedan claimed to have suffered some back pain as a result of the collision -- but otherwise, seemed fine. We're told Jason and Will also went uninjured, and even stuck around to talk to the police.

Most of the "Arrested Development" cast was in NYC Monday doing press to hype up their upcoming 5th season. That includes Jeffrey Tambor, too, by the way ... despite his sexual misconduct scandal.

As far as this goes, though, not nearly as much drama for the Bluths. No one was arrested or cited for the accident. Rest easy, 'AD' fans -- the TV fam's still intact. 

Jeffrey Tambor Down for More 'Arrested Development' ... If They'll Have Him

5/21/2018 1:19 PM PDT

Jeffrey Tambor's unapologetic when it comes to lobbying for more work on "Arrested Development" ... sexual misconduct allegations be damned.

We got Jeffrey out Monday in NYC, and wanted to know if he's up for being on 'AD' for season 6? ICYMI ... Jeffrey showed up to the season 5 premiere last week alongside the 'Arrested' cast, which stands by him despite allegations he sexually harassed his assistant and a "Transparent" costar. Amazon fired him from "Transparent" in February, though he says he quit and denied the allegations.

'Arrested' creator Mitch Hurwitz reportedly said last week he stuck with Tambor for season 5 because the Netflix show had already been filmed when allegations first surfaced. That aside, Hurwitz said he wasn't gonna cut Tambor based purely on allegations.

For his part, Tambor told us the vibe on set is great ... so, if they're game, so is he.

Barack And Michelle Obama Lock Multi-Year Deal with Netflix

5/21/2018 9:33 AM PDT
Breaking News

President Barack and Michelle Obama could be walking the red carpet at the next Oscars and Golden Globes ... and not as guests, but nominees.

Netflix confirmed Monday in a tweet they're partnering up with the Obamas on a multi-year agreement where Barack and Michelle will produce films and series for the company. The announcement says the deal could potentially also include "scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features." Basically, anything is game.

Rumors began to swirl in March that 44 and the former First Lady were in talks with Netflix, but the terms of the deal were still unclear.

The Obamas have always been champions of the film industry and at once had close ties with Harvey Weinstein before all his sexual assault allegations surfaced. Their daughter, Malia, even had an internship at the Weinstein Company.

'Stranger Things' Star Sadie Sink Newbie Character Makes Newbie Cash Compared to Child Costars

5/7/2018 12:03 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Stranger Things" child actors need to put their time in before they can hit the 6-figure payouts, as one actress is learning after being added as a new character just last year.

Sadie Sink -- who was newly introduced as Max in season 2 -- isn't making nearly as much money as her very famous costars -- namely Millie Bobby BrownGaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, etc. -- according to her minor's contact. She's raking in about $25k per episode.

According to the docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Sadie's S2 episodic compensation was a little over $23,000 per episode, with at least 7 episodes guaranteed. The season ended up producing 9 episodes, so she took home an extra $46k, more or less. Not bad.

For season 3, however, she got a raise of about $1,000 per episode -- and is set to get similar raises if the show continues until season 8. As we've reported ... the OG child stars of the show were on the same schedule at first, but reportedly negotiated HUGE increases as of late ... upwards of $200k per episode and possibly even more

If Sadie's smart -- or has a good agent -- she'll also get to the negotiating table soon enough. Gotta be tough knowing your coworkers are making roughly 10 times more than you daily.

Bill Bellamy White Guy as a Black Kid?? C'mon, 'Spy Kids' ... Do Better!!!

4/20/2018 7:29 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bill Bellamy isn't hating on the white guy voicing a black character on Netflix's new animated 'Spy Kids,' but he's got a major bone to pick with the show's "lazy" casting directors.

We got Bill at LAX and he told us the show should absolutely recast Travis Turner, the white actor voicing a black kid on the show. When we got Travis, he insisted he was "urban" enough for the gig ... partly because he grew up in motels. Seriously. 

Bill thinks Travis was screwed from the moment he was casted since a white kid doing a black voice is controversial no matter what. In fact, Bill gave us the perfect example of why it's messed up. It definitely wasn't a PC example ... but pretty on point.

'Spy Kids: Mission Critical' Star I Voice a Black Character But It's All Good, I'm Super Urban!

4/18/2018 7:01 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

One of the stars of Netflix's new animated 'Spy Kids' show says it's fine that he's a white dude voicing a black character ... in part because he's lived in motels and raps a lot.

We got Travis Turner Tuesday night at Craig's in WeHo and asked if he was worried about backlash from the African-American community over him playing a black character named PSI in "Spy Kids: Mission Critical," which officially debuts this Friday. 

HELL TO THE NO, DAWG ... is pretty much Travis' response here, as he explains how he grew up "urban" by living in motels -- plus he says he makes music with black artists, including Snoop, apparently ... and even sponsors black kids. So it's all good, according to him. 

Travis goes on to blame social media for so much division when it comes to race ... and then gives us a taste of his rapping and voice from the show. Brace yourselves.

Jerry Seinfeld Idea of 'Comedians in Cars' Ain't Yours ... It's Nobody's, Really

4/5/2018 11:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Jerry Seinfeld isn't laughing over a claim he stole the idea for his hit Netflix show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" -- instead, he says the guy suing him doesn't have a leg to stand on.

In the docs Jerry filed, he lays out 3 reasons why Christian Charles' lawsuit should be dismissed. Christian claims Jerry ripped off his original concept of 'CICGC.' First, Jerry says Christian missed his chance to sue over a copyright claim -- pointing out the first episode aired in 2012, and it's now 2018. The statute of limitations for copyright claims is 3 years. 

Jerry also claims the idea of comedians in cars getting coffee is too generic to claim ownership over. He points to "Carpool Karoake," "Jay Leno's Garage" and something called ... "Cougars in Cars Getting Cosmos" ... as examples in the genre. 

Finally, Jerry says he filed a copyright for his pilot episode of 'CICGC' ... just the episode, not the concept. But in the docs, obtained by TMZ, Jerry says Christian filed his own copyright 10 days later for "Comedians in Cars Going for Coffee." Jerry thinks Christian was trying to be sneaky by slightly tweaking the title.

Jerry admits in his response that Charles did, in fact, direct the pilot episode in 2011 ... but denies stealing anything.

'Stranger Things' Casting Call Supports Claim Duffer Bros. Stole the Show

4/4/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

10:45 AM PT -- The attorney for the Duffer Brothers tells TMZ, "Mr. Kessler's claim is completely meritless. He had no connection to the creation or development of 'Stranger Things.' The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr. Kessler's short nor discussed any project with him. This is just an attempt to profit from other people's creativity and hard work."

A "Stranger Things" casting call looks like a smoking gun in the lawsuit accusing show creators, the Duffer brothers, of ripping off a short film -- because it's black and white proof they jacked the film's title.

We've obtained the casting call, from Aug. 2015, for the role of "Barbara." It includes the following, "You have a self tape request for the Netflix series 'Montauk' starring Winona Ryder." The references to Barb (the description's hilarious and dead-on) and Winona make it clear this was "Stranger Things."

The document also lists Matt and Ross Duffer as writers and directors of the series. TMZ broke the story, the bros were sued by Charlie Kessler, who says he not only made a short film about top secret government experiments entitled "Montauk" ... but he pitched the Duffers a project based on his film.

The timing of the casting call is also super suspect. Kessler says his pitch meeting with the Duffers went down in April 2014. They did NOT strike a deal, but lo and behold, in August 2015 the Duffers were casting for their series, "Montauk."

Netflix had even proudly announced in April 2015 they were buying the series WITH that title.

So, neither the Duffers nor Netflix was bashful about copying Kessler's title ... at the very least. Whether they copied his script could fall to a jury, with the casting call being exhibit A. 

'Stranger Things' Directors Apologize to Females on Set Sometimes Tempers get Frayed

3/11/2018 7:32 AM PDT

"Stranger Things" writers and directors Matt and Ross Duffer are speaking out about claims they verbally abused multiple women on the set.

The Duffer Bros issued a statement ... "We are deeply upset to learn that someone felt uncomfortable on our set.  Due to the high-stress nature of production, tempers occasionally get frayed, and for that, we apologize."

The statement, which was posted on E!, included a caveat ... "However, we think it is important not to mischaracterize our set, where we believe strongly in treating everyone fairly regardless of gender, orientation, race, religion, or anything else."

Netflix, which carries the hit show investigated the complaints and found no wrongdoing on the part of the brothers. 

The investigation was triggered by Peyton Brown, a former grip on the show, who targeted the Duffers, saying, "I will not be a part of the filming of Season 3 of Stranger Things.  Why, you ask?  Because I stand with my sisters."  

   

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