10:00 AM PT -- Rudin is now apologizing, saying ... "Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended. " He adds the comments were insensitive and not at all funny -- and he is "profoundly and deeply sorry" to anyone he offended.
For her part, Pascal says even though the private emails were stolen ... she accepts full responsibility for what she wrote ... and apologizes for the comments.
Neither apologized for the Angelina Jolie comments.
President Obama just loves him some slavery movies, and don't get him started on Kevin Hart -- that's what a couple of Hollywood power players joked about anyway -- in new leaked emails.
In the exchange ... Sony Pictures honcho Amy Pascal asks blockbuster producer Scott Rudin for advice on small talk with the prez at a fundraiser, saying ... "Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?"
Rudin replied, "12 YEARS" ... and Pascal fired back ... "Or the butler. Or think like a man?"
The racially charged email convo, first published by Buzzfeed, wraps up when Rudin says ... "Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart."
At least Obama's in good company -- the hackers already leaked Sony Pictures emails ripping Angelina Jolie, Michael Fassbender, and Hart.
Rudin and Pascal never mentioned a Madea movie though. Sorry, Tyler Perry.
Senator Ted Cruz
My Secret Santa Partners
Were Both Democrats!
12/11/2014 6:54 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Christmas is a time for setting aside differences, even in the Senate ... and there's no better proof of that than Secret Santa ... so says Senator Ted Cruz.
Cruz broke it down for us ... the folks in the Senate do the famous gift exchange just like the rest of us ... but with a $15 limit. Cutbacks across the board!
But Cruz chose to ignore the "secret" part and revealed to us who he bought for and who bought for him ... and they were both from the other side of the aisle.
'Tis the season!
Sony Boots Media from Premiere
12/10/2014 4:38 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Score one for the hackers -- Sony Pictures is shutting down all interviews with Seth Rogen and James Franco at the Hollywood premiere of "The Interview" ... in the wake of repeated cyber attacks.
Sony says it's banning all broadcast media from Thursday night's red carpet for the event ... and print reporters will not be allowed to interview any of the cast and crew from the controversial movie about assassinating Kim Jong Un.
Sony isn't saying the drastic change is a response to the hackers -- but it came down hours after emails between Sony execs were leaked ... which blasted Kevin Hart and Angelina Jolie.
Schools Katherine Heigl's TV Show
Here's How Prez Really Does Business
12/3/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The CIA is watching Katherine Heigl ... but she's not in danger.
Turns out the super-secret agency is fixated on Katherine's new show, "State of Affairs" ... to the point of challenging the authenticity of the program and even live tweeting the way Washington really operates.
A CIA spokesperson tells TMZ ... "State of Affairs" helps the agency "counter popular myths and misconceptions about the Agency ..." The spokesperson adds social media is the perfect way to get the message out, at the same time the show airs.
On Monday's episode, Katherine's character debriefs the President as the Prez reads her accounts from a stack of papers. Minutes later, the CIA tweeted a pic of the real Prez with the caption, "President Obama & other key national security policymakers now receive the #PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing] in a tablet form."
In another episode Heigl's character has a face-to-face meeting with CIA honchos. The Agency tweeted during the show that face-to-face meetings of this sort are extremely dangerous because enemies can target all of them at once. The CIA tweeted the preferable mode of communication is a "dead drop" ... where materials are left for the recipient at a prearranged location.
It seems the CIA is really into "State of Affairs." They do not, however, seem to follow "Scandal." B-613 is probably too dangerous ... even for the CIA.
Creed's Scott Stapp
Caused My Downfall
11/27/2014 12:16 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Scott Stapp believes President Obama sic'd the IRS on him as revenge for pot shots he took at the prez during a 2012 interview -- which is why he's damn near broke now.
The former Creed front man spoke with the Roz and Mocha Show on KISS 92.5 Thursday morning in Toronto ... and claimed his accounts were compromised within two months of the Fox News interview.
Stapp adds, "I believe the IRS situation is definitely a result of me expressing my dissatisfaction with President Obama. Absolutely, 100 percent."
As we previously reported ... the singer claims his estranged wife claims he's delusional and is trying to get him committed. Believing POTUS hangs on his every word doesn't exactly help his case.
Check out the interview ... Scott talks about how much money he has left ... and whether his former band mates have reached out to help.
My Good Name's Being Tarnished!
11/26/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Bill Cosby is outraged by the torrent of sexual assault allegations ... calling them "unsubstantiated accusations."
But the guy who fits the Bill is actually Mayor Bill Cosby from Bevier, MO. He tells us he's just sick over the accusations and what it's done to the legendary comedian.
Mayor Bill met his namesake at one of Cosby's concerts back in June. Hizzoner has affection for Cosby and is hoping and praying the stories are all rubbish.
The Mayor is a man of many skills. When he's not running the 1-square-mile city -- population 718 -- he operates heavy machinery.
They have one thing in common ... they both wanna bulldozer.
Hey, Trump ... Lay Off Obama!
You Don't Know JACK About Ferguson
11/25/2014 4:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Omarosa Manigault is ripping her old boss Donald Trump ... saying he's talking out of his ass when he blames President Obama for the Ferguson riots -- and Trump has no clue what's really happening there.
Omarosa -- a veteran of 3 seasons of "The Apprentice" -- tells TMZ Trump is entitled to his opinion ... but claims he's making up facts when he says Obama's weak leadership is responsible for America's racial divide.
Trump tweeted ... Obama has "no control (or respect) over the African-American community" -- and blamed him for blacks doing "so poorly" under his presidency.
Omarosa tells us ... she thinks Trump is full of BS, and claims she personally spent time in Ferguson working alongside White House personnel sent by the President to deal with the crisis.
She also says Trump is the one who's making things worse because -- "With tensions high in our community we don't need more divisiveness! And the Obama bashing is getting a bit redundant."
So much for that 4th go-round on 'Apprentice.'
On Front Line of Ferguson Protest
'It's About Mike Brown'
11/25/2014 7:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Rapper Macklemore was one of thousands of people who protested in the streets Monday night following the decision in Ferguson, MO not to file charges against the cop who shot and killed Michael Brown.
The Seattle native was seen marching in his hometown's protest -- which eventually turned violent -- with his hands in the air, joining the chant, "Don't shoot! Hands up!"
Macklemore tried to blend in, but was spotted by a KING 5 photog. When asked about his reasons for being there ... he put the spotlight on Brown.
Unclear if he was still marching when protesters clashed with police.
Protests in Ferguson
'Obviously' Protesters Smell Like Weed
11/25/2014 8:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Don Lemon had another "open mouth, insert foot" moment on CNN ... this time using the word "obviously" to describe the smell of marijuana in the air during the protests in Ferguson.
Lemon was on the scene Monday night as residents took to the streets to protest the decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.
It kinda turned into quien es mas macho between Lemon and Chris Cuomo. Lemon had gas mask in hand and Chris went commando.
At one point as gas moved in Don's direction he put the mask on but for some reason took it off, saying he needed water and started hacking uncontrollably.
Sad part for Don and Chris though -- Sara Sidner outmanned both of 'em by taking a rock to the dome ... and not missing a beat.
Compares Mike Brown To Palestinians
11/25/2014 6:01 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Reggie Bush just compared Ferguson to Israel -- suggesting Israelis are shooting unarmed Palestinians ... the same way Officer Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown.
The Detroit Lions star went to Instagram and posted a photo of a man holding a sign that reads, "The Palestinian people know what mean to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity #ferguson #justice."
Bush also included a caption -- "No matter who you are, what color skin you have, where you live, we are all in this together! This isn't a Ferguson problem it's a Global Problem! We need change NOW! What happened to humanity? #JusticeForMikeBrown."
Question is ...
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Miley Cyrus Can Party with My Fam
11/25/2014 7:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Get ready for inflatable penises and people in teddy bear suits all over Hyannis Port (again?) ... because Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says Miley Cyrus is welcome at the Kennedy Compound.
Since Miley started dating Patrick Schwarzenegger, we've wondered how Miley and her antics would fit in with the buttoned-up Kennedy clan.
Sounds like RFK Jr. and his wife Cheryl Hines had a summit about this very topic -- check out his endorsement for Cyrus. Of course, the real question might be ... can they keep up with Miley?
You've been warned, H.P.
Dead at 78
11/23/2014 4:14 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Former Washington D.C. mayor Marion Barry -- who became nationally famous after an epic cocaine bust that did not derail his career -- died Sunday morning at 78.
Barry served 4 terms as Mayor, but his defining moment for most people is what he did in a hotel room during his tenure ... smoking crack with a young woman, and as FBI barged in the room screaming, "She set me up!"
Barry -- who was a folk hero in D.C. -- became the butt of jokes and almost a staple punchline on shows like "SNL."
But after serving time for drug possession, he became mayor once again.
Barry became a paradigm of politicians … how they could do wrong, yet still remain popular with the electorate.
Cause of death has not been disclosed.
Gets 8th Degree Black Belt
... Just For Kicks
11/21/2014 9:32 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Vladimir Putin is even more dangerous ... earning his 8th degree black belt in a form of karate ... so says the Russian news media.
The 62-year-old President of Russia is a student of Kyokushin -- a stand-up, full contact form of karate ... in which fighters do not wear head gear. Head strikes are also banned in competition.
Putin is pretty skilled in martial arts -- having earned his 9th degree black belt in taekwondo back in 2013. Plus, he's also a heavy duty judo enthusiast.
Meanwhile, President Obama practiced taekwondo in Chicago from 2001 to 2004 ... but only earned a blue belt.
Not like it's a competition or anything ...