BLM Co-Founder Boycott The Royal Family ... They Don't Value Black Lives!!!

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Black lives do NOT matter to the Royal Family ... at least according to a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, who is now calling for a royal boycott.

Opal Tometi, one of the originators of the BLM movement, tells TMZ ... after hearing Meghan Markle's experience with racism within the Royal Family, people should no longer stand with the Royals or the monarchy.

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Opal says Meghan and Prince Harry's admission to Oprah, that at least one member of the monarchy wanted to discriminate against their son Archie because of his skin color, makes it clear the Royal Family places virtually no value on Black lives ... and thus, the masses should turn their backs on the Royals like at least one of them did to little Archie.

As you know ... the entire globe has been left to guess who brought up the skin color concerns to Harry, and neither he nor Meghan is ratting them out. The Palace remains silent, though Oprah did offer ... it wasn't Prince Philip or the Queen.

Regardless of who it was, Opal says Meghan and Harry's experience shows just how problematic the Royal Family has been for quite some time, and the world doesn't need to have institutions that treat Black people as if they don't matter.

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Remember, Meghan also says things got so bad she contemplated suicide and went to human resources begging for professional help, but she got turned down flat.

Opal says Meghan's experience is what all too often happens with Black people ... they try to go through the proper channels to resolve problems, but then it turns out the issue is with the institution itself.

Eliminating racism from the Royal Family with a boycott won't be so simple ... but in any event, Opal says folks should start believing Black women when they speak up, because Meghan's surely not the only one dealing with racism.

Pepe Le Pew Creator Chuck Jones Daughter Rejects Rape Culture View ... Cites a 2021 Lens

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Pepe Le Pew was never meant to be interpreted as rape-y, but the times have caught up with him to make it seem that way ... so says the daughter of the guy who first drew him.

Linda Jones -- whose father, Chuck Jones, is credited as the creator and original animator of Pepe and other Looney Tunes -- tells TMZ she strongly disagrees with the notion the suave skunk contributed to rape culture, as suggested in an NYT op-ed.

On the contrary, Linda says she doesn't think anyone who ever watched Pepe was inspired to go out and rape, or even harass, people. She gets pretty literal, saying Pepe never raped another character on the show -- which, okay ... that's a given.

Still, LJ just doesn't think Pepe should be canceled or shelved over this -- because the OG running gag with him was never meant to be predatory ... she says it was more about how much he stunk as a suitor, despite thinking he was desirable.

She does admit Pepe's grabby approach toward Penelope Pussycat certainly doesn't look good by today's standards ... but insists folks who were watching him in the '50s, '60s and '70s were NOT thinking of that dynamic as normalizing rape culture.

Perhaps that was wrong or ignorant of audiences back then, she muses, but that just wasn't the vibe, nor the intention -- as she explains her pops, Chuck, was a super liberal dude, and was never out to hurt people. Linda says the purpose of Pepe was pure comedy.

As for axing Pepe from the new 'Space Jam' movie entirely ... Linda tells us that's Warner Bros.'s prerogative -- and that if they choose to give him a break for a while, so be it.

She did suggest something interesting to rebrand Pepe and capture the spirit her father intended -- write him as a perpetual job-seeker who keeps getting rejected, but constantly changes up his routine thinking he's the perfect candidate.

Now that's #progress.

Rob Gronkowski Releasing Rare Digital Trading Cards ... Cashin' In On NFT Boom

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NFT IS THE FUTURE!
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Rob Gronkowski's gettin' in on the EXPLODING digital sports memorabilia market ... the NFL superstar is releasing his own limited edition, virtual trading cards.

TMZ Sports talked to 31-year-old Gronk ... and the 4x Super Bowl champ broke the news on his new side hustle.

RG -- with biz partners Adam Richman and Joe Silberzweig -- linked up with artist Black Madre, Gronk's good friend ... and created 5 (very limited) trading cards.

But, no cardboard here -- the cards are part of a digital collection Rob's calling his Championship Series NFT Collection.

NFT stands for non-fungible token -- essentially a digital card that can't be duplicated -- and Gronk believes they're the future of the trading card world.

"I think having digital trading cards now is just gonna be unique and it's gonna blow it out of the water. Actual trading cards, I think will always be there, but I think it's leading towards a way where everything's digital."

Trading cards (and all sports memorabilia) have blown up over the last few years. In fact, a 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractors Kobe Bryant rookie card just sold for $1.8 million.

Rob -- starting Thursday at 7 PM ET on crypto marketplace, OpenSea.io -- is dropping 5 cards featuring original, hand-drawn artwork ... celebrating his Super Bowl XLIX, LI, LIII, and LV championships.

Each SB card comes in only 87 editions (Rob's jersey #) ... with the exception of the 5th card -- the holy grail -- a Career Highlight Refractor Card signed by Gronk.

If that wasn't cool enough ... the winner of that card will have an opportunity to go to a Bucs game next season and meet Gronk, in-person.

The cards are only available via auction later this week ... good luck!!

Kenny Loggins 'Memba Him?!

West Coast song-maker Kenny Loggins cut his teeth in the music business in the '70s in bands like Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Loggins And Messina ... but it wasn't until the '80s his solo career shot to the top after Loggins landed a few blockbuster bangers like "Footloose" from the 1985 dance film and the '86 follow-up "Danger Zone" from the high-flying classic "Top Gun."

KL continued to make more music which was featured in movies and TV shows and has tour dates for live performances slated for later this year.

Guess what Kenny Loggins looks like now in his seventies!

President Biden Dogs Booted From White House ... Once Bitten, Go Back to Delaware

President Biden's dogs just got the old heave-ho from the White House ... sounds like they were too aggressive for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The Bidens' 2 German Shepherds, Major and Champ, were shipped back to the family home in Delaware last week following some un-doglike (or maybe doglike) behavior at the White House, including a biting incident.

Major, the 3-year-old pooch Biden adopted from a Delaware animal shelter in 2019, reportedly got his chompers on a member of White House security.

Major's also said to have been pretty agitated around the residence ... allegedly charging, jumping and barking at staff and security.

Champ, meanwhile, seems to be getting the short end of the stick ... he's been sent back to Wilmington too ... even though he's about 13 years old and has slowed down considerably due to his age.

With the German Shepherds out of the White House, the place is going back to how it was under Donald Trump ... a no-pet zone.

Unclear if Major and Champ are banished to Delaware for good, or if they're just in timeout.

Stay tuned.

Samantha Markle Calls Meghan a Narcissist ... She Lied About Losing our Dad!!!

YOU'VE ALL BEEN FOOLED!
Fifi, Fev & Nick on The Fox

Meghan Markle's sister is furious the Duchess essentially disavowed her family -- especially their dad -- during the Oprah interview, and claims she's merely playing victim for sympathy.

Samantha Markle went HAM Monday while on the Australian radio show "Fifi, Fev & Nick" ... calling BS on Meghan telling Oprah she'd lost her father because of Royal family pressures.

Samantha said, "When she said 'I lost my dad' -- the world watched as my dad was in interviews wanting communication with his daughter. She didn't lose her dad. She iced her dad!"

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Samantha didn't pull punches, as she played dime-store psychologist on Meghan, saying ... "I see a narcissistic personality disorder," and suggested Meghan needs counseling.

It gets worse ... she also equated Prince Harry to a kidnapping victim who's falling in love with his captor. Samantha said, “I feel sorry for Harry. He fell victim to her negligence, and I will say sociopathy ... she pulled him away from his family, all of his friends, the life that he knew."

As for Meghan's claim to Oprah that she didn't know anything about the Royals and their way of life -- Samantha claims Meghan studied the UK Monarchy, and even tries to emulate Princess Diana.

Samantha added, she doesn't think Meghan's embarrassed of her family -- she just didn't want them around to expose lies Samantha claims her sister's told.

She thinks Meghan was tired of getting "busted" on stuff in the media ... "So she started playing victim."

Breonna Taylor's BF Kenneth Walker Criminal Charges Dropped Permanently

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Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, won't ever have to worry about facing charges over the raid on his home that left his girlfriend dead ... because a judge has deemed it so.

Judge Olu Stevens of Jefferson Circuit Court in Kentucky handed down the ruling Monday that the criminal charges Kenneth was originally facing in the immediate aftermath -- assault and attempted murder of an officer -- would be dismissed with prejudice.

That means they can't be filed against him again. A motion to dismiss with prejudice was recently filed by Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine ... who said no new evidence had come to light that he felt could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Kenneth knew he was shooting at cops on that fateful night.

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"MILLION PERCENT SURE"
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Wine had already filed to dismiss the charges without prejudice almost a full year ago ... but he left the door open to possibly re-charge him, pending further investigation. Now, he -- and more importantly, a judge -- have closed the book on the issue.

At the heart of it is the lingering unanswered question about whether Louisville PD officers announced themselves as cops before busting in ... something Kenneth has maintained did NOT happen, which is why he says he shot -- to defend himself against intruders.

Of course, the police insist they did announce themselves -- but Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly also suggested this ... that perhaps both things were true, that they did announce -- but Kenneth simply didn't hear or couldn't make out what was being said amid the ruckus.

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The decision to dismiss charges against Kenneth seems to fly in the face of AG Daniel Cameron's decision not to charge any of the cops directly with Breonna's killing ... saying a grand jury found the officers had, in fact, announced. He said it with much certainty.

It's a grey area that might not ever get a clear answer -- but on the criminality side of it, Kenneth's safe. Remember, though, Mattingly is still suing him in civil court over this.

Zack Snyder's 'Justice League' Leaks Week Early on HBO Max ... Mixup With 'Tom and Jerry'

HBO Max subscribers looking for some family fun were instead treated to an early look at Zack Snyder's "Justice League" ... with the streaming service leaking the film 10 days early.

Here's the deal ... folks who wanted to watch the PG-rated "Tom and Jerry" movie Monday on HBO Max were, instead, greeted with the R-rated "Justice League" thanks to a glitch on the streaming service.

HBO Max confirmed the accidental leak, saying the movie was "temporarily available" and "the error was addressed within minutes."

It appears a decent number of folks were able to catch a sneak peek of the highly-anticipated film ... including several Twitter users, who were quick to rub it in and crack jokes about staffers getting fired.

While HBO Max says the error was fixed "within minutes," some people say they were able to watch about an hour of the film before the feed was cut.

Snyder's version of the 2017 flick isn't set for an official release until March 18 ... so this is a pretty big oops.

But, this may end up driving more eyeballs to HBO Max, even if some got there way too early. As they say, all publicity is good publicity ... even the major oops kind.

Dak Prescott Signs $160 Million Contract ... With Dallas Cowboys

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The NFL's biggest offseason storyline finally has an ending ... Dak Prescott has reached a long-term contract agreement with the Dallas Cowboys -- and dude just got PAAAAAIIIDDD!!!

The 27-year-old superstar has agreed to a 4-year, $160 MILLION deal with Dallas ... and, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, it includes a league-record of $126 million guaranteed.

Schefter also reports Prescott will make $42 million per season in the first 3 years of the deal ... and could make a total of $164 million with incentives.

Prescott's signing bonus is $66 million and he has a no-trade clause in the deal, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport added.

The money is huge and it's sure to create salary cap drama for Dallas ... but it's still welcome news for the Cowboys and their fans regardless.

Dak and Dallas tried to get a deal done all last offseason ... but couldn't make it happen -- reportedly quarreling over the length of the prospective contract.

Prescott played on the franchise tag last season ... and it seemed the two sides were possibly headed for yet another franchise tag season this year after negotiations still dragged on the last few months.

But, the two sides were finally able to hammer out a deal on Monday ... with the Cowboys saying they'll formally announce the contract at a news conference Wednesday.

Donald Trump Protestors Mock Him in NYC Return .... Supporters Show Love

Donald Trump had to know his first trip back to NYC since leaving the White House would be a turbulent one ... and the Big Apple is delivering.

There are about a dozen or so protesters outside Trump Tower in Manhattan waving a huge "Arrest Trump" banner. There's also a giant inflatable caricature of Trump and others are holding signs that read "Go Home Florida Man" and "Indict Trump."

It ain't all bad news for 45 in the Democratic stronghold of NYC -- a throng of Trump supporters also gathered nearby pumping up his potential return to the Oval Office in 2024.

It's unclear what brought Trump, who arrived Sunday night, back to his old stomping grounds ... but it could be tied to his legal problems. The Manhattan D.A.'s Office is currently investigating Trump for tax and bank-related fraud.

Remember ... Trump's been living at Mar-a-Lago since leaving office, and he officially changed his address from NY to FLA back in 2019. Seems wherever Trump goes ... so do banners.

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Secret 'Backyard' Wedding Not Official ... According to Church Rules

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may think they officially tied the knot in a secret wedding 3 days before their televised one -- but we've learned the church doesn't see it that way.

A source within the church tells TMZ ... a marriage must be solemnized by a member of the clergy in a church or in a place specified in a special license -- be it a cathedral, chapel or hospital -- AND in the presence of 2 witnesses.

That last part is key, because Meghan told Oprah she and Harry got married prior to the big royal wedding we all saw -- in their backyard with only the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. So, they'd be one witness short of a real marriage.

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Remember, during the explosive chat, Meghan referred to their big TV wedding as a "spectacle" for the world, but she and Harry wanted "our union between us."

We reached out to a rep at the Archbishop's office and the rep said they don't comment on "personal or pastoral matters" -- but the church's wedding rules are spelled out pretty clearly in black and white.

Ya gotta wonder if Harry and Meghan read the fine print.

Papa John's Founder I Tried Scrubbing N-Word from My History FOR 20 MONTHS!!!

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3:03 PM PT -- John wants to make one thing clear, telling us it didn't take him 20 months to stop using the n-word, but instead, he's spent that long trying to get the media to stop tying it to him.

John says during his OAN interview, what he meant to say was, "Get rid of this n-word in (the) vocabulary and dictionary (of the news media), and everything else because it’s just not true," – reflecting my commitment to correct the false and malicious reporting by the news media about the conference call."

John maintains that the audio of him using the n-word in the audio released in 2018 was taken out of context, and that he immediately followed it up with "I never used the word" ... though he says that aspect of the call was largely overlooked.

Ousted Papa John's founder, John Schnatter, is talking in doublespeak ... insisting he's not racist, but copping to having to purge the n-word from his repertoire to prove it.

The former CEO of the pizza chain -- who got the boot a few years back for allegedly uttering the n-word in a conference call -- made an appearance on the far-right news channel, OAN ... where he was rehashing his experience, which he paints as a de facto coup.

At one point, Schnatter says the Board wrongly portrayed him as a racist -- adding he's been up at night since then, wondering how they got away with it.

Then comes the contradictory line ... JS says for the past 20 months, he's had 3 goals -- 1) "to get rid of this n-word in my vocabulary and dictionary and everything else because it's just not true," 2) figuring how they did this and 3) to get on with his life.

That first goal is a doozy to unpack. On its face, it sounds like he's admitting the n-word is a regular thing that shows up in his convos all the time, and that he's needed 20 months to exorcise himself of it.

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Something tells us that's not what he meant -- he might've been trying to say "get rid of this n-word scandal" -- but that's certainly not how it came out. BTW, Schnatter keeps putting his foot in his mouth with these TV interviews, intentionally or not.

Remember, in 2019 ... he did another TV spot where he admitted he'd eaten 40 pizzas in 30 days (to see how they're holding up without him) -- and it just came off as sad and pathetic.

Originally Published -- 12:27 PM PT

The White House Meghan, Harry Showed 'Courage' In Interview with Oprah

The White House is now weighing in on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah ... applauding them for their courage to tell their story.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked Monday during her daily briefing if President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden had any reaction following Meghan's claims of racism against the Royal Family.

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Psaki sidestepped whether the Bidens actually watched the interview, but added ... "For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story — that takes courage, and that's certainly something the President believes, and he's talked about the importance of investing in a lot of these areas that they’re committed to in the future as well."

She was careful, though, not to ruffle any feathers across the pond because Psaki also emphasized America's "strong and abiding relationship" with the United Kingdom.

As you know, Meghan and Harry opened up to Oprah about her suicidal thoughts and the Royal family members who expressed concern about Archie's skin possibly being too dark.

Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu Harry & Meghan Put Royals in Hot Seat ... Stop Pretending Racism Is Over!!!

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ROYAL RACISM
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The fact some Brits are tuning out Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's bombshell claims about race, is a sign of how ingrained racism is in the Royal family ... according to Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu

The British women's rights activist joined us on "TMZ Live" Monday, and dug into the couple's biggest revelation to Oprah -- that one or more members of the Royals were concerned about Archie's skin color.

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Dr. Shola squarely addressed Meghan and Harry's haters ... many of whom she says still deny racism is "structural" in the U.K.'s society.

It's a fascinating conversation ... and she also told us why Prince Charles should be the first Royal to respond to his son's interview. The way Dr. Shola sees it, the heir to the throne has a lot of explaining to do ... IF he wants to patch things up with Harry and Meghan.

As you know ... there's a worldwide guessing game over who voiced those skin-tone concerns to Harry. They wouldn't say, and the Palace remains silent about it.

Oprah did narrow the list of suspects Monday morning when she said Harry told her it was NOT Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip.

Times Square 'Naked Cowboy' Arrested in Florida ... Don't Panhandle Here!!!

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The Naked Cowboy, famous for performing in Times Square, got busted way down in Florida for his same old schtick ... and cops say his trusty guitar broke when he resisted arrest.

Robert Burck, the nearly naked man behind the Naked Cowboy character, was arrested Saturday on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence in Daytona Beach, where police also cited him for aggressive panhandling.

The Naked Cowboy was in town for Bike Week ... and cops say he was in his familiar getup -- white briefs, guitar and a cowboy hat -- when he was taking pictures with folks on the street in exchange for cash.

Police say a huge crowd formed around the Naked Cowboy as he hovered near a business on Main Street, so an officer cited him for panhandling. Cops say he refused to follow orders and when he resisted arrest while up against a patrol car the headstock of his guitar broke.

The Naked Cowboy says it was his 21st trip to Daytona Beach Bike Week -- but it sounds like he's worn out his welcome, at least with law enforcement.

Bam Margera Hospitalized with Staph Infection ... From Recent Tattoo

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Bam Margera is learning hot tubs and fresh ink don't mix -- he needed a hospital stay to treat a staph infection from his latest tattoo.

The "Jackass" star was hospitalized over the weekend after experiencing pain in the same leg that's home to his new Farsi tatt. Bam's no stranger to pain -- it's kinda been his job for years -- so ya gotta imagine he was really hurting bad.

Bam says he had a staph infection, and sources close to him tell us the leg was likely infected when he went into a hot tub.

As anyone with tattoos likely knows, you're supposed to take it easy after getting inked up ... and hot tubs really sound like a bad idea, especially with leg tatts. Tough lesson here for Bam.

The good news ... we're told he's already been released from the hospital and should make a full recovery.

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