Boy, 13, dies after bullets flew through his bedroom window, struck his head

Tuscaloosa Police Department

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) — A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed Friday evening inside his Alabama home when bullets flew through the window and struck him in the head.

The child was sitting in his room playing on his iPad when gunshots were fired at his home in Washington Square, Tuscaloosa around 6:20 p.m., police said in an update Saturday.

Police said when officers arrived, they found the boy suffering a gunshot wound to the head. The child has not been identified.

“It’s a senseless murder. We see it all the time where adults are shot and it’s terrible. When it’s a kid, it takes it to another level,” Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make these arrests.”

The scene was inundated with shell casings in the road, so many so that officers “had to pull business cards from their wallets to fold and use as temporary evidence markers until more could be brought to the scene,” police said.

The boy’s heartbroken parents had to stand across the street and watch as the ambulance drove away after realizing there was nothing they could do, authorities said.

Investigators with the Violent Crimes Unit are working to locate persons of interest in the case.

“We are asking for anyone with information that could be helpful to please call 205-349-2121, 205-464-8690 or report anonymously at 205-752-STOP (7867),” they said.

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Congrats: ‘Queens’ star Eve announces she’s pregnant with her first child

ABC/Gavin Bond

Congrats are in order to Queens star Eve. The 42-year-old rapper-actress has announced she is expecting her first baby with husband Maximillion Cooper.

“Can you believe it @mrgumball3000 we finally get to tell everyone!!!!!,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a couple of photos of her cradling her baby bump. “You all know how long we’v been waiting for this blessing!!! We get to meet our lil human February 2022.”

Her hubby also reposted her photos, along with the sweet message, “Very excited to share this news… we have a lil human on the way.”

This is the first child for Eve with her husband, Maximillion. She is also stepmom to Cooper’s four teenage children from his previous marriage — Lotus, 19, Jagger, 17, Cash, 15, and Mini, 13. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Listen to ex-Journey singer Steve Perry’s smooth, soulful rendition of “Winter Wonderland”

Cover: Jeff Wack/Fantasy Records

Former Journey frontman Steve Perry has released his take on the yuletide classic “Winter Wonderland” in advance of his recently announced first-ever holiday album, The Season, which is due out on November 5.

Perry’s soulful and sexy rendition of “Winter Wonderland” boasts a very different arrangement than the one we’re all familiar with.

“‘Winter Wonderland’ is one of my favorite tracks on The Season,” Steve says in a statement. “I have always felt a close love for Motown’s music and how it shaped my early school years. This track is a homage to that.”

Perry’s version of the song is available now in digital formats, and a visualizer video that brings The Season‘s Christmas-themed cover art to life has debuted on Steve’s official YouTube channel.

“Winter Wonderland” is the second advance track that Perry has released from the album, following his rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” The Season is the follow up to 2018’s Traces, which marked the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s return to music after 24 years.

You can pre-order The Season now in multiple formats, including CD, digital, streaming and vinyl. Various limited-edition colored-vinyl versions of the record can be purchased at Perry’s official online store, Target and Barnes & Noble.

Here’s the full track list of The Season:

“The Christmas Song”
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
“Auld Lang Syne”
“Winter Wonderland”
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
“Silver Bells”
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

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‘My body is not their property,’ a Texas woman’s journey across state lines for an abortion

ABC

(NEW YORK) — At 21 years old, Texas college student Madi said she was not ready to be a mother.

She was about 10 weeks along when she found out she was pregnant and decided she wanted to have an abortion.

But due to the new Texas law that effectively bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, Madi’s personal choice turned into an arduous journey, traveling hundreds of miles and crossing state lines for the procedure.

“I’m drowning,” said Madi, who asked to only be identified by her first name. “That’s the best word to describe it, drowning.”

On Sept. 1, the most restrictive abortion law in the country went into effect. Senate Bill 8 bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected and before some women know they are pregnant. Nearly a month later, Madi traveled more than 400 miles to the only abortion clinic left in Mississippi.

She says her story reveals the lengths some women face to have a choice.

“I am a senior in college. I just turned 21 and I would say I’m a pretty typical college kid,” Madi told ABC News. “I am 13 weeks pregnant right now and I’m not in a place to have a baby.”

Madi said she was in a committed relationship and on birth control so her pregnancy was unexpected. She didn’t experience any early pregnancy signs until the nine-week mark, which at the time seemed like the typical stress of being a senior and starting a new semester.

“I had been not sleeping and not eating and nauseous for a few weeks,” said Madi. “So I took one test and it came out a clear plus sign from the beginning. And I was devastated.”

Up until that point, she had been living her life normally, she said.

“I was still living my life as regular and as carefree of a college kid as I could be,” said Madi.

After several positive pregnancy tests, Madi booked an appointment at a Planned Parenthood in Texas.

She said the clinician told her she was measuring 10-and-a-half weeks into her pregnancy — past the mark at which she could still receive the procedure in Texas.

“I just cried. I was heartbroken and terrified,” said Madi. “I immediately knew that any chance I had of being able to have this procedure done in Texas was gone.”

She immediately knew that she wanted to exercise her federal right to choose, despite the new Texas law.

“There aren’t any laws on the books in any state regulating men’s bodies. It’s sexist, it’s unequal and it’s wrong,” said Madi. “My body is not their property.

Madi said she began to research nearby clinics across state lines. She said she called more than 30 clinics, looking for the earliest open appointment.

“I started researching with the materials that Planned Parenthood gave me and looked into Louisiana and Louisiana’s booked out three weeks,” said Madi. “I called Alabama, and Kansas, and Oklahoma, and Vegas, and Georgia.”

The earliest appointment Madi could find in Mississippi was more than 400 miles away.

Jackson Women’s Health is Mississippi’s last abortion clinic and the center of a potentially historic Supreme Court case that could possibly overturn Roe V. Wade.

Clinic director Shannon Brewer has been working at Jackson Women’s Health for two decades. She said the new Texas law isn’t deterring people from getting an abortion, only pushing them to travel out of state for the procedure.

“We’ve been even busier, because now we’re seeing even a lot more patients from Texas,” said Brewer. “We’ve almost doubled our capacity. Our phones are ringing non-stop because of this.”

Madi said it was with the help of her parents that she was able to get the procedure. Her mother, who asked not to reveal her name, said she wasn’t angry at Madi for her situation.

“I’m angry with Governor Abbott,” said Madi’s mother. “I’m angry that men have decided this is what’s best for women.”

Madi and her family had to make two separate trips to Mississippi in order to secure her appointment. Madi said she was grateful for the support through such an emotionally difficult time.

“There were so many emotions going on at once that it was a blur. The anxiety was still there. The frustration was still there. And I think honestly just the fear of the unknown,” said Madi.

“I had to keep in mind that I was doing this for me. This is my future on the line. It’s my body on the line. And it’s a lot to take in,” she added.

ABC News followed Madi on the day of the procedure.

Madi said the staff at Jackson Women’s Health helped put her mind at ease.

Her nurse walked Madi through what would happen during the procedure.

Prior to starting, she explained that Madi would first receive medication and then be asked to wait an hour-and-a-half to let her body prepare for the procedure. While she waited, she said her decision did not waiver.

“It’s my body and it’s my choice,” said Madi at the time. “I don’t think it’s right for people to try and convince others when it’s not their life that’s about to change.”

Madi said she wanted to publicly share her deeply intimate moment to break the stigma around a taboo topic.

“No one talks about this process,” said Madi. “I’m glad that I’m able to kind of shine a light and give people a little bit of that sense of control back that I feel like I’ve been lacking in this process.”

She said that the patient before her helped let her know that she wasn’t alone.

“Waiting for my turn to go into the room was so heavy because you’re sitting there knowing that there’s a girl in there before you,” said Madi. “Watching her come out and seeing that thumbs up from her, that she was doing OK after it, that put a little bit of ease on my nerves.”

During the procedure, Madi said she appreciated that she was able to ask questions and that the clinicians talked her through each step. After the procedure was over, Madi fell into her mother’s arms crying.

“We got in the car, got buckled, and we started making our way to the airport. Got on the flight and I finally slept,” said Madi.

By the time she got home, she learned of a stunning legal development.

On the same day as her procedure, a federal court blocked Texas’ Senate Bill 8 — the law that had forced Madi to go to Mississippi for her procedure in the first place.

But 48 hours later, a federal appeals court allowed the ban to resume while the U.S. Department of Justice appealed the decision.

“To think that this could all, like, be overturned again and it goes back into place …. really scares me,” said Madi when she heard the news.

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday to reject the Justice Department’s decision and let the Texas statue remain in effect amid the ongoing legal challenge. But, following that decision, the Department of Justice announced it plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling to temporarily block the restrictive abortion law.

As the decision likely moves toward the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas law has become a rallying cry for anti-abortion rights advocates.

Anti-abortion activist Heather Gardner is the executive director of the Central Texas Coalition for Life. Gardner said she has spent a decade training “sidewalk advocates” to pray outside abortion facilities across the country.

Gardner said she acknowledges that some Texans will find ways around the law.

“We’re very well aware that women will go to other states to have abortions,” said Gardner. “We want women to not have to feel so desperate they have to do that.”

Yet Lila Rose, the president of Live Action, said that Senate Bill 8 is still a historic win for the anti-abortion movement.

“It is the most, most legal protection in effect right now across the country for human lives,” said Rose. “I think that Texas law should be an inspiration to other states because they found an enforcement mechanism that allows the lifesaving law to remain in effect.”

Rose added she hopes the Texas law reframes the narrative around abortion.

“Our societal approach to pregnancy and motherhood and seeing that pre-born child as a threat or a risk or an enemy as opposed to a precious member of the human family,” said Rose. “This is exactly what we should be focusing on, as opposed to promoting the death and destruction of children in the womb.”

While the country remains focused on Texas, Brewer said she will continue to fight to keep the doors of her clinic open in Mississippi.

“I just feel good that they’re able to come here. It’s like, as tired as we are sometimes … every day that I get to wake up and [help women], I’m OK,” said Brewer.

While she recovers from her procedure, Madi said she’s sharing her story because she recognizes many women won’t have same emotional and financial support that she had through the process.

“There were so many unneeded obstacles that I managed to get over but many women won’t,” said Madi. “I feel like this entire process of everything has happened for a reason. Everything happens in life for a reason and it’s my chance to speak on it.”

Madi said her story is meant to empower other women in her situation to fight back.

“My biggest thing is making sure that other women know that they’re not alone. If Texas is gonna make this difficult, make it difficult for Texas,” she said. “Don’t go silently and if they need inspiration, I hope I can be that for them.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

At Rolling Stones’ LA show, Mick Jagger shades Paul McCartney over McCartney’s “blues cover band” diss

Rich Fury/Getty Images

During a recent interview with The New Yorker, Paul McCartney took a dig at The Rolling Stones when asked whether he thought The Beatles were a better band than their British Invasion counterparts, and apparently Mick Jagger was paying attention.

As previously reported, McCartney commented to The New Yorker, “I’m not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are…I think [The Beatles’] net was cast a bit wider than theirs.”

Keeping that in mind, footage has emerged from The Rolling Stones’ Los Angeles-area concert Thursday night at SoFi Stadium that shows Jagger playfully making reference to McCartney’s insult while chatting with the audience between songs.

In the clip from the show, shared by The Daily Mail‘s website, Jagger listed some of the celebrities who were in the audience, including Megan Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lady Gaga. He then joked, “Paul McCartney is here. He’s gonna join us in a blues cover later on.”

McCartney made similar comments about The Beatles being better and more diverse than The Rolling Stones in an April 2020 radio interview, while also declaring that he loved The Stones.

Jagger was asked about McCartney’s 2020 comments that same month while chatting with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, and he called Sir Paul a “sweetheart” and that insisted that there was “obviously no competition” between their two bands.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

US regulators weigh whether people can mix COVID booster shots

MarsBars/iStock

(WASHINGTON) — U.S. regulators are considering revising the rules for COVID-19 vaccines to allow people to opt for a different type of shot for their booster than what they originally received, a move that would enable people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to receive the Moderna or Pfizer dose as their next shot.

Likewise, a person who got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine might be able to boost with J&J or the other mRNA shot.

No decision has been made, and it’s not clear how soon mixed doses could happen.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration would need to amend its authorizations of the three vaccines available to Americans, and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention would have to endorse the idea.

But in a meeting Friday with independent advisers, senior government officials suggested they were open to the idea.

“It does seem like there’s some consensus that this is an important option for people to have,” said Dr. Peter Marks, a senior FDA official who oversees vaccine regulation.

Amanda Cohn, a senior adviser for vaccines at CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said having “allowable language” from the FDA would be helpful from a public health perspective. One concern, she said, are the 15 million people who have received the J&J shot but either might not have access to a second dose or are concerned about the risk of rare but serious blood clots that the vaccine poses to women of childbearing age.

“If there’s not any allowable language in the FDA factsheets or EUA authorization, then those individuals are left behind,” she said.

While Marks said providing regulator flexibility was possible, he asked the advisory panel to weigh in on what data might be needed to make such a decision. He didn’t offer a timetable and suggested he would be interested in collecting more real-world data first.

“We don’t know from the short studies what the longer-term effects of mix and match will be. And we just don’t have those data,” he told the advisory panel.

Early results from a recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that boosting with a different shot than what was received the first time around appears to be safe and effective. What’s more is that the study found J&J recipients wound up with higher antibody levels if they were boosted with Moderna or Pfizer.

The ability to mix vaccine brands also could be of interest to male teens and young adults, who are more likely to experience heart inflammation following a shot of Moderna or Pfizer. While treatable and typically mild, there have been reports of hospitalization among that population.

Cohn said there do not appear to be any safety concerns with mixing booster doses of any type.

“I think the safety data that has been presented today is very supportive, especially in light of the culmination of the millions of doses of these products that we’ve seen given and the safety evidence from all of those vaccines,” she said.

Dr. Ofer Levy of Boston Children’s Hospital, a panel member, said the government should be ready to move forward quickly to allow for mixed boosters.

“In the real world, all these kinds of combinations or extra boosters are already happening,” he said.

ABC’s Sony Salzman contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Crazy Little Singalong: Star-studded ‘Queen Family Singalong’ special to air on ABC in November

ABC

In honor of its 50th anniversary, Queen will be celebrated on the fourth and latest installment of ABC’s Singalong franchise, which will air November 4 at 8 p.m.

Hosted by Emmy-winning actor and singer Darren Criss, The Queen Family Singalong will feature various well-known music artists and other celebs performing hits by the iconic British band, including Adam Lambert, who currently serves as Queen’s frontman.

Lambert will be singing “The Show Must Go On” on the special. Other stars who will be performing on the special include Fall Out Boy, former Alice Cooper guitarist Orianthi, country singer Jimmie Allen, Miss Piggy, singer and reality star JoJo Siwa, OneRepublic and vocal group Pentatonix.

Previous installments of ABC’s Singalong specials have focused on Disney music, so perhaps it’s not surprising that the Queen-themed show also will feature the casts of the Broadway productions of Disney’s The Lion King and Aladdin, who’ll team up to perform a group rendition of “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Here’s a list of confirmed performances on the special, with more to be announced soon:

Adam Lambert –- “The Show Must Go On”
Derek Hough featuring Alexander Jean -– “Another One Bites the Dust”
Fall Out Boy -– “Under Pressure”
Jimmie Allen featuring Miss Piggy -– “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
JoJo Siwa and Orianthi -– “We Will Rock You”
OneRepublic -– “We Are the Champions”
Pentatonix –- “Somebody to Love”
The casts of Disney’s The Lion King and Aladdin — “Don’t Stop Me Now”

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Michigan to replace lead pipes in Benton Harbor in 18 months amid drinking water crisis

Elaine Cromie/Getty Images

(LANSING, Mich.) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive Thursday to help residents of Benton Harbor access safe drinking water, vowing to replace all lead pipes by April 2023.

The directive comes a week after officials urged locals in Benton Harbor, a city of 9,600 people, to use bottled water for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth due to elevated levels of lead in water testing.

“For six consecutive sampling periods over the last three years, the Benton Harbor water system has failed to meet the regulatory standard for lead,” the governor said in the directive.

Advocates in the city had filed an emergency petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Sept. 9 demanding a federal intervention to aid in the crisis.

In the directive, the governor announced she’ll expedite lead service line replacements to be completed in 18 months, up from the prior five-year timeline. The effort will also continue to give free bottled water to Benton Harbor residents and free or low-cost drinking water testing and health services.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has received U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA) approval to provide Benton Harbor residents specific baby formula that does not require the mixing of water.

The effort will be funded by federal, state and local resources, with additional federal funding expected through the infrastructure bill currently moving through Congress. Under Michigan’s 2022 state budget, $10 million is dedicated to replace service lines in Benton Harbor.

“I cannot imagine the stress that moms and dads in Benton Harbor are under as they emerge from a pandemic, work hard to put food on the table, pay the bills, and face a threat to the health of their children,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We will not rest until the job is done and every parent feels confident to give their kid a glass of water knowing that it is safe.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney, a local activist and president of the grassroots Benton Harbor Community Water Council, touted the directive as a victory.

“Without the petition, none of this could have happened. I am more than happy that Whitmer is now taking this a little bit more seriously,” he told ABC News. “But, I want her to tell the people that the water is unsafe to drink rather than saying this is out of ‘an abundance of caution.'”

Benton Harbor sources its water from Lake Michigan. Elevated lead levels in water has been an issue for several years in the city, where 85% of the population is Black, 5% Hispanic and about 45% have an income below the federal poverty line, according to the U.S. Census.

Lead can enter drinking water when plumbing materials and service lines contain lead corrosion. Lead exposure harms brain development in children and it causes both short and long-term health problems for adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The EPA has a lead contamination action level of 15 parts per billion. If water samples hit that mark, officials are supposed to take several actions to educate the public and restore water to a safe level.

In Benton Harbor, water testing surpassed that level in 2018. One home in 2020 tested at 440 ppb for lead. Eleven homes tested this year showed water with lead levels above 15 ppb, with one home hitting 889 ppb — nearly 60 times the EPA’s action level, according to data released by the city.

According to the petition filed with the EPA, Benton Harbor has 5,877 total service lines, 51% of which “are known to contain lead, are known to be galvanized lines previously connected to lead, or are of unknown material but likely to contain lead.” Just 2% of service lines contain zero lead.

The crisis echoes the Flint, Michigan, crisis in 2014 and 2015 where the state switched the city’s water supply to come from the Flint River. An investigation later found there were highly toxic levels of lead in the water.

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First lady Jill Biden stumps in New Jersey, Virginia to help elect Democratic governors

Oleksii Liskonih/iStock

(EDISON, N.J.) — First lady Jill Biden hit the campaign trail Friday, hoping to help deliver victories for Democrats in two gubernatorial elections.

Biden stumped in New Jersey for Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday afternoon and is traveling to Virginia Friday evening to help elect Terry McAuliffe.

“I came here to ask the people of New Jersey to reelect Phil Murphy as your next governor. You know, he’s used this office to lead New Jersey through one of the darkest times in modern history,” Biden said in Edison, New Jersey, Friday afternoon. “Joe and I know Phil. We know that he’s going to fight for you and your family every single day.”

An incumbent Democratic governor hasn’t won reelection in New Jersey since the 1970s, but public polling indicates Murphy is better positioned heading into November than McAuliffe. Polls conducted in mid-September from Stockton University and Monmouth University showed Murphy with a nine-point and 13-point lead, respectively, over Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former assemblyman.

While Virginians rejected former President Donald Trump at the ballot box twice and Democrats made significant gains in the commonwealth, including securing a trifecta government when he was in office, McAuliffe only has a slim 2.5-point lead over GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.

Despite the race tightening over the last few weeks, McAuliffe is confident Virginians will back his record and he’ll once again break the so-called “Virginia curse” of candidates losing Virginia’s off-year gubernatorial race if they have the same party affiliation as the current occupant of the White House.

“We’re gonna win this again and make history again with this,” McAuliffe told reporters Thursday. “I am the first candidate for office of either party in 80 years to win every single city and county (in the primary). … Why? I think a.) people were happy with my job as governor before and b.) because I have a real agenda.”

The first lady is not the only high-profile surrogate hitting the road for the two candidates — former President Barack Obama will also stump for both men next week.

Obama will hold back-to-back events in the states on Oct. 23, 10 days before Election Day and coinciding with the first day of in-person early voting in New Jersey’s history.

Georgia heavy-hitters Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who were both on the president’s shortlist for vice president, are also headed to Virginia on Sunday to campaign for McAuliffe.

After McAuliffe said during the last debate that he doesn’t “think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” the Youngkin campaign rallied around education as his closing message. Having the first lady, an educator who began her career in 1976, join McAuliffe on the trail could serve as an opportunity to speak to the issue and reassure parents who may be wary of his stance.

Biden, who currently works as an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, has made education one of the top priorities in her role as first lady.

The first lady is not the first Biden to campaign for McAuliffe in the state — President Joe Biden also made a campaign stop on behalf of his longtime friend in July — though recent polling has shown Biden’s approval ratings in the state fall, leading McAuliffe to distance himself from the president.

“We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington, as you know. The president is unpopular today unfortunately here in Virginia, so we have got to plow through,” McAuliffe said during a virtual rally last week. He’s also said he’s frustrated that Congress still hasn’t passed the infrastructure package, saying the “inaction on Capitol Hill … is so damaging.”

Despite the comments, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that she expected the president would continue to advocate for McAuliffe’s candidacy.

“I think the president of course wants former Governor McAuliffe to be the future governor of Virginia. There is alignment on a lot of their agenda, whether it is the need to invest in rebuilding our roads, rails and bridges or making it easier for women to rejoin the workforce,” Psaki told reporters.

“We’re going to do everything we can to help former Governor McAuliffe and we believe in the agenda he’s representing,” she added

And McAuliffe has since made clear that Biden is still welcome in Virginia, telling reporters Tuesday, “He’ll be coming back. You bet he will.”

ABC News’ Meg Cunningham contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Golden Globe Awards to be held on January 9

HFPA

After a blistering racial controversy that saw its longtime broadcast partner NBC drop the annual show, the Golden Globe Awards are still happening.

However, two big questions remain: Where will they be broadcast — and even more importantly, will any celebs show up? 

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the journalist organization that run the awards show, didn’t answer those two questions, but said the 79th annual event will be held on January 9.

The HFPA also released its deadlines for submissions, and say nominations will be revealed on December 13.

In February of this year, a Los Angeles Times exposé revealed the HFPA hadn’t had a Black member in 20 years. Following the controversy — and the ouster of one of its heads over racially insensitive emails — Hollywood shunned the organization. Tom Cruise even went so far as to return his three trophies in protest.

In August, the HFPA announced reforms to its bylaws and membership rules with the intention of bringing diversity to its ranks.

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