Vaccinated comic Gabriel Iglesias tells social media he tested positive for COVID-19

ABC/Ron Batzdorff

Stand-up comic and actor Gabriel Iglesias took to social media to tell fans that although he’s been vaccinated, he tested positive for COVID-19. 

In a video post accompany a message that reads “Announcement I didn’t want to make on my bday,” Iglesias, known to his fans as Fluffy, said, “I made sure I that I got tested by two different types of tests,” adding he has started to show some signs of symptoms, including body aches and chills.

“Other than that, I feel pretty good. I give credit to being vaccinated for getting me through this,” he said, in a voice more muted than usual. 

The comic noted that he has to isolate, forcing him to cancel his five remaining shows at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, and explained that he will “go back to work” when he gets three negative tests. Tickets will be refunded, the venue has announced.

“It’s not the way I wanted to spend my birthday, but I’m alive, and I have cake. I can’t taste it or smell it, but I have it,” Iglesias quipped, adding, “Wish me luck,” before thanking his fans.

Iglesias can currently be heard in the Disney+ show Monsters at Work.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Robert Downey Jr. to play multiple characters in first TV series, an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘The Sympathizer’

ABC/Randy Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. will appear in a small-screen project for the first time since his short stint on Saturday Night Live, playing multiple characters in an HBO series adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Sympathizer.

Viet Thanh Nguyen‘s book centers on a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist double agent during the final days of the Vietnam War and afterward, after he settles in the United States.

Deadline, which broke the news, says legendary Oldboy director Park Chan-wook will direct the series. The project will be produced by Team Downey, the company that the Marvel movie veteran runs with his wife, producer Susan Downey

According to the trade, Downey Jr. will play several characters, including an American congressman, a CIA agent and a Hollywood director. In a statement, Downey said, “Adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team. With…Park at the helm, I expect this to be a creative producing adventure for Susan, me and Team Downey, and a stimulating process for myself in playing these complex supporting roles.”

The series will reportedly feature a predominantly Southeast Asian cast.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The problem with “picky”: Iliza Shlesinger explains why women are vilified for having standards


Iliza Shlesinger‘s new movie, Good on Paper, is not only based on her real-life dating horror story — it’s also a commentary on women being vilified for having standards.

In the Netflix comedy, Iliza’s character, Andrea Singer, meets a seemingly decent man that she’s neither physically nor sexually attracted to, but she succumbs to the pressure to “give him a chance.”  She learns soon after their relationship is built on a web of his lies.

Shlesinger tells ABC Audio that society frowns upon women who turn down prospective suitors.

“It’s easy to vilify women because our voices have been so underrepresented… It’s easy to make us into the enemy,” she said. “Women are supposed to be grateful and we’re supposed to just like whatever we’re given.”

Shlesinger continued, “Only in our society do we say to women, ‘Give him a chance, he’s nice to you.’ You never hear a mother say to her son, ‘Give this hideous girl a chance. I know you find her repulsive, but if you could just put your mouth on hers…’  It’s a power dynamic.”

The stand-up comic also delved into why women are sometimes deemed “picky.”

“It’s code for — God forbid — a woman knows what she wants. It’s just an attempt to make women doubt themselves,” Shlesinger expressed, noting that cultural mentality emphasizes the so-called “societal shelf-life women are told that they have.”

Good on Paper is a prime example of Shlesinger’s comedy, which tackles hot-button relationship issues while conducting “some real sociological digging.”

“I believe whatever you go through, you can make fun of,” she explained. “It all comes from an analytical place. But, more importantly, it comes from a funny place because — if it’s not funny, it’s just a TED talk.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Chrissy Teigen speaks out about being cancelled: “I feel lost and need to find my place again”

Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Chrissy Teigen is offering up her honest thoughts about being cancelled.  The media personality fell from grace after it was discovered she sent messages urging a then-teenaged Courtney Stodden to kill themselves.

The Cravings author released an extensive apology last month, but the fallout continued with Teigen losing endorsement deals, television opportunities and — overall — saw her brand tarnished.

Since then, the former model remained silent on social media, but on Wednesday, she addressed fans for the first time on Instagram and discussed what she’s learned in “Cancel club.”

“I don’t really know what to say here,” Teigen began, “just feels so weird to pretend nothing happened in this online world but feel like utter s*** in real life. Going outside sucks and doesn’t feel right, being at home alone with my mind makes my depressed head race.”

“I feel lost and need to find my place again, I need to snap out of this,” she continued. “I desperately wanna communicate with you guys instead of pretending everything is okay.”

Teigen, who is the wife of singer John Legend, added, “Cancel club is a fascinating thing and I have learned a [whole] lot.” She said the important takeaway is that she fully understands she had “clearly done something wrong.” 

“It just sucks. There is no winning,” the Bring the Funny alum admitted. “I just needed an honest moment with you because I’m just…tired of being sick with myself all day. I don’t even know if it’s good to say any of this.”

Expressing concern that her latest admission will be “brutally picked apart,” Teigen said she can no longer remain silent.

She concluded, “If you or someone you know has also been cancelled please let me know if there is a cancel club reunion because I could use some time off my couch!”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

‘First Wives Club’: Jill Scott and Michelle Buteau tease the second season and why it “really matters”

Courtesy of BET+

Jill Scott and Michelle Buteau are once again tapping into their funny and spontaneous sides in the second season of the BET+ series First Wives Club

Scott, who reprises her role as Hazel, an ambitious and often unpredictable singer, tells ABC Audio that the new season will bring the same old Hazel — but with plenty more drama.

“You know Hazel is nuts, right?,” Scott laughs. “She’s absolutely nuts and she is going to do whatever her heart moves her to do. She’s showing up to her friends with a little more excitement, and a new boo that her girlfriends [aren’t] necessarily feeling. But Hazel is going to do what Hazel wants to do.”

While Buteau’s character Bree is a bit more family-oriented, the comedian says that when it comes to important decisions, Bree’s a lot like Hazel — she always looks to her gal pals for guidance.

“This is probably the difference between between Bree and I,” Buteau explains. “Bree goes to her friends first and then figures out how to present it… And for me…I go to [my husband] first..”

Even though the characters they portray are mostly scripted, Scott and Buteau agree that the relationships they have on and off screen very “real.”

“The chemistry is on fire because we respect each other, we love each other, and we work well together,” Buteau shares. “We are actual friends. We check in with each other and that’s so important. You can’t just show up to set, especially during COVID and just say your lines and leave. No, we have done too much to get here safely. And we’re going to have fun and we’re going to make it count. And so this season really matters.”

The new season of First Wives Club is now available to stream on BET+.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jussie Smollett appears in court again, related to his purported hate crime attack

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Former Empire star Jussie Smollett again appeared in a Chicago courtroom Wednesday on matters stemming from that 2019 incident in which he claims he was jumped by two white supporters of President Donald Trump in what he alleges was a hate crime.

The Chicago Tribune reports Wednesday’s proceedings centered on one of Smollett’s attorneys, Nenye Uche, having a potential conflict of interest in the case. Nigerian brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who claimed Smollett paid them $3,500 by check to help orchestrate and stage the crime, said Uche had previously reached out to represent them, something Uche denies.

Smollett was indicted for a second time in February of last year on six counts, including lying to investigators about the case. Prosecutors maintain he’d hired the brothers to stage the incident, and furnished as evidence the check the actor claimed was for “personal training.”

After they were seen on surveillance footage near the crime scene, the brothers told police Smollett concocted the assault after he became upset that a threatening letter sent to him did not get enough attention, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Smollett continues to insist the attack wasn’t staged.

Dan Webb, the special prosecutor tapped to investigate the case after the charges were initially dropped, said in February of 2020 that the actor made “numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime he, in fact, knew had not occurred.”

That letter itself, which contained a white powder later found to be a pain reliever, is the center of a separate federal investigation. At the time, former Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson claimed the letter was also phony, but the investigation is apparently still ongoing.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic to be resentenced following court order


An Oklahoma judge has ordered resentencing for Tiger King star Joe Exotic.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit handed down the order Wednesday in the case of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the man known as “Joe Exotic” from the popular Netflix series Tiger King, ABC News affiliate KOCO in Oklahoma City reports. However, his conviction was affirmed. 

In 2019, Maldonado-Passage was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison for violating wildlife laws in addition to the failed murder-for-hire plots against his nemesis, Carole Baskin. At the time, he asked that the judge combine the sentence for the two murder-for-hire counts, but was instead given an individual sentence for each. 

“For the foregoing reasons, we affirm Maldonado-Passage’s conviction but vacate the sentence and remand for resentencing,” the court documents state.

To sum it up, “Joe Exotic is not going free,” KOCO reporter Dillon Richards shared on Twitter.

“He was originally sentenced to 264 months (the lower end of the 262-327 month range) Now the judge will have to re-sentence, but this time his range will be 210-262 months instead,” Richards explained. “So essentially the likely effect is that this could knock a couple years off his 22-year sentence.”


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Director Joshua Zeman unravels a whale of a tale in ‘The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52’

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The new documentary The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52 is in theaters now and hits on demand streaming Friday.

Leonardo DiCaprio produced the doc that centers on a quest to find the creature scientists believe has spent its life in solitude because it sings at 52 Hertz, a frequency that, in theory, other whales can’t understand.

“It was first heard on a bunch of hydrophones in the ocean used by the Navy to suss out submarines,” director Joshua Zeman tells ABC Audio.  “They heard this mysterious sound. At first, they didn’t know what it was. And then the scientist, Dr. William Watkins, believed it was a whale, a whale that called at a frequency that was unknown by any other.”

Why are people so captivated by a lonely whale? That’s what Zeman, who notes people would “people would freak out [and] start to cry” when he told them the story, explores in the documentary.

“You know, they would get goosebumps,” he explains. “And I was like, what is it about this story? Like, I’m a storyteller. I pitch a lot of stories. And I had never gotten such a visceral reaction from people. And I was like, OK, just from a storytelling standpoint, I want to know what it is.”

“It’s the man’s existential human crisis staring back at them in the mirror. You know, we all don’t want to die alone, but it was also the fact that this fear and crisis and human condition was in the form of a whale,” adds Zeman. “You know, whales are so big, they humble us. And then maybe it’s because the ocean is just so vast. So, it’s like our human crisis, like supersized to the point of like blowing our minds.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Netflix to release an animated series created by Meghan Markle

ABC News/Frame Grab via Getty Images

As part of the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry‘s deal with Netflix, the streamer announced today that it’s bringing to life an animated project with the working title Pearl

According to Netflix, the show will be a “family series that centers on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl, who is inspired by a variety of influential women from history.”

The project will be created under the runaway royals’ Archewell Productions banner, named after their first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and co-produced by David Furnish, Elton John‘s husband; the celebrity couple are pals with Harry and Meghan Markle.

“Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” Markle says in a statement. “David…and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”

The series will be co-produced by Sherlock Gnomes and Tangled vet Carolyn Soper and Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Liz GarbusDan Cogan and Amanda Rynda.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The song Tom Hiddleston performed on ‘Loki’ debuts on ‘Billboard’ charts


Tom Hiddleston can add a new accolade to his expansive resume. On Tuesday, the British actor became a Billboard-charting artist.

Hiddleston can credit his Billboard debut to the song he belts out in Loki‘s third episode, in which he stars as the titular Norse god of mischief.

The Golden Globe winner sings the Asgardian drinking song “Very Full” almost entirely in Norwegian in the episode titled “Lamentis.”  The track is now available on the recently released Loki: Volume 1 soundtrack.

“Very Full” — or “Jeg Saler Min Ganger” —  debuted in the top 10 on the World Digital Song Sales after selling over 500 downloads.  The particular chart tracks non-English and non-Spanish singles. 

Hiddleston performs “Very Full” twice in the third episode of Loki, the first time when he drinks too much and leads a train full of affluent individuals into a rowdy singalong as Sylvie, played by Sophia Di Martino, stares on in horror.  The second time is during during the end credits.

Loki‘s final episode premieres today on Disney+, though a second season is forthcoming.

This isn’t the only song originating in a Disney+ series to shake up the Billboard and streaming charts. Previously, Kathryn Hahn‘s WandaVision earworm “Agatha All Along” went to number one on the iTunes soundtrack chart.

Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.