Arsenio Hall and Aubrey O'Day in the boardroom on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice"
*On Sunday’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” Aubrey O’Day was finally able to present a check to her charity as the previous week’s winning project manager, but less than 10 minutes later she made a comment about her teammate Arsenio Hall that appeared to go against everything the charity stands for.
Aubrey gifted $50,000 to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to aid in their anti-bullying efforts. “I hope to remember every day what I’m fighting for,” she said on the show after handing over the money. “Even in my room I’ve posted all around my bed pictures of all the kids that have committed suicide from feeling bullied or abused. And I’m going to be thinking about them during every task, because that’s who matters. That’s why I’m here.”
Moments later, O’Day seemed to forget her own message of respect for others. Her ongoing feud with Arsenio continued Sunday after he shot down her insistence that he tap dance as part of a challenge. The task was to create a jingle, and Aubrey suggested a cheerleading theme with Arsenio doing a soft shoe. After Arsenio tried to delicately explain that a black man should not be tap dancing on television, Aubrey said in her one-on-one interview, “Arsenio is the biggest girl on this show, so I don’t know why he doesn’t like tap dancing or wearing cheerleading outfits. We all know he does it at home.”
Entertainment Weekly picked up on Aubrey’s mixed message and contacted her charity for comment.
GLSEN director of communications Daryl Presgraves responded with the following statement: “We recognize everything Aubrey has done on Celebrity Apprentice to raise awareness about GLSEN’s work to create safe schools for all. And we know people can use phrases without understanding their real meaning and true impact, and we can only hope that was the case here. GLSEN created the Think Before You Speak campaign with the Ad Council to alert teens to the harmful effects of disrespectful language, and thinking before you speak is an important principle for everyone on reality television.”
*President Barack Obama will deliver an opening message before the premiere of “Speak Up,” a Cartoon Network documentary about bullied youth across America and those who have helped them.
The half-hour film, part of the network’s “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” initiative, will be aired on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. EDT/PDT, with an encore at 8 p.m.
The film features appearances from athletes Venus Williams, Chris Webber, Lisa Leslie, soccer player Hope Solo, BMX bike rider Matt Wilhelm and NASCAR drivers Trevor Bayne, Jeff Burton and Joey Logano.
The film will also be available on www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com and via other outlets including Facebook, iTunes and YouTube after the premiere.
Obama, who has said he endured school-yard harassment, hosted the first anti-bullying summit at the White House last year.
Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on March 19. She’ll discuss her Joining Forces initiative, which supports military families, and her plans for the program’s one-year anniversary.
This will be Mrs. Obama’s first appearance on the program. Her recent appearances include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Night” program. Both shows are on NBC.
*Trin-i-tee 5:7’s Angel Taylor and Chanelle Haynes have partnered with STOMP Out Bullying as global ambassadors to help kids fight bullying effectively.
STOMP Out Bullying is a national anti-bullying and cyber-bullying program for kids and teens and is a signature program of Love Our Children USA™, the national leading nonprofit fighting all forms of violence and neglect against children in the U.S.
Angel and Chanelle will visit high schools to share their stories on bullying issues, and to offer encouraging words to help young kids cope with peer pressure.
As a teenager, Chanelle Haynes was bullied.
“To be bullied was one of the worst experiences of my teen years,” Chanelle said. “As a pastor’s daughter from a very religious household, kids would say really hurtful things to me. This caused me to become withdrawn and unhappy. I would do anything to avoid them. To be laughed at and disrespected was my normal. I would actually get sick on Sunday evening knowing that I had to go to school and face those same bullies. They talked about the way I dressed. I simply didn’t fit in—so one day I decided, ‘I don’t want to fit in.’ Eventually, my parents took me out of that school. I learned the power of removing myself from the problem and placing myself in a space where I can thrive. Since then I have taken that approach in life.”
*Comedian Tracy Morgan was in Nashville, Tenn. today to issue his promised apology to the lesbian and gay community in person following his June 3 anti-gay rant.
Morgan was scheduled to address reporters Tuesday morning at the Nashville Convention Center after meeting with members of the audience who were offended by his comedy routine and representatives from gay advocacy groups.
The “30 Rock” actor already has issued a public apology. He met with homeless lesbian and gay youth and advocates Friday in New York City as well. Morgan agreed to the Nashville meeting at the request of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Jarrett Barrios.
The former “Saturday Night Live” cast member admits he went too far during his standup act at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He said during his set that if his son were gay, he would “pull out a knife and stab” him, among other anti-gay statements.
Audience member Kevin Rogers was offended by Morgan’s routine and his posting on Facebook brought widespread attention to its content. Rogers is among those Morgan is scheduled to speak with Tuesday before he addresses reporters.
Morgan also is expected to participate in a GLAAD anti-bullying public service campaign.
*For his next literary endeavor, 50 Cent is turning his attention to the issue of bullying.
The Penguin Young Reader Group will release the rapper’s forthcoming young adult novel “Playground,” described as a semi-autobiographical work about bullying that will come out in January 2012.
The 34-year-old, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has acknowledged a violent childhood and dealing drugs at an early age.
He’s also released a memoir, “From Pieces to Weight,” and a self-help guide co-authored by Robert Greene called “The 50th Law.”