Tucker Carlson Calls Iraqis ‘Semiliterate Primitive Monkeys’ In 2008 Interview (Audio)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In another batch of unearthed audio released by Media Matters, Tucker Carlson called Iraqis “semiliterate primitive monkeys,” made disparaging comments about Michelle Obama and credited white men for “creating civilization.”

The audio, released Monday evening, was taken from appearances on the “Bubba the Love Sponge Show,” between 2006 and 2011.

The topics discussed in these clips range from the 2008 presidential election, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to immigration.

“Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys — that’s why it wasn’t worth invading,” Carlson told the shock jock in October 2008, according Media Matters.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Refuses to Apologize for ‘Naughty’ Past Comments About Statutory Rape, ‘C-ty’ Women

In another clip from 2011, Carlson said that the war in Iraq could turn around “if, somehow, the Iraqis decided to behave like human beings.”

In 2006, Carlson told the radio show he had “zero sympathy” for Iraqis because they “don’t use toilet paper or forks,” adding that they should “just shut the f— up and obey” us.

Carlson told the radio host in 2008 that Michelle Obama could pose a problem for her husband because she “turns into a sister.”  Carlson also questioned whether Barack Obama was black, saying, “How is he Black, for one thing? He has one white parent, one Black parent.”

During a 2006 discussion on immigration, Carlson argued that immigrants should be “hot” or “really smart” because people picking lettuce aren’t going to build a stronger country.

“I just think it’s, you know, people who come to this country ought to have something to offer,” he said. “Be hot, be really smart, you know what I mean?”

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

This the second set of unearthed audio recordings in as many days; On Sunday, Media Matters released several audio clips in which Carlson made disparaging comments about women and prosecution of statutory rape, among other things.

The release of the audio prompted renewed calls on social media for Fox to fire Carlson and advertisers to boycott his nightly show. Pharmaceutical company AstraZenica said it would no longer advertise on Carlson’s show.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Says ‘Fox News Is Behind Us’ After Past Audio Resurfaces

On his show Monday evening, Carlson said  that “Fox News is behind us.”

“Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality at a TV network, and we are grateful for that,” Carlson said. “We will never bow to the mob, ever, no matter what.”

You can listen to the entire audio above.

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Barack and Michelle Obama Appoint Co-Heads for Higher Ground Productions

Read on: Variety.

The Obamas have started putting together the executive team to head their Higher Ground Productions label,Variety has learned. Priya Swaminathan, a former director of development at Annapurna, and Tonia Davis, who previously oversaw development for TV …

The Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions Sets Exec Team; Priya Swaminathan & Tonia Davis Co-Heads

Read on: Deadline.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on Tuesday unveiled the executive team for the pair’s Higher Ground Productions, with ex-Annapurna exec Priya Swaminathan and Chernin Entertainment’s Tonia Davis named co-heads. The production compa…

Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions Names Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan as Co-Heads

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama have set the executive team to run their newly-launched production company.

Priya Swaminathan, who came over as a producing partner last year, will serve as co-head of Higher Ground Productions with Tonia Davis. The two will be joined by Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen, who will serve as a creative executive.

Higher Ground Productions has a multi-year deal with Netflix to create scripted and unscripted, docu-series, documentaries and features. The company, which signed the deal last March, expects to have an initial project lineup out soon.

Also Read: Barack and Michelle Obama Sign Multi-Year Production Deal at Netflix

“With Higher Ground Productions, we hope to bring people together around common values and uncommon stories–and Priya, Tonia and Q are precisely the people to bring that vision to life,” President Obama said. “They’re masterful storytellers. They’re veterans in the industry. And they not only bring their unique perspectives and life experiences to every project, but they’re committed to finding new voices who have their own stories to tell.  Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited about the team we’re assembling.”

Swaminathan most recently worked with Annapurna where she oversaw the studio’s film development slate, though her career is mostly in the documentary space. She has developed and produced fiction and documentary projects for a range of filmmakers, including award-winners Spike Jonze, Bennett Miller and George Clooney. In addition to producing Showtime’s “Very Young Girls,” Swaminathan has also produced documentaries for MTV and ESPN.

David comes over from Chernin Entertainment, where she oversaw development and shepherded productions for the company’s film and television projects. At Chernin, she served as an executive producer on the films “Snatched” and “The Greatest Showman.”

Also Read: Michelle Obama’s Grammys Remarks Drowned Out by Audience Applause

Shamsid-Deen joins Higher Ground Productions from Ryan Murphy Television’s Half Initiative, where she served as a program director. She also previously worked with film and television producers Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson of Color Force. Shamsid-Deen worked on Murphy-produced series including “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” “Pose” and “9-1-1.”

“Our goal isn’t just to make people think–we want to make people feel and reach outside of their comfort zone,” Michelle Obama said. “With their thoughtfulness, creativity and empathy, we know that Priya, Tonia and Q will find the common thread within every story to inspire us to be something more. I’m thrilled about this team as professionals–and as people. They’re wonderful.”

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Grammy Ratings Steady With 2018 In Early Results For Music’s Biggest Night

Read on: Deadline.

Michelle Obama kicked things off last night at the 61st Grammy Awards after some “Havana” sizzle, then Lady Gaga continued her Taylor Swift shocked victory look tour and Ariana Grande won, but very clearly wasn’t in the house.

Grammy Awards Analysis: Women Seize the Spotlight, But Kendrick Lamar Still Can’t Catch a Break

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The 61st Grammy Awards was a night on which a hip-hop song won Song of the Year for the first time ever, a night when the boycotting Childish Gambino also won Record of the Year, and a night when Kacey Musgraves became the latest artist to beat Kendrick Lamar for Album of the Year.

But above all, perhaps, it was a night when women stepped up on stage — as a Grammy host, Grammy performers and Grammy winners.

It’s not a coincidence that this happened one year after Recording Academy President Neil Portnow caused a post-Grammys stink by suggesting that women needed to “step up.” On this night, the Grammys paid more than lip service to the idea of female empowerment — or, at least, the idea of rewarding and spotlighting female artists.

Also Read: Grammy Awards 2019: Complete Winners List

On Sunday, the performances were heavily weighted toward female artists, host Alicia Keys consistently sounded the drumbeat for equality and the biggest ovations went to grand divas Dolly Parton and Diana Ross and relative newcomer Brandi Carlile — as well as surprise guest Michelle Obama.

And the voters leaned toward women, not just with Musgraves winning the final award of the night, but also with the winning albums in the country, rap, R&B and pop vocal fields coming from Musgraves, Cardi B, H.E.R. and Ariana Grande, respectively.

The keynote performance of the night, it seemed, was a whispered interlude by St. Vincent and Dua Lipa, who quietly intoned a refrain borrowed from Aretha Franklin: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.”

And when Dua Lipa won Best New Artist a few minutes later, the pointed nature of her comment was unmistakable: “I guess we stepped up.”

Also Read: Ariana Grande Tweets Grammys Thank You, Dress She Would Have Worn If She Hadn’t Opted Out (Photos)

Portnow, who is retiring later this year, took the stage himself after the ensuing commercial break, and made his own call for social change — which, in the recording industry, needs to involve an enormous number of recording jobs behind the scenes, in which women are extraordinarily scarce.

(One small step: Beck’s album “Colors” won in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category — and for the first time ever, a female mastering engineer, Emily Lazar, shared in the award.)

But while gender occupied center stage at this year’s Grammys, the same old story played out when it came to Kendrick Lamar.

Lamar, along with Drake and Childish Gambino, had declined to perform at this year’s Grammys, no doubt tired of years of winning in the rap categories and then losing in the prestige categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year.

So he stayed home on Sunday, even though the “Black Panther” soundtrack he’d overseen and masterminded was considered one of the front runners in the album category.

Also Read: Michelle Obama’s Grammys Remarks Drowned Out by Audience Applause

And sure enough, “Black Panther” lost to Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” just as Lamar’s landmark albums “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “DAMN.” had lost to Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars, respectively. (And back in 2013, his “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” had lost to Daft Punk, although that Lamar album was never considered a favorite in the category.)

The difference this year is that while Lamar was shut out in the Grammys’ general-field categories, hip-hop was not. Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” won Song of the Year, the first time a hip-hop song had ever captured that award, and added Record of the Year as well. Like Lamar, Gambino (the stage name of actor-director Donald Glover) opted neither to perform nor to attend, so he wasn’t on hand to accept those awards.

So even on a night when his musical genre made some significant inroads on the Grammys, Lamar still couldn’t catch a break. Good luck getting the guy to show up and perform on the Grammys’ big show next time he’s nominated, Recording Academy.

Also Read: From Katy Perry to Cardi B, the Grammys Most Outlandish Looks, Ranked (Photos)

Then again, the Academy might have nobody to blame but themselves, because the “Black Panther” loss could also have been a victim of the Grammys’ expansion of the top categories from five to eight nominees.

When the Motion Picture Academy expanded its Best Picture category, it also changed the way the vote was counted to prevent a film from winning with too small a percentage of the total vote. But the Grammys did not — and with eight nominees in Album, of the Year, six of which fall vaguely in the R&B/hip-hop field, they may have set up a situation in which the two albums that don’t fall into that genre, Musgraves’ and Brandi Carlilie’s, had an advantage because they were only splitting the vote two ways, not six ways.

Still, Sunday’s show wasn’t about vote-splitting or Kendrick-snubbing.

As Neil Portnow knows, his last show as head of the Recording Academy was about some people stepping up and others stepping out of the way.

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60 Percent of Barack Obama’s Favorite 2018 Movies Have Nonwhite Directors

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Barack Obama continues to be America’s pop culture president. On Friday, Obama shared his list of his 15 favorite movies of 2018, which featured nine directors who are nonwhite.

Those directors include Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”),  Bing Liu (“Minding the Gap”) Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”), Lee Chang-dong (“Burning”), Chloé Zhao (“The Rider”), Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”), Carlos Lopez Estrada (“Blindspotting”), Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”).

Obama also listed his favorite books and songs of the year.

Also Read: Michelle Obama Ends Hillary Clinton’s 17-Year Run as Most Admired Woman in US

“As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved,” Obama wrote on Instagram.

Obama also shouted out his wife Michelle’s new biography, “Becoming,” in his list of favorite books and his list of songs was an eclectic mix across multiple genres.

Here are Obama’s lists in full below:

Also Read: Michelle Obama Made Barack a Sweet and Soulful Mixtape for Valentine’s Day – Listen to It Here

Favorite Movies of 2018:

“Black Panther”
“The Death of Stalin”
“Eighth Grade”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Leave No Trace”
“Minding the Gap”
“The Rider”
“Support the Girls”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Favorite Books of 2018:

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!)
“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die” by Keith Payne
“Educated” by Tara Westover
“Factfulness” by Hans Rosling
“Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging” by Alex Wagner
“A Grain of Wheat” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
“A House for Mr Biswas” by V.S. Naipaul
“How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
“In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History” by Mitch Landrieu
“Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela
“The New Geography of Jobs” by Enrico Moretti
“The Return” by Hisham Matar
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
“Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje
“Why Liberalism Failed” by Patrick Deneen
“The World As It Is” by Ben Rhodes
“American Prison” by Shane Bauer
“Arthur Ashe: A Life” by Raymond Arsenault
“Asymmetry” by Lisa Halliday
“Feel Free” by Zadie Smith
“Florida” by Lauren Groff
“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W. Blight
“Immigrant, Montana” by Amitava Kumar
“The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” by Denis Johnson
“Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark
“There There” by Tommy Orange
“Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan

Favorite Songs of 2018:

“Apeshit” by The Carters
“Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges
“Could’ve Been by H.E.R.” (feat. Bryson Tiller)
“Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)
“Ekombe” by Jupiter & Okwess
“Every Time I Hear That Song” by Brandi Carlile
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde
“Historia De Un Amor” by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)
“I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)
“Kevin’s Heart” by J. Cole
“King For A Day” by Anderson East
“Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani
“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe
“Mary Don’t You Weep” (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version) by Prince
“My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp)
“Need a Little Time” by Courtney Barnett
“Nina Cried Power” by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)
“Nterini” by Fatoumata Diawara
“One Trick Ponies” by Kurt Vile
“Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid
“Wait by the River” by Lord Huron
“Wow Freestyle “by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
And in honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: “The Great American Songbook” by Nancy Wilson

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Michelle Obama Tops Hillary Clinton As Most Admired Woman In Gallup Poll

Read on: Deadline.

Hillary Clinton has lost again. For the first time in 17 years, the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate has not been named as the woman most admired in a Gallup poll of Americans, finishing third in the race.
Supplanting Clinton is for…

Michelle Obama Ends Hillary Clinton’s 17-Year Run as Most Admired Woman in US

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former first lady Michelle Obama is the most admired woman of 2018, according to a recent Gallup survey.

Obama beat out the long-running winner of the poll, Hillary Clinton, with 15 percent of the vote. Clinton, who notched only 4 percent of the vote this year, had won 17 years straight prior to 2018.

Oprah Winfrey came in second for women with 5 percent of the vote. The current first lady Melania Trump finished with 4 percent.

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The Gallup survey of most admired has been conducted every year since 1946 with the exception of 1976. The survey asks Americans who around the world they admire the most.

Michelle Obama came in the second to Clinton three times before getting the top honor. This may be due in part to the former first lady currently being on tour to promote her new autobiography “Becoming.”

Also Read: That Time Trump Said the President Should Be Fired for a Government Shutdown (Video)

Former president Barack Obama topped the survey for most admired man for the 11th year in the row. Obama beat out President Donald Trump by 6 percentage points, marking only the 13th year in 72 of the survey that the incumbent president doesn’t win.

Trump, who has missed out on “most admired” for his second year as president, can potentially be only the second president in the history of the poll not to win the honor, according to Gallup. Former President Gerald Ford did not win during his time in office from 1974 to 1977.

Also Read: Los Angeles Names Street After Barack Obama

Take a look at the survey results below:

Most Admired Woman of 2018, according to Gallup
Michelle Obama 15%
Oprah Winfrey 5%
Hillary Clinton 4%
Melania Trump 4%
Queen Elizabeth 2%
Angela Merkel 2%
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 2%
Ellen DeGeneres 2%
Nikki Haley 1%
Malala Yousafzai1%
Nancy Pelosi 1%

Most Admired Man of 2018, according to Gallup
Barack Obama 19%
Donald Trump 13%
George W. Bush 2%
Pope Francis 2%
Bill Gates 1%
Bernie Sanders 1%
Bill Clinton 1%
Dalai Lama 1%
Joe Biden 1%
Elon Musk 1%
Mike Pence 1%

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Watch Michelle Obama’s Too-Long-for-TV Interview With Stephen Colbert (Video)

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Michelle Obama Memoir ‘Becoming’ Is Top Book Of 2018; Donald Trump’s Sudden Bibliophilia Explained?

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Says He Was Going to Scrap ‘Hamilton’ if the Obamas Didn’t Like It (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In Michelle Obama’s new book “Becoming,” the former first lady declares Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit “Hamilton” to be the greatest piece of art she has ever seen.

And the receiver of those praise took the compliment quite well during Thursday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” revealing that he was gonna rethink the whole thing had the Obamas not liked the first taste he gave them of the Tony-winning musical.

Miranda says Michelle and Barack invited him to an “evening of poetry and spoken word” they were hosting at the White House way before “Hamilton” was more than a working idea.

Also Read: Here Are Some Things Michelle Obama Couldn’t Say as First Lady (Video)

“I met them when I first performed for them in 2009,” Miranda told Jimmy Kimmel. “It was the first time I had performed anything from ‘Hamilton,’ anywhere. They had asked me to sing something from ‘In the Heights’ and I had 16 bars on Alexander Hamilton.”

Guests for the evening included Spike Lee, Zach Braff, George Stephanopoulos and James Earl Jones — so a pretty good mix to test material on.

“It worked out OK for me? It worked out pretty well,” Miranda said, laughing. “But it was really scary. And I remember thinking, ‘Well if it doesn’t work in this room, I’ll just throw it out and I’ll try something else.’”

Also Read: Michelle Obama Does Her Barack Obama Impression (Video)

Spoiler alert: “It played well!”

“Mary Poppins Returns,” starring Miranda and Emily Blunt, hits theaters Dec. 19.

Watch the video above.

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Here Are Some Things Michelle Obama Couldn’t Say as First Lady (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Michelle Obama had to be very guarded during her eight years as first lady. Jimmy Kimmel finally got her to loosen up.

On Thursday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the former FLOTUS recited a bunch of things that she wasn’t allowed to say during her time in the White House. Of course, they were all made up and provided by the ABC late-night show’s writing staff.

“I’ve never eaten a vegetable,” the kale nut started off with.

Also Read: Michelle Obama Does Her Barack Obama Impression (Video)

There were some entertainment-centric options that should entertain our audience.

“The whole eight years we were in the White House, we used Laura Bush’s Netflix password,” was one.

“Clooney is my freebie,” read another.

Also Read: Jimmy Kimmel’s Country Music Mean Tweets: Thomas Rhett May or May Not Bedazzle His Jeans (Video)

Watch the video above.

Michelle Obama has been making the talk-show rounds, promoting her book “Becoming.” She was excellent Thursday on “Ellen” — watch that appearance here.

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Michelle Obama Reveals To Jimmy Kimmel Things She Could Not Say As First Lady

Read on: Deadline.

“You picked a great night to show up,” Jimmy Kimmel assured his Hollywood studio audience Thursday night when his guests were Lin Manuel Miranda and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
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Michelle Obama Does Her Barack Obama Impression (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former first lady Michelle Obama dropped by “Ellen” Thursday to promote her new book, “Becoming.” For part of her appearance, the two friends sat together in Ellen DeGeneres’ hot seat and did their best Barack Obama impressions.

For Michelle’s turn, there was a three-point plan involved. She’s got her husband’s verbosity and cadence down pat.

Then it was Ellen’s turn.

Also Read: Trump Dismisses Michelle Obama Criticism: ‘She Got Paid a Lot of Money to Write a Book’ (Video)

See how they both did via the video above.

And find some more humor from the comedy team of Michelle & Ellen here:

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2 Dope Queens says goodbye with an extended interview with Michelle Obama

Read on: The A.V. Club.

2 Dope Queens, WNYC Studios’ critically-acclaimed comedy and storytelling podcast has released its final episode. And that sucks. But the titular queens, Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, have scored their dream guest to soften the blow for their …