Tekashi69 Under Investigation for Role in Chief Keef Shooting

Tekashi69

Under Investigation

In Chief Keef Shooting

6/18/2018 1:00 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Cops are taking a hard look at Tekashi69 to see what, if any, role he played in the events leading up to the attempted shooting of Chief Keef … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources say NYPD wants to see if Tekashi has any connection to the 2 men who shot at Keef outside the W Hotel in Times Square. 6ix9ine was in L.A. at the time of the shooting, but we’re told cops want to know if he ordered the hit.

We’re told NYPD has 2 suspects based on surveillance video, and know they stalked Keef the night of the shooting — first showing up at China Chalet restaurant where Keef was hanging downtown … then jumping into a dark-colored Ford Econovan.

After driving to midtown, we’re told the suspects parked the van around the block from the W and walked to the hotel to wait for Keef. When the rapper walked outside with a friend to smoke a cig, the suspects pounced. Keef and his friend heard shots and saw a muzzle flash.

As we reported … the shooters missed, hitting only a nearby sign. We’re told the suspects fled in the van. Cops eventually found it in Brooklyn.

Tekashi’s denied any involvement. We reached out to NYPD for official comment. So far … no word back.

‘Westworld’ Recap, Season 2 Episode 9: The Many Lives of the Man in Black

As the second season of Westworld approaches its end, the world is closing in on the Man in Black. A philanthropic family man in real life and a model of depravity within Westworld, he had built a wall to separate his two selves. But in Episode 9, the divide between those lives comes crashing down.

The premise of this episode is familiar enough. In the Westworld universe, a recurring theme is that you can’t always tell a human from a host. But in Sunday’s penultimate episode, two of the season’s interwoven narratives—the Man in Black’s quest and Dolores and Teddy’s interpersonal drama—tackle the tragic implications of that fact in a way the show has never done before.

Earlier this season, Westworld went to great lengths to establish that giving a host a copy of a human mind was impossible. The failed attempts to rebuild Jim Delos (Peter Mullan) and Robert Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) reincarnation as a brain sprite proved Delos’ immortality project had failed. But what if you start to doubt that fact? What if you’re the Man in Black (Ed Harris) and the person who could be a host is your daughter? What if it’s you?

This week’s episode begins with the Man in Black at a gala honoring his philanthropic work. As the accolades pour in, his mind turns to a mystery that has haunted him for years. He wonders when it was that a “tiny fleck of darkness” crept into his soul. He describes it as a fragment of a dream or a mental convolution, a thing that showed up in his mind one day and ended up consuming his character. He looks stricken as he massages his right forearm. If he cut deep enough into his arm, he seems to be thinking, would he eventually strike metal?

He steps away from the gala to grab a drink at a bar alone. But seated at the bar is Ford, waiting for him. Ford hints that the project of capturing guest information has progressed faster than the Man in Black might realize. “When was the last time you took a good look at your creation and what it is learning about its subjects?” Ford asks. He slides a data drive resembling a metal playing card over to him. “For a self-portrait, you may find it’s not very flattering,” he says as the Man in Black pockets the information.

The Man in Black wonders when it was that a “tiny fleck of darkness” crept into his soul. He describes it as a fragment of a dream or a mental convolution, a thing that showed up in his mind one day and ended up consuming his character.

Meanwhile, the Man in Black’s wife, Juliet, has gotten drunk, and he escorts her home. She accuses him of living a lie and demands to know what he does inside the park. He says little and tucks her into bed. After she seemingly falls asleep, he gazes again at his forearm and confesses to her that she was right—she was the only person who could see his true, black-hearted self, and that as she suspected, he never loved her.

But Romeo and Juliet this is not, and in this tragedy Juliet is in fact awake and listening as her husband declares his lack of love. She secretly observes him walk over to a row of books and hide the data card Ford gave him inside a copy of Slaughterhouse Five. Once he’s safely out the door, Juliet’s eyes pop open and she hurries over to the book. Shaking out the card, she connects it to a reader and watches as the data unspools before her: the entire history of her husband’s adventures in Westworld. She removes the card and places it inside a music box—a gift she’d given their daughter, Emily (Katja Herbers), years earlier, and which Emily had rejected.

Then she kills herself.

It’s a dreadful scene, but ultimately it adds little that’s new. What we seem to have learned is that she took her own life after discovering her husband’s true nature. That’s far from shocking, so we’re left unsettled, wondering if that’s all there is to her tale.

Earlier episodes intimated that after Juliet died, the Man in Black fled to Westworld; Emily then followed him, seeking answers about her mother’s suicide. In this episode, Emily has dragged her badly injured father to a rally point, where she awaits a rescue team. She quizzes him about the immortality project, specifically how they managed to collect information about the guests’ internal states. He tells her that they had embedded brain scanners into the cowboy hats that all guests wear. (Um, OK.) She pesters him about her mother’s death, saying that she feels like she is missing a piece of the puzzle.

But her father’s mind takes a paranoid turn. When a rescue team finally shows up, the Man in Black mutters, “You underestimate me, Ford,” and guns them down. Emily, in shock, yells out, “Those were real people!” Then in the series’ most gutting moment yet, the Man in Black becomes convinced that she is just another one of Ford’s tricks, and he fires off a spray of bullets that kills her.

He strides over to her and pulls out his knife, ready to plunge it into her arm to confirm his suspicions. But then he sees it—the data card Ford had given him, clutched in her hand.

The presence of the data card suggests that Emily had learned everything there was to know about her father before entering the park, just as her mother had. Yet Emily claimed she didn’t understand her mother’s suicide, when the only fact she appears to be missing is that her mother learned the truth about the Man in Black on the night of her death. Traipsing through the park after her father, she went to a lot of trouble in pursuit of that piece of information. Perhaps we still don’t know everything about what Juliet learned. It could also just be poor storytelling, but we hope for the best!

Seeing the card in Emily’s hand, the Man in Black is stunned. He staggers into a field and prepares to off himself. But his doubts strike again. What if he himself is a droid? Then, he reasons, his actions aren’t really his. He can’t die without finding out. He falls to his knees, pulls up his sleeve, and unsheathes his knife. Angling the blade, he carves into his flesh.

In this hyper-scientific future, where tiny brain scanners are sewn into hats, the only way to see inside one’s arm is to slice through slow-healing flesh.

We don’t get to see what he discovers. In this hyper-scientific future, where tiny brain scanners are sewn into hats, the only way to see inside one’s arm is to slice through slow-healing flesh. But his paranoia is in full force. The ease with which he murdered his daughter shows the depth of his conviction that everything he experiences is another trick masterminded by Ford. An intriguing possibility is that he’s right. Maybe he’s a host who is only a week or two old. Perhaps he has yet to start glitching, or his overactive paranoia is a sign that he’s glitching now.

In a parallel narrative, Teddy (James Marsden) is grappling with his own inability to see how he is any different from a human, that barbarous species that has showered atrocities upon him and the other hosts. He and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) are alone in Westworld’s wilderness. They have just come off an encounter with the Ghost Nation in which Dolores’ crew, armed with guns, annihilated the bulk of the arrow-shooting Native Americans.

He confronts her, telling her she has made him into a monster. She argues that she changed him so he could survive. “What’s the point of surviving if we become just as bad as them?” he asks her. If survival means sinking to the status of a human, he wants out. He apologizes to her for not being able to protect her any longer, and shoots himself.

Teddy dreaded becoming human. The Man in Black, meanwhile, became consumed by the question of whether he is in fact a host. If he discovers robot parts, he might be horrified to find that his existence has been a lie, or he might find absolution from his sins. He didn’t kill his daughter, his robo-programming did! For a man who can spout Plutarch at parties, he has an astoundingly poor command of basic philosophy of mind, as if it’s unequivocal that any human has free will.

Or perhaps he’ll only find human goo inside. The season finale may offer redemption for some characters of Westworld—but for the Man in Black, the future looks bleak.


More Great WIRED Stories

Box Office: ‘Incredibles 2’ shatters records with heroic $180 million opening

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – The opening weekend of “Incredibles 2” was, well, incredible.

Actor and director Brad Bird, and actors Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson pose at the premiere for the movie “Incredibles 2” at El Capitan theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The Disney-Pixar movie flew to a record-breaking launch of $180 million in 4,410 locations, easily landing the superhero sequel the best debut of all time for an animated film. That title was previously held by fellow Pixar sequel “Finding Dory,” which bowed with $135 million in 2016.

“Incredibles 2” also landed the eighth-biggest domestic opening of all time, and surpassed 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” ($174.6 million) for the best debut for a PG-rated film.

Overseas, where it has opened in 26 percent of the international market, Pixar’s 20th film collected $51.5 million, bringing its global total to $231.5 million.

With 14 years since the original film, 2004’s “The Incredibles,” enthusiasm has been strong for the follow-up, and it seems that audiences and critics alike were not disappointed. The film boasts a coveted A+ CinemaScore, as well as a 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The film shows the drawing power of the superhero genre, whether in the live action or animated realm,” box office analyst Paul Dergarbedian said. “The combination of the Pixar brand and Disney’s perfectly executed marketing and distribution strategy made the film an instant classic and a box office juggernaut.”

Disney’s head of distribution, Cathleen Taff, attributes the massive opening to pent up demand for another “Incredibles” film, along with positive word of mouth. It also helps that it’s been a while since a family film has hit multiplexes, she added.

“We’re so thrilled,” Taff said. “Brad and team put together a great film that delivers something for everybody. It was the perfect storm.”

“Incredibles 2” picks up directly following the events of the original film with the Parr family members attempting to balance having a normal life with their superpowers. Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their voice roles, while Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, and Sophia Bush voice new characters. Brad Bird returned to write and direct the sequel.

“Incredibles 2” should set Disney back on track after “Solo: A Star Wars Story” disappointed earlier this summer. The expensive “Star Wars” film has had difficulty gaining traction at the box office since launching with $103 million over a four day weekend. Though every previous Disney-released “Star Wars” adventure has managed to fly past the $1 billion mark, “Solo” is struggling to cross $400 million.

Disney doesn’t exactly need to break a sweat, however. “Incredibles 2” scored the third biggest opening of 2018, meaning the three best debuts of 2018 all belong to the Magic Kingdom. Disney-Marvel titles “Black Panther” ($257.7 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($202 million) secured the No. 1 and 2 spots.

Also opening this weekend was Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Tag,” which targeted a debut of $14.6 million in 3,382 theaters. The R-rated comedy — starring Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner — is based on a Wall Street Journal profile about a group of grown men who play a longstanding game of tag.

Though the film was aimed at male moviegoers, the audience breakdown was surprisingly 51 percent female. Those over the age of 25 accounted for 78 percent of audiences, while 58 percent were under 35 years old. Attendees seem satisfied, giving the film a B+ CinemaScore and 74 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

New Line’s latest title, “Game Night,” opened earlier this year with $17 million — a solid start given the film’s $16 million price tag. As of this week, the Jason Bateman/Rachel McAdams dark comedy has pocketed $117 million globally, including $69 million domestically.

The final wide release, “Superfly,” got a head start by opening on Wednesday. Sony’s remake of 1972 blaxploitation classic “Super Fly” pocketed $8.4 million in 2,220 locations during the five-day period. Well-known music video helmer Director X took the reigns on the $16 million project, which only began production in January and finished in time for its June release.

The film features all new songs written by rapper Future, who co-produced along with Joel Silver. “Superfly” stars Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis, and Jennifer Morrison.

The original 1972 “Super Fly,” starring Ron O’Neal and directed by Gordon Parks, was hugely profitable at the box office with a $30 million gross from a $500,000 budget. While the film became a cult hit, its soundtrack composed by R&B legend Curtis Mayfield became even more popular and ultimately outgrossed “Super Fly’s” box office earnings.

“Ocean’s 8” managed to steal the No. 2 spot in its sophomore frame, picking up another $19.5 million in 4,145 locations. The female-fronted heist spinoff had a series-best opening last weekend with $41.5 million. Its domestic tally currently sits at $79 million.

In fourth is “Solo: A Star Wars Story” with $9.3 million on 3,182 screens. In four weeks, the tentpole has made $193 million at the domestic box office.

Rounding out the top five is another superhero sequel, “Deadpool 2,” which scored $8.6 million in its fifth outing. To date, 21st Century Fox’s blockbuster starring Ryan Reynolds has amassed $294.5 million domestically.

At the specialty box office, “Gotti” earned $1.6 million in 503 locations. John Travolta and Kelly Preston star in the mobster movie, directed by “Entourage” star Kevin Connolly. The film, which had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, was originally intended to be released by Lionsgate in 2017, but the studio sold it back to its producers two weeks before. Vertical Entertainment and Sunrider Productions are now co-distributing along with movie ticketing service MoviePass Ventures.

Meanwhile, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s documentary is having a heroic moment of its own. Magnolia and Participant Media’s “RBG” crossed the $10 million mark in just seven weeks.

Finally, Morgan Nevill’s Mister Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” brought in $985,000 when it expanded to 96 theaters. The biopic, which holds an impressive 99 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has picked up $1.7 million in two weeks. Next week, it will expand to over 300 theaters.

Hobbit’s five armies clash in Czech forest

DOKSY, The Czech Republic (Reuters) – Spears crossed, swords touched and arrows flew in a Czech forest over the weekend as hundreds of fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit reenacted a major battle.

Participants dressed as characters such as elves, dwarves, goblins and orcs from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel “The Hobbit” re-enact the “Battle of Five Armies” in a forest near the town of Doksy, Czech Republic, June 16, 2018. Picture taken June 16, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny

More than 1,000 people, dressed in costumes from Tolkien’s books, took part in the Battle of the Five Armies, according to organizers of the annual event, held in a forest near the Czech town of Doksy, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Prague.

They fought with wooden weapons and any sharp points were wrapped in plastic to avoid injuries.

Slideshow (13 Images)

Although inspired by well known stories from Middle-earth, the results of battles at the event are not predetermined, and on several occasions the evil side has actually won.

“We come here to enjoy a great battle, great atmosphere, have a little fight and to meet people one sees only once a year,” said Lucie Zavadilova, attending the battle for the sixth time.

Reporting by David Cerny; Writing by Robert Muller; Editing by Susan Fenton

Common Says Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Album Celebrates Love and Creativity

Common

Jay & Bey’s New Album?

Love & Creativity is Beautiful!!!

6/17/2018 7:44 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Beyonce and Jay-Z working together is a win, win, win — for their marriage, for their fans and for music, in general … according to Common.

We got him leaving Craig’s Saturday night and he gave the new “Everything is Love” album a 5-star Yelp review. Common gushed, “That album is dope!! I love that s**t!!”

Jay and Bey announced the surprise release Friday night during their London concert, and fans immediately started streaming and downloading. Count Common in that group, as he told us the couple’s managed to bring 2 great things together.

BTW, the new album includes some shots at Kanye West — on tracks like “Boss” and “Friends.”

But based on his high praise … it’s pretty clear Common, who works closely with ‘Ye, ain’t getting in the middle of any beef.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Kissing in a Brooklyn Park

Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin

Let’s Make a Real Life Rom-Com … .

Sucking Face in the Park!!!

6/17/2018 7:18 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin reunion is now complete after an intense make out session in a Brooklyn park … which looks like it’s straight out of a Nicholas Sparks movie.

Biebs and the Baldwin were overlooking the NYC’s East River on Saturday while their lips got totally reacquainted up against a railing. After the PDA in BK’s Domino Park they didn’t exactly come up for air. They crossed the river into lower Manhattan in the evening, and kissed some more in Rockefeller Park.

All this romance tops off more than a week of non-stop contact between the former exes.

The couple spent all last weekend together in Miami, before jetting off to NYC … where Justin’s been in a ridiculously great mood.

Now we can see why.

Trump’s Meeting With Kim Jong-Un Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

It seems like we say this every seven days now, but man, a lot happened last week. For one, President Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort went to jail the same day it was reported his attorney Michael Cohen was apparently open to flipping. For another, trolls forced Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown off Twitter. There was also the matter of people getting upset at Robbie Williams for his World Cup opener. So, yeah, it’s been a roller coaster. What else has been happening? So glad you asked! Read on, MacDuffs.

When Trump Met Kim…

What Happened: On one hand, the North Korea/US summit didn’t result in nuclear war, but it also didn’t end incredibly well, either.

What Really Happened: Fresh from attacking Canada at the end of the G7 summit (which he left early, withdrawing his endorsement of the agreed-upon final statement in the process), President Trump flew to Singapore for what might be the most high-profile meeting of his tenure so far: The off-again, on-again meeting with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un. Only scheduled to last a day, few were convinced anything of value would come of it, which is why this rumor towards the end seemed so surprising:

But, wait. What did the statement actually say?

The full thing was released for people to read themselves, but it didn’t impress many of them. On social media, initial responses from foreign policy experts were, shall we say, not entirely positive.

Some saw this deal in contrast to the (now-junked) Iran nuclear deal…

…But at least the president was happy, right? It seemed that way from his tweets.

So happy, in fact, he kept talking about it.

And talking…

Ahead of the summit, much was made about whether or not Trump would raise the issue of North Korea’s human rights abuses. The White House initially said he would discuss the subject, then that he wouldn’t. Post-summit, the president talked to Fox News and was asked directly about Kim Jong-Un’s human rights record. It didn’t go well.

The comments made headlines from a stunned and appalled media, while many wondered why Republican lawmakers didn’t speak out against this apparent defense of human rights violations.

The Takeaway: OK, so some Republicans—if not lawmakers, at least media commentators—did say something. Where goes Bill Kristol goes… Well, that remains to be seen.

Federal Bureau of … Insubordination?

What Happened: Did the FBI screw up the election, and if so, for which side? This week, the official decision came, and not everyone was happy about it.

What Really Happened: Last Thursday, the Inspector General’s long-awaited report into the FBI’s conduct during the 2016 election dropped, and it was … 500 pages long. Thankfully, others were ready to summarize it. Or, if you want even more of a summary…

Let’s just say that the report was fairly critical of the FBI, to a degree. Certainly, it cited former director James Comey as insubordinate and criticized his actions and public comments, even though the FBI itself was essentially cleared of wrongdoing with a few exceptions. (You can see WIRED’s take here.)

There was even a piece of dramatic irony in the report for people who fondly remember the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s email server:

Oh, and an email from Comey explaining why the agency never said anything about investigations into then-candidate Trump’s connections with Russia, which has its own bitter irony, considering.

Overall, though, what did the report prove with respect to the president’s theories about FBI bias? Honestly, it didn’t look too good.

Comey himself publicly supported the report despite the criticism he faced—

—and, in a press conference about the report, FBI Director Christopher Wray was pretty unsubtle in his rebuke of the paranoia surrounding the agency even as he pledged to act on issues raised.

The Takeaway: But what about the figure at the center of the whole thing, Hillary Clinton?

President Trump Finds Himself in Another Lawsuit

What Happened: As if the president wasn’t dealing with enough right now, last week he got hit with another lawsuit … and it’s a big one.

What Really Happened: Even as the media was getting excited about the Inspector General report, there was something else happening in the Trump orbit, and we’re not talking about his 72nd birthday. What do you get for the man who has everything? What about … a lawsuit?

Yes, the NY Attorney Aeneral Barbara Underwood detailed the case against the Trump Foundation on the president’s preferred platform, Twitter.

Is this a big deal? Well, it’s the result of a two-year investigation and certainly looks well sourced and convincing.

As you might expect, the Trump Foundation cried “politics!” Because reasons.

Funny thing about that Trump Foundation statement, though…

But how did the president take it?

The Takeaway: We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t Trump already getting sued by someone? Well … yes. A lot, actually.

Does An Angel Contemplate My Fate

What Happened: For those wondering under whose authority US immigration officials are separating families at the border, a genuinely surprising answer came from administration officials last week.

What Really Happened: That the US’s immigration policies have gotten increasingly problematic recently is sadly no secret, and last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered up the most unbelievable explanation for it, invoking an unexpected source.

Yes, the Bible is why families are being separated, apparently. Who can forget when Jesus said, “Yeah, let’s take children from their parents and house them in tents in Texas”? It’s a classic moment that people talk about every Sunday.

Following Sessions’ comments, the press took the subject to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and it was hardly a West Wing moment, all things considered.

Wait. That doesn’t sound right…

Things got worse for Sanders.

In the midst of everything Sanders was saying, there’s one simple fact worth remembering:

As is this:

Suffice to say, using the Bible didn’t prove to be a particularly popular tactic on Twitter.

Also, isn’t there supposed to be something to prevent using Biblical defenses for political decisions? If only we could remember what it is.

The Takeaway: It’s things like this that make you wonder whether some people haven’t really been reading their Bibles closely enough, isn’t it? Or, at the very least, deeply misunderstanding what the whole thing is about.

The Bravest Raccoon in Minnesota

What Happened: Look, up in the sky! (Well … on a building, at least.) It’s the one thing that could bring the entire internet together as one: A plucky little raccoon.

What Really Happened: Look, let’s just end on a win, OK? But where could we find one? Maybe Minnesota, where one small raccoon won over the entire internet this week? Take it away, little guy…

People were gripped by the story, as it made its way across the internet. Gripped and terrified for the little raccoon, obviously.

For those of you who weren’t following the story as it happened, surely you’re on the edge of your seat wondering, did she make it to the roof of the building?! Well, we said we were ending on a win, didn’t we?

And in case you’re wondering where she ended up…

By the end of her climb she had become, in fact, a folk hero.

Really, it’s an inspirational story any way you choose to look at it.

The Takeaway: And just to bring it back around to where we started this week, let’s just pretend this is true, shall we?

Serenades and selfies with stars tempt TV’s Emmy voters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Broadway musical impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber wowed more than 600 Emmy voters on a recent Monday night in Hollywood, playing piano as acclaimed singer Sara Bareilles performed a song from NBC’s production of his hit rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Netflix displays a prop from “Arrested Development” at an exhibition promoting the company’s shows for Emmy consideration in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 6, 2018. Picture taken May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lisa Richwine

The legendary British composer, creator of classic shows such as “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera,” said he rarely performs in public. But despite dozens of other awards, Lloyd Webber has never won an Emmy. And with a record number of shows vying for the television industry’s highest honors, networks are amping up the star power and getting creative to shine a spotlight on their Emmy contenders.

Networks are going all out because an Emmy win, or even a nomination, can help build buzz for a show in a crowded sea of programming. That helps attract new viewers to traditional TV channels, and more subscribers for streaming services from outlets such as Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), AT&T Inc’s (T.N) HBO, or Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

The Nat Geo cable channel brought “Genius: Picasso” star Antonio Banderas to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where guests mingled amid some of Picasso’s original works. Earlier that night, Netflix staged a discussion with the very private Barbra Streisand about her latest concert film.

“Everybody in a way has become an underdog,” said Michele Robertson, a long-time Hollywood publicist and awards consultant. “There is no slam dunk. Everybody feels like they’ve got to up their game.”

With so many entries clamoring for attention, the Television Academy, the group that hands out the Emmys, changed its rules this year to allow multiple Emmy promotional events on the same day, and on weekends as well as weekdays.

The result? The number of Academy-sanctioned events increased to more than 100 from 61 last year, the organization said.

Netflix displays a costume from “The Crown” series at an exhibition promoting the company’s shows for Emmy consideration in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 6, 2018. Picture taken May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lisa Richwine

At least 200 unofficial events also are crowding calendars, said veteran awards watcher Tom O’Neil, from cocktail parties to publicity stunts such as sending taco trucks to buildings where voters work.

Contenders will learn if their efforts paid off on July 12, when Emmy nominations are announced after tabulating the votes of more than 23,000 actors, writers, technicians and other members of the Television Academy.

Voting started June 11 and ends June 25. Winners will be unveiled on Sept. 17 at the televised Emmy awards ceremony.

The competitive field is packed. TV channels and streaming services released a record 487 scripted original series last year, more than double the 216 in 2010, according to data compiled by cable network FX. That does not include documentaries, reality competitions, late-night shows and musical specials.

SELFIES WITH CAST

A few years ago, Emmy campaign events were largely limited to panel discussions with creators and actors. Those still exist, but networks are trying different approaches.

ABC, part of Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), for the first time held a day-long event on the Disney studio lot, offering selfies with the cast of “The Goldbergs” and a performance by “American Idol” winner Maddie Poppe along with panels.

“We chose to showcase several of our shows and talent on one day in order to maximize voters’ time, which is a precious commodity right now,” ABC Studios President Patrick Moran said.

Netflix held 43 events in New York and Los Angeles from February through June.

One Saturday, Netflix served a lavish three-course brunch, with miso-glazed sole on fine china, as “Glow” star Alison Brie, attorney and Netflix documentary subject Gloria Allred, and others reflected on women’s progress in Hollywood.

The streaming service hosted most of its events over five weeks in May and June at an interactive exhibit where guests could play the 1980s video games seen in “Stranger Things,” draw graffiti on a car from “American Vandal,” or hear the rumble of rushing cattle in a Western-themed bar from “Godless.”

Networks have also bombarded voters with newspaper, digital, billboard and radio advertisements.

Smaller networks are trying to compete. The Viceland cable channel sent a plane hauling a banner to promote late-night show “Desus & Mero” to fly over competitors’ events and popular executive lunch spots. It also papered cars in studio parking lots with faux parking tickets urging a look at the show.

“We have really old-school, grassroots tactics,” said Meghan Kirsch, Viceland’s senior vice president of marketing and creative. “We don’t have the millions and millions of dollars to spend, so we have to be creative.”

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler

Pete Davidson and Cazzie David Were ‘On a Break’ When Ariana Grande Hookup Started

Pete Davidson

‘On a Break’ with Cazzie

When Ariana Relationship Began

6/17/2018 1:00 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Pete Davidson was technically single when he started dating Ariana Grande … TECHNICALLY, but “Friends” fans might not agree.

Sources close to the newly engaged couple say Pete and his ex-gf, Cazzie David, were “on a break” in early May — but not necessarily broken up for good — when his relationship with Ariana sparked. But they hit if off, and it quickly became clear Pete was serious about moving on with Ariana.

The good news — it seems all parties involved are happy with the end result. As we reported, Cazzie’s not upset or dwelling on her ex’s quick rebound. Hey, if it’s good enough for Ross and Rachel.

As for Ariana and Pete — they’re still in full PDA mode with Davidson posting a pic wrapped up with his fiancee, captioned … “u know what you’d dream it be like ? it’s better than that.”

As we reported … the couple got engaged last week after just over a month of dating, firmly cementing themselves in the Whirlwind Romance Hall of Fame.

21 Savage is Within His Rights to Pull Gun Out, Says Rapper BlocBoy JB

21 Savage

Had Every Right To Pull Out Gun …

Says Rapper BlocBoy JB

6/17/2018 12:20 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

21 Savage was looking out for 21 Savage when he pulled out a gun at that party, so cut the kid some slack for trying to protect himself … says his friend and fellow rapper, BlocBoy JB.

We got BlocBoy at LAX and asked him about the intense showdown at a pool party he attended in Georgia last weekend. As we reported … a group of people crashed the shindig and rubbed Savage’s crew the wrong way. It got heated, but things escalated when someone from the crashers’ crew pulled out a gun, prompting Savage to do the same.

BlockBoy — who has a track featuring Savage — says, hell nah … there ain’t no shame in 21 arming himself. Gotta look out for No. 1.