Cher sued by dancers

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Three backup dancers sued Cher on Thursday, claiming they were wrongfully fired from her current tour, and the singer engaged in racial discrimination to prevent another black dancer from joining her onstage.

The dancers claim Cher remarked that her successful “Dressed to Kill” tour had “too much color” and instructed choreographer Kevin Wilson not to hire any more dark-skinned dancers. Wilson, who is black, and also danced onstage on the tour, was fired in July along with two other dancers who claim they were discriminated against.

Wilson and dancer Suzanne Easter, who are both African American, are suing Cher along with former colleague Jacquelyn Dowsett Ballinger claiming they were wrongfully fired after complaining to managers that another dancer assaulted an unidentified woman in a hotel room while on tour. Wilson and Easter say race was a motivating factor in their dismissal, while Ballinger, 42, is alleging age discrimination.

“The accusations are ridiculous,” Cher’s publicist Liz Rosenberg said.


Darrell Hammond will return to Saturday Night Live as the show’s announcer when it returns for a 40th season on Sept. 27, NBC announced.

The former cast member will replace Don Pardo, who had been the voice of SNL since it premiered in 1975 and died last month at 96.

During his 14 seasons on the storied sketch-comedy show, Hammond was known for spot-on impressions of figures including Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Sean Connery. Though it was not as well publicized, Hammond also stepped in for Pardo on occasion when the announcer was not well.


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The Los Angeles Transportation Authority is pulling ads for the Fox television show Red Band Society from almost 200 buses amid complaints they are racist and offensive to women. The ads show cast members in front of a wall with graffiti describing their characters. A denigrating word for a woman is used to describe the character of the show’s star, Octavia Spencer.