Ed Sheeran says trolls drove him off Twitter
Sorry, Twitter, but you won’t have Ed Sheeran to kick around any more. At least that’s what he told British tabloid the Sun on Monday, stating that he had abandoned the platform wholesale. “I go on it, and there’s nothing but people saying mean things. Twitter’s a platform for that,” Sheeran said. “One comment ruins your day. But that’s why I’ve come off it.” The British pop star said some of that abuse came from the rabid fan base of Lady Gaga, whose so-called “little monsters” targeted Sheeran after a January interview they perceived as disrespectful to the “Born This Way” singer. In response to news that Sheeran had abandoned Twitter, Lady Gaga herself took to Instagram to share a photo of the two and expressed her love for the soulful singer, imploring internet denizens to be more positive and loving. “No reason to tear down an artist simply because they are on top,” Gaga wrote in her message posted Tuesday. “Work harder to be kinder everybody. That should be your first duty to humanity.” Ironically, Sheeran’s widespread popularity has partly made him a target for online haters. Upon release of his new album, “÷,” in March, Sheeran had 16 songs on the UK Top 20 chart. That’s a feat so astounding that the Britain’s Official Charts Company had to change its structure, allowing only three songs per artist on the charts in a given week. Sheeran’s “Shape of You” also has garnered 184 million streams in the U.K. since its release in January, making it the most streamed song of all time in Britain.
Bening is Venice Film Festival’s jury president
Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening has been named the president of the jury for the 74th Venice Film Festival. The “American Beauty” actress, whose other credits include “The Kids Are All Right,” “20th Century Women” and “Bugsy,” is among the few women to serve as chair for the Italian festival — and the first in more than a decade. “It was time to break with a long list of male presidents and invite a brilliant talented and inspiring woman to chair our international competition jury,” said festival director Alberto Barbera, who recommended Bening for the post to the board of directors. Catherine Deneuve, Jane Campion and Gong Li were the other female presidents, serving in 2006, 2002 and 1997, respectively. Bening’s “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes was last year’s chair. Bening and eight other international celebrity jurors will hand out the awards at the festival, including the Golden Lion for best film and Silver Lion for best director and the grand jury prize. “I’m honoured to be asked to serve as the president of the jury for this year’s Venice Film Festival,” Bening said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the movies and working with my fellow jury members to celebrate the best of this year’s cinema from all over the world.” The festival runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9.