American actor, Rockmond Dunbar has filed a federal lawsuit against his former employers, Disney and 20th Television, over vaccine mandate after he was fired from the 9-1-1 show.
The actor, 49, is accusing the companies of racial discrimination for not granting his request for a religious and medical exemption from their COVID vaccine mandate, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.
A source familiar with the lawsuit confirmed to ET that the actor “filed a 45 page Federal Discrimination lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company/20th Century FOX for racial and religious discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act regarding their vaccination accommodation process.” Dunbar portrayed Michael Grant for five seasons on 9-1-1 and was written off last year.
“It should be noted that this is not about the company’s right as a private entity to enact a mandatory vaccination policy, nor is it about vaccines,” the source says. “What this is about, are studios following federal law and honoring the agreement between the unions and producers in their ‘Return to Work’ protocols by affording each and every employee regardless of race/religion/medical disability, or sincerely held beliefs, the right to a fair, just, and equal interactive process free of the personal and political bias, discrimination and retaliation by those within the company assigned to oversee such processes.”
The source alleges that Dunbar was “denied this opportunity.”
“It is Mr. Dunbar’s hope that this lawsuit will bring to light the responsibility we all have to uphold the honored laws in this nation and will also serve as a reminder that there is no place or circumstance, even in a pandemic, where racial and religious discrimination should ever be accepted or encouraged,” the source adds.
In a statement, 20th Television stated: “To ensure safe working environments at our productions we have implemented a mandatory vaccination confirmation process. While we will not comment on any one individual, each request for exemption is given a thorough review and we grant accommodations consistent with our legal obligations. There are no differences in our process or decision-making based on an employee’s race.”
Dunbar’s exit from the Fox show was announced in November after his character was written off during the Nov. 16 episode.
The actor confirmed his departure, telling Deadline, “I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer.”
“My sincerely held beliefs and private medical history are very intimate and personal aspects of my life that I do not publicly discuss and have no desire to start now. I’ve been an actor in this business for 30 years, but my greatest roles are as a husband and father to our four small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds,” he said. “I have enjoyed the last five seasons with this wonderful cast and crew and will cherish the time I’ve been blessed to spend with this series and wish everyone involved nothing but the best.”
Dunbar isn’t the only actor to recently speak out against vaccine mandates. General Hospital’s Ingo Rademacher is suing ABC over the network’s vaccine mandate.
Uti Nwachukwu to host Real Housewives of Lagos reunion
Uti Nwachukwu has been announced as the host for the Real Housewives Of Lagos reunion.
The actor, TV show host, and media personality was announced as the reunion host by the executive producers of the show, Showmax.
According to a statement from Showmax, the Real Housewives of Lagos reunion will air on July 1, 2022, and July 8, 2022.
Speaking on the new job, Uti Nwachukwu said, “The Real Housewives of Lagos has been a huge part of my Fridays since it premiered and I’m so excited to be able to sit down with the amazing cast to talk about the show.”
Continuing, he said, “Being a lover of reality TV and also an ex-participant of a reality show myself, this feels like home and I will definitely be having a good time speaking to the ladies at this reunion.”
Fans slam Normani for working with abuser Chris Brown on new song
Normani is being annihilated by fans online for appearing in Chris Brown’s music video for his new song, “WE (Warm Embrace).”
The former Fifth Harmony singer, 26, shared a snippet via Instagram on Tuesday, which showed her dancing sensually with and even kissing the controversial crooner, 33.
“Girl WTF????,” one user wrote in the comments section, with another adding, “but??? im so confused.”
Others urged her to “DELETE” the post, with some calling it “disappointing.”
“We were all rooting for you💔,” another fan commented.
Others were more specific about their qualms, writing, “why would u link up with a ‘man’ like him?,” “could’ve worked with anyone else but someone with multiple abuse allegations,” “I can’t believe we’re still working with him 😢” and “NOO NOT THE ABUSER.”
Some critics even took the opportunity to remind fans that Normani has collaborated with Brown’s ex-girlfriend, Rihanna, whom he brutally attacked in 2009. “Come on Fenty queen 🏆🏆🏆,” one person wrote.
Normani was the “Umbrella” hitmaker’s first Savage x Fenty ambassador and has walked in the lingerie brand’s runway shows ever since.
As for Brown, he dated Rihanna, 34, for two years before the shocking incident occurred. He later pleaded guilty to felony assault and was sentenced to five years probation.
The pair reconciled for a year in 2012, which Rihanna later called a “mistake.” She has since publicly forgiven her ex and asked her fans to do the same.
However, Brown’s problematic behavior has allegedly continued with other romantic partners over the years.
In 2017, Karrueche Tran was granted a five-year restraining order against the R&B singer over concerns about his allegedly aggressive behavior toward her.
Brown was then under investigation last summer for allegedly smacking a woman during an argument at his Los Angeles home. Earlier this year, Page Six also revealed that another woman was suing him for allegedly drugging and raping her at a party. Brown has denied both incidents.
Despite the concerning allegations against Brown, it appears Normani has been a fan of his for quite some time — and has even backed him up in the past.
In 2014, she proclaimed she was “#TeamBreezy” and tweeted, “I love him & his personal life has nothing to do with how talented he is.”
Then, in an undated video interview from her Fifth Harmony days, she excitedly mentioned Brown, prompting the interviewer to point out, “He’s always in trouble, though, boo. Like, uh-uh. We can’t have you with him.”
“I can change his life. I can help him,” Normani replied with a smile, to which the interviewer noted, “Well, Rihanna and Karrueche said the same thing, and look.”
Both instances of Normani defending Brown resurfaced Wednesday morning on Twitter, where the criticism of her cameo in “WE” piled on.
“Idk why the new rnb girls feel the need to collaborate with him,” one dissenter opined. “First ella mai, HER, chlöe, now normani. It’s disappointing. I can’t even say i get it bc he has repeated his behavior toward women, kicks darkskin [sic] women out of clubs he’s in and has made the same song since 2012.”
Another critic wrote, “Nobody on normani’s team should have to tell her to not work with chris brown when we all had functioning brains when the abuse happened and he’s had a reputation since. It’s not about her being protected it’s about her supporting him. Normani is grown and didn’t care, that’s it.”
And a particularly fed-up fan added, “Normani has actually pissed me off big time because why are you in that man’s music video, why are you working with him, you’re four years into your miserable solo career with no album out, releasing music at the pace of an Internet Explorer search result and instead you do this.”
Reps for Normani and Brown did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.
Davido earns N144.5m from Boston, Toronto ticket sales
Nigeria’s Afrobeat superstar, David Adeleke alias Davido, who is currently on a North American tour labelled: “We rise by lifting others”, which began on June 16, at Brooklyn, New York, has made N144.5 million from the sold out ticket sales from History-Toronto, and House of Blue in Boston.
Figures released by SeatGeek showed that the award-winning singer’s tour tickets were generally sold for as little as $41.00, with an average price of $74.00. Davido made $185,000 (N76.8m) and $162,800 (N67.6m), totalling N144.5m based on an average ticket sales rate of N415.37 and the capacities of History (2,500) and House of Blues (2,200), according to BusinessDay.
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Reports indicate ticket purchasers would go online to search for ticket prices using sites such as SeatGeek’s Deal Score Function which ranks tickets by value and shows buyers how good a deal they are getting when purchasing tickets.
While speaking with Trevor Noah, the daily show on the tour, Davido stated that his main aim of the North American tour was to showcase Africa in its entirety and to carry everyone along, especially Africans.
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