People in the news: Feliciano, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore
Singer Feliciano protests ‘Feliz Navidad’ parody
NEW YORK (AP) – Grammy-winner Jose Feliciano has gotten an apology after accusing a pair of radio producers of trashing the spirit of Christmas by using his popular holiday song, “Feliz Navidad,” for a racist musical spoof about undocumented immigrants.
Feliciano released a statement Wednesday saying that he was “revolted beyond words” and that the song was never meant to be “a vehicle for a political platform of racism and hate.”
“When I wrote and composed ‘Feliz Navidad,’ I chose to sing in both English and Spanish in order to create a bridge between two wonderful cultures during the time of year in which we hope for goodwill toward all,” the Puerto Rico-born singer said.
The parody, titled “The Illegal Alien Christmas Song,” was created by radio producers and writers Matt Fox and A.J. Rice and was posted in mid-December on the Web site for Human Events, a Washington-based conservative weekly publication founded in 1944.
Web site editor Jed Babbin apologized Wednesday and said the song would be removed from the site. The link to the song’s page was no longer available by Thursday.
“We regret any offense that Mr. Feliciano may have taken from this parody,” Babbin said in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press.
One passage from the parody, sung in English, riffed on the stereotype of Latino immigrants as heavy drinkers, while another said “illegals” were going to “spread bubonic plague.”
Born in Lares, Puerto Rico, in 1945, Feliciano was raised in New York City and wrote “Feliz Navidad” in 1970. It is one of the most popular Christmas songs in the world.
Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins split after 23 years
LOS ANGELES (AP) – One of Hollywood’s most enduring couples has separated.
Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, partners for 23 years and parents of two sons, split up over the summer, publicist Teal Cannady said in a statement Wednesday. She did not elaborate.
Sarandon, 63, and Robbins, 51, met while shooting the 1988 film “Bull Durham.” He played a hotshot pitcher, she was the passionate fan who simultaneously seduced him and prepared him for the big leagues.
Sarandon and Robbins never married. Instead, they have been compared to other longtime Hollywood pairs who remain committed despite never officially tying the knot, such as Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
Michael Moore, Jeff Garlin to host comedy fest
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – Filmmaker Michael Moore started a summer film festival five years ago in his adopted hometown of Traverse City, Mich. Now he’s teaming with Emmy winner Jeff Garlin to organize a mid-winter comedic counterpart.
The inaugural festival will be held Feb. 19-21.