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‘American Idol’ finalist Caleb Kennedy out after video surfaces

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'American Idol' finalist Caleb Kennedy out after video surfaces

“American Idol” top-five finalist Caleb Kennedy has left the show after a video surfaced showing him next to someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood.

A representative for the show confirmed to The Post that Kennedy will no longer be moving forward in the competition.

The singer, 16, posted a statement about his departure on Instagram Wednesday.

“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise but I am no longer gonna be on ‘American Idol,’” he wrote. “There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”

The remaining finalists include Willie Spence, Grace Kinstler, Chayce Beckham and Casey Bishop.

Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, gave a statement to MSN claiming that the video was taken when Kennedy was 12 and inspired by a movie he had seen.

“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” Guy said. “This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ and they were imitating those characters. It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know that’s how it looks. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.”

On Tuesday, Kennedy had posted an upbeat message on Instagram, thanking his followers for their support. “Hey guys! So glad to have y’all on the journey with me through #Americanidol,” he wrote. “Also really happy to be in the studio working on songs!! I love you guys so much!!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTEQXN6WZak

On the most recent episode this past Sunday, May 9, Kennedy performed a throaty version of the Coldplay song “Violet Hill,” plus an original tune, “Mama Said,” according to Heavy.com.

Mid-afternoon Wednesday, the show posted a Twitter teaser that Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas would mentor finalists in the upcoming episode on Sunday, but it did not mention Kennedy’s move.

It’s not the only shocking exit this season on “American Idol.” Wyatt Pike, 20, left the competition series after making the top 12, citing “personal reasons.”

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Apple releases highly-anticipated, secret Beats earbuds

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Apple releases highly-anticipated, secret Beats earbuds

After years of anticipation and weeks of rumors, Apple has finally released the Beats Studio Buds. 

The existence of the secret headphones — which Apple sleuths have been excitedly expecting since 2014 — was at last confirmed on Monday when they also became available to order. The sleek new ear gear costs $149.99 on Apple.com and comes in the classic Beats colors of black, white and red. They will begin to ship on June 24. 

“Studio Buds is our tiniest, most subtle form factor to date, yet keeps Beats’ promise of delivering an immersive sound experience in a beautiful design,” said Beats and Apple Music vice president Oliver Schusser in a press release. “In building a product this small, every minute detail was considered, analyzed and selected to optimize for sound quality, comfort and durability.” 

The Buds feature one-touch pairing, have up to eight hours of battery life and two listening modes, active noise canceling mode and Transparency mode, the latter for “when you need to hear the world around you,” according to the press release. 

To experience the full capacity of the technology, Beats head of acoustics Todd Parker recommends listening to Saweetie’s “Best Friend,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” and Daft Punk’s “Doin’ It Right.” 

Ahead of Monday’s announcement, various celebrities were spotted sporting the previously unreleased gear, including LeBron James and soccer star Alex Morgan. Apple obsessives have also found evidence of the headphones’ development in Federal Communications Commission’s reports and internal reference numbers over the years. 

“The Beats Studio Buds might be the most leaked earbuds in the history of earbuds that have leaked,” postulated one industry website on Friday. “They’re a thing, but they aren’t. They will be, but they aren’t yet. Except they are because people keep having their photos taken while they’re wearing them. But they aren’t a thing yet.”

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Kevin Hart slams cancel culture cops: ‘Shut the f–k up!

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Kevin Hart slams cancel culture cops: 'Shut the f--k up!

‘Nobody’s perfect’ seems to be the rallying cry of those opposed to cancel culture — including Kevin Hart.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the comedian and actor attacked the internet trend, saying, “Shut the f–k up!”

Cancel culture — the viral phenomenon of “cancelling” people, brands, companies, and shows because of problematic ideologies either from the past or present — has changed comedy, according to Hart, 41. Things that used to be funny or accepted are now cancellable, and the possibility of old stand-up bits and tweets resurfacing could “bite you in the ass.”

The only way to grow, he said, is to mess up and learn from it.

“If you allow it to have an effect on you, it will. Personally? That’s not how I operate,” Hart told the UK outlet. “I understand people are human. Everyone can change.”

Hart, having been cancelled a number of times in recent years, also reflected on stepping down from hosting the Oscars in 2019 after receiving backlash on the internet over homophobic tweets and old jokes.

He posted a lengthy apology on his Instagram after the debacle, reemphasizing the need for personal growth that comes from learning from mistakes.

Hart isn’t the first celebrity to mock cancel culture, though. Last month, Chris Rock blamed the trend for creating “boring” entertainment because people are playing it too “safe.” Both comedians echoed similar sentiments about cancel culture transforming the comedy sector.

While the cancel culture trend gained traction the last few years — most notably with Ellen DeGeneres and J.K. Rowling in 2020 — this year, even Dr. Seuss was subject to cancel culture. In March, the books’ publisher announced they were pulling the licensing to six titles due to offensive depictions of black and Asian characters.

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Ned Beatty dead at 83

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Ned Beatty dead at 83

Veteran character actor Ned Beatty, best known for his work in “Superman” and “Network,” died in his sleep Sunday. He was 83.

The death, reported by TMZ, was confirmed by a family member who said he passed while surrounded by his family.

No further details about the death were immediately available but TMZ was told the death was not COVID-related.

Beatty was an on-screen legend throughout his five-decade-plus career and was known for his wide range of abilities.

In the 1976 box office hit “Network,” Beatty delivered a stunning 5 to 6-minute long monologue where he attempts to convince the protagonist to accept a major merger deal that wouldn’t be good for the public.

The performance ended up earning him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Oscars that year and in 1978, he stunned the masses again when he played a completely different character in “Superman.”

As Otis, the foolish sidekick of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor, Beatty proved to Hollywood he could play comedic characters just as well as he could play serious ones and continued the role during the “Superman II” sequel in 1980.

In his on screen debut in 1972, Beatty starred in the psychological thriller “Deliverance” and was the onscreen victim in the infamous “Squeal like a pig” rape scene that’d go down in film history as one of the most depraved moments to ever hit the box office.

In his older age, Beatty took on a number of voice acting roles in “Rango” and “Toy Story 3” where he played a devilish pink bear named Lotso and also appeared in major television series like “”MASH,” “CSI,’” and “Murder, She Wrote.”

He leaves behind his wife Sandra Johnson and eight children and grandchildren.

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