Here’s All the Culture News You Missed This Week

Photography via Han Myung-Gu and Brian de Rivera Simon/ Getty Images

From Rihanna following Jagmeet Singh on Instagram to a lawsuit against James Franco.

Rihanna started following Jagmeet Singh on Instagram
Rihanna is no stranger to the world of politics—in 2017, she enlisted a slew of world leaders, including Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau, to participate in a global effort to fund education in developing countries (through Global Partnership for Education, for whom she is an ambassador), and last year she teamed up with Emmanuel Macron on a conference co-hosted by the organization. Now, it seems there’s a new politician on her radar: Jagmeet Singh. Yesterday, the award-winning singer began following the NDP leader on Instagram, a platform on which she’s only following 1400 other people (in comparison, over 75 million people follow her). While we don’t know what this follow means—is this a tacit endorsement of the politician as the country gears up for its federal election? Is it in response to seeing how Singh has gracefully been handling racist encounters on the campaign trail?—we do know Singh is happy about it. In an email to CTV News, NDP spokesperson Melanie Richer said Singh felt “it was great to be followed by her” and “loves her last album Anti.”

James Franco is accused of “sexually exploitative” behaviour
In a New York Times story, two former students of James Franco’s now-defunct acting school filed a lawsuit alleging that he and his partners “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.” The Times reports that the two women who filed the lawsuit, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, claim they were “subjected to sexually exploitative auditions and film shoots, all while promising them roles in movies that never materialized or were never released.” Tither-Kaplan has spoken about the mistreatment before, telling the Los Angeles Times in January last year (after Franco won a Golden Globe) that “there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable.” She also told the LA Times that in a nude orgy scene she and other actresses filmed with Franco three years ago, he removed the protective plastic guards covering other actresses’ vaginas while simulating oral sex on them. In a statement, Franco’s lawyer Michael Plonsker denied the accusations and called the lawsuit “ill-informed.”

We got our first look at Princess Diana in Season 4 of The Crown
The hotly anticipated third season of The Crown, starring Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham-Carter and Gillian Anderson, doesn’t hit Netflix until November 17 but the internet is already buzzing about the following season. And that’s because we just got our first look at Emma Corrin, who plays one of the most iconic royals of them all—Princess Diana—in season 4 of the series. There’s a photo doing the rounds of Corrin and Josh O’Connor— who plays Prince Charles in seasons three and four—filming a scene recreating the royal couple’s tour of Australia in 1983. As Vogue Australia notes, “Corrin wears an almost identical white dress to that worn by Princess Diana during the real-life event.”

And ICYMI: Lawyer-in-training Kim Kardashian is pushing for clemency for Brendan Dassey, who is in jail for first-degree homicide and was the focus of Netflix’s true crime series Making a Murderer.

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