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The Latest: Red carpet at British film awards sees black

The Latest on the British Academy Film Awards (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

Stars are starting to arrive for the British Academy Film Awards at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Apart from some brightly clad Cirque du Soleil entertainers, the dress code on the red carpet is black. Many female guests are eschewing color to show support for the "Time's Up" movement against sexual harassment and bullying.

Kristin Scott Thomas, a supporting actress nominee for "Darkest Hour," says she is pleased by the conversation the entertainment industry is having about misconduct, but thinks a tougher task will be "moving it from conversation to action."

Actress Andrea Riseborough, who brought U.K. Black Pride co-founder Phyll Opoku-Gyimah as her guest, says the film industry sorely needs greater diversity.

She said: "It's more likely we'll see an alien onscreen than we'll see an Asian woman at the moment, which is disgraceful."

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7:50 a.m.

Many of Britain's most prominent female entertainment stars have signed an open letter demanding an end to sexual harassment ahead of Britain's major film awards.

A letter published Sunday has been signed by Academy Award winner Emma Thompson, Naomie Harris, Emma Watson, Gemma Arterton and many others.

The letter in The Observer calls for an end to impunity and says "this movement is bigger than just a change in our industry alone."

Backed by more than 190 entertainers, academics and activists, the letter aligns British film stars with the fight against sexual harassment set off by the allegations against U.S. movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

It comes ahead of Sunday night's British Academy Film Awards, where many women attending plan to wear monochromatic black in solidarity with victims of abuse.

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For full coverage of awards season: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason

Remembering Harry Caray 20 years after his death

It’s hard to believe that the joyous voice of the Chicago Cubs was silenced 20 years ago today.

>> Read more trending news

Broadcaster Harry Caray, who was the play-by-play man for the Cubs from 1982 to 1997, died on Feb. 18, 1998, in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 83, although at the time of his death, he was believed to be 78.

Caray had collapsed at his restaurant in Palm Springs four days earlier.

Before joining the Cubs. Caray called games for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945-1969), Oakland Athletics (1970) and Chicago White Sox (1971-1981).

In addition to his signature call of “Holy, Cow!” Caray was famous for his off-key, passionate rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch.

Since baseball players are returning to Florida and Arizona for spring training, it’s only appropriate to hear Caray singing one more time. Here is a video from the last Cubs home game of 1997, which was his final appearance at Wrigley Field:

'Black Panther' blows away box office with $192M weekend

Already a much-celebrated pop-culture milestone, "Black Panther" is now a record-setting smash at the box office, too.

The Marvel superhero film blew past expectations, with $192 million in ticket sales in North America over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That makes "Black Panther" the fifth-biggest opening weekend ever, not accounting for inflation.

The only films with a higher grossing opening weekend are "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," ''Star Wars: The Last Jedi," ''Jurassic World" and "The Avengers." It's also the highest-grossing February opening weekend.

"All hail the King of Wakanda!" declared the Walt Disney Co. while reporting Sunday's estimates.

The studio forecasts a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million in the U.S. and Canada, and a global debut of $361 million. Though the film's international footprint doesn't include several of the largest markets — China, Russia, Japan — it still ranks among the top 15 global debuts ever.

Ryan Coogler's film, which cost about $200 million to make, is the most big-budget, largely black ensemble film in years and among the few to be centered on a black superhero. The strong opening suggests "Black Panther" will easily set a box-office record for films directed by a black filmmaker.

Chadwick Boseman stars as T'Challa/Black Panther in the first stand-alone film for the superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966. The cast also features Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright.

According to comScore, 37 percent of moviegoers were African-American.

The movie has been hugely acclaimed, with a 97 percent fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences agreed, giving it an A-plus CinemaScore.

Here's why Olympic figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu's fans throw Winnie the Pooh bears on the ice

In one of the strangest stories that we’ve seen out of the 2018 Winter Olympics, beloved bear Winnie the Pooh is making a comeback.

>> Olympic figure skater Paul Fentz wows with 'Game of Thrones' costume

The lovable bear is the unofficial mascot of Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. Every time Hanyu takes to the ice, he keeps a stuffed bear on the side of the rink for good luck, often bowing to the toy before performing, Time magazine reported. Fans know of Hanyu's love for the character and throw Winnie the Pooh bears onto the rink. The carefree bear has proved to be a pretty effective spirit animal for Hanyu, who is considered by some to be the best figure skater in history.

>> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

And the bears aren’t wasted, either. After Hanyu leaves the ice, the stuffed animals are collected and donated to local charities.

Too racy for the Olympics? Figure skaters Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir tone down controversial lift

The 23-year-old won a gold medal in Pyeongchang on Saturday, making him the first male skater since 1952 to win back-to-back Olympic golds. In a New York Times profile of the star, the paper wrote that thousands of Hanyu’s fans traveled to South Korea to see him compete. Some of them wore Winnie the Pooh hats while others donned Winnie the Pooh costumes.

>> Olympic figure skater Yura Min suffers wardrobe malfunction, handles it with class

>> Read more trending news 

And the story of Hanyu’s gold medal performance has the kind of storybook twists and turns that you might expect from something a lot more dramatic than Winnie the Pooh. In the months leading up the games, when he should have been entering his final round of preparation, Hanyu suffered an injury to his ankle that threatened his performance. But, in a comeback story for the ages, the Japanese star managed to return with a vengeance, cementing himself as the greatest ice skater in the world. And, Winnie the Pooh was there on the sidelines for the entire thing.

Olympic figure skater Paul Fentz wows with 'Game of Thrones' costume

“Game of Thrones” fans from around the world were loving German Olympic figure skater Paul Fentz’s costume at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

>> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Fentz was clearly not on the fence when it came to a tribute to the character Jaime Lannister, and neither were people on the internet when it came to voicing positive opinions about it.

>> Too racy for the Olympics? Figure skaters Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir tone down controversial lift

The Olympian also skated to the “Game of Thrones” soundtrack.

Here's what fans had to say:

>> Olympic figure skater Yura Min suffers wardrobe malfunction, handles it with class

Even commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir were into it.

>> Read more trending news 

“It was not his best, but a Lannister always pays his debts,” Lipinski said. “This music gets me.”

What will Meghan wear? Royal wedding dress a top UK secret

Where does one shop for a wedding gown set to be the dress of the year — an outfit chic enough for a fashion-loving bride but suitable for a church so regal it's the burial place of monarchs?

Everyone at London Fashion Week — and elsewhere — is dying to know.

With only three months to go before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May 19 wedding at Windsor Castle, both the fashion and bridal worlds are abuzz with talk of who the bride will pick to design her dress and what kind of look she would go for.

It's no wonder: There's not been a bigger royal wedding since Harry's brother Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011 in an extravaganza broadcast around the world. Seven years later, Kate's lacey, long-sleeved Alexander McQueen gown is still influencing bridal designs today.

"It's going to be the greatest fashion commission of 2018. There'll be millions of eyeballs on it," said Jade Beer, editor at the British edition of Brides magazine. "It's her major fashion moment."

"She'll definitely need an upgrade from the dress she wore for her first wedding," Beer added, referring to the simple strapless white gown the American actress wore at her 2011 Jamaica beach wedding to film producer Trevor Engelson. The couple divorced in 2013.

While the design — as well as the designer — of the dress is a closely guarded secret, many are positive that Markle will choose a British designer.

Kate wasn't the only bride in Britain's extended royal family sticking with a British designer. Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth II's second-eldest grandchild, wore royal couturier Stewart Parvin. In 1981, then-Lady Diana Spencer — the late mother of groom Harry — surprised many when she chose David and Elizabeth Emanuel, a pair of designers fresh out of college.

Front-runners for Markle's choice include British-Canadian Erdem Moralioglu, known for his elegant, feminine styles; Ralph & Russo, the couture designers Markle chose for her engagement dress; heritage fashion powerhouse Burberry; as well as McQueen and Giles Deacon, who designed the wedding gown for Kate's sister Pippa Middleton.

Victoria Beckham has denied rumors that she's been asked. French designer Roland Mouret has also been cited as a possible pick.

"I mean, she could surprise us all and choose a Canadian brand — she was so loyal to them while she was filming up there," said Miles Socha, editor-in-chief at Women's Wear Daily, referring to the time Markle spent in Toronto filming the TV series "Suits." ''But probably we would have to place our bets on a British designer."

Some are hoping Markle will pick something less traditional because she has more leeway. After all, Harry is only fifth in line to the throne — and will be sixth after Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to her third child in April. In addition, their wedding venue, St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, is less imposing than St. Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey in London.

"I really expect something different from her. Her style is so clean, really modern, and bridal has been so traditional in the past few years," said London-based bridal designer Naomi Neoh. "I think — I hope — it would be clean, simple with beautiful detailing."

Neoh hopes Markle will choose a dress that celebrates her individuality.

"Meghan's very different from the English tradition. She's got her career, she's half-black," she said. "She's not going to be queen. It has to be respectful and appropriate of course, but it can be a bit more exciting with the cut and the lines. I think maybe a high neck, low back — that'd be demure enough."

Still, it's a dress that needs to live up to the grandeur of its surroundings. St. George's Chapel is intimate only by royal proportions. It seats 800 guests and has a very important place in British history as the resting place of scores of kings and queens — including both of the queen's parents.

"She's going to be walking over dead monarchs on the way up the aisle," said Beer. "There's a huge sense of occasion."

Markle has already signaled a break from the conservative styles that dominate British royal wardrobes, ditching stuffy frock coats for sleek trousers. Many admired the sharp trouser suit she wore to match Harry's outfit at a recent official event.

The actress herself has offered some clues about her dream wedding dress.

In March 2016, before she met Harry, she told Glamour magazine that she favored "classic and simple" styles with "a modern twist," and that she preferred "wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic." She named Ellie Saab and J. Mendel among her favorite designers, and said her favorite celebrity wedding dress was the simple slip of a gown that Carolyn Besette Kennedy wore in 1996.

Circumstances have changed since then — but whatever style she picks, Markle's choice will soon be seen in bridal salons everywhere.

Referring to Kate's gown, Neoh said: "Literally the next day, everyone wanted long lace sleeves — the year after getting lace was impossible. It was bananas."

Many say with Markle's looks and the young royals' popularity, she could get away with nearly anything.

"I think everybody here loves her so dearly," said designer Jasper Conran. "She can wear a dishcloth and people won't mind."

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Hilary Fox and Gregory Katz in London contributed to this story.

Tool Album Lyrics Nearly Written 'After 11 Years of Begging' Says Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan said he’d written the lyrics and melodies for every song but one on the long-awaited new Tool album, after “begging” for final instrumental tracks for 11 years.

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Marilyn Manson Accused of Harassment by Actress Charlyne Yi

“House” actress Charlyne Yi accused Marilyn Manson of harassing her and other women in response to his latest onstage meltdown.

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Ahead of UK film awards, stars seek end to sexual harassment

Almost 200 British female entertainment stars called for an international movement to end sexual misconduct across society in a letter published ahead of Sunday's British Academy Film Awards.

Kate Winslet, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emma Thompson, Naomie Harris, Emma Watson and Gemma Arterton are among those saying that 2018 should be "the year that time was up on sexual harassment and abuse."

Announcing a fund to support women and men battling workplace abuse — modeled on the "Time's Up" movement in the U.S. — the stars said "with our collective power, we can galvanize others."

Former "Harry Potter" star Watson has given the fund 1 million pounds ($1.4 million), according to its page on the Go Fund Me website. Keira Knightley and Tom Hiddleston are each listed as having given 10,000 pounds.

Feminist activists and anti-violence campaigners are set to mix with the stars on the red carpet Sunday for the awards at London's Royal Albert Hall. Many female guests are expected to wear black, as tremors from abuse revelations rumble through the awards season.

Allegations of sexual harassment and abuse have been leveled at scores of entertainment figures since women began coming forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein last year.

The issue has crossed the Atlantic, where the Old Vic Theatre has been rocked by allegations against former artistic director Kevin Spacey. London police are also investigating nine claims of sexual assault by Weinstein.

In a letter published in The Observer newspaper, 190 female stars called for an end to impunity for abusers and said "this movement is bigger than just a change in our industry alone."

"We believe we need to use our power as communicators and connectors to shift the way society sees and treats us," they said. "We need to examine the kind of womanhood our industry promotes and sells to the world."

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge will also be in the audience Sunday night — and many people will be watching to see whether Kate joins in wearing black to support the fight against sexual abuse.

"Absolutely Fabulous" star Joanna Lumley will host the awards ceremony, where the monster fantasy "The Shape of Water," the tragi-comedy "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and the World War II flag-waver "Darkest Hour" are the front-runners.

All three are up for best film, alongside the sun-drenched romance "Call Me By Your Name" and the World War II drama "Dunkirk."

Gary Oldman is the favorite to take the best-actor trophy for his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour." He's up against fellow Brits Daniel Day-Lewis for "Phantom Thread," Daniel Kaluuya for "Get Out" and Jamie Bell for "Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool," as well as American actor Timothee Chalamet for "Call Me By Your Name."

The best-actress race is an international contest, pitting American Frances McDormand as a bereaved mother in "Three Billboards" against Britain's Sally Hawkins for "The Shape Of Water," Irish actress Saoirse Ronan for "Lady Bird," U.S. star Annette Bening for "Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool" and Australia's Margot Robbie for "I, Tonya."

Ridley Scott, whose films include "Blade Runner," ''Alien," ''Thelma and Louise" and "Gladiator," is set to receive the academy's highest honor, the BAFTA Fellowship.

The British trophies, known as BAFTAs, are considered a key indicator of likely success at Hollywood's Oscars in two weeks' time.

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For full coverage of awards season: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason

Christopher Bailey's Burberry farewell tops London shows

Christopher Bailey's final show as Burberry creative director dominated London Fashion Week on Saturday. Bailey is leaving the popular brand later this year after a 17-year stint that helped it regain its prominence as a global fashion power.

Newcomer Simone Rocha and veteran Jasper Conran were among the designers showcasing their latest styles as fashion week kicked into high gear. Some highlights from the style extravaganza:

A BURBERRY FAREWELL BRINGS DOWN THE STAR-STUDDED HOUSE

Animal rights activists may have hassled the high-fashion crowd entering the Burberry show, but once the 1,300 guests were safely inside the event turned into a lovefest.

The affection was for Christopher Bailey, who is leaving Burberry later this year after serving as creative director and chief executive, among other jobs. Bailey's final show was a milestone for him and for the company he helped revive.

He dedicated his farewell show to organizations that support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

"There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength and our creativity," Bailey said.

The spectacle was part fashion show, part performance art and part laser lighting display. It ended with Bailey walking down the fog-filled runway to a prolonged standing ovation from a crowd that included Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Chelsea Clinton and many others famous fans.

"It was exquisite," said Miller, who seemed near tears moments after the show ended. "One of the most spectacular things I've ever seen. It was brave and it was political and it was beautiful."

Clinton also seemed overcome with emotion.

"It showed so much humanity, so much of what he is as a person," she said. "I'm just so glad I could be here and see it in person to celebrate Christopher as he goes on to the next chapter."

Model and actress Cara Delevingne made a now-rare catwalk appearance for Bailey and the Burberry brand. She closed the show wearing a regal, rainbow-themed outfit and leading the other models through the finale, which was set off by a spectacular laser show.

The audience was filled with luminaries, including actor Idris Elba and actresses Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, and Naomi Watts. Former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher and Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris, also were in the crowd.

The show featured many references to the familiar Burberry check, which was worked into a number of jackets, caps and tops, along with some gorgeous gowns and stylish bomber jackets.

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PRETTIFIED TAILORING AT SIMONE ROCHA

Dainty lace, ruffles, pretty bows: Simone Rocha's latest collection may include every girly cliche, but there's more than meets the eye.

The young designer, known for her modern take on sweet, doll-like looks, dressed models in frilly gold or black tulle and lace dresses over slim tailored pieces such as a buttoned-up shirt or a trouser suit. The outfits were finished off with mannish brogue shoes or furry flat slippers.

There were exaggerated puff sleeves, embroidered roses, fur trims and rich floral brocade fabrics, perhaps a nod to the John Constable portraits Rocha referred to in her show notes. They were certainly a match with the show's venue, an ornate red and gold room adorned with giant candlelit chandeliers in London's palatial Goldsmiths' Hall.

Rocha did break away from delicate dresses, and those were some of the show's strongest looks: Belted, double-breasted patent leather coats that came in a striking red or military green, as well as red and navy plaid outfits adorned with a tinsel-like trim.

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ELEGANCE AND RICH COLORS AT JASPER CONRAN

Designer Jasper Conran pared down the in-your-face, bombastic style some rivals have adopted for London Fashion Week. Instead, Conran showed an elegant collection that relied on many monochromatic outfits with subtle shifts of texture and drape to set them off. The apparent simplicity, offset by the detailing and workmanship, made for an often captivating result.

"I think it's very much what I've learned in my career. These are the things that I know," said Conran, one of the founding designers of London Fashion Week. "So it's an expression of quite a long time of learning."

Conran described the basic elements he used as navy, white and sulphur yellow, with a wide variety of other unusual colors and textures weaved in. He found expressive ways to mix and match, but also relied on one color from head to toes walking the runway in matching, understated shoes. Most models wore their hair long and natural, giving the collection an airy, ethereal feel.

When shades were mixed, it was frequently striking — as in a surprisingly effective dress that paired olive green with dark brown.

Trousers and some dresses were often pleated, and lightweight parkas set off some outfits. Conran seemed to show a special flair in various shades of yellow, including a hooded yellow parka that seemed both practical and sexy.

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