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‘Girls’ actress cast as Patti Smith for upcoming biopic

Zosia Mamet, best known for her role as Shoshanna from “Girls,” and “Dr. Who’s” Matt Smith have been cast as Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the upcoming film “Mapplethorpe.” The biopic is backed by the nonprofit organization that represents Mapplethorpe’s work and is written and directed by Ondi Timoner. Smith and Mapplethorpe were good friends and occasional lovers. Smith wrote about their relationship in her 2010 memoir “Just Kids,” and she’s co-writing an adaptation of that story for a series on Showtime.

Whoopi weighs in on #OscarsSoWhite

“The View” host Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Oscar in 1991 for her role in “Ghost,” says the Academy “can’t be that racist,” since she won. “The issue is not the Academy,” she said. “Even if you fill the Academy with black and Latino and Asian members, if there’s no one on the screen to vote for, you’re not going to get the outcome you want.”

Celebrities, firms continue to pledge support for Flint

The help continues for the people of Flint, whose water supply has been contaminated with lead. Anheuser-Busch is sending more than 50,000 cans of clean drinking water to Flint residents. Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah donated 94,000 bottles (his jersey sports No. 94). In Detroit, Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille will donate 10 percent of lunch and dinner food sales through Feb. 7 to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, who lived in Michigan for 10 years, is pledging to match any $20 donation to any Flint-related campaign with a donation of 100 cases of water to the United Way (up to 25,000 cases). He’ll also match monetary donations of $20 or more up to $50,000. On Tuesday, Seth Meyers followed Jimmy Fallon’s lead and tweeted: “I’m in for 10K! CFGF.org #WaterForFlint,” and Madonna followed his lead with a $10,000 donation. Then The Game upped the ante by sending $1 million in water to Flint. It’s been announced that Sean Diddy Combs, Mark Wahlberg, Kem, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Pearl Jam, Meek Mill, and Cher also pledged to help with Flint’s water crisis.

‘Making a Murderer’ attorneys to come to Royal Oak

Defense attorneys for convicted murderer Steven Avery are coming to Royal Oak Music Theatre to participate in “A Conversation on Making a Murderer.” Dean Strang and Jerry Buting will appear at the venue March 19 at 8 p.m. The evening is described by the theater as “a moderated discussion regarding the operations of the criminal justice system, as well as the broader implications of the Steven Avery case.” From Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, Avery was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault in 1985 and spent 18 years in prison. Shortly after his release, he was convicted of killing photographer Theresa Halbach. Avery’s story is the subject of the wildly popular 10-part Netflix series “Making a Murderer.” Strang and Buting appear in the series as Avery’s most recent defense attorneys. Tickets to “A Conversation on Making a Murderer” start at $55 and go on sale at noon Friday via axs.com.

Also ...

Actors Emily Blunt and John Krasinski are expecting their second child. Their daughter, Hazel, is nearly 2.

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Wednesday’s birthdays

John Witherspoon, 74

Bridget Fonda, 52

Alan Cumming, 51

Mike Patton, 48

Patton Oswalt, 47

Rosamund Pike, 37

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