Grapevine: New ‘SNL’ cast member under fire for tweets

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

New ‘SNL’ cast member under fire for tweets

Comedian Melissa Villaseñor, one of the new faces on “Saturday Night Live” this season, is in hot water this week after it appears she erased 2,000 tweets from her feed. Writer and activist Aura Bogado pointed out the 28-year-old comic was deleting racially-insensitive tweets from her account. April Reign, the writer who started the #OscarsSoWhite viral hashtag, posted screen shots of some of Villaseñor’s tweets in which she said derogatory things about African-Americans and Mexicans. Known for her impressions, Villaseñor got her break on season six of “American’s Got Talent.” Earlier this month, it was announced she would be the first Latina cast member of “SNL.” Comedian Alex Moffat and “SNL” writer Mikey Day also will join the cast.

‘Intervention’ star to appear in Taylor

A certified intervention professional, Jeff VanVonderen will give a free, town hall-style event Thursday at Wayne County Community College’s Downriver campus in Taylor as part of National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month. VanVonderen, who is best known for his work on A&E’s Emmy Award-winning series “Intervention,” will discuss addiction and recovery. “Reality of Recovery: An Evening with Jeff VanVonderen” is 7-9 p.m. with a VIP reception at 6 p.m. The free general admission tickets require advanced registration at comcareserv.org. VIP tickets, $25, include reserved seating and a meet-and-greet opportunity.

Singer-musician-producer Kashif dies

R&B singer, musician and producer Kashif Saleem died Sunday, according to EURweb.com. No specific cause of death was stated, and reports say he died of natural causes. Known simply as Kashif, the New York City native was born Michael Jones on Dec. 26, 1959. At age 15, he joined the R&B band B.T. Express as a singer and keyboardist. He later struck out on his own, releasing several studio albums in the 1980s, including 1984’s “Send Me Your Love,” which earned him two Grammy nominations. He produced hits for many artists, with one of his biggest — “You Give Good Love” for Whitney Houston. Kashif was 56.

Also ...

Zonnique Pullins, daughter of rapper T.I. and singer Tameka “Tiny” Harris, will not have to serve any jail time for her concealed weapons charge. Pullins, 20, was arrested in June after she attempted to take a pistol through security in her carry-on bag at an Atlanta airport. The charge will be dropped if she pays a fine and completes community service.

■Actor Justin Theroux, JenniferAniston’s husband, briefly spoke out about Brad Pitt and AngelinaJolie’s divorce. “As a child of divorce, all I can say is that’s terrible news for those children, and that’s all you can really say,” he told Business Insider. Aniston was married to Pitt before he married Jolie. Aniston and Theroux were married last year after dating since 2011.

■Businessman Herman Echevarria Sr. of “Real Housewives of Miami” died Monday. According to reports, he died of natural causes. He was separated, but not divorced from his wife, Alexia Echevarri.

Compiled by Melody Baetens


Wednesday’s birthdays

Brigitte Bardot, 82

Mira Sorvino, 49

Naomi Watts, 48

Young Jeezy, 39

Hillary Duff, 29