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Entertainers and the virus: Hoda cries on ‘Today’ show; Baby Shark takes on hand-washing

🕐 2 min read

From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.

TODAY SHOW’S KOTB BREAKS DOWN AFTER SEGMENT

Hoda Kotb’s emotions got the better of her on the “Today” show Friday as she concluded a segment with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who is donating money to help with the outbreak of coronavirus there.

“Drew, we love ya,” Kotb said. Then she dissolved in tears, and co-anchor Savannah Guthrie jumped in to take over.

Kotb was a news anchor and reporter at the CBS affiliate in New Orleans during the 1990s.

“Hoda, I’m so sorry, hon,” Guthrie said. “I know where your heart is.”

DISNEY RESORTS TO STAY CLOSED

The Walt Disney Co. is indefinitely extending closures at its theme park resorts in Florida and California because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company had closed Disneyland in Southern California and Disney World outside Orlando in mid-March with plans to reopen at the start of April, but Disney said Friday the resorts would remain closed until further notice. It cited directions given by health and government officials.

The company has been paying its employees during the closure, and Disney said it would continue to pay its tens of thousands of hourly workers through April 18.

‘BABY SHARK’ CHALLENGE: WASH YOUR HANDS, DOO DOO

Sorry parents, ‘Baby Shark’ is making a comeback — for a good cause.

Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark” — that jingle earworm that every toddler seems to know — has been reworked to teach good hygiene to combat COVID-19.

The company has debuted the “Wash Your Hands With Baby Shark” video and started a dance challenge to encourage families to upload videos of their children washing hands to the song.

“Wash your hands/doo doo doo doo doo/Wash your hands,” go the new lyrics. “Grab some soap/doo doo doo doo doo/Grab some soap.” Videos are tagged with #BabySharkHandWashChallenge.

Pinkfong uploaded its original version of “Baby Shark” with an accompanying dance and colorful cartoon video to YouTube in June 2016. It has now been viewed over 4.6 billion times, making it one of YouTube’s top five watched videos of all time.

EMMY SEASON ADJUSTS TO VIRUS SCRAMBLE

The Television Academy has adjusted its calendar ahead of the Emmy Awards following disruption from the coronavirus.

According to the calendar, June 5 will be the new entry deadline, nominations will be voted on from July 2-13 and nominations will be announced July 28. Final voting will take place from Aug. 21-31.

There is also modification of the hanging episode rule for series and limited series.

But the academy stressed that there are no changes to the Sept. 20 Emmy telecast or the Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 Creative Arts Emmy ceremonies.

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