Robert Downey Jr. (pictured in the second "Avengers" movie) says people are impersonating him online, trying to get money for charity. (Courtesy Walt Disney Films)

Robert Downey Jr. busy fending off scammers

Robert Downey Jr. vehemently is not asking fans for donations to charitable causes.

On Wednesday, the A-lister issued took to social media, saying, “It has come to my attention that one or more scam artists have taken to impersonating me online and asking some of you via private message or chat for ‘donations’ for various ’causes.’” Just wanted to let you all know that if you encounter someone on a chat platform claiming to be me, they are lying. I will never ever communicate via private chat platforms, and I would never ask individual fans for money for any reason.”

On a lighter note, there’s been a tease about an upcoming fourth Avengers movie.

On the set for the third Avengers, “Infinity War” with directors Joe and Anthony Russo, the actor posted a photo on Instagram with costars Jon Favreau and Gwyneth Paltrow (whose character Pepper Potts was flashing an engagement ring in a different photo) and indicated they would reunite for a fourth (yet to be titled) installment.

Entertainment Weekly notes that Downey has, in the past, auctioned off visits to his premieres and movie sets, with proceeds going to charity via the online platform Omaze.

TO LEE OR NOT TO LEE

Folks are in a tizzy over the fact that ESPN announcer Robert Lee won’t be covering the first home football game at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

After the website Outkick the Coverage reported the story with headline saying the Asian-American commentator was taken off the game to “avoid offending idiots,” observers — everyone from Sports Illustrated to USA Today to Fox News, of course — chastised the sports network for not wanting to embarrass their employee because he has the same name as the confederate soldier at the center of controversy.

Yet former ESPN vice president Roxanne Jones, who commented on CNN, has a point when she calls the move “not unreasonable at all” in today’s America, where we “just witnessed heavily armed, swastika-wearing protesters who believe in white supremacy clashing in the streets with counterprotesters” and when “a statue, or a team name, or a presidential tweet can incite racial tensions and violence.”

QUICK TAKES

Liz Brooking of Eileen Fisher and Vas Kiniris of Zinc Details are among the shopkeepers pleased to be involved in the second Fillmore Merchants Association Shop OUT Day, a fundraiser for the SF LGBT Center; on Aug. 26, 10 percent of sales at 19 participating stores will go to the nonprofit providing services to the LGBTQ community.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actor Rupert Grint is 29. … Actor Chad Michael Murray is 36. … Author John Green is 40. … Actor-comedian Dave Chappelle is 44. … Talk-show host Craig Kilborn is 55. … Novelist Orson Scott Card is 66.

— Staff, wire report
AvengersESPNFillmore Merchants AssociationRobert Downey Jr.Robert LeeScamSF LGBT Center

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