Stephen King has said that the Oscars are 'rigged in favour of white people' in a scathing op-ed piece for The Washington Post.
Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez was suspended Sunday after tweeting about the 2003 rape case against Kobe Bryant, who was among nine people killed hours earlier in helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.After posting a link to a 2016 Daily Beast story detailing the rape accusations against the Lakers star, Sonmez then posted a screenshot of her work email inbox to illustrate the threats she received as a result, according to one screenshot and an independent reporter.“National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy,” Washington Post managing editor Tracy Grant in a statement to TheWrap. “The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues,” she added.Also Read: Tiger Woods Learned of Kobe Bryant's Death Minutes After Finishing a Round of GolfSonmez’s suspension was praised on Sunday night for being, some believed, a direct result of her posting a link to the April 2016 Daily Beast article that outlined the 2003 accusation of rape against the basketball legend. Bryant was charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment at the time, but the case never made it to trial and it was later settled in a civil lawsuit.Also Read: BBC Apologizes for Using LeBron James Footage in Kobe Bryant MemorialSonmez tweeted a link to the article with no caption, following it up to say she was receiving threats and believed “any public figure is worth remembering in their totality,” according to screenshots of the now-deleted tweets.Those screenshots came from independent journalist Matthew Keys, who wrote that Sonmez “deleted her crass tweets” about the legend, but “screen grabs are forever.”Also Read: Kobe Bryant Crash Fatalities Include College Baseball Coach and His Family, Girls Basketball CoachKeys followed up his statement about what he labeled her “crass tweets” to say she had been suspended, adding in the early hours of Monday morning that a Washington Post employee told him the suspension was not due to the posting of the rape case article. In fact, he said, it was because of the screenshot Sonmez posted of her work email inbox, which showed the names of critics.A spokesperson for the paper did not elaborate on the content of the tweets that Grant had described as displaying “poor judgment.”Read original story Washington Post Suspends Reporter After She Tweets About Kobe Bryant Rape Case At TheWrap
The identities of all nine victims who died with Kobe Bryant aboard a downed helicopter on Sunday morning have been identified by the Los Angeles Police Department and multiple reports.Among those who lost their lives along with Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, who was a club basketball teammate of Gianna’s. Also aboard the helicopter was Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at an elementary school in Orange County, California.The remaining three passengers were identified on Monday as pilot Ara Zobayan and Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, 13.Riley Chester, the son and brother of the victims, said on Instagram: “Rest In Peace to the most amazing Mother and sister. I love you Pay Pay and Mom RIP,” accompanied by two heart emojis and pictures of them, per the New York Post.Also Read: Michael Jordan Remembers Kobe Bryant: 'He Was Like a Little Brother to Me'Zobayan was an “instrument rated” pilot, according to KTLA 5 reporter Christina Pascucci, which “means he was rated to fly in fog/clouds.” Several of Zobayan’s friends have identified him as the pilot of the helicopter, per Pascucci.The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying everyone aboard was traveling to a basketball practice at Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when it went down in the nearby foggy hills west of the San Fernando Valley Sunday at about 10 a.m. PT, officials said.Also Read: Grammys Open With Kobe Bryant Tribute at Staples Center: 'Tonight Is for Kobe'The crash caused a wildfire that was contained to the Calabasas crash site, which was not near any homes or major roadways. When authorities arrived at the mountainside area, they found no survivors in the fiery wreckage.Investigators from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner quickly arrived at the scene and personnel from DMEC’s Special Operations Response Team recovered the bodies.Also Read: Kobe Bryant Remembered by Laker Legends Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-JabbarThe site is still being preserved for federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.Read original story All 9 Victims in Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Victims Identified At TheWrap
While authorities have yet to officially confirm the identity all of the people killed in the helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., that claimed the life of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, information is coming out about some of the other people who lost their lives on Sunday.Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa were killed in the crash, according to the college. Altobelli’s family confirmed their deaths to the school.“John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” OCC athletic director Jason Kehler said in a statement. “He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none — he treated them like family. Our deepest condolences go out to the Altobelli family during this time of tragedy.”Also Read: Grammys Open With Kobe Bryant Tribute at Staples Center: 'Tonight Is for Kobe'Altobelli coached at OCC for 27 years, leading the school to four state titles. Altobelli coached New York Yankees star Aaron Judge as well as New York Mets all-star Jeff McNeil at one point during their careers.In addition, Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Corona Del Mar, Calif., died in the crash as well, Mauser’s husband said on social media. He wrote on his Facebook page, “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley tweeted about Mauser’s passing, writing, “This devastating tragedy gets worse by the hour. So much pain for so many local families. Our hearts are broken & grieving for the families impacted.”I just learned that our amazing Matt Mauser of TiajuanaDogs lost his wife Christina in the crash. She coached the girls team. This devastating tragedy gets worse by the hour. So much pain for so many local families. Our hearts are broken & grieving for the families impacted.— Mayor Katrina Foley (@KatrinaFoley) January 27, 2020Also Read: Kobe Bryant Remembered by Laker Legends Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-JabbarDr. Jonathan Lucas, Los Angeles County Coroner, said the recovery effort of the bodies could take days to complete due to the terrain of the crash site. He added, “Our next priority after recovery is identification and notification of the families.”The helicopter was traveling to a basketball practice at Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., when it went down in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley on Sunday at about 10 a.m. PT, officials said.The crash caused a wildfire that was contained to the crash site and was not near any homes or major roadways. When authorities arrived at the mountainside area, they found no survivors in the fiery wreckage.Bryant’s death came just one day after he was passed on the NBA’s all-time scoring list by current Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.Read original story Kobe Bryant Crash Fatalities Include College Baseball Coach and His Family, Girls Basketball Coach At TheWrap
Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, 41, was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., that killed eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, according to L.A. county officials and media reports.According to TMZ, Bryant and his second-born, 13-year-old daughter Gianna were traveling to a basketball practice at Bryant’s Mamba Academy in nearby Thousand Oaks. The identity of the other passengers was not immediately known, but the L.A. Sheriff’s Department called reports of the victims “wholly inappropriate” until the investigation is complete and next of kin are notified.TMZ reported that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was not on board the helicopter; the couple has three other daughters: Natalia, 17, and Bianca, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.At a press conference Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officials said nine people were killed in the crash, revised from initial reports of five deaths.The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed in the foggy hills west of the San Fernando Valley at about 10 a.m. PT, officials said, causing a wildfire that was contained to the Calabasas crash site, which was not near any homes or major roadways. The crash site is still being preserved for federal investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.Also Read: RIP Kobe Bryant: Sports, Music and Hollywood Stars Mourn NBA LegendKobe Bryant with daughter Gianna in 2018 (Getty Images)Bryant was known for using helicopters to travel throughout Los Angeles during his 20-year career with the Lakers, during which he won five NBA championships. Drafted out of high school by the Lakers in 1996, Bryant embarked on a career that saw him become an 18-time All-Star, the 2007-08 league MVP, and score 33,643 points.His death comes less than 24 hours after fellow NBA star and Lakers forward LeBron James passed Bryant for third on the all-time NBA scorers list. James wore custom shoes with Bryant’s jersey numbers, 8 and 24, during Saturday’s game to honor him.Both of Bryant’s jersey numbers were retired by the Lakers in 2017, two months before he won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short alongside famed Disney animator Glen Keane. The short, titled “Dear Basketball,” depicted moments from Bryant’s childhood and career as he narrated his Players Tribune column announcing his retirement from basketball in 2016.Read original story NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and Teenage Daughter Gianna Killed in Helicopter Crash At TheWrap
Sam Mendes has been named the best feature-film director of 2019 by the Directors Guild of America, which handed out its annual awards on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles.The win makes the “1917” director a commanding front-runner in the Oscar race for Best Directors — and coupled with his film’s victory at the Producers Guild Awards last week, makes the World War I drama the favorite to win Best Picture winner as well.Mendes beat his fellow Oscar nominees Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”), Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”) and Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”), as well as “Jojo Rabbit” director Taika Waititi.The DGA Award is one of the most reliable Oscar predictors, with the winner going on to win the Academy Award for Best Director for the last six years in a row, 15 times in the last 16 years and 62 times in 71 years.In addition, the film whose director wins the DGA historically has a greater than 75 percent chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar, but that figure has been slipping lately. The two awards have coincided only twice in the last six years, with “The Shape of Water” two years ago and “Birdman” in 2014. The other three years, Alfonso Cuarón won the DGA and the Best Director awards for “Gravity,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu for “The Revenant,” Damien Chazelle for “La La Land” and Cuarón again for “Roma,” while the Best Picture Oscars went to “12 Years a Slave,” “Spotlight,” “Moonlight” and “Green Book,” respectively.Also Read: 'American Factory' Named Top Documentary at Cinema Eye HonorsAlma Har’el, one of three female directors in the first-time feature directing category, won for her work on “Honey Boy,” while Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert won the documentary award for “American Factory.”Bill Hader won the comedy-series award for the “ronny/lily” episode of his TV series “Barry.” The drama-series award went to Nicole Kassell, one of two directors nominated for different episodes of “Watchmen.” The television movie or limited series award went to Johan Renck for “Chernobyl.”Don Roy King won an award for directing an episode of “Saturday Night Live” for the fourth consecutive year, while James Burrows and Andy Fisher won for “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’.”Also Read: Norman Lear Becomes Oldest Emmy Winner at 97The DGA is the third of the four major Hollywood guilds to announce its awards. The Screen Actors Guild gave its ensemble-acting award to “Parasite,” while the Producers Guild chose “1917” as the best-produced film of 2019.The last of the major guilds, the Writers Guild, will announce its awards on Feb. 1.Also Read: '1917' Named Top Film at Producers Guild AwardsHere is the complete list of Directors Guild Award nominees. Winners are indicated by **WINNER.Feature Film Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite” Sam Mendes, “1917” **WINNER Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman” Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” Taika Waititi, “Jojo Rabbit”First-Time Feature Film Mati Diop, “Atlantics” Alma Har’el, “Honey Boy” **WINNER Melina Matsoukas, “Queen & Slim” Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” Joe Talbot, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”Documentary Feature Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, “American Factory” **WINNER Feras Fayyad, “The Cave” Alex Holmes, “Maiden” Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska, “Honeyland” Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, “One Child Nation”Dramatic Series Nicole Kassell, “Watchmen,” “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” **WINNER Mark Mulod, “Succession,” “This Is Not For Tears” David Nutter, “Game of Thrones,” “The Last of the Starks” Miguel Sapochnik, “Game of Thrones,” “The Long Night” Stephen Williams, “Watchmen,” “This Extraordinary Being”Comedy Series Dan Attias, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “It’s the Sixties, Man!” Bill Hader, “Barry,” “ronny/lily” **WINNER David Mandel, “Veep,” “Veep” Amy Sherman Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “It’s Comedy or Cabbage” Dan Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “Marvelous Radio”Movies for Television and Limited Series Ava DuVernay, “When They See Us” Vince Gilligan, “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” Thomas Kail, “Fosse/Verdon,” “Nowadays” Johan Renck, “Chernobyl” **WINNER Minkie Spiro, “Fosse/Verdon,” “All I Care About Is Love” Jessica Yu, “Fosse/Verdon, “”Glory”Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regular Scheduled Programming Paul G. Casey, “Real Time With Bill Maher,” “1730” Nora S. Gerard, “CBS Sunday Morning,” “40th Anniversary” Jim Hoskinson, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “A. Ocasio-Cortez; Incubus” Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live,” “E. Murphy; Lizzo” **WINNER Paul Pennolino, Christopher Werner, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “SLAPP Suits”Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials James Burrows, Andy Fisher, “Live in Front of a Studio Audience Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons'” **WINNER Spike Jonze, “Aziz Ansari: Right Now” Stan Lathan, “Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones” Linda Mendoza, “Wanda Sykes: Not Normal” Glenn Weiss, “The 91st Annual Academy AwardsReality Programs Hisham Abed, “Queer Eye,” “Black Girl Magic” Jason Cohen, “Encore!,” “Annie” **WINNER Jon Favreau, “The Chef Show,” “Hog Island” Ashley S. Gorman, “First Responders Live,” “103” Patrick McManus, “American Ninja Warrior,” “1116 Las Vegas National Finals Night 4”Children’s Programs Dean Israelite, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “Part One: Submitted for Your Approval” Jack Jameson, “Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Special” Luke Matheny, “Ghostwriter,” “Ghost in Wonderland, Part 1” Amy Schatz, “Song of Parkland” **WINNER Barry Sonnenfeld, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Penultimate Peril: Part 1”Commercials Fredrik Bond (MJZ) “Lighter Than Air,” HP Elite Dragonfly – Media Monks “Take it Lightly,” Coca-Cola Light – Ingo “Nap,” iPhone – Apple Spike Jonze (MJZ) **WINNER “Dream It,” Squarespace – Squarespace “The New Normal,” Medmen – Mekanism Mark Molloy (Smuggler) “Underdogs,” Apple – Apple Ridley Scott (RSA Films) “The Seven Worlds,” Hennessy X.O. – DDB Paris Dougal Wilson (Furlined) “Train,” AT&T – BBDO NYRead original story Directors Guild Awards 2020: Sam Mendes Wins Top Prize for ‘1917’ At TheWrap
Young people posted appeals on social media to reduce family gatherings or to at least wear masks when greeting one another with New Year's wishes, which is typically seen as disrespectful in the Chinese culture.
Megyn Kelly’s mother was rather excited when she learned that a movie (“Bombshell”) was being made that revolved around her famous daughter’s time at Fox News. So excited, in fact, that Mom had a recommendation about who could play her in the film.“There was an incident early on where my mom, who lives in upstate New York where I’m from, called me up and she said, ‘Why don’t you tell me they were making a movie about you?'” Kelly recalled on Friday’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.”“I’m like, ‘Ma I don’t know anything about it.’ She goes, ‘I want Stormy Daniels to play me,'” Kelly said laughing. “So I have no clout. She didn’t get a role. She was disappointed.”Also Read: Megyn Kelly Calls 'Bombshell' an 'Incredibly Emotional Experience'Later on, Mom went to the theater to see “Bombshell,” in which Charlize Theron earned an Oscar nomination in her role as, yes, Megyn Kelly.“And then she tells me, she goes, ‘When I stood up in the theater and told everyone I was your mother, they said very nice things about you,'” Kelly said, grinning. “I’m like, ‘Oh for the love of God.'”Kelly opened up to Maher about her exit from Fox News and how the state of the media weighed heavy on her.“I miss sort of being a voice of reason in the storm because there’s so much hysteria in the media for and against,” she said. “And when I left “The Kelly File,” I remember feeling like I might have a societal obligation to stay because I did owe it to my audience to separate the wheat from the chaff and I thought I did a good job of it. But I have three little people who I owe more to,” she added, referring to her kids Yates, Yardley and Thatcher.Also Read: Megyn Kelly on Her Public Resurfacing: 'I've Chosen to Speak Up for Women Being Harassed and Abused'Kelly said she found the “messed up” and “biased” media “disheartening,” saying she felt that way “for a long time, not just since Trump.”Maher noted her very public ouster from NBC after her on-air comment about the appropriateness of blackface as part of Halloween costumes. He defended her, saying he didn’t think what she said was “that awful.”“I mean, you even apologized for something that I didn’t think was that awful,” he said. It’s like, why can’t you just say, ‘OK, I was a little inartful about how I expressed that. My bad. I’m sorry move on with our lives.’ Instead of, ‘No, you have to go away for all time.’ Wow well who are these perfect people who have never made any mistake?”Watch Kelly’s entire interview with Maher in the video at the top.Read original story Megyn Kelly’s Mom Wanted to Be in ‘Bombshell’ – and You’ll Never Guess Who She Wanted to Play Her (Video) At TheWrap
China celebrates its Lunar New Year on Saturday, marking the start of a 15-day Spring Festival.The occasion is also observed in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines as well as in Chinese communities across the world, not least in London’s West End, the biggest gathering of revellers outside of Asia.
Proving that there is no idea so bad it can’t easily be made worse, on Friday the Trump administration unveiled the logo for the Space Force branch of the military, and it pretty much looks just like one of the most iconic elements of the “Star Trek” franchise.Compare and contrast: On the left side of the image above is the logo for Space Force (which, for those of you wondering, is part of the air force and not actually a separate branch of the military); and on the right is the emblem of Starfleet Command, the scientific and military space force for the United Federation of Planets.The logo is probably where the resemblance between Space Force and Starfleet ends, unless we’ve completely misjudged Trump that is. It’s unlikely Trump actually is trying to create a post-scarcity, post-money utopia founded on principles of peaceful coexistence, shared abundance, secularism, science, and equality like the one depicted in the TV shows and films set in the “Star Trek” universe.Also Read: New Space Force Uniforms Mocked for Camo Design: 'Are They Fighting on the Forest Moon of Endor?'Now, in fairness, the new Space Force logo is actually based on the preexisting Air Force Space Command logo, which was established in 1982 and rendered obsolete by Space Force. Here’s what that looks like:Even so, that logo was invented a full 16 years after the first season of “Star Trek,” and in the same year “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan” was a huge hit for Paramount, and between you and us, it’s impossible to look at it and not immediately think of “Star Trek.” And if anything, the Space Force logo only makes the similarities to the Federation military symbol even more obvious. So until we hear otherwise we’re going to assume this was absolutely intentional.Of course, there’s another possibility we haven’t considered: What if we’re the evil alternate universe where “evil goatee Spock” comes from? Just kidding.Space Force going boldly where no copyright has gone before comes just a week after the widespread ridicule that greeted the unveiling of its first official uniforms, which are camouflaged just like terrestrial military uniforms. The official Space Force Twitter account later clarified that it “is utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one. Members will look like their joint counterparts they’ll be working with, on the ground.” It’s an admirable commitment to cost-savings that has been extended to their logo.Representatives for CBS, which owns the rights to “Star Trek,” did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.Read original story Is Trump’s Space Force Logo a Copycat of Starfleet’s From ‘Star Trek’? (Sure Looks Like It) At TheWrap
Marvel’s “Howard the Duck” and “Tigra & Dazzler” animated series are no longer moving forward at Hulu, an individual with knowledge of the projects told TheWrap.The other two, “M.O.D.O.K.” and “Hit Monkey,” are still in development. The individual added that the decision to scrap the two shows came from Marvel. With half of the planned four series now dead, the crossover “The Offenders” is also unlikely to happen.Last year, Hulu announced an expansive multi-series commitment with Marvel TV that would consist of the aforementioned four series, and the crossover. This now leaves Hulu with only three Marvel TV series, as Kevin Feige continues to wind down Marvel TV’s roster in the months after it was moved under Marvel Studios. In addition to the two animated series, Hulu is also developing a live-action “Helstrom” series, which will star Elizabeth Marvel, Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon.Also Read: How 'Runaways' Got Caught in the Middle of Marvel TV's Corporate RestructuringEarlier this week, Hulu announced the voice cast for “M.O.D.O.K.,” which will star and be written by Patton Oswalt. He is joined by Ben Schwartz, Melissa Fumero, Beck Bennet, Sam Richardson, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jon Daly and Aimee Garcia. “Tigra & Dazzler” had previously halted development in December, with Erica Rivinoja leaving as showrunner over creative differences.In October, Marvel TV was moved under Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige, who was named chief creative officer across all of Marvel. Since then, Jeph Loeb stepped down as head of Marvel TV and all future development was shuttered. Marvel TV staff, including Karim Zreik, senior vice president of current programming and production and members of his team, moved over to the Marvel Studios group, with Zreik in charge of all current projects in production.“Cloak & Dagger” was cancelled after two seasons at Freeform, and “The Runaways” closed after three seasons, with the third premiering on Hulu last month. The first Marvel TV show, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” will end its seven-season run on ABC this summer.Marvel Studios is planning its own foray into the small screen with eight different shows for Disney+. Those include “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” “WandaVision,” “Loki” and “Hawkeye,” which all star characters from the hugely popular Marvel Cinematic Universe.Read original story Marvel TV Shows ‘Howard the Duck’ and ‘Tigra & Dazzler’ Will Not Move Forward at Hulu At TheWrap
From bears to lions to deer: Disney is developing a lifelike remake of its 1942 animated feature "Bambi," Variety has confirmed. Screenwriters Geneva Robertson-Dworet ("Captain Marvel") and Lindsey Beer ("Sierra Burgess Is a Loser") will write the screenplay, with Chris and Paul Weitz's Depth of Field producing. The film will employ the same photo-realistic CGI used on […]
George R.R. Martin has teased that the upcoming Game Of Thrones book will have a different ending to the TV show.
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz attacked CNN’s Manu Raju in the very early hours of Friday morning, calling him “obnoxious” in a tweet.“Manu, in your pissing fight w/ @MarthaMcSally EVERY GOP Senator agreed you were the MOST partisan/unfair Cap Hill reporter. Rather than address problem, CNN top brass ‘released the hounds’ on McSally. Your Qs aren’t hard, but when you’re obnoxious, we answer other reporters’ Qs,” he wrote on Twitter.Cruz’s tweet came as a response to Raju, who had written that when he tried to ask the senator if he defends President Donald Trump’s conduct with Ukraine, for which he was impeached by the House, Cruz ignored him and “split.”Also Read: GOP Sen Martha McSally Calls CNN Reporter 'Liberal Hack,' Shuts Down Impeachment Trial QuestionIn his response, Cruz also referenced an incident that took place last week. Republican Sen. Martha McSally called Raju a “liberal hack” and refused to answer his questions last Thursday. She went on Twitter later in the day to confirm and share the exchange.“You are,” McSally wrote in response to a tweet from Raju about the moment she called him a “liberal hack.” She later included a video of the encounter. Raju, the network’s senior congressional correspondent, followed up a half-hour later with the CNN video of the incident.Read original story Senator Ted Cruz Calls CNN Reporter ‘Obnoxious’ and ‘Partisan/Unfair’ At TheWrap
“GLOW” star Betty Gilpin has been cast as Ann Coulter in Ryan Murphy’s “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” an FX spokesperson told TheWrap Thursday.The upcoming third season of the anthology series centers on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton (who will be portrayed by Clive Owen), following his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinksy (Beanie Feldstein).Along with Owen and Feldstein, “Impeachment” stars Sarah Paulson as Lewinsky confidante Linda Tripp, Annaleigh Ashfor as Paula Jones and Billy Eichner as conservative journalist Matt Drudge.Also Read: Billy Eichner to Play Journalist Matt Drudge on FX's 'American Crime Story: Impeachment'Gilpin’s addition to the cast marks her first role within the Murphyverse.Sarah Burgess writes and will executive produce “Impeachment” alongside Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, Hannah Fidell and Paulson. Lewinsky will serve as a producer on the season, as will Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan.“Impeachment” was supposed to air this coming September, a couple of months before the 2020 presidential election. It has since been delayed due to creator Murphy’s congested schedule, FX chief John Landgraf told reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour earlier this month. That same day, the cable network announced it had renewed Murphy’s “American Horror Story” for three more seasons.Deadline was the first to report Gilpin’s casting.Read original story Betty Gilpin to Play Ann Coulter on ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’ At TheWrap
Andy Serkis will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the 73rd EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony.
More than a year after the New York district attorney’s office arrested and charged Harvey Weinstein for sex crimes, lawyers for the defense and prosecution appeared in court on Wednesday to paint their own picture of Harvey Weinstein.Wednesday’s proceedings marked the beginning of what has been — and will likely continue to be — a contentious trial lasting several months. After the jury of 12 people and three alternates was sworn in, the prosecution launched into detailed retellings of how Annabella Sciorra, Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Young — the six women expected to testify in the trial — say Weinstein assaulted them. While the prosecution’s charges hinge on the accounts of Haleyi and Mann (who was previously unnamed before Wednesday’s proceedings) the testimonies from the other four women could help the state make the case that Weinstein was a predator.“During this trial, you are going to learn that the defendant is a savvy New York City businessman, that he was a famous and powerful Hollywood producer, living a lavish lifestyle that most of us will never know and will come to learn, most of us will not want to know,” Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast said. “But the evidence both from the witness stand and from exhibits admitted during the trial will also show that that man was a sexual predator and a rapist.”Also Read: Actress Jessica Mann Named as Second Witness in Harvey Weinstein TrialAs Hast began sharing graphic details of the alleged assaults, she projected photographs onto a large TV screen in the courtroom of Weinstein in his heyday, standing before hundreds of reporters on a red carpet and posing with former President Bill Clinton, contrasted with photos of the women who will be testifying in the coming weeks. Included in Hast’s retellings were details about violent behavior and a pervasive sense of fear that the women felt.“Ladies and gentlemen, ultimately this trial is about the defendant’s desire for conquest. And it is for his complete lack of empathy that he must be held accountable,” Hast said near the end of her opening.But roughly two hours later, when Weinstein’s attorney Damon Cheronis stood to give his side’s opening, Cheronis quickly criticized the prosecution for calling his client a “predator” and “rapist.”“What we just heard from Ms. Hast was truly a narrative that was spun to explain things that are inexplicable,” he said. “Everything that Ms. Hast just told you is not evidence. None of it. She wasn’t there, she doesn’t know. She’s relying on what [the women] told her.”Also Read: Lance Maerov, Former Weinstein Co. Board Member, Called as First Witness in Harvey Weinstein TrialCheronis then began to retell the accounts of the women from a different angle, one which depicted Weinstein as a man having consensual relationships with his accusers and not a “master manipulator.”To do so, Cheronis also used a PowerPoint and quoted from seemingly friendly emails sent by some of the witnesses against Weinstein, suggesting that the messages indicated the encounters did not amount to sexual assault. He also brought up the timelines of each woman’s account and questioned the sequence of events that occurred after the alleged assaults, including instances where the witnesses reached out to Weinstein for further contact.“At some point during the course of this trial,” Cheronis said to the jury, “you’re going to say, ‘Oh my God, Harvey Weinstein is innocent.'”A black-suited Weinstein entered the packed courtroom around 9:17 a.m. ET without the aid of a walker. He was propped up by his publicist and headed straight for the defense’s table in the front of the courtroom. Observing his movements were over 70 members of the press and rows of attorneys, including Gloria Allred and Douglas Wigdor, who are representing some of the witnesses in the case, and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.Also Read: Actress and Activist Jessica Barth Urges 'Kindness in the Press' for Harvey Weinstein Trial WitnessesBut when the jury entered, the filled courtroom quieted down, marking the start of a day of proceedings that would be a confluence of spectacle and solemnity.Weinstein faces five felony counts for predatory sexual assault and first- and third-degree rape; if found guilty of the former charge, he faces a life sentence. He has pleaded not guilty.Read original story In Opening Statements, Attorneys Tell a Tale of Two Harvey Weinsteins At TheWrap
In the episode of the Apple TV+ anthology series “Little America” written by creators Lee Eisenberg, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, a man goes to battle with a really, really big rock.Aptly titled “The Rock,” the episode centers on Faraz, an Iranian man who buys a plot of land in Yonkers with big dreams of building his family a house, only to find that removing the giant rock that sits on the land is a far bigger challenge than he’d expected. It’s an intensely idiosyncratic story — the man also sells quail eggs and keeps bees and teaches rollerblading lessons on the side — but one that the creators hope can speak to something bigger.“This guy wanted to own a piece of America,” Nanjiani said in an interview with TheWrap. “And he gets this place that has a massive rock on it, and then he has to spend years and years trying to find a way to break this rock. To me that felt like a very good metaphor for the American Dream. You’re told a story that anybody can achieve anything they want, but the reality is much more complicated.”Apple TV+Like the seven other episodes in the series, “The Rock” is a fictionalized version of the real story of an immigrant living in America, as originally documented in a collection of photo essays published in Epic Magazine.Beyond that, though, the episodes don’t have much in common. They each have a different writer and director, they tell short one-off stories that never intersect, and they vary wildly in scope, theme, setting and tone. The characters range from a Mexican high school squash player to a Nigerian cowboy to a Swiss woman finding love at a silent meditation retreat.Also Read: How Apple TV+ Put Diversity at the Forefront During Its TCA Debut“I wanted every single episode to feel like it could stand on its own,” said Eisenberg, who serves as co-showrunner on the series alongside writer-director Sian Heder. The team of producers, which also included Joshuah Bearman and Joshua Davis of Epic Magazine and “Master of None” co-creator Alan Yang, carefully selected stories from the Epic collection so that no two episodes were too much alike.“These are stories about people, and sometimes the stakes are huge and sometimes the stakes are smaller, but they’re always really important to them,” Eisenberg said. “What we really wanted to do by having different episodes take place in different time periods and different places across the country, with characters from all over the world, is create a mosaic of the United States and say, our country is built on this collection of people.”Apple TV+Given the breadth of experiences captured in the show, one of the major priorities was attending to the “textural” details of each story, making sure each episode was written or directed by someone who had a connection to the material either through life experience or cultural background. Tze Chun, who wrote and directed the episode titled “The Grand Expo Prize Winners,” adapted his own mother’s story for the show. Each episode had dedicated cultural consultants and dialect coaches.A rough count of the writers, directors and editors found that 88 percent were either the children of immigrants or immigrants themselves. “People really, really wanted to honor the stories,” he said. “They did not want to mess up. You felt, from department to department, a level of commitment that I’ve never seen before.”Also Read: How the Story of a Real-Life 13-Year-Old Investigative Reporter Became an Apple TV+ SeriesAnother point of importance was casting as much as possible from the country of origin. While that effort provided a unique set of challenges on its own (“We had people being put on tape in a village in Uganda, we had people on tape from Paris. The sheer number of visas we had to apply for and expedite,” Eisenberg said) in one case it nearly derailed the episode entirely.“The Son,” one of the season’s most affecting episodes, centers on a gay Syrian man who seeks refuge in the U.S. after being persecuted in his home country, but the Trump administration’s travel ban against made it impossible to for the show to both authentically cast Middle Eastern actors and shoot in the U.S.Apple TV+“We actually had to shoot the episode in Montreal,” Eisenberg said. “This is a show about immigrants coming to the United States. It’s called ‘Little America.’ And we shot it in Montreal.”“That episode I think is probably the first time in television history that Montreal has played Boise,” he joked. “And it played it very well. I think Montreal will probably win an Emmy.”That ability to find humor in tragedy is a quality that has defined both Eisenberg’s past work as a writer-producer on shows like “The Office” and Showtime’s “SMILF,” as well as Nanjiani and Gordon’s 2017 Sundance hit “The Big Sick.”Also Read: 'Little America' Co-Creator Lee Eisenberg Signs Overall Deal With Apple“The thing we talked about most was that feeling,” Eisenberg said. “Within sadness there’s comedy, and even in some of the saddest episodes I think there’s some really lovely moments of levity. That was something that was really important to us.”“What we didn’t want to do was make a show that was like Oh, look at the noble struggle of the immigrant coming to America,” said Gordon. “That’s some people’s stories, but it’s not everyone’s story. So what was great was that some of these stories were romantic, some of them were thriller-esque, some of them were sports stories, some of them were very, very simple stories. Some of them were funnier than others. I love that. Immigrants aren’t a monolith in this country and the stories that we’d heard when we were beginning this project weren’t monolithic either.”Apple TV+Mild spoiler warning: Faraz doesn’t conquer his rock by the end of episode. Nor yet has Farhad Gremipor, the real-life man who inspired the episode. “I drive by it every day,” Gremipor told Epic Magazine for the original essay. “It’s right next to my apartment. In fact, I can see it through my window right now.”But one detail that didn’t make it into the show: Gremipor, in addition to farming quail eggs and teaching rollerblading, is also a recreational paraglider. “When I’m flying up there, everything looks very small,” he said. “Every person, every city. The problems you have down below become very small. Difficult problems suddenly become easy … A big rock becomes nothing.”If there is a unifying idea behind “Little America,” it isn’t that the characters in these stories or the people who inspired them necessarily triumph over adversity (though some of them do), it’s the way they all strive to find a way to live in spite of it, regardless of outcome. It’s the fact that the reality — as with Faraz and his rock, as with the American Dream — is often more complicated than the story we’ve been told.“We all have our rock. We all have an insurmountable thing in our lives that is absolutely in the way of everything. And maybe we put it there on purpose. Maybe it’s always been there and we moved in. But we all have a rock,” Gordon said. “It might still be there at the end of your life, it might not, but you’ve got to learn to live with it.”Apple TV+All eight episodes of “Little America” are now streaming on Apple TV+.Read original story ‘Little America’ Creators on Bringing Life to a New American Dream At TheWrap
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough fact-checked statements from a Davos press conference by President Trump on Wednesday morning and didn’t hide his exasperation.Scarborough, a former GOP congressman, pointed out that the Washington Post has now chronicled over 16,000 “false or misleading claims” from the president since he took office.“He says he makes great deals. That speaks for itself: A man who’s gone bankrupt time and time again and continues to be mired in a North Korean missile deal where he was made to look like a complete fool,” Scarborough said.Also Read: Joe Scarborough Says Trump Impeachment Is 'About History,' Not Just Election (Video)He then referred to the phone call with the Ukrainian president that led to Trump’s impeachment, “He keeps talking about releasing a transcript. He never released the actual transcript. That’s a lie.”From there, Scarborough contrasted Trump’s insistence that he and the Ukrainian president both agree the call was a “perfect conversation” with the latest polling that shows 51% of Americans think the Senate should remove the president for office because of the call.In December, the House impeached Trump on charges that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress. The House voted on two articles of impeachment, drafted by the House Judiciary Committee, which charged the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.Also Read: Joe Scarborough: GOP Won't Come on 'Morning Joe' to Talk Debt Unless 'Democrats Are in the White House'For abuse of power, the House voted 230-197; for obstruction of Congress, the House voted 229-198. The votes concluded a months-long impeachment inquiry process into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, which sought to determine whether he solicited foreign power for his own political gain. And as the inquiry unfolded, the White House’s refusal to cooperate and attempts to block witnesses from testifying amounted to obstruction of Congress, according to the articles of impeachment.Read original story ‘That’s a Lie': Exasperated Joe Scarborough Fact-Checks Trump as Impeachment Begins At TheWrap