Wednesday, September 19, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 3184
  • Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018
CBS' Julie Chen leaves daytime's "The Talk" in taped message
In this June 16, 2014 file photo, Les Moonves, right, president and CEO of CBS Corporation, and his wife Julie Chen pose together at the premiere of the CBS science fiction television series "Extant" in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Julie Chen announced Tuesday that she was leaving the cast of the CBS daytime show "The Talk" a week after her husband, CBS Corp. boss Leslie Moonves, was ousted from the company due to sexual misconduct allegations.

Chen hadn't appeared on the show during its season-opening week last week. She wasn't on the set Tuesday, either, making her announcement via a taped message from the set of "Big Brother," the prime-time CBS show that she also hosts.

She made no mention of the case involving Moonves. On one episode of "Big Brother" last week, she pointedly signed off as "Julie Chen Moonves," when she usually doesn't use her married name professionally.

"Right now, I need to spend more time at home with my husband and my son," she said.

She's been with the show since its inception nine years ago, along with co-hosts Sara Gilbert and Sharon Osbourne. Chen called the trio "The Three Musketeers" in her goodbye message, played at the end of Tuesday's episode.

Chen appeared to fight back tears when thanking crew members, but quickly gathered her composure.

"I know this show and the sisterhood it stands for will continue on for many, many more years to come," she said.

She appeared to endorse "Dancing With the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba as a successor. Inaba was filling in for Chen behind the show's desk on Tuesday. Chen was effectively the moderator of "The Talk," steering the show's conversation.

"The Talk" began strongly against "The View," the ABC show it is clearly modeled after, and even eclipsed its rival in the ratings four years ago. Since then, "The View" righted itself and has taken over first place.

It's the second traumatic television exit that Gilbert has endured this year. The actress who's in the "Roseanne" reboot also saw Roseanne Barr fired from that show for an offensive tweet.

"We love you, Julie," Gilbert said after the message aired.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018
SeaWorld, ex-execs must pay $5M to settle "Blackfish" claim
A scene from "Blackfish"
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- 

SeaWorld and two former executives on Tuesday agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle federal fraud claims that they misled investors about the negative impact the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" had on business.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed the complaint in federal court in New York as well as the proposed settlements, which are subject to court approval. The SEC's complaint alleged SeaWorld and former CEO James Atchison made misleading and false statements or omissions in SEC filings, earnings releases and calls about the documentary's impact on the company's reputation and business from December 2013 to August 2014.

During the first three months of 2014, Atchison sold stock as part of a trading plan he had entered into before that period, allowing him to avoid losses of almost $740,000, according to the complaint.

In August 2014, SeaWorld for the first time made a filing with the SEC that revealed the company was facing declining attendance following the movie's release. The company's stock price plummeted by a third and SeaWorld's stock was downgraded by analysts, causing an $830 million loss in shareholder value, according to the SEC complaint.

"The defendants should have known that the 'Blackfish' effect, if and when such occurred, would be material to investors," the complaint said.

Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, "Blackfish" chronicled the life of Tilikum, an orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer during a performance in Orlando in 2010.

In a statement, SeaWorld said the company neither admits nor denies the allegations under the settlement.

"The company is pleased to have resolved this matter and to continue to focus on delivering superior guest experiences, world-class animal care and rescuing animals in need," said the statement from corporate communications director Travis Claytor.

Online court records didn't show attorneys for Atchison or Fred Jacobs, SeaWorld's former vice president of communications.

Under the settlement proposal, SeaWorld would pay a $4 million penalty, Atchison would pay more than $1 million for a penalty and pay-back and Jacobs would pay $100,000 in pay-back.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018
Steve McQueen to create portrait of London schoolchildren
In this Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 file photo, director Steve McQueen arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "I Am Not Your Negro" at LACMA. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen is planning an ambitious project to take a portrait of every third-year pupil in London — tens of thousands in all.

The "12 Years a Slave" director will oversee a team of photographers taking class photos at all of London's 2,400 primary schools over the next nine months.

Tate Britain, which co-commissioned the work, said Tuesday that the project would capture a moment of "excitement, anxiety and hope" in the lives of the Year 3 children, who are 7 and 8 years old.

The work will be displayed at Tate Britain and other venues in London starting in November 2019.

London-born McQueen won art's prestigious Turner Prize in 1999 before launching a movie career. His latest film is the heist thriller "Widows," starring Viola Davis.

  • Monday, Sep. 17, 2018
Number of governments boycotting Nike or considering it grows
In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, people in New York walk past a Nike advertisement featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, known for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- 

A Rhode Island town is considering asking its departments to refrain from purchasing Nike products, one of a handful of local governments or agencies that have called for boycotts in recent weeks.

The North Smithfield Town Council plans to discuss a resolution Monday evening. Council President John Beauregard is a former state trooper who is upset with Nike's decision to use former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. The town's administrator didn't know of any specific Nike products that municipal departments are currently using.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island said the town could be held legally and financially liable for violating the First Amendment and told members of the council: "Just don't do it."

The mayor of a New Orleans suburb recently rescinded a similar directive based on an attorney's advice.

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn, a Republican, had issued a memo saying that Nike products could not be purchased for use at city recreation facilities. It also required the parks and recreation director to approve all athletic purchases by booster clubs using the facilities. The order prompted a protest that included three members of the NFL's New Orleans Saints and hundreds of others.

And Mississippi's public safety chief said over the weekend that state police would no longer buy Nike products, saying that Nike doesn't support law enforcement and the military. It wasn't immediately clear how much gear the state police agency buys from Nike, though the department has bought shoes, shirts and tactical training uniforms from the company. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant lauded the decision.

A Nike spokesman said Monday he couldn't comment on the various governmental actions.

Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and social injustice.

Beauregard said he proposed taking a stance in North Smithfield because he feels Kaepernick has been disrespectful toward police. He said it's not about kneeling during the anthem. The resolution would be nonbinding.

  • Monday, Sep. 17, 2018
Trump-tape-hunting Tom Arnold, "Apprentice" producer scuffle
In this combination of photos, Tom Arnold, left, attends a premiere on Oct. 10, 2017, in Los Angeles and Mark Burnett speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington. A scuffle between Arnold and Burnett a producer of "The Apprentice" has led to an exchange on social media. (AP Photos)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Comedian Tom Arnold filed a police report Monday over an incident involving the producer of the "The Apprentice" at a weekend pre-Emmy Awards party, police said.

Detectives will investigate Arnold's allegations that Mark Burnett choked him at the party Sunday night, said Los Angeles police officer Jeff Lee.

Burnett's wife, actress Roma Downey, tweeted that Arnold "tried to ambush" the couple, and she posted a photo of what she says is her bruised hand.

Arnold's lawyer, Marty Singer, told The Hollywood Reporter that Burnett "attacked" Arnold.

Actress Alyson Hannigan tweeted that she witnessed the confrontation and thought it was a joke until security jumped in.

Emails to the celebrities' representatives were not immediately returned.

Arnold's new show, "The Hunt for the Trump Tapes," is set to debut Tuesday.

The show follows Arnold's attempts to find tapes that show Donald Trump expressing bigoted views on the set of "The Apprentice," which Burnett produces.

  • Friday, Sep. 14, 2018
Argentina seizes costly film equipment stolen from Hollywood
Police next to stolen film equipment during a media presentation at the police department in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Argentine authorities say they have seized about $3 million in cameras, lenses and other film equipment stolen in Hollywood and New York. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- 

Argentine authorities say they have seized about $3 million in cameras, lenses and other film equipment stolen in Hollywood and New York.

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said Friday that Argentine authorities worked in conjunction with the FBI, the New York Police Department and the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Authorities said they were able to break up a criminal gang that stole the equipment from Hollywood producers and rented it on the black market for movies in Argentina.

Dozens of cases with costly cameras marked with the word "seized," as well as tripods, lights and other professional film equipment were displayed at a news conference Friday in the Argentine capital.

Argentine Federal Police Chief Nestor Roncaglia said 17 people are being investigated as part of the operation called "Hollywood Stolen."

  • Friday, Sep. 14, 2018
Mexico vies for best foreign film Oscar with Cuaron's "Roma"
This image released by Netflix shows a scene from the film "Roma." The Mexican film academy announced Friday that it has chosen “Roma”, by Academy Award-winner Alfonso Cuaron, as its bid for a best foreign language film nomination. (Netflix via AP)
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- 

The ninth time may be the charm for Mexico at the Oscars. The Mexican film academy announced Friday that it has chosen "Roma," by Alfonso Cuaron, as its bid for a best foreign language film nomination.

"Roma," which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is a deeply personal film for the director of "Gravity" and "Children of Men." It is Cuaron's first in Spanish and first filmed in his native country since his 2001 breakthrough "Y Tu Mama Tambien."

Mexico has competed for the trophy eight times, most recently in 2011 with "Biutiful" by Alejandro G. Inarritu, but has never won.

"Roma," with Oscar-winner Cuaron also serving as cinematographer, will be available on Netflix this December.

Academy Award nominations will be announced on Jan. 22.

  • Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018
Beyond fake news? Facebook to fact check photos, videos
In this May 1, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote address at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Facebook says it is expanding its fact-checking program to include photos and videos as it fights fake news and misinformation on its service.

Malicious groups seeking to sow political discord in the U.S. and elsewhere have been embracing images and video to spread misinformation.

The company has been testing the image fact-checks since the spring, beginning with France and the news agency AFP. Now, it will send all of its 27 third-party fact-checkers disputed photos and videos to verify. Fact-checkers can also find them on their own.

Facebook will label images or video found to be untrue or misleading as such.

Facebook says the fact-checkers use visual verification techniques such as reverse image searching and analyzing image metadata to check the veracity of photos and videos.

  • Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018
American Film Market unveils expanded program
Jean Prewitt, president & CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance
LOS ANGELES -- 

The American Film Market (AFM®) has announced the expansive programming lineup for its Conferences, Roundtables, Workshops, and Spotlight Events which will feature international industry experts, decision makers, and academics, and run alongside the AFM’s industry screenings and marketplace. This year’s market is taking place October 31-November 7 in Santa Monica.

AFM’s panel programming is anchored by its five-day Conference Series which this year launches with The Global Perspective Conference. The half-day event taking place on Friday, Nov. 2, will open with a discussion between Jean Prewitt, president/CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, and Charles Rivkin, chairman/CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, on the major challenges and opportunities facing the film industry and how their organizations are addressing them.  The opening dialogue will be followed by two panel sessions that will bring together high-level producers, financiers, buyers and distributors to discuss business strategies and how the marketplace is evolving.

Also new to the lineup is a half-day Conference dedicated to Blockchain set for Saturday, Nov. 3. The event will be moderated by Pepperdine professor and Forbes writer Nelson Granados, with presentations and discussions with companies that are transforming independent film financing, production, and distribution with this groundbreaking technology.

In addition, this year’s AFM Roundtables, which explore specialized and timely issues, will take place in a larger venue, the AFM Gallery at Le Merigot Hotel, and feature sessions and programming partners including:

  • International Awakening: Investing in Gender Diversity for Expanding Audiences Around the Globe - Presented in partnership with Reframe
  • Using Intellectual Property to Boost the Visibility of LGBTQ Characters - Presented in partnership with Outfest
  • Boosting Your Micro-Budget - Presented in partnership with Slamdance
  • Why Do Some Horror Films Work While Others Don’t? - Presented in partnership with Dread Central
  • Producing Passion Documentaries - Moderated by KCRW’s Matt Holzman

 
AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf commented, “AFM is the perfect environment for international experts, leaders and visionaries to engage in discussions and debates.  Our expanded programming of more than 40 sessions will address the topics most important to AFM’s global participants.”

After a highly successful launch in 2017, the Writer’s Workshops will return to AFM.  Helmed by UCLA and other academic instructors, these four workshops cover screenwriting and storytelling tips and techniques.

To round out the market’s panel programming, an array of Spotlight Events with topics ranging from Understanding Distribution in China to Working with the U.S. Guilds will join the AFM’s popular returning Conferences including Pitch, Finance, Production, and Distribution.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018
"60 Minutes" chief Jeff Fager out at CBS
In this Sept. 12, 2017 file photo, "60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager poses for a photo at the "60 Minutes" offices, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

CBS News on Wednesday fired "60 Minutes" top executive Jeff Fager, who has been under investigation following reports that he groped women at parties and tolerated an abusive workplace.

The network news president, David Rhodes, said Fager's firing was "not directly related" to the allegations against him, but because he violated company policy. Fager said it was because of a text message he sent to a CBS News reporter who was covering the story about him.

"My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it," Fager said.

The investigation into Fager by an outside law firm is not complete. Fager has denied charges made by former CBS employees in the New Yorker magazine of personal misbehavior at parties and not disciplining people under him who had misconduct issues.

Fager said he would not have thought that one note would have resulted in a dismissal after 36 years at the network, "but it did." CBS had no immediate comment on his characterization of the action.

"60 Minutes" is the most popular and powerful network news broadcast on television, and Fager is only the second person to lead it during its 50 years of history. He was appointed in 2004 to succeed founding executive Don Hewitt.

He worked to modernize the broadcast and uphold its standards during a changing of the guard from the show's original cast of figures like Mike Wallace, Morley Safer and Andy Rooney.

His firing came only three days after the CBS Corp. board ousted the company's chief executive, Leslie Moonves, who was charged with sexual misconduct in the same New Yorker articles.

Fager and Rhodes had worked for several years as a team, when Fager was appointed CBS News chairman by Moonves. Rhodes was then brought in as news president, taking over full management of the news division when Fager went back to solely running "60 Minutes."

Fager's second in command at "60 Minutes," Bill Owens, will run the show while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement, Rhodes said. The show debuts a new season on Sept. 30.

 

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