Wednesday, January 23, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 81 - 90 of 3380
  • Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
Neil deGrasse Tyson denies misconduct allegations
In this Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 file photo, Neil deGrasse Tyson attends a fan event celebrating the release Kelly Clarkson's album "Meaning of Life" at YouTube Space New York in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says he will cooperate fully with an "impartial investigation" into allegations of sexual misconduct that have been leveled against him.

Patheos.com recently published accounts from two women who say that Tyson behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner toward them. Tyson was host of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" on Fox in 2014 and a new edition of the series was to air on National Geographic next year.

In a Facebook post Saturday, Tyson denied an accusation that he groped a woman and he denied that he made sexual advances toward a production assistant when he invited her to share wine and cheese at his home. He apologized for making the production assistant feel uncomfortable.

Fox and National Geographic Networks have said they will conduct a thorough investigation.

  • Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
Neil deGrasse Tyson investigated by Fox, NatGeo Networks
In this Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 file photo, Neil deGrasse Tyson attends a fan event celebrating the release Kelly Clarkson's album "Meaning of Life" at YouTube Space New York in New York. Fox and National Geographic Networks said Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, they will probe sexual misconduct allegations against renowned astrophysicist Tyson. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will be investigated by Fox and National Geographic Networks after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him.

Patheos.com published accounts Thursday from two women who say that Tyson behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner with them. Tyson was host of "Cosmos" on Fox in 2014 and a new edition of the series was to air on National Geographic next year.

Tyson has not commented publicly and an email request for comment to his representative was not immediately returned.

In a statement the producers of "Cosmos" said: "The credo at the heart of 'Cosmos' is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. The producers of 'Cosmos' can do no less in this situation."

They said they will conduct a thorough investigation. Meanwhile Fox and National Geographic said Friday evening that they only recently learned of the allegations and were reviewing the allegations.

Besides numerous TV appearances, Tyson is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

  • Friday, Nov. 30, 2018
New York Festivals AME Awards forms Inaugural Advisory Council
Zak Mroueh, CCO and founder of Zulu Alpha Kilo
NEW YORK -- 

New York Festivals® 2019 AME Awards®  announces the competition’s inaugural  Advisory Council, an international task force of creative and strategic leaders. They will provide the competition with knowledge of emerging trends and critical industry insights allowing AME to be more responsive to changes and demands within the advertising/marketing sphere. 

Serving on the Advisory Council are:

  • Alex Schill, global chief creative officer, Serviceplan Group, Germany
  • Merlee Jayme, chairmom/chief creative officer, Dentsu Jayme Syfu, Philippines
  • Tahaab Rais, regional head of strategy office & MENA director -Truth Central, FP7/MCCANN MENA & President, McCann Worldgroup MENA Strategic Community, UAE
  • Mick Blore, chief creative officer South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa, McCann Worldgroup, South Africa
  • Dörte Spengler-Ahrens, chief creative officer, Jung von Matt/SAGA, Germany
  • Zak Mroueh, chief creative officer & founder, Zulu Alpha Kilo, Canada

“I am honored to be the first South African to sit on the AME Advisory Council. To help steer and guide the process of awarding work that works; great creativity that meets and exceeds marketing goals and delivers tangible results, is a reward in itself,” said Blore.

Rais stated, “I’m also very excited to do justice to the awards (and to our industry) by suggesting ideas and categories that will drive the future of our industry. And hence, hopefully, work that helps our industry play a meaningful role in today’s constantly evolving world.”

Mroueh added, “As great as it feels for us creative people to win awards, our work is only being judged by other creatives. To maintain relevance as an industry and with our clients, we need to demonstrate the effectiveness of our work. After all, it’s why we’re here and is key to the future of our industry. That’s why I agreed to participate.”

Gayle Mandel, executive director, AME Awards, said, “In today’s ever-changing world of advertising and brand building it’s an amazing win to have visionary award-wining creatives of their reputation taking AME to the next level.”

  • Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
Viola Davis to star as Shirley Chisholm in Amazon project
This combination photo shows actress Viola Davis, during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sept. 9, 2018, left, and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, D-N.Y., the first black woman elected to Congress, in 1971. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis is gearing up to play groundbreaking politician Shirley Chisholm in a film for Amazon Studios.

The company said Thursday that Davis has signed on to star in and produce the project about Chisholm, who was the first black woman ever elected to the United States Congress and the first woman to seek the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

She represented New York's 12th District in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1983, and sought the presidential nomination in 1972. Chisholm died in 2005 at age 80.

Maggie Betts will direct Davis in "The Fighting Shirley Chisholm" off of a screenplay from "Silicon Valley" writer Adam Countee.

The Hollywood trade website Deadline first reported the news.

  • Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
Producers Guild to honor Kenya Barris with Visionary Award
Kenya Barris (photo by Matt Sayles)
LOS ANGELES -- 

Celebrated producer and writer Kenya Barris will be honored with the Producers Guild of America’s 2019 Visionary Award. Barris will accept the award at the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

The Producers Guild Visionary Award recognizes television, film, or new media producers for inspiring storytelling of unique and uplifting vision or quality to our culture. 

Barris is being recognized with the Visionary Award as a trailblazing storyteller whose work has advanced and expanded the representation of diverse perspectives within mainstream media. As the creator of the hit, Peabody award-winning and Emmy-nominated® series “Black-ish,” along with its successful spin-off series “Grown-ish,” and the writer of last summer’s comedy blockbuster “Girls Trip,” Barris has earned praise for honest portrayals of the Black experience that have not only resonated with a broad spectrum of audiences but have continually served as a catalyst for conversations around an array of timely topics. Through his work, Barris has fearlessly tackled difficult social issues, poignantly reflected our culture, and unified audiences through powerful stories that highlight our shared humanity.

“Kenya Barris is simply a fearless producer,” read a joint statement from PGA presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher.  “Time and again, Kenya has stepped up to tackle the difficult conversations, from the ones we have as families at the kitchen table to the ones we have as colleagues in company boardrooms and network offices.  These are challenging days for many of us, but Kenya’s unique voice—honest, passionate and so very funny—has been one of our industry’s strongest antidotes to ignorance and intolerance.  We are gratified to recognize his inspiring work with the Visionary Award.”

Previous honorees include: producer and director Ava DuVernay; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner’s Plan B Entertainment; producer and founder of Illumination Entertainment Chis Meledandri; producer Laura Ziskin; and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll.

  • Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
FX Networks named recipient of DGA Diversity Award
John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions, participates in the executive panel during the FX Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES -- 

FX Networks will be the recipient of the Directors Guild of America’s 2019 Diversity Award. The honor is being given for the network’s commitment to, and leadership in, inclusive hiring in DGA-covered categories--and for the example they set for the rest of the industry. The award will be presented at the 71st Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

“The DGA Diversity Award is a rare honor, given only when exceptional leadership in inclusive hiring is exhibited--and today, FX embodies the spirit of this special award,” said Thomas Schlamme, DGA president. “Just three short years ago, FX made a promise to transform themselves from a network that trailed behind in the area of director diversity, to one that blazed a new trail. In the time since, they’ve gone above and beyond to turn words into action. From CEO John Landgraf to all corners of the network, status quo hiring practices were overhauled into expansive searches for talented women directors and directors of color. By chipping away barriers for talent to be discovered, FX not only impacted the careers of diverse directors, they also enhanced the quality of their shows. FX is an extraordinary advocate for inclusion throughout our industry, and a shining example of how an institution can change its culture. We are very proud to recognize them with the DGA’s Diversity Award.”

Over the last several years, FX has emerged as an industry leader in diversity by actively and consistently creating an inclusive environment. Not long ago, the company lagged behind the other networks in diverse hiring: just 12% of the network’s directors were women or people of color in the 2014-15 season. It was at that time that the company announced a serious commitment to taking action and improving diversity behind the camera. FX CEO John Landgraf kicked off the initiative in January 2016, urging for a diversified pool of directors, and developing network resources to aid in those efforts. Hiring practices were overhauled, and the changes made a big impact. In the most recent TV season, 52.6% of the channel’s roster of directors were women or people of color. 

The DGA Diversity Award has only been given five previous times in its history: in 1997 to Bruce Paltrow, John Wells and Christopher Chulack; in 1999 to Steven Bochco; in 2000 to HBO; in 2005 to Stephen McPherson; and in 2014 to Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. 

  • Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
Warner Bros.' Toby Emmerich to receive Producers Guild's Milestone Award
Toby Emmerich
LOS ANGELES -- 

Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, will be honored with the Producer Guild of America’s 2019 Milestone Award.  Emmerich will receive the award at the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

In a joint statement, Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, presidents of the PGA, shared, “Toby Emmerich is one of the most respected studio executives. He continues to deliver high-quality films in a variety of genres and attract some of the finest up-and-coming and veteran directors, as well as producers, and talent to create them. Under his leadership, Warner Bros. Picture Group had a record-breaking year in 2017 with hits including ‘Dunkirk,’ and continues to dominate this year’s box office with critical and commercial, but non-formula, hits such as ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ and ‘A Star Is Born.’ He embraces filmmakers and filmmaking, which is why we are honored to be able to recognize him this year with the Milestone Award.”

Emmerich said, “The Producers Guild knows better than most that studio filmmaking is an intensely collaborative art-form, and more often than not it is the producer who initiates, enables and protects great Hollywood movies. I’ve been lucky to work with and learn from many great producers throughout my career and want to thank the members of PGA for recognizing me, and the contributions of our teams at Warner Bros. and New Line, with this honor.”

The Milestone Award is the PGA’s most prestigious honor, recognizing an individual or team who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry.  In the past, the Guild has paid tribute to such industry leaders as Clint Eastwood, Jim Gianopulos, Alan Horn, Bob Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Sherry Lansing, Ron Meyer, Steven Spielberg, Tom Rothman, and 2018 recipient Donna Langley, among others.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
Rita Moreno joins Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" film
In this Aug. 25, 2018, file photo, Rita Moreno arrives at the 33rd annual Imagen Awards at the JW Marriott L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Rita Moreno's portrayal of Anita in the classic 1961 film "West Side Story" won her an Oscar. Now, she has a different part in a remake directed by Steven Spielberg.

The publicist for the 86-year-old Moreno confirmed Wednesday that she'll play Valentina, a reworked version of the character of Doc, the owner of a corner store where Tony works. Ansel Elgort has been cast as Tony.

The story follows two star-crossed lovers, Tony and Maria, who are each associated with rival New York street gangs. The Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner is adapting the script. Moreno will also serve as an executive producer.

Filming is set to begin next summer.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
Google CEO to make long-awaited congressional appearance
In this Jan. 24, 2018, file photo Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, speaks during a conversation as part of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify next week at a congressional hearing on the company's business practices, just three months after aides put up an empty chair to symbolize his refusal to appear.

Pichai's scheduled Dec. 5 appearance before the House Judiciary Committee comes after he traveled to Washington in late September to meet privately with lawmakers peeved by his refusal to appear. After that private meeting, Pichai promised to come back to testify.

Among other things, lawmakers are expected to grill him on whether Google rigs its influential search engine to stifle conservative voices. President Donald Trump asserts that Google's search engine favors media coverage that he believes distributes "fake news."

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
Ariana Grande in new four-part docu-series on YouTube
In this June 2, 2018 file photo, Ariana Grande, center, performs at Wango Tango in Los Angeles. Grande is giving fans an all-access pass into her musical life through a new documentary series on YouTube. The streaming service announced Wednesday, Nov. 28, that Grande will be featured in “Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries.” (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Ariana Grande is giving fans an all-access pass into her musical life through a new documentary series on YouTube.

The streaming service says Grande will be featured in "Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries." The four-part series is set to launch Thursday on the "No Tears Left to Cry" singer's YouTube channel.

The series will show highlights from the making of Grande's latest album, "Sweetener," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart in August. The documentary will also show new footage from her Dangerous Woman Tour, which was suspended after a terrorist bombing killed 22 and injured more than 500 at Manchester Arena in May 2017.

Parts of Grande's One Love Manchester concert that helped raise money for the bombing victims will also be shown.

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