TheWrap Covering Hollywood 2017-11-20T15:39:47Z https://www.thewrap.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Tony Maglio <![CDATA[Trump Goes ‘Beast Mode’ on Marshawn Lynch Over National Anthem Protest: ‘Great Disrespect!’]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743276 2017-11-20T15:39:47Z 2017-11-20T15:33:44Z Don’t get Donald Trump a Marshawn Lynch jersey this Christmas.

The President of the United States has attacked the Oakland Raiders running back for taking a seat during the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Sunday’s NFL game in Mexico City. Lynch stood for Mexico’s national anthem.

“Great disrespect!” Trump wrote this morning on Twitter. “Next time, NFL should suspend him for remainder of season.”

Never one to miss a moment to take an extra shot, Trump concluded his message with the following: “Attendance and ratings way down.”

Here’s the post:

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Jon Levine http://www.thewap.com <![CDATA[Roy Moore Accuser Leigh Corfman Blasts Critics of Her Long Silence: ‘I Did Tell People’ (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743239 2017-11-20T15:11:08Z 2017-11-20T15:11:08Z Roy Moore accuser Leigh Corfman stopped by the “Today” show Monday for her first on-camera interview since she told the Washington Post that the Alabama senate candidate engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with her when she was 14 years old.

During the appearance, Corfman bluntly addressed critics skeptical of her story who have asked why she waited so long to come forward.

“I did tell people,” Corfman told “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie. “My family knew, family friends knew, my friends knew, I spent a lot of time every time he came up, railing against him and what he had done to me when I was 14 years old.”

“My children were small, I was a single parent, and when you’re in that situation, you do everything you can to protect your own,” she added.

Corfman’s accusation was the most damning of several to appear in the original Washington Post report earlier this month. Since her account was published, multiple other women have stepped forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct.

Locals in Gadsden, Alabama, where Moore is from, have said his behavior was so well known that he was even banned from the local mall to prevent contact with high school students who hung out there, the New Yorker reported.

“I wouldn’t exactly call it a date. I would say it was a meet. At 14 I was not dating. At 14, I was not able to make those kind of choices,” Corfman told Guthrie. “I was a 14-year-old child trying to play in an adult’s world, and he was 32 years old,”

Watch the full interview above.

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Tony Maglio <![CDATA[Kesha to Join Old Crow Medicine Show on ‘CMT Crossroads’ (Exclusive)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742409 2017-11-20T15:25:16Z 2017-11-20T15:00:51Z It’s going down/CMT’s yellin’ “Timber!”: Kesha is set to join Grammy Award-winning Americana band Old Crow Medicine Show on an upcoming episode of “CMT Crossroads,” TheWrap has learned exclusively.

The December episode will tape in Nashville — which is home to both artists — and feature performances of each other’s biggest songs, including hits from Kesha’s latest No. 1 album “Rainbow” and Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.”

“I grew up on country music, it was the first music I sang, listened to, and wrote as a child, and I’m especially stoked to be collaborating with Old Crow Medicine Show,” Kesha said. “I’ve always admired early country artists such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Gram Parsons, and Loretta Lynn, and the outlaw attitude of some of those early country artists who helped create rock and roll. To me, Old Crow Medicine Show epitomizes that attitude and wildness while also being amazing songwriters and performers.”

“Old Crow is so excited to be working with Kesha on this project,” added band member Ketch Secor. “Through our nearly 20 years of performing together our band has enjoyed many different kinds of musical collaborations, but this will be our first time working together with a pop star. We love Kesha’s style and we’re all looking forward to what we’ll come up with together.”

The series has showcased musical partnerships including Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams, Kid Rock and Hank Williams, Jr., Ray Charles and Travis Tritt, Dave Matthews and Emmylou Harris, Bon Jovi and Sugarland, Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire, Def Leppard and Taylor Swift, Sting and Vince Gill, John Mayer and Keith Urban, Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood, Stevie Nicks and Lady Antebellum, Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, Alicia Keys and Maren Morris, and the Backstreet Boys and Florida Georgia Line.

“CMT Crossroads” is produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux and Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin.

The Kesha/Old Crow Medicine Show episode airs Wednesday, December 6 at 10/9c on CMT.

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Tony Maglio <![CDATA[Watch Pink Defy Death to Perform ‘Beautiful Trauma’ for AMAs (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743247 2017-11-20T14:59:43Z 2017-11-20T14:57:04Z Some artists would die for their craft — Pink risked exactly that to present “Beautiful Trauma” for Sunday’s AMAs.

Repelling from the top of a skyscraper, the pop star and a handful of dancers performed while hanging off the side of the building. Their aerials and her vocals were pretty incredible given the situation — absolutely no one would have faulted Pink for lip-syncing this one.

The whole thing resulted in an unforgettable American Music Awards moment, and some darn good advertising for the JW Marriott — you know, especially since they all lived to accept the applause from (far) below.

Watch the video above, and try to remember to breathe.

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Jon Levine http://www.thewap.com <![CDATA[Fox Business Host Maria Bartiromo Goes on Twitter Blocking Spree After Disastrous Interview]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743227 2017-11-20T14:29:02Z 2017-11-20T14:29:02Z On Friday, Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo bluntly declared that President Donald Trump is facing “no allegations” of sexual harassment. Pundits and media watchers widely mocked the segment with former Obama administration deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu, generally labeling it a disaster.

Now Bartiromo is hitting back, blocking major media figures on Twitter who had the temerity to comment. Over the weekend, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter reported being blocked by Bartiromo after tweeting about the segment.

Bartiromo also cut off her former Fox News colleague Gretchen Carlson, who has now become icon of the broader movement against workplace sexual harassment.

Throughout the weekend, Bartiromo continued to shut down followers who criticized her. In addition to blue checks, the morning anchor unleashed the block button on random Twitter users as well.

Multiple inquiries to Fox News and Fox Business from TheWrap on the matter were ignored.

Though Fox News is often very vocal when other networks get the facts wrong, it is unclear whether Bartiromo or anybody ever plans to issue a correction about her statements regarding Trump.

Bartiromo has used her block button liberally in the past as well.

Stelter and Carlson now join Yashar Ali, Stephanie Ruhle, Roland Martin — and probably many others — on the Bartiromo blacklist.

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Tony Maglio <![CDATA[‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Trailer: Oprah & Friends Guide Young ‘Warriors’ to Save Chris Pine (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743230 2017-11-20T14:46:44Z 2017-11-20T14:27:14Z Here is just some of the cast of Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time”: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Michael Peňa, Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine. Oh yeah, and it’s directed by Ava DuVernay.

Do we have your attention already? You’re going to want to watch the film’s trailer above — it’s pure magic from the moment Cinderella’s Castle gets the kaleidoscope treatment.

The upcoming epic adventure is based on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel, which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love, per Disney’s description.

Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.

The movie also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and introduces moviegoers to Storm Reid. Jennifer Lee penned the screenplay. Jim Whitaker and Catherine Hand are producers, Doug Merrifield is executive producer.

“A Wrinkle in Time” folds into theaters on March 9 — which, you know, is like tomorrow if you could bend time.

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Jon Levine http://www.thewap.com <![CDATA[‘Morning Joe’ Blasts Bill Clinton Sex Scandals: ‘This Is Why We Have Trump’ (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743222 2017-11-20T14:36:11Z 2017-11-20T13:36:43Z On the set of “Morning Joe,” Monday, co-host Mika Brzezinski took on a big target — Bill Clinton.

The co-host of the popular MSNBC morning program said that if the media drumbeat surrounding sexual harassment continued, a reckoning with the former president was overdue and that covering up for him was part of how we ended up with Donald Trump in the White House.

“[Bill Clinton] continues to flourish today and his wife ran for president even though these women who accused him were attacked in the media, were maligned or settled and that’s a different standard than we’re holding other people who are accused of the same behavior or worse and this is why we have Trump. It’s all connected,” she said.

In addition to his very well-documented behavior with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, Juanita Broaddrick, a registered nurse, accused Clinton of raping her in 1978 when he was serving as Arkansas Attorney General. Bill Clinton is also known to have paid an $850,000 settlement to Paula Jones after she accused him of exposing himself to her in a hotel room in 1991.

“Bill Clinton’s behavior was accepted, it was pushed under the rug,” said Brzezinski, who also used the monologue to applaud U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) for telling the New York Times last week that Bill should have resigned the presidency for his transgressions.

“I applaud Kirsten Gillibrand for finally saying what is true. We are in this situation because we have been hypocritical on both sides of the aisle,” said Brzezinski. “And whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, sexually harassing someone who is 22 years old when you’re in power is just wrong and you should go.”

Brzezinski was a consistent critic of both the Clintons and Democratic leadership during the 2016 campaign. The relationship was so bad that then-DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz pressured Brzezinski in emails, warning her to tone it down.

Watch above.

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Thom Geier <![CDATA[Jana Novotna, Wimbledon Champion Tennis Player, Dies at 49]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743217 2017-11-20T12:47:57Z 2017-11-20T12:44:08Z Jana Novotna, the Czech tennis player and former Wimbeldon champion, died Sunday at the age of 49.

Novotna died after a long battle with cancer, the Women’s Tennis Association announced early Monday.

In her 14-year professional career, the former WTA World No.1 doubles and No.2 singles champion won 24 WTA singles titles. She also won 76 doubles titles, many with tennis legend Martina Navratalova.

She reached the Wimbledon singles final twice, defeating French player Nathalie Tauziat to win the title in 1998.

She had reached the Wimbledon final twice before, memorably blowing a big lead in the 1993 match to German Steffi Graf in the third set. In the award ceremony afterward, she cried on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent.

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Debbie Emery <![CDATA[Charles Manson Dead at 83]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1427191 2017-11-20T07:45:44Z 2017-11-20T06:12:27Z Charles Manson, the career con man and criminal who led the Manson Family murders that claimed seven lives, including that of a nine-months-pregnant Sharon Tate, has died. He was 83.

Using the hippie counterculture to lure followers, and incorporating the music of the Beatles into his massacres, Manson masterminded the murders that chilled the summer of 1969.

He was hospitalized last week after being transferred from Corcoran State Prison, about 60 miles outside Bakersfield, California, where he was serving nine concurrent life sentences. He died of natural causes Sunday at a Kern County hospital, according to a California Department of Corrections statement provided to The Associated Press.

Manson’s followers went on a violent rampage in 1969, coining the phrase “Helter Skelter” from the Beatles song, committing nine murders at four locations over a period of five weeks.

The most notorious — and the most gruesome — was the butchering of Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski.

While the killings were all carried out by his followers, Manson was found guilty in 1971 of conspiracy in relation to seven of the killings and has been behind bars ever since.

He was fascinated by pop culture, and how he could exploit it — and celebrities — to make his own myth. Pop culture, in turn, became fascinated by him: He inspired TV shows like “Aquarius,” “Manson’s Lost Girls” and “Helter Skelter,” gave Marilyn Manson half of his stage name, and is expected to be a significant part of Quentin Tarantino’s next film.

U2’s Bono began the group’s 1987 “Helter Skelter” cover by declaring, “This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We’re stealin’ it back.” Guns N’ Roses took heat in 1993 for their macabre decision to cover a little-known composition by Manson, an unsuccessful songwriter, called “Look at Your Game, Girl.”

Born in 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to an unmarried 16-year-old, Manson had an alcoholic mother and absent father. According to Mansion lore, his mother once sold him for a pitcher of beer to a childless waitress, from whom his uncle retrieved him days later.

His teenage years included arrests for burglary and shoplifting leading to his first imprisonment in October 1951.

After a series of other crimes, arrests, incarcerations, a marriage, divorce and the birth of his son, Charles Jr., Manson moved to San Francisco and established himself as a guru during the 1967 Summer of Love, at which time he strongly implied that he was Christ and recalled visions on the cross with nails in his hands and feet.

Once he migrated his growing group of followers down to Los Angeles and onto the Spahn Movie Ranch, Manson picked up some famous friends, including producers Phil Kaufman and Gary Stromberg, and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, even moving 12 of his followers into the musician’s Pacific Palisades mansion. Before he ultimately evicted them, Wilson also paid for studio time to record songs written and performed by Manson.

Manson’s most infamous followers included Charles Watson, Bobby Beausoleil, Mary Brunner, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Steve “Clem” Grogan, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel.

As his grip over them increased and the era of Helter Skelter escalated, the Manson Family went on to carry out a grisly killing spree in August 1969 under his instruction (and mind-altering drugs) that included the Crowe shooting, the Hinman murder, the Tate murders and the LaBianca murders. Along with violently butchering their victims, the words “Rise,” “Death to pigs”  and “Healter [sic] Skelter” were written in blood on the crime scene walls.

Key members of the Manson Family were finally arrested after a detailed LAPD investigation leading to the high profile trial that began in June 1970, with prosecutors arguing that Manson’s main motive was to spark social chaos.

During the penalty phrase, the cult leader told reporters: “I am the Devil, and the Devil always has a bald head.”

Manson and three of his followers were handed death sentences after being found guilty of 27 offenses, but they were all commuted to life in prison in 1972 when the death penalty was abolished in California.

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Wrap Staff http://TheWrap.com <![CDATA[Bronwen Hughes on Providing ‘Hard Evidence’ Women Deserve to Direct More Movies (Guest Blog)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743232 2017-11-20T15:05:44Z 2017-11-20T04:00:10Z I met Bronwen Hughes (director of “Forces of Nature,” “Harriet The Spy,” “Stander” as well as of some episodes of “The L Word” and “Breaking Bad”) on a video call, while she was in Atlanta shooting a TV series.

The focus of our conversation was her latest movie, “The Journey Is the Destination,” now streaming on Netflix. The film recounts the true story of Dan Eldon (Ben Schnetzer), who was an incredible artist and a brave and socially active photographer who traveled the world.

He died at only 22, in Somalia. However, it feels like he lived more than many other people.

What speaks the most to you about his story?
The crazy thing about Dan is that he was so young, but he already did so much. Since I was 16, I have always loved traveling — but Dan already traveled to 46 countries. I would write a diary about my trips — but Dan would keep journals that are considered art pieces. I would always support humanitarian organizations — but Dan would collect the money and deliver it in person. When I discovered his story, I felt like he did everything I loved, but maximized.

One of the biggest challenges for Dan Eldon was to be taken seriously. He was so young, yet so opinionated and sure of his choices — even questioned by his own mother. Have you ever struggled, as a director, to be taken seriously for your choices?
I was so young when I started that I feel it was a very good protection of my hopes. When you are that young you don’t even realize that it’s a problem. You just do your thing and only later you look back and you realize, “Oh, that was difficult.”

Things are more competitive now, and sometimes you may wonder, “Wait a second, with my experience, why is he getting the job?” You start being aware of things, but it’s not healthy. You can’t approach a job with those chips on your shoulder. If you already go in feeling intimidated, everybody smells it. You don’t succeed. The only way to succeed is to be passionate and so forward thinking that all of the obstacles fall away.

I have read that you believe in eradicating “female director” as a category, in the same way that “male director” does not exist. However, the percentage of women directors has been dropping. How do you think we could change this paradigm?
For myself my No. 1 job is to make movies no matter what it takes, so that no one can deny that females make movies. I will be the hard evidence — that’s my job. The change that is happening is vital, overdue and important but has to happen from two different ways.

One way is from the artist side: To be the hard evidence, women have to keep making good movies. On the other side, there must be the public shaming of this terrible percentage. I think that the shaming has to come from the law and the social world just as we shame people into not smoking, into not throwing garbage on the ground, into not drinking and driving.

What is missing now from the sexual harassment and the entire “me too” are all the women who were coerced and succumbed to Harvey Weinstein and people like him. You are only hearing the stories from the people who got out. You think he didn’t have sex with anybody? He did, but those people are still too ashamed to admit that they were coerced in this terrible way.

The “me too” is only the people who got out, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, there is a way longer list of people who were coerced and can’t come out. So yes, zero tolerance publicly, socially, governmentally and professionally. And on the other side we come out with the hard evidence that we make good movies. I think that these two things coming together is the most powerful force for change.

“The Journey Is the Destination” includes huge locations, war scenes, traveling parts. Was it a challenge to make your vision become true?
Oh my God, what a challenge! Dan traveled so much that it doesn’t even fit in a movie. And yet, it takes place across six African countries, then I did a traveling unit all over the world where just the main actor and myself departed on a plane with a little camera that shoots 4k and we went to London, Barcelona, New York.

This is part of a blog series by We Do It Together, a nonprofit film production entity created to produce films, documentaries, TV and other forms of media uniquely dedicated to the empowerment of women. 

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Mikey Glazer http://www.thechimp.net <![CDATA[Party Report: Kiana Ledé Slays Soho House (Photos)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742803 2017-11-20T03:30:28Z 2017-11-20T03:30:28Z It’s odd that a musician who has climbed above the noise with 50 million streams across YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music — objective metrics of unqualified success — is still on the verge of a bigger break, yet, that’s where Kiana Lede sits.

The 20-year-old begins releasing a stream of original bluesy pop singles over the next few months, though she could own a stage at New Orleans’ Jazz Fest if it were tonight.

For now, the singer and actress — known to many for playing Zoe on MTV’s “Scream” reboot — slayed an 11-song set for an intimate crowd of industry taste-makers at Soho House in West Hollywood Thursday night.

Packed in the private Luckman living room, you couldn’t see the walls, but you could see Republic Records founder and CEO Monte Lipman. He was front and center.

Ledé fronted a four piece band in the Luckman room. Cameras are usually persona-non-grata at Soho so forgive the moody photography. (Mikey Glazer)

After landing on Spotify’s coveted “Viral 50” playlist twice last year and inhabiting a slew of “Best Of” lists across the blogosphere for her vocal mashups of various Drake hits and earworms like “Let Me Love You,” this show marked the first time Lede played guitar live. Guests of the Heavy Group and Mike Jackson (the “La La Land” and “Underground” executive producer who organized the gathering) got an early introduction in an unlikely venue.

Manager Jeremy Skaller, Ledé, and Mike Jackson, who organized the Soho showcase. (Mikey Glazer)

While it’s a tossup as to which one of her originals will be “the one” that catapults her into New Music Friday or the Mojave Tent, a strong contender is “If It’s Love.”

After a quickie lyrical lesson, Lede orchestrated a grizzled industry crowd into singing along with her in a call and response. They shouted “If it’s love, you got me feeling like s–t!”

“(A call and response) is the scariest moment for an artist,” Lede confessed afterwards. “Thank you for not making me look like an a–hole.”

Ledé, Lipman, and Mr. Branwash at Republic’s 2017 VMA party at TAO this past summer. Fun fact: Lede made a hit cover of “White Iverson,” a song her labelmate Post Malone sang at this party. (Tommaso Bodhi/Getty Images)

Opening with “Big Spender,” she ran through “Love to Make ‘Em Cry,” and “One of Them Days,” amongs others before closing with her “Muddy Waters.” Managed by producer Jeremy Skaller, Lede is part of the Lipman brothers’ hit factory at Republic.

The showcase came together after a chance meeting with Jackson at a barbecue.

“I met this incredible human being and just chatted with her for awhile,” Jackson said. “Then, I found out she was this great singer.”

Many more at Soho now know the same. Lede’s “Fairplay” is out now.

New SoulFoodSession is out!! Link in my bio ???? @mikewoodss Also, original music is coming on 5.5.17!! #drake #postmalone

A post shared by Kiana Ledé (@kianalede) on

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Debbie Emery <![CDATA[9 Things You Didn’t See on TV From the New England Patriots v Oakland Raiders in Mexico City]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743153 2017-11-20T02:41:32Z 2017-11-20T02:22:17Z Trump’s dreams of building a wall didn’t stop NFL fans from flooding to Mexico City this weekend, as the New England Patriots took on the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca Stadium.

It was the first trip south of the border for Tom Brady and co., while the Raiders — who treated it as a home game — were down there last year against the Houston Texans.

While most viewers watched from home or in sports bars via CBS, TheWrap ventured down to Mexico City for the historic game.

Here are nueve (nine) things you didn’t see on TV.

NFL Fan Fest1. The fans are manic in Mexico, and we mean that in the best possible way! The weekend’s festivities kicked off at the NFL Fan Fest in Zocalo Square. Supporters of all teams across the league posed with giant helmets, running a 50-yard dash, or checking out the Lombardi Trophy.

2. “Black-ish” actor Anthony Anderson was among those who made the trip from California to cheer on the Raiders. He was spotted at the Intercontinental Hotel the night before the game posing for photos with fans.

3. The Mexican Wave is a real thing — and it is so much more exuberant when done in Mexico by genuine Mexicans.

4. These fans know their stuff when it comes to the NFL. There was no confused looks during complicated plays or lengthy drives, and they were nearly all decked out in jersey, hats and insane regalia — even the little kids. Oh yeah, we also saw Darth Vader — turns out he’s a Raiders fan.

5. The game was 100 percent and international experience — with the national anthems of both countries being sung before the game, as the U.S. and Mexican flags were laid on the field and fireworks exploded above.

6. At 7,380 feet above sea level, Azteca Stadium is 2,100 feet higher than Denver’s Mile High Stadium, which is why the Patriots spent the week practicing in Colorado Springs. Despite mountains of bottled water being found everywhere, New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore and wide receiver Danny Amendola were both sidelined for dehydration. Fortunately Amendola had already scored a beautiful touchdown from Brady and had thrown the ball into the stands.

7. Concessions are definitely different in Mexico! Hot dogs and burgers could be found, along with Mexican beer, of course. But also on offer were hot peppers with lime, street tacos — and most bizarrely — cup o’ noodles with lime wedges. Up in the press box, members of the media were fed traditional chicken rolls.

Hotel Security

8. Security couldn’t have been tighter both at the game and before. Airport-style metal detectors checked everyone entering both team hotels in the Polanco area of Mexico City. On game day morning, armed guards protected the players as they got on the buses for the stadium. Patriots owner Robert Kraft was escorted to his private car by security detail, while SWAT teams holding machine guns watched from the back of Jeeps.

Mexico service workers tribute

9. The halftime didn’t quite rival a Super Bowl show, but it was pretty damn impressive. A collection of rescue workers — human and canine — took to the field in formation as the letters M-E-X-I-C-O were spelled out in remembrance of the 468 people who were killed in the recent earthquakes. The crowd was asked to raise a fist in a moment of silence to honor the victims.

Two things that were shown on TV but still have to be mentioned are the fact that the Patriots blew away the Raiders with a 33-8 victory, despite them having struggled in altitude in the past. And New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski set a new career high with a 62-yard field goal. However, the altitude could have helped with that, as the thin air makes it easier for the ball to travel further.

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Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘Search Party’ EP Teases Season 2: ‘They Murdered a Man’ and Someone ‘Knows Their Secret’]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743168 2017-11-20T02:02:13Z 2017-11-20T01:54:49Z “Search Party” was an appropriate title for the freshman season of TBS’ hit dark comedy about a young New Yorker who enlists her friends to search for a missing girl. But now that their search is over – and, as it turned out, she wasn’t missing at all – will they have to change the name of the show?

“There’s still a search happening because there’s a dead person, and there is an investigation into who he is and who killed him,” executive producer and co-creator, Michael Showalter, tells TheWrap. “So, in a way, they were doing the searching in the first season, and in the second season, someone else is doing the searching and they’re doing the hiding.”

The Season 1 finale was quite a shocker. What the team of wannabe-gumshoes — Dory, Drew, Elliott and Portia — thought was a mystery (the “disappearance” of Chantal) really was no mystery at all. But because of Dory’s overactive imagination, they’re up to their necks in trouble — starting with that dead body that they’re responsible for.

“One of the big suspenseful questions of this season is, they murdered a man, they’re trying to get away with it, will they get caught?” Showalter says.

If you’re expecting a quickie answer to that question, don’t hold your breath because, Showalter says, “you won’t know until you get to the very end” of the season. And while that’s the show’s long story arc, the smaller arcs throughout the season will also leave you guessing – namely how will the foursome deal (and not deal) with the threat of being found out.

“We explore how this affects each of them as individuals because, in a way, you can never really know how you’d react if something like that had really happened,” Showalter says. “It’s that thing of, you can think you’d know what you’d do but you don’t really know until you’re there. So, how are each of them going to respond to this? And we try to keep the audience [guessing]. It’s not exactly what you’d think they would do. For each one of them, they go in directions you might not see coming.”

There is one twist that will be a tad problemsome while they’re dealing with the fact that they’ve good blood on their hands: “Someone in their world knows their secret,” Showalter says. “There’s someone in their social universe who knows what happened and who knows what they did. We don’t know who it is or what that person is going to do with that information.”

One thing is certain, they’re all at a crossroads, or as Showalter puts it, “Life just changed irrevocably.”

“Search Party” airs Sunday nights on TBS.

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Tony Maglio <![CDATA[WWE ‘Survivor Series': Watch The Shield Triple Power-Bomb Kofi Kingston From the Ropes (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743170 2017-11-20T02:14:11Z 2017-11-20T00:44:20Z It’s a new day, yes it is. Three-man WWE tag-team The New Day did not survive the opening match of Sunday’s “Survivor Series.”

Fellow threesome The Shield just dropped the opposing trio — some members from greater heights than others.

The “Monday Night Raw” representatives conquered the “SmackDown Live” one in pretty killer fashion — just ask Kofi Kingston’s back. And neck. And whomever will have to help him walk to and from the bathroom tonight.

Watch the recently reunited Shield — Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose — triple power-bomb the most athletic member of The New Day from off the middle rope:

Yeah, ouch. For those keeping score at home, that’s 1-0 in favor of “Raw.” The traditional “Survivor Series” five-on-five women’s elimination match is up next on the WWE Network pay-per-view.

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Tony Maglio <![CDATA[Becky Lynch Shares Next Milestones for WWE’s ‘Women’s Revolution’]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1741727 2017-11-20T00:06:40Z 2017-11-20T00:04:52Z Becky Lynch is one of the “Four Horsewomen” leading the ongoing WWE “Women’s Revolution,” and on Sunday, she’s the only one of that quartet captaining a team at pay-per-view “Survivor Series.” So, yeah, we’d say the “Irish Lass-Kicker” is qualified to lay out the movement’s next milestones.

TheWrap asked Lynch what she sees as the next progession towards in-ring equality. Many squared-circle enthusiasts believe a women’s match headlining “WrestleMania” is the ultimate “made it” moment, so we specifically asked the first-ever SmackDown Women’s Champion to steer clear of that one in her answer.

“Sometimes I feel like there is a perception, and maybe I’m wrong, maybe this is just my own opinion and my own feelings, that it’s like, ‘Oh, we’ve already seen the women. We’re already had a women’s match,'” Lynch told TheWrap. “Well, why does that matter? We don’t say, ‘We’ve already seen Braun Strowman, we don’t need to see Kane. We’ve already seen a heavyweight.'”

“It doesn’t just always need to be one match, or one segment, or two segments, or three segments — like, why not have 75 percent of the show one week be all women?” she continued. “And why not have women’s tag team titles, why not have a women’s Royal Rumble?”

(Here, Lynch suggested starting with traveling women’s tag titles that move between her “SmackDown” and WWE’s flagship series, “Raw.” Smart.)

“Of course, the answer to that would be, ‘Well, we don’t have enough women,'” the fiery-haired grappler whose real name is Rebecca Quin, answered for herself. “But right now — now is a better time than ever. We’ve had the ‘Mae Young Classic’ — there’s proven to be a huge amount of talented women, of passionate women out there. And we’ve got a lot in (WWE’s developmental league) NXT. I think right now at the Performance Center [in Orlando, Florida] there’s currently 30 women training, which is huge. That’s more than we’ve ever had.”

At TheWrap, we endorse each of Lynch’s ideas.

Click here to read more from our conversation with the master of the Bexploder and Dis-Arm-Her, during which she just-as-thoughtfully broke down why I, a total stranger, like her fellow WWE Superstar and countryman Sheamus so much.

PPV “Survivor Series” kicks off this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on WWE Network.

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Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘Three Billboards’ and ‘Lady Bird’ Stay Strong at Indie Box Office]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743145 2017-11-20T14:48:12Z 2017-11-20T00:03:58Z The two Oscar contenders that have dominated the indie box office, Fox Searchlight’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and A24’s “Lady Bird,” continued to fire on all cylinders as they continued their expansion, with both films cracking the top 10 among all movies this weekend.

In its second weekend, “Three Billboards” expanded to 53 screens and grossed $1.11 million for a per screen average of $21,038. “Lady Bird,” meanwhile, continued its own strong run by expanding to 238 screens in its third weekend and making $2.5 million for a PSA of $10,630 and a cume of $4.7 million. “Lady Bird” will expand nationwide for Thanksgiving weekend.

Among new releases, Columbia’s “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” had a solid four-screen opening this weekend, making $65,000 for a $16,250 PSA. Directed and written by Dan Gilroy, the film stars Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell. The film received mixed reviews with a 55 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Also opening this weekend on three screens is GKIDS’ “The Breadwinner,” which posted a decent $19,530 for a $6,510 PSA. The animated film stars Saara Chaudry as Parvana, an Afghan girl who must disguise herself as a boy in order to provide for her mother and sister after her father is unjustly arrested by the Taliban. Nora Twomey, director of the Oscar-nominated “The Secret of Kells,” directed this film from a script by Anita Doron and Deborah Ellis, with Angelina Jolie as executive producer. It currently has an 89 percent RT score.

Among holdovers, the National Geographic documentary “Jane” passed the $1 million mark in its fifth weekend with $119,161 from 84 screens, while Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions’ “Wonderstruck” is close to that mark after making $57,265 from 114 screens for a $977,988 total. Finally, A24’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is nearing the $2 million mark with $190,467 from 110 screens to push its total to $1.95 million.

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Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Jeffrey Tambor: ‘I Don’t See How I Can Return to ‘Transparent”]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743127 2017-11-19T23:19:50Z 2017-11-19T22:45:07Z Jeffrey Tambor released a statement on Sunday addressing his future on the Amazon show “Transparent,” saying he doesn’t think he will be coming back for the show’s fifth season after two transgender women on set accused him of sexual harassment.

“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” the Emmy winning actor said. “What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.”

“I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent.'”

Reps for Tambor say that neither the actor nor Amazon have come to an official decision to part ways.

On Friday, Tambor was accused by transgender co-star Trace Lysette of sexual harassment, with the alleged incident occurring during filming of the show’s second season.

“My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me,” Lysette told The Hollywood Reporter. “He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me.”

“I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with,” responded Tambor in a statement sent to TheWrap. “I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator — ever.”

Lysette’s accusations were added to an already ongoing investigation into Tambor’s behavior that began after Van Barnes, a trans actress and Tambor’s former assistant, also accused him of harassment in a private Facebook post. Jill Soloway, the creator of “Transparent,” said that the show was fully cooperating with the investigation, adding that “anything that would diminish the level of respect, safety and inclusion so fundamental to our workplace is completely antithetical to our principles.”

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Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Al Franken Will Be Cut From PBS’ Kennedy Center Tribute to David Letterman]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743119 2017-11-19T22:18:02Z 2017-11-19T21:52:08Z In the wake of last week’s sexual harassment headlines surrounding Al Franken, PBS is cutting the U.S. Senator and “Saturday Night Live” alum from their taped broadcast of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize ceremony for David Letterman.

The tribute, which will air on PBS on Monday night, took place in Washington D.C. on Oct. 23 and saw several of Letterman’s peers, including Franken, give tributes to the former “Late Show” host. PBS says it will edit Franken’s speech out of the broadcast, saying in a statement that “PBS and WETA, the producing station, felt that the inclusion of Senator Franken in the broadcast at this time would distract from the show’s purpose as a celebration of American humor. Every year, this program is edited for both length and content to keep it entertaining and focused on its intended purpose as a celebration of American humor.

Franken will still be seen at the end of the broadcast, when he joined all the evening’s speakers on stage with Letterman to close the show.

Last Thursday, model and sports commentator Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her in 2006 during a USO tour, also publishing a picture that appeared to show him groping her while she was sleeping. Franken apologized for the incident and called on Congress to start an investigation into his behavior. Tweeden accepted the apology.

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Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[3 Reasons ‘Justice League’ Found Kryptonite at the Box Office]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743095 2017-11-19T21:34:42Z 2017-11-19T21:34:04Z “Justice League” is a film years in the making, filled with some of the most recognizable superheroes in all of pop culture. And yet, this weekend, it has failed to even crack the top 50 highest box office openings of all-time.

The film was expected to gross $110-120 million this weekend, well below the openings for “Suicide Squad” and “Batman v Superman,” but more than “Wonder Woman” and on the level of “Man of Steel.” Instead, it has posted an opening of just $96 million, the first WB/DC live-action film to fail to open to over $100 million since “Green Lantern” in 2011. It ranks eighth among all openings this year, below films like “The Fate of the Furious,” “Wonder Woman” and all three Marvel Studios releases.

And the bad news might only be beginning for this film. “BvS” and “Suicide Squad” suffered poor returns in later weeks due to bad word-of-mouth and critical reviews. Though Thanksgiving weekend might mitigate the drop-off, “Justice League” could be looking at a second-weekend total of less than $40 million.

So what went wrong for “Justice League”? Here are our reasons:

1.) Increased scrutiny

After the poor critical reception of “Suicide Squad” and “BvS,” 2017’s DC films were under more pressure to do well with critics and audiences. “Wonder Woman” passed with flying colors, but “Justice League” only scored 39 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Headlines about the film’s extensive reshoots, directed by Joss Whedon after Zack Snyder stepped down due to the death of his daughter, also created skepticism among casual moviegoers about the film’s quality.

“Every movie from the superhero genre released in 2017 was well-reviewed and with the bar set to an incredibly high standard by ‘Logan,’ ‘Guardians 2,’ ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and most recently ‘Thor Ragnarok,'” comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian told TheWrap. “‘Justice League’ was most definitely impacted by the negative reception by the majority of critics, and that spilled over to the ticket-buying public who have a ton of great titles to chose from and have to make decisions on where they are going to spend their time and hard-earned dollars.”

2.) Strong counter-programming

This weekend, Lionsgate’s “Wonder” performed surprisingly well at the box office, grossing $27 million against a $20 million budget. While it was by no means going to be a direct competitor to “Justice League,” it was a well-received film that served as counter-programing for the superhero film’s periphery demographics.

Based on a novel that has been read in elementary schools across the country, “Wonder” is now expected to be a popular title for family audiences on Thanksgiving weekend, as will Pixar’s “Coco,” which has received critical acclaim and is expected to get strong word-of-mouth once it hits theaters on Wednesday. “Justice League” was designed to be a much lighter affair than the brutally violent and dark “Batman v Superman,” and that was supposed to get more kids into theaters. But “Wonder” and “Coco” will likely be more favorable options in the coming weeks.

“Wonder” has also won over older female audiences, who were largely responsible for the film’s A+ on CinemaScore. Older female audiences played a large factor in the long-lasting performance of “Wonder Woman” this summer, and there was belief that they would return to see Gal Gadot play the heroine again, but that was not the case.

3.) “Thor: Ragnarok”

Finally, it’s hard to forget that DC’s direct competitor still has a relatively fresh film in cinemas. No other DC Extended Universe films have been released in such close proximity to a Marvel film. Even “Wonder Woman” had a one-month gap between it and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” But “Thor: Ragnarok” still made its presence felt this weekend with a $21 million haul in its third weekend to bring it close to $250 million domestic. Like “Wonder,” it’s not the biggest factor in “JL”‘s struggles, but it was another competitor that chipped away at the film’s casual audience base.

Warner Bros. Distribution President Jeff Goldstein told TheWrap that he still believes the film could have a solid performance on Thanksgiving weekend despite the presence of such high-quality competitors, saying that “high tides raise all ships.” But “Justice League” is going to have to buck some consistent negative trends that have shown that moviegoers are becoming quick to abandon a poorly reviewed DC film. It’s strange to consider that a $96 million start could be considered a failure for a film, but with the cultural pedigree and expectations that “Justice League” had, such a disappointing performance has caused the clouds of uncertainty that “Wonder Woman” was able to dispel for a time to surround the DC Universe once again.

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Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Earle Hyman, Grandpa Huxtable on ‘Cosby Show,’ Dies at 91]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743106 2017-11-19T21:03:52Z 2017-11-19T20:43:45Z Earle Hyman, actor of screen and stage best known as Grandpa Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” died Thursday at age 91.

For 40 episodes spanning the famed sitcom’s eight-season run, Hyman appeared in a recurring role as Cliff Huxtable’s father, Russell, who would often butt heads with his son in comedic fashion while serving as a voice of wisdom to his grandchildren. Once a famous jazz trombonist named “Slide” Huxtable, Russell and his wife, Anna (Clarice Taylor), were the centerpiece of two of the show’s most famous episodes in Seasons 2 and 3, when the Huxtables put together lip-synch and dance routines for them to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Hyman’s work on the episode earned him an Emmy nomination.

Outside of the Cosby Show, Hyman was known by ’80s kids for his work on the popular animated show “Thundercats,” playing the gruff, muscle-bound warrior Panthro. He also has a highly-decorated career in theater that began on Broadway in 1944 with the play “Anna Lucasta,” and is highlighted by his thousands of performances as the titular lead of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” His stage credits also include Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and in an all-black production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.”

Hyman’s death was first reported by Broadway Black.

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Ashley Boucher https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘Search Party:’ a Quick Refresher So You Don’t Have to Re-Binge Season 1]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1738729 2017-11-19T20:35:28Z 2017-11-19T20:32:05Z Calling all amateur sleuths: it’s time to step away from your hipster coffee, don your hipster glasses and return to the wild world of “Search Party.”

Spoilers ahead for Season 1.

Alia Shawkat, John Early, John Reynolds and Meredith Hagner return to TBS for Season 2 on Nov. 19, and this time, the stakes are much, much higher … considering the foursome low-key committed murder at the end of Season 1.

If you’re like me, you binged all 10 episodes in a weekend, a year ago, and so it might be time for a refresher. Here you go:

First of all, the whole premise is going to have to change because the missing girl — Chantal Witherbottom (Clare McNulty) — is finally found. The whole first season was about Dory (Shawkat)’s obsession with Chantal’s disappearance and finding out what happened to her. Through some major Nancy Drew moves, Dory follows Chantal’s trail all the way from Brooklyn to Canada, where she discovers Chantal safe and sound and actually so happy to be away from social media for a while.

Through her Nancy Drew sleuthing, Dory leads her friends to a house in Canada where Chantal is hiding out. Keith (Ron Livingston), the faux P.I. who gets Dory to believe Chantal’s parents hired him, follows the crew up North. He surprises Dory in the kitchen to confess his love for her, so she tasers him and he hits his head on the island.

In a Clue-esque move, Drew comes into the kitchen where the two are struggling, whacks Keith with a candlestick, and the deed is done. The trailer for Season 2 shows the whole squad trying to bury Keith’s body, so we expect a central part of the continuing story to be “How to Get Away with Murder: Hipster Edition.”

OK, putting a pin in the whole murder thing, let’s now take a look at where the relationships stand.

So Dory cheated on Drew with Keith, but she’s also been hanging out with her ex Julian (Brandon Michael Hall), who also happened to expose Elliott, who lied about having cancer as a kid, in New York Magazine. Elliott is horrified by the PR disaster until his publisher asks him to write a book about it. The whole incident caused a riff between besties Elliott and Portia, but all has been forgiven. And as Portia says in the trailer: “we’re all bonding!” after this experience.

We can safely say that Dory and Drew are in a bad place at the end of Season 1. But we all know how relationships can go, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the two, who live together, don’t completely cut ties … even if they are broken up by the time Season 2 starts. In the S2 trailer, we see Drew getting it on with formerly-missing Chantal. Is he trying to get back at Dory, or move on?

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Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[The Worst Parts of ‘Justice League,’ From Superman’s CGI Mouth to That Underwater Battle]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742982 2017-11-19T20:45:01Z 2017-11-19T20:00:59Z “Justice League,” while certainly never approaching the creative nadir that was the DC movie “Suicide Squad,” is really just not a good movie. It’s silly-but-not-in-a-good-way, it’s nonsensical, it’s sort of inexplicably chaotic. “Justice League” is, at the end of the day, simply a movie that’s very hard to understand what its deal is. So, in honor of that creative accomplishment, let’s take a look at its absolutely worst parts.

The Atlantis fight

Let me just say that I have complete faith that James Wan, who is one of the best filmmakers working today, will not have anything in his standalone “Aquaman” movie that looks as terrible as the Atlantis fight in “Justice League.” Whatever Warner Bros. spent on this sequence, it was too much. Woof.

Steppenwolf repeatedly talking to “mother”

“Justice League” does a pretty poor job of explaining Steppenwolf’s powerful artifacts, the Mother Boxes, which fans of the comics know are actually supercomputers with consciousness. It’s even weirder when Steppenwolf occasionally talks out loud to “Mother,” telling her (?) he’ll be feeding her soon and dropping some other weird lines. The movie never explains that the boxes are actually alive and bond with their owners so strongly that they will self-destruct if the person to whom they’re linked are killed. He’s apparently talking to the box(es). Maybe “Justice League” is actually about a guy with a computer pet who’s just trying to be a good friend and get it some snacks.

“For Darkseid!”

Fans who know something about Steppenwolf know that he’s actually a lieutenant of Darkseid, a supervillain arch-nemesis of the Justice League who’s bent on conquering the universe. For everyone else, Steppenwolf is a pretty obscure character, so his single off-handed mention of the fact he’s doing evil stuff “for Darkseid” is easy to miss and fairly confusing — particularly if you don’t know who Darkseid is and thought he said “Dark Side.” One assumes “Justice League” was, at one point, setting up for Darkseid’s eventual arrival. The movie as it exists is not, aside from that single line.

#Supermouth

Paramount wouldn’t let Henry Cavill shave his “Mission: Impossible 6” mustache during “Justice League” reshoots, so Warner Bros. decided they’d just try to digitally remove it in post-production. And it is absolutely horrifying. It’s worse than CGI Peter Cushing in “Rogue One” — a cartoon-looking mouth on an otherwise human face will always look more upsetting than that entire cartoon-looking face. Our brains just can’t even fathom this thing.

That opening Superman scene

This weird little home video segment of a kid talking to Supes is a double whammy of existential pain. First, you have the whole CGI mouth thing, which is extremely obvious throughout. Then you have Superman refusing to answer the kid’s question about what his favorite thing about living on Earth is. There’s no thematic payoff to the scene later in the movie, and so it plays like the movie is just trying to dunk on itself.

justice league clark kent superman henry cavill mustache

Clark and Lois hanging out in a CGI cornfield

If you’re going to do an extended green screen scene, maybe it’s best not to throw an extremely colorful, eye-catching background behind your characters. Nobody told “Justice League” this, though, and so there’s a touching scene between Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Superman standing in a cornfield in Kansas that is extremely, obviously not real. The culprit is probably that glaring gorgeous sunset that makes the outline of the characters a little too obvious. The emotional reunion of Lois and Clark gets seriously undercut by the fact that nobody can stop thinking about how they’re standing on a soundstage. Throw in Superman’s CGI mouth for good measure and the whole thing turns into a very dry comedy sketch.

Nobody really cared about Superman

“Justice League” makes a big deal about Superman being dead. It’s such a blow to the world that crime and terrorism are on the rise thanks to the simple lack of hope he embodied. So resurrecting Superman mid-movie seems like it ought to be a pretty big deal, especially as it is witnessed by at least a few civilians and results and in a big public fight with at least one somewhat-publicly known hero. But almost no acknowledgment is made of Superman’s return, and while his effect on the world is part of the movie’s setup, it’s not at all part of the rest of the plot. There’s no celebration, no montage of racists not being racist anymore to call back to the opening credits. He’s just back, and the movie itself seems to care about that about as much as those ancient humans cared about the security of their Mother Box. Plus… Clark Kent was dead too. Is Superman just going to skip the alter-ego thing from now on or what?

Using the “we’re gonna do a thing that will bring the bad guy down on us” trope but no one having any clue that they’re doing it

When the Justice League decides to use a Mother Box to resurrect Superman, it seems pretty obvious that doing so will attract the attention of the villain who has spent the whole movie trying to round up all the Mother Boxes. Well, it’s obvious to us, anyway, because we’ve all seen a hundred movies, TV shows and video games with that specific trope — you know, the “OK, so we have to flip this switch in order to do something important but it’s definitely going to attract the bad guys to us and cause a big fight” trope. It’s not so obvious to the characters in the movie, though, because they never mention the possibility that Steppenwolf will show up and seem weirdly surprised when he pops in to steal the box right under everyone’s noses. I guess they forgot to make this scene make sense when they rejiggered the plot during reshoots.

Cyborg is extremely not stealthy

Cyborg (Ray Fisher) wears a hoodie when he goes out, but it does almost nothing to contain the fact that he has extremely obvious glowing lights in his face and chest. He also makes a lot of very ominous whirring sounds just by being alive. So it was pretty tough to buy that he was stealthily spying on Diana Prince and Bruce Wayne to suss out their deal before joining the nascent “Justice League,” as he was only about 25 feet away and making a lot of loud weird robot sounds. At least Diana said she was fully aware of him watching just one scene later. But still, you’d think his computer brain would have been slightly smarter.

Cyborg’s nonsensical origin recap

Introducing Cyborg in a team-up movie was never a great idea, but it takes quite a while for “Justice League” to explain what his deal even is. Injured in an explosion, Vic Stone’s cool superpowers are the result of interference by one of Steppenwolf’s weirdo Mother Boxes. The apparently sentient supercomputer of incredible power actually reshaped state-of-the-art cyborg enhancements his father Silas gave him in order to save his life after an accident. The result is that Cyborg doesn’t even know what his abilities are and, also, that nobody explains who he is or why he’s a spiffy alien robot man until about halfway through the movie. The rest of the time, the audience has to sit there, confused.

Cyborg can’t control his defense system

The good guys resurrect Superman, who immediately gets mad and makes threatening faces and stuff. And in a moment that is completely out of step with the rest of the movie, Cyborg’s cyborg parts start doing their own thing without his input. There had been no hint before then that that could happen, and it doesn’t happen again even though Cyborg doesn’t appear to take any measures to prevent that situation from arising a second time. Nobody even has the, “Yo, man, is this gonna be a problem?” conversation with him.

justice league mother box steppenwolf

The ancient people who buried a Mother Box in a 3-foot deep hole next to a river

The first time Steppenwolf tried to take over Earth way back when, he was defeated by an alliance of the Old Gods, the Amazons, the Atlantians and the humans, who took his Mother Boxes entrusted to each of the civilizations to keep them safe. The Atlantians put theirs in the ocean; the Amazonians built a giant stone vault; and the humans dug a 3-foot hole next to a river and tossed their box in it. This is not the best way to hide, like, anything. It’s probably not a coincidence that this Mother Box is the only one that didn’t stay where it was for the next 5,000 years. A dog probably dug it up the next day.

The Russian family the movie keeps cutting to

Superhero movies will often throw a few random civilians in harm’s way in order to show the stakes of the situation. “Justice League” spends several scenes hanging around with a random Russian family who lives unfortunately close to Steppenwolf’s apocalyptic base, hoping to set up a last-second rescue much, much later in the movie. In the meantime, though, this family is stuck in their house hiding from monsters for, like, a week. They never get any characterization or do anything and none of the several scenes about them do anything to push the story forward. This is extremely not how to get the audience to care about regular people in the middle of supervillain danger.

Superman showing up and being easily capable of winning the fight at any moment

The Justice League’s final fight with Steppenwolf doesn’t exactly go poorly but, as we’ve seen demonstrated multiple times in the movie before, he’s seemingly a match for any of the super-strong members of the team, and maybe even for all of them. Enter Superman, who dodges Steppenwolf’s attacks, pummels him about the face, and is generally capable of putting the supervillain down without a lot of help. But that’s not especially dramatic — so Superman bails mid-fight to go save a building full of civilians. Having a guy on the team who can handle basically any problem on his own kind of undercuts the need for a team, and it sure feels like “Justice League” is looking for a way to get Superman out of there as soon as he shows up. Poor planning for your climax, that.

Diana doing The Flash thing and then forgetting she can do that for the rest of the movie

Wonder Woman’s (Gal Gadot) introductory scene in “Justice League” is actually pretty cool. A terrorist group takes over a bank intent on exploding a bomb that will wipe out several city blocks, apparently because they think that will help push society back to the Dark Ages, which is a good thing for some reason. Whatever — Diana beating people up is what matters, and that goes pretty well. Until, that is, terrorist leader Roose Bolton levels a machine gun on the hostages. Rather than take him out, Wonder Woman moves super-fast to block all of the dozens of bullets he fires with her gauntlet (and casually move one guy out of the way). We know Wonder Woman is extremely super, but apparently racing bullets is now in her repertoire. Kind of makes The Flash (Ezra Miller) obsolete. Then again, she doesn’t use this ability for the rest of the film, even when it would have been super useful in the various fights with Steppenwolf.

What does that smell like? Fear

While it was a little frustrating that Superman could have obviously ended the battle with Steppenwolf whenever he felt like, it was just plain goofy what finally brought him down in the end. An earlier, easily missed line in “Justice League” pointed out that his henchmen, parademons, feed on or otherwise are attracted to fear. So when Superman et al. started really giving it to Steppenwolf in a way that suggested he might not win, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) took a second to point out that he was afraid. The exchange itself was weird — Aquaman asking, “What does that smell like?” and Batman responding, “Fear” — but then Steppenwolf was overwhelmed as his own troopers suddenly decided to turn on him. This was a guy that was batting away Amazons like they were actually insects earlier in the movie, mind, so his ultimate defeat at the hands of his own not-especially smart bugmen felt pretty forced. LOL.

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Tony Maglio <![CDATA[Every WWE Champion Ever, Ranked by Number of Reigns (Photos)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1738824 2017-11-20T00:13:15Z 2017-11-19T19:12:42Z Pro-wrestling title belts change hands (or waists) like grapplers change trunks these days, though it wasn’t always that way. With “Survivor Series” just around the corner featuring a card of Champion vs. Champion matches, TheWrap decided to grace the Internet with a little history lesson. Scroll through our gallery to see every WWE Champion ever, ranked by their numbers of title reigns.

Remember: this is a list of those who won the WWWF Championship, the WWF Championship or the WWE Championship. So don’t come after us, Universal Champions, et al.

Below is a random sample from our full stable.

Rank: 29 (tie)
Wrestler: Jinder Mahal
# of Reigns: 1

Rank: 16 (tie)
Wrestler: Batista
# of Reigns: 2

Rank: 12 (tie)
Wrestler: Daniel Bryan
# of Reigns: 3

Rank: 8 (tie)
Wrestler: Kurt Angle
# of Reigns: 4

Rank: 7
Wrestler: Bret “Hitman” Hart
# of Reigns: 5

Scroll through our gallery for them all.

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Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Mel Tillis, Country Music Hall of Famer, Dies at 85]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743083 2017-11-20T12:37:32Z 2017-11-19T17:32:20Z Mel Tillis, the Country Music Hall of Famer known for his stammer when he spoke that disappeared when he sang, died Sunday morning of suspected respiratory failure. He was 85.

Tillis’ publicist, Don Murry Grubbs, told the Tennessean that the “Coca Cola Cowboy” singer never fully recovered from diverticulitis surgery in January 2016 and spent a month in the intensive care unit battling sepsis.

“Mel Tillis was a guy who had it all: He could write, he could sing and he could entertain an audience,” said Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs. “There’s a big difference between a concert and a show. Mel Tillis always put on a show….You always felt good about being around him.”

Born Lonnie Melvin Tillis near Tampa, Florida, he suffered a childhood attack of malaria that caused a speech impediment that, in later years, he used to for comedic effect when performing on stage.

After earning his first charting country single with “The Violet and a Rose,” Tillis established himself as a songwriter with hits like “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town),” “Mental Revenge” and Peggy Lee’s “Emotions.”

Years later, he got his first No. 1 single with “I Ain’t Never,” and his “Coca Cola Cowboy” was featured in the Clint Eastwood film “Every Which Way but Loose.”

Tillis went on to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1976 and later that year was welcomed into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2007, his daughter, singer Pam Tillis, inducted him into the Grand Ole Opry and later that year he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Four years later, he received the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to country music during a White House ceremony.

He recorded over 60 albums and wrote over 1,000 songs during his six-decade career.

Tillis is survived by his partner Kathy DeMonaco, his children, Pam, Carrie April, Cindy, Mel Jr. (nicknamed “Sonny”), Connie and Hannah; brother Richard; sister Linda Crosby; six grandchildren and one great-grandson.

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Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Russell Simmons Says Encounter With 17-Year-Old Model Was ‘Completely Consensual’]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743081 2017-11-19T22:46:31Z 2017-11-19T17:22:59Z Russell Simmons responded on Sunday to a Los Angeles Times article in which model Keri Claussen Khalighi said the Def Jam producer sexually assaulted her when she was 17 while movie producer Brett Ratner watched. Simmons confirmed that he and Khalighi encountered each other in 1991, but said that everything that happened was “completely consensual.”

“We spent time in my apartment over a period of two days and one night, as well as at some public places including Nell’s Nightclub,” Simmons said in a statement. “Much of the time we were in the presence of other acquaintances. I’m deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend.”

In the LA Times report, Khalighi said that Simmons invited her to dinner with Ratner, who at the time was a music video director and Simmons’ protege. She says Simmons took her back to his apartment to show her a music video they were working on, but when they arrived, he made aggressive advances towards her. She struggled as Simmons undressed her, but eventually acquiesced and gave him oral sex.

“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she recalled. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”

The article also outlines Ratner and Simmons’ long relationship and notes that their conduct together has been investigated by authorities, namely in 2001, when police investigated claims from a woman who said she was sexually abused and held against her will at Ratner’s Beverly Hills home. Ratner, who was accused of sexual harassment in an earlier LA Times piece, has stepped down from day-to-day operations as head of his production banner, Ratpac Entertainment, with Warner Bros. severing ties with him.

Simmons says that he has been a longtime supporter of women’s rights, saying that “Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being.”

“I have always spoken out regarding my life experiences, women’s issues and the need to bring a faster and more decisive shift in the collective consciousness that will help bring about true women’s equality,” he said.  “More than anything, I want my daughters to live in a more equal world and a world where they will not become victims of sexual harassment.”

Read Simmons’ full statement below:

As a long-time social activist, I have applauded the strength of the brave men and women who have spoken out over the past month and made their voices heard regarding sexual assault and harassment. I am a supporter of the #MeToo campaign and the victims who were previously terrified to stand up and speak out against sexual misconduct. I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being.

I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced. Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation. We spent time in my apartment over a period of two days and one night, as well as at some public places including Nell’s Nightclub. Much of the time we were in the presence of other acquaintances. I’m deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend.

Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being. I have always spoken out regarding my life experiences, women’s issues and the need to bring a faster and more decisive shift in the collective consciousness that will help bring about true women’s equality. More than anything, I want my daughters to live in a more equal world and a world where they will not become victims of sexual harassment.

The LA Times article also references an allegation by Ms. Tanya Reid. I mean no disrespect to her at all when I say I honestly do not recall my telephone conversation with a hotel front desk clerk from over a quarter-century ago.

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Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘Justice League’ Posts DC Universe’s Worst Box Office Opening With $96 Million]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743073 2017-11-19T22:27:24Z 2017-11-19T15:37:03Z The box office delivered a shock this weekend, as “Justice League” is about to become the first installment of the DC Extended Universe to fall short of $100 million in its opening weekend.

With an estimated $96 million from 4,051 screens, it’s 44 percent lower than the series-best $166 million opening by “Batman v Superman” last year, and the lowest opening for a live-action Warner Bros./DC film since “Green Lantern” in 2011.

This film was supposed to be the high point for the DCEU, following off the momentum made by “Wonder Woman” earlier this year by having the popular heroine join forces with Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Aquaman and a resurrected Superman. Instead, it’s falling well short of the $110-120 million projection target set by studios and won’t even register in the top 50 highest opening weekends of all-time.

CinemaScore audiences gave the film a B+ — a score equal to “Suicide Squad” — with 58 percent of the polling group male and 61 percent over 25. But that hasn’t translated into strong word-of-mouth, and critics have lambasted the film with a 39 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Justice League” has grossed $281 million worldwide, with box office analysts telling TheWrap that the film will need to gross $700 million worldwide to break even.

“JL” should be able to reach that mark, and Warner Bros. will be fine in the short term with the box office revenue they’ve built from recent big successes like “Wonder Woman” and “It.” But this was supposed to be this franchise’s “Avengers,” and with Pixar’s critically-acclaimed “Coco” coming out next weekend for Thanksgiving moviegoers, “Justice League” could take a big second weekend drop similar to what “Suicide Squad” and “BvS” suffered after their openings.

On the flip side, there’s Lionsgate’s “Wonder,” a $20 million inspirational family film that’s beating expectations with $27 million from 3,096 screens. The film was projected to make around $10 million before the weekend, but the tracking didn’t factor in the elementary school crowd who don’t always have the biggest social media presence and who have read R.J. Palacio’s novel as part of their schoolwork. The film was also a smash hit with older female audiences, as it got an A+ on CinemaScore from opening night crowds that were two-thirds female and over 25. It has an 83 percent RT rating.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is in third place with $21 million in its third weekend, consistent in performance with the $22 million third weekend total posted by “Spider-Man: Homecoming” this past summer. The Marvel film has crossed the $700 million mark worldwide, and will cross the $250 million domestic mark on Monday. Last week’s releases complete the top five with “Daddy’s Home 2” making $14.8 million for a ten-day total of $50.5 million, and “Murder on the Orient Express” making $13.5 million for a $51.5 million ten-day total. Finally, Sony/Affirm’s “The Star” opened outside the top five but slightly above tracker expectations, with the faith-based film making $10 million from 2,837 screens against a $20 million budget.

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Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Chance the Rapper Kicks Off ‘SNL’ With Song About Spending Thanksgiving With All Your Terrible Relatives (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743064 2017-11-19T22:57:03Z 2017-11-19T10:27:16Z Chance the Rapper began his “SNL” hosting duties by saying in his monologue that to celebrate Thanksgiving he had pledged to give a million dollars to Chicago public schools. Unfortunately, Chance said, his accountant told him he doesn’t have the money and so he needs to make a quick cash grab in the form of what he hopes will be the definitive song about Thanksgiving.

Check it out in full above.

“You can make some serious cash off a holiday hit. Mariah Carey is at that tree lighting every year singing ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ and it’s not because she loves giant trees — it’s because she loves having a third assistant whose only job is to yell at her second assistant,” Chance said as he introduced the song. “I want my song to honor what’s truly special about this holiday: how it’s the one time a year you invite all your relatives to dinner, even the ones you can’t stand.”

After going down the list of weird annoying relatives with cast members Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon as his backup singers, Chance finally came to the one group that you’re just not gonna get along with at Thanksgiving.

“It’s Thanksgiving time/ where we’re all on one side/ except for the turkeys/ who are all gonna die,” Chance sang as several live turkeys wearing church choir garb stood nearby.

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Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘SNL': Steve Harvey Accidentally Brings Both His Families onto ‘Family Feud’ (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743058 2017-11-19T23:26:13Z 2017-11-19T09:56:27Z It’s been too long since “SNL” had a “Family Feud” sketch with Kenan Thompson as host Steve Harvey, but the recurring bit came back in a big way this week with a special edition of “the Feud” in which Harvey brought his family on the show… to face off against the family of his son he never knew about.

The competing family is the Didricksons, made up mostly of very standard suburbanite-looking white people played by Aidy Bryant and Beck Bennett as the parents and Mikey Day as one of their sons — along with host Chance the Rapper sporting a great big bushy mustache as the other son, Cecil.

The joke is made immediately clear when Chance spoke, because he was very obviously doing an impersonation of Thompson’s impersonation of Steve Harvey. And while Steve remains oblivious, his wife, played by Leslie Jones, locks her face into a hilariously not-amused expression for the rest of the sketch.

Over the course of the sketch Steve clearly starts to put the pieces together, gradually remembering a rainy night in Tempe 17 years ago. His ears perk up when Bennett mentions that Cecil has a fondness for pocket squares and super shiny shoes. “The shinier the better,” Cecil says, with Chance visibly cracking up as he delivers the line.

Steve finally figures it out when Cecil explains that he isn’t adopted — his mom had him 17 years ago before she got married.

At the end of the show, Steve concluded by saying: “The Didrickson family takes the win. Next up we’re gonna play the lightning round, but I feel like I should just give ‘em the money!”

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Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘SNL': Jeff Sessions Visits Weekend Update and Still Can’t Remember Anything (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743054 2017-11-19T23:06:30Z 2017-11-19T09:14:36Z If you felt slightly disappointed that Kate McKinnon showed up in this week’s “SNL” cold open as Julian Assange — which meant she couldn’t do her Jeff Sessions — you’ll be happy to know that McKinnon’s Session did appear later in the show on Weekend Update to chat with co-host Colin Jost.

Sessions kicked off the segment with a call-and-response chant with the audience. “When I say ‘I do not,’ you say….” Sessions prompted.

“Recall!” the audience yelled back.

“That’s my catchphrase,” McKinnon’s Sessions said.

Jost then asked Sessions about that catchphrase and his propensity for not remembering anything ever when asked questions by those investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

“Well, you know, Colin, I’ve had some memory problems stemming from a childhood trauma,” Sessions explained. When Jost pressed for details, Sessions said that trauma was “the passing of the Civil Rights Act” in 1964.

Jost then asked Sessions a series of questions about whether Sessions had any involvement in meetings between Trump surrogates and Russian agents. Sessions provided evasive answers before eventually pretending to be dead. When Jost asked if playing dead was, in fact, what Sessions was doing, the answer came in the form of a sign being held up by the tail of a possum hiding behind Sessions.

You may be aware that in Sessions’ home state of Alabama (which I also hail from, sadly) and other parts of the South, a colloquial way of saying that someone is hiding or looking to avoid taking responsibility for something is to so say he’s “playing possum” (because possums pretend to be dead when they’re in danger). So this joke works on a bunch of levels.

Sessions berated his possum friend for giving away the game, before excitedly describing his family’s Thanksgiving plans — which included eating at least four of the possums that his pal had recently birthed.

Sessions’ possum was introduced in last week’s cold open, when McKinnon’s Sessions consulted it while he was trying to figure out how to deal with the whole Roy Moore situation. It remains to be seen if the possum will be useful in helping the attorney general navigate the increasingly treacherous political waters of the year 2017.

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Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘SNL': Black Gotham City Residents Wish Batman Would Stop Racially Profiling Them (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743037 2017-11-19T23:29:22Z 2017-11-19T07:26:03Z Is Batman guilty of racially profiling the alleged criminals he goes after? Some of the Gotham residents at Bruce Wayne’s annual Thanksgiving food drive on “SNL” sure thought so, in a timely sketch on the opening weekend for “Justice League.”

“So, Bruce, you know how Batman is always tough on crime?” “SNL” host Chance the Rapper asked Wayne, played by Bennett.

“Yes I do, son, and I’ll tell you a little secret: I actually know Batman,” Wayne replied.

“Well, can you tell him to cool it down in our neighborhoods?” Chance asked. “Somebody’s gotta do something about him. I mean he broke my best friend’s jaw in two places and all he did was steal a TV. That’s excessive!”

“Batman fights crime wherever he sees it,” Wayne said after Chance added that his friend ended up hanging by his underwear from a gargoyle, and Batman just left him up there.

“It just seems like he’s in our neighborhood all the time,” Chance said. You can watch the sketch above.

Cast members Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd interjected themselves into the conversation. Thompson told a story of how Batman broke his jaw and hung him from a gargoyle for littering, and Redd described a time when his car stalled while driving late at night and Batman pulled him out of his car and threw him into a nearby Best Buy, breaking his jaw, and then hanging him from a gargoyle.

Fortunately, Melissa Villasenor presented a plan to deal with this Batman problem. She mentions that her cousin is in jail with the Joker, and that when they get out they’re planning to cut off Batman’s penis.

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Ross A. Lincoln https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘SNL’ Channels Boyz II Men to Beg Barack Obama to Come Back (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743011 2017-11-19T23:37:09Z 2017-11-19T07:05:24Z On Saturday’s Thanksgiving-themed episode of “Saturday Night Live,” Chance the Rapper, Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd teamed up to beg Barack Obama to come back — Boyz II Men style.

Host Chance the Rapper, Thompson and Redd appeared in the night’s first comedy short as a ’90s-style R&B vocal harmony group. The trio sung what appeared to be an impassioned R&B romantic ballad, until the first chorus revealed the song’s title: “Come Back, Barack.”

Desperate for the 44th president to return to the White House, because of how bad (“world war bad”) everything is, it becomes increasingly clear the band has only a basic understanding of the U.S. Constitution, though they do acknowledge that Obama is legally prohibited from serving another term as president. “So come back, Barack,” the chorus goes, “even though it’s not allowed, we want you back somehow.”

“Trump don’t even got a dog, man,” Chance sings.

The boys then cram U.S. constitutional law and lament that they’re, apparently, going to have to get used to Donald Trump, and a constant fear of nuclear war. Though, they wouldn’t object to Michelle Obama running for office in 2020, even if “we wouldn’t wanna do that to her.”

The short comes 10 months after Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata performed “To Sir With Love” to bid president Obama farewell on the first “SNL” after Trump’s inauguration.

Watch the whole thing above.

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Ross A. Lincoln https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Colin Jost Tears Into ‘SNL’ Alum Al Franken Over Sexual Misconduct on Weekend Update (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743017 2017-11-19T10:39:42Z 2017-11-19T06:03:07Z The 15 years Sen. Al Franken spent as an “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer didn’t protect him from criticism during Saturday’s edition of  “Weekend Update.”

“SNL” was criticized for saying nothing about Harvey Weinstein the weekend after the sexual misconduct accusations accusations against him became public. But “Weekend Update” co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che started Saturday’s segment with several minutes on the accusations by KABC radio anchor Leeann Tweeden that Franken sexually harassed and groped her during a 2006 USO tour.

Watch the full video above.

After noting the infamous photo in which Franken appears to be groping Tweeden’s breasts while she sleeps, Jost said, “now, I know this photo looks bad, but remember — it also is bad.”

In a possible nod to Harvey Weinstein’s widely mocked statement that he “came of age in the 60s and 70s,” Jost added, “Sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It’s pretty hard to be like oh, come on, he didn’t know anything — he was only 55.”

Che then noted Tweeden’s accusation that Franken forced her to kiss him while they were rehearsing a comedy sketch.

“Come on, man, didn’t the troops in Afghanistan have it hard enough without having to sit through sketch comedy?” he said. “I mean people can barely even stay up to watch sketches after ‘Weekend Update.'”

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Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘SNL’ Cold Open Reveals the Fateful Meeting Between Julian Assange and Donald Trump Jr (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1743006 2017-11-19T05:56:03Z 2017-11-19T04:52:39Z Alec Baldwin may not have appeared in the “SNL” cold open for the second week in a row, but it made up for it by revealing an important piece of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia to win the 2016 election: a look at an in-person meeting between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Kate Mckinnon) and Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day) in which Assange provided Trump with a pile of hacked emails from the Democrats. And Also Eric.

I’m gonna cut straight to the end here, in which Eric Trump, played as usual by Alex Moffat, stole the show by botching the “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” declaration that “SNL” wraps its cold opens with. When Moffat, Day and McKinnon all leaned in together to shout the line, Moffat said “live” with a short “i,” interrupting the delivery and prompting a lecture on pronunciation from Day’s Donald Jr.

You can watch the sketch above.

It may have been the first time “SNL” overtly treated that line as the fourth wall-breaker that it is — in that moment the sense is usually that it’s the actors delivering the line. In this case the characters in the sketch actually acknowledged what was happening.

The gag was a payoff to a running joke on “SNL” the past two seasons in which Eric Trump is portrayed as a simpleton. During the sketch Eric repeatedly interrupted the negotiations between Assange and Donald Jr by saying stupid things. Eventually, Donald Jr gave Eric a fun bright toy to play with to distract him while they closed the deal.

The meeting kicked off with Donald Jr saying that he thought an in-person meeting in London would be safer than the WikiLeaks twitter sliding into his DMs constantly — a reference to the WikiLeaks Twitter sliding into Donald Jr’s DMs in real life.

“I trust you’re alone?” McKinnon’s Assange asked.

“My brother Eric is waiting in the car,” Day’s Donald Jr replied. “Not to worry, I told him to honk the horn if he gets scared. now, Mr. Assange–“

At which point the conversation is interrupted by Eric honking the horn. Then Moffat’s Eric walked over and pointed out the uncanny physical similarity between Assange and Draco Malfoy from “Harry Potter.”

“That’s rude,” Donald Jr said.  “What did we say about making fun of people’s appearances, bud?”

Eric: “That’s dad’s thing?”

Assange then objected to Eric’s presence, but Donald Jr said there was nothing he could do about it because “Eric’s wife had to work, so I have him for the day.”

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Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Lena Dunham Retracts Her Defense of ‘Girls’ Writer Accused of Rape]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742981 2017-11-19T03:28:59Z 2017-11-19T02:38:38Z Lena Dunham walked back her defense of former “Girls” executive producer and writer Murray Miller, who was accused Friday of raping actress Aurora Perrineau in 2012 when she was 17.

Dunham apologized Saturday for not supporting Perrineau, saying she was “absolutely wrong” for accusing her of submitting a false report.

“Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case,” Dunham tweeted.

After Perrineau went to police Friday, Dunham cast doubt on her account.

“While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year,” Dunham said through a spokesperson Friday.

But backlash came quickly. She was called a “hypocrite” — among other things — for contradicting her comments from August when she said “women don’t lie about rape.”

Read Dunham’s apology below:

“As feminists, we live and die by our politics, and believing women is the first choice we make every single day when we wake up. Therefore I never thought I would issue a statement publically supporting someone accused of sexual assault, but I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months.

I now understand that it was absolutely wrong to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry. We have been given the gift of powerful voices and by speaking out we were putting our thumb on the scale and it was wrong. We regret this decision with every fiber of our being.

Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case. Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, “I believe you” is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed. We apologize to any women who have been disappointed.”

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Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Harvey Weinstein’s Hitlist for Investigators Included Rose McGowan, 90 Others (Report)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742966 2017-11-19T01:21:33Z 2017-11-19T00:50:52Z Harvey Weinstein drew up a secret hitlist of 91 actors, publicists, producers, and other notable figures in the film industry for his private investigators to target, according to a report in The Guardian.

The British paper reported Saturday that it had “gained access to a secret hitlist of almost 100 prominent individuals targeted by Harvey Weinstein in an extraordinary attempt to discover what they knew about sexual misconduct claims against him and whether they were intending to go public.”

Among those on the list were Rose McGowan, who was among the first to speak out about Weinstein last month, when the New York Times and New Yorker first reported on a slew of sexual misconduct complaints against him. Weinstein has said no non-consensual sex occurred.

The list also includes Weinstein employees Laura Madden, Lauren O’Connor and Zelda Perkins, all of whom have spoken out against him, as well as actresses Sophie Dix, Annabella Sciorra and Katherine Kendall.

Curiously, director Brett Ratner, who has also been accused of sexual misconduct, is also on the list. He has denied wrongdoing.

The names were apparently drawn up by Weinstein himself in early 2017, around nine months before the New York Times published its Oct. 5 story, the Guardian said.

The list includes 85 names on one document, with six names on an an addendum, according to the Guardian.

Earlier this month, the New Yorker reported on how Weinstein used an “army of spies,” including former Israeli Mossad agents, to spy on reporters and people who might speak out against him.

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Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[DC Fans Launch Petition for Release of Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ Director’s Cut]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742954 2017-11-19T00:41:47Z 2017-11-19T00:33:51Z Hardcore DC movie fans have launched a change.org petition asking Warner Bros. to restore director Zack Snyder’s original “Justice League” cut, together with Tom Holkenborg’s (Junkie XL) score on home release.

As of this writing, the petition has collected over 19,000 signatures.

DC Movie fan Roberto Mata from San Juan, Puerto Rico launched the petition, condemning changes that were made to the film’s score and run-time following Snyder’s exit in May when his daughter died. Joss Whedon stepped in to finish the film, and composer Holkenborg was replaced with Danny Elfman.

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“All in all, the score is generic, out of place, too whimsical and a rehash of many other scores,” Mata wrote.

The film’s run-time also concerned petitioners. “In early October cinemas confirmed that the runtime [sic] for Justice League will be 2hrs long, much to the shock of fans, who were asking themselves: ‘how will a film that has 6 main characters, their supporting players, a story that revolves around an alien invasion, the terraforming [sic] of earth and the return of a familiar face, would fit in a 2hr runtime [sic]?'” Mata asked.

The petition’s mission statement — which is over 2,400 words —  can be read in its entirety by clicking here.

“Justice League” is currently playing in theaters.

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Jon Levine http://www.thewap.com <![CDATA[Gretchen Carlson Blasts Roy Moore and His Supporters: ‘We Have Reached Rock Bottom’ (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742942 2017-11-18T23:23:42Z 2017-11-18T23:23:42Z Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson blasted GOP candidate Roy Moore and the political polarization that is keeping him in contention in the Alabama Senate Race.

During an appearance on the digital news network BoldTV Friday, Carlson said she was stunned that there would be so many voters willing to vote for someone facing those kinds of allegations.

“We have reached rock bottom in our political divide,” said Carlson. “It’s very disheartening to me that people on either side would say that even if the allegations are all proven to 150 percent, that they’d still vote for a child predator. That’s sad. That it’s more important that the other person doesn’t get into office so we’re going to not recognize that somebody may have been a child molester. That’s crazy in 2017 that we’re in that kind of an abyss of political divide.”

Carlson, who became an early icon of the movement against sexual harassment with her own lawsuit against Fox News over allegations of sexual misconduct by then CEO Roger Ailes, appeared on the program to promote her new book, “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back.”

Indeed, while the issue of sexual harassment is certainly bipartisan, President Trump has taken to Twitter to mock Democratic Senator Al Franken for his own transgressions, while remaining silent on Roy Moore — and of course his own allegations.

Carlson wasted no time pointing out the hypocrisy on Twitter at the time.

Carlson also swatted back a question by BoldTV co-host Carrie Sheffield about what — if any — redemption could be offered to men who have offended but repented. Carlson said that was not a conversation she was interested in having.

“I don’t think we should have so much discussion about how we rehabilitate the potential predators,” she said. “Why aren’t we discussing about all the thousands and thousands of women who’ve lost their jobs.”

Still, as the list of accusers grows longer seemingly by the day, the question of what to do with all these men will loom large. On Friday’s episode of “Morning Joe,” Mika Brzezinski raised the issue after a guest promised a “generation of fear” for all men.

“What’s the goal? We have a friend of the show who is no longer on his show because of his behavior, which he admits and he apologizes for. Al Franken apologizes,” said Brzezinski. “I’m not being ideological. I’m not siding with anybody. I believe the women, but what are we doing with these apologies?”

“Who’s the judge the jury and the cops in all these cases? Because right now, if the story is big enough and flies enough, the career is over,” she added.

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Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[Univision, Verizon Dispute Ends With Deal; Stations Restored]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742941 2017-11-18T23:21:03Z 2017-11-18T22:31:31Z Verizon and Spanish-language television network Univision have settled their dispute, and service will be restored to Univision networks and stations across the Verizon footprint.

“Through this deal, Verizon has demonstrated that it is committed to providing Hispanic America with the critical news, information and content that they rely on,” Univision Communications said in a statement Saturday.

Read Univision’s statement in full:

“We’re pleased to announce that Univision and Verizon have agreed to new terms, restoring Univision networks and stations across the Verizon footprint. Through this deal, Verizon has demonstrated that it is committed to providing Hispanic America with the critical news, information and content that they rely on. We look forward to furthering our partnership with Verizon across their platforms to best serve the needs of the Hispanic community.

“We are deeply grateful for the patience of our viewers who were impacted as we worked through the blackout. UCI is committed to fighting for Hispanic America – on the airwaves and off – and providing the best news, information and entertainment that our community deserves.”

Formerly called Spanish International Network, Univision’s programming is aimed at Hispanic America and the rising multicultural mainstream, and includes telenovelas, sports, sitcoms, reality and variety series, news programming, and imported Spanish-language feature films.

Univision had notified its customers on Oct. 16 that “without warning, Verizon pulled Univision’s signal from both its FiOS and mobile platforms,” adding, “effectively turning their backs on their own Hispanic consumers who rely on us for news and information.”

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Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi': Finn Finally Awakes in New Spot (Video)]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742929 2017-11-18T21:46:08Z 2017-11-18T21:46:08Z John Boyega’s Finn finally awakes from his healing chamber in the latest television spot for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

“I was raised to fight. For the first time, I have something to fight for,” the former Stormtrooper says in the clip.

Check out the video above.

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Boyega told Entertainment Weekly at this year’s Star Wars: Celebration that his character would be in a “bad way.”

“He has a lot of issues. He got slashed with a saber, and that took him down real hard, so he’s in a coma,” said Boyega. “That suit, that whole thing helps him to recover. But we’re not sure whether that means he’ll wake up.”

The new trilogy will be separate from the main Skywalker saga and, according to a Disney press release, the film will “introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” also stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” arrives in U.S. theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.

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Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com <![CDATA[‘Justice League’ Fans React to Henry Cavill’s Mustache Removal: ‘This Is F–king Real?!’]]> https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742904 2017-11-18T21:20:31Z 2017-11-18T21:17:13Z “Justice League” has dropped in movie theaters but its fans can’t seem to drop the weirdness going on with Superman’s upper lip caused by the CGI removal of Henry Cavill’s mustache.

Even Seth Rogen has weighed and tweeted, “This is f–king real?!”

“Justice League” underwent reshoots this summer, which ended up taking longer than Warner Bros. anticipated. Cavill was faced with a conflict as a result: he had grown a mustache for “Mission: Impossible 6,” but he obviously couldn’t have a mustache while playing Superman/Clark Kent.

Because shaving his mustache and then having to grow it again would have forced an alteration in the “Mission: Impossible 6” production schedule, Paramount forbade him from shaving it off while doing protracted “Justice League” reshoots. And as TheWrap reported back in July, Cavill ended up shooting a number of scenes as Superman while sporting a mustache in real life.

Warner Bros. dealt with Cavill’s mustache in post-production, attempting to use CGI to give Superman his normal clean-shaven look. And while, yes, you can’t see his mustache, Cavill’s upper lip doesn’t come through the process unscathed. In more than one scene in “Justice League” it’s very obvious that heavy CGI work was done on his mouth.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can never fool fanboys! Here are some more hilarious reactions.

“Justice League” is now playing in theaters.

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