TheWrapTheWrap Covering Hollywood Fri, 20 Oct 2017 01:39:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele’s ‘Last O.G.’ Loses Showrunner John Carcieri (Exclusive) Fri, 20 Oct 2017 01:05:40 +0000 Ryan Gajewski TBS’ comedy “The Last O.G.” has lost its showrunner: John Carcieri is exiting the series from Tracy Morgan and “Get Out” mastermind Jordan Peele, the network tells TheWrap exclusively.

In addition, the series, which stars Morgan as a former prisoner trying to rebuild his life on the outside, will be pushed to sometime in spring 2018, a TBS rep said. It was originally scheduled to premiere next Tuesday, Oct. 24. The decision to delay the premiere was made in August, the rep said, but has not been widely publicized.

Carcieri is also a writer and co-executive producer on HBO’s “Vice Principals,” which is on its second and final season. And he was a writer and consulting producer on “Vice Principals” star Danny McBride’s last HBO series, “Eastbound and Down.”

Carcieri’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

“The Last O.G.” earned a straight-to-series order in October 2016 and will mark the episodic TV return for “30 Rock” star Morgan following a 2014 car crash that left him seriously injured.

Morgan had a previous TV project set up at FX from the creators of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” but it was scuttled after the accident.

“The Last O.G.,” from Turner’s Studio T, is executive produced by Morgan, Peele, Carcieri, Eric Tannebaum and Kim Tannenbaum (both of “Two and a Half Men”) and Joel Zadak of Principato Young (“Key & Peele”).

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DMG Entertainment Makes Offer for 10 Percent Stake in Forbes Media Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:37:22 +0000 Matt Pressberg Beverly Hills-based DMG Entertainment has offered to buy a 10 percent stake in business publisher Forbes Media, the company told TheWrap Thursday.

The deal would also give the company, which has strong ties to Hollywood and China, “greater China rights” to the Forbes brand, Forbes’ Hong Kong-based owner Integrated Whale Media said in a filing. The purchase would be made from DMG’s publicly listed Chinese component, DMG Yinji.

DMG Yinji plans to use a Hong Kong-based, DMG-branded entity to establish a $256 million investment fund with several partners. The fund would then acquire full control of an entity called FBS Entertainment and Leisure, which would be the vehicle for the Forbes deal, according to the filing. It is not yet clear how much DMG would spend on Forbes. IWM acquired 95 percent of the publisher for $415 million three years ago.

“Growing up in New York, Forbes was a staple of financial and entertainment storytelling,” Dan Mintz, co-founder and CEO of DMG Entertainment, told TheWrap.

In May, DMG announced that its investment arm, DMG Capital Group, is pooling $300 million into entertainment, tech and media with a focus on the Chinese market. DMG co-produced 2013’s “Iron Man 3,” which made $1.2 billion worldwide, alongside Disney and Marvel.

DMG launched an eSports division in partnership with Super League Gaming earlier this year and teamed up with Hasbro for the world’s first Transformers-themed location-based entertainment project. The company also started up a virtual reality division, DMG VR, this year, with Arcturus the first VR company incubated under the DMG umbrella.

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‘American Horror Story: Cult': See Evan Peters as Charles Manson (Photo) Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:34:24 +0000 Tim Kenneally America, meet your new — and, dare we say it, even more adorable — Charles Manson.

“American Horror Story” co-creator Ryan Murphy gave fans of the FX anthology series a treat on Thursday, sharing an image of Evan Peters in character as notorious cult leader Charles Manson, who led his band of blood-thirsty hippies through a terror spree in Southern California in the late ’60s.

“Evan Peters or Charles Manson?” Murphy captioned the photo, which features Peters with an appropriately wild gleam in his eye and his tongue slightly protruding.

Peters has been tasked with portraying multiple characters on the current run of “American Horror Story,” which has been sub-dubbed “Cult.” In addition to his main character, cult leader Kai Anderson, Peters also portrayed pop artist Andy Warhol in this week’s episode.

Peters has also been tapped to portray Manson, as well as cult leaders David Koresh and Jim Jones, during the season.

Evan Peters or Charles Manson?

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on

What do you think of Peters as Charles Manson? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Lupita Nyong’o Shares Harrowing Harvey Weinstein Account: ‘He Told Me Not to be So Naïve’ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:29:29 +0000 Matt Donnelly Actress Lupita Nyong’o shared her account of a harrowing series of encounters with Harvey Weinstein before she was famous, where she says the mogul told her she’d be successful in Hollywood if she slept with him.

Nyong’o, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014 for “12 Years a Slave,” wrote a lengthy op-ed for the New York Times on Thursday, where she identified as part of a “conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years.”

Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company this month and is under criminal investigation in New York, Los Angeles and London after more than 50 women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, including harassment and rape. A representative for Weinstein has stated that allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.

Nyong’o recalls meeting Weinstein in Berlin in 2011 when she was still a student. A woman producer friend cautioned her to “keep Harvey in your corner.” Nyong’o said shortly after their meeting, back in the states, Weinstein invited her for a film screening at his home in Westport, Conn. — a tony neighborhood close to her Yale School of Drama campus in New Haven.

Prior to arriving at his home, the pair had lunch at a restaurant nearby where Weinstein insisted several times she drink alcohol, Nyong’o said. After meeting his staff and children at his Westport home, Weinstein and Nyong’o made it about 15 minutes through the film before he coaxed her out of the room with something had to show her.

“Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not … I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times,” Nyong’o said.

“Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable,” she continues. “He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,” I said.”

Bizarrely, Weinstein offered Nyong’o a parting gift: a DVD box series of The Weinstein Company’s TV production “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” saying he would consider her for a part on the show. Originally airing on HBO, Nyong’o would later come to find the Jill Scott series ceased production in 2009.

The star would go on to have a more pleasant meeting with the mogul after that, a reading of his Broadway show “Finding Neverland,” where she was accompanied by two male friends. All three left the evening charmed by Weinstein, who held court at a large dinner after the reading.

Confident in their rapport, Nyong’o agreed to accompany Weinstein to a screening of the TWC film “W.E.,” directed by Madonna. At dinner afterwards, at the Tribeca Grill, Nyong’o said Weinstein bluntly stated their relationship should become sexual.

“Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal,” Nyong’o said Weinstein told her in the middle of dinner.

“I was stunned. I told him I preferred to eat in the restaurant. He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them,” she wrote.

After she recovered from her shock, she said, she declined his offer.

“You have no idea what you are passing up,” she recalled Weinstein telling her.

“With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,” she said she responded at the time.

Weinstein told her she could leave, according to Nyong’o, though she pressed him again to make sure there were no hard feelings.

“I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,” she remembered Weinstein saying.

He would come to change his tune after her fast and award-winning rise. Read her full account here.

More to come…

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Conan O’Brien Mocks Letterman in Latest ‘Dave the Horse’ Drama (Video) Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:29:24 +0000 Debbie Emery

The great Horsegate drama between late-night personalities David Letterman and Conan O’Brien took another twist on Thursday when the “Conan” host advanced the equine mix-up.

“When you sent him [the horse] to me, I had no idea he was a ‘rental,'” O’Brien said in a video message to Letterman.

“These things happen all the time … when one man sends another man a horse,” he added.

Dave the Horse actually looked pretty happy — complete with Letterman-style beard — as he chilled out next to the TBS host at his stables.

“Anyway, he’s off, God love him,” O’Brien said, smacking a mailing label on the horse’s side as he was led up the ramp of a UPS truck. “See you, have a good trip … I’m going to miss that guy.”

Hopefully Dave the Horse is being returned to Letterman, and not being sent on to another random late-night host like Jimmy Fallon or James Corden.

In case you’re not up to date on the horse drama, Letterman got all his fellow late-night hosts gifts when he retired from the “Late Show,” so he sent Conan a horse as a gag gift.

“The idea will be that he’ll have the horse and the horse will take a dump on the show and it will be hilarious,” Letterman told Kimmel earlier this week.

The only catch was the O’Brien thought it was a permanent present and his wife fell in love with it.

Several failed riding lessons later, and the “crazy horse” was donated to the Equine Massage Center to live out his days in peace away from even crazier TV personalities.

Until he was packed into a UPS truck of course …

Watch the video above and be sure to follow the adventures of Dave the Horse via his UPS tracking number.

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Nickelodeon Fires Chris Savino Over Sexual Harassment Accusations Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:50:50 +0000 Jeremy Fuster Nickelodeon has fired Chris Savino, creator and showrunner of the animated series “The Loud House,” over claims of sexual assault by several female employees at the kids’ TV network.

The dismissal comes after 12 women came forward accusing Savino of sexual misconduct and threatening to blacklist women who no longer wished to be in relationships with him, according to a report from Cartoon Brew.

The first to step forward was “BoJack Horseman” director Anne Walker Farrell, who revealed in a series of tweets that Savino harassed her in 2002.

On Tuesday, after Nickelodeon suspended Savino when the accusations began to surface, Farrell praised the network for the move.

“We take allegations of misconduct very seriously, and we are committed to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment that is free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct,” Nickelodeon said in a statement sent to TheWrap.

“The Loud House” is currently Nickelodeon’s second-highest rated show behind “SpongeBob Squarepants,” and follows an 11-year-old boy who lives with with 10 sisters. The show has been critically praised for its portrayal of same-sex couples and its ethnically diverse cast.

Nickelodeon says it will continue to air and produce the show, which is currently in its second season with a third set to air early next year.

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How ‘Dirty John’ Blitzed to the Top of the Apple Podcast Charts Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:46:22 +0000 Sean Burch The voice behind the world’s top-ranked podcast is a first-timer.

“I had no background in podcasting or recording. I don’t even record my interviews,” Chris Goffard, narrator and writer of the hit “Dirty John” pod, told TheWrap. “I use a notebook and a pen… old, old school.”

But the podcast’s success has been anything but beginner’s luck. The veteran L.A. Times reporter’s six-part series has rocketed to the number one spot on the Apple podcast charts because it emphasizes two common, intriguing phenomenons: the often fleeting search for love, and the capability of humans to inflict the cruelest of emotional and physical abuses.

Goffard takes listeners through the gripping whirlwind marriage between a successful Orange County businesswoman, who is just as unsuccessful at picking husbands, and her new prince charming. Pushing 60 and with four divorces to her name, Debra Newell is desperate to find her one true soulmate. She’s starry eyed when she matches on a dating site with John Meehan, a fit mid-50s doctor. He promises to love her like she’d never been loved before. Despite protesting from her children, they married in Las Vegas after less than a month of dating — with no one in attendance.

Unfortunately for Newell — and as the listeners quickly realize — Meehan is the textbook example of “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Newell’s new life partner tells elaborate stories about volunteering in war-torn countries, and they begin to crumble under the weight of their fabrication. An underlying violent streak shines through in comments to wary family members. He’s manipulative. Questions about Meehan even being a doctor begin to surface. Why doesn’t he have a car? Why does he need to move in with Newell and have her buy him clothes? And why hasn’t she seen one of his many houses?

In the face of mounting evidence he’s a fraud, Newell remains enchanted, telling Goffard “I felt this was an opportunity to love again.” Listeners are sucked in, wondering how she can trust an obvious conman.

“What I think resonates with people is, look, this is an extreme example, but everyone can relate to the search for love and fulfillment and the self-destructive choices we sometimes make along the way,” Goffard told TheWrap.

Producer Karen Lowe echoed Goffard’s sentiment.

“People were screaming on Facebook and Reddit, how could she not see this coming?,” Lowe told TheWrap. “We all know people, our friends and family, who stay in relationships long beyond what the outsiders think is ‘get out’ and you stay in as long as its fulfilling something you really need.”

More troubling details come to light. Meehan wasn’t a doctor. He’d dropped out of law school — where he’d been pegged with the “Dirty John” nickname to start. He was divorced. He was a addicted to fentanyl. Worst of all, he allegedly “terrorized” multiple women — going to jail once for stalking one, and there’s also a rape allegation.

Goffard steps in for the audience at times, channeling their disbelief.

“There’s a point in Episode 4, ‘Forgiveness,’ where I’m talking to Debra about the explanations that John gives for his criminal history and the restraining orders and all of this awful stuff that’s carefully documented about him, and I tell her, ‘Look’ — this is the part that’s frankly hardest to explain to people — ‘Why, in the face of all the evidence, did you decide to take him back?'” said Goffard. “I’m sort of the surrogate for the listener.”

Eventually, Newell sees the light, quickly moving to divorce Meehan. He threatens to make her life a living hell, saying she needs to pay up or it’ll get ugly. Without giving away the ending, the audience expects anything can happen because it’s left thinking Newell is dealing with a psychopath.

“He’s got the narcissism, a talent for deception, a callousness, a lack of empathy, and the sense that he can’t connect to human beings in any meaningful way,” said Goffard. “His only real pleasure in life is inflicting maximum pain on other people.”

There have been other true crime podcasts that have stormed the podcast charts before, “Serial” being the go-to example. (And while he understands why listeners call it a true crime podcast, Goffard said he thinks of it more as “a human drama that happens to have elements of crime in it.”) But to have “Dirty John” transcend beyond an excellent written piece, Lowe said a “marriage of mediums” had to take place, combining three aspects: the “journalistic rigor” of Goffard and the L.A. Times; her background as a producer on podcasts like “This American Life”; and the TV-pacing that came from Hernan Lopez, founder of Wondery, the network behind the pod.

To make a compelling true crime series, “you need some tension, some action every 20 seconds,” said Lowe. “Something’s got to happen.”

That’s easy here, with Newell, her family, and lawyers peppering the listener with their stories about Meehan. And the score from “master” composer Jeff Schmidt, according to Lowe, was integral in creating a growing sense of urgency as the podcast goes on.

What the “Dirty John” team ended up with was the perfect elixir. First-rate production, coupled with an amazing story grounded in the ubiquity of online dating, and the horror stories like the one Newell endured, are still out there. Now, with “Dirty John” sitting atop the podcast rankings for three weeks and counting, Goffard hopes the story not only entertains, but acts as a warning sign.

“If it raises awareness about domestic abuse and manipulation, I’d be very happy,” he said.

You can read the series on the L.A. Times here, and listen on either iTunes or Stitcher

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Magician David Blaine Under Investigation for Rape, Claim Brought by Former Model Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:17:34 +0000 Ashley Boucher Former model Natasha Prince has accused magician David Blaine of raping her at his Chelsea mansion in 2004, the Daily Beast reports.

Scotland Yard told the Daily Beast that it is investigating Prince’s claims.

“Officers from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command are investigating an allegation of rape,” their statement said. “The allegation was reported to police on 17 November 2016 by a woman who alleged she was raped at an address in Chelsea in June or July 2004 when she was aged 21. There have been no arrests at this stage and enquiries continue.”

Blaine’s attorney Marty Singer denied Prince’s accusation in a statement given to TheWrap:

“My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever, and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004,” Singer said. “If, in fact, there is any police investigation, my client will fully cooperate because he has nothing to hide.”

Prince is now a Manhattan art dealer, but worked as a model years ago. She told the Daily Beast that in 2004 she met up with Blaine at his Chelsea mansion after meeting earlier at a nightclub.

Here is what Prince said happened next:

“At some point, I was on the bed, face-forward, and he was behind me. I think it woke me up a little bit, because I’d never had that [anal sex] done to me before. I remember moving around a lot. I was limp, and I was very floaty; I was in and out of a deep sleep.”

Prince said the assault eventually caused her to end her modeling career. “After this happened, I didn’t want to go out, and I didn’t want to go to my castings,” she said. “I wouldn’t get the job because now I was insecure.”

She told The Daily Beast it took her so many years to come forward because she “blamed herself.” She filed a report last year at Kensington Police Station, according to The Daily Beast’s report.

“You have to understand, my interpretation was that it was my fault. I didn’t think of it as rape. In my head, rape was being sober–pull her in a bush, pull down her pants and just ditch her… So I blamed myself. I did like him. I was interested in him. So I didn’t think about going to the police.”

Prince told The Daily Beast she is now going public with the hopes to “expose” Blaine. “I want him to know that I’m not stupid, and I know what happened,” she said.

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Peter Bart Denies Covering for Harvey Weinstein: I Was Protecting Variety Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:10:07 +0000 Sharon Waxman Peter Bart, who for 20 years ran Variety as its top editor, called to discuss the accusation that he covered for Harvey Weinstein when both men were among the most powerful folks in Hollywood.

It’s not as simple as that, he explained.

“Because Harvey had so many ferocious business enemies over the 20 years that I was running Variety, every year at this time of year I’d get at least one or two reporters come tell me that ‘Harvey will never make it through the season, he’s bankrupt, he won’t pay his bills,'” Bart said.

“Whereupon my policy was to say: ‘Let’s run the story if you can nail it. But if you can’t, then let’s not,'” Bart said. “The trouble is over a period of decades at the last minute he always pulled it together, so we couldn’t run the story that Harvey was out of business.”

He went on: “The trouble is we couldn’t nail it. Was that protecting Harvey? I was protecting Variety from being sued.”

In the Tuesday piece, “The Most Powerful Journalist In Hollywood Protected Harvey Weinstein For Years,” HuffPost reporters Jason Cherkis and Maxwell Strachan said that Bart reveled in his access to Weinstein and enforced a widely known — but unspoken — newsroom rule against negative coverage of the film executive and his companies, first Miramax and then The Weinstein Company.

A Variety insider told TheWrap: “The trades were kind of a gray area of journalism in the ’80s and ’90s. Today if you look at the kinds of reporters and editors at [the Hollywoood Reporter] and Variety, they’re top-notch journalists.”

The role of a trade editor is a delicate one, and I’m in no position to judge what Bart did or did not do. But I can vouchsafe that stories of the mogul’s imminent demise — usually financial — would frequently surface. And Harvey Weinstein would always pull it out.

Bart is now in his 80s, and is a columnist for Deadline. He ran Variety in its heyday, from 1989 to 2009. It’s worth pointing out, as others have, that Miramax published two of his books, “Dangerous Company: Dark Tales from Tinseltown, a collection of short stories” and  “Boffo! Hollywood in the Trenches: How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb.”

If Bart didn’t cover for Weinstein, I asked him, why does he think that former staffers are saying that he did? “I have no idea,” said Bart. “It’s absurd.”

As for the sexual assault allegations against the disgraced mogul, Bart said, “I did not know this other character existed. That’s the sad thing.”

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Sophia Bush Inks Talent Holding and Development Deal With Fox Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:00:47 +0000 Tony Maglio Sophia Bush has signed a talent holding and development deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

The terms call for her to star in a comedy or drama project for the studio this pilot season and develop additional projects for which she’d serve as an executive producer.

“Now more than ever, vital female voices need to be heard,” the “Chicago P.D.” alum said in a statement. ‘I’m thrilled to begin developing content that inspires and excites me at 20th Century Fox TV.”

Bush just bailed on NBC’s “PD” after four seasons with the Dick Wolf show — but sounds like she’ll stay busy now.

“We’ve been great admirers of Sophia for years and after meeting, we knew we wanted to be in business with her,” Fox Casting executive vice president Sharon Klein added. “She’s smart, she’s passionate, and she brings great ideas and energy to the table. This deal is about developing with her as well as casting her into a comedy or drama this pilot season. She’s a giant TV star and we’re thrilled to have her exclusively at FTG.”

Bush starred on television’s “One Tree Hill” and in the movie “John Tucker Must Die.” She is repped by CAA, Untitled and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

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Kirsten Dunst Wins the Internet With One-Word Response to Fan Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:54:17 +0000 Tony Maglio Kirsten Dunst just made one lucky fan’s day — and really, all of ours.

“I’d say my biggest dream is telling Kirsten Dunst I’m a huge fan only for her to mutter ‘Pathetic’ and walk away,” Louis Virtel wrote on Twitter Wednesday night.

Guess her response. (Bad guesser? Just read it below.)


See Kirsten Dunst's latest POWER MOVE.



That is one of Dunst’s just 230 tweets since the actress joined the social media platform in February 2012.

You’ll always be M.J. to us, Kirsten.

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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Gets Cosmic Reviews: ‘Who Knew a ‘Thor’ Movie Could Be This Wonderful?’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:48:03 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven Reviews are in for “Thor: Ragnarok” — and so far, 36 critics who reviewed the film love it so much that it’s hit a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. And so far, there’s just one negative review (which knocked “Ragnarok” off its previous 100% perch).

“It’s an enthusiastic, hilarious reboot of the idea of what a Marvel movie can actually be, resulting in an effervescent, delightfully self-aware ride that was the most fun I’d had in a superhero movie in years,” The Verge’s Bryan Bishop wrote.

“Who knew a ‘Thor’ movie could be this wonderful?” added Uproxx’s Mike Ryan. “I guess Taika Waititi did. And please let Taika Waititi make whatever other movies he wants from now on.”

TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde wrote, “Waititi and screenwriters Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle and Christopher L. Yost know how to balance stakes and silliness, which is exactly what this movie needs. Audiences committed to the ongoing expansion of the Marvel screen universe will come away feeling respected for their devotion, while those who aren’t interested in the set-up for the next ten movies in the franchise can have fun and get on with their lives.”

“Ragnarok” stars Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo and Tom Hiddleston and finds Thor (Hemsworth) imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer, and in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok — the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization — at the hands of Blanchett’s ruthless Hela.

The film hits theaters on Nov. 2.

See below for the 9 best reviews.

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“‘Ragnarok’ is basically a Joke Delivery System — and on that score, it works. The movie is fun. So to recap: Taika Waititi was mostly the right director for the job. Chris Hemsworth is hilarious. Tessa Thompson is going to be a star. And while ‘Ragnarok’s’ story is an aimless mess, you won’t stop laughing.”

Mark Hughes, Forbes

“‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is fun, and it’s also funny. It is also dramatic, it is also terrific art, it is also the best ‘Thor’ movie by a wide margin, and it is one of the best Marvel sequels released so far. If those statements or words bug you, then get over it.”

Jim Vejvoda, IGN Movies

“‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is as glib and cheeky as the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies, and embraces a deliberately ’80s space opera aesthetic and synth score (composed by Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, providing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most distinctive original music yet). This makes for a fun and often hilarious romp, and a film that looks as vibrant and out there as an old Jack Kirby Marvel comic. But it also encapsulates the MCU’s increasing desire to go for the gag, to mock its own innate absurdity, even at the expense of the characters and settings Marvel Studios has spent years now establishing.”

Steve Rose, The Guardian

“It basically throws up its hands at its own ridiculousness and plays it all for laughs – and it gets them. The price of this irreverence is the possibility of taking anything that happens all that seriously – even the potential destruction of the Norse gods’ home (that’s not a spoiler either: it’s the title of the movie). There’s a potentially intriguing subtext about Asgard’s gilded spires – and by extension European civilisation – having been built on the suffering and riches of others, but, being a bit of a downer, it’s dealt with fleetingly. The romp must go on.”

Bryan Bishop, The Verge

“Waititi is the New Zealand-based filmmaker and comedian behind movies like ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ and the vampire mockumentary ‘What We Do in the Shadows.’ ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is his first Hollywood feature, but what he’s done with ‘Ragnarok’ doesn’t just boil down to adding new characters or throwing in extra comedy. Instead, it’s an enthusiastic, hilarious reboot of the idea of what a Marvel movie can actually be, resulting in an effervescent, delightfully self-aware ride that was the most fun I’d had in a superhero movie in years.

Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend

“Taika Waititi’s ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is finally the film in the series that leans into its greatest strength, and while its comedic leanings do have the effect of undercutting some of the more dramatic aspects, it’s also the best of the ‘Thor’ features and impressively one of the better MCU offerings.”

Jeremy Aspinall, Radio Times

“Kudos to the witty script and Kiwi actor/director Taika Waititi (‘What We Do in the Shadows’), who cut his teeth on comedy show ‘Flight of the Conchords.’ Here he serves up a hugely entertaining, laugh-out-loud romp with brilliant brawls, humour delivered with delightfully deadpan finesse (not least by Waititi himself as hilariously random rock beast Korg) and plenty of in-jokes (the look of horror on Loki’s face when he sees the Hulk, who clobbered him in Avengers Assemble, is a peach)…  right now, Ragnarok rocks.”

James Dyer, Empire Online

“Daft as a badger sandwich and twice as funny, this is vintage Waititi, and the boldest, most outrageously fun film Marvel has yet produced.”

Mike Ryan, Uproxx

“‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is by far the most unusual of the Marvel movies – a crazy, colorful, ambitious, hilarious ride through the cosmos – even surpassing the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies as the former holder of that title. And it’s by far the funniest. It’s not even a question that ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is the best of the ‘Thor’ movies and it’s certainly up there as far as the best in the MCU. Who knew a ‘Thor’ movie could be this wonderful? I guess Taika Waititi did. And please let Taika Waititi make whatever other movies he wants from now on.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Marvel's Kevin Feige: Hulk Almost Wasn't in 'Thor: Ragnarok'

Chris Hemsworth Was 'Bored' of Playing Thor Before 'Ragnarok' (Video)

Movie Press Praises Taika Waititi's 'Thor: Ragnarok' as 'Magnificent,' 'Hilarious'

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Hollywood Agent ‘Fed Me Alcohol’ and ‘Sexually Assaulted Me,’ Former Teen Actor Says Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:38:34 +0000 Matt Donnelly Update: The Agency for the Performing Arts is investigating allegations of sexual assault made against Tyler Grasham, a top representative to young stars.

“APA takes these allegations extremely seriously and is investigating this matter,” an agency spokesperson told TheWrap in regards to an account written by filmmaker Blaise Godbe Lipman.

Lipman accused Grasham of plying him with alcohol and sexually assaulting him when he was in his late teens a decade ago, in an open letter posted to his Facebook and Instagram accounts on Monday.

The agency, which reps clients like Kate McKinnon and Mira Sorvino, is hiring a third-party firm to investigate the matter. When asked about the status of Grasham’s employment, the spokesperson said APA does not comment on confidential personnel matters.


Filmmaker and former actor Blaise Godbe Lipman has accused Hollywood agent Tyler Grasham of plying him with alcohol and sexually assaulting him when he was in his late teens a decade ago.

Lipman (pictured above), who has appeared on shows including “Weeds,” noted in an online post that Grasham has minors as clients. Grasham and his employer, the Agency for the Performing Arts, did not respond to numerous requests for comment about Lipman’s accusations.

“Tyler Grasham, under the pretense of a business meeting regarding potential agency representation at APA Agency, fed me alcohol while I was underage and sexually assaulted me,” Lipman wrote in a letter uploaded on Facebook and Instagram.

“APA Agency has kept this man employed, working with kid actors. I find it incredibly difficult to believe they do not know of his predatory behavior, using his position within the company to prey on naive kids,” he continued. (Besides young clients like 14-year-old “It” and “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard, Grasham also represents adult actors like “Pretty Little Liars” star Keegan Allen).

Lipman told TheWrap he met Grasham when he was 17 or 18. He said he turned 18 in June of 2007, and was assaulted that summer. He cannot recall if the date of the assault was before or after his birthday, he said.

Lipman told TheWrap that he first met with Grasham at APA’s Beverly Hills office and that later they had another meeting at a restaurant where he “got me drunk.” The assault happened at Grasham’s home after that dinner, Lipman said. His account said that, after the assault, Grasham recruited friends of his to call Lipman and berate him or pressure him to stay silent.

On Wednesday evening, hours after Lipman posted his name, Grasham deleted his Facebook page and Instagram profile.

The accusations against Weinstein, who has denied any non-consensual sex, have incited a reckoning in Hollywood and worldwide. But less attention has been paid to instances of same-sex harrassment or assault.

Last week, APA issued a statement saying it was “deeply disturbed” by the sexual harassment and assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein and pledged to uphold the “highest ethical standards.”

A growing number of men and women have come forward with accusations against people they say harassed or assaulted them, and many have used the #metoo hash tag, or simply used the phrase “me too” to join the movement of people speaking out.

Lipman initially posted about being assaulted on Tuesday in a “me too” post that did not name Grasham. So Lipman said he was stunned when, after it posted, Grasham “poked” him on Facebook.

Was his poke passive aggressive? An abuser making himself known, a quiet threat? An admission of guilt with a smirky, ‘just try me’? I don’t know and I don’t care. It felt gross,” Lipman wrote.

Prior to the “poke,” he said he had not had any contact with Grasham in a decade.

One person with knowledge of APA told TheWrap that several agents have gone to the human resources department to complain about what they said was Grasham’s habit of “hip-pocketing” teenage actors. “Hip-pocketing” is slang for stringing along potential clients with scripts and other opportunities without signing them.

Complaints about Grasham and these practices date to 2013, the individual said, and were the subject of numerous conversations with agency leadership.

APA’s clients include one of Weinstein’s most high-profile accusers, Mira Sorvino, as well as Hilarie Burton, who last week tweeted that actor Ben Affleck grabbed her breast during an MTV interview. (Affleck apologized for his behavior with her, without going into specifics.)

“All of us at APA are deeply disturbed by the recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein. We denounce this conduct in any form, and our sadness and support for the victims who have courageously come forward cannot be understated,” the agency told The Hollywood Reporter last week. “At APA, we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and pledge to continue our unwavering commitment to diversity, empowerment, tolerance and inclusion in the workplace that are the cornerstones of our corporate culture.”

Here is Godbe’s open letter:

Yesterday I posted my “me too” contribution, briefly sharing my experience with sexual assault at the hands of a man in a position of power in the entertainment industry. I didn’t name names, just the company he worked for. People poured out of the woodwork in private message, aware of who I must be talking about. His reputation was enough, I didn’t have to say his name.

We haven’t had any correspondence in a decade, and aren’t friends on FB, yet today, out of the blue, he “pokes” me. He must have been made aware of the post by one of our many mutuals. Was his poke passive agressive? An abuser making himself known, a quiet threat? An admission of guilt with a smirky, ‘just try me’ ? I don’t know and I don’t care. It felt gross.

And it was the tipping point that made me me want to open up in a real frank way. His name is Tyler Grasham, an agent at APA Agency.

The positive thing about the attention the Weinstein scandal has had, is it’s no longer about Harvey. The conversation has moved on to the size of this epidemic and how to dismantle the system that protects these predators. And it’s given space and courage for victims to speak up, against their abuse. This is bigger than Weinstein.

The “poke” reminded me about Tyler’s harassment after the ordeal. He told me I’d never work in this biz. He’d have his friends drunklenly call me and berate me. I didn’t do anything at the time. I was young and desperately wanted acceptance within my industry. His threats felt very real. Although my initial reaction yesterday and today was to not make this about me, there’s no better time. Tyler Grasham is still working at APA, where’s his been representing children and teenagers for the last ten years since this happened.

Tyler Grasham, under the pretense of a business meeting regarding potential agency representation at APA Agency, fed me alcohol while I was underage and sexually assaulted me. APA Agency has kept this man employed, working with kid actors. I find it incredibly difficult to believe they do not know of his predatory behavior, using his position within the company to prey on naive kids. Although his power in this biz is no where near Weinstein level, the collective power of agents is massive. I hope the light that’s shed by the newly empowered victims who are coming forward, makes predators think twice. Change is slow but I hope this is a big jump start.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Peter Bart Accused of Coddling Harvey Weinstein as Variety Editor

That Time Harvey Weinstein Visited New York Times' Top Editor to Kill My 2004 Expose

Channing Tatum Cuts Ties With The Weinstein Company

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David Cross’ Wife Amber Tamblyn Defends Him Amid Racism Accusation: ‘He Said He Was Sorry’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:35:46 +0000 Tim Kenneally Don’t worry, David Cross; your wife has your back.

Actor/comedian Cross, who has been under fire this week due to an accusation of racism leveled at him by actress Charlyne Yi, received a bit of support from his wife, actress Amber Tamblyn, on Thursday.

Tamblyn weighed in on the topic after being dragged into the conversation with an at-tag from another Twitter user who took issue with Cross’ explanation of the incident.

“Gross! Own it and say you are sorry! What is so hard about that?!” wrote one critic in response to an article noting that Cross said he might have been doing a “Southern redneck” character during his offending encounter with Yi.

A second Twitter user brought Tamblyn into the conversation, writing, “Ugh what is he doing?? Meanwhile his wife, the lovely @ambertamblyn, is such an advocate and force of nature.”

Tamblyn didn’t feel terribly complimented by her inclusion in the back-and-forth, declaring, “He said he was sorry, publicly, several times. Please don’t @ me in conversations dragging my husband. Thanks.”

Cross was accused by “Stephen Universe” star Yi in a tweet Sunday. The actress wrote, “I think about the first time I met David Cross 10 years ago & he made fun of my pants (that were tattered because I was poor). Dumbfounded I stared at him speechless and he said to me ‘what’s a matter? You don’t speak English?? Ching-chong-ching-chong.’

“Then after he saw I was offended he asked me if I was going to fight with him karate in a southern accent,” Yi continued. “Then a few years later he was re-introduced to me after my comedy show with his girlfriend at the time & he said ‘Hi nice to meet you’.”

Cross later replied with a tweet saying that he “didn’t remember” Yi’s account.

“Charlene, I don’t remember this at all!” he wrote. “It’s bonkers to me and WAY, way out of character. DM me so I can understand all of this.”

On Wednesday, Cross clarified that he was joking during the decade-old encounter.

“With the luxury of time and critical thought (two things antithetical to Twitter) in regards to all of this I believe I may have figured it out,” he wrote in the note shared to Twitter, which was titled “A Fruitless Endeavor Part 2.”

“Firstly, there are two important facts to consider here. 1) I have NEVER said, ‘ching chong, ching chong’ unless I was doing some asshole redneck racist character,” he wrote. “And 2) I was meeting my friends [sic] girlfriend for the first time.”

In the post, Cross describes meeting Yi for the first time at a hotel bar in Louisiana. He explains that upon being introduced to her he “must have done my asshole redneck racist character.” He said he had no indication that Yi or anyone else who witnessed the interaction was offended by anything they saw.

“Charlyne did not understand I was doing my ‘welcome to Shreveport greeting,'” the Atlanta-born actor wrote, referencing the Louisiana city where they had gathered to film a movie. “As well, I had NO IDEA she was upset or I would’ve apologized to both her and Michael. I believe that had to be it because I would never knowingly treat someone like that.”



Related stories from TheWrap:

David Cross: Charlyne Yi 'Did Not Understand' Racist Comments Were Meant as a Joke

David Cross Responds to Accusations of Racism: 'I Don't Remember This at All'

David Cross 'Can Pretty Much Guarantee' More 'W/Bob and David'

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Quentin Tarantino on Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Wish I Had Taken Responsibility for What I Heard’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:28:23 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven Quentin Tarantino said he has known for decades about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior toward women and now says he wishes he had done more and “taken responsibility” for what he heard.

“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he told the New York Times. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”

“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”

“The Hateful Eight” director said in the interview on Wednesday that he had heard about Weinstein’s behavior long before The New York Times and The New Yorker published exposés detailing sexual misconduct allegations against the movie mogul that spanned back decades.

Tarantino’s own former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino, who has already spoken out about Weinstein’s physical advances while promoting “Mighty Aphrodite,” told Tarantino about the producer’s behavior,and he said another actress told him similar stories years later.

The Times also noted that the director knew Rose McGowan had reached a settlement with the producer.

However, he continued to make all of films with Weinstein, including “Hateful Eight,” the “Kill Bill” films, “Pulp Fiction” and “Inglourious Basterds” — something he now regrets.

“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he said. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”

Tarantino said, “Hollywood has been operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated. We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was. I’m calling on the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters. What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness.”

Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company and is under criminal investigation in New York, L.A. and London after several women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, including harassment and rape.

A representative for Weinstein has stated, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Quentin Tarantino 'Heartbroken' by Harvey Weinstein Scandal

Quentin Tarantino to Write, Direct Film About Manson Murders

Every Quentin Tarantino Movie Ranked From 'Reservoir Dogs' to 'Hateful Eight' (Photos)

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Clay Aiken Shoots Down Report He ‘Could Be President Someday’ (Exclusive) Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:24:43 +0000 Jon Levine Sorry America, Clay Aiken has no plans to run for president.

The former “American Idol” and “Celebrity Apprentice” star on Thursday shut down some left-field speculation by Christopher Ruddy’s conservative website Newsmax suggesting the out gay singer “could be president someday” and “has all the components of a successful run.”

“I will not be available to run for President, as I have decided to retire to a small experimental colony on Venus where I am dedicating my life to growing prize winning space turnips,” Aiken told TheWrap exclusively in his typical tongue-in-cheek fashion.

When asked if that could be taken as an official denial, Aiken responded via email with the “neutral emoji face.”

Not exactly a Shermanesque denial.

If Aiken does change his mind, it wouldn’t be his first stab at elective office. In 2014, he was the Democratic nominee for Congress in North Carolina’s second district and took more than 40 percent of the vote against incumbent Renee Ellmers.

Aiken has also remained plugged into current events, appearing on CNN as as Bernie Sanders surrogate during the 2016 campaign and co-hosting a political talk show on YouTube called BoldTV.

And after President Donald Trump’s widely criticized response to the Charlottesville neo-Nazi protests, Aiken repudiated his prior statements about the former “Celebrity Apprentice” host.

“Remember all those times I defended @realDonaldTrump and believed he was not actually racist? Well… I am a f*****g dumba-.  Aiken tweeted, adding, “I’ve always thought he would be a dumpster fire as a president, and I was right about that. I just didn’t think he was racist.”

Still, the high praise in Newsmax for a gay Democrat ex-reality star also suggests Aiken could have bipartisan appeal.

“As a famous singer, songwriter, author, and politician, Clay Aiken has all the components for a successful run at the presidency someday,” wrote Newsmax writer Jerry Shaw, who then cited Aiken’s concern for education and personal friendship with Donald Trump as potential selling points.

Indeed, Aiken worked closely with Trump during his run on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011. As he did in “Idol,” where he was runner-up to Ruben Studdard, Aiken lasted all the way to the end of the show before ultimately losing to Arsenio Hall.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Clay Aiken Apologizes for Defending Trump: 'I Am a F—— Dumba–'

Piers Morgan Shreds Clay Aiken Over 'Nonsense' Donald Trump Claim

Clay Aiken Slams 'American Idol': 'Where Is Simon When You Need Him?'

Clay Aiken Responds to Bill Maher's Gay Marriage Criticism

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Harvey Weinstein Under LAPD Sexual Assault Investigation Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:21:53 +0000 Itay Hod The LAPD has opened a sexual assault investigation involving Harvey Weinstein, who is also under investigation in New York and London.

“The Los Angeles Robbery Homicide Division has interviewed a potential sexual assault victim involving Harvey Weinstein, which allegedly occurred in 2013. The case is under investigation,” public information officer Tony Im said in a statement Thursday.

The LAPD declined to elaborate any further on the case. The Los Angeles Times reports that an Italian model-actress met with police detectives for more than two hours Thursday morning. The Times said she provided a “detailed account” of her accusation that Weinstein sexually assaulted her at a hotel in 2013.

“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” his team has said in a statement. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”

So far, six woman have accused Weinstein of rape or forcible sex acts, but this is the case known to be under investigation in Southern California.

The new allegations could signal more legal trouble for Weinstein because they fall within the crime’s 10-year statute of limitations.

More than 40 women have come forward to level allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein

Related stories from TheWrap:

Quentin Tarantino on Harvey Weinstein: 'I Wish I Had Taken Responsibility for What I Heard'

Weinstein Co. Staffers Ask to Be Let Out of Non-Disclosure Agreements

Victims No More: How Harvey Weinstein Accusers Are Taking Charge

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Shia LaBeouf Sentenced to Anger Management Over Racist Run-In With Police Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:58:39 +0000 Tim Kenneally Oft-troubled actor Shia LaBeouf has reached a plea agreement stemming from his arrest in Georgia earlier this year, agreeing to undergo anger management counseling, as well as 30 days of mandatory drug counseling.

The actor was also placed on 12 months’ probation on Thursday, and was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol evaluation and to perform 100 hours of community service, a representative of the Chatham County, Georgia, district attorney’s office told TheWrap.

LaBeouf must also write a letter of apology to the police.

Ultimately LaBeouf pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and no contest to obstruction of an officer. As part of the agreement, a third charge of public drunkenness was dismissed. LaBeouf must also pay a $1,000 fine for each of the two remaining charges.

LaBeouf was arrested in July in Savannah. Video of his arrest showed the “Transformers” star telling a police officer that he was going to hell because he’s black.

“You’re going to hell, straight to hell, bro,” LaBeouf tells the African American officer in the video.

Asked by another officer why LaBeouf thinks his colleague is going to hell, LaBeouf replied, “Because he’s a black man. … That means a whole lot, bro.”

In a largely incoherent rant, LaBeouf went on to complain of “a black man who arrested me for being white,” denying that he’s racist because he was “asking three black people to have a cigarette.”

LaBeouf later apologized for the incident, tweeting that he was “deeply ashamed of my behavior and make no excuses for it.”

“I don’t know if these statements are too frequent, or not shared often enough, but I am sure my actions warrant a very sincere apology to the arresting officers, and I am grateful for their restraint. The severity of by behavior is not lost on me,” the actor added.


Related stories from TheWrap:

'Borg/McEnroe' Toronto Review: Shia LaBeouf Tennis Movie Mixes Backhands With Psychoanalysis

Shia LaBeouf Apologizes After Racist Arrest Video Released: 'I Am Deeply Ashamed'

Shia LaBeouf Tells Cop That He's 'Going to Hell' Because He's Black in Arrest Footage (Video)

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Weinstein Co. Staffers Ask to Be Let Out of Non-Disclosure Agreements Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:34:15 +0000 Matt Pressberg A group of Weinstein Company staffers sent a lengthy statement to The New Yorker asking the company to allow them out of their non-disclosure agreement and denying any awareness of the dozens of allegations of sexual harrassment against co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

“We know that in writing this we are in open breach of the non-disclosure agreements in our contracts.” the staffers wrote. “But our former boss is in open violation of his contract with us — the employees — to create a safe place for us to work. We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey’s behavior could continue for so long. We ask that the company let us out of our NDAs immediately – and do the same for all former Weinstein Company employees – so we may speak openly, and get to the origins of what happened here, and how.”

The group also blasted Harvey Weinstein for “creating a toxic ecosystem where his abuse could flourish unchecked for decades” and denied that any of them served as a “honeypot” to help him get close to women. They also denounced the company’s board for failing to keep the company’s leader in check.

“Practically none of us have ever met the board,” they wrote. “Aside from Bob Weinstein, few of us even knew their names before last week. If the board’s job was to keep Harvey in check, financially and otherwise, they failed.”

Read the full statement below:

Statement from Members of the Weinstein Company Staff

We came to work at this company because we love movies. We grew up watching Miramax films, and came to associate that name, and later the name Weinstein, with great storytelling.

Some of us have been here for years, others for just for a few months. Some have been here since their first college internship, others joined the team after a rigorous application process. All of us were excited to get the job, proud to be working for a company with such an illustrious history.

We all knew that we were working for a man with an infamous temper. We did not know we were working for a serial sexual predator. We knew that our boss could be manipulative. We did not know that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women. We had an idea that he was a womanizer who had extra-marital affairs. We did not know he was a violent aggressor and alleged rapist.

But to say that we are shocked and surprised only makes us part of the problem.

Our company was built on Harvey’s unbridled ambition – his aggressive deal making, his insatiable desire to win and get what he wanted, his unabashed love for celebrity – these traits were legendary, and the art they produced made an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

But we now know that behind closed doors, these were the same traits that made him a monster. He created a toxic ecosystem where his abuse could flourish unchecked for decades.

We know that in writing this we are in open breach of the non-disclosure agreements in our contracts. But our former boss is in open violation of his contract with us – the employees – to create a safe place for us to work.

We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey’s behavior could continue for so long. We ask that the company let us out of our NDAs immediately – and do the same for all former Weinstein Company employees – so we may speak openly, and get to the origins of what happened here, and how.

We unequivocally support all the women who have come forward, many of whom we count among our own friends and colleagues. Thank you for speaking out.

When the New York Times and The New Yorker articles broke, we wept. We see you, we admire you, and we are in this fight alongside you.

And while we can only speak for the people represented in this statement, none of us ever knowingly acted as a so-called “honeypot”. That is disgusting and renders us all victims of Harvey’s disgraceful behavior.

Practically none of us have ever met the board. Aside from Bob Weinstein, few of us even knew their names before last week. If the board’s job was to keep Harvey in check, financially and otherwise, they failed.

As we begin the painful process of reflecting on our industry and the ugly systems we’ve wrought and let thrive, we are asking ourselves the question: how do we define abuse? Do we include verbal degradation, ruthless aggression and physical intimidation? This particular horror show centers on a sexual predator who abused his power in a very specific way. But if we’re being honest (and if not now, when?) we all know that threatening, hostile, inhumane work environments are rampant in our industry.

Non-disclosure agreements only perpetuate this culture of silence. The “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” mentality undermines those who might’ve spoken out. We treat these abusive people and places as rites of passage, instead of with the disgust they deserve.

Harvey Weinstein is far from the only sociopathic bully we’ve exalted over the years. Employees who work under our industry’s most notorious bosses are regularly asked to surrender their dignity in exchange for professional success.

So now that Harvey is gone, what next? If there is a future for this company, it must be one of radical transparency and accountability. And for that to happen, anyone who had specific knowledge of non-consensual, predatory behavior must go. That is the only way anyone will feel comfortable working with us. It is the only way any of us will feel comfortable working here.

To those speaking out, and to those fearlessly reporting: we are so grateful for your courage. Right now, we want to listen hard and keep listening, no matter how unsettling or overwhelming these stories are. But after that we must start to ask hard questions of our industry, so we may do right not only by Harvey’s many victims, but also by young film lovers who, like all of us, just want to work in movies.

- Select Members of The Weinstein Company Staff

Related stories from TheWrap:

Here's Every Harvey Weinstein Accusation of Sexual Harassment and Assault

Victims No More: How Harvey Weinstein Accusers Are Taking Charge

That Time Harvey Weinstein Visited New York Times' Top Editor to Kill My 2004 Expose

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‘One of Us’ Review: Breaking up With G-d Is Hard to Do Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:30:41 +0000 Sam Fragoso The biggest issue facing the modern documentary is that there are too many documentaries. This complaint may sound silly or prosaic, but it’s true.

Since its creation, the format has never been in such high demand. On streaming services, from Netflix to Amazon Prime to Hulu, documentaries are often the most played and downloaded. The audience is there, and so are the films. Complaining about an embarrassment of riches can only take you so far. The point is: where there’s endless choice, there’s endless mediocrity. Worthwhile stories that are hurried and unfocused, made by people with good intentions but not-so-good execution.

This is where directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady stray from the pack. Responsible for films like “Jesus Camp” and “Detropia,” the directing duo have a knack for presenting lives as they are: rich, complex, idiosyncratic. With “One of Us,” their sixth collaboration — premiering on Netflix Oct. 20 — they’ve turned their focus to the lives of three people who have chosen to leave the world of Hasidic Judaism. These three subjects are wildly different from one another; what binds them together is their shared fear of alienation.

There is Etty, a strong mother of seven, who has dealing with the fallout of violent, unseemly divorce. Then there is Ari, a bright and uncharacteristically warm teenager who’s grappling with his own problems with addiction. Lastly, there is Luzer, a burgeoning actor whose transition into the secular world has not been an easy one.

Ewing and Grady share a few gifts as filmmakers. Throughout the duo’s evolving body of work, they’ve figured out how to foster trust with their subjects. Part of this has to do with their insistence on limiting how many crew members are on set. Often times, the room will include the subject, Ewing or Grady (they rarely shoot a scene together), and the DP. This information may seem ancillary, but it’s vital to how something like “One of Us” comes together.

There’s intimacy on screen that other documentaries only dream of creating. Together Ewing and Grady strike the perfect balance between informal, fly-on-the-wall chatter, and rigorous, journalistic questioning. They appear to be direct aesthetic descendants of Errol Morris.

“One of Us” also benefits from a genuine visual language. The composition is not rushed. There’s been serious consideration for how an image is going to look. Frequently, cinematographers Alex Takats and Jenni Morello will frame a scene in ingeniously creative ways. Throughout there are layered shots where two people are talking, but only one can be seen. The other is tucked away, or hidden behind a door. Takats and Morello make it seem like we’re watching something we’re not supposed to.

It’s this clandestine approach that makes some of “One of Us” especially thrilling when it’s not intimately focusing on the heart of what’s being said. Avoiding the standard shot-reverse-shot technique, the filmmakers decide to have a camera oscillate back and forth from person to person — except that the individual talking is rarely who we see in the frame. Instead, they focus on the subject receiving information. It’s a small technical move, but it’s significant, capturing the intricacies of an interaction. The gestures, the facial tics, the moans, sighs, and hand movements. A face can say everything.

Unlike some of their peers, Ewing and Grady don’t let their style overrun the film’s substance. “One of Us” is first and foremost a heart-wrenching account of three lives, lost and scared and searching for repair. The film shows us how painful it can be to turn your back on all that you once knew. All that seemed familiar and comfortable and regenerating, and just how quickly good things can transmute into bad ones.

The directors don’t look at these individuals from a distance, either with despair or sympathy. There’s human empathy, because of course there is: Ewing and Grady have routinely demonstrated curiosity; it’s what fuels their life’s work. May it continue to do so.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Toronto Film Market: Indie Distributors Struggle as Netflix, Amazon Look to Dominate (Again)

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‘NCIS’ Star Pauley Perrette Explains Her Twitter Hiatus Ahead of Show Exit Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:15:04 +0000 Ryan Gajewski Pauley Perrette’s fans apparently want every possible interaction with her that they can get before she signs off for good from “NCIS.”

The actress, who recently announced that the CBS procedural’s currently airing 15th season will be her last, did not tweet at all during this week’s new episode, and some viewers took to Twitter to express their disappointment. Perrette, a typically frequent Twitter user, had tweeted in the evening on Oct. 16 but posted nothing on Oct. 17, when the episode aired.

“Woke up looking forward to all my @PauleyP tweets from last night’s #NCIS but there aren’t any,” one fan wrote.

Fret not, “NCIS” fanatics: Perrette’s social media absence proved to be short-lived, and she tweeted on the evening of Oct. 18 to divulge her whereabouts.

“Hey! Just been on set a lot! Didn’t even get to see our last night’s #NCIS until like 11pm!!!” the actress wrote.

Perrette, who has played Forensic Specialist Abby Sciuto since the show’s Sept. 2003 premiere, broke the news earlier this month that she is leaving at the end of Season 15.

Tuesday’s episode introduced new series regular Maria Bello as Jack Sloane, who got to know Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the team.

Perrette’s message is below.

“NCIS” airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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Jimmy Kimmel Slammed for Diabetes Punchline: ‘It Is an Illness Not a Joke’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:12:40 +0000 Jon Levine On Wednesday Jimmy Kimmel publicly thanked fellow television star Kelly Ripa for some cookies sent by the daytime host — but in the process included a bizarre remark about diabetes.

“Thank you for the cookies @KellyRipa,” he said, adding, “You are sweeter than diabetes #KimmelinBrooklyn”

I guess the joke was that the sweetness of her gift and the cookies would be worth the diabetes caused by the sugar intake, or something like that — needless it to say, it wasn’t his A material.

The remark drew instant backlash on Twitter — especially given Kimmel’s recent evolution into America’s foremost late-night healthcare advocate.

A representative for ABC Television did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Kimmel, however, seemed a pinch annoyed at the kerfuffle, pinning this evergreen tweet from Jan. 3 to the top of his feed.

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Here’s Every Harvey Weinstein Accusation of Sexual Harassment and Assault Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:52:45 +0000 Brian Welk Numerous actresses, colleagues and former employees have come forward with sexual harassment and assault claims against Harvey Weinstein, whose legal team asserts, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied.” But the disgraced movie mogul has been fired from The Weinstein Company, the Motion Picture Academy and Producers Guild have expelled him, and new stories continue to roll in by the day. Here is an exhaustive list of all those who have accused him.

Ashley Judd

Judd’s recollection of a meeting with Weinstein “two decades ago” was the first account of sexual misconduct revealed in the Oct. 5  The New York Times story. She told of an invitation to Weinstein’s room in the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what she believed was a breakfast meeting, only for him to appear in a bathrobe and ask if she would give him a massage. “I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” Judd told the Times. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”

Former Weinstein Company employee Emily Nestor

Nestor was a temporary employee in 2014 who had just worked with The Weinstein Company for one day. According to her account in The New York Times, Weinstein offered her a career boost in exchange for accepting his sexual advances and claimed he boasted about his encounters with other actresses.

Unnamed female assistant

The Times obtained a memo written by a TWC employee named Lauren O’Connor that said in 2015 Weinstein pressured an unnamed female assistant to give him a massage while he was naked, leaving her “crying and distraught.”

Gwyneth Paltrow

The New York Times followed up their initial report on Oct. 10 with additional accounts including Gwyneth Paltrow, who said that shortly after she had been cast in the film “Emma,” Weinstein placed his hands on her and suggested they head to his bedroom for a massage. Paltrow had told her then boyfriend, Brad Pitt, who confronted the producer. Paltrow said that Weinstein later warned her not to tell anyone about his come-on.

Rosanna Arquette

Arquette was asked to Weinstein’s hotel room in the early ’90s, according to the Times. She said that Weinstein asked her to his hotel room to pick up a script. When she arrived, he was in a bathrobe and complained about neck pain. He grabbed her hand and attempted to pull it toward his crotch, which she immediately pulled away.

French actress Judith Godrèche

Weinstein and Miramax acquired the 1994 film “Ridicule” starring Godrèche at the Cannes Film Festival. She said that in his hotel room, Weinstein was “pressing against me and pulling off my sweater.” She told the Times she was later told by a Miramax executive not to say anything.

Angelina Jolie

Jolie told The New York Times in an email that in the late ’90s, “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Jolie said. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

Long Island TV reporter Lauren Sivan

Sivan told The Huffington Post that a decade ago, Weinstein trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant. She said that he tried to kiss her and when she refused by saying she had a boyfriend, Weinstein responded, “Well, can you just stand there and shut up?” He then exposed himself and masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated into a potted plant.

Aspiring actress Tomi-Ann Roberts

Weinstein appeared nude in a bathtub in front of aspiring actress Tomi-Ann Roberts, then a 20-year-old college junior. She recalled to the Times that he asked her to also undress, saying that if she was unable to bare her breasts in private, she wouldn’t be able to do it on film.

Actress Katherine Kendall

Kendall said that Weinstein asked her to his apartment after a screening to pick something up. She said that Weinstein appeared in his robe and asked her for a massage. After she refused, he left the room and returned nude. “He literally chased me,” she told the Times. “He wouldn’t let me pass him to get to the door,” adding that he tried bargaining with her to show her breasts.

Costume designer and actress Dawn Dunning

Dunning told the Times that in 2003, a bathrobe-clad Weinstein presented her with contracts to appear in his next three films on the condition that she have three-way sex with him. She said that when she laughed, assuming he was joking, he angrily told her, “You’ll never make it in this business.”

Rose McGowan

According to the Times, in 1997, Rose McGowan and Weinstein reached a settlement for $100,000 following an “episode in a hotel room.” McGowan has since come out on Twitter claiming she told Amazon’s Jeff Bezos that Weinstein had raped her.

Actress and director Asia Argento

Italian director and actress Asia Argento told Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker that in 1997, after agreeing to give Weinstein a massage in his hotel room, “he pulled her skirt up, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop.” She described the incident as a “horrible trauma.”

Aspiring actress Lucia Stoller (now Lucia Evans)

Evans accused Weinstein in 2004 of forcing her to perform oral sex on him, according to the New Yorker. She described Weinstein’s control and his presence as “intimidating,” offering her compliments and saying she’d be great for “Project Runway,” but only if she lost weight. “He’s a big guy. He overpowered me,” Evans said. “I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.”

Filipina-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez

The New Yorker obtained an audio excerpt of Weinstein admitting to groping model Gutierrez. In the clip, he brags about other actresses he has helped and offers Gutierrez a dialect coach to advance her career. When she asks why he groped her breast the day earlier, he says, “I’m used to that.” He also plead with Gutierrez to accompany him to his room, which she said no to more than ten times.

Mira Sorvino

Sorvino said she fought off Weinstein’s advances when he tried to get physical while promoting “Mighty Aphrodite,” which he produced and she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She told the New Yorker she didn’t come forward earlier because she described her account as “mild” compared to other women.

French actress Emma de Caunes

Emma de Caunes said that following a 2010 party she was invited to Weinstein’s room, where he was taking a shower. He then appeared naked in front of her with an erection and demanded she lie on the bed. “It was like a hunter with a wild animal. The fear turns him on,” de Caunes told the New Yorker. She added that she’s heard similar accounts about Weinstein from friends over the years. “I know that everybody — I mean everybody – in Hollywood knows that it’s happening.”

Minka Kelly

Actress Minka Kelly shared her awkward encounter with Weinstein on Instagram, writing that after meeting him at an industry party, they met for lunch. He bragged he could lavish her with gifts and luxurious travel, “IF I would be his girlfriend.” Kelly recalled Weinstein saying, “I know you were feeling what I was feeling when we met the other night.”

Actress Angie Everhart

“Last Action Hero” star Angie Everhart said Weinstein once entered her bedroom, dropped his pants, masturbated while blocking the door, and then ejaculated on the carpet. Everhart told a morning radio show on 95.5 KLOS that the incident occurred on a boat at the Venice Film Festival. She told everyone on the boat but said no one wanted to say anything, “because everyone was terrified of Harvey.”

Sundance Filmmaker Louisette Geiss

Geiss streamed a press conference to Facebook Live from attorney Gloria Allred’s office in Beverly Hills. She said that at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Weinstein grabbed her by the arm and pleaded for her to watch him masturbate.

Heather Graham

Actress Heather Graham wrote in a guest column for Variety that Weinstein implied she would need to have sex with him if she wanted to star in one of his movies. “He mentioned that he had an agreement with his wife. He could sleep with whomever he wanted when he was out of town,” Graham wrote. “I walked out of the meeting feeling uneasy. There was no explicit mention that to star in one of those films I had to sleep with him, but the subtext was there.”

Cara Delevingne

Model Cara Delevingne posted on Instagram that she had received a call from Weinstein “asking if I had slept with any of the women I had been seen with in the media.” She described the call as uncomfortable and was told by Weinstein that if she was gay, she would never receive a role as a straight woman in Hollywood.

Lea Seydoux

Seydoux wrote in The Guardian that Weinstein jumped on top of her and attempted to kiss her. “I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted,” she wrote, adding, “I’ve seen how he operates: the way he looks for an opening. The way he tests women to see what he can get away with.”

British Lysette Anthony

In the Sunday Times, British actress Lysette Anthony said Weinstein arrived at her home, pushed her inside and “raped me in my own hallway.” Anthony added that she finally reported the rape to police earlier in October.

Former Miramax employee Zelda Perkins

According to colleagues, in 1998 Zelda Perkins, a former assistant, confronted Weinstein about his treatment of herself and other women in the office after being regularly subjected to inappropriate comments and requests in hotel rooms. Perkins declined to comment to The New York Times about her work at Miramax.

Actress Jessica Barth

Actress Jessica Barth met Weinstein at a Golden Globes party and was asked to his hotel room to “talk career stuff.” She told the New Yorker that once there, Weinstein asked her, “So, what would happen if, say, we’re having some champagne and I take my clothes off and you give me a massage?” After she rejected him, she said that Weinstein told her she needed to lose weight if she were to compete with Mila Kunis.

Actress Romola Garai

Garai was just 18 when she said she had an “audition” for Weinstein that she described as “an abuse of power.” Garai told The Guardian that Weinstein consistently puts women into “humiliating situations” to prove “he had the power to do it.”

Actress Melissa Sagemiller

Sagemiller told the Huffington Post that she had three separate lewd encounters with Weinstein, including being forced to kiss him in order to leave a hotel room where he was blocking the door.

Author Liza Campbell

The British writer told The Sunday Times that in 1995, she was working as a freelance script-reader for Weinstein’s Miramax, when they met at his hotel room and he tried to persuade her to take a bath with him. Campbell said that the producer asked her, “Come on, it’ll be fun. We can drink champagne. You can soap me — whaddaya say?”

British actress Jessica Hynes

Hynes wrote in Radio Times that she hopes the revelations surfacing about Weinstein are “a watershed” moment. “As a tsunami of sleaze wipes out the career of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, I, for one, am not surprised,” she wrote. “Not surprised to hear that a man who once asked me to audition in a bikini should be exposed as a serial sexual predator.”

Non-profit executive Louise Godbold

The co-director of the Los Angeles-based non-profit organization, Echo Parenting & Education, wrote in a blog post that she now knows her encounter with Weinstein was not unique: “The office tour that became an occasion to trap me in an empty meeting room, the begging for a massage, his hands on my shoulders as I attempted to beat a retreat… all while not wanting to alienate the most powerful man in Hollywood.”

Model Zoe Brock

Brock wrote in a blog post on Medium that she was “Harveyed” in 1997, causing her to lock herself in his hotel bathroom after he took off his clothes. “Harvey chased me, dick, balls and all, and banged on the door with his fists, pleading with me to come out,” she wrote.

Kate Beckinsale

Actress Kate Beckinsale said in a post on Instagram that she was 17 when Weinstein asked if she had any sexual interest in him and offered her alcohol. “I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not,” Beckinsale wrote. “I had what I thought were boundaries – I said no to him professionally many times over the years-some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a c— and making threats.”

Actress Claire Forlani

Forlani posted a statement on Twitter saying that she had avoided five separate awkward encounters with Weinstein back in 1997. “All I remember is I ducked, dived and ultimately got out of there without getting slobbered over,” she wrote.

Actress Sophie Dix

Dix told the New Yorker she locked herself in a hotel bathroom to escape Weinstein, and that he had masturbated in front of her. “She said it was “a classic case” of “someone not understanding the word ‘no.’ … I must have said no a thousand times.”

French actress Florence Darel

Darel met Weinstein in 1994, at which time she said he communicated that he wanted her to “be his mistress a few days a year, so we could work together.” She told Le Parisien, “There are no safeguards because there is this kind of unspoken saying: ‘If you want to do this job, you have to sleep from time to time.'”

Fashion designer Tara Subkoff

Subkoff said she left acting to pursue a career in fashion design following her bad encounter with Harvey Weinstein. She told Variety that Weinstein asked for her to sit on his lap, and he got an erection. After rejecting his advances, she added that a role she was informally offered in one of his films was given to someone else and she was blacklisted from acting.

Actress and comedian Sarah Anne Masse

Masse told Variety she met Weinstein for what she thought was a job interview to be a nanny for the mogul’s three children from his first marriage to Eve Chilton, but was met by him in his boxer shorts and an undershirt. He asked if she would ever flirt to get ahead in the industry and gave her a “really tight, close hug that lasted for quite a long period of time.”

Model Trish Goff

Goff told The New York Times that she received an invitation to meet with Weinstein shortly after a cocktail party at Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s house in 2003. Goff said Weinstein asked inappropriate questions about her relationships, then he began “groping me, grabbing my breasts, grabbing my face and trying to kiss me. I kept saying, ‘Please stop, please stop, but he didn’t until I managed to get back into the public space,” she said.

Canadian actress Mia Kirshner

Kirshner said she was “not protected” from Weinstein after an encounter with him in his hotel room. She wrote for The Globe and Mail that Weinstein, “attempted to treat me like chattel that could be purchased with the promise of work in exchange for being his disposable orifice.”

Eva Green

Actress Eva Green said she met Weinstein for a business meeting and “had to push him off,” leaving her feeling “shocked and disgusted” at the encounter. In a statement acquired by Variety, Green said this behavior is “unacceptable and needs to be eliminated.”

Former production assistant intern Paula Wachowiak

Wachowiak, now 62, told The Buffalo News that she was offered a production assistant job in 1980 on one of Weinstein’s first films. She said she was called to Weinstein’s hotel room, where she found him behind the door barely covered by just a hand towel. He then dropped the towel and asked for her to give him a massage. Later during the filming, she said Weinstein asked her if seeing him naked was “the highlight of your internship?”

Director Lina Esco

In 2010, Esco and Weinstein dined together and kept pressing her for a kiss. “He tried to insinuate that everything would be easier for me if I went along,” Esco said according to the Washington Post. Four years later, Esco gave Weinstein a “very special thanks to” credit on her feminist film “Free the Nipple.”

Actress Chelsea Skidmore

Aspiring actress Chelsea Skidmore told the Washington Post she had four encounters with Weinstein, the first in 2013 when Weinstein exposed himself to her and tried to coerce her to get physical with other women. Skidmore said one of these women told her, “Oh, but he’s helped out so many girls.” After masturbating in front of her, Skidmore said Weinstein then “nonchalantly” said that he’d like her to write a pilot for him.

Lena Headey

“Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey posted in a series of tweets that Weinstein made “some suggestive comment, a gesture.” She “just laughed it off” upon their first meeting at the Venice Film Festival in 2005 for a screening of “The Brothers Grimm,” she said. Years later in Los Angeles, she described an encounter with Weinstein during which “my whole body went into high alert,” telling Weinstein she wasn’t interested in “anything other than work” as he pressed her back, directing her to his hotel room. Headey said Weinstein became “furious,” grabbed her by the arm and told her not to repeat the incident to anyone.

Actress Lauren Holly

Actress Lauren Holly said she had meeting with Weinstein in the late 1990s that was very professional up until when he excused himself and returned to his hotel room in a bathrobe. Holly then said Weinstein dropped his robe and asked if she wanted a massage. “He told me I would make a bad decision if I got out of there, that it would be bad for me, bad for my career, that I needed to keep him as my ally,” Holly told the daytime talk show “The Social.” “I pushed him and ran.”

Actress Alice Evans

Actress Alice Evans wrote in an essay in The Telegraph that she refused to go into a hotel bathroom with Weinstein and believes it may have impacted her career and that of her then boyfriend Ioan Gruffuld. “Just go. I’m right behind you. I want to touch your tits. Kiss you a little,” Evans recalled Weinstein saying in 2002 at Cannes.

Actress Marisa Coughlan

Actress Marisa Coughlan told The Hollywood Reporter that she described her encounter with Weinstein as “transactional.” “He wanted to barter movie roles for sex,” Coughlan said. She describes that in 1999, Weinstein asked Coughlan if she would agree to be one of his “special friends” and give each other massages. She declined his advances and said she wanted to keep their relationship professional.

Former employee Laura Madden

In New York Times reporting, former employee Laura Madden said that beginning in 1991 Weinstein prodded her for massages at hotels in Dublin and London. “You constantly question yourself — am I the one who is the problem?”

Russian TV hostess and executive Katya Mtsitouridze

Katya Mtsitouridze, a Russian TV personality and head of the film promotional body Roskino, told The Hollywood Reporter that over the course of a decade beginning in 2003, Weinstein pressed her for personal meetings. She said that in 2004 at the Venice Film Festival, Weinstein appeared before her in a bathrobe in a hotel room. “He tried to show me his stomach,” Mtsitouridze said. “I was disgusted.”

Actress Amber Anderson

Actress Amber Anderson wrote on her Instagram that in 2013 when she was only 20 years old she was “coerced” into a private meeting with Weinstein. “He behaved inappropriately and propositioned a ‘personal’ relationship to further my career while bragging about other actresses he had ‘helped’ in a similar way,” Anderson wrote. She added that Weinstein tried to take her hand and put it in his lap, at which point she left the room.

Vietnamese model and actress Vu Thu Phuong

Vietnamese model and actress Vu Thu Phuong wrote in a Facebook post that in 2008 she had been offered a role in a Weinstein production of a film called “Shanghai,” but that she eventually gave up her “American dream” because of her interaction with Weinstein. As translated in Saigoneer, Phuong wrote that her role in the film was reduced because of her poor English. She said Weinstein requested a meeting and then appeared before her with just a towel around his waist, offering to help her learn English. “I was thinking at the moment that if he were to rape me or kill me, would anybody find out and stop him?” Phuong wrote.

Canadian actress Larissa Gomes

Actress Larissa Gomes told the L.A. Times in an email that 17 years ago she met Weinstein for a breakfast meeting at his hotel, where he asked her to lie on his bed with him and take her shirt off so he could see her breasts. Gomes said Weinstein then followed her in his bathrobe and began massaging her shoulders despite her asking him to stop. “He would not stop. He just kept pushing his hands close to my chest forcefully until I finally was able to get up and away from him,” Gomes wrote.

Massage therapist Juls Bindi

In 2010, Weinstein set up an appointment with massage therapist Juls Bindi and offered her a book deal to write about her massage therapy. Bindi told “20/20” that at one point during their session, Weinstein asked her, “How big is my penis?” Bindi then said he masturbated in front of her and, “grabbed me and started groping on my chest.” “Do you want the book deal or not,” Bindi said Weinstein asked her.

Model Paula Williams

Model Paula Williams, then 20, told “20/20” Weinstein invited her to a dinner party back in 1990, but when she arrived at his home, she was there with only Weinstein. She said “he immediately starts massaging my neck,” opened a bottle of champagne, and exposed himself to her. Williams then escaped by running through backyards in high heels and climbing over fences.

10/19: This article has been updated to add new allegations against Weinstein.

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‘Wonderstruck’ Review: Todd Haynes Aims for Magic, But It’s Elusive Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:45:37 +0000 Steve Pond Wonder can be a hard quality to capture on screen — and when you title a movie “Wonderstruck,” as Todd Haynes did with his gorgeous but problematic drama that screened on Thursday morning at the Cannes Film Festival, you may be all but promising something that’s difficult for even a filmmaker as gifted as Haynes to deliver.

And no, “Wonderstruck” isn’t as magical as it would need to be to pull off the sleight-of-hand that Haynes is attempting. Jumping between two different time periods and several drastically different looks, including black-and-white silent-film sequences and gritty, overheated urban passages, the director has created a bold formal exercise that doesn’t quite connect.

That won’t be true for all viewers: Judging by the robust applause at the end of the film’s press screening at the Grand Theatre Lumiere, “Wonderstruck” casts enough of a spell to enrapture many who saw it, even if it didn’t connect with all of us.

The film is based on the book by Brian Selznick, best known for the illustrated novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” that Martin Scorsese turned into the 3D gem “Hugo.” Like that work, “Wonderstruck” looks through the eyes of a child at the world of adults — in this case, two children, one in 1927 and one in 1977. Both are deaf, and they share another connection that doesn’t become clear until the end of the film.

Until then, the two stories run on parallel tracks but in dramatically different ways. The 1927 story follows Rose (Millicent Simmonds), a fan of silent films who runs away from her strict father in Hoboken to explore New York City; these sequences are themselves staged like a silent movie, with a luminous B&W look and a sound design in which Carter Burwell’s score does the heavy lifting.

Those scenes are intercut with 12-year-old Ben (Oakes Fegley), who lives in Gunflint, Minnesota and becomes deaf after an accident. Searching for the father he never knew in the aftermath of the death of his mother (Michelle Williams), he too heads to New York City, traveling some of the same streets that Rose did half a century earlier.

But those streets look very different. Manhattan 1927 fairly glows, Manhattan 1977 is trashy and decrepit, and Haynes’ brilliant go-to cinematographer Ed Lachman lavishes his usual care on both of them.

As a formal exercise in the look and feel of cinema, “Wonderstruck” is dazzling, particularly in the way it brings a silent world to life; as a piece of storytelling, it struggles to find balance, and then relies on a string of coincidences to tie things together.

Still, those coincidences yield the single most magical sequence. At the end of “Wonderstruck,” Julianne Moore appears in the second of the two roles she plays in the film. An extended sequence set at the huge New York City diorama built for the 1964 World’s Fair not only completes the story, but its use of intricate mechanical models is playful and mesmerizing.

As a director, Haynes usually picks a single tone and basks in it: He last came to Cannes two years ago with the exquisite period romance “Carol,” which didn’t contain a single false note and deserved far more than the shared acting award the Cannes jury gave it. But he’s also a bold adventurist who has orchestrated schizophrenic movies in the past, most notably his virtuoso Bob Dylan kaleidoscope “I’m Not There.”

“Wonderstruck,” though, feels oddly dislocated for Haynes. The film, which will be released by Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions, is a blend of the graceful and the garish that reaches for magic but ends up more of a cabinet of curiosities than one of wonder.

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MLB, Fox Are 2 Wins Away From Dream LA v NY World Series Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:26:47 +0000 Tony Maglio Major League Baseball and Fox Sports are two wins away from having a dream New York-Los Angeles World Series, something that hasn’t happened since 1981.

The New York Yankees can punch their ticket to the Fall Classic Friday night at 8 p.m. ET on FS1. The L.A. Dodgers have a chance to do the same tonight at 8:08 p.m. ET on TBS.

If those particular pennant wins come to fruition, host network Fox gets the No. 1 and No. 2 media markets in the country for its season-ending best-of-seven series. It doesn’t get much better than that. (Though technically it could be a 1 versus 1: the Yankees played the New York Mets in 2000 in a true Subway Series. There was some cannibalization of viewership back then, however, and it lacked a bicoastal/multi-timezone impact.)

It’s unlikely that the Chicago Cubs can overtake the Dodgers from their current 3-games-to-1 deficit, though that wouldn’t exactly be bad for the host TV network either. As a matter of fact, Yankees-Cubs is technically the best-case scenario here from a TV ratings perspective.

After all, the Cubs have a huge national appeal — especially in a bandwagon world. (The Boston Red Sox added a ton of fair-weather fans after ending their own ringless streak back in 2004; Chicago made the same gains last year.) Plus, a historical comeback — L.A. was up 3 games to none before dropping a nail-biter last night — and a chance for Chicago to defend its giant-drought-ending 2016 title wouldn’t hurt. Plus, guess where the Windy City sits in terms of TV markets? Yep, No. 3. Nothing wrong with 1 vs. 3.

Oh, right, and we have to point this out, too: casual Angeleno sports fans kinda only care about the Lakers and USC football. Sorry, but it’s true.

A Yankees blowup would be worse news for Fox. Their current opponent, the Houston Astros, resides in the country’s eighth-largest market (4: Philly, 5: Dallas, 6: San Fran, 7: D.C.). To be fair, that’s still pretty good — but it sure ain’t No. 1.

Here’s what is working against the five boroughs fighting for their 28th championship. While the Bronx Bombers currently have a 3-games-to-2 lead in that series, the Astros have home field for the remainder. Thus far in this American League Championship Series, the visitors haven’t won a single contest. Quietly, lots of fingers are crossed over at Fox for that trend to buck this weekend.

Of course, the single most important factor for strong Nielsen ratings from a live-TV sporting event is competitiveness. In this case, if the 2017 World Series takes just four or five games, it will be forgotten. If the October/November-fest lasts seven, Fox will have some happy advertisers.

No matter who gets the special patches on their jerseys this year, Fox is set up for success. That’s good, because the broadcast network will need all the help it can get for year over year comparisons. Last year’s Cubs-Cleveland Indians World Series was one for Fox’s record books.

That deciding Game 7 ended up being the most-watched baseball game in 25 years, scoring a massive 40.045 million total viewers. In Nielsen household numbers, the number was a towering 21.8 rating/37 share. Those figures were up 70 percent (total viewers) and 58 percent (household rating) versus the previous World Series Game 7, which happened between a pair of smaller markets in 2014 (San Francisco Giants-Kansas City Royals).

The 1991 Game 7 (Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins) put up an incredible 50.3 million total viewers — and that’s still the most-watched baseball telecast in history. For now.

Regardless of which teams make it, the 2017 World Series starts Tuesday, October 24 on Fox.

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You Can’t Unsee Megyn Kelly and Hoda Kotb Awkwardly Dancing on the ‘Today’ Show (Video) Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:24:57 +0000 Tony Maglio Megyn Kelly’s transition from primetime to the more-humanizing morning television hasn’t exactly been a smooth one.

“Maybe try dancing?” suggested absolutely no one.

Well, the Fox News Channel alum gave it a whirl anyway on Thursday, and we all have Hoda Kotb to either thank or blame for the results. Warning: once you do look at this particular “Megyn Kelly Today” clip, you can never unsee it.

Watch Kelly and Kotb get down down below. If you think it’s a tough mid-afternoon watch, bear in mind that this all transpired before 10 a.m. ET.

By the way, Kate’s right in regard to Kelly’s TV ratings — they’re nothing to cut a rug over — and they’ve also been dragging down the fourth hour of “Today” hosted by Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

Read all about those here.

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Josh Brolin Says ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Will Be Like ‘The Godfather’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:15:16 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez Josh Brolin, who is playing the mad titan Thanos in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War” said the upcoming superhero mega pic will be like “The Godfather.”

In a recent interview with Collider, when asked how was it like to work with “Infinity War” directors the Russo Brothers, Brolin said, “Look, I got Joe Russo who’s constantly resourcing like ‘The Godfather’ and, ‘You have a gun to his fucking head.’ I’m like, ‘I love you so much.”

Brolin added, “The fact that you’re taking an ‘Avengers’ scenario and you’re turning it into a ‘Godfather’ thing for us to be able to kind of hang our hat on is great, and to emotionalize the whole thing.”


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In terms of the massive undertaking to put every actor who ever starred in a Marvel movie into “Infinity War,” Brolin said, “This is a one-time deal. To put this many successful actors together is such a pain in the ass, but it’s been worth it.”

“We’re doing two movies. One back-to-back, and this is it for us. Then we’ll go off in another direction, but this is a very, very, very ambitious project that I think is going to pay off in a big way.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” opens May 4, 2018.

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‘Killing of a Sacred Deer’ Review: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell Get Dark and Freaky Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:15:08 +0000 Steve Pond In the annals of 2017 Cannes Film Festival weirdness, “Jupiter’s Moon” gave us a Mexican immigrant who could fly after he was shot, “The Square” put Elisabeth Moss’ character in a perfectly normal roommate situation with a chimpanzee and “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” introduced Elle Fanning as an innocent alien falling in love with a punk-rock wannabe.

And then along came Yorgos Lanthimos to say, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

His film “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” started with a close-up of open heart surgery and ended with a horrifying scene involving duct tape, a shotgun, three pillowcases and a wool cap pulled low — and in between was lots of deliberately banal, stilted dialogue in a virtuoso provocation of almost thrilling severity and control.

And by the way, it might be the director’s most normal movie.

In the current-day cinema, nobody does deadpan absurdity and black humor quite like Lanthimos, the Greek director responsible for “Dogtooth” and “The Lobster.”

The first of those was the weirdest Oscar foreign-language nominee since “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”; the latter dropped Colin Farrell and John C. Reilly into a hotel where single guests had 45 days to find a romantic partner or be transformed into an animal of their choosing.

Lanthimos does absurdist black comedy on steroids, with a side of politics if you look hard enough, and any sense that he might be making a mainstream move by hiring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell and shooting in the U.S. was immediately dismissed a few minutes into the first Cannes press screening of “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.”

Sure, the film, which is one of four movies in the festival being distributed by A24,  has two bona fide mainstream movie stars in Farrell and Kidman. But both of them have shown an occasional taste in the past for what we might call unconventional entertainment, and Lanthimos clearly didn’t hire them because he wanted a multiplex smash.

Farrell and Kidman play husband and wife; he’s a cardiac surgeon, she’s an ophthalmologist. He takes a troubled teenage boy (the genuinely scary Barry Keoghan) under his wing, haunted by the fact that the boy’s father died on his operating table a few years earlier. And then things go very, very wrong.

At first, typically for Lanthimos, the mood is studiously placid. People talk to each other in dialogue that is a little too stilted and too banal, with forced pleasantries occasionally yielding to what passes for idle chit-chat in Lanthimos-land: “Our daughter started menstruating last week,” Farrell’s character says to a colleague.

Meanwhile, the music keeps you on edge and the tracking shots down long hallways can’t help but recall what Stanley Kubrick did with the horror genre in “The Shining.”

And for a while, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” feels as if it’s Lanthimos’ version of a deranged-stalker movie, albeit one polished to a stunning, almost Kubrickian level of coldness and precision.

And then it gets overheated and hysterical and very, very dark, making it impossible to keep laughing at the absurdities and hard to turn away from the mounting horror.

That might make it Lanthimos’ most conventional film in some ways. Rather than creating a wackadoodle alternative universe the way “Dogtooth,” “Alps” and “The Lobster” did, he and his longtime co-writer, Efthymis Filippou, ground this one in our world. They put their singular spin on the kind of story that could have been told by more straightforward filmmakers who could have delivered just another suspense thriller tinged with the supernatural.

Lanthimos, of course, doesn’t deliver just another anything. “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is disturbing and cold, and it prompted scattered boos at the end of the screening because of course it did. Lanthimos is not everyone’s cup of tea, and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” makes no concessions to taste.

But it called to mind an interesting story I heard back in 2010, when “Dogtooth” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Small committees watched the nine shortlisted films over a three-day weekend, with meal breaks in between, before voting to select the five nominees.

“Dogtooth,” one of the members of the New York committee told me, was shown just before the dinner break. “If we had voted as soon as the screening ended, ‘Dogtooth’ wouldn’t have had a chance,” the person said. “But at the end of the dinner break, we realized that we’d spent the entire dinner talking about it. That’s why it got nominated.”

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” too, will require some additional processing. Maybe the boo birds will spend their Cannes lunches mulling over what they’ve seen and deciding they were too hasty. Maybe not. Lanthimos does what he wants — and we’re all the richer for it, even if it creeps us out sometimes.

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AMC Launches ‘The Walking Dead’ VR App, Lets Viewers Become Walkers Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:00:30 +0000 Sean Burch This probably beats dressing up as a zombie for Halloween.

With the Season 8 premiere of “The Walking Dead” coming up, AMC launched a new virtual reality app — aptly titled “AMC VR” — on Thursday, giving users a chance to roam around as “walkers” in a four-part series based on the hit zombie show. And after the season premiere on Sunday, an extended 360-degree scene from “The Walking Dead’s” 100th episode will debut on the app, putting viewers alongside stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Seth Gilliam.

And if a zombie apocalypse isn’t your bag, AMC VR is also hooking viewers up with Hong Kong-style martial arts training from “Into the Badlands,” as well.

“With the launch of AMC VR, we are pleased to bring shows like ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Into the Badlands’ to life in an immersive and experiential way,” said AMC EVP Mac McKean in a statement. “Viewers want to enter the
worlds they watch on AMC, and this app brings them there.”

“The Walking Dead” 100th episode VR scene

The “Walking Dead” extended scene was directed by series EP Greg Nicotero and Kevin Cornish, and produced by Moth + Flame; it’ll  go live on Oct. 22 at 10:00 pm ET.

An upcoming experience based on AMC’s new show “The Terror” will be added to the app next. The AMC VR app is available on iOS and Android, as well as Gear VR and Google Daydream.

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‘The Snowman’ Review: Michael Fassbender Thriller Melts in a Pool of Slushy Writing Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:50:47 +0000 Jason Solomons Harry Hole is Norway’s most famous detective, as created in a long-running series of best-selling books by author Jo Nesbø. Following on, very slowly, from the successful 2011 adaptation of Nesbo’s novel “Headhunters” (from director Morten Tyldum, who would go on to make “The Imitation Game” and “Passengers”), the first English-language film version of Nesbø’s work now arrives in the shape of “The Snowman.”

Michael Fassbender plays the maverick, alcoholic, chain-smoking Oslo cop, probably hoping, along with producers Working Title, that this could be the start of long-running franchise, something to get him out of the X-Men costume, at least. Hole (technically, it’s pronounced ho-leh) is on the trail of a serial killer who leaves figures of snowmen outside the houses from where he snatches his female victims, or where he slices them up. We’re not sure for a while if this is, indeed, a serial killer case, and we’ve certainly no idea how he makes the stupid snowmen.

It’s only when homicide department newcomer Katrine, played by Rebecca Ferguson, detects a recurring pattern in the disappearances of pregnant women that Hole comes out of his vodka-soaked fug to get interested in solving crimes once more. “I’m sorry about Oslo’s low murder rate,” concedes his long-suffering police chief, “but I need you to turn up for work.”

The scent of a hunt seems to energize Harry Hole, although it doesn’t help matters in his chaotic private life, which involves an art dealer ex-lover played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, her son Oleg, and her current husband, a slimy doctor called Matthias (Jonas Karlsson).

Meanwhile, a grinning — and therefore obviously evil — industrialist called Arve Stop (J.K. Simmons, using a sinister Nordic accent) is masterminding Oslo’s bid for the World Winter Games. In his downtime, this powerful tycoon enjoys taking photos of scared young women on his mobile phone and inviting them to his hotel room. The women are seemingly procured for him by a dodgy fertility doctor called Vetleser, played by David Dencik, the actor who was so creepy as Pus in “Top of the Lake: China Girl.”

What can it all mean? As is now customary in the Scandi noir genre, all is not white amid the driven snows of the Norwegian winters. Blood soaks through, crows peck at the ice, and long-buried secrets emerge.


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Katrine and her newly-issued but incredibly clunky-looking EviSync machine go about their data-recording detective business; the fact that we learn this gizmo needs fingerprint ID to function will obviously come back with grisly consequences later on. The Snowman, you see, is not averse to incorporating real body parts in his snow sculpture work.

A strong-on-paper cast includes appearances from Scandi noir queen herself, Sofia Helin (star of the original “The Bridge”), as well as Chloe Sevigny, Toby Jones, Anne Reid and a ridiculous-looking Val Kilmer whose face is so frozen, he can barely speak. (Must be very chilly in Norway this time of year.)

This should have been a success. The screenwriters include Oscar nominees Peter Straughan (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) and Hossein Amini (“Drive”); Martin Scorsese exec produces; Dion Beebe takes on photography duties and award-winning Maria Djurkovic (“A Bigger Splash”) goes to town with the Ikea-catalogue production design. Director Tomas Alfredson and his producers strain for a magic blend of his stylish ensemble noir “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and his macabre Swedish vampire fable “Let The Right One In.” But you can hear the ice crack under the weight of all that expectation.

For all his red-eyed, hangover acting, Fassbender cannot make his detective interesting; Hole is about the right name for this characterless performance. Even the dependable Ferguson looks lost in the snowdrifts of the script. All around them, sub-plots, tangents and flashbacks feel casually cobbled together, a smorgasbord where all the herrings are red and the krispbread clichés gone stale.

When you’re playing it casual with sexual assault, female trafficking, dismemberment, and institutional corruption, it quickly becomes an exercise in bad judgement and bad taste. A hurriedly assembled final edit looks as messy as the serial killer’s crime scenes, with expository, over-dubbed dialogue needed to float over plot holes of logic, such as: “All the helicopters are grounded because of the bad weather,” or “But you can’t get here because you’re at a stupid, bloody conference.”

In a film that revels in the gruesome nature of its deaths and the impenetrable mysteries of murder, the climactic showdown is so unimaginative it should be sent to the bottom of the screenwriting class and made to repeat the year.

The glaring inadequacies of “The Snowman” are the only things shocking about it. Harry Hole’s film career could not have gotten off to a more inauspicious start. Its future is certainly on thin ice now, and you don’t need Saga Noren, Lisbeth Salander or even Kurt Wallander to work that one out.

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‘Only the Brave’ Review: Josh Brolin Firefighter Saga Digs Deep Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:45:43 +0000 Alonso Duralde Wind, humidity and any number of other factors can transform a forest fire in unpredictable ways. And sometimes, movies like “Only the Brave” also find ways to stray from the path we’re expecting them to take.

Based on Sean Flynn’s GQ article about the first municipal fire department to become an elite “hot-shot” squad sent in to extinguish huge and deadly forest fires, this film starts out so safely square (and square-jawed), that it feels like a World War II movie about a colorful squadron heading to Normandy. But as the story builds, these characters become richer and more complicated — and the stakes become more deadly — resulting in a movie with a delayed but no less potent dramatic punch.

Director Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy,” “Oblivion”) and writers Ken Nolan (“Black Hawk Down”) and Eric Warren Singer (“American Hustle”) set up characters we think we know, from Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin), the tough-but-fair superintendent who always seems to know more about fires than everyone around him; to Amanda (Jennifer Connelly), Eric’s veterinarian wife who rescues horses and frets about her husband’s safety while he’s putting himself in harm’s way; to Brendan (Miles Teller), a drug-using screw-up who tries to get his life together when a recent fling results in his becoming a dad.

And given that this is a men-who-are-good-at-their-jobs movie, with the firefighters showing their exemplary abilities before and after they achieve “hot shot” status, and a film where the fires themselves seem both vivid and deadly, “Only the Brave” could easily have coasted on bravado. Even in these politically divided times, red and blue audiences alike can agree to root for the first responders and against the flames.

In an era where the words “based on a true story” can give seasoned filmgoers a sinking feeling, however, this is a film where the complications and messiness of reality add genuine heft to the drama. Amanda, for instance, is no shrinking violet or blandly supportive wife; she constantly challenges her husband, all in the name of keeping their relationship alive over issues he would frequently rather not discuss. And while Brendan follows the familiar plot thread of the callow youth becoming a man, he faces conflict once he realizes that being a firefighter is turning him into the kind of absentee dad he swore he’d never become.

Once “Only the Brave” takes a turn that makes its characters more vivid, it becomes clear that that the genuine life-and-death stakes of a firefighter’s life will intrude upon the story; what starts out as old-fashioned and rah-rah becomes, by the final scenes, genuinely devastating and intensely poignant. These people aren’t cardboard do-gooders; they’ve got complicated pasts, and they’re haunted by regrets, and they have wants and needs and real dimension.

There’s an extraordinary ensemble here, led by Brolin and Connelly, whose scenes together positively crackle, and Teller, whose turn is deeply felt but never showy. But almost all of the firemen get their moments to create vivid characters as well, as the film assembles a great team of character actors, including Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale, Geoff Stults, and Scott Haze, to name just a few. Jeff Bridges, of course, waltzes off with every moment of his screen time without breaking a sweat.

It’s worth spotlighting Eric Barba and his visual effects team; about the only times I notice bad CG effects is movies these days are when fire or explosions are involved, and for an entire movie about fire and explosions, I never once saw the seams. Cinematographer Claudio Miranda (“The Life of Pi”) and editor Billy Fox (“Straight Outta Compton”) make each conflagration distinct from one another, but they all capture at least the essence of the terror involved in facing such perilous situations in such close quarters.

Kosinski, never one to shy away from visual spectacle, finds other elements besides the fires on which to focus his directorial eye. An overhead shot of a helicopter’s blades whirring as an extended hose sucks water out of a swimming pool, and a sweeping forest vista — Brolin tells his recruits to take a good look, since this will be the last time they’ll look at trees as anything but fuel — provide some of the many breathtaking moments amid the action.

“Only the Brave” goes beyond simple-minded uplift to portray the genuine conflicts and sacrifices involved among those rare individuals who go running toward danger. Those heroes deserve no less.

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JJ Abrams Plans to Take ‘Star Wars’ Franchise ‘Elsewhere’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:34:11 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez With JJ Abrams back in the director’s chair to close out the sequel trilogy on “Star Wars: Episode IX,” the writer-director plans to take the final installment in the franchise “elsewhere.”

In a recent interview with the BBC, alongside composer Michael Giacchino, Abrams said, “Well, it’s certainly something that I’m aware of now working on ‘Episode IX’ — coming back into this world after having done ‘Episode VII.’ I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids, loving what these movies were.”

Abrams added, “At the same time, we have to take them places that they haven’t gone, and that’s sort of our responsibility. It’s a strange thing – Michael’s worked on things like ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars,’ and these are the things of dreams. Yet we can’t just revel in that; we have to go elsewhere.”

Abrams directed and produced “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015. He is also serving as an executive producer on the upcoming film “The Last Jedi,” out this December, which Rian Johnson directed. Abrams will co-write “Episode IX” with Chris Terrio.

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‘BPM’ Review: Powerful AIDS Drama Could Be Awards Bound Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:30:25 +0000 Ben Croll Robin Campillo’s 1990s-set AIDS drama “BPM” — originally called “120 Beats Per Minute” — got the best kind of mixed reaction at its first press screening at the Cannes Film Festival last May. While some in the audience found it absolutely stunning, others just settled for very, very good. (The film won the Jury Grand Prize and was named France’s official entry in the foreign-language-film race for this year’s Oscars.)

Campillo’s intelligent and moving film starts as an ensemble piece, tracking several different members of the Paris branch of ACT UP, an activist group dedicated to educating, advocating and, when it calls for it, agitating to help alleviate the AIDS crisis.

The riveting first half hour is set entirely at one meeting, which begins by honoring some of group’s recently departed (death is the unseen member of this twentysomething social circle) before devolving into a heated debate about the tactics and ultimate benefits of a recent intervention. The scene is aided by “Rashomon”-like flashbacks depicting what the members alternately view as a failed or wildly successful recent protest.

Campillo recognizes that the fervent intensity that drives someone to become an activist — that burning passion to make the world a better place — is the same passion that can cause schisms and acrimony with equally like-minded associates.

The first half of the film follows the group as they bicker and mourn, plan protests and party like there’s no tomorrow, because for many of them that is grimly true.

He also recognizes that even those united by a common goal can be divided by petty difference, and though the group barrels forward, it does so bogged down by ego, resentment and sexual tension.

Actress Adele Haenel (of the Dardenne brothers’ “The Unknown Girl” and Celine Sciamma’s “Water Lilies”) is probably the biggest name in the cast, but she takes a back seat during the film’s second half, which follows the evolving relationship between two members of the group.

Nathan (Arnaud Valois) is HIV-negative, but Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) doesn’t have the same luck — and just as their romance begins to blossom, Sean’s condition takes a turn for the worst. Theirs is a story we’ve seen told many times before, though that hardly takes away from the pain of losing a partner in slow motion.

And if the second half of the film is more conventional, it also packs a powerful emotional wallop. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house for the last twenty minutes of this 140-minute film.

Can all those tears lead the way to awards gold? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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‘1922’ Review: Thomas Jane Haunted by Guilt in Stephen King Adaptation Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:15:44 +0000 Todd Gilchrist Guilt may be the focus of “1922,” but it’s the audience’s patience that gets a workout. The story of a Midwestern farmer coming to terms with his role in his wife’s murder, Zak Hilditch’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novella of the same name feels overlong or maybe underfed, fleshing out the character’s mental deterioration in handsome but unsurprising detail.

Even boasting strong performances from the likes of Thomas Jane and Molly Parker, “1922” feels best suited for its home on Netflix (premiering October 20) as Hollywood shuffles through its latest surge in King-themed projects.

Jane plays Wilfred James, a Nebraska corn farmer struggling to compromise with his wife Arlette’s (Parker) dreams of big-city life. “Cities are for fools,” Wilfred insists, and their son Henry (Dylan Schmid, “Kid Cannabis”) agrees, though not enough to go along with his father’s half-baked plan to knock off mom and take her family’s land for themselves — at least not yet.

But one night, after Arlette gets drunk enough to offer a few indiscreet suggestions about Henry’s sweetheart Shannon (Kaitlyn Bernard), father and son slice up Arlette and throw her into a well.

Their efforts to move on with their plans for the farm are slowly stymied: first, Shannon gets pregnant, forcing Wilfred to come up with $75 to pay for an institution where she can privately give up the child for adoption, and then later when Wilfred becomes convinced he’s being haunted by Arlette’s decomposing corpse. Eventually, Henry makes off with Shannon, and the two try to make a life for themselves, even as Wilfred becomes consumed by his visions of Arlette, not to mention the imminent fear of a rat infestation that seems to follow him wherever he goes.

At 101 minutes, “1922” offers plenty of sun-dappled ambience, but only about an hour’s worth of story: Hilditch captures all of the major events in King’s story but fails to make them particularly compelling, especially once audiences realize Wilfred’s mental deterioration can end only one way. Using the character’s written confession (in a location far from his beloved farm) as a framing device robs the story of any real suspense and, worse, fails to enrich the events on screen with emotional or moral substance.

His is an admittedly petty greed — Arlette offers to split the profits on her family’s land with him in exchange for a divorce, but he inexplicably wants it all — but the movie barely touches upon the way that his act of violence metastasizes failure and, eventually, tragedy that radiates outward to affect others in his community.


See Thomas Jane's latest POWER MOVE.



That said, Jane grits his teeth (literally) and delivers one of his best performances to date as Wilfred, inhabiting the unhurried, matter-of-fact rhythms of the character’s Midwestern background while compensating for them with a vivid inner life. Too often actors playing rural roles mistake “slow” for “stupid,” but Jane pinpoints Wilfred’s mental acuity without rushing through reactions that feel anachronistic or phony.

Parker, who brings an intriguing ambiguity to every role she plays, makes Arlette more than a shrew who deserves her fate; so much so, in fact, that it’s unclear in the film exactly why Wilfred hates her so much. Given the time period in which the film is set, you’d think a mom who encourages her son to fool around with his girlfriend would be a welcome change to puritanical pearl-clutchers, but that Parker makes her aspirations clear-eyed, honest and only a little bit selfish complicates Arlette’s adversarial relationship with Wilfred in ways the rest of the movie never does.

Schmid and Bernard supply some much-needed sweetness, and tragic naivete, as teenage lovers launched unwittingly into the world of adult responsibility, while Brian d’Arcy James (“Spotlight”) exudes neighborly intimacy as a town sheriff eager to believe Wilfred’s stories about Arlette. Meanwhile, vermin-averse viewers may struggle to get through the film’s numerous scenes featuring armies of rats that embody the moral decay eating away at Arlette’s corpse and Wilfred’s conscience.

Ultimately, even amidst the rodents and decomposing human remains, “1922” chugs along with predictable familiarity and too little escalation, expounding upon its thesis in only a single, underwhelming way: guilt indeed eventually catches up with everybody, but man alive, it sometimes takes way too long.

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‘Casual’ to End on Hulu After Season 4 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:09:49 +0000 Ryan Gajewski Hulu’s “Casual” has a formal end in sight.

The comedy series created by Zander Lehmann has been renewed for a fourth and final season. The last eight-episode run will premiere in 2018.

“Casual” launched in October 2015 and stars Michaela Watkins as Valerie, a single mother living with brother Alex (Tommy Dewey) and daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr). Frances Conroy and Nyasha Hatendi round out the main cast.

The series from Lionsgate Television and Right of Way Films was directed by Jason Reitman.

The first season landed a Golden Globe nomination for best musical or comedy TV series, marking the first Hulu show to be in the mix for best series.

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Victims No More: How Harvey Weinstein Accusers Are Taking Charge Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:07:59 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven After decades of holding back stories of sexual assault and harassment, Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are changing the victim narrative by voicing their experiences in public in their own form of retribution.

From Rose McGowan to Zoe Brock to Asia Argento, the accusers’ calls for accountability and action have replaced years of frustrated silence. Alyssa Milano initiated the #MeToo movement on social media, leading to a flood of confession and catharsis by women (and some men) with similar experiences.

“Certainly, women are taking matters into their hands,” Juliet Williams, a professor of gender studies at UCLA and author of a book about political sex scandals titled “Public Affairs,” told TheWrap. “There are women that are recognizing that they don’t need to be victims and that they are willing to use some of the power and status they they have to say what needs to be said.”

McGowan dropped any pretense of abiding by her settlement agreement and identified Weinstein as the man who raped her, called for the dissolution of the Weinstein Company board and waged a no-holds-barred campaign on Twitter to call people to account.

Another Weinstein accuser, model and writer Zoe Brock, is publicly asking people who were complicit in Weinstein’s behavior to step forward, particularly former assistant Rick Schwartz, who is now a producer whose credits range from “The Departed” and “Black Swan” to “Lip Sync Battle.”

In a blog post, Brock detailed how she was propositioned by a naked Weinstein at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and that Schwartz apologized for leaving her alone with the mogul, telling her at the time, “I want you to know that of all the girls he does this to you are the one I really felt bad about. You deserve better.”

Now she demands Schwartz to go further. “His time as Harvey’s assistant and then his years in positions higher up in the company meant he was privy to a lot of Harvey’s abuse,” Brock told TheWrap by phone from New Zealand. “I call on him to tap into that emotion he felt when he apologized to me in 1998 and come forward as a redemptive figure and a hero to the women Harvey abused.”

Schwartz did not respond to TheWrap’s multiple requests for comment. Brock told TheWrap that Schwartz has not yet responded to her or any reporters to her knowledge, but that he is a “key to this investigation.”

Like Brock, McGowan hasn’t only targeted Weinstein and his company. She berated Ben Affleck when the actor denounced Weinstein, saying the actor knew of the harassment — a charge he denied.

And she demanded that Amazon chief Jeff Bezos “stop funding rapists, alleged pedo[phile]s and sexual harassers,” urging the company to sever ties with The Weinstein Company. (Amazon Studios head Roy Price resigned this week in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment against him.)

“It’s not the responsibility of the victims, it’s the responsibility of the perpetrators and the bystanders,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and co-executive director of UltraViolet, told TheWrap. “That is what Rose is calling for, and that’s what Zoe is calling for. Rose is pointing out who these people are, what complicity looks like and what the dangers are.”

The actress also sparked a 24-hour Twitter boycott when the social media platform temporarily locked her account over what the company said were “violations of its terms of service” for posting a private telephone number.

Many took McGowan’s side, including Ava DuVernay, Alyssa Milano, Chrissy Teigen, John Cusack, Debra Messing, Mark Ruffalo and Anna Paquin. Her struggle spawned a hashtag, #RoseArmy.

The social media campaign #MeToo — sparked by McGowan’s former “Charmed” costar Alyssa Milano sparked — is another example of women using their own stories to reverse a sense of victimization. Twitter and other social platforms have been flooded with messages from women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

To date, there have been more than 40 Weinstein accusers, and many more women have spoken out against the movie mogul. Stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Lena Headey and Claire Forlani have joined the ranks of Hollywood women describing uncomfortable encounters from the ’90s involving the famous producer — and others in the industry.

“Rose is the hero for everybody in this country who understands or who is starting to understand the scope and scale of this problem and wants to fix it,” Thomas said. “She isn’t the only one, but she’s a very important leader of this moment in which people are saying, enough is enough.”

Thomas also pointed out that A-listers like Paltrow and Jolie only shared their stories after the New York Times exposé, which she said “really underscores how hard it is to stand up for yourself, how dangerous it is for any given woman. There are not many woman who are as powerful as Angelina Jolie, and even she couldn’t say or do anything publicly about [Weinstein] until now.”

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have played a key role in both providing a platform for women to speak out as well as a community to support and affirm their stories.

“Social media is the fastest, most direct way to communicate with masses of people and it has transformed what activism look like, what community conversation looks like,” Thomas said. “It’s been a powerful tool in recent years for calling out the epidemic of sexual harassment in the country. “

Williams added, “At its best, social media can liberate people from the feeling of isolation that so often accompanies sexual victimization.”

#MeToo follows on the heels of the Hollaback! campaign, which has been encouraging women to use social media to get back at the people who harass them on the street. The initiative was founded in 2005 and now operates in 26 countries and 14 languages.

But joining the #MeToo chorus is not without its risks. “It must be remembered that people with the courage to speak out on social media often pay a very heavy price in terms of harassment and threats,” Williams said. “Social media space still is a very hostile one, particularly for vulnerable people.”

Brock added, “I thank Rose for being so courageous. I wish I had known about her sooner so I could have backed her up. It’s time we stand up to our bullies and demand a change.”

The downfall of powerful men like former Fox News head Roger Ailes and Harvey Weinstein suggests there may be power in breaking their silence.

“These men do not like being outed — so why do we keep their revolting secrets? What is this code we feel we have to adhere to that stops us ‘airing our dirty laundry’ and making people feel uncomfortable?” Brock said. “It’s time for bald-faced truth, no matter what the consequences.”

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Roseanne Barr Says She Got Into Drunken ‘Fight’ With Rob Reiner About ‘All That Russian BS’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:35:19 +0000 Ryan Gajewski Roseanne Barr isn’t pleased with Rob Reiner’s focus on the connection between Russia and the Trump administration, and she apparently isn’t afraid to let him know.

The Trump-supporting “Roseanne” star took to Twitter on Thursday to describe a run-in that she says she recently had with the liberal “All in the Family” alum over his involvement with the Committee to Investigate Russia, a website investigating whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump win.

“I drank too much in NYC and saw Rob Reiner and could not help myself — I went over to him & got into a fight with him over all that Russian BS,” Barr tweeted.

“I said, ‘You’re buying fake news,'” she continued. “He said, ‘I’m not going to listen to this. I’m out of here.’ I said — ‘u should politely discuss opinions!'”

Reiner, who is vocal about his opposition to Trump, is on the advisory board of Committee to Investigate Russia and has donated at least $100,000 to the cause.

Barr’s tweets are below.

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Playboy to Feature First Ever Transgender Cover Model Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:29:56 +0000 Jeremy Fuster Model Ines Rau will make history next month as the first transgender woman to be featured on the cover of Playboy, in what will be the first issue to hit newsstands since the death of the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner.

The 26-year-old Rau has modeled for Playboy before, appearing in the magazine three years ago for a special issue that focused on non-binary genders. The transgender actress Caroline Cossey also posed for Playboy in 1981 shortly before appearing in the film “For Your Eyes Only.” A year later, Cossey came out as transgender, and later posed for Playboy again in 1991.

But Rau’s cover shoot marks her debut as the magazine’s first transgender playmate. She will also pose nude in the magazine’s famous centerfold.

“Nudity shouldn’t be taboo. Nudity means a lot to me, since I went through a transition to get where I want to be,” Rau said in a post on Instagram. “Nudity is a celebration of the human being without all the excess. It’s not about sexuality but the beauty of the human body, whether male or female.”

Not everyone was excited by the news of Rau on the cover. “When I open a Playboy, I expect to see women, not some guy who identifies as a woman, or some former male who has had the surgery to become female,” one person said in a Facebook comment on the page. The Instagram post announcing Rau’s cover shoot was also met with comments attacking Playboy for putting a transgender woman in the centerfold.

Rau said in an interview in the magazine that she’s no longer afraid of her identity.

“It’s a salvation to speak the truth about yourself, whether it’s your gender, sexuality, whatever. The people who reject you aren’t worth it. It’s not about being loved by others; it’s about loving yourself.”

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Stars Speak Up on Spirit Day, Against LGBTQ Bullies: ‘Take a Stand’ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:10:14 +0000 Ashley Boucher It’s Spirit Day, and dozens of celebrities are speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth by wearing purple and sharing it online.

Pledging to “go purple” is a way to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth, who are disproportionately bullied and harassed because of their identities. More than 57 percent of LGBTQ youth feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and the same number did not report instances of bullying because they doubted intervention, according to GLAAD.

You, too, can take the pledge online, spread awareness on your social channels, and wear purple in solidarity.

Stars like Laverne Cox, Kate Walsh, Sean Hayes, Celine Dion, Sia, Tatiana Maslany and several more have all gone purple to show their support. See more celebrities going purple here:

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George W Bush Shades Trump, Decries ‘Bullying and Prejudice in Our Public Life’ (Video) Thu, 19 Oct 2017 16:56:36 +0000 Jon Levine

Former Pres. George W Bush: "Our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone."

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 19, 2017

Former President George W. Bush had some tough words for Donald Trump on Thursday. During a speech at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Bush took a none-too-veiled swipe at the current president.

“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone,’ said Bush. “And compromises the moral education of children.’

Though Bush didn’t mention Trump by name, the implication was evident.

“It is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with protecting and defending democracy,” he said. “We need to recall and recover our own identity. Americans have great advantage. To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.”

Bush also took some time to address the broader rise of nationalism and violence.

“Bigotry in any form is blasphemy against the American creed and it means the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation,” he said. “We need a renewed emphasis on civic learning in schools.”

Despite being of the same party, much of Trump’s appeal included a rejection of George W. Bush era conservatism. On the campaign trail, Trump famously torched his White House predecessor, blaming him for 9/11 and the military quagmire in Iraq launched on his watch.

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