Tuesday November 21, 2017

Looks like Seth Myers will host the 2018 Golden Globe Awards.

Breaking down this past Sunday's episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

A Dirty 30 winner will be crowned tonight by The Miz.

The first 3 episodes of Marvel's Runaways are now streaming on Hulu.

Here's a review.

The season premiere of Chicago Med airs tonight.

Here's Ronan Farrow's New Yorker piece detailing some of the behind the scenes antics of one Harvey Weinstein.  For example, "[o]n April 20, 2015, the Filipina-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez sat in an office in midtown Manhattan with an eighteen-page legal agreement in front of her. She had been advised by her attorney that signing the agreement was the best thing for her and her family. In exchange for a million-dollar payment from Harvey Weinstein, Gutierrez would agree never to talk publicly about an incident during which Weinstein groped her breasts and tried to stick his hand up her skirt. Weinstein used nondisclosure agreements like the one Gutierrez signed to evade accountability for claims of sexual harassment and assault for at least twenty years. He used these kinds of agreements with employees, business partners, and women who made allegations—women who were often much younger and far less powerful than Weinstein, and who signed under pressure from attorneys on both sides. Weinstein also hid the payments underwriting some of these settlements. In one case, in the nineteen-nineties, Bob Weinstein, who co-founded the film studio Miramax with his brother, paid two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, roughly six hundred thousand dollars today, to be split between two female employees in England who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. The funds came from Bob Weinstein’s personal bank account—a move that helped conceal the payment from executives at Miramax and its parent company, Disney, as well as from Harvey Weinstein’s spouse."  I'll let you read the full piece for yourself if you're so inclined.

"Newly revealed pictures show Sen. Al Franken grabbing self-described feminist Arianna Huffington on her bottom and breasts. The never-before-published images, taken for a magazine in 2000 and obtained exclusively by The Post, include a number of frames showing the former Saturday Night Live star grabbing the media mogul’s buttocks as they pose back to back. An even more shocking snap shows the pair posing on a bed, with Franken cupping Huffington’s breast with one hand."

"Ron Goldman's father is demanding O.J. Simpson get before a judge ASAP ... because he's concerned Simpson is pocketing cash he owes to the Goldman and Brown families. In docs obtained by TMZ ... Fred Goldman says the first available hearing date isn't until July 3, 2018 ... which he says is way too far away. He believes in that 7-month span O.J. 'could flood the market with sports memorabilia' and try to keep all the money for himself. O.J. responded in his own docs, saying the secret autograph session he held in October was a one-off ... and he's just trying to 'readjust to civilian life.' O.J. says even though he's had a lot of money-making offers ... he's rejected all of them except for that one autograph sesh."

"Fox News said it had signed Mark Levin, the nationally syndicated conservative radio host, to anchor an hour each Sunday night at 10 p.m. Life, Liberty & Levin is expected to explore 'fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics, and current events, and their relevance to the nation’s future and everyday lives of citizens,' the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news outlet said in a statement."


"Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

"The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the Charlie Rose show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. They ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS and Bloomberg TV, also co-hosts CBS This Morning and is a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes.

"There are striking commonalities in the accounts of the women, each of whom described their interactions with Rose in multiple interviews with The Post. For all of the women, reporters interviewed friends, colleagues or family members who said the women had confided in them about aspects of the incidents. Three of the eight spoke on the record.

"Five of the women spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of Rose’s stature in the industry, his power over their careers or what they described as his volatile temper.

“'In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,' Rose said in a statement provided to The Post. 'Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.

“'It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.

“'I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.'

"Within hours of the publication of this story, PBS and Bloomberg LP immediately suspended distribution of the Charlie Rose show. CBS announced that it was suspending Rose as it looked into the matter.

"Most of the women said Rose alternated between fury and flattery in his interactions with them. Five described Rose putting his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh, in what they perceived as a test to gauge their reactions. Two said that while they were working for Rose at his residences or were traveling with him on business, he emerged from the shower and walked naked in front of them. One said he groped her buttocks at a staff party."

This article has been condensed because I can't even . . . . 


From Yahoo!: "[t]he U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T Inc on Monday to block its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc , saying the deal could raise prices for rivals and pay-TV subscribers while hampering the development of online video.

"The lawsuit is the first major challenge to a merger by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Time Warner's CNN news unit and announced his opposition to the deal before the election last year, saying it would concentrate too much power in AT&T's hands.

"The Justice Department is arguing that AT&T would use Time Warner's films and movies to force rival pay-TV companies to pay 'hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for Time Warner's networks' in the lawsuit filed late Monday in federal court in Washington.

"The government cited documents where AT&T and its satellite broadcast unit DirecTV described the traditional pay-TV model as a 'cash cow' and 'golden goose,' suggesting customers were at risk of price hikes.

"The 23-page complaint also said the deal would slow the industry’s transition to online video and other new distribution models.

"AT&T, which sees the deal as a way to compete against emerging technology companies such as Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video, described the lawsuit as 'a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent.'

"AT&T head lawyer David McAtee said so-called vertical mergers, between companies on different steps in a supply chain, are routinely approved.

"'We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently,' said McAtee, adding that AT&T is confident a judge will reject the Justice Department’s case. The Obama administration approved a similar vertical deal in 2011 to allow cable company Comcast Corp to acquire NBCUniversal.

"The legal challenge ramps up hostilities after AT&T rejected the Justice Department's demand earlier this month to divest DirecTV or Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting - which contains news network CNN - in order to win antitrust approval.

"The move may be a sign that the Trump administration will look closely at other big mergers.

"Time Warner's shares dropped 1.1 percent to close at $87.71, while AT&T shares closed up 0.4 percent at $34.64.

"The deal has been a political lightning rod since it was hatched in October 2016. During his campaign, Trump said that reporters covered him unfairly and has continued to attack CNN as president, which he has labeled as 'fake news.' He has not commented on the AT&T deal since his inauguration in January.

"U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to say last week if anyone from the White House had discussed the merger with any Justice Department officials.

"The Justice Department's lawsuit cited internal Time Warner documents that said long-term contracts to host live sporting events like college basketball and baseball would help allow it to achieve "targeted rate increases."

"The lawsuit also said AT&T and Comcast, which control almost half of the pay-TV market, 'would have an increased incentive and ability to harm competition by impending online competitors they consider a threat.'

"The complaint's focus on raising the costs of DirecTV's rivals and hampering the move to online video is consistent with normal antitrust concerns, said Henry Su, a partner in the law firm Constantine Cannon.

"'The theories that are being espoused (in the complaint) are not out on the edge or untested theories. They're espousing what we consider traditional theories of vertical harm,' said Su. 'It doesn't look like a stretch.'

"Aside from Trump and the Justice Department, the deal is also opposed by an array of consumer groups and smaller television networks.

"'Blocking this merger is the right thing to do - and we hope the Justice Department is doing it for the right reasons,' said Craig Aaron, president of advocacy group Free Press, which opposes media industry consolidation.

"Last week, the Justice Department had approached 18 state attorneys general asking them to join the challenge, but as of Monday none had publicly agreed to do so, Reuters reported.

"Democratic state attorneys general tend to join antitrust lawsuits and may be hesitant to work with Trump's Justice Department while traditional Republican state attorneys general would be skeptical of a lawsuit to stop a vertical merger, said Seth Bloom, a veteran of the Justice Department who is now in private practice.

"'In a complaint of this sort, it would be expected that state AGs would sign on to it,' he said. 'I don't know if it ultimately will mean anything.'"


Per The Hollywood Reporter, "How do you solve a problem like Maura Pfefferman?

"You don't, you just recast her with a transgender actress.

"Even before series star Jeffrey Tambor's sudden departure from Transparent over the weekend, questions had been swirling about what to do with his character next season. The actor is facing a series of sexual harassment allegations from trans actresses and co-workers on the series, who said he made numerous inappropriate remarks and also 'got physical.' Amazon has launched an investigation into the claims. (Amazon and creator Jill Soloway have yet to comment on Tambor's decision to exit the series.)

"The upcoming fifth season of the series is already in production, with writers mapping out storylines as we speak. Reports have already surfaced that they are considering ways to refocus the series away from Tambor's character, and possibly even kill Maura off altogether.

"While I think the show could work without Maura, it doesn't have to. The simplest and most just solution would be to simply hire a transgender actress to take over the role. You could say it would be a way for the series to finally come full circle on its mission of including and understanding trans lives and stories.

"Since its inception Transparent has strived to showcase trans talent in front of and behind the camera. It has had trans cast and crew, and has had trans writers on staff since season two. But series creator Soloway's so-called 'Trans-Affirmative Action' initiative never quite made it to the top.

"For all its strengths, Transparent has always had one glaring, underlying weakness. That, of course, was Tambor's casting as a Maura Pfefferman. As trans visibility and civil rights progress in the public sphere, it has become less acceptable to celebrate — let alone cast — a straight, cisgender actor playing a trans role.

"Just a month after Tambor debuted as Maura on Transparent in 2014, straight, cis actor Jared Leto took home the supporting actor Oscar for playing a trans woman in Dallas Buyers Club. But since then the trans community and its allies have rightly spoken up about the need to allow trans people to tell their own stories.

"The age of it being so terribly brave (not to mention Oscar-worthy) for a straight actor to play a gay, lesbian or bisexual character onscreen is over and it is overdue for the same to be true of straight, cis actors getting lauded for playing trans.

"It should go without saying that a show called Transparent would be able to survive past its straight, cisgender star. In fact, it would add the ultimate insult to injury to allow Tambor's exit to end a series that has otherwise been a great expression and employer of transgender people. [Editor's note: Sources tell THR that season five will go on as planned.]

"As Our Lady J, the first trans writer hired to write for the series, said in an Instagram post expressing supportfor the women who have come forward with allegations against Tambor, '(W)e cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man.'

"The reckoning we are in with Hollywood, and society at large, finally exposing the powerful men who sexually harass, abuse and assault women (and other men) has already had the unintended intention of sweeping away some historic trans.

"Earlier this month trans actress Jen Richards tweeted about the far-reaching consequences of the sexual harassment and abuse scandal surrounding Louis C.K. She revealed her casting to voice a trans character for his animated TBS series The Cops. But the network has since halted production and released its cast and crew. What was that again about trans content being taken down by a single cis man?

"Betrayals by men like Tambor and C.K. cut especially deep because of the false allyship they presented in their public personas. So then it would be particularly satisfying, not to mention well deserved and about time, to recast Maura with a trans actress.

"Granted, recasting is always tricky and never seamless. Think the two Darrins of Bewitched and two Beckys of Roseanne. But in the case of Transparent, it would put the show firmly on the right side of history.

"Indeed, recasting Maura Pfefferman could turn Tambor's own words into a form of prophetic karma. In 2016, when he picked up his second Emmy Award for playing her, the actor said in his acceptance speech, 'Please give transgender talent a chance, give them auditions, give them their story. Do that. And, also, one more thing — I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television.'

"Well, Hollywood, you heard the man. Make him the last cisgender male to play a transgender woman on television already."

Dorothy Snarker is a contributor to Autostraddle and a former longtime writer for AfterEllen. Find more from her at dorothysurrenders.com or @dorothysnarker.


From the Does Anyone Care? department, "YouTube Red has ordered Best Shot, a documentary series on Jay Williams, the newly minted College Basketball Hall of Famer who was chosen second overall in the 2002 NBA Draft but whose career was ended by a motorcycle accident a year later.

"The eight-episode series will chronicle the ESPN analyst’s journey from his championship college career at Duke to his post-crash loneliness and unsuccessful attempts at an NBA comeback through his mentoring an inner-city high school team.

“'Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from indomitable will, and that’s what I want to imprint on these kids,' Williams says in the trailer. 'They were built for these type of moments'

"Michael John Warren is set to direct the series from SpringHill Entertainment and Boardwalk Pictures in association with Blue Ribbon Content. LeBron James and Maverick Carter will executive produce alongside Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard and Jordan Wynn of Boardwalk Pictures and Warren.

“'We’re passionate about this story because it’s about real high school students encountering real-life challenges,' Carter said. 'All they need is that little push in the right direction, and with a relatable mentor like Jay Williams guiding them, they’ve got a very real opportunity to change their lives forever.'

"Said Williams: 'Who is on your board? I ask this question to our youth on a daily basis. In business, your board plays an imperative role and inevitably determines the success or failure of your company. The board’s job is to constantly gather and brainstorm ways for the company to achieve their goals. Why do we look at youth any differently? You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. The commitment and values I’ve learned throughout my journey will hopefully make me a valuable board member for the most important game of all. The game of life.'”

Whatever.  Jay Williams' relevancy died a long time ago.


Per Vulture, "[i]t’s been 15 months since Colin Kaepernick first decided to not stand during the national anthem to protest police brutality and this country’s treatment of African-Americans. In the time since, his message has been both amplified and subverted. Now, everyone had an opinion about it: football fans and not, all the way up to the president. As these things go, when there is a lot of talk around a topic, there has always been a lot of comedy. But no comic has handled it better than Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. on his debut stand-up special, Father Figure. He found a way to dig deeper and think beyond just Kaepernick.

"This is the subject of this week’s episode of Good One, Vulture’s podcast about jokes and the people who tell them. Listen to the episode and read an excerpt from the transcript of the discussion below:

Where did the joke start?
That was a real argument I had with my uncle. My uncle and I had a nice heated debate about Kaepernick and taking the knee and what it means to be patriotic in these times and we started talking about patriotic songs.

Then you decided it’s something you should try onstage?
I was like, You know what, I’ll prove it to you. We don’t even write patriotic songs! So I spent like two-and-a-half days just Googling black music and trying to find [a patriotic song by a black artist]. And it was hard. You really can’t find any, definitely not in comparison, not one to one, with white artists, in terms of the amount of original patriotic songs that come out. It’s no competition.

Yeah, you’ll see people rep a city or a neighborhood.
That’s what I started noticing. I go, Huh, that’s fascinating. I was like, Okay, what other cities are black people singing about? And I started going down [a rabbit hole of this]. One song I almost put into the bit is the song “Across 110th Street.” I was like, This dude is just talking about a street, he won’t even vouch for the whole town.

Unlike most stand-ups of your level, you watch a lot of comedy — every special, every late-night set — to make sure you’re original. For a joke like this, what did you see already out there, and what did you see that was missing?
A lot of comics had jokes about Kaepernick taking a knee, but I wanted to expand it out from the issue and just look at the sense of black patriotism as a whole. Like, are we even patriotic? Why have we been standing up until this point? What’s been going on that made us feel this way? And so then the joke became a deep dive on patriotism and what it means to be patriotic, and how is that shown? How do you demonstrate patriotism? Oh, okay, you stand, but what if you didn’t? What would happen if you didn’t do that and what other sides of patriotism are there? It’s always song, it’s gatherings, it’s dances, and that’s kind of where the whole thing started.

What’s interesting is it’s a joke about Colin Kaepernick, where you never mention Colin Kaepernick. 
I try not to name people in my material. I try to discuss the issue because I feel the issue of black patriotism will always be percolating for at least long enough for people who give a shit about what I do to watch the special. But if you start naming people and events and things, I feel like it has a way of dating your material.

Yeah, if you watch old stand-up, where the comedian is political at all, they’ll name like a senator or a governor, and the joke just doesn’t work.
A lot of people say that a stand-up special should just be a slice of the world as it was at that time and I agree with that to an extent, but I would love it if someone could pop in my special 20 to 30 years from now, and they’re not left out on a single syllable of anything that I’m talking about.

For this joke, it allows it to still resonate, even if the topic is still in the news. Like the president tweeted about months after the special came out.
Yeah, the president is just such a different joke world, because it’s a moving target that’s constantly evolving and it’s constantly changing. You could write 20 minutes about one thing and then he reverses his opinion. Well, now what are you going to do with that material? I could start writing my act today, but in five weeks when we go and tape, 20 different things would’ve happened by then. It’s not something I enjoy because it forces you to stay on topic with an issue. To report every week on what Trump did, you’re just saying he did this, here’s a joke about it, and here’s why you shouldn’t think that way. There’s got to be more. There’s got to be something bigger to that. To me the issue isn’t Trump, it’s the people in office who don’t stand up to him. That’s the bigger deep dive. Because if you look at all of the president’s antics since he’s been sworn in, the one consistent narrative is that nobody stands up to him. So to me, that’s what I want to talk about. I want to talk about who are all these people who don’t go, “Hey, man, don’t fucking tweet today.”"