Monday August 5, 2019

I finished Orange Is The New Black. I’m content with how the series wrapped up and it was time for it to go. More below.

I also finished season 4 of Last Chance U on Netflix.

I was not a fan of the Euphoria season finale. More below.

All hell really did break loose in the Big Brother house. I remain on team Cliff.

A new season of Bachelor In Paradise starts tonight.

Here’s a first look.

Season 2 of No Good Nick is now available on Netflix.

The series finale of Divorce airs on HBO tonight.

Showtime has renewed City On A Hill for a 2nd season.

Nancy O’Dell is leaving Entertainment Tonight.

The final season of Homeland won’t air until February 2020.

The 7th season of The 100 will be the show’s last.

Afton Williamson is not coming back to ABC’s The Rookie, and she says it’s because of bullying, racial discrimination, and the lack of response by the production team. On Sunday, Williamson shared a post on Instagram with a photograph of a drawing of her character, TO Talia Bishop, and a lengthy caption detailing her reasons for not returning to ABC’s The Rookie for a second season. ‘I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie,’ she wrote. ‘I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the Truth. Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers. During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept. escalated into sexual assault at our wrap party.’”

Bam Margera is turning to Dr. Phil amid his ongoing struggles -- asking the daytime TV host to help mend fences with his own family ... and being very candid with what's wrong.The former Jackass star took to social media early Sunday morning with a pair of rambling videos and basically begged Phil to take his situation on, saying ... ‘Dr. Phil, I need your help in a big, big way.’ He explains that his ‘family is in shambles,’ while adding that ‘it's been worse than it's ever been, ever.’"

Truth Seekers, a comedy-horror series about paranormal investigators starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, will bow on Amazon Prime Video, which has landed international rights to the show and will launch it as an original. The project is the first series from its stars’ Sony-backed production company, Stolen Picture. Frost plays Gus, one half of a ghost-hunting, duo who team up to uncover and film paranormal sightings across the U.K. in the series. They stake out haunted churches, underground bunkers, and abandoned hospitals using an array of homemade ghost-detecting gizmos and share their adventures on an online channel. Their supernatural experiences grow more frequent, terrifying, and even deadly as the pair begin to uncover a conspiracy that could threaten the entire human race.”

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From Decider: “Patricia Arquette has played many memorable mothers over the years. She won the Academy Award for playing the same mom for 12 years in the 2014 drama Boyhood, which began filming in 2002. More recently, in the Hulu limited series The Act, she delivered an Emmy-nominated performance as Dee Dee Blanchard, a real-life abusive mother who was murdered in 2015. Now in Otherhood, a new comedy streaming on Netflix from director Cindy Chupack, the 51-year-old actor plays a mom who doesn’t know how to be anything else.

“The premise of Otherhood is simple: Three best friends—played by Arquette, Angela Bassett, and Felicity Huffman—are distraught when their adult sons forget Mother’s Day. Instead of letting it go, they decide to take a road trip to New York City, and reinsert themselves in their sons’ lives. Each woman has her own point of contention with her child, and for Arquette’s character Gillian, it’s that she disapproves of the girl that her son Daniel (Jake Hoffman) is hung up on. But at the heart of all of their conflicts is a deep fear that they are no longer needed in their children’s lives—and indeed, in the world.

First of all, congratulations on your double Emmy nomination for The Act and Escape at Dannemora. How are you feeling?

Oh, thank you! I mean, I am nominated against Joey King, so that’s kind of weird because I love her, and she’s like my daughter. I love all the actresses in all the categories. But it’s all out of my hands. It’s just nice to be recognized with such talented people for work that you cared about and worked hard on. It felt good.

It’s very well-deserved. But we’re here to talk about Otherhood, where you play an overprotective mother named Gillian, which, in a way, is similar to the role you play on The Act, Dee Dee Blanchard — though the characters are obviously very different. 

[Laughs.] Yeah, it’s all degrees. And there’s a part of me that has that tendency [of these characters]. Not like The Act, closer to Otherhood… but even less than Otherhood. I do go into my kids’ rooms and start cleaning, and they do say, “Stop cleaning my room.” And I do over-worry, like Dee Dee does—but not to Dee Dee’s extent.

How do you draw from your own experiences to build these characters? 

Usually, I might have a sliver of a quality that a character has, but they have [that quailty] much more. So I look at that, identify the humanness of that, and then I’ll expand it. In Dee Dee’s case, it’s expanded to a toxic level. And sometimes, I’ll look at people in my life. As an actor, you steal from your friends. “Oh, my friend I know really well, she’s like this.” I had an acting teacher years ago who said, “Steal from the past,” and I think that’s true.

Has your son ever forgotten Mother’s Day, as your on-screen son in Otherhood does?

No, but I’m such a nudge-y mom. I’m like, “It’s going to be Mother’s Day on Sunday!” I remind everyone: “Here’s what I want to do on Mother’s Day. I just want to be with you guys. I want to spend the day with you guys. That’s what I want.”

But I don’t get mad when people forget things. The only person that has the most pressure on them is probably my boyfriend. That’s the one person that upsets me if they forget my birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, all of those things.

What was it like working with your co-stars, Angela Bassett and Felicity Huffman? That end-credits scene made it look like such a fun set. 

It was so fun in between takes talking to them. I mean, I never thought I’d get a chance to work with Angela! Most of my career I’ve worked with men, and I always wanted to work with her. I talked to her about her going to school, being a young actress, her first play and imagining her in this part. And then I was jealous because we’ll never see, on screen, Angela Bassett in her first play. I really wanted to see that performance.

We were all laughing, talking about motherhood, and improving. It was just really a joyful thing. No drama, just funny and supportive.

Do you find it’s a different atmosphere to be on a set led by women, in this case, director Cindy Chupack, versus film sets led by men?

Well, I don’t know,  because I just don’t even look at women vs. men. I look at Cindy as her own person. But I will say it was a really fun, nice set—light, supportive, and happy. There are so many women who are over 50, who are moms, and have had to deal with the empty nest stage. Yet we barely ever talk about that in film, even though it’s such a common experience for people. So I think when we look at film, we can see the deficit of everyday experiences of human beings because we have not had enough stories that were told by women.

You’ve spoken up about the gender pay gap, even before the Time’s Up movement brought it to the forefront.  Have you seen any improvements since you’ve taken up this cause?

Well, in some ways, yes. This conversation has been moving forward all over the world. I mean, Iceland, which is the most advanced country in the [gender pay gap] area, has made even more strides and they’re committed to being the first country on Earth to close the pay gap.

But we have steps forward and steps backward at the same time. Obama put in place a rule that required government contractors to report pay for every job title they had, including information on age, race, and sex. One of the first things Trump did in office was he rolled that back. When you have a lack of transparency, you can’t even have a conversation about why certain managers are being paid differently.

You’re very open about using your platform to discuss politics when many other actors shy away from doing so. Why?

I feel like I should have my rights as a taxpayer and as a citizen of this country. I’m concerned about where my country is headed. Some people don’t want to have these conversations, but it’s impacting people when we don’t. We have to have these conversations, as hard as they are.”

So help me if she doesn’t win an Emmy.

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, “[This story contains major spoilers from the final season of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.]

Orange Is the New Black was inspired by the story and memoir of Piper Kerman. But when the Netflix series would wrap its acclaimed run seven seasons later, the love story between Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) would go on to diverge wildly and not even the stars behind the show's central romance knew how it would end.

“"In an oral history with the cast and team that launched OITNB into TV phenomenon status, Prepon was among the 23 people who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the early days of her character Alex, who came into Litchfield Penitentiary as the drug-smuggling ex-girlfriend of protagonist Piper, who had a fiance (Jason Biggs) on the outside. But Alex and Piper quickly became the show's central romance, which broke ground for LGBTQ representation in 2013. Over the course of OITNB, the tortured soulmates would embark on a will they-won't they affair that ended with a prison wedding and, in the series finale, a commitment to each other while Piper makes a clean start in Ohio and Alex finishes up a four-year sentence in the nearby maximum security prison. The final scene of the series saw the pair laughing together in a visitation room, as the real Piper and her husband, Larry Smith, made a cameo nearby.

“The full-circle tribute, Prepon tells THR, was one more layer of emotion for the scene partners to swallow while saying goodbye to the characters who will continue to be a lifeline for each other after the screen fades to orange. Below, Prepon reflects on her seven-year journey as Alex Vause and explains why the happy ending felt right:

You shared your audition story [Prepon first read for the role of Piper before creator Jenji Kohan tailored Alex for her]. During your chemistry read with Taylor Schilling (watch here), they said the match was made. What do you remember?

As soon as I met Taylor, I totally got it. Such a wonderful actress who has this softness to her, but also through the years, you really lean into her strength. She was just perfect for Piper. Then as soon as we worked together, we knew this was going to be great. And you can only hope for that type of thing to happen. It’s rare — I’m telling you, it’s rare. After having the good fortune to do this for over 20 years, it’s rare when you have those moments of that special connection and we have that.

The first episode ended with Alex's arrival at Litchfield, but the writers didn't even know how the season was going to end when they were casting. What did you know about OITNB when you signed on?

Netflix hadn’t taken off yet, we were on that streaming ride with them the whole way. So when I first read the script, it was explained to me as a webisode! And I was coming from primetime network television — I was on That ‘70s Show for eight years, and then I did October Road on ABC and Are You There Chelsea? on NBC. But I’m always willing to take a risk for something that I believe in. When I looked at Alex, I thought she was an incredible character with a lot of potential. One thing I've learned is that it’s about the material. And the material really, really spoke to me. At the time I was seeing a lot of scripts because I was a free agent, and I was being very particular with what I wanted to do. When this script came around, you had to pay attention to it. I loved it so much. That ‘70s Show went for eight years but it was a different time. It was us, Everybody Loves RaymondFriends and Seinfeld. You had these stable shows in the home. Orange is a totally different ballgame. We broke new ground in so many ways and I know how fortunate I am to be part of it.

You filmed the first season all at once and in a vacuum. What was it like when you got to set and you and Schilling filmed your first scene?

Taylor and I had the chemistry read and then our first scene ever was that opening shower scene [in the first episode]. We were so comfortable with each other and immediately just very respectful. Taylor is a total pro. Whenever we were doing a scene like that she and I talked everything out: "My hands are going to be here, what are you comfortable with? What are you not comfortable with?" It’s always a little weird being like, “I’m naked in a shower with this woman I just met and there’s a camera and a crew out there!” But it wasn’t gratuitous. I knew there was nudity and my main thing is to make sure that it feeds the story. Not having limits [with Netflix] really let us express how we thought the characters should be portrayed. And it gave Jenji the creative freedom to tell the story she wants to tell. It’s very cool having that, rather than having a network micro-manage everything. 

Alex and Piper became an overnight "Ross and Rachel" at a time when a starring same-sex relationship was groundbreaking. What was it like to be on the receiving end of that? 

It was totally new. When the show really took off and was becoming mainstream, there wasn’t another relationship like Alex and Piper anywhere. That’s one of the amazing things about Orange, is that we take on these storylines that are not normally represented. I was just so happy to be portraying a relationship that women could relate to when there wasn’t anything out there for them. People were coming up with things like #Vauseman and dressing up like us for Halloween. But the thing that really matters to me is that people felt like they could identify with us and that they felt represented by Alex and Piper.

Hearing you say that, does it now feel even more right that they end up together in the end? They get to live on in the hall of fame of TV couples.

You have to do that. Who knew what was going to happen with the fact that we do go against so many norms on this show. Truthfully, I didn’t know if Alex and Piper were going to end up together. But I hoped, because you want them to be together. You've invested all this time with these women — the good, the bad and the ugly of the relationship. Piper and Alex have gone through so much. You want to see them together and you want fans to feel fulfilled. It would have been an injustice to not have them together at the end. I’m really glad that that happened.

Kohan and executive producer Tara Herrmann told each of the series regulars how your character's stories would end ahead of the final season. That's also when they officially shared that the show was ending with season seven. Were you surprised?

I knew that it was going to be the last season. I just knew. Because I’ve been on another long-running show before, you can feel when it’s coming. I knew with the last season of ‘70s. We had done eight years. It was a wonderful series. And we all bawled our eyes out and were, like, hyperventilating crying; I started that show when I was 18 and we all grew up together. But you knew the end was coming and the same thing happened with Orange. After season five, I felt we probably had one to two more seasons once we started with Max. And then when we got the word, I said, "I understand. I get it." I was concerned for some of the other girls because this was their first long job. I knew to expect all the grief, the crying. And there’s a little bit of a postpartum after it ends. After ‘70s, I had quite a bit of a postpartum period where it’s an adjustment. So when Orange ended, I was prepared. I love the women I work with; I love directing the show. Our crew is so awesome. You miss all of that. I miss playing Alex. But you learn and take those things with you. There’s so many amazing relationships I made on this show that will continue, no matter what. 

They also gave you the "gift" of telling you how the final season would be play out. [That Alex and Piper would try an open marriage, but end up together in the end.]

For the first time, we found out what our character arc was going to be. They were definitely more secretive on this show. Every show is its own microcosm and the microcosm of Orange was that it was very secretive and you never really knew what was coming, and you learn to roll with it. That was really something that I had to adapt to, the fact that there was a lot of mystery and you didn’t know what was going to happen to your character. That was a muscle I got to learn and flex. But I knew my character so well because I was living in her skin for so many years. You just kind of knew who she was, and the writers knew who Alex was so they really wrote great stuff for her. I always love the way that Jenji wrote Alex.

What was it like to film that final Alex and Piper scene to end the series finale?

We just kind of laughed. That wasn’t actually our last day. It was the last scene of us together, but Taylor and I still had more days on set so that freed us up to have fun, so we weren't crying the whole time! When we were doing this last season, we were happy that it ended with them being together. Because we do a lot of things that are realistic on our show, a lot of times it’s not a happy ending. I wasn’t sure if they were going to go the ultra-realistic route and keep them apart, or if they were going to give that to the fans and have Alex and Piper be together. Luckily, they did. Piper Kerman was there that day and Larry [Smith] — the real Piper and "Alex" are sitting to our left in that visitation scene. Taylor and I were really just in the moment. We were embracing the fact that the series was coming to an end and we got each other through it. Taylor and I are great friends, but who knows when we’re going to be on camera together again? We were reveling in how special this whole journey has been.

How do you picture their future after the screen fades to orange?

Well, Alex and Piper end up together. I think they both learned a lot from these years in prison and they’ll take that with them. I’m hoping that they use that to treat each other a lot better, which I’m sure they will. Because at the end of the day, love is love is love. And Alex and Piper love each other, so you just figure it out.

You also returned to the directing chair this season and helmed the powerful fifth episode, "Minority Deport," which sees the deportation of fan-favorite Maritza Ramos (Diane Guerrero). How did that episode come to you and can you talk about the decision to have her vanish on the plane?

Anthony Natoli wrote the episode. He and I work great together; he wrote the episode I directed last year. My two prior Orange episodes were towards the end of the season, which is when everything is exploding. They had told me my episode this year was going to be earlier and I was excited for my own directing education. I loved Anthony's script. I thought it touched on so many things and that it was very powerful. The whole story with Aleida (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and what was going on with her family in terms of the generations of incarceration. The immigration storyline with Maritza was just heartbreaking. And doing those immigration court scenes with Blanca (Laura Gómez). You have these very intense storylines and still moments of levity, because you need to have those moments. You have Piper having her situation with her brother on the outside, so it was this wonderful juxtaposition of all these problems that people were dealing with.

That vanishing treatment was a special effects shot. Exactly what we got on camera was what I had pictured in my head when I first read the script. You film it in place and choose where you want the people to disappear like a puzzle. But there were a couple technical things. At first they told me we didn't have an airplane or stairs, just a tarmac. I told them, "Get me stairs and we can make this work." So we shot that entire opening of Diane walking up and stepping onto the plane in three different locations — and it turned out to be this flawless, powerful thing. I’m really proud of the episode.

Where are you in the process of saying goodbye to OITNB?

This show has been one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had in my career. Being a part of this cast, portraying Alex. You can’t really think about it in terms of, "Where do you go from here?" I’ll take all of it with me and it will inform the next project I do, but I don’t take it for granted. And we really wouldn’t be here without the fans of the show. We became the sensation that Orange became because of the fans supporting us, and the fact that Netflix let us express ourselves in the way that we did. So it’s always all about the fans and I’m just so appreciative of all of it, truthfully.”

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A spot on take on the finale of Euphoria in my opinion, per A.V. Club, “[t]hose big school dances that are supposed to be a night to remember and the height of teenage fun and fantasy, in actuality, are pretty terrible. Euphoria doesn’t let its characters have very much fun at the dance that anchors its season finale at all (maybe Cassie and Lexi are the only ones genuinely enjoying themselves, and that probably has to do with the fact that they’re just sitting and watching everyone else). But the show almost leans too hard into its teen angst and turmoil here. In fact, it’s downright solipsistic. And much like the start of the series, this finale is just trying so hard to be dark and disturbing that it often does so at the expense of character development and telling a compelling story.

Euphoria’s season finale has the least amount of narration of any other episode of the show. Rue’s omniscient observations still come up from time to time, but for the most part, this finale doesn’t lean as much on the device, which helps make the story feel more present and alive. But Euphoria is still more obsessed with its own bells and whistles than it is with the actual storytelling. Even the montage of everyone getting ready for the dance is lengthy and pretty but not necessarily satisfying. And the voiceover of Rue’s mom’s letter on top doesn’t fit...at all.

“Disconnect is a recurring problem in the season finale, which is the most disjointed the series has felt. I have my qualms with Rue’s voiceover, but at least it provides a clear throughline. The finale is a jumbled mess. It weaves between the dance in the present and flashbacks to the character’s weeks leading up to it. Nate and Maddy have another fight, break up, and Nate wins a football game. Cassie gets an abortion. Jules tells Rue about hooking up with Anna. These are all fine snapshots that bring the characters’ arcs to a head, but the episode jumps between present and past indiscriminately and without any sense of rhythm.

“It’s especially confusing that a show so concerned with aesthetics and art housey direction can’t seem to find its rhythm or make sense of its own structure. Euphoria experiments with form, seen especially in the final sequence—a gorgeous but ultimately hollow choreographed number that turns Rue’s relapse into a twisted ballet—but sometimes that experimentation is erratic and indulgent. Sam Levinson’s direction has an eye, but it lacks skin. There’s no connective tissue outside of the stylization itself. And it isn’t enough to really hold a story together and make it feel lived in. The finale is visually immersive but too chaotic in its narrative for anything to stick.

“And the finale tries so hard to wrap up so many storylines that it never really reaches a satisfying conclusion for any of them. Sure, not everything comes to a conclusion, but the finale does split time between pretty much every character so that it’s hard to really settle into any one of their arcs. Cassie’s abortion is almost like an afterthought, another instance of Euphoria merely trying to be provocative instead of actually saying anything. The figure skating sequence is another gorgeous but empty thing, and the way it’s spliced between other scenes that, again, don’t really thematically connect to it detracts from the impact.

Euphoria hasn’t been a complete misfire, and the finale, while structurally perplexing and leaving a lot to be desired, does include some of the show’s strengths. For starters, the performances—especially from the younger cast members—are superb. There’s some seriously impressive young talent at the heart of this show. In particular, Zendaya and Hunter Schafer so powerfully capture all the pinpricks and punches of Rue and Jules complicated romance and friendship. They’re soft and sweet with each other, but there’s also an underlying sadness.

“The finale does touch on some of the more compelling recurring themes of the series, too. Teen love is one hell of a drug, and Euphoria is a razor’s edge in the way it explores that. Jules admits to Rue that she loves Anna but loves her, too, and it’s easy to believe both are true because Jules does feel so much all the time. Kat decides to plunge into love, too, although Kat’s presence in the finale feels a bit like an afterthought, too, and I don’t totally buy her sudden change of character, even if it does thankfully bring a dose of sweetness to the dance.

“Maddy and Nate are still wrapped up in their toxic relationship, although the note they end on in this finale is hard to interpret, because it doesn’t really commit to one outcome or the other for them. Nate’s function in the episode in general is one of the hardest things to pin down. Nate has been one of the show’s Big Bads all season, but he’s often presented as a victim in the finale. Of course, complicating bad characters by showing the reasons why they’re bad can make for compelling storytelling, but here it’s not like Nate is suddenly becoming a more nuanced and interesting character. It feels too forced and underdeveloped. The finale drops a lot of the plot and character work it has been doing in favor of this experimental, fragmented form.

“Just like much of this series has felt like a bunch of adults asking ‘did you KNOW that Gen Z teens do SO MUCH WILD STUFF?,’ the finale often screams its themes. Being a teenager sucks. Love hurts. The theatrics and emotions of Euphoria are supersized. But the show simultaneously takes itself so seriously and sometimes gets lost in its own grandeur.

“Stray observations:

I hope to see Hunter Schafer in a million more things. I find this cast incredible across the board, but she’s such a standout.

Parents really do a number on their kids in this show, causing intentional and unintentional harm that really shapes them. That’s been another one of the series’ compelling themes, but the finale doesn’t deliver as hard there.

I have a feeling that final sequence is going to be a polarizing love/hate situation for folks, and I just don’t think it worked! A lot of this show is pretty to look at, but at the end of the day what it is it actually doing?

With a few exceptions—like Jules and Rue’s relationship—the characters on this show often just can’t seem to see beyond themselves, and maybe that’s slightly believable teen behavior, but it seems so extreme here and makes it hard to get invested in their stories.

I love Fez, but his storyline here also feels like its wedged into an already overcrowded episode.”



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Per Variety, “Showtime is increasing its original content this year by 30% more programming hours in both scripted and unscripted fare, announced co-president of entertainment Jana Winograde at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour Friday.

“‘For the past five years, there’s been this incredible growth in content and huge behemoths coming into the over-the-top world and we continue to grow,’ she said, adding that it’s ‘hard to say’ when too much is too much, so long as there is audience interest in the material.

“Amid a consolidating industry environment, the network continues to lean into its framing as a ‘boutique option to the big-box stores,’ affirming that even with the programming expansion, it intends to remain a smaller operation. But Showtime execs’ comments, however good humored, made clear that they’re aware of the budding battle for viewers ahead.

“‘We don’t just dump a series, send an email and hope it connects,’ said her fellow co-head Gary Levine, taking a not-too-subtle dig at Netflix’s binge-inducing model of viewing. Throwing shade on all fronts, he even opened the presentation with a faux ad for ‘Showtime Maxi-Plus,’ a joke denoting the forthcoming Disney Plus and HBO Max streaming services on the horizon.

“‘We premiere each of our shows with our entire company focused on launching that series successfully and let the conversation build over the months that we continue to roll out new episodes,’ he said.

“On the topic of individual shows, Levine sidestepped a separate question about William H. Macy’s role in the college admissions scandal, simply saying that ‘Bill was just really happy to be back to work on Shameless, and we were really happy to have someone of his talent someone of his work ethic and the leader that he is on the set of Shameless.'

“Actor Felicity Huffman, Macy’s wife, pleaded guilty in May to paying a $15,000 bribe to artificially improve her daughter’s SAT score. Macy, who was not charged, reportedly agreed to the deal with the mastermind behind the scandal, admissions consultant William ‘Rick’ Singer.

“As The Chi enters its third season, Lena Waithe will appear on-screen in the third season of The Chi, said Levine, saying she’s ‘really all over it.’

“The execs addressed the misconduct and harassment accusations against actor Jason Mitchell on Fox-produced Showtime series The Chi, with Winograde saying they were made aware of the allegations against Mitchell fairly immediately.

“Mitchell was initially given ‘guidance about appropriate behavior on the set.’ The incident followed news of misconduct allegations on the set of a Showtime series, with SMILF showrunner and creator Frankie Shaw accused of both making an actress uncomfortable on set and discriminating against African-American writers on the ABC Studios-produced show.

“When asked about how what they’ve learned from such incidents when it comes to navigating relationships with and managing new, less experienced showrunners, Levine acknowledged that there is a ‘learning curve.’

“‘One could play it safe and go with the tried and true, but then you’d never get the new voices, and we’re so proud of the new voices we’re cultivating’ said Levine. ‘We’re all figuring this out, as an industry and trying to build the right support mechanisms in with more experienced people around them.’

“‘These are delicate situations,’ he added. “'We;re [sic] dealing with young, talented people’s careers, and I think we take the allegations really seriously, we investigate them thoroughly and confidentially, and then we take decisive action.’

“‘Bottom line,’ he said, ‘[SMILF] is no longer on the air and [Mitchell] is no longer on The Chi.'”