Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- Former actress says Harvey Weinstein forced her to touch his genitals
- AFI Festival 2017 adds 'Disaster Artist,' 'Call Me By Your Name,' 'Hostiles' and an Errol Morris tribute
- Singer Ed Sheeran illuminates his struggle with substance abuse
- Hillary Clinton to be celebrated with Wonder Woman honor at Women's Media Awards
- New Taylor Swift song makes us wonder: What happened to the new, cold-blooded Swift?
- TV Academy to vote on disciplinary proceedings for Harvey Weinstein in November
Generations coming up have different feelings about what's pertinent to them. Where they find humor and drama. I guess! What do I know?
FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Sunday Conversation - Christopher Lloyd
The Directors Guild of America has filed disciplinary charges against member Harvey Weinstein, the organization announced Saturday
DGA President Thomas Schlamme said that the guild made the charges over a week ago, on Oct. 13. Typically, the DGA does not make public remarks about "internal union matters, but has decided to make an exception in this case," according to a guild statement.
The DGA released the news after its quarterly National Board of Directors meeting in New York City on Saturday. In a statement, the guild also condemned sexual harassment, noting that the issue went beyond "one person" and urged those in the industry to break a "shameful code of complicity" by speaking out about the problem.
"As directors and team members who solve problems for a living, we are committed to eradicating the scourge of sexual harassment on our industry," the statement read, with Schlamme adding the Weinstein controversy had inspired him "to look inside" himself.
"Unless we recognize what has become so acceptable in our culture and how we possibly, even unconsciously, are participants, everything else will be meaningless," the president said.
The DGA is the last major Hollywood guild to speak out about Weinstein's behavior. On Oct. 9, SAG-AFTRA called the producer's alleged misconduct “abhorrent and unacceptable." A few days later, the Writers Guild of America, East condemned Weinstein, too, calling his actions "deplorable." And earlier this week, the Producers Guild of America expelled Weinstein and said it would create an anti-sexual harassment task force.
I can't stand stupid, and I can't stand slow. I want first-time offenders to think of their appearance in my courtroom as the second-worst experience of their lives ... circumcision being the first.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Law and Disorder
The CW continues to mine DC Entertainment vault for TV content, and next up is an adaptation of comic book characters Traci Thirteen and her father Dr. Terrance Thirteen.
Officially titled “Project 13,” the project is being developed by the CW with actress and director Elizabeth Banks, The Times has confirmed. The news was first reported by Variety.
The one-hour drama will follow Traci – a twenty-something forensic scientist – who discovers her hidden extrasensory abilities after joining her estranged father to investigate mysterious cases involving the paranormal and other unexplained phenomena. As in the comics, Traci is a believer in the paranormal while Dr. Thirteen is a skeptic -- despite his family name being "Thirteen," and his repeated encounters with unexplained phenomena.
In the comics, Traci’s abilities include teleportation, fire blasts of magic energy and spell casting. Most recently she appeared as a superhero in the DC Rebirth “Superwoman” series and is in a relationship with Natasha Irons (the niece of John Henry Irons, a.k.a. Steel).
Despite their relatively unknown status in the comics, Traci and Dr. Thirteen have shared panel space with DC heroes including Batman and Superman.
“Bitten” showrunner Daegan Fryklind will serve as the writer and executive producer of the project. Max Handelman is also attached to the project along with Banks as an executive producer. Banks and Handelman’s Brownstone Productions will produce the show in association with Warner Bros. Television.
The CW’s slate of DC superhero series includes “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” and “Arrow” along with the upcoming “Black Lightning.”
No word yet on whether "Project 13," will join "Black Lightning" as a show outside the "Arrowverse," but the network is home to plenty of universes-free comic book creations such as “Riverdale” and “iZombie.”
Former actress Heather Kerr said she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a business meeting in 1989.
Speaking at a news conference Friday alongside her attorney, Gloria Allred, Kerr alleged that Weinstein forced her to touch his genitals and told her that she had to be good in bed and sleep with him, directors and other producers if she wanted a career in Hollywood.
“He told me this was how things work in Hollywood and that all the actresses that had made it had made it this way. He said, ‘name anyone,’” the 56-year-old recalled.
“He told me that first I would have sex with him and then he would take me to parties and show me who I had to sleep with after that. But first he needed to know how good I was.”
The AFI Fest has added centerpiece galas for three festival favorites to this year's lineup. Luca Guadagnino's "Call Me By Your Name," which premiered at Sundance, James Franco's "The Disaster Artist," which bowed as a work in progress at SXSW, and Scott Cooper's "Hostiles," which was unveiled at Telluride.
In addition, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris will receive a special tribute following a screening of his latest work, the hybrid docu-drama Netflix series "Wormwood," on Nov. 11.
All Gala screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Errol Morris tribute is set for the Egyptian Theatre.
The festival had previously announced an opening night gala for Dee Rees' Sundance-premiered Netflix drama "Mudbound" and a closing night gala for the world premiere of Ridley Scott's "All the Money in the World."
Individual tickets are available beginning Nov. 1 and more info can be found at the AFI Fest website.
English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has shed some light on why he stepped away from his booming music career in 2015: He was dealing with substance abuse-related issues.
Sudden fame had a negative impact on him, the "Shape of You" crooner explained for an upcoming episode of Britain's "The Jonathan Ross Show," which airs on Saturday.
"I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn't adjust because I was constantly working on tour. And all the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse," he said, via People.
Sheeran, 26, who recently postponed the Asian leg of his tour after injuring himself in a bike accident, said he "never touched anything" but "started slipping into it, and that's why I took a year off." He didn't really notice what was happening because it was going on gradually.
"Then some people took me to one side and were like, 'Calm yourself down,'… It's all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it's not, so that was a wakeup call and taking a year off," he explained.
He took time off starting at the end of 2015, ahead of the release of his third album, "÷," earlier this year.
Sheeran said he focused on work, which he couldn't do while under the influence.
"The more I worked, the less [that happened]. I've worked my whole life to get to where I am and you can't lose that over something that you do in your spare time," he said.
The Grammy winner also credited his girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn, with helping him cope with his issues. The two are living together and that grounded and helped balance him out, he said.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be honored by the Women's Media Center, receiving the Wonder Woman honor at the Women's Media Awards in New York on Thursday.
“Hillary Clinton’s actions have inspired and protected women and men on every continent,” Gloria Steinem, co-founder of the Women’s Media Center, said in a statement Friday.
“She has battled negative forces and helped to maintain a fragile peace with her negotiating skill on behalf of this country and peace-seekers everywhere. She has handled all this with grace, grit, determination, integrity, humor and fortitude while remaining a steadfast feminist, advocate, activist, sister and tireless leader in the revolution. With this award, the Women’s Media Center declares Hillary Clinton our Wonder Woman,” Steinem added.
This is the first Wonder Woman accolade ever awarded by the group, which cited Clinton's decades of global accomplishments and public service among the reasons she was chosen for the honor.
Clinton joins Maria Hinojosa, Ashley Judd, April Ryan, María Elena Salinas and Gail Tifford as an honoree at the 2017 ceremony, which will also celebrate the 80th birthday of center co-founder Jane Fonda and the film "Hidden Figures."
The Women’s Media Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization co-founded in 2005 by Fonda, Steinem and Robin Morgan to increase the visibility and power of women in media.
Anyone hoping that Taylor Swift's "Reputation" will be a cold blade of revenge will be surprised by the gooey romance of her new single, "Gorgeous."
Released Thursday night, the song is a hard turn from the angry, slightly unhinged electro-rock of her recent singles. Instead, it's a maudlin pop ballad about, yep, falling hard for a super-hot dude despite some minor reservations.
It's built with modern sub-bass and synth pings (albeit with some silly flourishes like sampled baby talk and hokey chimes). But the drippy, devotional lyrics and Swift's delivery are weirdly indebted to the kind of teen pop heard on mid-2000s TV shows such as "The Hills."
It's not quite what we expected from the new, supposedly more cold-blooded Swift we recently heard on "Look What You Made Me Do."
(And for what it's worth: Sunset and Vine in Los Angeles is home to a Bank of America, a Walgreens and an apartment block of YouTube vloggers — is that really the corner you want to be falling in love on?)
The song returns Swift to Shellback and Max Martin, the Swedish producers and writers who helped design much of her pop crossover album "1989." That record was a global smash, and while "Reputation" will need no help hitting the top of the charts, it does seem like it'll be more all over the map than previously expected.
Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein is facing potential expulsion from the Television Academy in the wake of the growing sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against him.
Per the academy's bylaws, the producer, whose Weinstein Co. is behind Emmy-winning series such as "Project Runway" and Netflix dud "Marco Polo," will be subjected to a vote in November when the academy's board of governors will decide whether to maintain his membership.
The outcome doesn't seem promising for Weinstein, who has been accused of harassing dozens of women over the past three decades and is currently under investigation by police departments in Los Angeles, New York and London.
"Sexual harassment in any form is abhorrent and totally unacceptable," an academy spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday. "Television is a collaborative industry and we fully support those who have been affected by these allegations. The Television Academy stands united with those throughout the industry condemning such behavior in the strongest terms."
The board met on Thursday to discuss the accusations against the producer and, "in accordance with the Academy's established procedures, it was overwhelmingly decided to initiate disciplinary proceedings." Such proceedings could result in terminating his membership.
Weinstein has already been ousted from his own studio, the Motion Picture Academy, BAFTA, British Film Institute and numerous other professional organizations that have distanced themselves from the producer. Several of them also moved to enact measures to help reduce workplace harassment.
With stories about women allegedly harassed by Harvey Weinstein surfacing all around her, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o decided she couldn't keep her own story squashed down any longer.
She thought the things that had happened were unique to her, not a larger pattern of what she on Thursday called "sinister behavior." She blamed herself for much of it.
"I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years," Nyong'o wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times.
The "12 Years a Slave" actress was still at Yale School of Drama when she and Weinstein crossed paths at a 2011 awards ceremony in Berlin, where he was introduced to the then-aspiring actress as "the most powerful producer in Hollywood." Dinner companions told her he was a good man to know in the biz, but someone to be "careful" around because he could be a bully, she wrote.
The interactions that followed between her and the producer went back and forth between seemingly appropriate and uncomfortably inappropriate, Nyong'o said.
The invitation to screen a movie with Weinstein and his children at his Connecticut home turned into a restaurant lunch where he tried to bully her into drinking alcohol, she wrote, followed by him cutting short her viewing of the movie after 15 minutes and taking her to his bedroom where he offered to give her a massage. She said she flipped the situation around.
"I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation," the actress said. Then he wanted to take off his pants, she wrote.
He couldn't make it to see a production she was in, but invited her to bring anyone she wanted to see a staged reading of "Finding Neverland," one of his. Dinner followed, with her friends relegated to a non-Harvey table.
"The talk was shop the whole time and Harvey held court with ease. He was charming and funny once more, and I felt confused about the discomfort I had previously experienced," Nyong'o said.
A couple of months later, he invited her to a screening of "W.E." followed by a trip to the Tribeca Grill, which she said she assumed would be another group meal. It was not. His assistants, she said, had seemed uncomfortable as they set up the logistics with her.
"Before the starters arrived, he announced: 'Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.' I was stunned," Nyong'o wrote. "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 declined, and his tone changed, she said. As he escorted her out, sans meal, she checked in with him to make sure they were still "good" after she'd said no.
His response, according to the actress: "'I don’t know about your career, but you'll be fine,' he said. It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time; of what, I couldn't be sure."
They didn't cross paths again until the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, which she was attending in support of "12 Years a Slave."
"At an after-party, he found me and evicted whoever was sitting next to me to sit beside me," she wrote. "He said he couldn't believe how fast I had gotten to where I was, and that he had treated me so badly in the past. He was ashamed of his actions and he promised to respect me moving forward. I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein."
Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up.
The following year, after her Oscar win, he tried to get her in one of his films, showering her with talk of a star-vehicle film in the offing for her later if she'd first take a role in a Weinstein Co. movie she'd already turned down. She held firm.
When she first met the now-disgraced producer, she wrote, she was "entering into a community that Harvey Weinstein had been in, and even shaped, long before I got there. He was one of the first people I met in the industry, and he told me, 'This is the way it is.' And wherever I looked, everyone seemed to be bracing themselves and dealing with him, unchallenged."
Since then, she said, she hasn't encountered treatment like that from anyone else. Still, she talked about the often-blurry lines in the workplace known as Hollywood.
"Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public," wrote Nyong'o, who is now 34. "That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up. Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' battle with breast cancer is getting ferocious as the 56-year-old actress took to Instagram Thursday with a fierce and funny selfie.
"Chemo #2 finito. We are NOT [messing] around here," Louis-Dreyfus wrote in a caption accompanying a photo of herself wearing a black hoodie, aviator sunglasses and a drawn-on mustache.
Louis-Dreyfus went on to quote some particularly apt Katy Perry lyrics that seem to be serving as inspiration for the actress, thanks in no small part to an amazing video made by "Veep" costars Timothy Simons and Tony Hale.
"I’ve got the eye of the tiger. The Fighter dancing through the fire cuz I am a champion and you’re going to hear me ROAR," Louis-Dreyfus wrote, going on to thank Simons and Hale, as well as Perry herself, for their support and inspiration.
Three weeks ago, the "Seinfeld" star announced her diagnosis via Instagram, acknowledging that one in eight women get breast cancer.
"Today, I'm the one," she wrote.
A lot of people want to get into acting because they want to be famous. I don't think much of that, but that's my perspective. It doesn't mean you'll be a bad actor if you're a shallow person — in fact, maybe it helps.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Viggo Mortenson / Actor
In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, director Quentin Tarantino admitted that he has known some details of Harvey Weinstein's alleged misconduct toward women for decades.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he said. “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.”
In the article, Tarantino, who has seen every one of his films since "Pulp Fiction" released by Miramax or the Weinstein Co. and is perhaps the Hollywood director most closely tied to the fallen producer, admitted to being told by his former girlfriend Mira Sorvino about Weinstein's unsavory actions. He also revealed that he knew actress Rose McGowan, who says she was raped by Weinstein, had reached a settlement with the producer.
“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he said. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he added. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
Howard Stern's own wife doesn't see him nude unless they're about to get busy in bed. So why, he wonders, do certain men think women are going to be turned on by their similarly imperfect naked male bodies?
"All these guys who do sexual harassment, they're freaks," Stern said Wednesday on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
"This big fat guy, what does he think? He says to a woman —here's his standard move, according to all these women who've accused him. He goes, 'Listen, I'm gonna get in the shower. I want you to watch me nude,' " the radio host said.
"Now, I'm a man. If you saw me naked, you'd throw up."
No woman in the world is going to get turned on by seeing Weinstein naked, Stern said.
Ditto for Bill O'Reilly, who had a similar see-me-in-the-shower technique, he said. And then, he added, there's Anthony Weiner, who was texting women shots of his man parts.
It's definitely hit the fan when the onetime king of raunch — who said his show has evolved from the sex fest it was three or four decades ago — is grossed out by what you've done.
"The one thing women don't want to see," Stern said emphatically, "is a guy's penis. They want to see you've got a job. They want to see you treat 'em nicely."
See his comments in full above, starting around the 4:40 mark.
As the fallout from Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse scandal continues, 217 women -- and gender-nonconforming people -- in the animation industry have come forward with an open letter to more than a dozen studios demanding an end to sexism and sexual harassment in their field.
"In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, many of the women who work in animation have begun discussing more openly issues that we have dealt with quietly throughout our careers," the letter begins.
"As we came together to share our stories of sexism, sexual harassment and, in some cases, sexual assault, we were struck by the pervasiveness of the problem.
"We resolve to do everything we can to prevent anyone else from being victimized. We are united in our mission to wipe out sexual harassment in the animation industry, and we will no longer be silent," the letter concludes.
The document was sent Thursday to executives at major animation studios that include Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks and Sony.
The Times obtained the letter, and you can read it in its entirety here.
Among the more than 200 names who signed the letter is Rebecca Sugar, creator of Cartoon Network's "Steven Universe"; Fox's "Bob's Burgers" writer and producer Wendy Molyneaux; and contributors to multiple animated projects such as "BoJack Horseman," "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Adventure Time," among others.
The news comes in the wake of claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by Chris Savino, the 46-year-old creator of the Nickelodeon series "Loud House." Among those who came forward about Savino was "BoJack Horseman" director Anne Walker Farrell, who wrote on Twitter that she was harassed by Savino when she was 20 years old. (Farrell was among those who signed the open letter.)
The website Cartoon Brew reported that as many as 12 women have come forward with allegations against Savino, who was reportedly placed on leave of absence by the network last week.
When asked for comment about Savino and his employment status, a Nickelodeon spokesperson released a statement to the Times: “Viacom is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees, and to fostering a workplace free from harassment," it read.
"As a matter of policy, we do not comment on specific employee matters, but we take all allegations of this nature very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and take any necessary actions as a result."
The AFI Fest will close with the world premiere of "All the Money in the World” on Nov. 16, along with a tribute to the film’s director, Ridley Scott.
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams and Kevin Spacey, the film tells the story of the kidnapping of teenage John Paul Getty III in 1973 in Italy. Williams plays the young Getty’s mother, Gail Harris; Spacey portrays his grandfather, oil tycoon John Paul Getty; and Wahlberg plays a family advisor.
The cast also includes Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton and Andrew Buchan, and the film’s screenplay is by David Scarpa based on the book by John Pearson.
The film festival's tribute to Scott will precede the screening and include a moderated conversation about his work. Scott is a four-time Academy Award nominee, as producer on “The Martian” and director of “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator” and “Thelma and Louise.”
"For five decades, Ridley Scott's tremendous visions of cities, new worlds, histories and science have transformed and influenced not only film, but our culture," AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga said in a statement. "We're honored to be celebrating the artistry of a director whose work has had an indelible influence on cinema culture, and the lexicon of visual style."
“All the Money in the World” is to be released Dec. 8.
On Thursday, the Directors Guild of America released a statement that it “will be addressing the very serious issue of sexual harassment in the industry” in its upcoming quarterly board meeting.
This makes the DGA the last of the major guilds to tackle the issue in the ongoing fallout from revelations of decades of sexual harassment and assault by disgraced producer and former studio head Harvey Weinstein.
The Producers Guild of America board of directors voted unanimously earlier this week to terminate Weinstein’s membership. The Writers Guild of America, East released a statement condemning Weinstein’s “deplorable misconduct.”
The WGA West’s statement asserted that the guild “stands in solidarity with the women who have spoken out.” Also in a statement, SAG-AFTRA called Weinstein’s behavior “abhorrent and unacceptable.”
Also on Thursday, the British Film Institute stripped Weinstein of its prestigious fellowship.
Shortly after the film was recognized with two nominations for the Gotham Awards on Thursday morning – for best feature and best actress for star Margot Robbie – a teaser trailer was released for “I, Tonya.” (Watch it above, and note that it contains some adult language.)
Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay by Steven Roger, “I, Tonya” tells the story of Tonya Harding, the infamous figure skater who was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Assn. in the fallout of the 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.
Or as it is referred to in the movie, “the incident.” The movie became one of the most talked-about films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival after its world premiere.
Staking out an extremely unusual tone – a card at the opening of the film declares it “irony free, wildly contradictory, totally true” – the movie conveys a remarkably sympathetic portrait of Harding, in no small part through Robbie’s performance that deftly combines a satirical wit with a deep emotional pathos.
The movie also features performances by Sebastian Stan as Harding’s husband Jeff Gillooly and Allison Janney as Harding’s mother, LaVona Golden.
“I, Tonya” opens in limited release on Dec. 7.
Shia LaBeouf has reportedly been sentenced to anger management and probation related to a public drunkenness arrest in June that included a racially charged, expletive-laden rant against police.
He was sentenced in Savannah, Ga., on Thursday to anger management sessions after pleading guilty to obstruction and no contest to disorderly conduct, TMZ reported. The original drunkenness charge was tossed out.
LaBeouf, who was arrested while in Georgia to work on the movie "The Peanut Butter Falcon," was slapped with a year's probation and alcohol evaluation, plus nearly $2,700 in fines, TMZ said.
Before he was arrested in early June, he had asked a bystander and a police officer for a cigarette around 4 a.m., according to the Savannah Morning News. After he was refused, the actor started spewing profanity and vulgar language, the paper said, and refused to leave the area, allegedly acting aggressively toward the officer when he was ordered to leave.
LaBeouf fled to a hotel when the officer tried to arrest him but was taken into custody later in the lobby, the Morning News said.
Shortly after posting $7,000 bail, the actor issued a statement that characterized the incident as "a new low," apologized to police and said he was once again working on sobriety.
"My outright disrespect for authority is problematic to say the least, and completely destructive to say the worst," he said on social media.
LaBeouf has been arrested numerous times, including in January, when he allegedly got into a scuffle related to his "He Will Not Divide Us" video-art project, and rather spectacularly in June 2014 after drunkenly disrupting a Broadway production of "Cabaret."
After the theater incident, he said through his rep that he was voluntarily getting treated for alcoholism, just not via an inpatient program. The court later sentenced him to rehab.