OSCAR KERFUFFLE CONTINUES
NEW YORK (AP) – Usually the only kind of movie talk you hear this time of year – is which summer blockbusters are tearing it up at the box office. But these days, the buzz is about a decision by the Oscars to introduce a new category: best popular film. To say the idea hasn’t gone over well – would be an understatement. Actor Rob Lowe, a longtime academy member, went so far to declare the Oscars dead. He adds the “late” awards are “survived by sequels, tent-poles and vertical integration.” The Motion Picture Academy says the new category will help recognize movies that have wide appeal. But critics suggest winners in the new category might be seen as receiving a participation trophy. Others opposed to the idea say it might hurt movies like “Black Panther” – which many see as having a legitimate shot at winning the Oscar for best picture.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – The semi-annual ritual of TV producers showing off their wares for those who cover the medium has ended. And if there’s one trend that seems evident this year is: if it worked before, it will work again. Many of the network TV offerings were reboots of programs that were popular decades ago. Among the new/old shows that will be in network lineups this fall include resurrections of “Will & Grace,” “Magnum P.I,” and “Murphy Brown.” Networks seem to have been heartened by the success of the “Roseanne” reboot – even though that series ended up imploding, thanks to star Roseanne Barr’s racist tweets in May.
CASEY AFFLECK SPEAKS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Casey Affleck has been laying low recently – and that’s by design. In the wake of the (hash)MeToo and Time’s Up movement, he has kept public appearances to a minimum, even skipping the chance to hand out an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. But now that he is promoting a new film, Affleck is speaking up – not only about the project, but about lingering questions that he was involved in sexual harassment. Affleck has said he is sorry and takes full responsibility for what he calls the “unprofessional” atmosphere on the set of the 2010 movie “I’m Still Here.” The project led to civil lawsuits from two women who worked on the film. Affleck tells The Associated Press that as one of the producers, “the buck had to stop with me.” He says he both contributed to and tolerated unprofessional behavior – and wishes he hadn’t.
GEOFFREY RUSH – SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
SYDNEY (AP) – The actress at the center of Geoffrey Rush’s defamation suit against a Sydney newspaper has alleged the Oscar-winning actor touched her breast and lower back during a Shakespeare production three years ago. Rush is suing The Daily Telegraph over articles in December that said the Sydney Theater Company received a complaint of inappropriate behavior against Rush. The company said the actress who complained asked to remain anonymous and didn’t want Rush informed. The actress has since been identified as Eryn Jean Norvill – and lawyers have informed the court she has agreed to give the paper a sworn statement detailing the allegations. The statement will be used by the paper as it defends itself against the defamation lawsuit.
MICHAEL MOORE – DONALD TRUMP
NEW YORK (AP) – Michael Moore’s latest documentary calls President Donald Trump “the last president of the United States.” The movie – a critique of Trump and his administration – is called “Fahrenheit 11/9” – and will make its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s due in theaters on Sept. 21. Moore has released a trailer online. In case you missed it, the title is a flip of Moore’s 2004 documentary on George W. Bush titled, “Fahrenheit 9/11.” The 11/9 date refers to when Trump was declared winner of the 2016 presidential election.
MARILYN MONROE – AUCTION
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dresses that belonged to Marilyn Monroe along with an autographed photo thanking the executive who launched her Hollywood career will go on display before heading to auction. The sale will be conducted by Profiles in History. But before they are put up for bids, the items will be put up for looks in Beverly Hills, California starting Aug. 18. The auction will be held in October. Among the items to be bid on is a photo Monroe signed for 20th Century Fox exec Ben Lyon, thanking him for believing in her when no one else did. The photo was taken during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch,” the 1955 movie that provided history’s lasting image of Monroe, standing over a subway grate and holding down her white dress.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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