RIP TORN DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – He started his career with a series of dark, threatening roles – and later did a 180-degree turn, taking on some of the craziest parts in movies and TV shows. Actor Rip Torn has died. His publicist says the free-spirited Texan died yesterday at his home with his wife and daughters at his side. No cause of death was given. Rip Torn was 88. Torn got one of his first big parts in a career that spanned seven decades in “The Cincinnati Kid.” But it wasn’t until he was in his 60s that he picked up his first major award victory. That was for his work on “The Larry Sanders Show,” where he played an ethically-challenged TV producer. He was also the ruthless mentor in “Dodgeball.”
BEYONCE RELEASES NEW SONG FOR “LION KING”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – If you’re a fan of Beyonce, you might want to circle the date for next year’s Oscars on your calendar. The singer has put out a new original song for the new Disney, live-action version of “The Lion King.” And even though it’s just coming out, there’s already buzz about it being eligible for an Academy Award. For fans of the movie itself, the remake of Lion King is due out a week from tomorrow.
“FRIENDS” LEAVING NETFLIX
NEW YORK (AP) – Netflix is losing one of its top properties. AT&T has announced that it is pulling the sitcom “Friends” from the streaming service – so the show can be added to AT&T’s own lineup of shows. AT&T will launch its video streaming service in the spring of next year. It will be called HBO Max – and will feature content from that cable and satellite outlet, as well as material from Warner Bros. studios like “Friends.” Like Netflix and other streaming portals, HBO Max will also produce its own series and movies. Expect to see similar moves going forward, as more companies like Comcast, Apple and Disney roll out their own streaming services – and try to collect their content from other providers.
SUNDANCE CO-FOUNDER SENTENCED AGAIN ON SEX ABUSE CHARGE
WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) – For the second time in two weeks, the co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival has been sentenced on a sexual abuse charge. Sterling Van Wagenen was ordered to serve six years to life in prison when he went before a judge last week. Yesterday, the same judge agreed not to add more time to Van Wagenen’s sentence. However the judge has left open the possibility that once the movie producer serves the six years, a parole board could still decide he should spend the rest of his life behind bars. Van Wagenen is 72. He has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a child in two separate cases between 2013 and 2015.
TRUMP, WHITE HOUSE, PRESSURED ON LABOR SECY. WITH TIES TO JEFFREY EPSTEIN
WASHINGTON (AP) – So far, President Trump and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta are resisting calls for the cabinet official to resign in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Trump has said that he will have the case looked into – but that hasn’t stopped top Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some presidential candidates to call for Acosta to resign or be fired. Acosta fashioned a sweetheart deal that saw Epstein avoid serious legal consequences for his dealings with young women. The same alleged misconduct prompted law enforcement officials in New York State to charge him with underage sex trafficking and conspiracy. Epstein had a number of high-profile friends, among them Trump and former President Bill Clinton.
MIAMI NEWSPAPER’S REPORTING ON EPSTEIN SHED LIGHT ON JOURNALISM IN AGE OF “FAKE NEWS”
NEW YORK (AP) – The president of The Miami Herald says journalists look to get into the field because they hope their work “will have impact.” And Aminda Marques Gonzales says to have her paper’s work cited as the basis for a major arrest is “really gratifying.” Prosecutors in New York cited the work done by the Herald in exposing the sweetheart deal financier Jeffrey Epstein got to keep him from facing federal charges for his dealings with underage women. The paper found at least 60 women who said they’d been sexually abused by Epstein between 2001 and 2005, when they were minors. The Herald reporting also shows that investigative journalism can still thrive – even in an era in which critics denounce the news media as being biased in their coverage.
MARVEL COSTUMES BEING AUCTIONED
LOS ANGELES (AP) – If you’re looking to take your cosplay to next-level status, here’s your big chance. Some of the actual costumes from TV shows based on Marvel comics are being auctioned. Among the items being offered are costumes and props from series like “Daredevil” and “Luke Cage.” The sale is being done by The Prop Store – and will run for two days, beginning Aug. 12. Bids will be taken in person, by phone – and online.
MARILYN MONROE STATUE THIEF SENTENCED
LOS ANGELES (AP) – One year in jail and more than $14,000 in restitution. That’s the sentence a man has received for swiping a statue of Marilyn Monroe from atop a Hollywood public art installation. The Los Angeles County D.A.’s office says 25-year-old Austin Mikel Clay was sentenced after pleading no contest to felony grand theft and vandalism. The statue, which went missing last month, shows Monroe in an iconic pose from the movie “The Seven Year Itch” – the one in which she struggles to keep her dress from billowing into the air as she stood on a sidewalk grate.
HELLO KITTY COMPANY FINED
BRUSSELS (AP) – European Union authorities have slapped a heavy fine on the Japanese company behind Hello Kitty. E.U. officials have fined Sanrio Co. $7 million for restricting cross-border online sales of toys, mugs, bags and other products featuring the cartoon cat girl. The fine stems from an investigation of Sanrio which began in 2017. Similar probes were launched into Nike and Universal Studios as E.U. officials considered how they handle the global market for their gear.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2