TERRY CREWS SAYS SORRY TO GABRIELLE UNION FOR HIS REMARKS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Terry Crews is apologizing for his remarks about Gabrielle Union’s claims of mistreatment on “America’s Got Talent.” In a series of tweets Friday, Crews said he didn’t mean to “invalidate” her experience and he regrets letting down other black women. On the “Today” show last week, Crews said that Union’s allegations of racism on the production didn’t reflect his experience as the NBC talent show’s host. Union was dropped as a judge on the series after one season. Her firing reportedly came after she asked NBC to address an environment that Union said tolerated racist jokes and remarks.
FOR ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ CAST, WALKER’S MEMORY REMAINS STRONG
MIAMI (AP) – Vin Diesel says the spirit of Paul Walker that motivates him to continue starring in the “Fast and Furious” saga. Diesel and the cast spoke of the memory of their late screen partner at a special event surrounding the release of the franchise’s ninth chapter, “F9: Fast and Furious 9.” Diesel says he can’t make a “Fast and Furious” film without thinking of Walker, who died in a 2013 crash. Ludacris and director Jon Lin also shared memories of Walker at the Miami unveiling of the “F9” trailer, which also featured a concert by Wiz Khalifa, Ludacris and Charlie Puth.
WEEK 2 AT WEINSTEIN TRIAL: FOUR ACCUSERS AND A CHIHUAHUA
NEW YORK (AP) – The second week of testimony at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, with a key witness being brought back Monday for more cross-examination. The woman Weinstein is charged with raping testified Friday, often giving a vivid account of fraught interactions with the once-revered Hollywood producer. But court adjourned for the weekend before Weinstein’s lawyers got a chance to confront her with what they consider smoking gun evidence that points to a consensual relationship, not a crime: warm emails she sent him after the alleged assault saying things like “Miss you, big guy.” Weinstein, 67, has insisted that any sexual encounters were consensual.
ELIZABETH BANKS HONORED WITH PARADE, ROAST AT HARVARD
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – Actor and director Elizabeth Banks has been honored as Woman of the Year by Harvard University’s famed Hasty Pudding theater troupe. The “Hunger Games” star was paraded through Harvard Square and then awarded a golden pudding pot following a celebratory roast on Friday. Hasty Pudding says it picked Banks because she’s a role model for women in Hollywood. The 45-year-old Massachusetts native produced, wrote, directed and appeared in last year’s “Charlie’s Angels” reboot. Banks called the celebration an “exceedingly fun retrospective” of her career. She also acknowledged the troupe’s recent strides to better represent women in its productions.
JAMIE FOXX TRICKS PRE-SUPER BOWL GALA CROWD WITH ‘BEYONCE’
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Jamie Foxx tricked an A-list crowd at a pre-Super Bowl show, telling them Beyonce was about to perform, then quickly backed off amid the gasps, saying it was a different Beyonce, “from Fort Lauderdale.” Queen Bey was not at Saturday’s party, held at a $65 million waterfront home on Miami Beach’s exclusive Star Island, but several other celebrities attended, including “Breaking Bad” co-stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul and filmmaker Michael Bay. Cranston toasted the New Year, referencing the late Kobe Bryant’s death and encouraging everyone “to try to remember people who are with us now today.” The Big Game Big Give event raised money for several charities.
NETFLIX HIT SERIES ‘THE CROWN’ TAPS ITS NEW AND LAST QUEEN
NEW YORK (AP) – “The Crown,” Netflix’s hit drama series about the British royal family, will end earlier than expected and has revealed its next and last queen. Show creator Peter Morgan had said he expected to create six seasons, but now thinks five is the “perfect time and place to stop.” Imelda Staunton has been tapped to be the last actress to play Queen Elizabeth II. She will take the crown in the fifth season from Olivia Colman, who, in turn, succeeded Claire Foy. Both Foy and Colman have won best actress Golden Globe Awards in the royal role.
ADAM SANDLER SIGNS DEAL WITH NETFLIX TO MAKE 4 MORE FILMS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Adam Sandler has reached a deal with Netflix to make four more films. The streaming giant announced the partnership with Sandler and his Happy Madison Productions on Friday. The actor has had five films with the studio along with the stand-up special “Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh.” Netflix leader Ted Sarandos says the company is excited to extend its partnership with Sandler, because audiences “love his stories and his humor.” The company says Sandler’s 2019 comedy “Murder Mystery” starring him and Jennifer Aniston was the most popular film on Netflix in the U.S. last year and one of the most popular in eight other countries.
ON ‘IRISHMAN,’ TEACHING DE NIRO AND PACINO TO ACT YOUNGER
NEW YORK (AP) – The extensive “de-aging” computer-generated effects of “The Irishman” have been much analyzed since the movie was first unveiled. But the arguably more challenging task of the film may have been to get Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino to move like they were four decades younger. Computers could remedy their wrinkles. But movement coach Gary Tacon had to fix their walks. A longtime stuntman and yoga instructor, Tacon was repeatedly in the ears of the stars of “The Irishman,” playing a small but vital role in a landmark film that’s up for 10 awards at the upcoming Oscars.
‘1917’ NAMED BEST PICTURE AT BRITISH ACADEMY AWARDS
LONDON (AP) – World War I epic “1917” has won the best picture trophy at the British Academy Film Awards. The film won a fistful of awards on Sunday night, including best director. Joaquin Phoenix was named best actor for “Joker,” and Renee Zellweger took the best actress prize for Judy Garland biopic “Judy.” The awards come a week before the Oscars, and like the Hollywood awards are being criticized for a lack of diversity. All the acting nominees this year where white. Phoenix slammed the lack of diversity, saying it sent actors of color the message “You’re not welcome here.”
‘PARASITE,’ ‘JOJO RABBIT’ WIN TOP WRITERS GUILD AWARDS
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – “Parasite” has continued its march through Hollywood’s awards season by winning the best original screenplay honor at Saturday’s Writers Guild Awards. The Nazi satire “Jojo Rabbit” took home the best adapted screenplay honor. The Writers Guild Awards were held roughly a week before the Academy Awards, where both films will compete in the best picture category. HBO swept the top television awards, winning the drama category for “Succession,” the comedy category for “Barry” and the best new series honor of “Watchmen.” The premium cable network’s limited series also won the original long form prize, while FX’s “Fosse/Verdon” won the adapted long form award.
‘MINARI,’ ‘BOYS STATE’ WIN TOP HONORS AT SUNDANCE
NEW YORK (AP) – The Korean-American family drama “Minari” has won both the U.S. dramatic grand jury prize and the dramatic audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. Awards for the annual festival for independent film were handed out Saturday night in Park City, Utah. “Minari” had been arguably the biggest critical sensation at Sundance, earning raves for the immigrant drama set in 1980s Arkansas. It’s produced by Plan B Productions, with Brad Pitt as an executive producer. The top documentary prize went to “Boys State,” a portrait of the annual mock-government competition held in Texas with politically ambitious 17-year-old boys. The film reportedly fetched a record acquisition price for a documentary at Sundance.
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL NAMES TABITHA JACKSON NEW DIRECTOR
NEW YORK (AP) – The Sundance Film Festival has found its new leader from within, promoting Sundance Institute documentary program director Tabitha Jackson to festival director. Jackson takes the reins of the premier American film festival following previous director John Cooper. Jackson becomes the first woman, the first black person and the first Brit to head the Park City festival for independent film. Jackson’s appointment means that the top three positions at Sundance are all filled by women. Keri Putnam is the chief executive and executive director of Sundance Institute, the nonprofit organization founded in 1981 by Robert Redford that puts on the festival. Kim Yutani is the festival’s programming director.
‘BAD BOYS’ TOPS BOX OFFICE FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WEEK
LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Bad Boys for Life” has topped the box office for the third straight week. The Sony Pictures’ film starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence brought in $17.6 million to claim the No. 1 spot. The studio says the third installment became the highest-grossing film in the franchise with $148 million, eclipsing “Bad Boys II.” The World War I tale “1917” notched second as the film continues to build momentum as an Oscars contender. It has been an impressive feat for the Sam Mendes-directed war movie after going from 11 screens in its first week to nearly 4,000. It was a bumpy start for newcomers “Gretel & Hansel” and “The Rhythm Section,” which barely cracked the top 10.
HOW TO BINGE ON OSCAR MOVIES IN CINEMAS FOR CHEAP
NEW YORK (AP) – A subscription to a movie theater can help you avoid breaking the bank, especially in cities where movies cost $15 and up. Although MoviePass failed in its bid to let you catch first-run movies just about anywhere for a low monthly price, many theater chains are now offering plans of their own. These plans cost more than MoviePass’ $10-a-month starting price. And they work only at each chain’s own theaters. But they’re still a good deal if you average just a few movies a month. There’s still time if you’re looking to catch up on the Oscar nominees for the Feb. 9 ceremony.