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Watchdog Group Chides Laika & Focus Features For “White-Washing” ‘Kubo And The Two Strings’

Kubo And The Two Strings

A watchdog group that advocates “balanced, sensitive and positive depiction and coverage of Asian Americans” is calling out producer Laika, and by extension distributor Focus Features, for using mostly white actors to voice Japanese characters in Kubo and the Two Strings, the animated feature that bowed Friday. The Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which has been battling the issue for decades, noted that even though the movie takes place in ancient Japan, the… Read

breakingFilm

‘Birth Of A Nation’: AFI Axes Planned Screening & Nate Parker Q&A

The Birth of a Nation

The American Film Institute has tabled Friday’s planned screening of The Birth of a Nation, which was to be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker and star Nate Parker. The move comes as distributor Fox Searchlight deals with potential fallout from an old rape charge against Parker, of which he was acquitted in 2001. AFI dean Jan Schuette announced the cancellation in a note to the film school’s fellows tonight. “I have been the recipient of many different passionate points of… Read

TV

James Corden Teases Britney Spears’ Carpool Karaoke

The Late Late Show With James Corden

James Corden’s CBS late-night show teased Britney Spears’ Carpool Karaoke this evening. A couple weeks ago, CBS announced at TCA that Spears would be the next celeb to ride along with Corden for some Carpool Karaoke. The pop star is set for The Late Late Show segment on Thursday, a day before her ninth studio album Glory is released via RCA Records. Grammy winner Spears has sold nearly 100 million records worldwide. She has had six No. 1-debuting albums on the Billboard… Read

Business

Viacom’s Longtime PR Chief Carl Folta Exits

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (5343605cy)
Brad Grey, Lenore Moritz, and Carl Folta
Variety Big Data Summit Presented by PwC, Los Angeles, America - 04 Nov 2015

The dominoes are falling at Viacom. Days after CEO Philippe Daumon’s ouster, longtime head of corporate communications has resigned. Carl Folta had been at the company for more than two decades, having joined when Viacom acquired Gulf+Western parent Paramount Communications in 1994. “My long-time friend and colleague and our head of corporate communications Carl Folta has decided to move on to the next adventure in his successful and ever-eventful career,” interim CEO Tom… Read

breakingBusiness

WGA Reaches Deal For New Contract With Public TV

WGA

The WGA East and West have reached an agreement with public television stations WGBH Boston and WNET New York on terms for a new three-year contract covering writers employed on such shows such as Frontline, Nova, American Experience and American Masters. The new contract provides for a 3% increase in all minimums, retroactive to July 1, with 0.5% of that amount diverted to the Writers Guild Industry Health Fund. Two other increases, effective July 1, 2017, and July 1… Read

Video

‘StartUp’ Review: Crackle Drama Gritty But Not A Great Investment

StartUp

As we all know about today's economic environment, starting a new company comes with a lot of risk and, with rare exceptions, distant or mixed rewards. In many ways, launching a new TV series in the Peak TV Era faces a lot of the same problems and possibilities. When it comes to StartUp, the Crackle original series that debuts September 6, the drama is not a venture I recommend you invest in. With the plot revolving around the creation of a digital currency system that… Read

exclusiveTV

‘This Is Us’ Adds Ryan Michelle Bathe As Recurring

Ryan Michelle Bath

Ryan Michelle Bathe has booked a recurring role in Dan Fogelman’s upcoming NBC dramedy This Is Us. She joins her husband, Sterling K. Brown, who is one of the stars of This Is Us alongside Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia. The series follows an ensemble — some of them sharing the same birthday — whose life stories intertwine in curious ways. Bathe will play Yvette, strong and outspoken, an unlikely new friend to Jack (Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Moore). Bathe is known for… Read

exclusiveTV

Robert Kirkman’s ‘Outcast’ Ups Madeleine McGraw To Series Regular

Madeleine McGraw

We’ll be seeing more of Madeleine McGraw in the second season of Robert Kirkman’s Outcast. McGraw, who recurred as Amber Barnes in Season 1, has been promoted to series regular for Season 2 of the Cinemax exorcism drama. Amber is the daughter of Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit). From The Walking Dead creator Kirkman, Outcast follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers, but what… Read

Business

AFI Faculty Calls For Dean’s Firing

AFI  Logo

Claiming that "the AFI Conservatory is on the brink of unraveling," a majority of the famed film school's faculty has called for the firing of its dean. The move comes a day after Deadline reported that a wave of faculty firings and resignations had rocked the school as it began a new term Tuesday. The union representing the instructors said "a vast majority of faculty" at the school has voted "no confidence" in the leadership of Dean Jan Schuette and requested that he… Read

Business

Alex Meneses Inks With Untitled; Verne Troyer Teams With Studio71

Alex meneses Verne Troyer 2-shot

Alex Meneses has signed with Untitled Entertainment for representation in all areas. She plays Isabela Santamaria on NBC’s Telenovela, earning an Imagen Award nom this year for Best Actress in a Comedy. She recurred on Everybody Loves Raymond as the Italian girlfriend of Brad Garrett’s character and most recently guested on such shows as The Goldbergs, Growing Up Fisher and Austin & Ally. Meneses also has served on the board of trustees at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles… Read

exclusiveFilm

DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Croods 2’ Gets Rewrite With Hageman Brothers

15_The_Croods_Ugga

EXCLUSIVE: Kevin and Dan Hageman, the screenwriting brothers who came up with the story for Warner Bros’ blockbuster The Lego Movie, have just been hired by DreamWorks Animation to rewrite The Croods 2, the sequel to studio’s 2013 film that grossed $587.2M worldwide. The film was supposed to be released on December 22, 2017, by 20th Century Fox, but the studio recently put The Story of Ferdinand in its place after DWA sold to NBCUniversal. Since The Croods 2 now is… Read

Box Office

‘Jason Bourne’ Storms China With $12.3M Opening Day; Sets Franchise Best

'Jason Bourne' film premiere, Beijing, China

Universal’s Jason Bourne had its Beijing premiere on August 16 with stars Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander on the red carpet. Today, the movie opened in the Middle Kingdom to an estimated $12.3 million. That makes it by far the biggest bow in the franchise’s history and puts it on track to best the lifetime total of The Bourne Legacy in the territory. That previous film was the series' highest grosser in China at a $34.2M total and started its Middle Kingdom outing with… Read