Netflix Vehemently Disputes Fired Staffer’s Denial Of Leaking Dave Chappelle Payout Information


October 20, 2021 2:08pm

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Netflix are strongly contesting the insistence today of a now fired staffer that they did not leak confidential financial information about Dave Chappelle and others to the press — very strongly.

“While we would never normally talk about an investigation like this, these claims are not supported by the facts,” a spokesperson fr the streamer told Deadline less than a hour after the now pink slipped B. Pagels-Minor told Deadline that they only shared a data rich document last week internally, albeit widely.

Going public for the first time since being axed late last week, the non-binary identifying Pagels-Minor was among the speakers Wednesday at the walkout rally of anti-transphobia protestors and streamer staffers opposed to Netflix’s reaction to outcry about Chappelle’s trans and LGBTQ+ communities hitting October 5 launched comedy special The Closer.

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“This employee admitted sharing confidential information externally from their Netflix email on several occasions,” the Netflix spokesperson continued, not mentioning Pagels-Minor by name. “Also, they were the only employee to access detailed, sensitive data on four titles that later appeared in the press.”

“They claim only to have shared this information in an internal document, and that another employee must have leaked it,” the streamer representative added, tripling down. “However, that document was missing data for one title and so cannot have been the source for the leak. In addition to having no explanation for this discrepancy, the employee then wiped their devices, making any further investigation impossible.”

For the record, the “commercially sensitive information,” as Netflix referred to the data when Pagels-Minor was fired, in question is that the streamer paid Chappelle $24.1 million for his sixth special. That’s up from the $23.6 million the Mark Twain Prize winner received for his 2019 Sticks & Stones special. Appearing in an October 13 Bloomberg article, the leak also revealed that the streamer paid $3.9 million for Bo Burnham’s Inside pandemic special, and $21.4 million for Squid Game. The talk of yesterday’s Q3 earnings call with co-CEO Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos on it, the Korean produced horror drama has gone on to become the most watched Netflix original series ever.

After vigorously defending the streamer and The Closer twice in the last week, Sarandos late yesterday also went on an apology tour for his self-described “screwed up” communication about Chappelle’s special and the pained reaction it caused to those inside and out Netflix. Hastings on the other hand, has been externally silent on the matter.

“To your macro question on being on the right side of history, we will always continue to reflect on the tensions between freedom and safety,” Hastings wrote on an internal company message board last week when asked whether Netflix was “making the wrong historical choice around hate speech.”

“I do believe that our commitment to artistic expression and pleasing our members is the right long-term choice for Netflix, and that we are on the right side, but only time will tell,” the Netflix founder and co-CEO went on to say in his posting.

Additionally, as the streamer outwardly promises more transparency, Hastings is adamant internally about stopping any disclosure or leaks of Netflix’s metrics or other data. The Silicon Valley-set co-CEO has made it clear via minions that leakers will be fired immediately if identified and the full scope of their NDAs will be enforced, I’ve learned.

Pagels-Minor did not respond to request for comment on Netflix’s take on what really went down. If and when they do, we will update.

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‘Love & Death’: Brian d’Arcy James, Olivia Applegate, Mackenzie Astin Among Five Cast In HBO Max Limited Series


October 20, 2021 2:00pm

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(L-R) Brian d’Arcy James, Mackenzie Astin, Adam Cropper, Olivia Applegate and Bruce McGill

EXCLUSIVE: Brian d’Arcy James (13 Reasons Why), Olivia Applegate (Euphoria), Mackenzie Astin (Teenage Bounty Hunters), Adam Cropper (Tenet) and Bruce McGill (Shades of Blue) have joined the cast of HBO Max’s Love and Death, a limited series about the true story of Texas housewife Candy Montgomery’s murder of Betty Gore in 1980. Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons, Patrick Fugit and Lily Rabe star in the series from the Big Little Lies and The Undoing duo of David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman and Lionsgate Television.

Written by Kelley and directed by Homeland‘s Lesli Linka Glatter, Love and Death is inspired by the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs and a collection of articles from Texas Monthly (“Love & Death In Silicon Prairie,” Part I & II).

The series revolves around two churchgoing couples enjoying small-town family life in Texas, until somebody picks up an ax.

James will play Dr. Fred Fason; Applegate will portray Carol Crowder; Astin will play Tom O’Connell; Cropper will portray Robert Udashen and McGill is Judge Tom Ryan.

Keir Gilchrist, Elizabeth Marvel, Tom Pelphrey and Krysten Ritter also star.

Kelley executive produces through David E. Kelley Productions; Nicole Kidman and Per Saari through Blossom Films; Glatter (who directs the first four and final episodes); Scott Brown and Megan Creydt through Texas Monthly; Matthew Tinker; Michael Klick and Helen Verno.

James is reppd by Gersh, Thruline Entertainment and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
Applegate is repped by McKeon/Myones Entertainment, Global Artists Agency, and Collier Talent Agency. Astin is repped by Artists & Representatives and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Cropper is repped by Domain Talent and Justice & Ponder. McGill is repped by Artists & Representatives.

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Paris Hilton Visits Capitol To Advocate For Reform Of “Troubled Teen Industry”


October 20, 2021 1:40pm

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UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 20: Paris Hilton stops to pose for photographers in the Crypt area of the Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The celebrity was on the hill to push for legislation to “establish a bill of rights for children placed in congregate care facilities.”
(Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday buzzed over the sightings in Senate hallways of Paris Hilton, the reality star who met with lawmakers to advocate for protections for youth in congregate care facilities.

At a press conference just outside the Capitol, Hilton said, “Today I come here not as Paris, but as a survivor.”

“For 20 years I couldn’t sleep at night, as memories of physical violence, feeling of loneliness, the loss of years rushed through my mind when I shut my eyes.”

“This was not just insomnia. It was trauma,” she said.

Hilton said that when she was a teenager, “I woke up to two large men in my bedroom,” asking her if she “wanted to go the easy way or the hard way.”

She said that she thought she was being kidnapped, but she was physically dragged out of her house and being sent to a residential care facility, what she called “the troubled teen industry.”

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“I was sent to four facilities over a two-year period, and my experience at each one haunts me to this day,” she said, adding that she was strangled, slapped across her face and subject to other forms of abuse. She also said that she was forced to take medication without a diagnosis and thrown into solitary confinement. She said that at Provo Canyon School in Utah, she was forced to stay indoors for 11 months straight.

“Every day in America, children in congregate care facilities are being physically, sexually and emotionally abused,” she said, blaming it on a “systemwide lack of transparency and accountability.”

Hilton appeared at the press conference with lawmakers including Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who are advocating for legislation to reform congregate care facilities. They are among those who plan to introduce the Accountability for Congregate Care Act which would establish a bill of rights with protections for children in such facilities.

Hilton also wrote about her experiences in an essay for The Washington Post.

“Ensuring that children, including at-risk children, are safe from institutional abuse, neglect and coercion isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue — it’s a basic human rights issue that requires immediate action,” she wrote.


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Snap Sets New Original Series From Stephen Curry, Addison Rae & More


October 20, 2021 1:40pm

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Steph Curry, Addison Rae

Seven-time NBA All-Star Stephen Curry and social media personality, dancer, actress and singer Addison Rae are among those getting their own series at Snap, the company announced on Tuesday.

The former series, Level Up with Stephen Curry, will follow the athlete as he mentors the next generation of stars and empower them to raise their game—both on and off the court—in ways they never thought possible. Curry’s Unanimous Media is producing with Portal A.

Rae’s series, Addison Rae Goes Home—produced by Maven—watches as she returns to her roots in Louisiana, heading home fir the first time since achieving Hollywood success, and showing fans a more personal side than they have ever seen before.

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Rae and Curry’s new shows are accompanied on Snap’s upcoming slate by three others, including Liquid Light’s Ryan Garcia: The Fight Inside, in which the undefeated boxer and social media star of the same name guides fans through an intimate exploration of mental health with the help of celebrity athlete friends and wellness experts.

Reunited, from Future Studios, will tell the heartwarming stories of real people from across the U.S. who are going to great lengths to reconnect with their loved ones, featuring episodes on LGBT acceptance within a religious family, a first-time meeting between a daughter and her birth mother, families kept apart by Covid-19, and a formerly incarcerated man reuniting with his family for Thanksgiving.

Then, there’s SBX Studios’ A Fighting Chance with Anthony Joshua, a show centered on the British professional boxer of the same name, and his mission to give the younger generation of his community in Watford the mentor he never had.

Snap is the company behind the popular social media platform Snapchat and the Bitmoji app, among other tech products and services. Its recent mobile video releases include Honestly Loren, a docuseries centered on model, singer and social media personality Loren Gray; Manny MUA unscripted series Coming Out; and Total Badass Wrestling, a comedy series produced by Comedy Bang Bang. 

Premiere dates for Snap’s newest series have not yet been announced. All others are currently available for streaming via the Snapchat app.

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Taylor Sheridan Reality Series ‘The Last Cowboy’ Moves To CMT, Ropes Season 2 Premiere Date


October 20, 2021 1:36pm

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“The Last Cowboy”

EXCLUSIVE: The Last Cowboy, the unscripted series hatched by Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan, is moving from the Paramount Network to CMT. CMT has set November 12 as the premiere date for the second season. The show will air beginning November 12 at 8 PM ET/PT.

The Last Cowboy is an inside look at real-life cowboys and cowgirls and the high-stakes sport of horse reining – a Western-based competition where riders guide horses through a precise pattern of circles, spins and stops – as they prepare for the biggest bout in the sport’s history: “The Run for a Million.” The series chronicles reiners determined to elevate and preserve the cowboy tradition as they train and engage in the exclusive, ultra-competitive athletic event.

The Last Cowboy is being produced for CMT by Truly Original with Glenda Hersh, Steven Weinstock, Michelle Schiefen, Julie “Bob” Lombardi and Alexandra Lowry serving as executive producers. Sheridan, David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari serve as executive producers. Keith Cox and Todd Baynes oversee the production for CMT.

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BFI London Film Festival Alerts Guests About Two Positive Covid Tests


October 20, 2021 1:08pm

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Two people who attended the BFI London Film Festival over the weekend have tested positive for Covid-19, prompting organizers to send a letter to guests they believe were in contact to recommend they be tested.

Among those who received letters this evening were attendees of Sunday’s closing-night screening of The Tragedy of Macbeth at the Royal Festival Hall, and at the after-party at The Londoner hotel in Leicester Square.

The festival said in the letter that he positive results were from “a small number of people” who attended, with a BFI spokesperson saying today that the fest was prompted to act by two confirmed positive tests. (Read the letter below.)

“Of course we aren’t exactly sure but timing suggests the weekend, and we are contacting everyone who has potentially been in contact with those who have tested positive,” the spokesperson said.

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Among those who were at those events were Macbeth director Joel Coen and star Frances McDormand, along with most of the British cast of the film. Riz Ahmed was among those seen at the after-party. There is no information on who tested positive.

There was no social distancing at the Sunday screening and masks are optional per UK law, even as cases are on the rise there. The busy after-party was on a basement level of the hotel so exclusively indoors.

Large-scale events like festivals and premieres have used various methods to protect attendees from the virus. The Toronto Film Festival reported a positive case stemming from a press conference during its September edition. More recently, several castmembers of Disney/Marvel’s Eternals had to bow out of events after they were potentially exposed to Covid earlier in the week at the film’s Hollywood premiere. All have tested negative.

Here’s the festival’s letter to guests that went out today:

Dear LFF Guest,

We hope you enjoyed the BFI London Film Festival this year and thank you for all your support.

As you will no doubt be aware, Covid-19 cases are on the rise nationally. It has come to our attention that a small number of people who attended the BFI London Film Festival have today tested positive for Covid-19. We believe you may have been in contact this weekend with someone who tested positive and are therefore recommending that you take a test to reduce the risk of unconsciously spreading the Covid-19 virus. Information on your testing options is here. Please also be mindful of when you should self-isolate.

Kind regards and stay safe,

The LFF Team

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Jane Campion Set To Receive Director’s Tribute At 2021 Gotham Awards


October 20, 2021 12:43pm

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Jane Campion
Grant Matthews@Netflix Inc.


EXCLUSIVE: Jane Campion, whose latest film The Power of the Dog for Netflix has been playing the fall festival circuit to critical acclaim, has been selected to receive the Director’s Tribute at this year’s Gotham Awards ceremony, which will take place live November 29 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Campion was the first female director to win the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, for her lauded 1993 film The Piano, and one of only seven women to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar. The Piano also received over 30 international awards along with nine Academy Award nominations and three wins including for Best Screenplay for Campion. Most recently, Campion was awarded the Silver Lion for directing at the Venice Film Festival for Power of the Dog, which is her first theatrical feature in over a decade and which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi-Smit McPhee. Netflix will put it in limited theatrical release November 17, and begin streaming December 1.

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“Jane Campion is a trailblazer, telling beautiful, bold stories with astounding emotional depth,” said Jeffrey Sharp, executive director of the Gotham Film & Media Institute. “With her remarkable return to feature films with The Power of the Dog, she further cements her stature as one the greatest directors working today. It’s such an honor to recognize this extraordinary filmmaker.”

Gotham Awards

Campion’s other films include Sweetie, which premiered at Cannes; An Angel at My Table which won seven prizes at the Venice Film Festival, including the Silver Lion; The Portrait of a Lady which was nominated for two Academy Awards; Holy Smoke which was nominated for the Golden Lion and won the Elvira Notari Prize at Venice; In the Cut which premiered at Toronto; and Bright Star which was nominated for the Golden Palm in Cannes.

In television, Campion created, co-wrote, co-directed and executive produced the two-season miniseries Top of the Lake. It ultimately received eight Emmy nominations including Outstanding Lead Actress for Elizabeth Moss, who also won a Golden Globe for her performance.

The Gotham Awards previously announced that Kristen Stewart will receive the Performer Tribute, Eamonn Bowles the Industry Tribute, and the cast of The Harder They Fall the Ensemble Tribute at this year’s ceremony.

Full nominations for the Gothams will be announced Thursday at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT.

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Senate Republicans Block Latest Effort To Pass New Voting Rights Bill


October 20, 2021 12:41pm

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(Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

The Senate failed to advance a major new voting bill on Wednesday, legislation that advocates have sought as a way to protect the right to vote amid new restrictions being put in place in GOP-led states.

The vote was 49-51 to move forward with debate over the bill. All Republicans voted against it. Sixty votes were needed to overcome a filibuster threat.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Republican opposition was an “implicit endorsement” of what he called “election subversion laws” being implemented in states. He compared Republicans to Southern Democrats who refused to allow civil rights legislation to advance during Reconstruction.

Schumer voted with Republicans as a procedural maneuver that allows him to try to move the legislation forward again. He said that as soon as next week, he would attempt to bring another voting rights bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to the floor.

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“Members of this body now face a choice—they can follow in the footsteps of our patriotic predecessors in this chamber,” he said. “Or they can sit by as the fabric of our democracy unravels before our very eyes.”

Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the vote and told reporters afterward, “We’re not going to give up. We are not deterred. But there is a lot of work. And I think it is really a sad day.”

Progressive groups have seized on Republican intransigence to push for the modification or elimination of the filibuster, especially on an issue of such importance.

The Freedom to Vote Act would establish Election Day as a national holiday, establish early voting and voting by mail standards and expand the disclosure of money in politics.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) had opposed an earlier voting rights bill, and instead worked on a compromise meant to win Republican support. First and foremost is that the latest legislation included a provision for voter ID, a Republican priority.

In a statement, Ben Jealous, the president of People for the American Way, said, “There can be no more excuses for it not to pass, and that means it’s time for the White House and Senate Democrats to do whatever it takes to make that happen – or millions of Americans will be robbed of their right to vote in 2022 and beyond.”

McConnell has called the legislation “a solution in search of a problem,” per Politico, and said on Wednesday, “For multiple years running, Washington Democrats have offered a rotating merry-go-round of rationales to explain why they need to federalize voting laws and take over all of America’s elections themselves.

“But every time they try this shtick in the Senate, it falls flat. Today will be no exception.”

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 19 states have passed new laws placing new restrictions on voting this year. They followed former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims that the presidential election was stolen from him. His campaign and other backers, however, were turned away in the courts more than 60 times as they challenged the results.

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Ari’el Stachel Departs Stage Adaptation Of ‘The Visitor’; Tony-Winning Actor Had Expressed Concern Over Musical’s Depiction Of Arab-American Character


October 20, 2021 12:30pm

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Ari’el Stachel, ‘The Visitor’ rehearsals

Joan Marcus

Ari’el Stachel, the actor who won a Tony Award for his performance in Broadway’s The Band’s Visit, has departed the Public Theater’s much-anticipated Off Broadway world premiere production of The Visitor just weeks after the cast, creative team and the Public’s leadership delayed previews to address the new musical’s depictions of race and Arab-American representation.

In a short statement, the theater company said, “The Public Theater and Ari’el Stachel have made a mutual decision that he will step away from The Visitor and his role in the production. We are grateful for his artistry and participation over the past six years. We wish Ari well in his future endeavors.”

The new musical, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, with a book by Kwame Kwei-Armah and direction by Tony-winning Daniel Sullivan, is based on the 2007 film of the same name in which a white college professor visits New York for a conference and befriends immigrant couple Tarek and Zainab (from Syria and Senegal, respectively). The stage production stars David Hyde Pierce in the role of the college professor and Alysha Deslorieux as Zainab.

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Stachel, whose TV credits include Law & Order: SVU and Billions, was to have played Tarek, who in the film speaks with a noticeable accent. Though he performed the stage role with an accent during the production’s development, Stachel more recently questioned the approach, explaining in an interview with Playbill that the character was written as having spent his formative years in the U.S. and so, in Stachel’s opinion, would not have a Syrian accent.

“I got to the point where I couldn’t separate the experiences I was having in the world with what I was doing on stage,” said Stachel, who was born and raised in California and whose father is the son of Yemenite Jewish immigrants. “It is not enough to just play a role and have fun, it really needs to exist and align politically, spiritually, artistically, for me…I thought to myself, ‘my brown body needs to be not seen as an “other” anymore,’ so I’m actually trying to morph this opportunity.”

According to the Playbill article, the creative team agreed that Stachel’s character needn’t speak with the accent. “Tarek’s accent had to do with the timeline of his coming to the U.S. with his mother,” Sullivan told Playbill. “It was assumed he came in his teen years and that much of his education had happened in Syria. It took Ari’s request to abandon his character’s accent for us to examine this timeline and to realize that less perceived ‘otherness’ would add to the dramatic impact of the piece.”

But late last month, just a week before the production’s scheduled start of Oct. 7, the Public announced that the musical’s first preview would be delayed until Oct. 14 to allow the creative team time to address areas of concern raised by company members over depictions of race and representation. “We’ve taken the time as a company to listen to each other and discuss, to respond to these issues, and to continue to develop The Visitor with changes that reflect how our broader culture has grown,” a statement said. At least one concern among the cast reportedly was the musical’s focus on the white professor in a story about the immigrant experience.

A spokesperson for the Public declined to elaborate today on the reasons for Stachel’s departure; it is unclear whether the “mutual decision that he will step away” was connected to his earlier concerns. Deadline was not able to reach Stachel for comment.

Tonight’s performance of The Visitor remained on schedule as planned. It was not announced who would play the role of Tarek.

The Public Theater and Ari’el Stachel have made a mutual decision that he will step away from THE VISITOR and his role in the production. We are grateful for his artistry and participation over the past six years. We wish Ari well in his future endeavors.

— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) October 20, 2021


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Netflix Urged To Remove Dave Chappelle Imagery From Offices Amid “List Of Asks” At Hollywood Walkout; Fired Staffer Denies Leaking Info


October 20, 2021 12:27pm

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B. Pagels-Minor speaking at Wednesday’s rally
Dominic Patten/Deadline

The fallout from Dave Chappelle’s harsh words about trans and LGBTQ+ communities in his Netflix special The Closer crested Wednesday with a walkout and rally that saw more than 100 protesters and allies attend, and present their “list of asks” to the company in the wake of the controversy.

B. Pagels-Minor, the Netflix employee fired last week from the streamer for allegedly leaking financial information to the media about Chappelle’s comedy special, was among those participating at the company’s Vine Street offices near its Sunset Boulevard headquarters.

Pagels-Minor told Deadline on the sidelines of the rally that they did not leak information to the media. “I compiled a series of data, I’m a data person, and I shared it with a lot of people internally,” Pagels-Minor said. “If they’re going to fire me, they’re going to have to fire a lot of people,” the former staffer added, noting that they were never directly informed as part of their employment contract about what they could and could not distribute.

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They said they had no current plans to take legal action.

Joey Soloway speaks at the Netflix rally Wednesday
Dominic Patten/Deadline

Filmmaker Ashlee Marie Preston, who organized today’s rally, was also among the speakers along with Transparent creator Joey Soloway and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Eureka O’Hara at the event, which comes two weeks after the launch of Chappelle’s The Closer and the subsequent fallout.

“Dave Chappelle doesn’t get to take the light from this moment,” Preston told the rally crowd, adding that organizers reached out to Chappelle but were rebuffed. Other speakers called on the cheering crowd to cancel their Netflix subscriptions.

“Trans people are in the middle of a Holocaust,” Soloway told the crowd, adding, “Misogyny is gender violence” and calling out Chappelle directly.

Soloway also demanded that a trans person be placed on “the Netflix f*cking board.” Preston said at the rally that organizers planned to call out board members if there is not a change towards “equity” and “leadership options.”

At one point early in the walkout, a Chappelle supporter tried to crash the speakers at the mic. Later, there was pushing and shoving after another Chappelle fan, carrying a sign that said “Dave is funny,” tried to push over people to get to the front.

One protesting Netflix staffer said “I’m sorry, I can’t speak to you” when approached by Deadline.

Organizers read read out a “list of asks” that will be presented to Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos. Here they are:

Asks for Trans* Walkout – 10/20/21

  • Eliminate references/imagery of Chappelle inside of the workplace, including but not limited to murals, posters, room names, swag;
  • Acknowledgement that the special causes harm to the trans community and Netflix’s responsibility on it so we keep the conversation around transphobia evolving internally;
  • Trans and non-binary content investment

* A new fund to specifically develop trans and non-binary talent

*This fund should support both above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) talent
*This fund should exist in addition to the existing Creative Equality Fund

  • Investment in trans or non-binary content on Netflix comparable to our total investment in transphobic content, including comparable investment in the promotion of content
  • The comparable class of investments should include but not be limited to works produced by Dave Chappelle (such as the investment in “The Closer” and “Sticks and Stones”), Ricky Gervais’ After Life, etc.
  • Investment in multiple trans creators to make both scripted and unscripted programs across genres;
  • Revisit internal processes on commissioning and/or releasing potential harmful content, involving numerous and diverse parties that can speak on its harm, including consultation on 3rd party venders;
  • Revisit the ERG role in conversations around potential harmful content and develop materials to ensure we have the best in class regional support on complicated diversity issues
  • Hire transgender content executives in leading positions and promote and inclusive environment for them;
  • Recruit trans people for leadership roles in the company (director, VP, etc) and promote and inclusive environment for them;
  • The ability for Trans* employees and allies to be able to remove themselves from company promotional content (e.g. allyship videos, etc.);
  • A disclaimer before The Closer specifically saying it contains transphobic language, misogyny, homophobia, and hate speech;
  • Boost promotion for Disclosure and other trans-affirming titles in the platform

*Suggest such content alongside and after content flagged as anti-trans

“The difference between tokenism and opportunity is the ability to access one’s voice,” Preston told Deadline today ahead of the rally, emphasizing the need for “economic justice.”

Elliot Page and Lilly Wachowski meanwhile took to social media to offer support for the walkout and retweet a PSA that includes Preston, Jonathan Van Ness, Angelica Ross, Jameela Jamil, Mason Alexander Park, Kate Bornstein, Our Lady J, Sara Ramirez, Peppermint and Colton Haynes.

Here it is:

Even the official Netflix Twitter feed for “LGBTQ+ storytelling” took to the Hollywood streets today.

brb walking out

— Most (@Most) October 20, 2021

Netflix brass like co-CEO Ted Sarandos initially defended the Chappelle special against claims of transphobia and hate speech, saying it did not “cross the line” on hate speech even as trans staffers, past and present, and organizations such as GLAAD and National Black Justice Coalition condemned Chappelle’s comments and the streamer’s embrace of the superstar comedian’s remarks.

Another Netflix superstar, Hannah Gadsby, cut straight to the chase and cause on October 15 in response to the corporate reaction, or lack thereof. “You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted,” wrote Gadsby on social media last week. “F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult…”

As well as rare public hot water, the controversy has seen a crisis of culture within the streamer and resulted in temporary suspensions, at least one firing and a sense of betrayal among some employees.

On Tuesday, after the all-important quarterly earnings report came out, Sarandos reached out to the media with some clearly well-rehearsed lines in the hopes of defusing the situation – which is one of the first times Netflix has felt a backlash of any sort since it became the dominant force in Hollywood.

“I screwed up the internal communication — and I don’t mean just mechanically,” he said. “I feel I should’ve made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made, and I should’ve recognized upfront before going into a rationalization of anything the pain they were going through. I say that because I respect them deeply, and I love the contribution they have at Netflix. They were hurting, and I should’ve recognized that first.”

In contrast to Sarandos, fellow co-CEO Reed Hastings hasn’t retreated an inch over the Chappelle controversy or the disclosure of financial information the past few weeks.

On October 18, Hastings steadfastly refused to discuss either matters during an appearance on philanthropy at the well-heeled Milken Conference While silence is his public face, an infuriated Hastings is the primary force behind stomping out any leaks of internal Netflix discussion, financial information of payments to talent like Chappelle (who got over $24 million for The Closer) and more, we’ve heard.

To that end, staffers who are participating in today’s trans walk-out have been told they can exercise their right to protest, but they are under no circumstances to knowingly talk to the press — even while on the streets of Hollywood on Wednesday morning

In fact, any edict has gone out to units within the streamer that anyone who leaks will fired immediately, as occurred to the staffer who revealed details to Bloomberg last week. More so, the company is indicating it will strictly enforce NDAs, including court action, a number of sources tell us

Publicly, the streamer is putting on a much more benign face.

“We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused,” a Netflix spokesperson said Wednesday before the walk out. “We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”

And the staffers on the street agree.

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SAG-AFTRA Convention Approves Dues Hike For High-Earning Members


October 20, 2021 12:11pm

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EXCLUSIVE: Dues payable by SAG-AFTRA’s high-earning members will be going up over the next two years, per a resolution passed at the union’s recently-concluded 5th biennial convention. The dues hike will be achieved by increasing the maximum earnings on which members pay their percentage of work dues.

The dues cap on work earnings, which has not been raised since the merger of SAG and AFTRA in 2012, is currently set at $500,000, but will be going up to $750,000 in May of 2022, and to $1 million in May of 2023.

The resolution passed at the convention states:

WHEREAS, member dues are the main means by which SAG-AFTRA is able to fund its work on behalf of members, and

WHEREAS, those resources underpin all essential SAG-AFTRA initiatives, including contract negotiations and enforcement, safety protocols and rules, diversity, equity, and inclusion, residuals processing, and countless other activities protecting our members; and

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WHEREAS, it is essential that the dues structure be as fair and equitable as possible, ensuring that all members pay their fair share of the costs of operating the union, while also assuring lower income members that union dues will not become a financial hardship, and higher income members that their dues level remains appropriate, commensurate with their success working under SAG-AFTRA contracts; and

WHEREAS, the initial dues structure set during the merger process in 2012 has not been changed since, and limits “work dues,” those assessed as a percentage of earnings under SAG-AFTRA contracts, to the first $500,000 of earnings; and

WHEREAS, it has become clear that capping dues on earnings at that level has, over time, resulted in a less equitable structure than should be in place; and

WHEREAS, the Convention has the authority pursuant to Article IV(2)(c) of the Constitution to approve changes to the dues structure, provided that any increase does not exceed 5% per year;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the SAG-AFTRA Convention resolves:
In order to ensure a more equitable dues structure, the Convention authorizes the following changes to the $500,000 limit on earnings upon which work dues are assessed (“dues caps”), such that the dues caps are increased in amounts that do not exceed the annual 5% aggregate limitation on Convention-authorized dues increases, as follows:

Effective May 2022: $750,000
Effective May 2023: $1,000,000

The foregoing does not authorize any other increase to dues, whether as to base dues, the rate charged on earnings for work dues, or dues caps that are presently set at any other level. Nothing in this resolution affects the existing authorization for automatic annual increases to initiation fees or base dues as approved by member referendum in March 2012.

Nothing in this resolution affects the National Board’s existing Constitutional authority with respect to dues, as set forth in Articles IV and V of the Constitution.

An analysis of the proposed dues hike, provided by the union’s Counsel, said that “This resolution presents no legal or procedural concerns.”

A statement in support of the resolution said that “The working dues caps has not been changed since merger and it is apparent that the time has come to address the fairness of working dues. The unions’ services, organizing efforts and contract enforcement abilities are constrained by the amount of dues the union is able to collect. These increases are fair and within the constitutional authority set by the constitution and will increase the ability of the union to organize, enforce our contracts and better serve our members.”

A statement of support of the dues hike was submitted by Camryn Manheim, the union’s former secretary-treasurer, on behalf of Gabrielle Carteris, the union’s former president, and numerous other SAG-AFTRA leaders and members, including William Charlton, Ezra Knight, Clyde Kusatsu, Suzanne Burkhead, Michele Proude, Anthony Rapp, Jason George, Michelle Hurd, John Rothman, Ilyssa Fradin, Eric Wydra, Bill Mootos, Mel MacKaron, Linda Powell, Carl Salonen and Kathryn Klvana.

During her closing remarks at the virtual convention, which concluded on Monday, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher called for unity, inclusivity and environmental awareness. “I want to see more women in high places across all fronts,” she told the convention’s 480 delegates. “There must be women invited to every table or there cannot be fully realized success. Women offer an essential balance to any and every conversation. As women’s rights over their own bodies are being taken away through legislation, I once again look to our union to help by exemplifying gender equality.”

“We also have a tremendous responsibility,” she said, “to raise the bar on issues of diversity, equality and inclusion, to take a stand on environmental issues and shift our industry’s waste paradigm towards significant reductions of its carbon footprint. We stand tall with a united, fearless show of strength, conviction, and innovation.”

Secretary-treasurer Joely Fisher, noting that “we are in the middle of a great labor awakening,” outlined her goals over the next two years, including addressing the union’s financial health, its health care plan and negotiating power. “My job is the stewardship of the financial solvency of this union and, to that end, I intend to serve with distinction,” she said. “Know this: I stand in solidarity with each and every one of you … and ask that you stay strong, active and engaged as unionists. The momentum is with us, my union sisters, brothers and siblings. We are on the right side of history at the right time; we are in the middle of a great labor awakening. America is organizing, and we at SAG-AFTRA have the opportunity to be a beacon of hope to union members everywhere.” She also paid tribute to her friend and mentor, the late SAG president Ed Asner, who died last month.

Ben Whitehair, who was elected executive vice president at the convention, discussed industry changes due to evolving technologies and encouraged delegates to mentor the next generation of performers and to stand up and fight when needed.

“In a time when mega-mergers consolidate power into fewer and fewer hands, this union is as important as ever,” said Whitehair, who is now the union’s second-ranking officer. “Our industry is ever-changing; there are always new fights to fight. Some at the negotiating table, others in state capitol buildings and the halls of Congress. In the coming years, as we take on the formidable challenges of advances in streaming, exclusivity, rights of publicity, diversity, equity and inclusion, and workplace safety, let us not forget that the union is both our sword and our shield – and let us never lose sight of the difference we make.”

National executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland spoke about the union’s work over the past two years and its response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of the film and TV industry. He also praised the collaborative efforts to create return-to-work safety guidelines, and the union’s continued collaboration with its sister unions, including the DGA and IATSE.

“It was a big achievement to have all those unions sit down and create an industrywide agreement that let our members get back to work, and we’re already seeing long-term, positive effects from this,” he said. “Our relationships with those unions are stronger than ever, and I believe this will translate directly into greater success at the bargaining table.” He also cited SAG-AFTRA’s support of IATSE during its recent bargaining efforts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, and legislation such as the Free Artists from Industry Restrictions (FAIR) Act in California and the federal American Music Fairness Act.

Delegates also passed two constitutional amendments to advance the union’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The first amendment will officially add Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts to the union’s objectives, and the second amendment will update SAG-AFTRA’s governing documents, including its Constitution, to eliminate gender-specific pronouns and replace them with the gender-neutral pronouns “they,” “them” and “their.”

Of the 40 resolutions considered, those passed included support for journalists covering the coronavirus pandemic; continuing efforts to provide experienced Black hair and makeup artists on set, and introducing a code of conduct for diversity, equity and inclusion practices in casting.

Convention delegates also resolved to examine ways to create a pathway to membership for intimacy coordinators, and condemned restrictive abortion laws, specifically the most recent “Heartbeat” mandates seen in states such as Texas.

AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler delivered a keynote address to the convention, reflecting on the state of labor during the pandemic, and the work of SAG-AFTRA to reopen the industry and safely get members back to work. “In the darkest days of the pandemic, through fear and uncertainty and isolation, you were, and continue to be, voices and faces that keep us reassured, entertained and connected,” she told the delegates.

“We have weathered extraordinary challenges, and SAG-AFTRA has been there, stepping up relentlessly for its members. You set the standard for how to get people back to work safely, which became best practices for others to follow.”

She also discussed the revitalization of the labor movement and the recent shift in the public’s perception of unions. “Covid has pushed us to a tipping point and working people are fed up. They’re tired of being called essential one minute, and then being disrespected and treated as disposable the next minute. There is a nationwide reckoning happening right now, and people are starting to see unions as a solution. Right now, over 100,000 union members are either on strike, or about to go on strike across the country in all kinds of industries, and it is amazing to see the solidarity of SAG-AFTRA members supporting their union siblings in all kinds of ways. We have so much opportunity ahead of us, and this is our moment to grow a bolder, more dynamic and inclusive labor movement that fights for the policies and changes that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives.”

The convention also saw the presentation of the union’s George Heller Memorial Award to members and staff for their contributions to the union. The recipients are William Charlton, the union’s vice president of actors/performers; SAG-AFTRA national board member Bill Mootos; SAG-AFTRA chief cinancial officer Arianna Ozzanto, and SAG-AFTRA chief communications & marketing officer Pamela Greenwalt.

In other awards, the union presented its American Scene Awards, which honor producers “who realistically portray the American Scene by employing union talent from misrepresented or underrepresented groups.” This year’s winners are:
• Music & Sound Recordings Award: Capitol Records Nashville for Mickey Guyton’s Black Like Me
• Belva Davis News & Broadcast Award: 20/20 by ABC News and The Courier Journal in Louisville for Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor
• Entertainment Award: Warner Bros. Pictures for Judas and the Black Messiah

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L.A. City Council Suspends Mark Ridley-Thomas After Federal Bribery And Conspiracy Indictment


October 20, 2021 12:05pm


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Mark Ridley-Thomas
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UPDATED: The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-3 today to suspend Los Angeles Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas from office.

Ridley-Thomas was indicted last week on federal bribery and conspiracy charges stemming from his time on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

Responding to the vote, Ridley-Thomas issued a statement saying, “I am humbled by the support of my colleagues who did not rush to judgment and disappointed in those who did. Eleven members of this council have stripped the constituents of the 10th District of their representation, of their voice and of their right to the services that they deserve. They have removed from action a member — and his team — who together are among the most productive and effective advocates on the crisis of homelessness. I will continue fighting to clear my name, and I remain confident that such will be the case. But in the interim, the council has disenfranchised the residents of the 10th District.”

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PREVIOUSLY on Friday: Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas said Friday that he has “no intention” of resigning from the council.

“When I ran for City Council, I made it clear that my highest priority would be addressing the city’s homeless and housing crises, and that remains the case. There is no issue that matters more to Angelenos and to me,” Ridley-Thomas said in a prepared statement.

“That said, I have no intention of resigning my seat on the City Council or neglecting my duties. Doing so would be to the detriment of the people I serve, and I have no intention of leaving my constituents without a voice on matters that directly affect their well-being.

“Going forward, I intend to do two things: disprove the allegations leveled at me and continue the work I was elected to do — most importantly, addressing the homeless and housing crisis.”

His statement follows his indictment Wednesday on federal corruption charges stemming from his time on the county Board of Supervisors during which he allegedly sought to clandestinely secure a job for his son. More on that below.

Fellow City Councilman Joe Buscaino, a candidate for mayor, quickly called on Ridley-Thomas to resign in light of the indictment. Buscaino said on Twitter he is “shocked, saddened and disgusted” by the charges, which he says “tarnish the reputation of the entire LA City Council.”

City Council President Nury Martinez said she was “disappointed” in the news, adding, “While the alleged crimes took place while Mr. Ridley-Thomas sat on the Board of Supervisors, these charges are serious and the council will need to take appropriate action.”

She did not specify what action could potentially be taken. When Councilmen Jose Huizar was arrested last year, the council voted to suspend him, leaving his staff to serve as caretakers for the district.

PREVIOUSLY on Wednesday: Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and the former dean of USC’s School of Social Work have been indicted on federal corruption charges over an alleged a bribery scheme stemming from Ridley-Thomas’ time serving on the county Board of Supervisors, prosecutors announced today.

Democrat Ridley-Thomas is a fixture of local politics, having held office for the past 30 years as, variously, an L.A. City Councilman, a member of the California State Assembly and Senate and an L.A. County Supervisor.

He is the third L.A. city councilman face federal charges the past two years. Former member José Huizar was arrested on racketeering charges last year and pleaded not guilty. Former Councilmember Mitchell Englander was sentenced in January to 14 months in federal prison for his conduct surrounding his obstruction of a public-corruption investigation.

Fellow City Councilman Joe Buscaino, a candidate for mayor, quickly called on Ridley-Thomas to resign in light of the indictment. Buscaino said on Twitter he is “shocked, saddened and disgusted” by the charges, which he says “tarnish the reputation of the entire LA City Council.”

City Council President Nury Martinez said she was “disappointed” in the news, adding, “While the alleged crimes took place while Mr. Ridley-Thomas sat on the Board of Supervisors, these charges are serious and the council will need to take appropriate action.”

She did not specify what action could potentially be taken. When Huizar was arrested, the council voted to suspend him, leaving his staff to serve as caretakers for the district.

Prosecutors contend a Ridley-Thomas relative received substantial benefits from the university in exchange for Ridley-Thomas supporting county contracts and lucrative contract amendments with the university while he served on the county board. USC is in Ridley-Thomas’ district, which includes Arlington Heights, Koreatown, Mid-City, Olympic Park, Palms, South Robertson, West Adams, West Pico and Wilshire Center. He is also a graduate of the university, from which he received a doctorate in social ethics.

The 20-count indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court alleges that Ridley-Thomas conspired with Marilyn Louise Flynn to provide the relative — reportedly, his son — with graduate school admission, a full-tuition scholarship, a paid professorship and a mechanism to funnel Ridley-Thomas campaign funds through the university to a nonprofit to be operated by the relative.

An attorney for the councilman said at the time the case was referred to federal prosecutors that he did not believe it raised “any legal or ethical issues,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We do not believe that it raises any legal or ethical issues, and it had nothing to do with his son’s scholarship or employment at the university,” attorney Stephen Kaufman said.

“This indictment charges a seasoned lawmaker who allegedly abused the public’s trust by taking official actions to benefit himself and his family member,” Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said in a statement. “The corrupt activities alleged in the indictment were facilitated by a major university’s high-ranking administrator whose desire for funding apparently trumped notions of integrity and fair play. Public corruption cases are among the most important matters we pursue, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute whenever public officials and others entrusted with taxpayer funds break the law.”

The indictment outlines an alleged scheme in 2017 and 2018 in which then-Supervisor Ridley-Thomas sought benefits from Flynn and university officials to benefit his relative, who was the subject of an internal sexual harassment investigation in the state Assembly, likely to resign from elected office and significantly in debt.

The indictment did not name the relative, however, Ridley-Thomas’ son, Sebastian, resigned from the Assembly in 2017 amid investigations into sexual harassment complaints. He insisted at the time that his resignation was due to health reasons, not a sexual harassment probe. Sebastian Ridley-Thomas later became a professor of social work and public policy at USC — despite lacking a graduate degree. He was later terminated over questions about his original appointment and concerns by the university over the $100,000 that was
donated from his father’s campaign funds to the School of Social Work, then
directed to Sebastian Ridley-Thomas’ nonprofit.

Prosecutors claim Mark Ridley-Thomas wanted to secure paid employment for his son to minimize any public fallout for them both in the wake of the son’s sudden resignation from office. Meanwhile, the Social Work School was facing a multimillion-dollar budget deficit, which threatened the school’s viability as well as Flynn’s position and reputation as the school’s longtime dean, according to the indictment.

As part of the bribery scheme, Ridley-Thomas and Flynn allegedly took steps “to disguise, conceal, and cover up the bribes, kickbacks and other benefits” Ridley-Thomas and his relative received — which included concealing the official acts Ridley-Thomas agreed to perform in exchange for the financial benefits, according to the document.

The pair also concealed, according to the indictment, the true purpose of the $100,000 funneled to the relative’s nonprofit through the university, which also violated multiple university policies regarding the funding of nonprofits, prosecutors said.

Within weeks of Ridley-Thomas contacting Flynn in May 2017 about his relative wanting a postgraduate degree from the university, Flynn began a campaign to secure both university admission and a full scholarship for the relative, prosecutors allege.

Flynn wrote in an email that she intended to open every door for the family member, the indictment alleges. When a university official said Ridley- Thomas had “lots of discretionary money” and should give the university “$1M each year for three years,” according to the indictment, Flynn responded that
she and another university official intended to offer the relative a full scholarship in exchange for funds for the school.

In June 2017, Ridley-Thomas and Flynn allegedly reached an agreement, which Flynn later memorialized in a confidential letter she had hand-delivered to Ridley-Thomas, prosecutors said. The indictment alleges that Flynn’s letter detailed her expectations that Ridley-Thomas would steer new contracts with DCFS and Probation to the Social Work School and secure a lucrative amendment to an existing Telehealth-DMH contract.

With the new amendment, Flynn expected the Telehealth contract to generate about $9 million per year for the School of Social Work, prosecutors contend.

The indictment alleges that Ridley-Thomas took a series of official actions, including voting in August 2017 to approve a motion to establish a partnership between the county and Social Work School, and voting in October 2017 to approve a motion, related to “Probation University,” that would create a county payment source for the school.

Flynn told university officials in emails that she was “very happy to see that [Ridley-Thomas] was as good as his word” and that he was “really trying to deliver,” the indictment alleges.

The conspiracy count alleged in the indictment carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison. Each bribery count carries a maximum possible sentence of 10 years. Each of the mail fraud and wire fraud charges carry a penalty of up to 20 years.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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Fox Sets Midseason Premiere Dates For ‘Next Level Chef,’ ‘Call Me Kat’ & ‘Pivoting’


October 19, 2021 2:03pm

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Fox viewers can look forward to three additional series come January 2022 as the network sets midseason premieres for Next Level Chef, Call Me Kat and Pivoting.

The network, which currently hosts MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen, will usher in a new Gordon Ramsay cooking competition in the new year. Next Level Chef is set to premiere on Sunday, Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. ET, following NFL On Fox and The OT. The show, which is produced by Studio Ramsay and Fox Alternative Entertainment, features a culinary gauntlet, set on a stage, over three stories high, each floor containing a different kitchen.

Line cooks, home chefs, social media stars and food struck owners will compete against each other to be crowned the the food world’s newest superstar.

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Ramsay, Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais will each recruit a group of the chefs and take them under their wings to get the best out of them and help them win the $250,000 grand prize.

The project was developed by the Studio Ramsay team led by Chief Creative Officer Lisa Edwards and creative director of development Fernando De Jesus. Ramsay, Lisa Edwards and Matt Cahoon serve as executive producers.

The following week, Season 2 of Call Me Kat and and Pivoting will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. ET and 8:30 p.m. ET, respectively.

Exec produced by Bialik and her Big Bang Theory partner Jim Parsons, the series is an adaptation of long-running hit BBC sitcom Miranda. Bialik stars as a woman who struggles every day against society and her mother to prove she can live a happy and fulfilling life, despite still being single at 39 — which is why she recently spent her entire savings to open a cat café in Louisville, KY. This year, Kat will find herself in all sorts of predicaments, handling them as only she can – with joy, humor, and positivity.

Swoosie Kurtz, Cheyenne Jackson, Leslie Jordan, Kyla Pratt and Julian Gant also star.

Call Me Kat is produced by Parsons’ That’s Wonderful Productions, Bialik’s Sad Clown Productions and BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm in association with Warner Bros Television and Fox Entertainment. That’s Wonderful Productions’ Todd Spiewak, BBC Studios’ Angie Stephenson and Miranda Hart, star of the original British show, exec produce alongside Bialik and Parsons.

Alison Mo Massey will oversee for That’s Wonderful, and Mackenzie Gabriel-Vaught will oversee for Sad Clown.

Pivoting, starring Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Maggie Q, follows three women (Coupe, Goodwin, Q) after the death of their childhood best friend. Faced with the reality that life is short, in desperate attempts to find happiness, they make a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions, strengthening their bond proving it’s never too late to screw up your life.

The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television in association with FOX Entertainment.

Time period premieres for all three programs will be announced at a later date.

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Lucas Bravo Joins Julia Roberts & George Clooney In ‘Ticket To Paradise’


October 19, 2021 1:54pm

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(L-R) Lucas Bravo, Julia Roberts and George Clooney

EXCLUSIVE: Emily in Paris co-star Lucas Bravo has joined Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Kaitlyn Dever in Ticket To Paradise, the Universal Pictures romantic comedy that will be directed by Ol Parker (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again).

In the comedy, a couple of exes find themselves on a shared mission: stop their lovestruck daughter from making the same mistake they once made. Parker wrote the script with Daniel Pipski.

Bravo recently wrapped on Dean Craig’s The Honeymoon, a romantic comedy the French actor stars in opposite Maria Bakalova. He’ll next be seen in Anthony Fabian’s Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris.

Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce alongside Sarah Harvey and Deborah Balderstone, and Smokehouse Pictures partners Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing alongside Red Om Films’ Roberts, Lisa Gillan, and Marisa Yeres Gill. Senior Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers and Vice President of Production Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of Universal.

The film is set to release on October 21, 2022.

Bravo is represented by WME, Nick Styne at Definition Entertainment and Morris Yorn.

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‘Maid’ Cleans Up With Estimated 67M Netflix Households, On Track To Beat ‘The Queen’s Gambit’


October 19, 2021 1:44pm

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Courtesy of Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix

Maid, which stars Margaret Qualley and Andie MacDowell, is on track to beat The Queen’s Gambit as Netflix’s most-watched limited scripted series.

The drama, which centers on Qualley’s Alex, a single mother who turns to housekeeping to make ends meet as she battles against poverty, homelessness and bureaucracy, is set to be watched by 67 million households, according to Netflix.

The series launched October 1 and if it hit its estimates across its first 28 days, it would make it tied for fifth place in terms of most-watched Netflix originals alongside Sex/Life and the third season of Stranger Things.

The news Tuesday comes as Netflix revealed that it would be changing the way that it unveils ratings data in future, moving to an hours viewed model later this year.

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Inspired by Stephanie Land’s bestselling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive, Maid comes from creator and showrunner Molly Smith Metzler and also stars Billy Burke, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose and Tracy Vila. It hails from John Wells Productions, Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment and Warner Bros Television.

Also today, the streamer revealed that Season 5 of La Casa de Papel (aka Money Heist) was watched by 69M households, with 55M households watching season three of Sex Education.

“La Casa de Papel was our first non-English language title to show that – with subtitling and dubbing – great stories truly can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere. We are now producing local TV and film in approximately 45 countries and have built deep relationships with creative communities around the world,” Netflix noted in a letter to investors accompanying its third-quarter earnings report.

The company added that Danish series The Chestnut Man is expected to be watched by approximately two thirds of its Danish members during its first four weeks.

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