Grab the popcorn, folks: the next step in the Sexual Harassment Merry-Go-Round is the sale of the artist formerly known as the Weinstein Company. Okay, it’s still called Weinstein Co., but it is selling itself and the bulk of its film and television assets to avoid bankruptcy, according to Variety. Possible bidders include Killer Content with the backing of a collection of investors gearing to steer Weinstein profits to nonprofits helping women.
In general, the other companies aren’t really interested in absorbing Weinstein whole; just sort of peeling off its assets. That includes Project Runway, The King’s Speech, Django Unchained and others. First round of bids came today. (Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly faces two more lawsuits from accusers alleging he violated the confidentiality agreements of their settlements.)
• Speaking of sexism and misogyny! E! News co-anchor Catt Sadler quit today when she discovered that her male co-host earned almost double her salary, even though they did the same job and had started at the network in the same year. She stated that she asked to close the pay gap and was repeatedly denied. “How can I operate with integrity and stay on at E if they’re not willing to pay me the same as him? Or at least come close?” she wrote in her personal blog. “How can I not echo the actions of my heroes and stand for what is right no matter what the cost? How can I remain silent when my rights under the law have been violated?”
Sadler, a single mother of two, said it is “scary” to quit, but that it is important to stand up for equal pay. “The unknown can be terrifying, but it can also be the most beautiful gift,” she wrote. “How can we make it better for the next generation of girls if we do not stand for what is fair and just today?”
Washington Post dug in deeper, pointing out that women currently make 81 cents for each dollar made by a man, and the gap is wider among college grads, business, finance and legal careers. The White House gender pay gap has tripled in the last year, as the administration halted an Obama policy that would require large companies to report pay broken down by race and gender, according to the Post.
• I thought the NFL was in trouble? Football is still the top-watched show on broadcast networks this fall, including NBC and CSB and Sunday and Thursday… so not that much trouble. The top scripted show is still The Big Bang Theory, in defiance of logic. Rounding out the top ten are The Good Doctor (really?), This is Us, NCIS, Young Sheldon (dammit) and Bull.
In looking at the full 75-show list, no one is ever allowed to complain to me again that there are too many police procedural shows on TV. Of the top shows, at least 17 are police procedurals. This is just like when people say they’re tired of all the violence in the news, but let me tell you what people click first and most often, folks…
• Apple is being sued on allegations that it intentionally slows down older iPhones with new iOS releases in order to goad people into buying a new phone. Apple admits that older phones might slow down with later software, but only to keep them from crashing when the processor can't handle it. The suit was filed in Chicago.
• Note to Ridley Scott: Shhh. When discussing your need to reshoot All the Money in the World with Christopher Plummer instead of accused rapist Kevin Spacey, maybe this comment is not the best choice: “Any form of publicity is useful.”
Oh, Ridley. You were doing so much better when you originally said that one person’s actions should not affect the good work of all these other people, telling this dramatic story. That made it seem like you were trying to preserve art and storytelling, not to mention fine acting, not just scrambling to make a buck and uncaring about the implications of the allegations against Spacey.
Out of context? Not really. Full quote: “If you forget as the director your one priority is to put bums on seats and you better entertain. So any form of publicity is useful. Need I go further?”Please don’t.
• That awful, terrible, illogical, franchise-ruining Last Jedi* is up to $536 million international take - oops, $600 million! Coming up this weekend: Jumanji and The Greatest Showman, with a couple meaningless comedies a few days later. Good luck besting the Jedi, guys.
• I really thought it was a joke, but not-the-Onion reports that they’re seriously going forward with a Quentin Tarantino Star Trek movie. Because his nihilistic ultraviolent style of reveling in blood because pain is funny is just what an optimistic, humanist view of the future needed. (Note: Not a fan.) Mark L. Smith, who wrote that utopian flick The Revenant, will be writing it. Meanwhile, Tarantino is working on a Charles Manson film, which seems much more his style of “let’s watch them squish the eyeballs.”
• Heather North, the voice of Daphne for Scooby Doo fans, died Tuesday at age 71 of a heart attack caused by respiratory disease. North began on Days of Our Lives and started her run as Daphne in 1970 in the show’s second season and would play Daphne for 30 years in various formats. She did a lot of TV work and a few movies; her husband, Wesley Kenney directed the most famous season of All in the Family. He died in January 2015; one of her stepdaughters died a week ago.
• I can't really tell if the upcoming Chappaquiddick is going to be worth a watch or not. It's an interesting story that is ancient history for many of us too young (or not yet born) to follow the scandal that ended any chance of Ted Kennedy following his brothers in pursuit of the presidency. The acting in the trailer is surprisingly flat; you expect to see their best work. It is not clear what side the movie takes: accident or murder, or something in between?
• They gender-swapped Overboard, which is one of my guilty pleasures: it’s horribly problematic and yet funny as hell with a good bit of charm. There are a number of comedies like that for me: I can’t help liking them even though every good sense says “This is horrible!” (Note: You’ve Got Mail is pretty much gold-plated in this category.) I was neutral on the gender-swap, leaning positive on the “revenge of blue collar over the 1 percent” theme, but this trailer pretty much tells me this will be the most unfunny flop of the spring.
• There's a real Alice in Wonderland/Narnia vibe to Disney's teaser for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Not even I knew that the Tchaikovsky ballet was based on an 1816 short story by E.T.A. Hoffman, later adapted by The Three Musketeers' Alexandre Dumas. There's some pretty dark stuff in the original source material, and I'm interested to see what the movie does with it, as a fantasy fan and as a former ballet sugarplum. Shh, don't tell anyone.
* Read: sarcasm.