Thursday, April 30, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 26th to 30th, 2020 - Update #21

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

Support Leroy on Patreon:

BLACK AMERICA AND COVID-19 - Crisis or... :

From YahooGMA: (4/28) - Rana Zoe Mungin, a 30-year-old teacher from Brooklyn, died on Monday, April 27th for COVID-19.  She had twice been denied a test for the coronavirus after showing symptoms.  Her family and friends blame racial disparity in the health care system.

From RSNWashPost:  How COVID-19 is a perfect storm for Black Americans.

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 NEWS - Hollywood and Beyond:

From YahooNews:  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has added six possible new symptoms of COVID-19.

From YahooNews:  Why does COVID-19 kill some people and hardly affects others?

From YahooNews:  Yahoo has a dedicated page of links updating news about COVID-19.

From Deadline:  The news site "Deadline" has a dedicated page for news about coronavirus and the film, TV, and entertainment industries.

From TheNewYorker:  The venerable magazine has a dedicate COVID-19 page free to all readers.

From YahooNews:  Re: the federal government's response to COVID-19: What if the most important election of our lifetime was the last one - 2016?

From YahooNews: (4/28) - A consumer group has launched a website to keep track of company and corporations that get those COVID-19 "Paycheck Protection Program" (PPP) small business loans.

From YahooNews: (4/28) - The United States has now has 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

From YahooFinance:  The COVID-19 pandemic may finally cut the cord to cable TV for Americans.

From YahooNews: (4/26) - COVID-19 is breaking the American food chain.

From YahooNews:  (4/26) - An ingredient in the popular heartburn medicine, "Pepcid," is being studied as a treatment for COVID-19.


MOVIES - From Variety:  Oscar-nominee Adam Driver joins director Jeff Nichols for "Yankee Comandante."

MOVIES - Deadline:  Universal's "Trolls World Tour" (DreamWorks Animation) has earned an estimated $95 million in rental fees during its first 19 days in release on PVOD (premium video on-demand).

From Deadline:  After comments that Universal made in a "Wall Street Journal," the theater chain, AMC, says that it will not carry Univeral's films in its venues.  This is the latest front in the "day-and-date theatrical-VOD" battle.

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  The Grammy-winning recording duo, Daft Punk, will compose the musical score for Dario Argento's next film, "Black Glasses," his first film in eight years.

POLITICS - From TheDailyBeast:  Fox New has apparently cut ties with MAGA sambos, the vlogging and social media duo, "Diamond & Silk."

STAR TREK - From BleedingCool:  Director Jonathan Frakes, a veteran "Star Trek" actor and director, talks about Season 3 of CBS All Access' "Star Trek: Discovery."

TELEVISION - From DeadlineRyan Murphy teases the return of American Horror Story's "Rubber Man."

TELEVISION - From YahooEntertainmentDr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gets his wish.  Brad Pitt played him on the April 25th 2020 broadcast of "Saturday Night Live."

From YahooEntertainmentDr. Anthony Fauci is pleased with Brad Pitt's portrayal of him on SNL.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Paramount Pictures is pushing back the release dates of the next two "Mission: Impossible" films.  "Mission: Impossible 7" movies from July 23, 2021 to November 19, 2021.  "Mission: Impossible 8" moves form August 5, 2022 to November 4, 2022.


From Deadline:  The Indian actor, Irrfan Khan, has died at the age of 53, Wednesday, April 29, 2020.  He is best known to American audiences for his appearances in the films, "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Life of Pi" (both in 2012) and "Jurassic World" (2015).

From Variety:  The actor Gene Dynarski died at the age of 86, February 27, 2020.  Dynarski is best known for appearing twice on "Seinfeld," as "Izzy Mandelbaum, Jr.," and twice on the original "Star Trek," most memorably in the episode, "Mudd's Women."

From Deadline:  Country music vocalist (bass singer,) Harold Reid, has died at the age of 80, April 24, 2020.  Reid was best known for his association with the country, gospel, and vocal group, "The Statler Brothers.

From Deadline:  The former president and longtime member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Jorge Camara, has died at the age of 84, Friday, April 24, 2020 of cancer.  The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hands out the "Golden Globes" awards.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Yen Press Publishes New "Fruits Basket" Digital Manga

Yen Press to Digitally Publish New Fruits Basket Manga Content

Digital Publication of New Chapters of Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers and Fruits Basket Another

NEW YORK, NY – Adding to the excitement of the highly-anticipated Season 2 of the Fruits Basket anime, Yen Press announced that it will publish new Fruits Basket manga content on digital platforms nearly simultaneous to their Japanese release—ongoing chapters of the spin-off series Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers and Fruits Basket Another. Both series are written and drawn by Natsuki Takaya, the creator of the original Fruits Basket which stands out as the most iconic work of shojo manga in the English-speaking world.

Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc 2
The Three Musketeers are back again to celebrate the second season of the Fruits Basket anime! Kill the time between new episodes with the ridiculous antics of Shigure, Ayame, and Hatori! Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc 2—Start!

Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc, a comedic Fruits Basket side story featuring fan-favorite characters from the original series, continues with Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc 2. The first chapter debuts on April 28, 2020 on digital platforms and is priced at $0.99.

Fruits Basket Another
Sawa Mitoma, a nervous, skittish girl who prefers minimal human contact, has just started high school, and it's already not going well...until she meets the "it" boys—the "prince-like" Mutsuki and the sharp-tongued Hajime. But little does she know, they're Sohmas!? It's Fruits Basket...again!

After the release of Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc 2, Chapter 1, fans won’t have to wait long for more Fruits Basket content. Fruits Basket Another, a Fruits Basket spin-off featuring new characters that include the children of the original cast, continues with Fruits Basket Another, Chapter 13, a satisfying read that combines three parts of Fruits Basket Another into a 64 page chapter. The new chapter debuts simultaneous to the Japanese release of the third part on May 4, 2020 and is priced at $2.99.

Season 2 of the Fruits Basket anime is currently streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll with new episodes every Monday. The original manga series is available in twelve deluxe volumes titled Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition published by Yen Press.

About Yen Press, LLC
­­Yen Press, LLC is a joint venture between Kadokawa Corporation and Hachette Book Group. Founded in 2006, Yen Press is one of the largest and most prolific publishers of manga and original graphic novels in North America and is also a leading publisher of light novels and Japanese literature through its Yen On imprint. For more information, please visit


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Initiates Rules Changes for 93rd Oscars


For This Awards Year Only, Streamed Films To Be Eligible for Oscars®

Sound Mixing and Sound Editing Awards Combined into One Sound Category

The Academy’s Board of Governors has approved rules and campaign regulations for the 93rd Academy Awards®.

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all Los Angeles County movie theaters as of Monday, March 16, 2020.  Current Academy Awards rules (under Rule Two, Eligibility) require that a film be shown in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County for a theatrical qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily.  Until further notice, and for the 93rd Awards year only, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on a commercial streaming or VOD service may qualify in the Best Picture, general entry and specialty categories for the 93rd Academy Awards under these provisions:

  •     The film must be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release;
  •     The film must meet all other eligibility requirements.

On a date to be determined by the Academy, and when theaters reopen in accordance with federal, state and local specified guidelines and criteria, this rules exemption will no longer apply.  All films released thereafter will be expected to comply with the standard Academy theatrical qualifying requirements.

“The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater.  Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering.  Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules.  The Academy supports our members and colleagues during this time of uncertainty.  We recognize the importance of their work being seen and also celebrated, especially now, when audiences appreciate movies more than ever,” said Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson.

For films to more easily meet theatrical exhibition requirements when theaters reopen, the Academy also will expand the number of qualifying theaters beyond Los Angeles County to include venues in additional U.S. metropolitan areas: the City of New York; the Bay Area; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Atlanta, Georgia.  The Awards and Events Committee will evaluate all matters of rules and eligibility.

Film festivals that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may provide films online through either a transactional pay wall or password-protected entry, which will not affect the films’ eligibility for future Academy Awards qualification.  The Academy will allow an exemption for those films that are released online through an impacted festival’s online platform, provided that proof of inclusion in the festival is submitted.  With these provisions, films will be expected to comply with all other eligibility requirements for the 93rd Academy Awards.

The Board of Governors also announced rules changes in the Sound, Music and International Feature Film categories.

  •     The two Sound categories, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, have been combined into one award for best achievement in Sound that emphasizes the team effort.  The number of Oscar® statuettes remains the same; up to six statuettes may be awarded.  Eligible recipients may include one production sound mixer, two supervising sound editors and three rerecording mixers.
  •     In the Music (Original Score) category, for a score to be eligible, it must comprise a minimum of 60% original music.  Additionally, for sequels and franchise films, a score must have a minimum of 80% new music.
    In a procedural change in the International Feature Film category, all eligible Academy members will now be invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting.  For the first time, film submissions will be made available through the Academy Screening Room streaming platform to those members who opt-in.  These members of the International Feature Film Preliminary Voting committee must meet a minimum viewing requirement in order to be eligible to vote in the category.

The following campaign regulations were also approved:

  •     The regulation prohibiting quotes or comments by Academy members not directly associated with the film in any form of advertising in any medium, including online and social media, was eliminated.  Academy governors and Awards and Events Committee members, however, are still prohibited from participating in such activity.
  •     All screeners will be required to include closed captioning.
  •     After nominations, film companies will be allowed to send mailings announcing the availability of song and bake-off materials on the Academy’s streaming platform.
  •     As part of the Academy’s sustainability effort, the 93rd Awards season will be the final year DVD screeners will be allowed to be distributed; these mailings will be discontinued starting in 2021 for the 94th Academy Awards.  Access to the Academy Screening Room will continue to be made available for all eligible releases.  The distribution of physical music CDs, screenplays and hardcopy mailings, including but not limited to paper invites and screening schedules, will also be discontinued next year.  Digital links to materials will be permitted.

Due to the shifting landscape surrounding the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, all matters of rules and eligibility for the 93rd Academy Awards are subject to change based on national guidelines, state-mandated government orders and Academy-determined best practices.

Additional adjustments to Academy rules, eligibility requirements and scheduling may be required.  As previously announced, the 93rd Oscars telecast is scheduled to air Sunday, February 28, 2021, on ABC.  Any updated information about the show will be shared at a later time.

For the complete 93rd Academy Awards rules, visit


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 9,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.


DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for April 28, 2020

DC Comics New Comic Books - Tuesday, April 28, 2020:

Batman #89 (3rd Printing)
Featuring the first appearance of Punchline!

Daphne Byrne #4
Daphne gains a new ally as she continues to wrestle with the malevolent forces within her!

The Dreaming #20
The unbelievable finale to Si Spurrier and Bilquis Evely’s epic tale from the Sandman Universe!

Nightwing #70 (2nd Printing)
The Clown Prince of Crime comes to Ric Grayson and Bludhaven in this prelude to The Joker War!

Batman GIANT #4
Classic stories from the world of The Dark Knight, plus an all-new chapter of the original story “Concrete Jungle,” by Mark Russell (Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles) and Ryan Benjamin!


Friday, April 24, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 19th to 25th, 2020 - Update #26

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

Support Leroy on Patreon:

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 NEWS - Hollywood and Beyond:

From YahooNews:  Why does COVID-19 kill some people and hardly affects others?

From YahooNews:  Yahoo has a dedicated page of links updating news about COVID-19.

From Deadline:  The news site "Deadline" has a dedicated page for news about coronavirus and the film, TV, and entertainment industries.

From TheNewYorker:  The venerable magazine has a dedicate COVID-19 page free to all readers.

From YahooNews:  Re: the federal government's response to COVID-19: What if the most important election of our lifetime was the last one - 2016?

From YahooNYT:  COVID-19 may have been spreading throughout the United States much earlier than originally thought.

From Truthout:  The US’s Failed Response to the Pandemic Is Rooted in Anti-Blackness.

From THR:  "Better Call Saul" actor Bob Odenkirk talks about his son, Nate's bout with COVID-19.

From Variety:  Saturday, April 18th's star-studded "One World: Together at Home" concert raised $127 million for health care workers and coronavirus relief.

From YahooEntertainment:  Actor Tom Hanks recalls he and wife, actress-producer Rita Wilson's struggle to recover from COVID-19.

From YahooMoney: (4/17) - American are applying for "Food Stamps" in droves.


From MSNDonald Reed Herring, the oldest of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's three brothers, has died at the age of 86, Tuesday, April 21, 2020 of complications related to COVID-19.

From THR:  American cinematographer, Allen Daviau, has died at the age of 77, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, from complications of COVID-19.  He was a five-time Oscar-nominee for best cinematography - three for his work with Steven Spielberg ("E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," "The Color Purple," and "Empire of the Sun") and two for his work with Barry Levinson ("Avalon" and "Bugsy").

From Billboard:  Celebrated jazz saxophonist, Lee Konitz, has died at the age of 92, Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from complications of COVID-19.  Konitz was known for his association with the "cool jazz movement" and for his participation with Miles Davis' "Birth of the Cool" sessions.  In fact, Konitz was the last surviving performer of those sessions.


From YahooMoney:  What to know about the mailing of COVID-19 stimulus checks.

From YahooFinance:  (4/19) Here is why you aren't able to track your stimulus money.

From YahooNews:  Deceased people are getting stimulus check... and the heirs and spouses may be able to keep them.

From YahooNews:  This article updates information on COVID-19 stimulus checks, including the introduction of a web tool that will let people track their checks.

According to the Washington Post, here is the timetable for when the IRS will start issuing checks to those who will receive their checks by mail:

Taxpayers with income up to $10,000: April 24
Taxpayers with income up to $20,000: May 1
Taxpayers with income up to $40,000: May 15.

The article has information about mailing dates after May 15th.


ANIMATION - From CartoonBrew:  The new series of Looney Tunes cartoon shorts that were originally announced back in 2018 will debut on HBO Max streaming service when it debuts on May 27th.  They are being packaged as 80 episodes of 11 minutes in length.  Each episode will by comprised of animated shorts of varying lengths.

From CartoonBrew:  This link will let you see one of the shorts, a Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd short entitled "Dynamite Dance."

STREAMING - From Variety:  Warner Media will launch its new streaming servie, "HBO Max," May 27th, 2020.

ANIMATION - From Deadline:  Warner Bros. has decided to release its upcoming theatrical animated feature film, "Scoob!," on VOD (video on demand) and premium digital ownership.  The film had been slated for a May 15th release in theaters.  The film details how Scooby-Doo and Shaggy first met and how they joined Fred, Daphne, and Velma to form "Mystery Inc."

MARVEL - From THR:  Marvel has terminated showrunner deals with Steve Lightfoot (Netflix/Marvel's "The Punisher") and Paul Zbyszewski ("Helstrom").

SEX - From BET:  Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish explains why she prefers men with small penises.

MOVIES - From GamesRadar:  Director Colin Trevorrow posts the first image from "Jurassic World: Dominion," the third film in the "Jurassic World" franchise.

MOVIES - From THR:  Lionsgate will begin work on a "Hunger Games" sequel film that will be based on the upcomig prequel novel, "The Battle of Songbirds and Snake" (May 19th).

STAR TREK - From Newsarama:  Actor LeVar Burton says that he is in talks to reprise his "Star Trek: The Next Generation" role of "Jordi La Forge" for season two of streamer, CBS All Access' "Star Trek: Picard."

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Netflix pays $20 million dollars for "The Starling," which stars Melissa McCarthy and is directed by Ted Melfi.

STREAMING - From Variety:  Apple may be about to make a $200 million+ risk on Martin Scorsese's next film, "Killers of the Flower Moon," which will star Leonard DiCaprio.

SPORTS - From VarietyJennifer Lopez and her fiance, former Major League Baseball great, Alex Rodriguez, may be working on a bid to buy the New York Mets baseball team.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Hot off "Harriet," Kasi Lemons will write and direct WWII drama, "The Shadow King."  It focuses on the women soldiers of Ethiopia who fought against a German invasion, but were left out of history.


From THR:   The film, TV, and stage actress, Shirley Knight, has died at the age of Wednesday, April 22, 2020.  She was a two-time best supporting actress Oscar nominee ("The Dark at the Top of the Stairs," and "Sweet Bird of Youth").  She was a three-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, and won a Tony Award for her performance in "Kennedy's Children."

From THR:  The actor, Tom Lester, has died at the age of 81, Monday, April 20, 2020.  Lester is best known for playing the lanky, wide-eyed, easygoing farmhand, Eb Dawson, on the CBS comedy series, "Green Acres" (1965 to 1971).  He was the last surviving regular cast member of the series.  

From Deadline:  The Indian/Bollywood actor, Ranjit Chowdhry, has died at the age of 64, Wednesday, April 15, 2020.  He crossed over into American films and television, beginning in the early 1990s.  He appeared in such American TV series as "The Office" (NBC) and "Prison Break" (Fox).  His most prominent American role was probably in the 2006 Queen Latifah film, "Last Holiday."

From Syfy:   The illustrator, animator, and comic book artist, Gene Deitch, has died at the age of 95, Thursday, April 16, 2020.  He directed the Oscar-winning animated short film, "Munro" (1960,) with the Oscar going to the film's producer.  In 1964, two animated short films Deitch directed earned Oscar nominations.  Deith may be best known for directing and creating the "Tom Terrific" cartoon shorts for the legendary children's TV series, "Captain Kangaroo" (CBS).  Gene's three sons are prominent figures in the Underground Comics movement, especially Kim Deitch.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Yen Press Announces "I'm A Behemoth" Manga and Light Novel

Yen Press Launches New Manga Series - I"M A BEHEMOTH

Publisher Yen Press takes readers on a hilarious, fantasy action/adventure with the launch of the new manga series - I'm a Behemoth, an S-Ranked Monster, but Mistaken for a Cat, I Live as an Elf Girl's Pet.

The series, written by Nozomi Ginyoku with artwork by Taro Shinonome and Yanomitsuki, debuts Tues., April 21st, 2020 in print and digitally. It’s rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers.

Yen Press announced the launch of the series earlier on Twitter:

A comedic fantasy manga based on the popular light novel series. In this new adventure, a knight finds himself reincarnated as a behemoth, one of the most powerful monsters in the world, and when he meets a beautiful elf girl, he's ready to fight at her side. Problem is, a baby behemoth looks an awful lot like...a housecat?!

Yen Press will also launch the original light novel series for I'm a Behemoth, an S-Ranked Monster, but Mistaken for a Cat, I Live as an Elf Girl's Pet under its Yen On literary imprint this summer.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Skydance Media Forms "Skydance Animation Madrid"

Skydance Media Acquires Animation Unit of Madrid-Based Ilion Studios

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Skydance Media, the diversified global media company founded by David Ellison in 2010, announced it has acquired the animation unit of Madrid-based Ilion Studios, a world leader in state-of-the-art animation production, to form Skydance Animation Madrid. This strategic acquisition combines the creative capital of Skydance with Ilion’s best-in-class talent, ensuring Skydance Animation’s full oversight of all production aspects guaranteeing quality control throughout the life cycle of every project.

    “This is a phenomenal growth opportunity for our team in Spain and we’re proud to be an integral part of Skydance’s exciting future.”

With a combined workforce of almost 500 employees across two continents, Skydance Animation now has the expanded creative capability, scale and leverage to deliver on its goal of becoming an industry-leading producer of high-end animated films and television series for audiences around the world.

Led by animation visionary John Lasseter and industry veteran Holly Edwards, Skydance Animation has rapidly grown to support a robust development and expanded production slate. Since its inception, Skydance Animation’s roster of creatives has grown to include an array of award-winning talent, including Vicky Jenson, director of the first ever Academy Award-winner for Best Animated Feature, Shrek; Peggy Holmes; Nathan Greno; Kiel Murray; Lauren Hynek; Elizabeth Martin and Tony Award-nominee and Writers Guild of America West’s Animation Writers Caucus lifetime achievement honoree Linda Woolverton.

“The world is going through an unprecedented and uncertain time. Today’s acquisition marks the culmination of many months of work to build one studio across two continents, with the goal of creating the highest-quality animation, led by best-in-class talent from around the world,” said David Ellison, chief executive officer of Skydance Media. “The addition of Skydance Animation Madrid to our portfolio of businesses underlines my passion and commitment to bringing iconic animated stories and characters to life from some of the most talented artists and voices in the industry.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Skydance Animation and to further collaborate with Skydance founder David Ellison and elite talent like John Lasseter and Holly Edwards,” said Ignacio Pérez Dolset, founder, president and chief creative officer of Ilion. “This is a phenomenal growth opportunity for our team in Spain and we’re proud to be an integral part of Skydance’s exciting future.”

Skydance Animation’s upcoming feature slate includes:

        Directed by Peggy Holmes (The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning) and written by Kiel Murray (Cars, Cars 3) and Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (the Kung Fu Panda series).
        When the unluckiest girl alive stumbles upon the never-before-seen world of good and bad luck, she must join together with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerful than even luck itself.

    Spellbound (working title)
        Directed by Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale) and written by Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin (Mulan [2020]) and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King).
        A musical fantasy set in a world of magic where a young girl sets out to break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.

    Pookoo (working title/currently in development)
        Written and directed by Nathan Greno (Tangled) and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook (The Princess and the Frog).

In addition, Skydance Animation has a slate of soon-to-be-announced high-end television series in various stages of development.

Ilion Animation Studios creates state-of-the-art computer animated feature films of the highest level, combining cutting-edge technology with top artistic quality. Ilion’s animation unit has become a model studio on a global basis, capable of attracting talented individuals who create best-in-class animation production.

Latham & Watkins LLP (Los Angeles and Madrid) acted as legal adviser to Skydance Media and Loyra Abogados (Madrid) provided counsel to Ilion in this transaction.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

"Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort" Airs Wed., April 22nd

Anthony Anderson Joins Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, and Regina Hall as Host of “SAVING OUR SELVES: A BET COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT” Special Set to Air on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 8 PM EDT

Performances by Alicia Keys, John Legend, Usher, Jhene Aiko, Chloe X Halle, CeeLo Green, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Swae Lee, Tyrese Gibson, Buju Banton, DJ D-Nice, SiR, D Smoke and Charlie Wilson

Gospel Performance by Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelly Price, Tasha Cobbs, Le’Andria Johnson and Melvin Crispell III

Additional Appearances by Tiffany Haddish, Idris Elba, Ciara, Don Cheadle, Mike Epps, Deon Cole, Angela Rye, Dr. Rheeda Walker, Charlamagne Tha God, Symone D. Sanders, DJ Khaled and Chance The Rapper

Special to Simulcast Across BET, BET HER, BET International Channels and to Over-the-Air Broadcast Viewers via Bounce

BET Has Partnered with United Way to Create a Relief Fund to Receive Financial Donations That Will Be Disbursed to Local Charities That Provide Food and Emergency Assistance to Those Who Need Help Most

For More Information Visit


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BET announces comedian and actor Anthony Anderson as the fourth host of the upcoming “SAVING OUR SELVES: A BET COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT,” special. Anderson joins stars Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, and Regina Hall as host for the two-hour special broadcast. “SAVING OUR SELVES: A BET COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT,” is set to air on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 8 PM EDT.

Performances include Alicia Keys with a special tribute to New York City, and a Gospel moment with Kirk Franklin featuring Fantasia, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelly Price, Tasha Cobbs, Le’Andria Johnson, and Melvin Crispell III. Exclusive performances by John Legend, Usher, Jhene Aiko, Chloe X Halle, CeeLo Green, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Swae Lee, Tyrese Gibson, Buju Banton, DJ D-Nice, SiR, D Smoke, and Charlie Wilson.

Additional celebrity guest appearances will include Tiffany Haddish, Idris Elba, Ciara, Don Cheadle, Mike Epps, Deon Cole, Angela Rye, Dr. Rheeda Walker, Charlamagne Tha God, Symone D. Sanders, DJ Khaled and Chance The Rapper.

Expanding the reach of the telecast, BET will simulcast the special across BET and BET Her domestically, as well as their channels internationally bringing awareness to over 90 million homes. Additionally, BET will join forces with Bounce to help expand the audience to include free, over-the-air broadcast viewers with Bounce simulcasting “SAVING OUR SELVES: A BET COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT.”

Addressing the communities around the world, a global check-in segment for “BET SAVING OUR SELVES: COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT” will highlight how various regions around the globe are coping through COVID-19. BET Breaks’ International talent Nomalanga (South Africa), Flora Coquerel (France), and Jourdan Riane (UK) will report on how the pandemic is affecting their countries. British Hip Hop Artists behind the viral “Don’t Rush” social media challenge, Young T and Bugsy, and Idris Elba’s wife, Sabrina Elba, will make appearances as well. Internationally, the show will be broadcast on Saturday, April 25 in the UK at 9:00 pm BST, Korea at 9:00 pm KST, Africa at 6:00 pm CAT, and France at 10:30 pm CEDT.

The focus of the initiatives is to combat the racial disparities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent findings have shown that Black Americans are being disproportionately harmed by the health and financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. BET, in partnership with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, leaders in the African American creative, civil rights and business communities will provide critical financial, educational and community support directly to the African Americans hardest hit by this crisis. Corporate brand donors who have generously contributed to the fund include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Toyota, Salesforce, McDonald’s, AARP, Pine-Sol®, Morgan Stanley, TJ Maxx, Weight Watchers, and NBA.

You can now donate to the fund online via or by texting BETGives to 51555. More information on BET’s partnership with UWW and additional extensions of our relief efforts are forthcoming. For further details, please visit

About BET
BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About United Way
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 12th to 18th, 2020 - Update #24

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

Support Leroy on Patreon:

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 NEWS - Hollywood and Beyond:

From YahooNews:  Why does COVID-19 kill some people and hardly affects others?

From YahooNews:  Yahoo has a dedicated page of links updating news about COVID-19.

From Deadline:  The news site "Deadline" has a dedicated page for news about coronavirus and the film, TV, and entertainment industries.

From TheNewYorker:  The venerable magazine has a dedicate COVID-19 page free to all readers.

From YahooNews:  Re: the federal government's response to COVID-19: What if the most important election of our lifetime was the last one - 2016?

From YahooSports:   Brian Allen, the starting center for the Los Angeles Rams, announced that he has twice tested positive for COVID-19.  He is the first known NFL player to test positive for the virus.

From NBCSports:  Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos has tested positive for COVID-19. 

From Deadline:  "Saturday Night Live" performer, Michael Che, is paying one month's rent for residents of the New York house complex where his late grandmother lived.  Che's grandmother, Martha, recently died of complications of COVID-19.

From NJHerald:  An investigation has been launched into an elder care facility after 17 bodies are found piled into a small morgue at the facility.

From Variety:  Thanks to a COVID-19 surge in orders, shares of Amazon's stock hits an all-time high.  The company is currently valued at 1.1 trillion dollars.

From CNN:  Actress and film producer, Rita Wilson (and wife of Tom Hanks), describes her experience with COVID-19 in her first interview

From YahooNewsPresident Donald once wanted to let COVID-19 "wash over the country."

From DeadlineDisney World to furlough 43,000 due to COVID-19 disruptions.


From YahooNews:  Deceased people are getting stimulus check... and the heirs and spouses may be able to keep them.

From YahooNews:  This article updates information on COVID-19 stimulus checks, including the introduction of a web tool that will let people track their checks.

According to the Washington Post, here is the timetable for when the IRS will start issuing checks to those who will receive their checks by mail:

Taxpayers with income up to $10,000: April 24

Taxpayers with income up to $20,000: May 1

Taxpayers with income up to $40,000: May 15.

The article has information about mailing dates after May 15th,


From Deadline:  The legendary celebrity, film and TV hairstylist, Charles Gregory Ross, died Wednesday, April 8, 2020 due to complications of COVID-19.  He worked on numerous film and TV productions over a nearly 30-year career.  Ross worked on many Tyler Perry productions and he received a 2005 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his work on the 2005 HBO movie, "Lackawanna Blues."



MOVIES - From BET:  Halle Berry debuts her chiseled abs and hard new body as she preps for the martial arts drama, "Bruised," which she is directing.

TRAILER - From Variety:  Actor Tom Hardy and director Josh Trank's Al Capone biopic, "Capone," will hit video-on-demand (VOD) on May 12th.

MOVIES-CHARITY - From DeadlineLeonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro offer a chance to win a walk-on role in Martin Scorsese's film, "Killers of the Flower Moon."

TELEVISION - From THR:  The site offers a review of "The Last Dance," ESPN's 10-part documentary TV series about Michael Jordan and the NBA's Chicago Bulls.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  CBS has cancelled its Sunday night TV series, "God Friended Me" after two seasons.  The two-hour series finale will be broadcast Sunday, April 26th.

BOX OFFICE - From Deadline:  Universal Pictures is still collecting data, but it expects a record-setting digital rental weekend for "Trolls: World Tour."  The DreamWorks Animation film was #1 on all on-demand platforms.

MOVIES - From VanityFair:  The magazine has a first look at Oscar-nominated actor Timothee Chalamet as "Paul Atreides" in director Denis Villeneuve's upcoming "Dune."

DISNEY - From Deadline:  Disney is in early development of a live-action/CG-hybrid of its animated film, "Robin Hood" (1973).  Carlos Lopez Estrada ("Blindspotting") will direct.

MOVIES - From DeadlineDwayne Johnson talks about a "Hobbs & Shaw" sequel and about losing out of "Jack Reacher" to Tom Cruise.


From Deadline:  Award-winning film, television, and stage actor, Brian Dennehy, has died at the age of 81, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, of cardiac arrest.  Dennehy is best known for his appearances in such films as "First Blood" (1982) and "Tommy Boy" (1995).  He won the Tony Award for "Best Actor in a Play," including for 1999 revival of the play, "Death of a Salesman."

From Heavy:  Prolific Japanese voice actor Keiji Fujiwara has died at the age of 55, Sunday, April 12, 2020 of cancer.  Fujiwara was a voice actor in numerous Japanese anime film ("Crayon Shin-chan" franchise) and television series ("Fullmetal Alchemist," "Kingdom Hearts") and video games ("Final Fantasy" franchise).  He also provided the Japanese dub for numerous English-language live-action movies.  He was most notably the Japanese voice dub for actor Robert Downey, Jr., providing the Japanese voice for Downey's "Tony Stark/Iron Man" and "Sherlock Holmes."

From CNN:  American actor and animation voice actor, Danny Goldman, has died at the age of 80, Monday, April 12, 2020, has died from complications of two strokes he suffered earlier this year.  Goldman is best known for being the voice of "Brainy Smurf" on NBC's Saturday morning animation series, "The Smurfs" (1981 to 1989).  His most memorable scene in a movie was as an annoying medical student vexing Gene Wilder in Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" (1974).

From BleacherReport:  Former NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has died at the age of 36, Sunday, April 12, 2020 in a single-car crash.  Jackson played in the NFL from 2006 to 2015.  It was during his second stint with the Seattle Seahawks (2013-2015) that he was a member of the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII (#48 held on Feb. 2nd, 2014) championship team.  Since 2019, he had been a quarterbacks coach with Tennessee State University.

From CNN:   American entrepreneur, publisher, businessman, philanthropist, and advocate of African-American businesses, Earl G. Graves, Sr., has died at the age of 85, Monday, April 6, 2020 of complications from Alzheimer's disease.  Graves was best known for founding "Black Enterprise" magazine, which was founded to focus on Black entrepreneurs and Black businesses.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Disney+ Surpasses 50 Million Subscriber Mark

Disney+ Paid Subscriber Count Surpasses 50 Million Milestone

Launched Five Months Ago, the Service Is Now Available in More Than a Dozen Countries Around the World

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing to delight consumers around the world, Disney+ has now achieved another new milestone, with 50 million paid subscribers globally within five months after its U.S. launch.

    “We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year”

“We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year,” said Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International. “Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney+.”

In the past two weeks, Disney+ rolled out in eight Western European counties including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Additionally, Disney+ became available last week in India, where it is offered in conjunction with the existing Hotstar service, and already accounts for approximately eight million of Disney+’s 50 million paid subscribers.

Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. As part of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Visit to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements and information in this communication may be deemed to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements such as the expected performance of our goods and services, anticipated availability or timing of our goods or services and other statements that are not statements of historical fact. These statements are often characterized by terminology such as “will,” “believes” and similar expressions. These statements are made based on views and assumptions as of the time made and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update these statements.

Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including strategic or restructuring initiatives (including capital investments, asset acquisitions or dispositions) or other business decisions (including regarding direct-to-consumer launch timing, platform or content), as well as from developments beyond the Company’s control, including:

    changes in domestic and global economic conditions, competitive conditions and consumer preferences;
    adverse weather conditions or natural disasters;
    health concerns;
    international, regulatory, political, or military developments (including government requests to delay direct-to-consumer launch in certain jurisdictions);
    technological developments; and
    labor markets and activities;

each such risk includes the impacts of COVID-19 and related mitigation efforts.

Such developments may further affect entertainment, travel and leisure businesses generally and may, among other things, further affect:

    the performance of the Company’s theatrical and home entertainment releases;
    the advertising market for broadcast and cable television programming;
    demand for our products and services;
    expenses of providing medical and pension benefits;
    income tax expense;
    performance of some or all company businesses either directly or through their impact on those who distribute our products; and
    achievement of anticipated benefits of the TFCF transaction.

Additional factors are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 28, 2019 under Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” under Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis,” Item 1, “Business,” and subsequent reports, including, among others, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Forms 8-K.


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 1st to 11th, 2020 - Update #43

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

Support Leroy on Patreon:

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 and Hollywood and Beyond:

From YahooNews:  Why does COVID-19 kill some people and hardly affects others?

From YahooNews:  Yahoo has a dedicated page of links updating news about COVID-19.

From Deadline:  The news site "Deadline" has a dedicated page for news about coronavirus and the film, TV, and entertainment industries.

From TheNewYorker:  The venerable magazine has a dedicate COVID-19 page free to all readers.

From YahooNews:  Re: the federal government's response to COVID-19: What if the most important election of our lifetime was the last one - 2016?

From THR:  Universal test the bounds of premium on-demand (VOD) with the release of DreamWorks Animation, "Trolls World Tour," the sequel to its 2016 animated hit, "Trolls."  The film will also be released in the few movie theaters that remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Truthout:  Venture capitalist says that we should let "hedge funds" and billionaire CEOs get wiped out by the COVID-19 economic meltdown.  And that venture capitalist is himself a billionaire.

From Deadline:  The COVID-19 production shutdown of Hollywood has also halted production on the "Friends" reunion special that was set to debut with the streaming service, HBO Max's launch.

From YahooNews:  Veteran big rig truck driver describes the "chaos" after COVID-19.

From TheDailyBeast:  Filmmaker Tyler Perry payed for senior citizens' groceries in more than 70 stories combined in Georgia and Louisiana.  These were people who shopped during the time reserved for seniors to avoid COVID-19.

From YahooSports:  With the NBA shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard, CJ McCollum, says that some NBA players are living paycheck to paycheck.

From YahooEntertainment:  "Harry Potter" author, J.K. Rowling, says that she is fully recovered from having COVID-19 symptoms.

From YahooNews:  U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who revealed on March 27th that he had tested positive for COVID-19, recently entered the hospital.  Now, he has been moved to intensive care.

From YahooGMA:  Disney has launched a new free website for quarantined family,

From Truthout:  In the age of COVID-19, is it time to abolish all debt?  It's time for a "Jubilee Year."

From YahooEntertainment:  Recording artist, John Taylor, bassist for the legendary British pop band, "Duran Duran," reveals that he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago, and he reminds fans that testing positive doesn't not always mean death.

From PageSix:  On Friday (April 3rd), Grammy-winning recording artist, Pink, revealed that both she and her three-year old son had tested positive for COVID-19

From Variety:  U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who revealed on March 27th that he had tested positive for COVID-19, has entered the hospital.

From YahooNews:  President Donald and the federal government's 14 biggest failures in response to COVID-19.

From TheWeekPresident Donald is incapable of taking the coronavirus outbreak seriously.

From YahooTheWeek:  In having Navy Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt removed, President Donald is playing with "revolutionary fire" in how he handles COVID-19 among military members.

From ShadowandAct:  The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Universal Pictures and MGM to move their "Candyman" remake from its June 12th release date to September 25, 2020.

From CNN:  CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin announced today (Fri., April 3rd) that she has tested positive for COVID-19.  She said that she experienced symptoms on Thursday afternoon, when "chills, aches, fever," suddenly came on her.

From Deadline:  British television writer, Dominic Minghella, creator of the comedy series, "Doc Martin" (ITV), says that he was hospitalized for five days with COVID-19 symptoms.

From CBSNewsDaniel Newman, a 38-year-old film and TV actor who appeared in 10 episodes of AMC's "The Walking Dead" across Seasons 6, 7, and 8, has said that he was billed $9,000 for a coronavirus test.  However, the Georgia hospital that performed the test said that they could not process the test, but still billed Newman.

From YahooSports:  NFL player agent, Buddy Baker, has announced that both his parents died Sunday (March 29, 2020), six minutes apart from complications of COVID-19.

From Variety:  The All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Wimbledon Tennis Tournament (which was to be the 134th edition of the tournament), the first time the tournament has been cancelled since World War II.  The 134th edition of the tournament will now be staged from June 28 to July 11, 2021.


From Deadline:  Veteran actor Allen Garfield has died at the age of 80, Tuesday, April 7, 2020 of complications of COVID-19.  He impressive resume includes performances in such films as "The Conversation," "The Candidate," and "Nashville."

From Deadline:  Country folk singer-songwriter, John Prine, has died at the age of 73, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, of complications of COVID-19.  A two-time Grammy Award winner, Prine was considered one of the most influential songwriters of his generation.

From YahooEntertainment:  The actor Jay Benedict has died at the age of 68, Saturday, April 4, 2020 of complications of COVID-19.  Although born in the United States, Benedict worked mainly in the United Kingdom and Europe after moving there in the 1960s.  He best known work includes an appearance in James Cameron's "Aliens" (1986) and two episodes in the Brit TV drama, "Foyle's War."

From YahooSports:  Former NFL placekicker, Tom Dempsey, has died at the age of 73, Saturday, April 4, 2020 of complications of COVID-19.  Dempsey is best known for his time with the New Orleans Saints when he kicked a then-record 63-year field goal.

From Variety:  The actress Lee Fierro has died at the age of 91 of complications of COVID-19.  She is best known for playing the role of Mrs. Kintner, the mother of the second victim of the shark in "Jaws" (1975).

From CNN:  The American jazz pianist and educator, Ellis Marsalis, Jr., has died at the age of 85, Wednesday, April 1, 2020 from complications of COVID-19.  Marsalis was also the patriarch of a legendary musical family, which included sons, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Jason Marsalis, who all became jazz musicians.  His two others sons are Ellis III and Mboya.  Ellis' noted students include Harry Connick, Jr. and Terrence Blanchard.

From Variety:  Singer, songwriter, and recording artist, Adam Schlesinger, has died at the age of 52, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.  Schlesinger was the co-founder of the rock band, "Fountains of Wayne."  He won three Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award.  He was also nominated for a best song Oscar for the song, "That Thing You Do," from the 1996 film, "That Thing You Do!"


From Variety:   Director Luca Guadagnino says that actors Timothy Chalamet and Armie Hammer are returning for a sequel to his Oscar-winning film, "Call Me by Your Name."

From THR:  How the 1918 Spanish flu shut down Hollywood.

From YahooEntertainmentMichael Caine said that Christopher Nolan is so secretive about his new film, "Tenet," that Nolan did not give him a full script, but only the pages he needed for his scenes.  Caine said that he shot for only a day and acted with the film's lead, John David Washington.


From Deadline:  The sixth and final season of Fox's "Empire" will end early.  The 18th episode was the last filmed before production was shutdown because of COVID-19, and it will now serve as the series finale.  It will air April 21st.


DISNEY - From Newsarama:  The streaming service Disney+ has surpassed 50 million subscribers worldwide.

DISNEY - From Deadline:  Late last week Disney announced that its big-budget fantasy film, "Artemis Fowl" would move to the streaming service, Disney+, although it had been meant for a post-Memorial Day theatrical release.  Disney executive chairman, Bob Iger, says a few more movies might be going directly to Disney+

STAR TREK - From Variety:  Showrunner Michael Chabon is glad that his CBS All Access series, "Star Trek: Picard" is so divisive.

From BET:  Will Smith has two comedy shows, "This Joka" and "Will From Home," to entertain in these difficult times.


From Deadline:  The actor James Drury has died at the age of 85, Monday, April 6, 2020.  Drury is best known for playing the nameless title character on the long-running Western TV series, "The Virginian" (NBC, 1962 to 1971).

From BBC:  The British actress Honor Blackman has died at the age of 94, Sunday, April 5, 2020.  Blackman is best known for several roles.  She was "Cathy Gale" on the first two seasons of the cult British TV series, "The Avengers."  She was the classic Bond girl, "Pussy Galore," in the 1964 James Bond film, "Goldfinger."  She was also the goddess, "Hera," in "Jason and the Argonaunts" (1963)

From Variety:  R&B singer and songwriter, Bill Withers, died at the age of 81, Monday, March 30, 2020.  Withers actively recorded music from 1970 to 1985, and his biggest success came in the 1970s with such timeless hits as "Ain't No Sunshine" (1971), "Lean On Me" (1972), and "Use Me" (1972), all or which he wrote.  Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for another four.  Withers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 (by Stevie Wonder).

From TheWrap:  The actor Logan Williams has died at the age of 16, Thursday, April 2, 2020.  Williams was best known for his role on The CW's superhero TV series, "The Flash."  He also appeared in Hallmark's "When Calls the Heart."

From Deadline:  Visual effects producer, Rebecca Ramsey, died at the age of 53, Saturday, March 7, 2020.  Among her dozens of credits are "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," "The Hunger Games," and "Watchmen."

Friday, April 10, 2020

Review: "Thor: Ragnarok" Strikes an Odd, Pleasant Note

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 7 (of 2020) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This movie review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Running time:  130 minutes (2 hours, 10 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material
DIRECTOR:  Taika Waititi
WRITERS: Eric Pearson and Christopher L. Yost and Craig Kyle (based on the comic book and characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby)
PRODUCERS:  Kevin Feige p.g.a
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Javier Aguirresarobe, ASC (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Zene Baker and Joel Negron
COMPOSER:  Mark Mothersbaugh
NAACP Image Award winner


Starring:  Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Taika Waititi (voice), and Clancy Brown (voice) with Stan Lee

Thor: Ragnarok is a 2017 superhero movie from Marvel Studios, directed by Taika Waititi.  It is the third film in Marvel's Thor film series, following Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013).  Thor is a Marvel Comics character that first appeared in the comic book, Journey into Mystery #83 (cover dated: August 1962).  Created by artist Jack Kirby and writers (and siblings) Stan Lee and Larry Leiber, Thor is based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.  Thor: Ragnarok finds the Norse god of thunder a slave on an alien world while his home of Asgard is controlled by the goddess of death.

Thor: Ragnarok opens two years after the battle of Sokovia (as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron).  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned by the fire demon, Surtur (voice of Clancy Brown), who reveals that Thor's father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), is no longer on the realm of Asgard.  Surtur explains that he himself will destroy the realm by uniting his crown with the “Eternal Flame” that burns in Odin's vault, thus initiating the prophesied end-times, “Ragnarök.”  Thor frees himself and defeats Surtur, and he takes Surtur's crown, believing that he has prevented Ragnarök.

The threats to Asgard have not ended.  Thor's estranged brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), is posing as Odin, but Thor and Loki eventually find Odin in Norway.  Odin explains to his sons that he is dying and that his death will free his firstborn child, Hela (Cate Blanchett), from a prison where he sealed her long ago.  When Hela is freed, Ragnarök is imminent.  But before Thor can stop Hela and save Asgard, he must escape from his own imprisonment, the garbage planet, Sakaar, where he is an enslaved gladiator.  And Thor's greatest opponent turns out to be an old friend.

Thor: Ragnarok plays out as one would expect.  Thor saves the day with a lot of help from friends old and new and from adversaries-turned-allies old and new.  What makes this film different and so very endearing is the work of director Taika Waititi, the New Zealand-born director whose films (such as 2014's What We Do in the Shadows) are known for the both the originality of execution and their offbeat sensibilities.  That that originality and sensibility show in Thor: Ragnarok's color palette, its costume designs, sets and art direction.  Some critics and fans have claimed that all Marvel Studios' films look alike, which is certainly not true.  In fact, no superhero movie looks like Thor: Ragnarok, and Mark Mothersbaugh's fantastic, glorious, ear-candy musical score is the finishing touch that makes Thor: Ragnarok stand out from any pack.

Waititi and his cast make the most of Eric Pearson and Christopher L. Yost and Craig Kyle's screenplay.  The pace and acting is lively, wry, spry, and witty, and, in fact, Thor: Ragnarok is, to date, the film that makes the best use of Chris Hemsworth's droll sense of humor.  The film is a bit soft in the middle, but its unique visual appearance keeps the film from going dry.

Some time ago, I read that Marvel Studios had been trying to find the right balance of superhero fantasy, action, and humor in the Thor films, but believed that they had not quite done so in the first two films.  The third time is the charm.  Thor: Ragnarok is the best film in the Thor series, and it is the kind of superhero film that will appeal to movie audiences that don't normally watch superhero movies.

8 of 10

Friday, February 21, 2020

2018 Black Reel Awards:  1 nomination: “Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture” (Tessa Thompson)

2018 Image Awards (NAACP):  1 winner: “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Idris Elba); 1 nomination: “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Tessa Thompson)

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Yen Press Announces New Publication Schedule Due to COVID-19

Yen Press Reschedules Light Novel and Manga Releases

A Reduction in Monthly Releases and a Shift in Schedule in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW YORK, NY, April 3, 2020 – Yen Press announced that it will forego the solicitation of their September 2020 catalog and will reschedule the print and digital publication of several volumes of manga and light novels. Titles originally solicited with an on-sale date between May and August will be redistributed through September, reducing new releases in the coming months. This decision is a response to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic on key Yen Press partners, in particular distributors and retailers, as well as fans and readers of Yen Press books.

April Yen Press titles will be released as scheduled.

Readers are encouraged to check for the full statement from the publisher and future updates on specific titles.

About Yen Press, LLC
­­Yen Press, LLC is a joint venture between Kadokawa Corporation and Hachette Book Group. Founded in 2006, Yen Press is one of the largest and most prolific publishers of manga and original graphic novels in North America and is also a leading publisher of light novels and Japanese literature through its Yen On imprint. For more information, please visit


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

ViacomCBS Gains 49 Percent Stake in Miramax

ViacomCBS and beIN MEDIA GROUP Complete MIRAMAX Transaction

NEW YORK & DOHA, Qatar--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA; VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”) and beIN MEDIA GROUP (“beIN”) today announced the closing of the previously announced MIRAMAX transaction. ViacomCBS has acquired a 49% stake in MIRAMAX, the global film and television studio, while beIN retains a 51% stake in the company. MIRAMAX’s current leadership team will continue in their existing roles.

ViacomCBS acquired 49% of MIRAMAX from beIN for a total committed investment of $375 million. Approximately $150 million was paid at closing, while ViacomCBS has committed to invest $225 million – comprised of $45 million annually over the next five years – to be used for new film and television productions and working capital.

In addition, Paramount Pictures entered into an exclusive, long-term distribution agreement for MIRAMAX’s film library; and an exclusive, long-term first-look agreement allowing Paramount Pictures to develop, produce, finance and distribute new film and television projects based on MIRAMAX’s IP.

Moelis & Company served as exclusive financial advisor to beIN, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom served as legal counsel. Guggenheim Securities served as exclusive financial advisor to ViacomCBS, while O’Melveny & Myers served as legal counsel.

About ViacomCBS
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIACA; VIAC) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, its portfolio includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, CBS All Access, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents. For more information about ViacomCBS, please visit and follow @ViacomCBS on social platforms.

Acquired by beIN MEDIA GROUP and headquartered in Los Angeles, MIRAMAX is a global film and television studio best known for its award-winning and original content. MIRAMAX’s unrivaled library of more than 700 titles has received 278 Academy Award® nominations and 68 Oscars®, including four Best Picture awards. Bill Block serves as CEO of MIRAMAX. Upcoming and recent projects include the global blockbuster Halloween Kills starring Jamie Lee Curtis, produced by MIRAMAX with Trancas International Films and Blumhouse Production, slated to release this year; The Georgetown Project starring Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe and directed by Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin; Uncle Frank directed by Alan Ball and starring Paul Bettany which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was purchased by Amazon. Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen, MIRAMAX's latest success passing $100M worldwide and starring Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant, was released in January 2020. The action-thriller Cash Truck, currently in post-production, marks MIRAMAX’s second project with Ritchie and stars Jason Statham. MGM UA Releasing will distribute the film domestically. Other past projects include, Silent Retreat, a comedy from Isn’t It Romantic director Todd Strauss-Schulson, and The Perfection, directed by Richard Shepard, starring Allison Williams and Logan Browning, which premiered at Fantastic Fest 2018 and was acquired by Netflix. MIRAMAX Television just concluded production on a six-part series with Leonine titled Spy City, starring Dominic Cooper for this fall’s Mipcom.

beIN MEDIA GROUP is a leading independent global media group and one of the foremost sports & entertainment networks in the world. The group distributes and produces an unrivalled array of entertainment, live sport and major international events across 5 continents, 43 countries and in 9 different languages spanning Europe, North America, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA). beIN MEDIA GROUP’S flagship sports network, beIN SPORTS, holds the single largest portfolio of sports rights of any global broadcaster; and through its iconic MIRAMAX film studio, beIN holds an extensive library of Hollywood blockbusters while having a growing presence in series and movies production and distribution, as well as in the digital space. beIN MEDIA GROUP acquired Digiturk the leading PAY TV operator in Turkey in August 2016; and now has over 55 million subscribers worldwide.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This communication contains both historical and forward-looking statements. All statements that are not statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect ViacomCBS’s current expectations concerning future results, objectives, plans and goals, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and which may cause future results, performance or achievements to differ. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are discussed in the risk factors disclosed in ViacomCBS’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 20, 2020 and also include the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken in response, as noted in ViacomCBS’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on March 27, 2020. Other risks may be described in ViacomCBS’s news releases and filings with the SEC, including but not limited to ViacomCBS’s reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. The forward-looking statements included in this communication are made only as of the date of this communication, and ViacomCBS does not have any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.


Monday, April 6, 2020

Jason Kilar Becomes WarnerMedia CEO May 1st

Jason Kilar Named CEO of WarnerMedia

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Media, entertainment and technology executive Jason Kilar has been named CEO of WarnerMedia, effective May 1, 2020. He will report to John Stankey, AT&T’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

Kilar, 48, previously was the founding CEO of Hulu and SVP at Amazon.

“Jason is a dynamic executive with the right skill set to lead WarnerMedia into the future. His experience in media and entertainment, direct-to-consumer video streaming and advertising is the perfect fit for WarnerMedia, and I am excited to have him lead the next chapter of WarnerMedia’s storied success,” said Stankey. “Our team led by Bob Greenblatt, Ann Sarnoff, Gerhard Zeiler and Jeff Zucker has done an amazing job establishing our brands as leaders in the hearts and minds of consumers. Adding Jason to the talented WarnerMedia family as we launch HBO Max in May gives us the right management team to strategically position our leading portfolio of brands, world-class talent and rich library of intellectual property for future growth.”

“In partnership with this world-class team, I'm so excited for the opportunity to lean into the future at WarnerMedia,” said Kilar. “Stories well told have always mattered, and they matter even more in this challenging time for the world. It will be a privilege to invent, create, and serve with so many talented people. May 1st can't get here soon enough.”

Kilar was CEO of Hulu from its start in 2007 until 2013. He served in several leadership positions at Amazon from 1997 to 2006, including SVP of Worldwide Application Software. Also, Kilar was co-founder & CEO of video streaming service Vessel from 2013 to 2017. Additionally, he served as a board member at DreamWorks Animation (2013-2016) and Univision Communications (2016-2020). He holds a bachelor’s degree (journalism & business) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

About WarnerMedia
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its operating divisions HBO, Turner, Warner Bros. and Otter Media. WarnerMedia is an operating unit of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology.


Friday, April 3, 2020

Jamie Foxx Developing Faith-Based Film, "When We Pray"

Fight to Fame Films to Finance "When We Pray" Developed with Jamie Foxx

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fight to Fame Films and Cinema Libre Studio have agreed to finance “When We Pray,” a faith-based feature film, developed for Jamie Foxx to direct.

    Fight to Fame Films and Cinema Libre Studio have agreed to finance “When We Pray,” a faith-based feature film, developed for Jamie Foxx to direct.

“When We Pray” is about two brothers who become pastors at different churches in the same community. One brother develops his church into a modern, high-tech congregation that uses digital devices and ATM machines. The other brother follows a humbler path but soon finds his church in decline and in need of financial help.

The screenplay is written by Foxx and Donald Ray "Speedy" Caldwell, who has collaborated with Foxx previously. The two are currently polishing the script with production scheduled to start before the end of the year.

Cinema Libre Studio will produce in collaboration with Jamie Foxx as well as in conjunction with Fight to Fame Films, which will finance.

The deal was negotiated by Philippe Diaz, founder and Chairman of Cinema Libre Studio, who also serves as President of the Fight to Fame film committee, with the involvement of Rodney Mason from Fast Mouse Films who will serve as Executive Producer.

Diaz says “It’s a great honor to work with such a talented and passionate man as Jamie Foxx and I’m pleased to have our new, Fight to Fame partners onboard which will give Jamie the total freedom to make this film which is close to his heart, thus launching this new unique collaboration.”

Carrie Wang, Chairman of Hong Kong-based Fight to Fame Films says, "Jamie Foxx is a Hollywood superstar--but audiences around the world love him as well. Our strong relationships in China and other Asian countries will ensure that "When We Pray" will be enthusiastically received by Asian moviegoers."

About Fight to Fame Films
Fight to Fame Films is a financing entity part of the Fight to Fame group, which is comprised of international investors, including Chinese partners. The group organizes combat sport tournaments around globe to identify the next generation of action movie stars regardless of skin color, language or religion. Fight to Fame Films will finance several films a year, from low to high budget, with a focus on developing action film franchises in which this new generation of action stars will act.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Actor-WWE Star Dave Batista to Be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame

Batista® and the nWo® to Be Inducted Into WWE® Hall of Fame [Pending due to coronavirus outbreak]

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WWE (NYSE: WWE) announced that Batista and nWo members “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall™, Kevin Nash™ and Sean Waltman™ will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, FL as part of WrestleMania® Week.

Batista is a six-time World Champion and a pop culture phenomenon. Throughout his illustrious career, “The Animal™” had memorable rivalries with some of the biggest names in WWE history including John Cena®, Triple H® and The Undertaker®. Batista is also a founding member of the revolutionary faction Evolution® alongside Ric Flair®, Triple H® and Randy Orton®. At WrestleMania in April 2019, Batista competed for the final time against Triple H. Outside the ring, Batista has successfully conquered Hollywood, appearing in Spectre, Stuber and Marvel’s blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers films.

One of the most innovative and controversial factions in sports entertainment history, the New World Order® (nWo) was led by “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman. The group captivated fans around the world and was crucial to the success of WCW® during the historic Monday Night Wars®. With an innovative style and attitude, the nWo participated in memorable rivalries against some of the biggest names in WCW history, including Sting, Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger.

“Batista was one of the fastest rising stars ever in WWE with an incredible list of accolades, and the success of the nWo changed the course of sports entertainment history,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative. “It is only fitting that they all take their rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”

WrestleMania 36 takes place Sunday, April 5, 2020 from WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL and will stream live on WWE Network.

About WWE
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG, family-friendly programming can be seen in more than 800 million homes worldwide in 28 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 180 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at and For information on our global activities, go to

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to: entering, maintaining and renewing major distribution and event agreements; WWE Network (including the risk that we are unable to attract, retain and renew subscribers); our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; the possibility of a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets including possible disruptions and reputational risks; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including, without limitation, claims alleging traumatic brain injury; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; privacy norms and regulations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our indebtedness including our convertible notes; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercises control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the volatility of our Class A common stock. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made and are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.