by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:
MOVIES - From Deadline: Oscar nominee James Franco will play Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Miguel Bardem’s "Alina of Cuba." Mía Maestro is set to play Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, the Cuban-born socialite he has a passionate love affair with.
SCANDAL - From Variety: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ordered actor Kevin Spacey to pay a total of 31 million dollars for his alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the Netflix drama, "House of Cards." The award also includes damages for lost money because Spacey's misconduct forced the production company, MRC, to remove him from the series for its final season.
STREAMING - From Variety: Warner Bros. Discovery is going to merge its two streaming services, HBO Max and Discovery+, into a single service Summer 2023.
BLM - From NBCNews: 4 police officers federally charged by the U.S. Justice Department with civil rights violation in Breonna Taylor's death.
STREAMING - From Variety: Warner Bros. Discovery has been quietly culling content from HBO Max — including several Warner Bros. movies that were exclusively streaming on the service — in what appears to be an effort to cut costs.
TELEVISION - From Deadline: FX has provided updates on the fifth "Fargo" series, it TV series based on the film, "Alien," and on its new miniseries based on James Claville's 1975 novel, "Shogun," was previously adapted into the 1980 NBC miniseries.
TELEVISION - From Deadline: Chris Rock's former live-action comedy, the former UPN and The CW series, "Everybody Hates Chris" (2005-09), will return as a re-imagined animated comedy, "Everybody Still Hates Chris." The series will air on Comedy Central and stream on Paramount+.
CELEBRITY - From Deadline: During a concert in Warsaw, Poland, Grammy-winning recording artist and Oscar-nominated songwriter, Sting, warned the audience that democracy is under attack worldwide.
From Deadline: Film and television actor and director, Clu Gulager, has died at the age of 93, Friday, August 5, 2022. He appeared in a number to theatrical and television films and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared in a many of TV Westerns. Into the 1970s and 1980s, he appeared in numerous action, cop, and crime TV series. He may be best remembered for his role in the 1985 cult film, "The Return of the Living Dead." Gulager was a 1969 Palme d'Or nominee for his short film, "A Day with the Boys."
From Variety: American sportscaster and legendary Major League Baseball announced, Vin Scully, has died at the age of 94, Tuesday, August 2, 2021. He was best known for his 67 years calling games for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, the longest tenure for any broadcaster with a single team.
From NYTimes: Former professional basketball player and NBA legend, Bill Russell, has died at the age of 88, Sunday, July 31, 2022. He played for the Boston Celtics from 1956-69, the team that drafted him. Russell was an 11-time NBA champion (including 2 when he was a player-coach), 5-time league MVP, 2-time NCAA champ (University of San Francisco), Olympic gold medalist (1956 Melbourne Games). He was the first Black head coach of any North American pro sports team (Celtics, 1966-69), and he received Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011
From Variety: Actress, singer, dancer, icon, and role model, Nichelle Nichols, has died at the age of 89, Saturday night, July 30, 2022. Nichols was best known for playing communications officer, "Uhura," on the original "Star Trek" (1966-69) television series. Uhura was a groundbreaking role for African-American actresses. From 1977 until 2015, Nichols volunteered her time to promote NASA's programs, and to recruit diverse astronauts, including women and ethnic minorities.
From NASA: In a feature on its website, NASA says that “Nichelle Nichols was a trailblazing actress, advocate and dear friend to NASA."
From THR: Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg says that the late Nichelle Nichols "was the first Black person I'd ever seen who made it to the future." Goldberg, like her friend, Nichols, is an alum of the "Star Trek" franchise.
From ESPN: A Russian court sentenced WNBA star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison Thursday, Aug. 4th. Griner was arrested Feb. 17 for bringing cannabis into the country and pleaded guilty July 7, though the case continued under Russian law.
From ESPN: The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.
From RSN: "Will Support From LeBron James, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, and Other Celebrities Help Free Brittney Griner From a Russian Prison?" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar via Substack
From ESPN: Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday to bringing hashish oil into Russia, telling a judge that she had done so "inadvertently" while asking the court for mercy.
From CBSSports: The Brittney Griner situation explained.
From RSN: According to The Washington Post Editorial Board: "Brittney Griner is a hostage, plain and simple.