Tag: hollywood
Danziger Draws

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Led By Alyssa Milano, Hollywood May Boycott Georgia Over Abortion Ban

Led By Alyssa Milano, Hollywood May Boycott Georgia Over Abortion Ban

Georgia legislators have passed a so-called “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortion beyond six weeks, and Gov. Brian Kemp appears prepared to sign the legislation into law this week.

But doing so might be costly for the state.

The Peach State has long been a go-to location for Hollywood filmmakers, but the abortion ban has stirred opposition among many big names in the entertainment industry. Actor and producer Alyssa Milano collected signatures for a letter pledging to boycott work that would bring them to Georgia if the bill becomes law.

Other groups, including the Writers Guild of America, embraced the boycott sparked by Milano as well. As CBS News reported, other state governors are stepping up to poach the filmmaking business if Georgia triggers the boycott.

Stacey Abrams, who lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election to Kemp in a contentious and dubious election in which he oversaw the vote as secretary of state, warned about the risks of imposing limits on women’s reproductive rights:

#MeToo: How I Learned What Predators Like Weinstein Do To Women Every Day

#MeToo: How I Learned What Predators Like Weinstein Do To Women Every Day

OK then,  #MeToo.
Long ago and far away, I had an academic superior who enjoyed sexually humiliating younger men. There was unwanted touching—always in social situations–but mainly it was about making suggestive remarks hinting that being a “hunk” was how I’d gotten hired.
My “pretty little wife,” as she was insultingly called, got to stand there and watch. We had no idea how to defend ourselves. There was a second guy in my department, also an administrator with power over one’s career, who made a practice of inviting younger men on manly hikes in the woods and making aggressive passes.
It was a thoroughly poisonous atmosphere. I knew that to complain would invite ruin: initially through what’s now called “gaslighting”—claiming I’d imagined everything—followed by accusations of sexual panic and homophobia.
A definite no-win situation.
Ironically, life in a New England college town had been among my Arkansas wife’s girlhood dreams. Instead, she found herself patronized to her face when she opened her mouth—always by academics, never ordinary New Englanders, I should stipulate.  
I quit before they could fire me.
But it was a real learning experience. In consequence, although definitely not Mr. Sensitive, when it comes to sexual abuse I’ve always understood what women are talking about.
Much of the time, it isn’t even about desire—apart from the desire to put you down and keep you there.
Yet my situation was far less threatening than that of the women preyed upon by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein,  and so many others confronting harassment or worse. First, there was no possibility of physical force. Second, my antagonists’ power was limited to the precincts of one provincial academic department.
All I had to do was walk away.
No harm, no foul.
Not so with Weinstein. As the head honcho at one of the most successful movie companies in the world, he had the wherewithal to advance or ruin an actress’s entire career. Based upon first-person accounts in Ronan Farrow’s lengthy New Yorkerexpose, he was a calculating predator who set the same trap repeatedly in luxury hotel suites in New York, Hollywood, London, and Paris.
He’d invite a young actress to meeting in his hotel suite, greet her with drink in hand wearing nothing but a bathrobe, and then pounce, sometimes violently. A bigtime Democratic donor, Weinstein followed the script as written by Donald J. Trump. You remember how it goes: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. . . Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
If certain of the New Yorker allegations could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt —alas, they probably cannot—Weinstein belongs not in some luxury European rehab but an American penitentiary. He’s more than a sexual harasser; he’s a rapist.
Also, apparently, a bully in other ways. “Lucky me,” commented the British actress Kate Winslet, “I somehow dodged that bullet. The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened and I’m sure the feeling is universal.”
Although he’s produced humane films such as Good Will Hunting, The Crying Game, Pulp Fiction, and Shakespeare in Love, tales of his temper tantrums are indeed universal.
That said, Weinstein didn’t invent the concept of the Hollywood casting couch nor the louche sexual ethics of the movie business generally. Trading sexual favors for sought-after parts is as old as the theater. The ancient Greek dramatists Sophocles and Euripides were famous for their adventurous love lives. Indeed, one of the most interesting articles to emerge from the Weinstein affair appeared in Slate, recounting a British fan magazine’s 1956 expose titled “The Perils of Show Business.”
Incongruously illustrated with cheesecake photos, it featured the following rules from actress Marigold Russell that working women everywhere would be well-advised to heed: “One: when you have to talk business, stick to offices—and office hours. Two: refer invitations and offers to your agent. Three: don’t give your home phone number, give your agent’s.”
Actress and director Sarah Polley writes that her agent wouldn’t let her meet Weinstein alone when she was 19, which told her all she needed to know. She also figured that “the idea of making people care about [Hollywood sexual predation] seemed as distant an ambition as pulling the sun out of the sky.”
Me, I’m so vain that I can’t imagine wanting intimacy with somebody that didn’t want me back. Which in the final analysis makes a bully like Weinstein seem almost pathetic to me, although not to his victims, I’m sure.
Awful as he is, there’s also something smug and ugly about these ritual media stonings. For a columnist like the New York Times Bret Stephens to write that Weinstein’s “repulsive face turns out to be the spitting image of his putrescent soul” strikes me as seriously over the line.
 We sinless pundits hide carefully behind our bylines.
Actress Debbie Reynolds Dies Of Stroke, One Day After Daughter

Actress Debbie Reynolds Dies Of Stroke, One Day After Daughter

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Debbie Reynolds, a leading lady in Hollywood musicals and comedies in the 1950s and 1960s, including Singin’ in the Rain, died on Wednesday, her son said, just one day after the death of her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher.

Reynolds, 84, an Oscar-nominated singer-actress, was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital earlier on Wednesday,

“It’s true, she’s with Carrie,” her son, Todd Fisher, told Reuters, adding that shortly before suffering a stroke Reynolds had said she missed her daughter and wanted to be with her.

“She left very shortly after that and those were the last words she spoke,” Todd Fisher said.

After the news of Reynolds’ death, numerous people took to social media and wrote that “she died of a broken heart.”

One of the most enduring and endearing Hollywood stars of her time, Reynolds received a best actress Academy Award nomination for the 1964 musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Carrie Fisher, who rose to fame as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films and later battled through drug addiction before going on to tell her story as a best-selling author, died on Tuesday at age 60 after suffering a heart attack last Friday.

After Fisher’s death, Reynolds said on Facebook, “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop.”

Reynolds had been in frail health in the past year, and she missed a dinner in November 2015 to receive an honorary Oscar. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said at the time that she was unable to attend because of “an unexpectedly long recovery from recent surgery.”

The nature of her illness was not disclosed. Fisher told reporters in May 2016 that her mother was “doing really well,” but she did not give details.

(Reporting by Will Dunham in Washington, D.C., Jill Serjeant in New York, Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles, Ben Klayman in Detroit, and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler)

IMAGE: FILE PHOTO: Actress Debbie Reynolds (L) and her daughter Carrie Fisher (R) arrive at the 2011 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 10, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo