Author Archive

Harper’s Letter

Jessica Valenti: “The Harper’s letter also mentions editors being “fired for running controversial pieces” — a reference to the ouster of New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet. What the letter doesn’t mention is that Bennet lost his job for, among other things, running an op-ed section that published a senator advocating the use of military force against peaceful American protesters — a column that employees pointed out literally put Black lives in danger — and without even having read it before publication. Who signed the letter in Harper’s is just as important as what’s written in it. Ian Buruma, for example, was fired from his job at the New York Review of Books after he published an essay by Jian Ghomeshi — a Canadian radio personality who had been accused by more than twenty women of sexual assault. Buruma later defended the decision in a disastrous interview where he said, “The exact nature of his behavior — how much consent was involved — I have no idea nor is it really my concern.” New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss, who has made a career for herself railing against “safe spaces,” was recently outed for reporting a Black editor to management just because she declined an invitation for coffee. Then of course there’s J.K. Rowling, who recently used her considerable platform to push forward bigoted ideas and debunked myths about trans women while fashioning herself a defender of women’s rights.”

Alden McClatchy

“The move complicates the sale of the nation’s second largest news company, which had been under the control of the McClatchy family for 163 years until February’s bankruptcy filing.”
Hedge Fund Alden Capital Sets Eye On McClatchy Bankruptcy, Intending To Add Miami Herald And Dozens Of Local Newspapers To Its Fold

Dennis Cunningham, longtime theater and arts critic for WCBS/2

WCBS Theater And Arts Critic Dennis Cunningham

Halloween Kills, But Not Until 2021

Halloween Kills, But Not Until 2021

Great Firewall of China appeared to descend on Hong Kong.

“At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s internet, descended on Hong Kong.”

Venice, Telluride, Toronto And NY Say They Are All One Festival Now

Venice, Telluride, Toronto And NY Say They Are All One Festival Now

Ross Bros

“‘We came to realize that it’s not, “Hey, Bill, I have an idea for a documentary,”‘ Turner says. ‘It’s more like, “We have this idea with a space, a series of images, a story that we want to tell, a framing device, an [underriding] ethos.” We’re not constrained about how we’re going to do that. We knew that this Vegas framing device would be intrinsic to what we were doing, but we needed the ideal stage. Because we live here in New Orleans, only after many trips to scout Vegas and cast out there, we realized we had some of the best resources in our own back yard.'”

Barbara Pec-Ślesicka

Barbara Pec-Ślesicka, 84, Production Manager and Longtime Collaborator of Andrzej Wajda

Sarah Polley

Sarah Polley: “Thoughts on #CancelCulture. My friend Raymond Miller once said to me “If I get something wrong – drag me so I’ll learn!” I’ve kept this thought in mind lately. I’ve misstepped, got things wrong on issues I didn’t know enough about, displayed ignorance sometimes. On social media, I get called out for this. Sometimes it is gentle. Often it is not. But feeling shame doesn’t have to be a net negative. I try to sit with the red, hot feeling of getting something wrong and being shamed. I try to watch the thoughts of being “wronged” pass by me. Then, when my body has calmed down, I try to see what I can learn from it all.”

Natalie Morales

Natalie Morales: “Hey, agents & managers: It’s cool that you’ve decided to up the diversity in your rosters. Thank you for that. However, please do not tell your white clients or potential clients that you love them but can’t work with them because you’re only ‘hiring diverse right now.’ We are not your scapegoat. Do not blame us now for your lack of awareness/action in the past. b)It does not help us, in any way, when you tell our white peers that we are to blame for them not getting work. Tell them they need to work harder or be better. Tell them the truth. You saying this implies that you’re ONLY representing us because we are bipoc & not because we’ve busted our asses to get to where we are & we deserve it. We do not exist as people to help you meet your quota. Do not represent us if you do not understand and support us. d) If you’re trying to balance your roster, try to do it without this blatantly two-faced and harmful virtue signaling that only continues to otherize and delegitimize us. Educate yourselves. Thank you.”

Lionsgate, Oprah And New York Times To Adapt “1619” Across Multiple Platforms

Lionsgate, Oprah And New York Times To Adapt “The 1619 Project” Across Platforms

Bank Street Books

NYC’s Bank Street Bookstore Closing

Brooks Bros

One Of The Last American Clothing Manufacturers With A Union Shop, Brooks Brothers, Founded In 1818, With Almost A Billion Dollars In Sales Last Year, Closes Fifty-One Stores And Files Bankruptcy

RTHK Hong Kong

“RTHK, The only independent media outlet funded by the government on Chinese soil, is under fire from the police, pro-Beijing politicians and faces a government review next week.”

Eastern Europe

Poland: Cinema City Postpones Reopening

Georgian Cinemas To Reopen In August At Fifty-Percent Capacity

“Slovenians Flock to Outdoor Cinemas”

Richard Rushfeld Tosses Fifty Ideas To Save Hollywood Into The Widening Sea of Chum

“Trades cease and desist posting people’s announcements as ‘Exclusives.’ Any ground rules to an interview must be disclosed in the piece. Stop subsidizing the world’s greatest revolving junket racket, the international festival circuit. Spending a fortune to fly cast, crew and dozens of assorted hangers-on to try and grab a little bit of oxygen in the middle of these overfed clusterf-s, is not any kind of sane marketing.”
Richard Rushfield Tosses Fifty Ideas To “Save Hollywood” Into The Surging Sea of Chum

De Niro Cordero

Robert De Niro On Broadway Luminary Robert Cordero: “It’s very upsetting what happened to him. Even though he got sick at the beginning, this didn’t have to be. If Trump had heeded the warnings he given — if he and his administration believed in science, fact and telling the truth — this might never have happened; the way Trump has handled this crisis has been appalling and surreal. And people who are still running around without masks should remember that being young and healthy does not mean you’re immune from this virus — Nick was both — and besides, you can spread it to others who aren’t young and healthy. Nobody deserves to have to go through what Nick did.”

Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton: “Then the head of the studio — I had a meeting with her, and she said, “Look, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but the character as written and you playing the role, I just feel like we’ve got to make sure that it’s believable.” I was like, “What do you mean? What changes would you have to make?” She’s like, “Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated.” I’m like, “I’ve been to university. I went to Cambridge.” She went, “Yeah, but you’re different.” She’s like, “Maybe there could be a scene where you’re in a bar and she gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.” She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character. Everything she said, I was like, “Nah, I wouldn’t do that.” She’s like, “Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.” That was Amy Pascal. That’s not really a surprise, is it? Let’s face it: I didn’t do the movie as a result.”

Harper’s Letter

“If you’re a big enough writer where you can have Harper’s ask you to sign the world’s dumbest letter, your free speech isn’t in danger of being stifled. This is the first time in American history that people apart from the monied New York and Washington elite have had the chance to get their voices heard, and the Harper’s signatories are freaking out over the fact that people are being mean to them on twitter. So embarrassing. Journalism is dying. There are a forever dwindling number of outlets that pay a living wage and these multimillionaires aren’t even trying to build new institutions for fearless young writers. They’re out here whining in the most old-guard prestige outlet left. F— them all.”

“Perhaps the long fight to democratize the power arrangements in these fields did not catch the attention of the letter’s signatories because all of them already have secure and prominent positions and therefore do not have to worry about such earthbound problems? Anyone who has spent the last several years reading the work of Bari Weiss (a signatory) or David Brooks (a signatory) or Jesse Singal (a signatory) or Mark Lilla (a signatory) will be able to fill in the rest of the dreary text. It is the standard issue argument for ‘free speech’ as wielded only by those who already have power. As always, the power that these people already possess is completely invisible to them, while each and every slight that they suffer amounts to an assault upon the noble ideal of freedom.”

Freelancer Risk

“To report on freelance journalism, and journalists properly, media outlets would have to contend with their own relationships with their freelancers, their complicity in the current state of the news media, and how the erosion of salaries, employer-paid health insurance, unemployment insurance, formal employment networks and other protections have placed these journalists at unprecedented risk during the coronavirus epidemic.”