More to come…
New York’s attorney general Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into the Weinstein Co., seeking information on whether officials at the company violated state or city civil rights laws.
“No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation, harassment, or fear. If sexual harassment or discrimination is pervasive at a company, we want to know,” Scheiderman said in a statement.
A person familiar with the investigation said that the Attorney General’s civil rights bureau issued a subpoena on Monday seeking “all documents, records, and correspondence related to all complaints, whether formal or informal, relating to sexual harassment or other discrimination on the basis of gender or age, against any employee or management employee.”
They are also seeking information on how a complaint “was handled, whether a formal investigation was initiated — including why and why not — and all records relating to a resulting settlement and/or other disposition.”
The sixth season, which will consist of 12 episodes, will see the series relocate from Los Angeles to New York after five seasons in the City of Angels. The Season 5 finale of “Ray Donovan” airs Oct. 29 at 9 p.m.
“For our show, creatively, New York is exciting. Fashion, media, finance, theatre, culture. It’s going to present new challenges for Ray Donovan which mean new opportunities for us as dramatists,” said showrunner David Hollander. “Ray came to Los Angeles to build a life for himself and his family. They’re not there anymore. Ray’s career has changed and he is looking for a place to rebuild his life. Ray thinks he went to New York to help his daughter. He’s going to find out he’s there to help himself.”
The current season of the series finds Ray (Liev Schreiber) turning his attention back to Hollywood and his celebrity fixer firm, while struggling to deal with the recent death of his wife and family matriarch Abby (Paula Malcomson). As the season comes to a close, Ray’s fractured relationship with his daughter Bridget (Kerris Dorsey) draws him to New York to make amends for a past wrongdoing.
A Showtime production, “Ray Donovan” is executive produced by Hollander, Mark Gordon, Bryan Zuriff and Lou Fusaro, and was created by Ann Biderman.
”’Ray Donovan’ broke new ground this season with its deeply emotional and innovative approach to Abby’s passing, without sacrificing any of the intensity that has been its trademark,” said Gary Levine, president of programming for Showtime. “We so appreciate that David Hollander is never satisfied with the status quo, and his creative plan for moving the show to New York reflects his relentless ambition for this series.”
We are at a tipping point.
Three weeks ago, Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Today, he is radioactive — denounced, dismissed, and defending himself against potential lawsuits and criminal investigation. It has felt for several days as if the sky is falling in Hollywood; as if the firmament that the entertainment ecosystem is crumbling before our eyes. It has been horrifying and cathartic, in turns; long-held secrets are being uncovered, while long-buried suspicions are being validated. What may have started with Harvey Weinstein is not ending with him: Already, several men throughout media and entertainment have been outed by their employees and in many cases, ousted by their employers. When a movement can unseat an agent, an editor, a showrunner, and an executive, it is just getting started. Little doubt there are more to follow.
The last two weeks have seen a steady stream of stories, from women in and out of the industry, about what some men in it have made them endure. To be clear, not all of the stories are of men targeting women: Some men target other men; some women join in the patterns of exploitation. And yet the story of a woman being intimidated, harassed, or violated by a man has been repeated so many times in the last three weeks that it is almost predictable. Another actress. Another director. Another story where the brutal violence of coercion was somehow made palatable by the norms of the industry, or the desperation to succeed, or just plain fear of retribution.
Former “Loud House” showrunner Chris Savino has responded to allegations of sexual harassment, with a post on Facebook.
“I am deeply sorry and I am ashamed,” he wrote on his page.
“Although it was never my intention, I now understand that the impact of my actions and communications created an unacceptable environment. At every stage of my career, I have sought to uplift my colleagues and cultivate a culture of respect. In this objective, I have failed. I should have known better, I should have acted better, and this has been a difficult but valuable lesson.
“I have nothing but the deepest respect for the bravery of the women who have spoken out, trying to create an environment in which they can thrive to their fullest potential.”
Savino was fired from Nickelodeon on October 19, after reports surfaced online about inappropriate behavior. A dozen women have accused Savino of inappropriate behavior — dating back several years — including unwanted sexual advances as well as threats of retribution after the end of consensual relationships.
Perhaps the most retro thing about “Stranger Things” was the way people found it — via word of mouth.
The country was not inundated with ads and marketing stunts; instead, viewers heard about the show from friends and sank into its immersive world of nerdy kids, nervous parents and evocative mysteries. It was hard not to fall in love with the Netflix drama’s affection for genre storytelling and with its earnest homages to the gnarliest pop culture of a few decades ago.
A runaway phenomenon was born: This time last year, you couldn’t walk into a Halloween party without encountering at least 11 Elevens. How could a second season top the media cacophony around it? Not easily, at least at first.
Until “Stranger Things 2” really gets going — and that takes a while — it trails an air of self-consciousness that veers into strained fan service at times. The good news is, the show’s core cast remains an extremely versatile and effective ensemble, and once the story kicks into a higher gear about halfway through the nine-episode season, a lot of the old magic returns.
“Amazon Studios no longer plans on moving forward with the David O. Russell Project,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “As for ‘The Romanoffs,’ Amazon intends to move forward without the involvement of The Weinstein Company.”
Both projects has been set up as co-productions with the Weinstein Company. Their status was upended this week as TWC became overwhelmed by the sexual-abuse scandal that forced the company’s co-founder, Harvey Weinstein, out. Amazon on Wednesday said that it was reviewing the status of both series. The company repeated that assertion yesterday in a statement announcing the suspension of Amazon Studios president Roy Price, who also faces allegations of sexual harassment.
Although “The Romanoffs” is already in production, with Weiner directing, the financial support TWC was supposed to deliver for both shows never materialized. Amazon will now take over as sole producer on “The Romanoffs,” but chose not to do so on the Russell project.
UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer sent a strongly worded memo late Wednesday to the agency’s nearly 1,000 staffers denouncing Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assault of of women and encouraging employees to come forward if they ever feel “uncomfortable, threatened or exposed” by sexual predators.
“We’ve all read the news. As a father, a husband, a colleague and a human being, I am disgusted. Harvey earned his demise,” Zimmer wrote. “And it should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone in our industry who believes moguls own their thrones. But I can say that I’m also proud …of the courageous women we represent who have strongly come forward…and of the culture of inclusiveness, tolerance and empowerment that we strive every day to build at UTA.”
Zimmer’s memo is an example of how widely the explosive Weinstein scandal is reverberating around the industry. Legal experts say the heightened awareness of the issue spurred in the past 12 months by the Weinstein revelations as well as the tumult at Fox News over sexual harassment is putting new pressure on businesses to react to allegations of hostile working environments, conditions that in some cases have been part and parcel of Hollywood culture for decades. Talent agencies in particularly have historically attracted highly ambitious and driven personalities.
A character from one show will crossover to the other series — that’s what “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman told fans Saturday night at the “Walking Dead” panel held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden as part of New York Comic-Con.
“Fear” launched in 2015 as a prequel to “Walking Dead.” The “Fear” storyline follows two families at the outset of the zombie apocalypse. “Walking Dead,” which bowed in 2010, follows the struggles of survivors trying not to become “walkers” long after the country has been overrun by the undead.
Kirkman would not offer any other details other to say that one character will hop shows next year.
“More news coming in the following months,” Kirkman said after teasing the plan for the “one character that I will not name.”
“Walking Dead” is set to begin its eighth season on Oct. 22. “Fear the Walking Dead” will wrap its third season on Oct. 15. The buzz about the convergence of worlds could help boost fan interest in Season 4 of “Fear,” which has seen a big drop in viewership since its first season.
“Blade Runner 2049” has opened with a solid $4 million at the North American box office on Thursday night.
The preview number for the sequel, starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, was 60% above that of 2015’s “The Martian.” The film earned $800,000 from Imax showings.
“Blade Runner 2049” will expand to 4,058 sites on Friday. It’s expected to gross between $45 million and $50 million this weekend. That’s similar to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which debuted to $45 million on its way to $154 million domestically.
Fox’s survival drama “The Mountain Between Us,” starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, took in $400,000 at 2,535 sites during previews.
Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution on “Blade Runner 2049” through its output deal with Alcon Entertainment. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, carries a $150 million price tag and is set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2049. Sony is handling international distribution with about 60% of markets opening this weekend.
The original “Blade Runner,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Ford, was not a box office success when it launched to $32.9 million in 1982. The neo-noir film, centered on Ford’s Rick Deckard tracking down escaped replicants, grew in stature over the years. In 1993, “Blade Runner” was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.