Sunday, March 18, 2018

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

The Bruno Mars Controversy Proves People Don’t Understand Cultural Appropriation The furious debate about Bruno Mars and whether or not he is a cultural appropriator has bubbled beneath the surface of his career for a while. It existed before he remade Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Uptown Funk” or Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Finesse.”

Broadway Director Kenny Leon Talks Children of a Lesser God Revival and How Racism Reaches Broadway When Kenny Leon’s production of Children of a Lesser God opens on Broadway next month, fans of the original production from 40 years ago will definitely notice a few changes. But according to the Tony Award-winning director, the changes in the racial and political messages will hopefully bring more people into the theater.

Latinx Advocacy Group Threatens to Boycott Hollywood Studios

Colorlines: Ahead of the 90th Academy Awards, The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) targeted Hollywood exclusion of Latinx artists at a pair of protests. Now, the media advocacy organization sets its sights on six of the biggest entertainment studios, which it says ignore Latinx people both on- and off-camera.

Amplifying Civic Engagement Through #TheatreActionGunControl

HowlRound: I started Protest Plays Project because I wanted to create a space for socially-minded artists to meet. As a playwright, my first step was to reach out to other playwrights. What started as a gathering place soon became a place for planning action: I wanted to activate theatres and theatremakers to put all of these passionate scripts to use.

Now here we are, a little over a year later, and Protest Plays is no less ambitious. Our current goal? To put #TheatreActionGunControl plays in theatres across the nation in support of the #Enough walk-out and #MarchForOurLives march on DC and in cities around the country.

Westworld SXSW Park Review - Westworld's SXSW Park Was a Mindf*ck of a Social Experiment I was already experiencing the subversive psychological manipulation of HBO’s Westworld experience at SXSW. Typically I’m jaded, if not outright hostile, to such preposterous displays of expendable marketing wealth. Yet, out of curiosity, I boarded the bus with dozens of other target audience tourists to ride 30 minutes outside of Austin to a pop-up theme park in the style of Westworld. I was alone, of course, because no one else I knew visiting SXSW had four hours to kill going to a version of Westworld without any of the disgusting thrills depicted on the TV show.

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more...

Why Hollywood's 'Inclusion Rider' Mania Could Hurt the Equality Cause

Hollywood Reporter: When Frances McDormand uttered the words "inclusion rider" in her acceptance speech at this year's Oscars, Google lit up with folks searching the term. Even the entertainment industry's savviest lawyers had to ask around for the exact meaning and derivation, although most could guess that it had something to do with ensuring diversity through contracts. Two weeks later, an increasing number of production companies are saying they will adopt inclusion riders, while WME co-CEO Ari Emanuel announced inclusion riders have become "imperative."

Sexual Misconduct in the Music Industry Addressed at SXSW Panel

Variety: In a frank, freewheeling and intense hour-long discussion, the subject of Sexual Misconduct in the Music Industry took center stage at SXSW on March 15. The talk came on the day that panelist Andrea Domanick, west coast editor of Noisy, published a two-years-in-the-making article on the subject culled from interviews with dozens of women in the business.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon adopt Frances McDormand's proposed inclusion rider. Changes are brewing in Hollywood. Movements like #OscarsSoWhite and #TimesUp have thrown down the gauntlet for broader representation in the entertainment industry, both on screen and off. Both A-listers and fans want to see the industry, which has been historically dominated by white men, employ more women and people of color. Frances McDormand voiced such a request during her Best Actress acceptance speech, which she concluded by saying, “I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”

Paul Feig Adds Inclusion Rider in Feigco Entertainment Productions

Variety: Director-producer Paul Feig has adapted the inclusion rider as part of all the feature film and television productions at his Feigco Entertainment.

IATSE New Mexico Boss Facing New Harassment Allegations; 2nd Woman Comes Forward

Deadline: A second woman has come forward with allegations that Jon Hendry, the boss of IATSE Local 480 in Santa Fe, NM, sexually harassed her. Hendry, who until recently was one of the most powerful labor leaders in the state, was ousted as president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor AFL-CIO on Monday after Christa Valdez, the local’s former outside public relations rep, sued him last week for sexual harassment.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Worth A Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

The Arts Contribute More Than $760 Billion to the U.S. Economy

NEA: New data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers an insightful picture of the impact the arts have on the nation’s economy. The arts contribute $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing. The arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country with earnings of more than $370 billion. Furthermore, the arts exported $20 billion more than imported, providing a positive trade balance.

Trump budget is a death warrant for the arts

The Boston Globe: FOR THE SECOND budget cycle in a row, Donald Trump is attempting to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This should not be surprising, from an administration that has shown disregard — even hostility — for government’s responsibility to provide essential human services as well as agencies that ensure the general welfare, for everything from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds Unanimously Elects New Leadership The Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG) on Wednesday elected Laura Penn of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and D. Joseph Hartnett of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) to be Co-Chairs. They replace longtime Chair Anthony DePaulo of IATSE, who is retiring this week. Additionally, Lawrence Paone, President of the Treasurers & Ticketsellers Union, IATSE Local 751, was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

UPDATE: ROCKTOPIA Responds to AEA on Arrangement for Choir's Wages While Rocktopia gets ready to take its first official Broadway bow, its producers are under fire for offering its chorus members low wages. An official statement from the Actors' Equity Association reads:

"Rocktopia" is a live performance that combines rock songs and classical music, and it's starting previews on Broadway in two weeks. Producers are advertising this as a Broadway show and charging Broadway ticket prices - but their Broadway Chorus isn't being offered an Equity contract. In fact, we've heard from members who have reported being offered as low as $215 for a week of Chorus work.

Costume curator helps preserve Las Vegas’ showgirl past

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Karan Feder has always been fascinated by fashion.

“I was literally one of those girls who made her own Barbie doll outfits,” she notes. “I’ve totally always loved it.”

But it wasn’t until her first job — working with legendary costume designer Bob Mackie for musical star Mitzi Gaynor — that Feder realized her true love wasn’t fashion design but costume design.

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more...

90th Oscars dance between honoring and correcting the past

Chicago Sun-Times: Held one year ago, the 90th Academy Awards would have very likely been a rose-colored nostalgia fest.

But this year, with a culture-wide reckoning over decades of sexual misconduct, a film business in decline, a volatile political climate and the fact that last year the esteemed show couldn’t even manage to present its biggest award correctly, the film academy and host Jimmy Kimmel on Sunday staged a complex and sometimes incongruous dance of attempting to both honor and atone for the past.

Hollywood Desperately Needs More Women Cinematographers The number of women working in the field of cinematography has always been, and remains, remarkably poor.

In a piece about the historically low number of women DPs in Hollywood, The Washington Post notes that membership in the American Society of Cinematographers has grown “painfully slow,” with only 18 women out of roughly 375 members.

Michael B. Jordan’s production company will adopt inclusion riders

The Verge: Michael B. Jordan posted on Instagram last night that his film production company, Outlier Society Productions, will adopt inclusion riders for all their forthcoming projects. An inclusion rider is a clause in an actor’s contract where they can set out baseline diversity requirements for the cast and crew before the actor commits to a project. The concept was mentioned by Best Actress award-winner Frances McDormand during her acceptance speech and quickly went viral.

David Arquette and others sign #AskMoreOfHim open letter ahead of Oscars. Ahead of the 90th Academy Awards, men in the film industry and beyond are joining a new campaign to fight sexism and sexual misconduct. David Arquette, Justin Baldoni, David Schwimmer, Don McPherson, and Matt McGorry are among the signees of an open letter in support of #AskMoreOfHim, a movement that encourages men to promote women’s rights and to help end sexual harassment and violence.

Suit accuses NM union leader of sexual harassment

Albuquerque Journal: One of New Mexico’s most prominent union leaders has been accused of harassment and discrimination by a former employee, who also alleges that the state’s largest film industry union abetted his behavior.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Are you surprised that the young leaders of the Never Again movement are theatre kids? I’m not.

Intimate Excellent: They are young. They are bold and self-confident. They are articulate. They are passionate. They are leading a national movement. And they are theatre kids.

A fiercely dedicated band of teen survivors of the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, this week are earning international attention through social media for speaking out on gun control in a movement they call Never Again.

Disability Community Deserves More Visibility in Hollywood

Variety: Diversity and inclusion are two important cultural topics gaining attention and focus by employers nationwide, including Hollywood. And yet, disability is almost always overlooked in this conversation. This award season, in looking across the many films and television shows honored, why are there so few that represent our country’s most diverse population — the disability community?

Reminder: "Dressing Up" as a Latinx for Acting Work Is Not OK

The Mary Sue: A word of advice to any aspiring actors out there who come to Hollywood and are looking for additional acting training: Stay far away from Lesly Kahn and Co. Not only does Ms. Kahn not know what she’s talking about when talking about the industry in which she supposedly works, but she apparently loves to sprinkle all of her classes with a light dusting of racist comments.

From Blackface to Bad Scripts, Former 'Token' Black Actors Open Up About Hollywood Racism

Colorlines: Hollywood casting practices force many Black actors into portraying caricatures at some point in their careers. The Undefeated talked to eight thespians who played “token” Black characters on predominantly White ’90s television shows for an article published yesterday (February 26).

“For some of the most visible Black actors coming of age in the 1990s, it’s clear that along with the triumphs came isolation, blatant racial stereotyping and biased casting calls,” journalist Keith Murphy writes in the introduction.

How Mad Should I Be About the Whitewashing in Annihilation? Get out your TI-89 outrage calculators, because it’s time to calibrate the proper amount of emotion to expend on another instance of Hollywood whitewashing. On the docket is Annihilation, a trippy, LSD-infused sci-fi film by Ex Machina’s Alex Garland starring Natalie Portman as a biologist exploring a top-secret zone called Area X. The movie is an adaptation of a Jeff VanderMeer book of the same title, the first part of the Southern Reach Trilogy.

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more...

Equity's code should be applauded, but it is respect for the arts that will provoke change The theatre union Equity has just released a sensible report, called Agenda for Change, which seeks to use the Harvey Weinstein moment and the #MeToo campaign to establish, once and for all, safe spaces for its 43,000 members to work in, free of sexual and other harassment, bullying and abuse.

The Problem With Broadway Revivals: They Revive Gender Stereotypes, Too

The New York Times: Billy Bigelow hits Julie Jordan. Henry Higgins molds Eliza Doolittle. Fred tames Lilli. And Edward rescues Vivian.

Amid a national reckoning with sexual harassment and misconduct, Broadway is mounting a cluster of musicals this season and next that, some theatergoers already contend, romanticize problematic relationships between women and men.

Love-struck hero or creepy harasser? Suddenly we’re seeing our favorite rom-coms in a new light.

The Washington Post: Two years ago, film critic Sara Stewart sat down to re-watch “Sixteen Candles,” one of her favorite 1980s John Hughes comedies. She was mortified. One scene, played for laughs — the ostensible hero gifting his drunk girlfriend to another boy — seemed like a manual for rape. Stewart wrote a column about the offensive aspects of the movie, and was met with vitriol. Readers accused her of being humorless, of ruining something beloved.

“But if I wrote that column now,” she speculates, “I feel like people might be in agreement with me.”

Female TV Writers in the U.K. Demand a Better Shot at the Top Series

Variety: A group of 76 female TV writers has sent an open letter to drama commissioners in Britain, asking that women be given greater opportunities to write, and write for, the biggest shows.

Director Lynne Ramsay: ‘I've got a reputation for being difficult – it's bullshit’

Film | The Guardian: I’m not sure what I think film directors look like (Do they wear visors? Carry a loudhailer?), but I am very sure Lynne Ramsay doesn’t look like one. In her big beanie hat and jumper, her jeans and boots, Ramsay is a dead ringer for an art student bunking off lectures. Before she sees me, I spot her smoking a roll-up at a table outside the west London cafe where we’re meeting. She’s making notes in an exercise book; she looks perfectly happy.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Broadway’s 2018 Word of the Year: Complicit

OnStage Blog: “Complicit” was’s 2017 Word of the Year – and if the 2018-19 musical lineup continues as planned, it may define Broadway’s upcoming season as well. It’s a trifecta of shows featuring so much gaslighting, outdated gender norms, and straight up domestic abuse that it feels like a season straight out of 1960, at best.

Database Shows Time to Diversify Theater Leadership is Now

Art Wire | KQED Arts: The U.S. theater world is seeing widespread changes in leadership, and Bay Area theater professionals tracking the development say it’s an opportune time for theater companies to diversify.

Cliff Williams III: Why theatres need to hire intimacy choreographers.

DC Theatre Scene: The theatre can be a messy place, and often this is most evident in the rehearsal process. Violence and intimacy scenes stand as two of the more interesting challenges. How do we display violence on stage, while keeping the actors safe? How can an actor sit there and take a punch every night, for 20+ performances, not to mention every rehearsal, without getting injured? How do we make it look believable? If the audience sees even an inch of air, they’re likely to tune out and go: “Whoops, that was fake.” We actor-combatants need the audience to believe that the moment was real. Paradoxically, we need them to know that it’s fake, otherwise they’re concerned for the actor, and are taken out of the story.

California's IMDb Age Censorship Law Declared Unconstitutional

Hollywood Reporter: A California law that allowed actors to forbid IMDb from posting their ages may have been well intentioned, but on Tuesday, a federal judge declared it not only to be unconstitutional, but also a bad solution to the wrong problem.

Call for Equality as Scale of Gender Gap in European Industry Revealed

Variety: Directors Barbara Albert and Isabel Coixet pledged to keep up the fight for equality Friday in Berlin as new figures revealed the scale of the gender gap in the European film business.

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more...

Sexual assault experienced by 94% of women: Exclusive USA TODAY Survey The first number you see is 94% — and your eyes pop with incredulity.

But it's true: Almost every one of hundreds of women questioned in an exclusive survey by USA TODAY say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault during their careers in Hollywood.


Disney Theatrical’s Thomas Schumacher Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Variety: Former employees have accused Thomas Schumacher, the president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions and the chairman of the Broadway League, of harassment and inappropriate language.


Six Women Allege Physical, Emotional Abuse at Dream Theatre Company Amidst increasingly widespread allegations of sexual misconduct in the performing arts, six Chicago-based actresses report an extensive pattern of verbal and physical abuse by Jeremy Menekseoglu, artistic director of the Dream Theatre Company (DTC), a small non-Equity company which recently relocated to the Atlanta area from Chicago.


Soulpepper loses $375K of planned federal funding in wake of sexual harassment scandal

Toronto - CBC News: A planned increase in federal funding for Soulpepper Theatre has been voted down by the Canada Council for the Arts' board of directors.

On Thursday, the council's board voted to rescind an increase of $375,500 the theatre company was set to receive. That was on top of a $184,500 "core grant" which the company will still collect this year and again next year, Canada Council said in a statement sent to CBC Toronto.


The History of Hollywood's Difficult Women

Balder and Dash | Roger Ebert: When the revelations of rampant sexual harassment and assault against former Miramax CEO Harvey Weinstein came out last October, industry veterans on social media commented about how much of an open secret it was. In its wake it revealed a string of actresses whose careers, once promising, were derailed after refusing Weinstein’s advances. Since then the movement against sexual harassment in Hollywood—from #MeToo to #TimesUp—has brought forward one word that’s brought down the careers of many females and was utilized by Weinstein against those who rebuffed him: difficult. Difficult is far from a career killer for male actors; Mel Gibson’s aggressive temperament has become a part of his filmic persona. But looking at its connection to actresses throughout film history, and especially its ability to stall or outright stop a female’s career, showcases it as a term of inherent sexism, labeled and controlled by men to demean and undermine female agency.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Mass Shootings on Stage: Healing or Titillating?

New York Theater: The mass shooting on Valentine’s Day at a Florida high school is the latest in a long line of school shootings, some of which are instantly identifiable: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook.

Each of these has been the subject of plays, as have some of the other most notorious mass shootings in the United States.

Conscious Casting and Letting Playwrights Lead

HowlRound: Can a Japanese family be Mexican? That question was at the heart of an email exchange with a theatre doing one of my plays. It wasn’t really a debate; the roles had already been cast. But the director wasn’t trying to pull a fast one—in writing my play’s character notes, I had sent mixed messages about what I valued and expected. And I know I’m not alone in still learning how to navigate this terrain.

National Endowment of the Arts Chairman Responds to Trump's Proposal to Eliminate the NEA Earlier today, the National Endowment of the Arts Chairman Jane Chu released the following statement regarding President Trump's budget plan for 2019.

Today we learned that the President's FY 2019 budget proposes elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals in thousands of communities and in every Congressional District in the nation.

Cutting Federal Funding for the Arts Wouldn't Kill Them; Might Make Them Better

Hit & Run : Give the president credit, though. He's diverted attention from his overall increase in spending and gigantic increases in deficits by driving critics crazy with proposed cuts to programs and agencies they love, such as the EPA, the Small Business Administration, food stamps (SNAP), and, of course, the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) and the Humanities (NEH).

Taylor Swift Decision: Copiers Gonna Copy, Copy, Copy The only obvious similarities between [plaintiff Sean Hall's Playas Gon' Play and defendant Taylor Swift's Shake It Off] is that Playas Gon' Play contains the lyrics "Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate," and Shake it Off contains the lyrics "'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate." The lynchpin of this entire case is thus whether or not the lyrics "Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate" are eligible for protection under the Copyright Act.

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more...

Live Nation, CAA, UTA, & WME Join Los Angeles Mayor's Fund to Promote Diversity in Entertainment

Amplify: Live Nation has signed on as a partner for Evolve Entertainment Fund, a public-private partnership aimed at creating new opportunities for communities that have been historically excluded from the entertainment industry. The concert industry giant joins agencies CAA, UTA, WME, and 50 other entertainment companies.

SAG-AFTRA Releases Sexual Harassment Code of Conduct

AFL-CIO: SAG-AFTRA recently released a code of conduct on sexual harassment as part of a broader program to protect its members, confront harassment and advance equity in the workplace.

UK Construction Week bans "inappropriate" outfits after showgirl backlash UK Construction Week is introducing new equality guidelines following the outcry against the use of promotional models wearing Vegas showgirl outfits at last year's event.

Media 10, a publisher and the organiser of the annual trade show, has released a code of conduct for exhibitors "setting the standard" for equality and diversity in the industry.

Viola Davis Talks MeToo, Inequality for Women of Color With Tina Brown

Variety: Is the #MeToo movement a true tipping point? Or will this moment pass with no real impact on our culture?

That was the main question posed at the Women in the World salon, held Tuesday at NeueHouse in Hollywood.

Reprising a powerful quote from her speech at the Women’s March in Los Angeles last month, Viola Davis said, “Nothing can be great unless it costs you something.”

SAG-AFTRA Releases Official Code of Conduct for a Post-Weinstein World

Backstage: With Hollywood still reeling from the onslaught of sexual harassment revelations, the nation’s union of screen actors, SAG-AFTRA, has released a code of conduct for sexual harassment, revealing a “Four Pillars of Change” initiative.