Sunday, December 10, 2017

Worth a Look - Weinstein

And another five...

The Sexual-Abuse and Harassment Scandals Blowing Up on Broadway

thedailybeast: The young woman said she did not have stage fright. She was looking around the room to see if the alleged perpetrator of the sexual assault she had endured was there.

“I don’t say that just as a victim, but also a witness of an assault,” she said.

Lee Trull Accused of Misconduct

TheaterJones: In the Dallas Theater Center’s early seasons at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, which opened in 2009, a Southern Methodist University student who performed at the theater says that Lee Trull, then a DTC casting director and a Hal and Diane Brierley Resident Acting Company member, repeatedly harassed her. At one point he “put his hand on my butt and grabbed it hard,” said the actress, who wishes to remain anonymous. This behavior continued—and worsened.

Experts: racketeering suit against Weinstein faces uphill legal battle

Business Insider: Six women on Wednesday filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and the companies associated with him, alleging that their coordinated efforts to cover up a pattern of egregious sexual misconduct amounted to racketeering.

The women accused Weinstein, The Weinstein Company, members of its board, and Miramax of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act, a law passed in 1970 that was designed to prosecute massive criminal enterprises like the Mafia.

Gretchen Carlson on Sexual Harassment Reckoning

Variety: As 2017 comes to a close, the landscape of sexual harassment claims and the manner in which companies are handling them are changing at breakneck speed.

Over the past 17 months, we’ve seen more and more women all across the country mustering the courage to speak out en masse, and amazingly, they’re no longer being instantly called liars and having their stories pushed aside.

Unmuffling a Culture of Silence

AMERICAN THEATRE: It begins innocently enough: A theatre artist asks another theatre artist to dinner. In an industry where ideas are discussed, and deals often made, in dimly lit restaurants, such meetings are considered essential for networking. Such was the case for a New York-based actor when the literary manager of a Tony-winning regional theatre asked her out for a post-show drink.

Worth a Look

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

Denver wants artists to live, work in safe spaces and has $300,000 to make it happen

The Denver Post: Denver Arts & Venues knows there are artists living and working in unsafe buildings and has set up a $300,000 fund to spur tenants and landlords to make repairs.

Black Bodies, White Writers

AMERICAN THEATRE: I felt my body tense up. A black man—rather, a mannequin of a black man—lay headless, forgotten, on the side of the stage. I wanted to leave the theatre, but as a critic I couldn’t. The show wasn’t over yet. Last month Elevator Repair Service premiered its adaptation of Measure for Measure at the Public Theater. Though the production would have otherwise been an inventive but harmlessly flawed take on one of Shakespeare’s notorious “problem plays,” whatever interesting or innovative elements the show introduced were quickly overshadowed by what struck me as its racial insensitivity.

Women in Leadership: It’s About Time

AMERICAN THEATRE: “Show of hands. How many people started their own scrappy theatre company with their friends from college?” asked Hana Sharif, associate artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage, during a plenary session at the Berkshire Leadership Summit. Half the room raised their hands. “That’s my story too,” she said. I laughed in recognition, because that is also how I started, and managing that company is still how I choose to spend my free time.

Appeals Court Rules 'NBA 2K' Players Lack Standing to Sue Over Face-Scanning

Hollywood Reporter: In the past few years thanks to various court decisions, it's become tougher to mount a class action lawsuit with appellate judges tightening what plaintiffs must show in order to have standing to sue. That's especially important as digital services collect all sorts of data on their users and as many worry about privacy breaches. The latest news on this front came Tuesday at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals as some of those who created personalized virtual basketball players in NBA 2K15 and NBA 2K16 got mostly bad news in their legal effort to sue video game maker Take-Two Interactive over biometric collection.In the past few years thanks to various court decisions, it's become tougher to mount a class action lawsuit with appellate judges tightening what plaintiffs must show in order to have standing to sue. That's especially important as digital services collect all sorts of data on their users and as many worry about privacy breaches. The latest news on this front came Tuesday at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals as some of those who created personalized virtual basketball players in NBA 2K15 and NBA 2K16 got mostly bad news in their legal effort to sue video game maker Take-Two Interactive over biometric collection.

The oldest tech, theater, might be an antidote to the newest

San Francisco Chronicle: Think of this pitch to a room of venture capitalists: “What we’re proposing is a scalable, repeatable product that makes vital intellectual and emotional wisdom portable, communicable, and adaptable and memorable. Everyone will use it and keep using it for millennia. We call it: storytelling.”

Monday, December 04, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Does the DGA Even Understand What Counts as Inclusion?

The Mary Sue: The best thing about the current “Golden Age of Television” is that there’s so much of it. Sure, to us fans and consumers of content, it can seem a bit overwhelming, but every new TV show or limited series provides hundreds of jobs to hundreds of working professionals, many of them women, men of color, or members of other marginalized groups who are typically underemployed.

Why Plays About Sexual Assault Are Too Murky for Our Own Good

The New York Times: At the close of Anna Ziegler’s “Actually,” a play about an accusation of sexual misconduct on an Ivy League campus, a feather flutters down from the ceiling. That’s a feather meant to tip the scales of justice. (Scales don’t always work that way, but just go with it.) The stage goes dark before the feather lands.

Finding Your Creative Voice Again After Combat

The Atlantic: When I came home from my first deployment to Iraq, readjusting was literally impossible for me. I was a 33-year-old Army combat officer and I could no longer feel or see beauty in anything. And while I didn’t know how to leave the destructive path I was on, I also couldn’t stand to crush the hearts of my wife and children anymore. So, I temporarily moved out of my home and slept on various couches, more concerned with drinking than eating. When I would sit down to write, like I had done my entire life before deploying, I’d come up with nothing but blank pages. I had lost a lot of myself on the battlefield, it turned out. Large, significant pieces of who I was had been killed off somewhere in the desert, missing in action, never to come home.

Pink shoes, brown bodies: How dancers of color are fighting for representation It was July 15, 2013, just two days after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, a historically and predominantly black modern dance company from Denver, was performing "Southland" at the University of Florida. It's a work created by iconic, pioneering black choreographer Katherine Dunham in 1951 about lynchings in the U.S. South.

Can a transgender actor ever be just an “actor”? Many accomplished artists — actors, musicians, writers — are able to transcend the attributes society attached to them that are, quite often, part of what made them famous in the first place. BeyoncĂ© is a black musician, for certain, and proud of it. But, by now, that does not circumscribe her value. Nor does Ellen DeGeneres' queerness make her just or only a queer talk-show host.

Worth A Look - Weinstein

Culled from more than a dozen this week...

“It’s Like A Petri Dish Festering”: Women In Hollywood On How To Fix Culture Of Abuse As the sexual harassment scandals shake up Hollywood, most of the focus so far has been on rooting out perpetrators and establishing the scale and depth of the abuse—a process that is far from over. But increasingly, members of the entertainment industry are trying to look forward, beyond the ugly details of the scandals, to come up with solutions to, if not completely eradicate the problem of abuse, at least create a culture that will make it harder for predators to thrive.

To Hell With the Witch-Hunt Debate

The Atlantic: One of the principal pleasures of Mad Men, on rich display beginning with the pilot episode, was looking at all of the crazy things people used to be able to do in offices: smoke, drink, and—if they were male—grope and corner and sexually humiliate the women, who could either put up with it or quit.

What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men? Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, William Burroughs, Richard Wagner, Sid Vicious, V. S. Naipaul, John Galliano, Norman Mailer, Ezra Pound, Caravaggio, Floyd Mayweather, though if we start listing athletes we’ll never stop. And what about the women? The list immediately becomes much more difficult and tentative: Anne Sexton? Joan Crawford? Sylvia Plath? Does self-harm count? Okay, well, it’s back to the men I guess: Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Lead Belly, Miles Davis, Phil Spector.

Want to stop sexual abuse in the workplace? Unionize. Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last month, torrents of women have come forward with credible charges of sexual harassment, bringing down veteran journalists, big-name directors, and powerful politicians across the country. But this necessary reckoning has also relied on newsworthiness. The headlines blare, and the offending man is forced to retreat. That model can cut down a Weinstein, but is unlikely to work against, say, a restaurant supervisor who's guilty of the same behavior.

Mike Schur & Damon Lindelof on Complicity in Hollywood

The Mary Sue: When we talk about sexual harassment and assault, we often talk about the role of men in the fight against these things. What can men do besides just, you know, not harassing and assaulting women? How can they stand up for women? How can they resist being complicit cogs in the nonstop misogyny machine?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Why Hari Kondabolu Takes on The Simpsons in New truTV Doc

The Mary Sue: In one scene of Hari Kondabolu’s truTV documentary The Problem With Apu, actor and former White House worker Kal Penn pauses before answering whether or not he’s regretted an acting role, and says he’s realizing that he’s not in a PR event. “I was wondering if anybody would love that as much as I did,” says Kondabolu when I bring it up, “That was for me and anybody who understood that it’s always the same thing.”

Lawsuit Brought By Cosby Show Production Company Against Documentary Is The Reason We Have Fair Use

Techdirt: Looking through the history of our posts on the topics of fair use and fair dealing, you find plenty of examples for why these exceptions to copyright law are so important. These exceptions are, at their heart, designed to be boons to the public in the form of an increased output in creative expression, educational material, and public commentary on matters of public interest by untethering the more restrictive aspects of copyright law from those efforts. Without fair use and fair dealing, copyright laws are open for use as weapons of censorship against unwanted content, rather than being used for their original purpose of increasing expression and content. Still, in the history of those posts, you might struggle to find what you would consider the perfect example of why fair use laws are necessary.

Monkey in the Middle.

This American Life: Nature photographer David Slater went to Indonesia. While he was there, he got some stunning photos of monkeys. What he couldn’t imagine was that he’d end up being sued, for copyright infringement, by one of the monkeys.

Scenes from the green room: Playwrights on why they thrive in TV

LA Times: What follows is a sampling of their thoughts about why television is such an artistically satisfying medium, why more and more of them keep flocking to it, what they have learned about themselves as artists in the process, and how balancing a life between theater and TV is a near-impossible challenge that they will never, ever give up on.

The State of Community Theater in Trump's America Though I’m an artist and administrative director of a nonprofit community theater by trade, I rarely write about the arts for The Clyde Fitch Report; our esteemed founder likes my thoughts on politics for some reason. I get the occasional exception, however and this post is one of them. Last weekend, I attended the National Community Theatre Management Conference, sponsored by the American Association of Community Theatre, in Madison, WI. The conference was elucidating, energizing, exhausting and fascinating. I thought it would be interesting to check in with those of us who bring everyday theater to regular people and see how the social and political atmosphere in the US is affecting everything from our programming to our patronage.

Worth a Look - Weinstein

And another five...

The 4 Redemption Narratives We Are Currently Using to Minimize This Sexual Harassment Hellscape “We shouldn’t close it off and say, ‘To hell with him, rot, and go away from us for the rest of your life.’ Let’s not do that. Let’s be bigger than that,” the actor Bryan Cranston recently said in an interview with the BBC. Cranston had been asked a hypothetical question about the return of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, two men whose abuses stand out, even in the Me Too moment, and his response was equally hypothetical. And yet, the question revealed that even in the middle of an ongoing reckoning with sexual harassment and assault, covering a range of industries, the narratives of second chances and redemption are already beginning to emerge.

Rebel Wilson Shares Sexual Harassment Story: ‘I Will No Longer Be Polite’

Variety: Rebel Wilson opened up about her experiences with sexual harassment in the movie industry in a series of tweets posted Saturday morning, detailing two separate incidents in which men in the industry allegedly acted inappropriately towards her. In the first alleged incident, Wilson described a male star “in a position of power” asking her to go into a room with him and then “repeatedly asking [her] to stick [her] finger up his a–.” She added that his male friends attempted to film the incident on their iPhones while laughing.

Tear Down the Boys’ Club That Protected Louis C.K. At the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, there’s a table where the comics sit. It’s where they joke, debate, goof off, and ridicule their friends. As depicted on the FX series Louie, it’s the most fun place to be with the smartest, coolest comics in America. Every club has one, but the Comedy Cellar is the best club, and the table Louis C.K. sat at was the best table, occupied by the likes of Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Marc Maron. That table is the most important force in comedy. There are rarely women at that table. There are never gay men or trans people.

How the Myth of the Artistic Genius Excuses the Abuse of Women Can we now do away with the idea of “separating the art from the artist”? Whenever a creative type (usually a man) is accused of mistreating people (usually women), a call arises to prevent those pesky biographical details from sneaking into our assessments of the artist’s work. But the Hollywood players accused of sexual harassment or worse — Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., to name a few from the ever-expanding list — have never seemed too interested in separating their art from their misdeeds. We’re learning more every day about how the entertainment industry has been shaped by their abuses of power. It’s time to consider how their art has been, too.

Ty Stiklorius: Sexual Harrassment Plagues Male-Dominated Music Industry

Amplify: Ty Stiklorius once worked with a young artist who was so traumatized by sexual harassment from music industry executives that she gave up a chance to write a hit pop song and instead walked away from the business. “It’s a pervasive issue,” Stiklorius said at the Billboard Annual Touring Conference and Awards this week. “She reported it. Nothing was done.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Worth a Look

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

This week Tiffany Haddish makes “Saturday Night Live” history. That’s not funny One sparkle in a week made out of smiling turd emojis was this astounding tweet from Tiffany Haddish, who is hosting “Saturday Night Live” on November 12. “Can you believe I will be the very #first black female comedian host?!?”

Safe Rooms at Concerts After Route 91 Shooting: Are Secured Spaces the Future of Concert Security?

Amplify: Tommy Goff got a call two years ago that gave him pause. On the line, he said, was a rep for a superstar touring musician who had safety concerns and wanted to set up a panic room during a show. A similar call from another well-known performer soon followed. Goff, the owner of B’Safe Shelters of Cheyenne, Wyoming, had for years been providing weatherproof and bulletproof safe rooms for Fortune 500 companies like Southwest Airlines and NBC – but until then had never considered offering a portable safe room for those in the music industry.

Directors Guild Finds ‘Some Progress’ in TV Hiring Practices of Women, Minorities

Variety: The television industry has made some improvements in the hiring of women and minority directors, a new report from the Directors Guild of America shows. The report, released Tuesday, shows the percentage of episodes directed by ethnic minorities rising by 3 percentage points to a record 22% of all episodes, while the percentage directed by women went up 4 points to 21% of all episodes, another all-time high.

The Wall Group Keeps Hollywood Groomed and Red-Carpet Ready

Variety: As awards season approaches, no company’s presence will be felt on the red carpet more than The Wall Group, the artist management agency that represents one of the largest armies of stylists, manicurists, makeup artists and hair stylists readying the stars for their moment in the spotlight.

Working in the Theatre: In the Field - Environmental Design

YouTube: All set design is about creating a world, and at Serenbe Playhouse, it’s about creating a living world inside another living world, which is nature. In this premiere episode of Working in the Theatre: In the Field, we take a look inside the process of environmental design at this amazing site-specific theatre company.

Worth a Look - Weinstein

Really hard to cut down to five stories on this subject this week...

Hundreds Flock to ‘Take Back the Workplace’ and ‘Me Too’ Survivors’ Marches in Hollywood

Variety: Hundreds of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse survivors and their supporters turned out for the “Take Back the Workplace” and #MeToo survivors’ marches Sunday in Hollywood.

The event kicked off around 10 a.m. and featured several speakers who shared stories of why sexual abuse prevention matters in front of a red “Take Back the Workplace” banner.

Old Vic's Kate Varah: 'There are grey areas' The Old Vic Theatre's executive director has spoken about the theatre's investigation into allegations made about Kevin Spacey's behaviour while he was artistic director at the theatre, and the problems with the theatre's reporting processes.

Louis C.K. and Separating Artists From Their Work After the news broke about Louis C.K. and sexual misconduct, my mind ran over C.K.’s work, his stand-up, his curmudgeonly late-night appearances, his intimate, formally adventurous TV works, and my thoughts landed on someone else. I thought about Lena Dunham. They’ve been linked in my mind for years, ever since I saw someone give a paper on the way both creators have used the familiar shape of a TV season to create innovative, boundary-pushing stories. Suddenly the comparison took on a new flavor — Dunham’s Girls was always a brilliant, challenging work, and it always became a referendum on her. It was occasionally framed as an indictment of all people her age; it was sometimes focused on a particular portrait of people who live in Brooklyn; it was sometimes seen as a show about the myopia of white feminism. But it was almost inescapably seen as a show about Dunham herself.

So ... When Are We All Going to Apologize to Megan Fox?

The Mary Sue: n a recent interview with Prestige Hong Kong, Megan Fox made comments about the way women are undervalued in film. She was incredibly on point, and I couldn’t help but think about how her career has gone. Megan Fox is an actress with a very mixed public reception, and a limited filmography despite her being fan-cast in multiple projects for years. In many ways, Fox has been dealt a bad hand when it comes to her public image because for much of her career was defined by the lecherous gaze of one man, and once he cut her off, no one tried to help her.

To The Men Who Are Not Responsible For My Problem

Andrea Grimes – Medium: Today, I tagged eleven men — friends of mine, mostly — at the end of a long tweet thread, asking them to reach out to a popular Texas music critic who these eleven men follow on Twitter. I figured they follow him, so they at least know he exists — which is more than I knew when I woke up this morning. The critic had said a gross thing about Louis C.K., about how his jokes are more valuable than the women he sexually abused, and I asked for these eleven men to talk to this critic about what a gross thing he had said, and maybe explain to him why it was wrong. I did this because men who endorse and perpetuate rape culture do not care what women think — but they might listen to other men, guys they respect. This critic doesn’t care what I think, but maybe he cares what a few prominent men in the Texas journalism industry think. I don’t know. It was sort of a shot in the dark, because I’m sort of running out of ideas on how to end rape culture all by myself without bothering the men in my life too much about it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Nearly a year later, video game voice actors end their strike

Ars Technica: Nearly a year after voting to strike against 11 major video game publishers, voice actors in the SAG-AFTRA union voted overwhelmingly to approve a tentative agreement that will get them back to work for at least the next three years.

Actors' Equity Treasurer: Proposed Tax Bill Would Harm Thousands of Actors, Stage Managers Sandra Karas, an actress, tax attorney and the Treasurer of Actors' Equity Association, the labor union for actors and stage managers on Broadway and across the nation, released the following statement on behalf of the union after news reports that a tax bill introduced in the House of Representatives today would eliminate a variety of itemized deductions

What Is Censorship? The Tale of Michael Weller's "Buyer Beware" Yesterday morning I read up on Brandeis University’s decision to cancel a production of Michael Weller’s new play, Buyer Beware. Or at least that’s how the Boston Globe framed its reporting, echoed by The New York Times. I discovered later, however, that while the Globe’s headline clearly aimed to do what a good headline does — quicken the pulse — to characterize the matter as “Brandeis cancels play amid protests over racism” feels more a case of spin than spleen. I write this post as we mark one year since the US elected the single greatest purveyor of false narratives since P.T. Barnum started counting suckers. The Brandeis-Weller brouhaha should remind us that narratives, whether false or shaded, don’t just bubble up from the D.C. swamp. They happen in the arts, too.

Did ‘Thomas and Sally’ Romanticize a Master/Slave Relationship?

AMERICAN THEATRE: In a particularly disturbing moment in Thomas and Sally, a new play by Thomas Bradshaw, a 41-year-old Thomas Jefferson takes the 15-year-old Sally Hemings’s face in his hands and kisses her. “I love you, Sally,” he says. Then, without asking her permission, he starts to undress her. For actor Tara Pacheco, who played Hemings every night in the production at Marin Theatre Company (MTC), the moment was fraught. “She’s being kissed, and she’s not consenting to that initiated sexual relationship at all,” Pacheco explained recently. “She kissed him, but it’s the classic consenting to one thing doesn’t mean you’re consenting to something else.”

New OSHA Training Requirement in Nevada for Entertainment Industry Starting January 1, 2018, the State of Nevada will require specific workers in the entertainment industry to complete an OSHA 10-hour (non-supervisory employee) or an OSHA 30-hour (supervisory employee) safety and health general industry course and receive a completion card within 15 days of hire.

Worth a Look - Weinstein

Five more articles...

L.A. District Attorney Launches Sexual Abuse Task Force for Entertainment Industry

Variety: Los Angeles District Attorney Sharon Lacey has created a task force of veteran prosecutors to deal with sexual abuse crimes in the entertainment industry.

Lacey made the announcement Thursday, adding that her office has not yet received any cases from law enforcement for criminal filing.

Why Aaron Sorkin refused to write a crude Nicole Kidman sex scene Here's a prime example of how sexual harassment can be baked into the filmmaking experience.

Aaron Sorkin, speaking to USA TODAY about his directorial debut, Molly’s Game (in select theaters Dec. 25), starring Jessica Chastain, recalled the way he was once asked to script a Nicole Kidman sex scene for 1993’s Malice.

Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies

Far Flungers | Roger Ebert: A few months back, on the heels of a scandal where someone was not punished for sexual assault in any way, a friend asked me what I felt would be an appropriate reckoning. “I at least want them to lose their job,” I said. “I want their lives to be disrupted, and I want others to see that if you do that to someone, your life is turned upside down, so you better not do that to someone.”

Hollywood's History of Sexual Harassment

The Mary Sue: As we go through the news every day, it seems as though another male figure, whether he be an actor, producer, or director, is being accused of sexual harassment or assault. The sad reality is that there may be no end to the allegations because sexual assault in Hollywood is about as old as Hollywood itself.

Sexual harassment affects nearly everyone: Poll

Business Insider: Sexual harassment in the workplace isn't an industry issue. Nor is it a toxic workplace issue. It's an issue that affects literally everyone.

A number of industries have been implicated in the wake of producer Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct, including Hollywood, politics, and sports. Before that, sexual harassment at work made headlines with tech's "bro-culture" problem. Before that, it was the media industry with Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly's oustings. And the list goes on.