What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:14 AM 1/15/2018

by Ray Rahman

The Handmaid's Tale Still Season 2 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Hulu

What's news: The Time's Up movement makes an impact on the Mark Wahlberg-Michelle Williams pay rift. Plus: The Post fares well at the box office, The Handmaid's Tale team reveals season two secrets and Aziz Ansari responds to claims made against him. — Ray Rahman

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  • Time's Up

    After a week of outrage, Mark Wahlberg donated his $1.5 million All the Money in the World reshoot fee to Time’s Up in the name of Michelle Williams, who was paid 1 percent of that, Kim Masters and Gregg Kilday write:

    Bowing to an outcry over the wage disparity on the reshoots of All the Money in the World, Mark Wahlberg and his agency William Morris Endeavor have agreed to donate $2 million to the Time's Up fund to combat harassment and pay inequities in Hollywood.

    "Over the last few days my reshoot fee for All the Money in the World has become an important topic of conversation," Wahlberg said Saturday in a statement. WME is making a $500,000 donation as well. Full story.

    + Michelle Williams' response: "Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, WME and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment. [Kevin Spacey accuser] Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on, now we stand on yours."

    + Time's Up guest column: "Failure to pay women fairly is another way of exacting violence." Advocates Tarana Burke, Ai-Jen Poo and Monica Ramirez write: "At the heart of the matter is the reality that women’s lives, and our work, are valued less than men’s, and this power imbalance is expressed in a plethora of ways: from pay disparity, to limited opportunities for promotion, to failure to recognize our work and contributions, to sexual harassment, abuse and violence." Read more.

    In other news...

    ? Eliza Dushku says True Lies stunt coordinator sexually assaulted her when she was 12. The Dollhouse actress wrote that she was "sexually molested" by Joel Kramer after he "lured" her to his hotel room when filming the 1994 James Cameron film.

    + James Cameron: "Eliza is very brave for speaking up," the director said. “It's just heartbreaking that it happened to her." He added: "Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy."

    ? Aziz Ansari responds to sexual misconduct allegation: "I took her words to heart," the comedian said in response to an anonymous claim made by a woman who felt "violated" by him during a date. "It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned.”

    ? Catherine Deneuve pens apology after French op-ed criticizing #MeToo. The French film star clarified her position while apologizing to victims: "I fraternally salute all the victims of odious acts that may have felt aggrieved by this letter published in Le Monde. It is to them and to them alone that I apologize.”

    ? The Oprah interview: Winfrey sat down with Reese Witherspoon, Kathleen Kennedy, Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, attorney Nina Shaw, Tracee Ellis Ross and producer Shonda Rhimes to discuss the impact their campaign has had in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Watch it here.

    Elsewhere in film...

    ^Weekend box office: Jumanji rolls along, The Post comes on strong. Gregg Kilday writes:

    Jumanji took in an estimated $27 million for the three days and is projected to collect $33.4 million for the four-day holiday frame, which would bring its domestic cume to $289.5 million.

    The Post, meanwhile, grossed an estimated $18.6 million for the three days as it looks to a four-day gross of $22.2 million. The adult-skewing film received an A CinemaScore and attracted an older audience (66 percent at 35 years old or above) as well as more females than males (55 percent versus 45 percent), and did best in the Northeast, West and Midwest.

    Of the weekend’s three new wide releases, The Commuter showed the most traction, with a third-place showing as it took in $13.5 million for the three days, heading to a four-day total of $16 million. Full story.

    + China box office: Star Wars crashes and burns. The Last Jedi crumbled 91 percent in its second weekend in China, earning just $2.4 million — a shocking flameout for 2017's biggest global film. Jumanji, meanwhile, roared into the country with $40 million in its debut.

    ? Palm Springs Fest: Alain Gomis’ Felicite, the story of a single mom and nightclub singer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, received the prize for best foreign-language film. Acting prizes went to Nakhane Toure for The Wound and Daniela Vega for A Fantastic Woman.

    ^Black Panther costumer designer talks tribal-tech inspirations. Booth Moore writes: “Ruth Carter worked with five illustrators, 14 designers, mold makers, fabric dyers, jewelry makers and more. On her mood boards were images of African dress from the Maasai, Tuareg, Turkana, Xhosa, Zulu, Suri and Dinka peoples, as well as piercings and body art, and more abstract examples of drapery and beading.” Full story.

    Rep Sheet Roundup: Gina Rodriguez, who left APA in November, has signed with CAA. … Departing Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth also has signed with CAA. … Animal Kingdom’s Scott Speedman has signed with Anonymous Content. … When We Rise’s Ivory Aquino has signed with Abrams and Industry Entertainment. More here.


  • The Next 'Tale'

    How The Handmaid’s Tale will stay relevant: Showrunner Bruce Miller talks to Josh Wigler about the Hulu drama’s second season plan to explore parallels with Trump, the Time's Up movement and more:

    How has Trump's election influenced the types of stories you're telling in season two?

    Miller: "You can't avoid the influence. Our writing staff is a news junkie bunch, very politically active and thinking a lot about politics, very engaged in the world. Most of [the writing staff] has children and they think about what the world will mean for them. It's a big influence on the way you think about everything in your life, which definitely bleeds into the story-making process." Read more.

    + Hulu released a new trailer for the show as well as a season-two premiere date: April 25. Watch the trailer.

    + Handmaid's at TCA: The producers shed more light on the show’s "darker" second season and announced some big casting news: Marisa Tomei will be appearing on the show.

    + Hulu enters the ER business. The service nabbed exclusive streaming rights to all 15 seasons of the the classic medical drama, which became available on Sunday.

    Elsewhere in TV...

    ? SNL returns: In the first episode after a 4-week absence, Sam Rockwell dropped the F-bomb within the first half hour, alum Bill Murray returned to play Steve Bannon (joined by Fred Armisen as Michael Wolff), and "Weekend Update" addressed Trump's recent vulgarities.

    ? Madam Secretary's impeachment episode: Last night, the CBS drama echoed real-life headlines when it (spoiler) addressed the 25th amendment's ability to remove a president from office. Keith Carradine opens up about it.  

    ? Conan goes to Haiti: Conan O'Brien announced that, following the presidents remarks about the country, he will be heading to Haiti "to explore and make some new friends," presumably for a special #ConanWithoutBorders episode.

    ? Tiffany Haddish's next act: The face of Groupon. The Girls Trip star has been named as Groupon's new spokesperson and will star in the company's first Super Bowl ad in seven years. The connection stems from a story she recently relayed to Jimmy Kimmel about using a Groupon to entertain Will and Jada Smith.

    ^The Alienist, reviewed: "The TNT series plays like a time-traveling installment of True Detective,” writes Daniel Fienberg, “or a 19th century version of Mindhunter, still delivering in sumptuous period production values and strong ensemble casting what it maybe lacks in freshness." Full review.

    ? YouTube execs talk Logan Paul: "We believe he's made missteps, unfortunate missteps,” said chief business officer Robert Kyncl, adding that a final decision on Paul had not been made. “He's expressed remorse very quickly and is learning from the experience. Actions should speak louder than words. Logan has the opportunity to prove that."

    ? Walking Dead shakeup: AMC has (no surprise here) renewed the show for a ninth season, but it also made a change: showrunner Scott Gimple has been promoted to be the franchise's "chief content officer" to oversee all things Walking Dead, while writer/co-exec producer Angela Kang will be bumped up to serve as the new showrunner.

    ? Netflix cancels Lady Dynamite: The critically liked Maria Bamford comedy will not return for a third season, a move that comes as the streaming giant continues to refine its approach to scripted programming.

    + The canceled: The series joins the likes of Love, Haters Back Off, Girlboss and Marco Polo as shows recently let go by Netflix.

    ? A&E recruits Marcia Clark, Nancy Grace, Dan Abrams for new legal titles. The network is beefing up its unscripted slate with the help of three big legal personalities: Grace vs. Abrams will find Nancy and Dan sparring over infamous trials and cases, while Marcia Clark Investigates the First 48 features Marcia deep-diving into the first two days of unsolved crimes.

    ? R.I.P., Keith Jackson. Jackson — the legendary sportscaster and voice of college football who put in over four decades at ABC, including the first Monday Night Football season and 10 Olympics — passed away late Friday night at the age of 89.

  • Germany's Speech Problem

    An ambitious new online anti-hate speech law is backfiring in Germany as the new legislation has triggered a backlash, writes Scott Roxborough:

    The new Net Enforcement Law (NetzDG), which came into full effect Jan. 1, has backfired on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, with critics claiming it both censors free expression and does little to stop the spread of real hate.

    The law is an attempt to transfer existing anti-hate legislation online. Any social media network with 2 million or more users in Germany — so Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat — is required to quickly remove illegal material from its platform. Once posts are flagged by users, sites have 24 hours to remove “obviously illegal” content and a week in “complex cases.” If they don't, they could face a $60 million (€50 million fine). Read more.

    What else we're reading...

    — "Condé Nast crafts rules to protect models from harassment." Vanessa Friedman writes: "Prompted by the sexual harassment outcry that has enveloped fashion and other industries, Condé Nast said it began working in late October on a code of conduct that will go into effect this month." [New York Times]

    — "Using comedy to strengthen Nigeria's democracy." Adrian Chen writes: "A news-satire series modeled on The Daily Show aims to empower viewers. Will the joke get lost in translation?" [The New Yorker]

    — "Vladimir Putin's least favorite filmmaker returns." Karen Han writes: "Renowned Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless won at Cannes and, despite its pro-Kremlin detractors, was Russia’s submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar." [Daily Beast]

    — "The hilarity and horror of Ted Danson on The Good Place." Angelica Jade Bastién writes: "In the decades since Cheers went off the air in 1993, Danson has, to varying degrees, subverted, skewered, leaned into, and ultimately outgrown the rakish machismo of Sam Malone that, in the years following Cheers, threatened to cast a long shadow over his career." [Vulture]

    — "Spotify disrupted the music world, now it's doing the same to Wall Street." Maureen Farrell writes: "Banks working on Spotify’s unusual public share listing stand to collect a fraction of the fees underwriters typically charge in big IPOs, in a blow to the already beleaguered stock-selling business." [Wall Street Journal]

    What else we're hearing...

    + "The Golden Globes took away the one Oscar frontrunner we thought we had." Katey Rich and Richard Lawson try to make sense of the awards race. [Little Gold Men / Vanity Fair]

    + "Laurie Metcalf." The Lady Bird actress enters Maron's garage. [WTF With Marc Maron]

    What's happening this week:

    Tuesday: TNT's The Alienist has its premiere in New York ... The Warner Bros. film 12 Strong has its premiere in New York ... The Producers Guild holds a cocktail reception in New York ... Black Lightning debuts on The CW.

    Wednesday: American Crime Story: Versace debuts on FX ... Corporate debuts on Comedy Central.

    Thursday: Sundance Film Festival kicks off in Utah.

    Friday: 12 Strong and Den of Thieves hit theaters in wide release.

    Today's Birthdays: Regina King, 47, Chad Lowe, 50, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 53, James Nesbitt, 53, Mario Van Peebles, 61, Andrea Martin, 71.