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The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The all-new Hollywood Reporter offers unprecedented access to the people, studios, networks and agencies that create the magic in Hollywood. Published weekly, the oversized format includes exceptional photography and rich features.

United States
MRC Media, LLC
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48 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
heat index

Brian Roberts The Comcast CEO says streaming service Peacock has reached more than 15 million signups after hitting the 10 million mark at the end of July. Jimmy Pitaro In an unwelcome sign for the ESPN chief, ABC’s primetime Sept. 12 college football match drew about 3.5 million people, down 32 percent from the 2019 average. Jennifer Witz SiriusXM names the 18-year company veteran as CEO, succeeding Jim Meyer, who will transition to vice chairman Dec. 31. Jean-Guillaume Trottier The global president of Jo Malone London sees John Boyega walk as brand ambassador as the company apologizes for recutting and replacing the actor in an ad for China’s market. Showbiz Stocks $30.13 (+4.6%) VIACOMCBS (VIAC) Investors react well to the rebrand of CBS All Access to Paramount+, which, combined with the NFL’s return and coming divestitures, makes for a comeback…

4 min.
why cash-strapped towns are suing streaming giants

Until COVID-19 struck, Mayor Annette Blackwell felt like her city of Maple Heights, Ohio, had finally gotten on its feet again. The 2008 home mortgage crisis had delivered a financial wallop to this suburb that’s 15 miles outside of Cleveland. It witnessed thousands of bank foreclosures as well as numerous property tax delinquencies. Ohio’s state auditor declared a fiscal emergency. Maple Heights was finally set to escape the clutches of state officials by achieving the goals of a mandated recovery plan when the budget-busting pandemic came along. Blackwell knew she needed to do something bold. “I began looking for every opportunity to bring in revenue,” says Blackwell, whose epiphany resulted from a local business owner sharing a news story about TV streamers. “I read up. Then I called our law…

3 min.
behind netflix’s surprising tv exec shake-up

On Sept. 9, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos gathered employees for a virtual town hall to explain the rationale behind a shocking TV executive shake-up. He had decided to promote Bela Bajaria to vp global television and say goodbye to his longtime right hand Cindy Holland, he told staffers, because he wanted to streamline the reporting process within the TV group. The Netflix rank and file — as well as a group of senior leaders with whom Sarandos met before the town hall — were devastated by the sudden change in leadership. Holland, after all, had worked alongside Sarandos at Netflix for nearly 20 years, and many considered her the obvious choice to one day take over for her boss as chief content officer. But as Sarandos looks to Netflix’s future, it’s…

5 min.
‘do you take the risk or do you punt?’

Intentional or not, Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman-CEO Tony Vinciquerra set off a maelstrom when addressing the state of the box office at a Sept. 9 Bank of America investors conference. “What we won’t want to do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie on the market unless we’re sure theaters are open and operating at a significant capacity,” he said. The comment was considered poor form by those working in the fragile Hollywood ecosystem who are once again trying to release big movies in actual theaters amid the pandemic. Yet Vinciquerra underscored what is fast becoming apparent: The U.S. box office recovery has been derailed as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet stalls domestically, key moviegoing markets such as Los Angeles and New York City remain dark and…

4 min.
#oscarssowhite creator on academy’s ‘tepid changes’

In a time when organizations in every industry are attempting to publicly display their “wokeness,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new inclusion standards for Oscar eligibility in the best picture category. On their face, these standards appear to move the needle with respect to issues of diversity in film. (For example: At least one of the lead actors or supporting actors must be from an underrepresented group. Alternatively, 30 percent of secondary roles must be from at least two underrepresented groups, or the film’s themes must be centered on underrepresented communities.) The standards purport to require filmmakers who want their films to be considered in this category to be intentional with respect to who works on the film, both in front of and behind the…

2 min.
top films ‘marginalized and minimized’ representation onscreen

As Hollywood reckons with systemic racism, two new annual studies take a closer look at racial and gender representation. The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s Sept. 10 report examined the top 100 grossing feature films in 2019, finding no meaningful increase in Black, Hispanic/Latino or Asian speaking characters in these titles year-over-year. Only 34.3 percent of the 57,629 characters in top films were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The number of female feature directors did reach a high last year, with 12 helming movies among the top 100 grossers, compared with five female directors in 2018. Yet by and large, gains in film remained minimal or largely stagnant. “The overall ecosystem of cinematic storytelling is still one in which girls, women and people of color are marginalized and minimized,” noted Professor Stacy L. Smith,…