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Harvey Weinsteins Insidious Sabotage of Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvinos Careers

Charmaine Blake



Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino during 1996 File Photos. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

After a decades-long reign of terror, were still learning the full extent of Harvey Weinsteins damage. As sexual harassment and assault victims of the ousted producer continue to come out, other, more nuanced forms of abuse and intimidation have also begun to surface. These stories often relate back to sexual misconduct, whether its Weinstein torturing an actress for refusing his sexual demands, or bullying employees into silence and complicity.

On Wednesday, Salma Hayek published a brutal account of Weinsteins retaliation campaign against her. Enraged by Hayeks sexual rejection, Weinstein flexed his power where he could maintain, more or less, total control: the set of 2002s Frida. When he wasnt threatening to shut down the film altogether, Hayek says that Weinstein exhibited his famous temper and made punishing demands, including a sex scene with co-star Ashley Judd. In addition to putting the project in serious danger, the producer allegedly belittled Hayeks performance and dismissed her casts work, deeming the eventual Oscar winner not good enough for a theatrical release. He transformed Hayeks career triumph into a personal hell.

Although Weinstein didnt succeed in sabotaging Frida, hes long been rumored to have the power to make or break an actresss career. The promise of superstardom was often a component of his now-infamous hotel room meetings with young women. But this wasnt just a lineas Weinstein could elevate an actress, he could also tear her down.

Because of Weinsteins immense power and influence in the entertainment industry, its no wonder that so many women feared saying no to him. In Ronan Farrows late October New Yorker expos, he named Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette as actresses who suspected that, after they rejected Weinsteins advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them. Sorvino told the New Yorker that Weinstein pressured her sexually while they were working together, recalling, He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around.

In a subsequent guest column in the Hollywood Reporter, Sorvino wrote, People say there are lists out there, that Harvey had a blacklist not only of people he was allegedly investigating but also of people who weren’t supposed to be hired sent to casting people and agencies. I know women with whom I’ve talked since who felt that their careers were derailed. I’ve heard stories about calls being made to their agencies saying that they were drug addicts when they didn’t touch drugs. She added that, while she couldnt say for certain if her career had been derailed by Weinstein as an act of retaliation, I felt if I had accepted Harvey’s advances, I would have continued to make movies with them, and they were the people winning the Oscars for that decade. I was not offered any movie roles past 1996.

Sorvinos suspicions are far from paranoid. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson told Stuff this week that he believes the Weinstein-led Miramax fed him false information about accusers Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd. Jackson, speaking on Weinstein for the first time, explained that these conversations took place during the early stages of development for Lord of the Rings, when he was pitching the films to Miramax. After the director expressed his interest in casting Sorvino and Judd, I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998. While Jackson had no reason to question what these guys were telling us at the time, In hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing.

I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women. Jackson continued. And as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”

Jackson said that while he has no direct experience or knowledge of the sexual allegations against Weinstein, he had long ago decided not to work with him. He elaborated, My experience, when Miramax controlled the Lord of the Rings [before New Line took over production of the film], was of Weinstein and his brother behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies. They weren’t the type of guys I wanted to work withso I haventMovie making is much more fun when you work with nice people.

He added, I vaguely remember bumping into him [Weinstein] at some award show or premiere at the time of their release, but it’s been 20 years since my last interaction of any substance with Harvey Weinstein.”

Ashley Judd responded to Jacksons interview on Twitter, writing, I remember this well. Sorvino also shared the story, with a tragic caption: Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. Im just heartsick.

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‘Fortnite’ composer Pinar Toprak will score ‘Captain Marvel’



Image: Brian To/FilmMagic

“Turkish-American composer Pinar Toprak has been hired to compose the score for Captain Marvel, which will premiere in March of next year.

Even if you’re not a film score buff, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Toprak’s work. In addition to writing additional music for Justice League in 2017, she is responsible for some of the incredibly catchy music from Fortnite. Yes, the stuff that is stuck in your head all the time…….”

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‘Incredibles 2’ breaks box office records with a whopping $180 million



Image: disney pixar

“For every unmitigated disaster like Solo, there are multiple other box office hits for Disney. Incredibles 2 is the latest.

The 14-years-later sequel is on a pace to finish off its opening weekend with a $180 million box office haul in the United States. That’s the highest opening to date for any animated release, and for any PG-rated release as well. It’s also the eighth-largest domestic opening weekend ever, overall.

Incredibles 2 soars past another Pixar sequel, Finding Dory, the previous top animated opener. The Finding Nemo sequel launched in 2016 on the same June weekend as Incredibles 2, but it only (only!) managed to pull in $135.1 million in its first three days.

The new $180 million bar will be a tough one for future competitors to beat, though even that record is bound to eventually fall. Inflation and rising ticket prices all but ensure it.

Disney currently has three recent releases in the weekend box office top 10. Solo: A Star Wars Story comes in at #4 on this weekend’s chart, with an estimated $9.1 million. That brings its domestic total up to $192.8 million.

Solo will probably cross $200 million domestic in the next week or two, but it’s currently the lowest-earning live action Star Wars movie to date. There’s even some question at this point as to whether or not it will manage to beat The Empire Strikes Back. Not accounting for inflation, that second-ever Star Wars movie ended its box office run in 1980 with $209.4 million.

Disney’s lowest entrant on this weekend’s box office top 10 is Avengers: Infinity War, at #8. The April 2018 release is still kicking in its eight week after hitting theaters. It picked up an estimated $5.3 million this weekend…..”

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Apple and Oprah sign a multi-year partnership on original content



Apple announced today a multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey to produce programs for the tech company’s upcoming video-streaming service. Apple didn’t provide any specific details as to what sort of projects Winfrey would be involved in, but there will be more than one it seems.

Apple shared the news of its deal with Winfrey in a brief statement on its website, which read:

Apple today announced a unique, multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN.

Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.

Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.

The deal is a significant high-profile win for Apple, which has been busy filing out its lineup with an array of talent in recent months.

The streaming service also will include a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Storiesa Reese Witherspoon- and Jennifer Aniston-starring series set in the world of morning TVan adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, a thriller starring Octavia Spencer, a Kristen Wiig-led comedy, a Kevin Durant-inspired scripted basketball show, a series from “La La Land’s” director and several other shows.

Winfrey, however, is not just another showrunner or producer. She’s a media giant who has worked across film, network and cable TV, print and more as an actress, talk show host, creator and producer.

She’s also a notable philanthropist, having contributed more than $100 million to provide education to academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, and is continually discussed as a potential presidential candidate, though she said that’s not for her.

On television, Winfrey’s Harpo Productions developed daytime TV shows like “Dr. Phil,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Rachael Ray.” Harpo Films produced several Academy Award-winning movies, including “Selma,” which featured Winfrey in a starring role. She’s also acted in a variety of productions over the years, like “The Color Purple,” which scored her an Oscar nom, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Winfrey also founded the cable network OWN in 2011 in partnership with Discovery Communications, and has exec produced series including “Queen Sugar,” “Oprah’s Master Class” and the Emmy-winning “Super Soul Sunday.”

The latter has a connection with Apple as it debuted as a podcast called “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations” and became a No. 1 program on Apple Podcasts.

Winfrey recently extended her contract with OWN through 2025, so it’s unclear how much time she’ll devote specifically toward her Apple projects.

Apple also didn’t say if Winfrey will star or guest in any of the programs themselves, but that’s always an option on the table with a deal like this. CNN, however, is reporting that Winfrey “is expected to have an on-screen role as a host and interviewer.”

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