Calls for change in Hollywood at the SAG Awards

(CNN)There were more calls for change by women in Hollywood at the 24th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

The show began as it traditionally does, with actors discussing how they became actors.
But this year there was a twist — only women spoke.
    It was further evidence that #MeToo and Time’s Up movements will remain a central focus of Hollywood’s award season.
    Women took center stage at the ceremony with the SAG Awards featuring its first-ever host, Kristen Bell and all-female presenters.
    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris hailed the men and women who are members of the union as being “agents of change.”
    “Truth is power and women are stepping into their power,” she said. “Make no mistake, this is not a moment is time, this is a movement.”
    Actress Rosanna Arquette, who accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, was honored by Marisa Tomei for breaking her silence in October as the pair presented the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries.
    Arquette got choked up as she called out the names of others who have come forward with accusations against men of power, including Ashley Judd and Asia Argento.
    The prize went to Nicole Kidman for her performance in the HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”
    She paid tribute to co-nominees Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, along with Meryl Streep and others, for proving that women over 40 have a place in the industry.
    “Twenty years ago we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives, that’s not the case now,” Kidman said. “We’ve proven and these actresses and so many more are proving that we are potent and powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us because our stories are finally being told.”
    Host Bell kicked off the night with a light approach, joking that she was the “first lady” of the event.
    “I think my first initiative as first lady will be cyberbullying, as I have yet to see any progress on that,” Bell quipped.
    She also touched on current events, including a joke that the dystopian drama “The Handmaids Tale” was a documentary.
    But Bell quickly got more serious.
    “Everyone’s story deserves to be told,” she said, referring to those who have come forward in recent months to share their experiences of being abused.
    “We are living in a watershed moment,” Bell said. “And as we march forward with active momentum and open ears, let’s make sure that we’re leading the charge with empathy and diligence because fear and anger never win the race.”
    The first award of the night for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy went to William H. Macy for “Shameless,” his third for that role and his fourth career win.
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus became the most decorated actor in the history of the SAG Awards, with nine wins overall. The “Veep” star, who is receiving treatment for breast cancer, won the award for best performance by a female actor in a comedy series and will receive a statue as a member of the cast of “Veep,” which won for best comedy series ensemble.
    “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown won the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series, becoming the first black actor with this achievement since the Screen Actors Guild started handing out awards in 1995.
    Brown had some advice for up-and-coming actors.
    “The fame won’t sustain you. The money won’t sustain you,” he said. “The love. Keep that love alive.”
    “This Is Us” also took home the statue for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series, a first for the cast.
    Sam Rockwell clenched the award for outstanding male actor in a supporting role for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
    He thanked the film’s star, Frances McDormand, whom he called a “powerhouse” and gave a nod to the momentum of the women’s movement in Hollywood.
    “I’m in awe of [McDormand] and I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and all the incredible women in this room for trying to make things better,” Rockwell said. “It’s long overdue.”
    McDormand won for outstanding female actor, and the “Three Billboards” cast took home the top prize for ensemble performance in a theatrical motion picture.
    Rita Moreno was visibly moved when she received a standing ovation as she took the stage to present Morgan Freeman with a lifetime achievement award.
    “This is beyond honor, this is a place in history,” Freeman said in his acceptance speech.
    He also got in on the mood of the night.
    “I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with this statue,” Freeman quipped. “It works from the back. From the front it’s gender specific. Maybe I started something?”

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    Miss America CEO forced to resign after offensive emails about contestants, winners surface

    Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell has resigned.
    Image: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

    There he goes, Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell.

    Haskell had been suspended Friday after a HuffPost story detailed his email correspondence over the years leading the beauty pageant. His leaked emails included many sexist, offensive comments about contestants and winners.

    By Saturday afternoon he had resigned. 

    Board chairman Lynn Weidner also offered her resignation, but she will remain on for up to 90 days to help “facilitate a smooth transition.” Weidner had been involved in targeting Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, whom Haskell and other MAO colleagues had insulted because of her weight after she won the competition.

    Weidner had also been vocal in her support for Haskell over the years.

    Before he resigned, Haskell had confirmed that he sent the sexist, vicious emails.

    Former Fox News host and 1989 Miss America winner Gretchen Carlson had also been targeted along with 1998 winner Kate Shindle, who wrote a book in 2014 that criticized the organization’s spending, as the emails show. Haskell once wrote how he wished Shindle had died instead of a former winner who passed away of breast cancer. 

    Carlson has been calling for Haskell’s resignation and commented on her and Shindle’s behalf when today’s announcement was made. She said the move was a first step but “by no means fulfills the need for a thorough housecleaning of the Board.”

    The Miss America Organization needs to crown new leadership. 

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    ‘Veep’ production postponed as Julia Louis-Dreyfus undergoes cancer treatment

    (CNN)Production on the seventh and final season of HBO’s “Veep” has been postponed as star Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues treatment for breast cancer.

    “The expectation is we will shoot again,” Rich said. “We have one more season we’re doing, which we’re incredibly excited about.”
    Louis-Dreyfus announced her diagnosis in late September, just days after she made Emmy history for her sixth consecutive win in the best actress in a comedy category.
      HBO said at the time that the show’s production schedule would be adjusted to accommodate Louis-Dreyfus’ heath needs.
      While undergoing treatment, Louis-Dreyfus is still attending table read with the cast in Los Angeles, Rich said, a move he called impressive.
      “It’s been quite something because she’s fighting a serious…illness and yet wants to keep working as much as circumstances allow, without being crazy about it,” he said.

      A post shared by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@officialjld) on

      On social media, Louis-Dreyfus has been keeping fans up to date on her health, posting periodic updates.
      Last month, she posted a photo after completing her second round of chemotherapy, writing, “We are NOT f–king around here.”
      She’s also shared videos of encouragement produced for her by “Veep” co-stars Tony Hale and Timothy Simons.
      “She’s got a great support system,” Rich said. “She’s a very strong person and we can’t wait to welcome her back at full speed.”

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      ‘Geostorm’ marketing prank proves people won’t keep their cool in a real disaster

      Selina Meyer would be unmoved by such sentimental displays of affection.
      Image: HBO

      Who’d have thought that one of the most caustic shows on television could yield one of the sweetest moments on Twitter?

      A few weeks ago, we got the very sad news that Julia Louis-Dreyfus had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Because 2017 is just the worst.

      But even in the worst of times, people aren’t all bad. Louis-Dreyfus’ friends and fans rallied around her – up to and including actual former veep Joe Biden. 

      Now today, her Veep co-stars Timothy Simons and Tony Hale have served up this adorable show of support:

      Did it suddenly get really dusty in here?

      The Meyer staff in Veep is the very definition of a toxic work environment, and Gary and Jonah – the characters played by Hale and Simons, respectively – have always been two of Selina’s favorite punching bags. 

      Gary’s the sad puppy who follows her around no matter how many times she kicks him, and who lives for years on every little scrap of affection she deigns to give him. Jonah, on the other hand, deserves every florid insult lobbed at him. He’s the kind of vile moron only a mother (or a Richard Splett) could love. 

      But the Veep cast, clearly, is a whole other story. This is the purest thing I’ve seen on the internet all day, and I may or may not be happy-crying at my desk right now. 

      In a month when it feels like every story out of Hollywood is a reminder that people are awful, this is just what we needed: a cute little video of two TV stars goofing off to try and cheer up a friend. The fact that Simons clearly doesn’t know all the words, and that Hale gets way, way too into it, is part of the charm.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to hit play on this thing, oh, about fifty more times.

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      Julia Louis-Dreyfus has breast cancer

      (CNN)Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced she has breast cancer in a post on her official Twitter account.

      “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” Louis-Dreyfus wrote.
      The 56-year-old actress went on to say “The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union.”
        “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal healthcare a reality,” she concluded.
        Hollywood quickly rallied around her.
        “Veep” co-star Tony Hale re-tweeted the announcement from Louis-Dreyfus.
        “We love this woman,” Hale wrote in a caption.
        Other stars, including Rosie O’Donnell and Christina Applegate, as well as fans offered their well wishes.
        The news comes on the heels of what has been a triumphant year for Louis-Dreyfus.
        She broke the record for the most Emmys won by a performer for a single role earlier this month, after snagging her sixth consecutive win for lead actress in a comedy for her work on HBO’s “Veep.”
        It was her seventh statue in that category overall as she had previously won in 2006 for “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

          Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals she has breast cancer

        HBO told CNN that Louis-Dreyfus received her diagnosis the day after her historic Emmy win. Her health did not factor into the decision to end “Veep” with Season 7, which writers are currently working on. HBO added the show’s production schedule will be adjusted if needed to accommodate its star.
        “Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” HBO said in a statement. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of ‘Veep.'” (HBO and CNN share parent company Time Warner.)
        Louis-Dreyfus has advocated for cancer research in the past by teaming up with the Livestrong Foundation, according to Web MD.
        “I was asked, and it was a no-brainer,” she told the site.

          Breast cancer: Know the facts

        The former “Seinfeld” star is also a long-time advocate of environmental causes and green living, leading to a Mediaplanet feature on her work.
        “My actions have an impact on humanity and generations to come,” she told the publication.

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        Joe Biden’s sweet message to Julia Louis-Dreyfus

        (CNN)Vice presidents have each other’s backs.

        That was the message former Vice President Joe Biden sent to “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus Thursday after the actress revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
          “We Veeps stick together,” Biden tweeted along with a picture of him and Louis-Dreyfus from a spoof they did for the 2014 White House Correspondents Dinner. “Jill and I, and all of the Bidens, are with you, Julia.”
          She responded by retweeting him and writing “@JoeBiden yes we do. Love back to all of you.”
          The pair are both outspoken advocates for cancer research.
          Biden lost his 46-year-old son Beau Biden to brain cancer in 2015. The former vice president and his wife Jill launched the Biden Cancer Initiative earlier this year in honor of his son.
          Friends and fans have rallied around Louis-Dreyfus.
          Her former “Seinfeld” costar Jason Alexander also tweeted his support.
          “@OfficialJLD so sorry you have to go thru this, pal, but I know you will prevail,” he wrote. “We are here if/when you need and we love you.”

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          Angelina Jolie files for divorce from Brad Pitt

          (CNN)One of Hollywood’s highest profile marriages is over.

          Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from husband Brad Pitt, citing irreconcilable differences.
            According to the court documents, the pair separated on September 15, two years and one month after they married in August 2014.
            Jolie is seeking physical custody of their six children and asking the court to grant Pitt visitation.
            She is also asking to keep “miscellaneous jewelry and other personal effects” as well as any earnings from after the date of their separation and other separate assets to be determined later.
            Already there is speculation that a tabloid-friendly, child-unfriendly custody battle may ensue over their six children. But a source close to them asserted that both sides want a cordial breakup.
            “Other than the fame of the people involved, this is like so many other divorces,” the source said.
            “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids,” Pitt said Tuesday in a statement to CNN. “I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”
            Jolie’s camp is also focused on the children.
            “This decision was made for the health of the family,” Robert Offer, an attorney for Jolie told CNN in a statement Tuesday. “She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.”


              JUST WATCHED

              Empowered patient: Angelina Jolie

            MUST WATCH

            The couple talked to NBC’s Tom Brokaw in 2015 about their marriage, her health struggles and working together as they promoted their film “By the Sea.”
            Jolie also wrote and directed the film about a couple in a troubled marriage. Jolie said the characters’ relationship was far from hers and Pitt’s.
            “I’m counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all we could never make this film,” Jolie said. “It’s because we are actually very, very stable and these aren’t our issues.”
            The pair have also been partners in giving.
            Pitt has worked for years to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
            Jolie is a United Nations special envoy for refugee issues, a critical topic at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York this week.

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            Angelina Jolie talks divorce, health in new interview

            (CNN)Angelina Jolie has a new house and new outlook on her family’s new normal following a difficult year.

            “I was very worried about my mother, growing up — a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me,” Jolie told the magazine. “I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is.”
            In the article, Jolie said her relationship with Pitt “became difficult” last summer, around the time she was in postproduction on her upcoming film, “First They Killed My Father,” which she directed.
              She did not elaborate when probed further, but seemingly rejected the notion that the family’s travel-heavy, hectic way of living was a point of contention between her and Pitt.
              “[Our lifestyle] was not in any way a negative,” she said in the interview. “That was not the problem. That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we are able to give our children . . . They’re six very strong-minded, thoughtful, worldly individuals. I’m very proud of them.”

              September cover star Angelina Jolie opens up about life after Brad, her struggles with Bell's palsy, putting her family and her health first, and finding catharsis in Cambodia while making her most personal film yet. Photograph by @mertalas and @macpiggott.

              A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair) on

              She adds of her children: “They’ve been very brave. They were very brave.”
              Pitt and Jolie are parents to Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 9.
              “We’re all just healing from the events that led to the filing . . . They’re not healing from divorce,” Jolie added. “They’re healing from some . . . from life, from things in life.”
              Pitt and Jolie separated in September 2016 and filed for divorce shortly after.
              Jolie sought sole custody of the children.
              Jolie and Pitt’s divorce is still being negotiated, according to Vanity Fair.
              Jolie and the children recently moved into a new 11,000-square-foot house in the Loz Feliz area of Los Angeles, according to the magazine.
              “We care for each other and care about our family, and we are both working towards the same goal,” Jolie said.
              The tumultuous year has seemingly taken its toll on Jolie, who in the piece opens up about developing hypertension and Bell’s palsy, which causes muscle weakness.
              “Sometimes women in families put themselves last,” she said, “until it manifests itself in their own health.”
              She received acupuncture treatment and made a full recovery from her Bell’s palsy.
              In the past, Jolie has been open about taking a proactive role in her health.
              She had a double mastectomy in 2013 after learning she carried a gene that made her more susceptible to developing breast cancer. Two years later, she had her ovaries removed as a preventative measure, a move that sent her into early menopause.
              At one point Jolie jokes with the reporter about developing more gray hair.
              “I can’t tell if it’s menopause or if it’s just been the year I’ve had.”
              Jolie’s film “First They Killed My Father,” about the Cambodian genocide, will be released on Netflix this year.

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              ‘Mom’ ditches Emmy campaign to donate to Planned Parenthood

              (CNN)CBS’s “Mom” put its plans for an Emmy campaign on hold in support of Planned Parenthood.

              Explaining their decision, star Allison Janney told “Access Hollywood”: “It just seems like now is a time to do something like this — as the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood.”
              Janney, who plays Bonnie on the series, is a long-time advocate for the organization. Janney said her great-grandmother worked with Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and her mother once sat on the board of an affiliate organization.
                Planned Parenthood has been a frequent target of GOP initiatives.
                In April, President Donald Trump signed a bill that allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, like Planned Parenthood.
                The majority of federal money given to the organization funds preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other women’s health services, according to information on Planned Parenthood’s website.
                “It’s been part of my family,” Janney said. “It’s an organization that’s important and needs to be here.”
                Janney has won two Emmys for her work on “Mom” and seven Emmys total.
                “Mom” has been praised during its four seasons for tackling issues like addiction, breast cancer and adoption.
                “I’m proud of all of us at ‘Mom’ for making that decision,” she said.

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                Don’t get too excited about ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 just yet

                We're waiting, HBO.
                Image: hbo

                Stop toying with our emotions, Reese Witherspoon!

                Despite the utter perfection ofBig Little Lies‘ finale, some folks just can’t get enough of the all-star ladies of Monterey. (The squad includes Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz, so who can blame them?)

                Fans have been begging for a Season 2 ever since HBO’s limited series ended in early April. And although opinion is divided on whether the adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s one-and-done novel should be extended the cast is on board with the idea, and Moriarty says she’s already started coming up with ideas for possible Season 2 storylines, while director Jean-Marc Valle is strongly against it that hasn’t stopped Witherspoon teasing the possibility on social media.

                In a recent Instagram post, Witherspoon is pictured with Kidman and Dern with the tantalizing caption, “Spending #SundayFunday with these ladies … working on some new lies.”

                Spending #SundayFunday with these ladies … working on some new lies

                A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

                Mashable checked with HBO on the status of a potential Season 2, but as of right now, there’s no news on a renewal, so don’t start packing your bags for a return trip to Monterey just yet.

                Instead, we hear that the ladies were just hanging out at a photoshoot. Of course, this doesn’t preclude them from discussing a potential Season 2 or plotting how to get it made especially since Witherspoon and Kidman are executive producers on the series but we’re guessing that when there’s real news to report, it won’t be so cryptic.

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