Morning Consult Entertainment: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Surpasses Diversity Goal Set in 2016

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  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 819 new members from 68 countries to join its ranks, with women comprising 45 percent of its new members and individuals from “underrepresented ethnic and racial communities” accounting for 36 percent. In 2016, the Academy set a goal to double the number of women and underrepresented groups by 2020, reaching the benchmark for underrepresented groups last year and hitting the same milestone for female members this year. (Los Angeles Times)  
  • The more than 80 women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and sexual harassment are entitled to payments from a fund of $18.85 million as part of a settlement for civil lawsuits. The settlement deal, which still needs approval from a U.S. bankruptcy judge, would see the women awarded individual payments ranging from $7,500 to $750,000, according to court papers. (The Wall Street Journal) 
  • Bozoma Saint John is leaving her current job as chief marketing officer of Endeavor Group Holdings to join Netflix Inc., where she will replace current CMO Jackie Lee-Joe. (Deadline Hollywood)

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Events Calendar (All Times Local)

MediaPost: TV & Video Insider Summit
Voiceover! Alive & Well! 7:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Screening and Q&A With The Cast And Creators Of Defending Jacob 8:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Q&A And Screening With The Stars / Creators of Love Life 8:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Screening And Q&A With The Stars and Creators of Legendary 8:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Q&A And Screening With The Creators & Star Of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet 8:00 pm
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EU Countries Make Film & TV Exceptions To U.S. Travel Ban In Bid To Get Production Back Underway
Tom Grater and Jill Goldsmith, Deadline Hollywood 

Yesterday’s news that the European Union will not lift travel restrictions on the U.S. due to the scale of the country’s ongoing coronavirus outbreak prompted concerns about the re-start of American film and TV production based in Europe.

WGA and Studios Move Closer to Deal After Long Night of Negotiations
Dave McNary and Cynthia Littleton, Variety 

The Writers Guild of America and AMPTP are moving closer to a deal for a new master film and TV contract after a long night of virtual negotiations held in part via videoconference calls.

Disney World Actors Push to Delay Park Reopening, Have On-Site Testing
Trey Williams, The Wrap Pro 

Disney’s cast members and stage actors at the company’s theme parks, particularly Disney World in Orlando, are pushing back against plans to reopen next month as the coronavirus pandemic has shown signs of surging in California and Florida.

The Reckoning Over Representation: Black Hollywood Speaks Out, But Is the Industry Listening?
Elaine Low and Angelique Jackson, Variety 

Former “Glee” star Amber Riley remembers the time early in her career when a producer told her that she and other actors of color were “a little more disposable, because that’s the way the world is.” As her professional trajectory continued, she witnessed her fair share of bad behavior, and knew who would — or would not — be held accountable.

The Pandemic Is Still Killing People. Why Is Country Music Putting on Concerts?
Jon Freeman and Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone 

Last Saturday, Chase Rice played a concert in Petros, Tennessee, for nearly 1,000 smiling fans. You could tell they were smiling because virtually none of them were wearing masks.

Industry Groups Pledge Solidarity With Black Creatives and Address Racism in Their Own Communities
Audrey Cleo Yap, Variety 

When social media users used the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday on June 2 to protest racism and police brutality, the Instagram account for Gold House posted an image of a hybrid tiger-panther with the words “Black Lives Matter,” followed by links to social-justice causes.

Comcast Cuts Ties to Lobbyist Critical of Black Lives Matter
Gerry Smith, Bloomberg 

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. pay-TV provider, has cut its ties to conservative activist Matthew Schlapp, who has drawn criticism for remarks about Black Lives Matter.

Will Coronavirus End Hollywood’s Lucrative Tax Breaks?
Brent Lang and Gene Maddaus, Variety 

Hollywood has enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with state governments for years. In return for shooting movies and shows in Louisiana or New York City, it received generous tax incentives that allowed producers to shave millions of dollars off their budgets. 

Radio Pulled Violent Songs Off Air After 9/11 — But It Won’t Reckon With Race
Katherine Turman, Rolling Stone

On June 9th, Cumulus Media read out on its 424 radio stations a list of black victims of police brutality, including Breona Taylor, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and George Floyd. Cumulus’s tribute was supposed to air only on its urban-formatted stations.


Shake-up at Paramount Pictures as former Fox Film boss Emma Watts joins studio
Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times

Emma Watts, the former 20th Century Fox Film executive who left the Disney-owned company this year, is heading to Paramount Pictures. Watts on Tuesday was named president of Paramount’s motion picture group, putting her in charge of the ViacomCBS Inc.-owned studio’s film slate. 

Movie Theaters Get a Painful Extended Intermission
Dan Gallagher, The Wall Street Journal 

Even the most dedicated moviegoers, willing to wear masks, need something to actually see. Movie theater operators have encountered a few bumps on their road to recovery.

Cinemark Set to Reopen Movie Theaters on July 24 With Classic Hollywood Films
Thom Geier, The Wrap 

Cinemark on Tuesday announced plans to begin reopening its movie theaters on July 24 with a series of classic Hollywood movies. The nation’s third-largest exhibitor based its plans on results from reopening five theaters in the Dallas area where the company is based.

Cinemark Now Requiring All Guests To Wear Face Masks
Anthony D’Alessandro, Deadline Hollywood 

Following big circuits AMC and Regal, Cinemark has reversed its face mask policy for guests as the chain plans its reopening from the COVID-19 shutdown.

America’s Great—If Small—Return to Drive-In Theaters
Angela Watercutter, Wired 

Drive-ins don’t usually have Rite Aids. Or post offices.


‘America’s Got Talent’: How NBC’s Talent Show Returned To Filming With Production Pods, Masks, & A Drive-In Movie Theater-Style Stage
Peter White, Deadline Hollywood 

America’s Got Talent is one of the first big-budget non-scripted formats to resume filming following the COVID-19 production shutdown. The NBC show started shooting outside last week in Los Angeles and the Fremantle and Syco-produced show put in a number of interesting processes to ensure a safe return.

Technology and New Media

YouTube TV sharply increases monthly subscription to $64.99
Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge 

YouTube TV has announced that it’ll be raising its monthly price from $50 per month to $64.99 as the company starts to offer eight of ViacomCBS’s channels, which are available today: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1.

“Hamilton” is the first blockbuster to fulfill the promise of streaming
Adam Epstein, Quartz

If buying Hamilton tickets was never an option for you—and it’s not an option for anyone this year—worry not: You’ll soon be able to watch the record-breaking Broadway musical from your couch.

Apple Cancels Some Arcade Games in Strategy Shift To Keep Subscribers
Mark Gurman and Jason Schreier, Bloomberg 

Apple Inc. has shifted the strategy of its Apple Arcade gaming service, canceling contracts for some games in development while seeking other titles that it believes will better retain subscribers.

FuboTV increases monthly subscription to $65
Julia Alexander, The Verge 

FuboTV is the latest virtual TV service to introduce a sharp subscription fee hike, not long after YouTube TV announced that it was drastically increasing its subscription fees to $65 a month.

Snap 2.0: How Fresh Content and Games Have Spurred Snapchat’s Comeback
Sean Burch, The Wrap Pro 

The year has been rough for most people and companies, but 2020 has been kind to Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company. Users have gravitated toward new shows and games on the app, leading to more interest from advertisers.

ESPN Plus increases to $5.99 in August, making it the same price as Hulu
Julia Alexander, The Verge 

ESPN Plus is getting a $1 price hike in August to $5.99 a month, making the baseline price for Disney’s sports streaming app the same as Hulu’s basic tier. The price hike is only being applied to ESPN Plus’ monthly fee, according to internal documents viewed by The Verge. 

Spotify Debuts a ‘Premium Duo’ Subscription Tier Aimed at Couples
Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone 

Spotify is launching a new subscription plan, Spotify Premium Duo, that allows two people living at the same home address to each have their own premium account for a flat fee.

‘Ozark’ to End With Expanded Season 4 on Netflix
Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter 

Ozark is coming to an end on Netflix, but it’s doing so with an expanded order for its fourth and final season. The streamer has ordered 14 episodes for season four — up from 10 for each of the prior three seasons — that will be split into two equal parts. 

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Why Change in Hollywood Must Be Mandated, Not Requested
Lena Waithe, Variety 

Money is the only language that people in Hollywood understand. The only way we’ll see change in an industry that benefits from systems of inequality as they exist today is to hit people in their pockets.

How the future of TV and streaming has been reshaped so far by 2020
Tim Peterson, Digiday 

This year was set to be a tipping point for the TV and streaming industry even before the coronavirus crisis. The streaming wars would heat up even more with the entries of NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia.

The Messy Politics of Black Voices—and “Black Voice”—in American Animation
Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker

It was 1948 or so, and the comedy duo Freeman F. Gosden and Charles J. Correll faced a dilemma. Radio was no longer the nation’s dominant form of entertainment, and Gosden and Correll’s long-running program, “Amos ’n’ Andy,” about a pair of Southern migrants making their way in Chicago, had lost its pizzazz, growing hokey and hemmed in by the late-stage half-hour format.

We Asked Four Documentarians: How Does Film Shape the Fight for Racial Justice?
Salamishah Tillet, The New York Times 

When 17-year-old Darnella Frazier filmed the police killing of George Floyd on her phone in May, her video reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and nationwide protests, even prompting one supporter to name her “the Rosa Parks of her generation.” In addition to setting off policy debates about police reform, the protests have also renewed interest in books, visual art and movies, especially documentaries about race and social justice.

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