Morning Consult Entertainment: Warner Bros. Pushes ‘Tenet’ Release to Aug. 12

Top Stories

  • Warner Bros. has once again delayed the release of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” moving the film’s debut from July 31 to Aug. 12, after several states experienced a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Sources said both Warner Bros. and Nolan are taking cues from exhibitors about the best time to release the film. (The Hollywood Reporter)   
  • Walt Disney Co. is redesigning its Splash Mountain attraction at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland to remove imagery from the film “Song of the South,” a controversial 1946 title that has been criticized for its racial stereotypes and a glorification of plantation culture, with the renovated ride highlighting a new storyline featuring Disney’s only Black princess, Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Country music group The Dixie Chicks has dropped the word “Dixie” from their name and will now be known simply as The Chicks, saying in a statement that they wanted “to meet this moment” amid a national conversation about Confederate monuments and racial injustice. The band also released  a new song and video, “March March,” which features images of protests. (The New York Times)

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Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Cannes XR
Cannes Marché du Film Online: Meet the Streamers
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
SXSW Sessions: Judd Apatow and Stephen Colbert 11:00 am
Newfronts After Party 2:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Q&A With The Cast & Creators Of Miracle Workers: Dark Ages 8:00 pm
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
Unfinished Work: Music, Identity and Activism 4:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Composer Roundtable 8:00 pm
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
MediaPost: TV & Video Insider Summit
How to Produce a Killer Virtual Event 12:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Q&A Interview And Screening Of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee 8:00 pm
MediaPost: TV & Video Insider Summit
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Screening and Q&A With The Cast And Creators Of Defending Jacob 8:00 pm
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Vancouver Gets Official COVID-19 Safety Guidelines To Restart Film & TV Production; Border Still Closed, Quarantine In Effect
Dominic Patten, Deadline Hollywood 

The Flash isn’t speeding back into production yet in Vancouver, but the Warner Bros TV series is certainly on the starting line thanks to the official coronavirus safety guidelines released yesterday by the government up in Hollywood North.

Movies and TV Can Start Shooting Again—If Anyone Can Figure Out How
Anthony Breznican, Vanity Fair 

Hollywood productions went completely dark within the span of about two days when the coronavirus pandemic hit North America in March. Now, nearly two weeks after being given the go-ahead to resume shooting under new quarantine protocols, most movies and TV shows remain stalled and nearly paralyzed, struggling to figure out how and when to safely return to work.

Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell Leave Voice Roles as Black Characters
Reggie Ugwu, The New York Times 

Two white actresses who voiced black characters on popular animated television shows announced that they would step down on Wednesday, extending a season of soul searching over systemic racism that has touched multiple industries in the wake of recent police killings of African-Americans.

Disney’s Parks Need a Cure
Dan Gallagher, The Wall Street Journal 

Disney looks in for a rougher summer. But getting its theme park business back on track was always going to take more than face masks and favorable spreadsheets.

Movies Will Be Turned Into Podcasts With Cadence13’s New Venture
Brent Lang, Variety 

Imagine if “Jurassic Park” or “Jaws” hadn’t unfolded on the big screen. If, instead of reveling in cinematic carnage, audiences might have experienced the bloodletting of these dinosaurs and giant sharks from the relative safety of their earbuds.


As the Summer Movie Calendar Keeps Shifting, ‘Tenet,’ ‘Mulan,’ and ‘Unhinged’ Explore a Future in Theaters
Anne Thompson, IndieWire 

For months now, the summer release schedule has been a moving target. Anxious distributors have sent some of their titles straight to PVOD, day and date or streaming, convincing filmmakers from Judd Apatow (Universal’s well-reviewed “The King of Staten Island”) to Kenneth Branagh (Disney’s poorly reviewed “Artemis Fowl”) not to wait to play their movies in theaters.

‘Hamilton’ Is Coming to the Small Screen. This Is How It Got There.
Michael Paulson, The New York Times 

In the spring of 2017, a production executive withdrew an encrypted hard drive from a Midtown Manhattan vault and boarded a flight to London.

Do Movies Still Need Multiplexes?
Richard Brody, The New Yorker 

Last week, movie-theatre chains that are planning to reopen their multiplexes in July became the subject of a drama of their own making: “Mask Wars.” It was a battle fought in the press and over social media—and the chains blinked.

Sony Pictures Animation Chief Kristine Belson Sees COVID-19 Helping Stimulate Demand For R-Rated And PG-13 Titles
Dade Hayes, Deadline Hollywood 

Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation, Features and Series, predicts more animated titles will aim for older audiences as a result from an overall boom in interest caused by COVID-19.

How Andrew Cuomo Could Undo Hollywood’s Theater Reopening Plans
Jeremy Fuster, The Wrap Pro 

Plans to revive the movie theater business could begin to unravel after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that several types of businesses will not be able to reopen on schedule, including movie theaters.


Amid Pandemic and Protests, Late Night Hosts Become “Megaphone for the Movement”
Sharareh Drury, The Hollywood Reporter

Late night shows have long been known for bringing in humor while covering the news, but after the racial justice protests against police brutality began to rock the nation, hosts and writers had to grapple with how to approach these intense and important issues.

Joy Reid set to become cable’s first black female prime-time anchor
Sara Nathan, Page Six 

Joy Reid is about to make history as cable’s first black female prime-time anchor. Back in March, Page Six first reported that Reid was on a short list — along with Shep Smith and Steve Kornacki — to take over the slot occupied by Chris Matthews until his abrupt exit from MSNBC.

Will the New Emmy Rules Really Lead to More (and More Diverse) Nominees?
Steve Pond, The Wrap Pro 

The Television Academy changed the way it determines the size of its Primetime Emmy Awards categories last week, and in the process declared that the change was made “to allow for more inclusiveness in the recognition of excellence.”

Broadcast Series Order Volume Plummets More Than 50% in Coronavirus-Ravaged Pilot Season
Joe Otterson, Variety 

Like virtually all aspects of the entertainment industry, the volume of broadcast series orders took a massive hit this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blackface has long been an issue in comedy. Look no further than ‘Saturday Night Live’ for proof.
Bethonie Butler, The Washington Post

Last year, amid controversy over a decades-old photo of a man in blackface on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page, “Saturday Night Live” lampooned the rinse-wash-repeat cycle of prominent figures apologizing for having worn blackface in the past.

Technology and New Media

‘It Was Sell At All Costs’: How AT&T’s Sales Staff Created Fake Accounts For DirecTV Now
Rachel Sandler, Forbes

In July 2018, Julia Morris walked out of the AT&T store in Burlingame, California, with a Motorola prepaid phone. The 54-year-old graphic designer had lost her iPhone 7 two weeks prior, and when the AT&T sales representative suggested she buy a temporary phone while she waited for her insurance company to send her a check for a new one, she handed over her credit card—and didn’t think of the transaction again.

Disney Kids Channels to Shutter in U.K., Content Moving to Disney+
Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter

“The Walt Disney Company remains committed to our kids channels business and continues to execute distribution agreements for Disney channels in many markets where Disney+ is also available.”

YouTube’s latest experiment is a TikTok rival focused on 15-second videos
Sarah Perez, TechCrunch 

YouTube is taking direct aim at TikTok. The company announced on Wednesday it’s beginning to test a new feature on mobile that will allow users to record 15-second long multi-segment videos.

Why 5 ‘South Park’ episodes aren’t available on HBO Max, the show’s new streaming home
Travis Clark, Business Insider 

All 23 seasons of the Comedy Central animated adult comedy “South Park” debuted on WarnerMedia’s new streaming service HBO Max — with five episodes missing. The absent five episodes all featured depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Hulu Boards ‘Normal People’ Author’s ‘Conversations With Friends’
Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter 

Hulu is doubling down on Normal People author Sally Rooney. The Disney-owned streamer has boarded Conversations With Friends, the 12-episode, straight-to-series half-hour drama that it will produce in partnership with youth channel BBC Three.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer Sheds Light On Disney Exit, Platform’s Role In Tulsa Trump Rally And Social Justice, Growth Trajectory
Dade Hayes, Deadline Hollywood 

Kevin Mayer offered his first public comments Thursday about his stunning exit from Disney and his outlook for TikTok’s path to further growth. He took over June 1 as the fast-rising company’s CEO and COO of its parent, ByteDance.

YouTube Emphasizes Flexible Ad Buys Following CTV Viewership Spike
Kelsey Sutton, Adweek

Video platform pitches to NewFronts marketers in personalized Brandcast presentation.

YouTube Gets Back With Demi Lovato With Four-Part Documentary Series
Peter White, Deadline

The as-yet-untitled series will be directed by Michael D. Ratner, who directed and exec produced Quibi’s recent &Music series, and produced by Ratner’s OBB Pictures, which produced YouTube’s recent Justin Bieber: Seasons series.

TikTok Forms Creator Diversity Collective
David Cohen, Adweek

TikTok formed a Creator Diversity Collective to bring together creators on its platform from different backgrounds in an effort to ensure diversity, inclusion and representation.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Television Critics Association’s Overwhelmingly White Award Winners Underline Systemic Racism in TV Coverage
Caroline Framke, Variety

In the month since police killed George Floyd, the United States is finally reckoning in a very real way with how racial inequity is baked in to every level of society.

This is pop culture’s moment of reckoning on matters of race
Brandon Griggs, CNN

From Motown and “The Cosby Show” to hip-hop and “Black Panther,” America has long consumed Black culture — even as our country’s systemic racism sent a very different message.

How K-Pop Stans Became an Activist Force to Be Reckoned With
Will Bedingfield, Wired

On June 20, US president Donald Trump delivered a campaign rally in front of just 6,200 people. The stadium, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, carries 19,000, and so was notably empty, with row upon row of blue unoccupied seats; a second stadium booked up nearby for overflow went unused.

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