Month: June 2020

Netflix to spend about $100 million to support African-American communities

Netflix Inc will allocate 2%, or about $100 million, of its cash holdings to financial institutions and organizations that directly support African American communities in the United States, the streaming giant said on Tuesday.

The company said https://media.netflix.com/en/company-blog/building-economic-opportunity-for-black-communities in a blog post it will start with $35 million, of which $25 million will be moved to a new fund, “Black Economic Development Initiative”, and $10 million will go to Hope Credit Union for creating opportunity in underserved communities.

The move comes as U.S. companies face increasing pressure from investors, consumers and workers to take action against widespread racial inequality after the death of African American George Floyd in police custody.

“This capital will fuel social mobility and prosperity in the low- and moderate-income communities these groups serve,” Netflix said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings donated https://twitter.com/PolicingEquity/status/1267966174660366338 $1 million to think tank The Center for Policing Equity, which promotes police transparency and accountability through its research.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #netflix #blm @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Netflix, DuVernay to make series on Kaepernick’s high school years

Netflix is teaming up with Emmy Award-winning director Ava DuVernay to bring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s adolescent life to the television screen.

Entitled ‘Colin in Black & White’, Netflix said on Monday the six-episode series would focus on Kaepernick’s early years as a Black child growing up with a white adopted family and his formative high school years.

Kaepernick, who sparked a national debate in the United States when he protested against racial injustice by kneeling as the U.S. national anthem played during a game, has signed up as narrator of the series.

“We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face,” he said. “We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years.”

Kaepernick said he was honored to work with DuVernay, the first black female director to be Oscar-nominated for a documentary, saying that too many stories about race and Black people were told through a “white lens”.

“With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him personally,” DuVernay, the filmmaker behind “Selma” and “13th,” said in a statement.

“Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #colinkaepernick #netflix #avaduvernay @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Black lives celebrated and mourned at emotional BET Awards

Black power, suffering and the fight for justice took center stage at the BET awards on Sunday, the first Black celebrity event in the United States since nationwide mass protests broke out this month over systemic racism.

Jennifer Hudson performs during the 20th BET Awards in this image made available on June 29, 2020. BET/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

The show, which celebrates Black excellence in music, film, sports and philanthropy, was filled with speeches, songs, images of protests and the names of dozens of Black men and women who have died at the hands of police in recent years.

Beyonce, who was given a humanitarian award by former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama for her charitable initiatives, urged the Black community to use its vote in upcoming U.S. elections to dismantle “racist and unequal systems.”

Wayne Brady performs on the 20th BET Awards in this image made available on June 29, 2020. BET/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

“We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does,” the singer said.

The awards show, broadcast live for the first time in its 20-year history on America’s mainstream CBS channel, featured commercials from the likes of Coca-Cola, Ford, Nissan, P&G, L’Oreal and Facebook that both celebrated the achievements of Black people and highlighted the challenges they face.

Lil Wayne performs during the 20th BET Awards in this image made available on June 29, 2020. BET/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

A remixed version of veteran New York rap group Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem “Fight the Power,” featuring photos of this month’s street protests, opened the show, whose slogan was “Our culture can’t be canceled.”

Da Baby’s performance of “Rockstar” began with the rapper singing while lying on the ground under the knee of a police officer, in a recreation of last month’s arrest and death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that sparked the protests.

Chloe x Halle perform on the 20th BET Awards in this image made available on June 29, 2020. BET/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

Newcomer Roddy Ricch wore a “Black Lives Matter” shirt, John Legend played his ballad, “We Will Never Break,” and Alicia Keys sang an emotional new song, “Perfect Way to Die,” about the black lives lost over the decades.

The show was a mix of pre-recorded performances and virtual appearances because of the coronavirus pandemic that shut down production of television shows in mid-March.

Awards went to Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me for Being Anti-Social,” which won album of the year, Megan Thee Stallion for best female hip-hop artist and Lizzo was named best female R&B/pop artist.

Gymnast Simone Biles and basketball star LeBron James were named sportswoman and man of the year respectively. Nigerian musician Burna Boy was named best international act.

IVOX NEWS by Reteuters #beyonce #bet #jenniferhudson #johnlegend #aliciakeys #megantheestallion #lizzo :: www.ivoxnews.com

Soundtracks from Italian cinema’s golden age get new lease of life

Soundtracks from the golden age of Italian cinema are to be made available to a new generation of music and film lovers under a new partnership between Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sugar, Italy’s leading independent label.

Italian singer, Malika Ayane poses in an unknown location, in this picture obtained by Reuters on June 29, 2020. Oskar Cecere/Universal Music Group/Handout via REUTERS
Andrea Bocelli poses in an unknown location, in this picture obtained by Reuters on June 29, 2020. Mark Seliger/Universal Music Group/Handout via REUTERS
Nino Rota, Italian composer and pianist, poses in an unknown location, in this picture obtained by Reuters on June 29, 2020. CAM Sugar/Universal Music Group/Handout via REUTERS

More than 2,000 historic soundtracks from films including Federico Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ and ‘Amarcord’ and Luchino Visconti’s ‘Il Gattopardo’ (The Leopard) and scores from composers such as Ennio Morricone will be reintroduced and distributed via Decca Records.

Under the partnership, UMG Italy will also distribute recordings from Sugar’s roster of contemporary artists including Italy’s biggest pop-rock stadium act Negramaro and pop-jazz artist Raphael Gualazzi.

President and CEO of Sugar, Filippo Sugar poses in an unknown location, in this picture obtained by Reuters on June 29, 2020. Universal Music Group/Handout via REUTERS

“Having one, truly unique, worldwide distribution solution for the entire breadth of Sugar recordings is a very important step, as we look to grow our reach and visibility into new territories,” Filippo Sugar, CEO of the 88-year-old Italian music company, said in a press release.

Universal and Sugar have cooperated before on numerous projects, including a live-streamed Easter performance this year by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli from an empty Duomo cathedral in Milan at the peak of Italy’s coronavirus crisis.

UMG, based in the United States, is one of the world’s biggest record labels.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #italiancinema #italy #music #universalmusic @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

MTV Video Music Awards to be held in physical New York venue on August 30

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) show will take place in New York at the end of August, MTV and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, marking the first major awards show since the coronavirus pandemic that will occur in a physical venue.

MTV and Cuomo said the Aug. 30 VMA show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn would follow safety guidelines and would have “limited capacity or no audience.”

Award shows traditionally feature large numbers of performers, guests, audiences and stage crews, and have been relegated to online or prerecorded events since the pandemic shut down theater, music and other live shows in mid-March.

FILE PHOTO: 2019 MTV Video Music Awards – Show – Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, U.S., August 26, 2019 – Queen Latifah. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

MTV said some VMA performances would take place at unspecified New York landmarks and that social distancing and limits on capacity would be enforced at the 19,000-seat indoor venue.

It was not clear how many performances would be live. The youth TV network said in a statement that details and potential options for the show would come later “based on the science and data in New York.”

New York City has been the hardest hit area in the United States for coronavirus cases but is now gradually emerging from shutdowns to contain the spread of the virus.

FILE PHOTO: 2019 MTV Video Music Awards – Show – Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, U.S., August 26, 2019 – Jonas Brothers react after winning the Best Pop Award. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The VMA traditionally features live performance from music’s biggest stars and is one of the biggest annual events on the awards calendar. Performers and nominations for the August ceremony have yet to be announced.

Organizers of the Emmy Awards for television said earlier this month that the ceremony in September would go ahead as planned in Los Angeles but gave no details of how the show would be produced.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #VMA #vmaawards #music #queenlatifa #jonas #popmusic @ivoxnews #news

AMC delays reopening date by two weeks to July 30

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc said on Monday it has delayed the reopening of its theaters in the United States by two weeks to July 30.

The world’s largest movie theater operator said that the date aligns with the release of Disney’s “Mulan” and Christopher Nolan’s thriller, “Tenet”, that have been pushed to August.

The company added it expects all its theaters globally to be operational by early August.

Movie theaters have been shut since mid-March to help contain the spread of the coronavirus with movie releases pushed later into the year.

The release of Russell Crowe-starrer “Unhinged” was moved to July 31 from July 10, as its aims to be the first new widely released movie.

Credit Suisse downgraded U.S. theater operators earlier in the day due to concerns around their reopening, previously expected by mid-July.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #AMC #movies @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

FOX gives up U.S. Open rights to NBC

A crowded sports schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted FOX to choose the NFL and MLB over the U.S. Open, leading the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) to end its 12-year deal with the broadcaster and transfer it to NBC Universal.

The U.S. Open originally scheduled for June was moved to September due to the new coronavirus outbreak, creating a logjam for FOX which also has broadcast rights for ratings behemoth the NFL as well as college football and Major League Baseball.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the shift in dates for the U.S. Open… finding the necessary broadcast hours presented a challenge for FOX Sports, given their commitments to the National Football League,  Major League Baseball  and college football,” the USGA said in a statement.

“What started as an exploration of how FOX Sports and NBC/Golf Channel could work together this unique year led to a broader conversation and eventual agreement for NBCU to take over the USGA media rights.”

FOX signed a 12-year deal worth a reported $1.2 billion in 2015 that runs through 2026.

The USGA said terms of the agreement will remain the same as NBC jumps in to broadcast this year’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York which was moved from June 18-21 to Sept. 17-20 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The deal also includes the rights to other USGA flagship events including the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur tournaments.

“Recent events calling for the shift of the U.S. Open created scheduling challenges that were difficult to overcome,” said Eric Shanks, CEO and executive producer of FOX Sports.

“While we are proud of the success we’ve built over these years, this is a win for golf fans everywhere, a win for the USGA and a win for FOX and NBC Sports.”

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #fox #nbc #usopen #tennis @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Disney+ Hotstar to premiere Bollywood films, bypassing theatres

Walt Disney Co’s streaming service Disney+ Hotstar plans to premiere seven big ticket Bollywood films originally meant for theatrical release this year, as it seeks to expand its lead in subscribers over rivals Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video.

Monday’s announcement follows similar moves in India by Netflix and Prime and deals a fresh blow to movie theatre operators like PVR and Inox Leisure, which have seen a raft of likely box office hits opt for digital releases due to theatre shutdowns in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is something that we’ve been thinking of for a long time. The pandemic provided this opportunity because a number of films that are ready or about to be ready don’t have any clarity on when they can be released,” said Uday Shankar, who heads Disney’s operations in India.

India has eased restrictions around its more than two-month long nationwide lockdown, but malls, multiplexes and theatres largely remain shut.

Streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix have in the past signed deals with Indian studios for digital rights, but mainstream releases have prioritised theatrical revenues in the past.

Shankar said direct-to-digital releases were always on the horizon, due to a lack movie screens and limited release windows in India, but the lockdown had accelerated the idea of releasing films digitally.

Hotstar reported 300 million monthly active users last year. Most use the free, advertising-supported service, but Disney has said it aims to convert many of these users into paying subscribers.

Disney acquired Hotstar via its $71 billion purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox’s film and television assets in 2019. It rebranded the service as Disney+ Hotstar in April.

Hotstar said the first release, a Bollywood remake of the Hollywood hit “The Fault in Our Stars”, will be released on July 24 this year.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #disney #bollywood #hollywood @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com