Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy

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Harvey Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences  Saturday amid a barrage of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations going back decades. 

In a statement, the Academy, as it is commonly known, said “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority” of its members voted to oust Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company. 

“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues,” read the statement from the Academy’s Board of Governors, “but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”

The Academy held an emergency session to discuss the allegations against Weinstein, which were reported by The New Yorker and The New York Times. 

The move by the Academy, the world’s top movie organization and home to the Oscars, is almost unprecedented.

Weinstein was ousted a week ago from The Weinstein Co., which now is struggling to survive this scandal.

He has denied the accusations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

 

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Egyptian director making anti-‘American Sniper’ film

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An Egyptian director says he “hated” Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster “American Sniper” and its portrayal of the villain Mustafa so much, he is making his own movie to lobby against it.

Amr Salama, the award-winning director of “Sheikh Jackson,” which will be featured at the Toronto Film Festival next month, says he already has a script called “Iraqi Sniper” to tell a compassionate story about Eastwood’s mysterious Arabic villain.

Bradley Cooper starred in the 2014 box-office hit as US marksman Chris Kyle, who was pitted against a mysterious sniper on the side of the Iraqi insurgents.

In real life, there was a top sniper fighting for the Iraqis, given the nickname Juba, whose murderous exploits were celebrated in a number of videos released between 2005 and 2007. It was rumored he had once been an Olympic athlete.

Salama tells the Hollywood Reporter he is making it partly because he was sickened by Eastwood’s movie.

“That was my inspiration — I hated it so much that I wanted to work on a different version of that story.”

In “Iraqi Sniper,” he says, Mustafa will be the hero.

“Whereas ‘American Sniper’ was pro-war,” says the director, “I’m trying to make an anti-war film.”

Salama says he is working with two of the region’s biggest names: prolific producer Mohamed Hefzy, with whom Salama collaborated on both “Sheikh Jackson” and his 2014 hit “Excuse My French,” and Hany Abu-Assad, the Palestinian director who earned Oscar nominations for both “Paradise Now” and “Omar.”

“This story merits to be told even if ‘American Sniper’ hadn’t come out,” Hefzy says. “He’s a very interesting character, a complex character. Amr did a lot of research and we’re trying to get his evolution right.”

He says at least one of the actors who was in “American Sniper,” Sammy Sheik, is attached to the film.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post.

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‘Gone With the Wind’ actor’s widow blasts theater that banned film

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The wife of late “Gone With the Wind” actor Fred Crane is outraged over a Memphis theater’s decision to ban the film for its racially “insensitive” content.

Terry Lynn Crane told Fox News she was “very, very disturbed” when she heard the historic Orpheum Theatre decided to stop showing “Gone With the Wind” after hosting the classic 1939 film for 34 years.

“By making a statement, they are trying to make a problem,” Crane told us. “They are inciting racial division and it’s only escalating.”

Crane, whose late husband Fred Crane played Brent Tarleton in the film, said her husband would be “saddened” by the theater’s decision if he were alive today. Fred Crane died in 2008 and was once invited by the Orpheum to speak ahead of a “Gone With the Wind” screening in 1999.

“I think he would be very saddened by all of this,” she said before adding with a laugh, “But I haven’t talked to him the last few days.”

Vivien Leigh’s ‘Gone With The Wind’ Dress Sold at Auction for $137,000

The Memphis native, who penned a book about the film in 2015, said it’s important not to simply ban films about slavery. 

“We should keep our history, we should keep things that are historic so we can learn from them,” she explained. “We’re running down a slippery slope. What’s going to be next? Total censorship?”

Crane also noted that Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy,” was the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award.

“Hattie McDaniel’s Mammy was such a milestone for black performers because she opened up the door right there for people to recognize black performers and all that they contribute to art.”

Crane said she felt the need to speak out about the theater’s decision after hearing from many fans of the film. 

“They love ‘Gone With the Wind,'” she explained. “[To them] while sad, it’s a love story…that happens to be set during the war between the states.”

The Orpheum said in a statement, “As an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves,’ the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population.”

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

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Why Tom Cruise’s butt has gone viral

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Tom Cruise‘s derriere is causing quite the stir on Twitter.

A fan who recently rewatched the actor’s 2008 film “Valkyrie” noticed that his butt in one particular scene looks comparatively larger than it does in other scenes throughout the rest of the movie. He tweeted a picture of Cruise’s backside that soon went viral and really got the debate started.

One Twitter user hypothesized that it “could be CGI” while many others figured it was probably a “stunt butt,” as Cruise films the majority of his own stunts.

“Is it a stunt scene? stunt actors wear fake butts for padding (wldt put it past Cruise all the time but this one looks hilariously outsized),” tweeted another user.

Christopher McQuarrie, the director of the film, caught wind of the debate and said he wouldn’t give an answer.

“At 12k retweets and climbing, why would I ever add clarity to this thread?” he responded. “#Valkyrie.”

McQuarrie’s tweet has since been deleted, and his rep declined to comment when reached by Page Six.

Page Six has also reached out to Cruise’s reps in hopes of solving the mystery.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post.

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John Corbett: I have a strong belief in God

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John Corbett’s relationship with God has been a long and complicated one.

The actor, who is best known for his role as Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriend Aidan on “Sex and The City,” began his journey of faith when he was a young boy in Catholic school.

“I went to Catholic school for 12 years and I was an alter boy for about seven of those years,” Corbett told Fox News. “I spent a lot of time behind the scenes in churches.

He recalled, “I [was] used to hanging out with priests and going out to dinner [with them]. I used to smoke cigarettes with my priest Father Brown.” 

In the ’80s, he dabbled in born-again Christianity before returning to his Catholic roots.

“I have a strong belief in God,” the actor told us. “I flew here from Los Angeles yesterday and I think I said three-to-four prayers before I got on the plane for my eternal soul if something happens on the plane.”

He describes himself as a “gospel and brunch kind of guy.”

“Nothing says I love you Jesus more than gospel music and mashed potaters.”

So when the actor was cast to play a pastor in the upcoming film “All Saints,” he felt prepared.

“This was just like being an alter boy again. I knew where everything was,” he said.

Corbett plays salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock who was tasked with shutting down a church in a small town near Nashville. When a group of refugees from Burma turn up, Corbett’s character enlists their help in saving the church in the real-life inspired film “All Saints.”

The 56-year-old was reluctant to accept the role but agreed to read the script when his CPA asked him to.

“I thought, ‘Oh man, another one of these deals where a buddy asks you to read a script from some guy,'” he recalled.

But by the time he was halfway through, he signed up to play the lead.

“I couldn’t believe how good it was,” Corbett said. “There’s no car chases or bank heists in this movie, no special effects. It’s like one of the movies I used to like in the ’70s; just a straight look at some people coming together to figure something out.”

Corbett said the world needs more movies like “All Saints” instead of superhero movie after superhero movie.

“I’m 56-years-old and ‘Spiderboy’ is a great movie but I want a little substance out there. I’m CGI-ed, computer generated to the end,” he complained. “If this movie doesn’t do well financially, they’ll just quit making these types of movies.”

He also said while many are calling the film “faith-based,” he doesn’t like that label.

“This is not a preachy story. This is just a true story about something that happened where a community got together and showed some refugees some love,” he explained. “It’s not a faith-based movie, it’s a good old fashioned true story.”

All Saints” is in select theaters August 25.

Faith & Fame is a regular column exploring how a strong belief system helps some performers navigate the pitfalls of the entertainment industry.

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

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Louise Linton’s ex-husband paid $200K for her movie role, director claims

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Long before Louise Linton became Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s wife, she appeared in the 2008 horror flick “The Echo.”

According to the film’s director, Yam Laranas, Linton was not his first pick of actress but he agreed to give her the role because her then-husband Ronald Richards paid him $200,000.

“She wasn’t in the running at all. All I know is that one of the producers said I have a friend whose wife is an actress and you should check her out,” Laranas told The Wrap. “At that point I wanted to shoot in New York. One of the producers said, ‘This guy is bringing in some money to make sure his wife gets the role.'”

Linton’s rep told The Wrap the claims are “not true” but did not return Fox News’ request for comment.

Laranas said the money Richards paid him went towards production costs for the flick.

Linton also appeared in the VH1 reality series “Hopelessly Rich.”

She recently came under fire for being “out of touch” after she tagged her designer clothing in a photo of herself getting off of a government plane.

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