Saturday Apr 18, 2015

The art world gets a starring role in upcoming productions

The inner workings of the art world world take center stage in an upcoming TV show announced this week, as well as a movie that's in the works and an experimental "sitcom" inspired by David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest.""The Art of More"Dennis Quaid ("Vegas," "Any Given Sunday"), Kate...
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TV

The art world gets a starring role in upcoming productions
Saturday Apr 18, 2015
The art world gets a starring role in upcoming productions

The inner workings of the art world world take center stage in an upcoming TV show announced this week, as well as a movie that's in the works and an experimental "sitcom" inspired by David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest.""The Art of More"Dennis Quaid ("Vegas," "Any Given Sunday"), Kate Bosworth ("Still Alice") and Christian Cooke (Magic City") will star in this series based on the "underbelly and surprisingly cutthroat world of premium auction houses," coming from Sony's internet streaming service Crackle. Cooke will play a former soldier with connections to antiquities smuggling rings, and Bosworth will play an account executive and the daughter of the CEO of one of two warring auction houses.  The first ten episodes are set to premiere in winter 2015."Maestra"A not-yet-published thriller that also delves into the world of auction houses was the subject of a recent film deal with Sony Pictures. "Maestra" by L.S. Hilton focuses on Judith Rashleigh, an assistant in a London auction house who finds herself up against snobbery and corruption. When she uncovers a conspiracy at the auction house, she is fired before she can expose it, then takes off with a man to the French Riviera. There, she finds herself in danger and needs to rely on her inside knowledge of the art fraud to get by.A UK release for the book is set for January 2016; movie details are TBA.Alex Bag's 'Infinite Jest' sitcomAn endnote from David Foster Wallace's novel is the inspiration for video artist Alex Bag's latest project. Later this month, she will hold open auditions at Team (gallery, inc.) in Manhattan for what's being called a "scripted sitcom-style show centering around four archetypal art-world characters." In the novel, Wallace's footnote describes a TV program in which characters are trapped in a circular narrative and cannot develop. Bag's program inspired by it will be produced as its own artwork, to be shown at a date TBA. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Jane the Virgin,' John Oliver among Peabody Award winners
Friday Apr 17, 2015
'Jane the Virgin,' John Oliver among Peabody Award winners

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Jane the Virgin" and John Oliver's satirical news show are among the winners in the first round of this year's Peabody Awards. The Peabody panel deemed the CW sitcom "Jane the Virgin" a "smart, self-aware telenovela" and its star Gina Rodriguez "incandescent." HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" is a "worthy addition to the news-as-comedy genre," and offers "fresh, feisty investigative reports," the panel said in announcing its entertainment awards this week. Others winners include "The Americans"; "Fargo"; "The Honorable Woman"; "Inside Amy Schumer"; "The Knick"; "Rectify" and "Black Mirror," an English TV anthology of dark tales. Individual and institutional Peabodys are being awarded to David Attenborough, the veteran British nature documentarian, and "Afropop Worldwide," a public radio series about African music and its international incarnations. Peabody news and radio winners will be announced Monday, followed on Thursday by honorees in the documentary, public service, education and children's programming areas. Winners will receive their statuettes May 31 in New York as the awards take a step toward glamor with its first red-carpet evening ceremony, hosted by Fred Armisen (whose "Portlandia" comedy is a past Peabody recipient). The ceremony will be featured in a Peabody special airing June 21 on Pivot. The awards for the best in electronic media, in their 74th year, are decided by the board of the George Foster Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia. ___ Online: http://www.peabodyawards.com/ Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Musical chairs: Who would Shelton want in his 'Voice' seat?
Friday Apr 17, 2015
Musical chairs: Who would Shelton want in his 'Voice' seat?

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Musical chairs is a common game on "The Voice." Pharrell is sitting in a seat originally owned by CeeLo Green and once occupied by Usher, while Shakira and Gwen Stefani have filled in when Christina Aguilera took a hiatus from the show. Blake Shelton said he has an idea who he would like to fill in his seat — if he ever took a break from the show, currently in its eighth season. "I think Luke (Bryan) would be good — I do," Shelton said of his fellow country music star in an interview Friday. "He'd be a good person in that chair." Shelton has been the winning coach on the series for four of the seven seasons. Adam Levine, who has won twice, has also stayed on the NBC competition show since it began in 2011. Shelton said he's not sure if other artists would sacrifice their careers like he has for "The Voice." "There also has to be an element of actually being willing to just give up, pretty much, your career to do it, your touring career," he said. "I'm just lazy enough. I may be the only one that was willing to do that." "After 15 years of touring all the time, I was ready to sit in one spot for months at a time," he added. "I know Luke loves to tour and he's having fun with it." "The Voice" has helped Shelton — who was already a top country star — reach audiences outside of the country world. He said he takes the mentorship on the show seriously — and he still connects with the artists he's worked with after the show ends. "Well I need to stop because I feel like I am adopting half of these people that have been on my team," he said, laughing. "We're all human, and I don't know how you can be around people that you have a connection with and that you have fun being around, and how that just ends because a TV show ends." The Swon Brothers, the country duo that Shelton mentored on "The Voice," is nominated for vocal duo of the year at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards. "A lot of these people become like family to me," he said. "We're in the trenches together." Shelton will also host the ACM Awards — airing live on CBS from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — with Bryan. Shelton is nominated for male vocalist of the year and vocal event of the year for "Lonely Tonight" with Ashley Monroe. ___ Online: http://www.blakeshelton.com/ http://www.nbc.com/the-voice https://www.acmcountry.com Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mesfin Fekadu from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Google announces a Works with Cardboard' program to bring clarity to virtual reality
Friday Apr 17, 2015
Google announces a Works with Cardboard' program to bring clarity to virtual reality

Google's do-it-yourself approach to creating VR headsets, viewers and apps has been so successful that a host of companies have taken the template as inspiration for their own devices; but with a greater choice can come greater confusion.So, to make it easier for consumers to understand which devices will work with their phones and apps, Google has set up an official program. "It's what we dreamed about when we folded our first piece of cardboard, and combined it with a smartphone: a VR experience for everyone! And less than a year later, there's a tremendous diversity of VR viewers and apps to choose from. To keep this creativity going, however, we also need to invest in compatibility," said Andrew Nartker, Google Cardboard's product manager. If a viewer ‘works with cardboard' it will feature a special orange badge and a QR code that will tell your smartphone exactly what type of viewer it is so that it can adjust VR app playback accordingly. The program will also give developers and makers the support ant tools they need to carry on creating virtual reality headsets, services and apps that will be compatible with Android devices. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Dr. Oz tells critics: No conflict of interest on my TV show
Friday Apr 17, 2015
Dr. Oz tells critics: No conflict of interest on my TV show

NEW YORK (AP) — Dr. Mehmet Oz is defending himself against 10 doctors who've accused him of promoting "quack treatments" on his TV show. Oz said in a statement Friday that his show provides "multiple points of view" including his own. He added that his own views are offered "without conflict of interest." A group of 10 doctors sent a letter to Columbia University this week urging the university to remove Oz from its faculty. They accused Oz of an "egregious lack of integrity." The lead author was Dr. Henry Miller, a senior research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. A Columbia spokesman said the school is "committed to the principle of academic freedom." Oz is vice chairman of Columbia's surgery department and still occasionally teaches. He also performs heart surgery at Columbia's affiliated hospital. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

The art world gets a starring role in upcoming productions
Saturday Apr 18, 2015
The art world gets a starring role in upcoming productions

The inner workings of the art world world take center stage in an upcoming TV show announced this week, as well as a movie that's in the works and an experimental "sitcom" inspired by David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest.""The Art of More"Dennis Quaid ("Vegas," "Any Given Sunday"), Kate Bosworth ("Still Alice") and Christian Cooke (Magic City") will star in this series based on the "underbelly and surprisingly cutthroat world of premium auction houses," coming from Sony's internet streaming service Crackle. Cooke will play a former soldier with connections to antiquities smuggling rings, and Bosworth will play an account executive and the daughter of the CEO of one of two warring auction houses.  The first ten episodes are set to premiere in winter 2015."Maestra"A not-yet-published thriller that also delves into the world of auction houses was the subject of a recent film deal with Sony Pictures. "Maestra" by L.S. Hilton focuses on Judith Rashleigh, an assistant in a London auction house who finds herself up against snobbery and corruption. When she uncovers a conspiracy at the auction house, she is fired before she can expose it, then takes off with a man to the French Riviera. There, she finds herself in danger and needs to rely on her inside knowledge of the art fraud to get by.A UK release for the book is set for January 2016; movie details are TBA.Alex Bag's 'Infinite Jest' sitcomAn endnote from David Foster Wallace's novel is the inspiration for video artist Alex Bag's latest project. Later this month, she will hold open auditions at Team (gallery, inc.) in Manhattan for what's being called a "scripted sitcom-style show centering around four archetypal art-world characters." In the novel, Wallace's footnote describes a TV program in which characters are trapped in a circular narrative and cannot develop. Bag's program inspired by it will be produced as its own artwork, to be shown at a date TBA. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

George Lucas to Colbert: Why aren't you replacing Stewart?
Friday Apr 17, 2015
George Lucas to Colbert: Why aren't you replacing Stewart?

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert came to the Tribeca Film Festival to interview filmmaker George Lucas, but the "Star Wars" creator had a question of his own. "The perfect choice to replace that Jon Stewart fellow would have been you," Lucas told Colbert on Friday. Why, he wanted to know, wasn't he replacing him? Colbert, who replaces David Letterman in September as host of "The Late Show" on CBS, tried to explain. "Trevor Noah is a very funny guy," he said of Stewart's recently named replacement. Moreover, he said, "I don't want to be the guy to take over from Jon Stewart. I worked for Jon Stewart at that show, and my memories will always be of him being the keenest, most intelligent, most beautifully deconstructive mind. ... And I would never, however successful I'd be, get out of his shadow." Lucas then suggested that Colbert wouldn't need to get out from Stewart's shadow; he could simply "start jumping on his body and shouting, 'I won! I won!'" "I'll try that," Colbert quipped. The hour-long interview focused mostly on Lucas, however, and Colbert, sporting an ample white beard to match that of Lucas and appearing as himself, not as his retired "Colbert Report" pundit, made clear that he's a huge fan. At age 13, he said, his world changed when he saw the first "Star Wars" with friends, having won four tickets in a radio station contest in Charleston, South Carolina. "We had no idea what it was going to be," he said. And then the music began, and the movie's opening scroll appeared and everything was different. "We couldn't explain to anyone how the world was different now," Colbert told Lucas. "We had no vocabulary for what you showed us." He says he still keeps a button from that screening, saying, "May the Force Be With You." The two men didn't speak much about the much-anticipated new "Star Wars" trilogy, directed by J.J. Abrams, with the first installment, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," opening in December. Lucas, who sold the franchise and his Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012 for $4.05 billion, said he doesn't know what the film's plot will be but looks forward to seeing it. "The one thing I regret about having made 'Star Wars' is that I never got to just go and see it," he said. "I hope it's successful," he said. "I hope they do a great job." He added that the original saga was about a father, children and grandchildren. "I'm hoping they take it in a different direction," he said. "I have no idea what they're doing." Lucas said one thing is sure: He'll wait to see the movie on a big screen. Asked by Colbert how he feels about people watching movies on their phones, he said it didn't anger him as much as it does some other filmmakers. "They work best on a big screen," he said. "If you want to see it on a cellphone, that's fine with me, but it won't be the full experience." Lucas spoke about the history of his biggest hits, starting with the 1973 "American Graffiti." Studio executives didn't like "Graffiti" at all at first, he said, and it ended up being enormously successful: It was made for $700,000, he noted, and earned $100 million. With "Star Wars," there were similar trepidations. Showing it to a group of famous filmmaker friends, no one liked it and basically said, "Poor George," he recounted — except Steven Spielberg, who immediately declared it was going to be huge. "And everyone just said, 'Poor Steven,'" Lucas quipped. When it opened in 1977, the director went off to Hawaii to lie on a beach, wanting to escape the stress. That first weekend, he got a call to turn on the TV; Walter Cronkite was on, describing how the film had become a phenomenon. "It's the first time I understood this was going to be a hit," Lucas said. The director, dressed in jeans and sneakers, told his host he is "not a fan of celebrity." To which Colbert replied: "You dress glitzy!" Lucas allowed that he owns "one pair of Levis and one pair of sneakers." Lucas said he plans to use his time and money making experimental films. A 21-year-old fan approached the mic and told the director he had notebooks filled with ideas. "I came here to see if I can help you," the fan said. Lucas suggested the fan approach a Hollywood studio. "They're the suckers," he said. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Jocelyn Noveck from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

2 weeks before Mayweather-Pacquiao, not a ticket to be seen
Friday Apr 17, 2015
2 weeks before Mayweather-Pacquiao, not a ticket to be seen

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Don't expect to snag a $1,500 nosebleed ticket — or any other ticket — at the box office for the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Just two weeks before the bout, tickets for the most anticipated fight in recent times have yet to go on public sale, with the two camps and the MGM Grand locked in a standoff over allotments. When they are finally put on sale, only a few will be sold at the listed price. The impasse has left fans in the dark, and ticket brokers perplexed. "It's bizarre, normally there's a public sale 10 weeks before the fight," said Connor Gregoire, an analyst for Seatgeek.com. "To our knowledge no one has a printed ticket in their hands right now." Mayweather's promoter, Leonard Ellerbe, said Tuesday that tickets would go on sale this week for the May 2 fight, but MGM officials have been tight-lipped about their availability. The hotel issued a statement Friday saying there would be a "limited number of tickets available for sale" and that it is working with promoters to finalize a date for their release. The fight was always going to be a tough ticket, with announced prices of $1,500 to $7,500 in the 16,500-seat Grand Garden arena. But those prices have already tripled in the resale market even before tickets are available, and the two camps and the MGM have been dickering over how many seats — and at what price level — each party gets. Pacquiao's manager, Michael Koncz, blamed the Mayweather camp for holding up the ticket sales, saying they have refused to sign a term sheet negotiated months earlier that specified the allotments. "It's a real mess right now," Koncz said. "I can only surmise the motivation is greed and an attempt to manipulate the tickets, otherwise why the holdup? I'm more than a little upset they're not for sale to the public." Millions of dollars are at stake in the dispute, because after the MGM takes its share each camp gets a certain percentage of tickets and is able to resell them with ticket brokers for higher prices. The estimated gate for the tickets if they are sold at retail prices is already a staggering $72 million, far surpassing the previous gate record of $20 million for Mayweather's 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez. Promoter Bob Arum said he has heard of people cancelling their reservations to Las Vegas because they're afraid they can't get tickets. "This is not acceptable," said Arum, who promotes Pacquiao. "This is a worldwide event that the city of Las Vegas is involved in. It's one of the craziest things I've ever seen." Gregoire said the fight is one of Seatgeek's most searched events, but that only a few dozen tickets have been sold through the website. Those tickets are what the ticket industry calls "spec tickets" because the sellers don't actually have them in hand, but expect to get them before the fight. The cheapest seat on the site on Friday was $4,800, and Gregoire said the average sale so far is in the $8,000 range. "People are hesitant to buy in the secondary market before there's been an original sale," he said. "And you've also got the incredible prices being asked for tickets now. That means a lot of people are not buying tickets at this point." At Stubhub there are no tickets for sale, spokeswoman Alison Salcedo said, because the ticket reseller is waiting for actual prices to be set and tickets to be printed. "There's still so much up in the air for this fight that we're not allowing spec sales," Salcedo said. "We're not willing to take that risk now." Tickets have also not gone on sale for the closed circuit telecast of the fight at the various MGM properties in Las Vegas. Thousands of those tickets are expected to be sold to fans that can't get into the arena itself, but no price has been set for them. Koncz said he talked to Pacquiao on Thursday about making sure he had enough tickets to take care of people in his camp. He said there have been requests from around the world for fight tickets, but that they have been forced to put them off because of the uncertainty over how many tickets are available and their pricing. One thing that is certain, he said, is no one — including the celebrities who generally populate the ringside seats — is getting in for free. "Nobody's getting free tickets," Koncz said. "Even Bob (Arum) has to pay for his ticket in the first row." Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Tim Dahlberg from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Scarlett O'Hara outfit could fetch $100,000 at auction
Friday Apr 17, 2015
Scarlett O'Hara outfit could fetch $100,000 at auction

DALLAS (AP) — Experts say an outfit worn in the 1939 film "Gone With the Wind" by Vivien Leigh as she played Scarlett O'Hara could fetch more than $100,000 at auction. Heritage Auctions is offering the gray jacket and skirt, featuring a black zigzag applique, plus other items from the Academy Award-winning film at auction Saturday in Beverly Hills, California. Dallas-based Heritage says more than 150 items from the movie, including costumes and props, are being offered by James Tumblin. He formerly was in charge of the hair and makeup department at Universal Studios. Tumblin began collecting items associated with the MGM film "Gone With the Wind" in the 1960s. He paid $20 for the Scarlett O'Hara outfit after spotting it at a costume company. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Scarlett O'Hara outfit fetches $137,000 at auction
Friday Apr 17, 2015
Scarlett O'Hara outfit fetches $137,000 at auction

DALLAS (AP) — An outfit Vivien Leigh wore when she played Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 film "Gone With the Wind" has fetched $137,000 at auction. Heritage Auctions offered the gray jacket and skirt, featuring a black zigzag applique, plus other items from the Academy Award-winning film at auction Saturday in Beverly Hills, California. Dallas-based Heritage said more than 150 items from the movie, including costumes and props, were offered by James Tumblin. He formerly was in charge of the hair and makeup department at Universal Studios. Tumblin began collecting items associated with the MGM film in the 1960s. He paid $20 for the Scarlett O'Hara outfit after spotting it at a costume company. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Blake Shelton: nominee, host and Lambert cheerleader at ACMs
Sunday Apr 19, 2015
Blake Shelton: nominee, host and Lambert cheerleader at ACMs

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Blake Shelton may be going into the Academy of Country Music Awards as a host, performer and two-time nominee, but he has another priority: being a cheerleader. Shelton's wife, fiery country star Miranda Lambert, is the top contender with eight nominations, including the coveted entertainer of the year — an award she has yet to win. "It needs to happen. It's imperative that it happens. Girls having the tough time that they're having right now at radio, it's not good for any of us. Especially somebody like Miranda — I think she deserves entertainer of the year," he said in an interview Friday after rehearsing at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. "Not only will that be important for the industry, it's just freakin' right. It's just the right call," he added. Lambert's nominations include album of the year for "Platinum" and song and single record of the year for her hit, "Automatic." She won the Grammy for best country album in February and she cleaned house at the Country Music Association Awards in November, winning four awards. "I'm just thankful because I couldn't have dreamed this in a million years," Lambert said in an interview. "You dream of singing music that moves people and you hope that they love it, and then you get to a place like this." Lambert said she would love to take home entertainer of the year — though she already feels victorious. "Obviously entertainer of the year is a huge deal, but I feel like I won by being in the category already," she said. Lambert is the sole female nominated for the top prize Sunday — a trend repeated in other categories. Co-host Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line are also up for the fan-voted entertainer of the year. Lambert, still, is expected to go home with a few wins: She will likely take home her fifth consecutive win for female vocalist of the year, and she's one of seven recipients of the 50th Anniversary Milestone Award. Others include Brooks, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn and Taylor Swift — helping the ACMs celebrate its 50th year in a big way. Swift won't be the only pop star in the building: Christina Aguilera will perform with Rascal Flatts, Nick Jonas will join Dan + Shay onstage and Kelly Clarkson will present an award. The awards show, held in Las Vegas for over a decade, has transformed the Dallas Cowboys' six-year-old stadium to mark its anniversary. The show will feature 23 performances across two stages, and presenters include Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara and Steven Tyler, who is recording a country album. "I literally grew up 80 miles east from here, so I feel like Texas is a great place to bring this many people for this reason because we are very welcoming and all about hospitality," Lambert said. Lambert is among the performers, which also include Brooks, Bryan, Aldean, McEntire, Strait, Lady Antebellum, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt, the new artist of the year nominee with the current No. 1 song on the country charts with "Take Your Time." Dierks Bentley, who follows Lambert with seven nominations, will also perform. Bentley was left out of entertainer of the year, but his nominations include album of the year for "Riser," song of the year for "I Hold On," single record of the year for "Drunk On a Plane" and male vocalist of the year, where he will compete Shelton and Bryan. The comedic duo of Shelton and Bryan are returning as hosts for a third year. "The Voice" coach said he won't get nervous until minutes before the show begins. "I can roll my eyes thinking about it right now, but Sunday night when it gets to be that 2-minute warning, I know I will be like ... 'I really got to do this,'" he said. Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn and Little Big Town will also perform at the 2015 ACM Awards, airing live on CBS at 8 p.m. EDT. ___ Online: https://www.acmcountry.com Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mesfin Fekadu from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Email: Affleck asked PBS to not reveal slave-owning ancestor
Sunday Apr 19, 2015
Email: Affleck asked PBS to not reveal slave-owning ancestor

BOSTON (AP) — Ben Affleck requested that the PBS documentary series "Finding Your Roots" not reveal he had a slave-owning ancestor, according to emails published online by whistleblower site WikiLeaks, and the information never appeared on the program. PBS and Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, host of the show that traces the ancestry of well-known guests, said in separate statements that they didn't censor the slave-owner details. Instead, more interesting ancestors of the actor emerged and Gates chose to highlight them in October's segment featuring Affleck, they said in the statements posted on the PBS website. "For any guest, we always find far more stories about ancestors on their family trees than we ever possibly could use," Gates said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press. He said finding slave-owning ancestors was very common in the series, and noted Ken Burns and Anderson Cooper were two guests with slave-owner relatives. In Affleck's case, "we decided to go with the story we used about his fascinating ancestor who became on occultist following the Civil War. This guy's story was totally unusual: we had never discovered someone like him before," he said. Affleck's rep did not immediately respond to an email request for comment Saturday. The award-winning actor and filmmaker ("Good Will Hunting" and "Argo") has also organized humanitarian work in Africa. The email chain between Gates and Sony Pictures co-chairman and chief executive Michael Lynton was part of a trove of hundreds of thousands of emails and documents from last year's Sony hack that WikiLeaks put into a searchable online archive on Thursday. In their email exchange, Gates asks Lynton for advice on how to handle Affleck's request. "Here's my dilemma: confidentially, for the first time, one of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors--the fact that he owned slaves. Now, four or five of our guests this season descend from slave owners, including Ken Burns. We've never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found. He's a megastar. What do we do?" Gates wrote on July 22, 2014. Lynton replies that it all depends on who knows that the information was in the documentary already. "I would take it out if no one knows, but if it gets out that you are editing the material based on this kind of sensitivity then it gets tricky. Again, all things being equal I would definitely take it out," Lynton wrote that same day. After going back and forth, the two seem to decide censoring the information is a bad idea, with Gates writing later on July 22 that if the public learned of it, "It would embarrass him and compromise our integrity. I think he is getting very bad advice" and adding: "Once we open the door to censorship, we lose control of the brand." Affleck is never mentioned in the exchange of emails between Gates and Lynton; instead he's referred to as a "megastar" and "Batman." He was filming "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" in Detroit at the time. When the segment aired Oct. 14, Gates focused on the occultist, a Revolutionary War relative and Affleck's mother, who was a "freedom rider" in 1964. A PBS spokeswoman said in an emailed statement Saturday that PBS did not know of the exchanges between Gates, Sony and Affleck and wasn't part of editorial decisions made by Gates and his producers. "It is clear from the exchange how seriously Professor Gates takes editorial integrity," PBS said in the statement posted on its website. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Singer Sam Hunt rising in both country and pop worlds
Saturday Apr 18, 2015
Singer Sam Hunt rising in both country and pop worlds

NEW YORK (AP) — Rising country star Sam Hunt may be finding success on the pop charts, but don't fret — he won't pull a Taylor Swift. "By no means do I want to try to leave country music," Hunt said in a recent interview. "That's absolutely where I want to stay." Hunt has dominated the country music charts and is steadily crossing over into the pop world: His debut single, "Leave the Night On," hit No.1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, and his current single, "Take Your Time," is spending its 10th week atop of the chart. Both songs have reached platinum status and cracked the Top 40 on the pop charts; "Take Your Time" has even peaked at No. 20 on the Hot 100. "I don't have any problem with the music reaching more and more people through whatever outlet allows that," Hunt said. "I think it's fantastic that pop stations are picking up the song." Country radio has rewarded Hunt for his diverse, genre-bending sound that fuses elements of R&B, hip-hop and electronica with country. He's also a respected songwriter who co-penned hits like Kenny Chesney's "Come Over," Keith Urban's "Cop Car" and Billy Currington's "We Are Tonight." The former quarterback for both Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham grew up in Cedartown, Georgia, and said he drew inspiration from Atlanta-based R&B acts like Usher and TLC, in addition to country singers. Hunt's look isn't typical country either: The chiseled, bearded 30-year-old is usually seen rocking a fitted cap and trendy clothes that mirror Drake and Chris Brown. Hunt believes his unique sound has helped him win on country radio. Some of his songs, like "Take Your Time," feature his signature talk-sing delivery. "It's different enough to have inspired people to not just listen to that song, but to go buy the record and see what the record has to offer," he said. "When it comes on the radio, it's a song that kind of catches people off guard." "Sam is going to be a superstar," Darius Rucker said in a recent interview. "I love what he's doing. He's doing something so unique and different." Others have recognized Hunt's work: "Leave the Night On" is nominated for top country song at next month's Billboard Music Awards, and Hunt will compete for new artist of the year at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards. "I was flattered to be considered for the nomination," Hunt said of the ACMs. "I know the category is new artist of the year, but I still kind of felt like at the time (I) was nominated, (I) was too new to be new artist of the year." Hunt's debut album, "Montevallo," debuted in November at No. 3 and 1 on Billboard's 200 and Top Country albums charts, respectively. The album recently hit gold status. He will open on Lady Antebellum's Wheels Up Tour, which kicks off May 1 in Lubbock, Texas. He's also set to perform at the ACM Awards, airing live from the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. "It is a lot to process. Everything's kind of happening so fast," he said. "We've been able to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Two weeks will go by and I'll look back and you can really see the progress." ___ Online: http://www.samhunt.com/home/ https://www.acmcountry.com/ Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mesfin Fekadu from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

5 things from former Bush press secretary Perino's book
Saturday Apr 18, 2015
5 things from former Bush press secretary Perino's book

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dana Perino, President George W. Bush's spokeswoman at the end of his presidency, is out with a book that is part memoir, part career advice. Perino is the only Republican woman ever to serve as White House press secretary and is now a co-cost of "The Five" on Fox News Channel. Five tidbits from "And the Good News Is ...: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side," which goes on sale Tuesday: LIFTING VEIL ON WALTER REED Perino offers a behind-the-scenes look into some of a president's toughest moments — the emotional private meetings with critically wounded troops at Walter Reed military hospital. She writes that she worried that families sitting in bedside vigils would be angry with Bush for sending their loved ones to war, but usually they welcomed and thanked him. In her first visit, a Marine opened his eyes for the first time since being injured by a roadside bomb when the president awarded him the Purple Heart, leaving Bush and everyone else in the room in tears. The Marine died a few days later. She also writes of a mother who did not give Bush a warm welcome, but instead questioned why it was her child and not his who lay in the hospital bed. "That mama sure was mad at me," she quotes Bush as saying as they headed back to the White House, a tear running down his cheek. "And I don't blame her a bit." A DEMOCRATIC FRIEND IN WASHINGTON Despite partisan differences, Perino writes that she's had a good relationship with President Barack Obama. The two met when they were seated across from each other at the Gridiron Club dinner in 2005 — when he was a new senator and she the new White House deputy press secretary. "We laughed our butts off for four hours," she wrote, adding that Obama also took her across the room to meet his wife. She next saw Obama three years later, when the Democratic presidential nominee came to a White House meeting on the financial crisis. She writes that he wrapped her in a hug in front of a roomful of people and told her the night they spent together was his favorite of all time in Washington. "I really turned red — especially since I wasn't sure everyone else knew what he was talking about!" she writes. POLITICS - TO ENGAGE OR STAY OUT? Perino writes how every president coming on the end of eight years can expect to face criticism from candidates running to replace him. As Obama's team tries to figure out just how hard to push back, Perino writes of her concern about letting Bush get "bruised and battered" while she stayed out of the fray. She did so, on directions from the top and writes that even if Bush wanted her to be a counterattack dog, it's not her style. "But I wonder if things may have been different if once in a while I'd bared some teeth," she writes. Perino did have a secret way of firing back when the briefing questioning got heated, underneath the podium. "I'd just rest my hand next to my water, out of view of anyone, keep a pleasant look on my face, and flip 'em the bird." WHITE HOUSE CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEATLH Perino writes that while trying to control the White House message, she should have been working harder to control her health and nutrition. She writes that by the end of the Bush's time in office, she couldn't sleep without a pill, was eating little and was so addicted to caffeine that she took one of the Diet Cokes set out for Bush during an official luncheon in Albania. She says she suffered from frequent migraines, needed back adjustments three times a week from the White House medical staff, felt numb from her right elbow to her fingertips and experienced such a loud ringing in her ears that she sometimes couldn't hear reporters' questions in the daily briefings. She writes that Bush's physician correctly predicted the symptoms would go away once she left the White House, although she says it took several months. NO TELL-ALL Perino's book does not include any revelations that portray Bush in a negative light. She writes of her anger at Scott McClellan, a former Bush press secretary, for writing a book that was blisteringly critical of Bush's leadership. She and Bush were blindsided by the memoir's tone, she writes, and she was upset and worried about how to respond to the media. She says Bush summoned her to the Oval Office and told her to forgive McClellan and not let the book distract from the important work they needed to do. She asked Bush, "Can I throw him under the bus first?" She writes that Bush told her no and added as she walked out, "By the way, I don't think you'd ever do this to me." Indeed. After all, the book's title is "And the Good News Is." ___ Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nedrapickler Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Nedra Pickler from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Scarlett O'Hara outfit could fetch $100,000 at auction
Friday Apr 17, 2015
Scarlett O'Hara outfit could fetch $100,000 at auction

DALLAS (AP) — Experts say an outfit worn in the 1939 film "Gone With the Wind" by Vivien Leigh as she played Scarlett O'Hara could fetch more than $100,000 at auction. Heritage Auctions is offering the gray jacket and skirt, featuring a black zigzag applique, plus other items from the Academy Award-winning film at auction Saturday in Beverly Hills, California. Dallas-based Heritage says more than 150 items from the movie, including costumes and props, are being offered by James Tumblin. He formerly was in charge of the hair and makeup department at Universal Studios. Tumblin began collecting items associated with the MGM film "Gone With the Wind" in the 1960s. He paid $20 for the Scarlett O'Hara outfit after spotting it at a costume company. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.