As the world continues faces a long overdue reckoning with uprisings around the globe against anti-Black racism and white supremacy, the entertainment world is trying to return to some semblance of normal. Of course, the big question is what will that look like? And in the face of current conversations, protests, and civil unrest why would we want to return to the so-called normal at all? With all of that said this week’s addition of our weekly column is filled with news, entertainment updates, and sadly a lot of potentially triggering conversations around racism and sexual assault.
Some Bad Ideas
With studios desperate to get back to work there’s been plenty of questions about how films and TV shows will be made safely with the country still under the shadow of COVID-19. LA County seemed to lead the way with their “Reopening Protocol for Music, Television and Film Production,” document that was filled with wild gems. Some of the highlights include mask-wearing at all times except when on screen, no large crowd scenes, no close physical contact, a limit on the amount of time people can be within 6 feet of each other, and hair and makeup done to be done by the cast themselves! Basically it sounds like whenever studios do get back to work things will be looking a lot different from what we know now. [TV Line]
Speaking of studios getting back to work, Universal is committing an act of hubris so large we–and the internet–can barely believe it. Yep, whilst the rest of the industry tries to find a sustainable way to get back to work, Jurassic World: Dominion is aiming to be the first movie back in production on London’s Pinewood studios. Universal laid out a full safety plan including on-set doctors and 150 hand sanitizer stations. Honestly we’re just still in shock that the franchise, based entirely around corporations not taking fatal public health crises seriously, is really going to be the first one to get back to work. [IndieWire]
As much as we love the internet’s cranky uncle Christopher Meloni we are not fans of the idea of a Law & Order: SVU spin-off based on his violent cop Elliot Stabler. What once seemed to some like an interesting emotional take on the pressures of working in the sex crimes unit, today is finally being talked about as part of a wider systemic issue of glamorizing cops, their violence, and their abuses of power. Added to that is the fact that the series was inspired by Linda Fairstein the woman who prosecuted the Exonerated Five. Despite all of that NBC announced their fall schedule and the only new show was that very spin-off, Law & Order: Organized Crime. It’s going to be bad and we’re dreading seeing Elliot Stabler inevitably take a knee. [USAToday]
Some Good News
In movies that were filmed before 2020 news, John Boyega takes the leading role in Naked Singularity. The crime thriller centers on “a rising star in the New York public defenders’ office (Boyega) who starts to question the criminal justice system after losing a case that results in his suspension. Doubting all he has worked for, and on the edge of a mental breakdown, his life unravels as he is pulled into a high-stakes heist by an unpredictable young defendant (Olivia Cooke).” [Variety]
….think imma need the whole of London for an army on this one…… https://t.co/hGu9IL4UBJ
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) June 17, 2020
John Boyega has been a beacon of good recently. Not just because he’s been at the forefront of Britain’s Black Lives Matter protests but also because he’s got a bunch of exciting work on the slate. Another big bit of news this week came from an interview with Joe Cornish who directed the cult sci-fi hit Attack The Block. Cornish revealed that he and Boyega were considering a sequel to the amazing London set alien invasion movie and as Boyega shared on his Twitter, it looks like if it happens the follow up might be even bigger and badder than before!
— Variety (@Variety) June 17, 2020
If you’re a fan of messy found family dynamics and cool teens with powers then you might have just fallen in love with Umbrella Academy. Netflix’s comic book show was a hit when it launched and it’ll be returning soon as Variety revealed some new images from the sophomore season. Looks just as ridiculous and stylish as the first season, now all we need are some more fleshed out female characters and this might end up being one of our fave sequential storytelling adaptations yet.
CANDYMAN, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs. The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been. pic.twitter.com/MEwwr8umdI
— Nia DaCosta (@NiaDaCosta) June 17, 2020
Nia DaCosta’s Candyman is shaping up to be the horror movie we all desperately need in 2020. Her take on the iconic horror creation, who began life in the pages of a Clive Barker novel, is among our most anticipated films of the year. In the face of the massive uprisings sparked by murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police, DaCosta and her team have created a stunning short centered on the history of white violence in America and how it has shaped her vision for Candyman. Huge content warning here as even though this beautiful and necessary video was brought to life with puppeteering, it’s still a tough watch that represents real racist violence that has killed real Black people.
Some Racist Bullshit
Today, a black film editor posted in a Facebook group for Hollywood editors looking to connect w/other black editors, as there is severe underrepresentation in post-production & they can be hard to find. What ensued is a slew of white editors who immediately objected (THREAD) 1.
— Nicole French (@Nicole_saysLove) June 16, 2020
In an absolutely damning thread, actor and attorney Nicole French showcased the depraved levels of racism that inhabit the Hollywood system. After a Black editor posted in a Facebook group for editors hoping to connect with some other editors of color he was deluged by racists producers attacking him for his incredibly innocuous post. Make sure to read this thread and check out the racist list of who’s who to make sure you don’t work, support, or unintentionally back them or their vile behavior.
The Flash actor Hartley Sawyer was recently fired after a whole bunch of racist, misogynistic tweets were uncovered by Twitter users. The Elongated Man actor hasn’t said much since but his co-star Grant Gustin shared a thoughtful post written by producer Eric Wallace. Wallace’s statement was a strongly worded one which many wrongly attributed to Gustin after he shared it. But basically it’s good that Gustin publicly referenced this at all as The Flash community has long been steeped in racism. Also lol Stephen Amell retweeted Gustins post which is being reported as him taking a concrete stance… sure. [EOnline]
Words matter. The CW is committed to making our social pages a safe place for our fans and talent. We will not tolerate and will block racist or misogynistic comments as well as any hate towards the LGBTQ+ community. pic.twitter.com/TgqumGrnag
— The Flash (@CW_TheFlash) June 15, 2020
Speaking of The Flash, the CW show posted this statement to their Twitter account. But it had some fans wondering why it took one of their own stars getting caught being a racist to post it. In case you haven’t ever fallen afoul of The Flash fandom, it’s often been home to an incredibly toxic and racist segment who have spent years bullying Candice Patton who plays Iris West. So, understandably some fans are wondering what took the network this long. [Teen Vogue]
In a vital column at The Hollywood Reporter Effie Brown writes about her experiences in Hollywood after a clip of her dealing with Matt Damon’s fucked up views on diversity went viral. You’ve likely seen the moment from Project Greenlight where Damon angrily admonishes Brown for her hope that a white woman and Vietnamese-American man would be hired for the the crew of her film. “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” Damon stated. It was a moment that should have cast a negative light on Damon but as Brown reveals she has been the one who suffered the backlash. She also reveals that she was never paid to be a part of the reality TV series, which is exploitative AF. [THR]
Some Things to Look Forward To
It’s not all bad news though as it was revealed that Animorphs will finally be headed to the big screen with the writing duo known as K.A. Applegate involved. Yep, you’ll finally get to see those body horror teens take on their animal forms on the silver screen! Who knows what stories will be adapted or how the series will update them to fit the current conversations but we’re excited to see the good authors of kid-lit finally getting their due. [THR]
Well, a big project I've been working on has finally dropped today! I hope y'all enjoy…
MY LITTLE PONY: PONY LIFE
Where everypony knows your mane! 🐎💝
Coming this summer!https://t.co/qLRy5pHUQg
— Taneka Stotts is on HIATUS (@TanekaStotts) June 18, 2020
Taneka Stotts shared an exciting revelation today as the award-winning writer and editor revealed her newest project: a new My Little Pony series called Pony Life! It looks super cute and as huge fans of Stotts and MLP:FIM we can’t wait to see what the next iteration of Ponies looks like when it comes out later this year.