By Mark Kennedy in New York
NEW YORK (AP) — Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars provoked intense opinions online, especially from comedians who felt it was an assault on their art.
“Let me tell you something, it’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a comedian,” Kathy Griffin wrote on Twitter. “Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.”
The violent exchange began when Rock took verbal aim at Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, saying, “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?” Rock’s reference was made from the 1997 film “G.I. Jane,” starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray a fictional Navy Seal candidate.
Will Smith, her husband, walked onto the stage and took a swing at Rock with an open palm, generating a loud smack. Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a “G.I. Jane” joke — and Smith yelled back at him a second time.
Smith shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth,” and the crowd hushed as it became clear this was no act. Smith later won the best actor Oscar; Rock chose not to file a police report.
“Will Smith owes Chris Rock a huge apology. There is no excuse for what he did. He’s lucky Chris is not filing assault charges,” producer, director and actor Rob Reiner commented on Twitter.
George Takei said Smith’s losing his cool was a bad look when so many people were watching: “Many people, especially kids, look up to actors. Because of that, we have an obligation to try to be good role models. With celebrity comes responsibility.”
Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with alopecia. She has often discussed the challenges of hair loss on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Some commentators noted that alopecia is a painful experience that many Black women go through and should not be joked about. Rock himself helped create the documentary “Good Hair,” exploring African American women and their relationship to their hair.
However unfunny Rock’s joke was, it paled in comparison to some awards show digs in years past, including from acerbic Ricky Gervais, who has skewered the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Judy Dench and Felicity Huffman.
Judd Apatow was highly critical of Smith in a now-deleted Twitter post, describing the attack “out of control rage and violence.” He noted that celebrities have been the target of jokes for decades: “They’ve heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind.”
And Mark Hamill called the incident the ugliest Oscar moment ever, tweeting “Stand-up comics are very adept at handling hecklers. Violent physical assault… not so much.”
Janai Nelson, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, wrote: “I know we’re all still processing, but the way casual violence was normalized tonight by a collective national audience will have consequences that we can’t even fathom in the moment.”
But former late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien was among those making light of the situation, writing on Twitter: “Just saw the Will Smith slap. Anyone have a late night show I can borrow just for tomorrow?”
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
For more of AP’s Oscar coverage visit: https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards
CRTC renews CBC licensing for another five years, tweaks its mandate
By Sarah Ritchie in Ottawa
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Wednesday that it is renewing CBC’s licensing, with tweaks to its mandate that will make it spend money on programming produced by people with disabilities, Indigenous and racialized people and the LGBTQ community.
It’s also clarifying that it “expects the CBC to maintain local, regional and national news broadcasts in a crisis or emergency on all of its audiovisual and audio services.”
That’s in response to the broadcaster’s decision to replace local supper-hour and late newscasts across the country with its national programming in the early days of the pandemic.
CBC said at the time that it was dealing with staffing issues as some workers were off sick with COVID-19 and others were in isolation. The CRTC noted in its decision that the pandemic has increased demand for news, and “Canadians expect the CBC to disseminate and make available information in the event of an emergency.”
The CRTC is dropping the requirement for CBC to maintain minimum thresholds of local programming in urban markets where Canadians have multiple options, but it’s maintaining those thresholds in rural parts of the country.
The CBC asked to reduce the number of hours of local TV programming it needs to air per week in its English markets across the board, and to make that up in digital content.
The CRTC noted that actual hours of local programming on English TV stations dropped between 2014 and 2020, although they still meet the minimum requirements.
It said there is a higher risk that less local news would be broadcast in non-metropolitan markets if those requirements are dropped, naming “difficult access to high-speed internet” and “the lack of news bureaus in non-metropolitan areas” as reasons.
The commission says there has been a great deal of change in the media landscape since 2013, the last time the licence was renewed, and it’s making changes to the CBC mandate to align with that.
It’s setting out new rules to ensure the difference between news and information programming and “branded content” or advertising is clearly distinguished.
CBC will need to submit new reports to the CRTC on a range of topics including workforce diversity, privacy issues and perception and consultation.
The CRTC decision also noted the CBC’s digital streaming services for audio and video didn’t exist, or didn’t exist in their current form, when the last licensing agreement was made.
“As part of its proposal, the CBC requested that it be able to count hours of content exhibited on some of its (digital media broadcasting undertakings) toward meeting its overall content exhibition requirements,” the decision said.
However, the commission is instead including that digital content in the broadcaster’s spending requirements on Canadian programming, giving the CBC the flexibility to count the cost of online content toward those quotas.
CBC and Radio-Canada’s president and CEO said the broadcaster welcomes the CRTC announcement.
“We’re pleased that the CRTC has, for the first time ever, recognized the significant contribution of our digital streaming services … to the Canadian content ecosystem,” Catherine Tait said in a statement on Wednesday.
The main outcomes covered by the mandate include programming for Indigenous Peoples and diverse Canadians; creating and supporting access to Canadian content; ensuring access to local, regional and national news and information; accessibility of content; and accountability and transparency to the public.
Licences for radio, TV and multiplatform content in both English and French are valid until August 2027.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2022.
Cineplex introduces $1.50 booking fee for online ticket purchases
TORONTO — Moviegoers could be paying a little extra for a seat at a Cineplex theatre this summer.
Canada’s largest film exhibitor says it has introduced a new $1.50 booking fee that applies to each ticket purchased through its mobile app and website.
The move comes as Cineplex representative Sarah Van Lange says the company looks to “further invest and evolve our digital infrastructure,” including website upgrades.
However, not everyone will have to pay the new service charge.
Cineplex Inc. says purchases made in-person at the box office, ticket kiosks, or concession stands will not be subject to the fee, while members of the Scene Plus rewards program will pay a reduced $1 per ticket.
Members of CineClub, the company’s monthly subscription program, will have the fee waived.
Service charges are a long-standing practice in the entertainment industry where concerts, live theatre and sporting events all add some form of a “convenience fee” to collect more revenue.
When Cineplex first introduced online ticket sales years ago, it charged a similar processing fee for each ticket. Eventually it eliminated the charge around the same time it began encouraging moviegoers to buy tickets in advance instead of waiting in line at the box office.
More recently, Cineplex has dabbled in other upcharge experiments that included charging an extra $2 for “prime seats” at a few of its busier theatres. It also tacked on an extra $1 to reserve seats at showings of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in 2017.
In the United States, most of the largest theatre chains already charge a fee for online ticket purchases.
Earlier this year U.S. chain AMC Theatres went a step further when it began testing “variable pricing” for tickets to the anticipated DC Comics movie “The Batman.” The new cost added around US$1.50 to each ticket in some cities.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2022.
David Friend, The Canadian Press
The Insufferable Arrogance of the Constantly Wrong
The Cure Was Vastly Worse than the Disease
Woman held hostage during B.C. bank shooting experiencing roller-coaster of emotions
Biden offshore drilling proposal would allow up to 11 sales
City of Red Deer2 days ago
City Council grinding out a solution for the site of a permanent homeless shelter
Community12 hours ago
Complete list of winners of the 2022 Red Deer Hospital Lottery
COVID-1923 hours ago
Court martial planned for soldier who criticized vaccine mandate, led march to Ottawa
Alberta2 days ago
Edmonton council to ask province to support new centre to fight downtown crime
Education2 days ago
Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools teams up with Central Alberta Optimist Clubs and Time Hortons to provide “Best July Ever” for these students
COVID-1923 hours ago
Tamara Lich breached conditions by appearing with fellow convoy leader: Crown
Alberta2 days ago
Alberta expands its support for Ukrainians fleeing war and settling in the province
Economy2 days ago
Bank of Canada’s rapid rate hikes likely to cause a recession, study finds