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THE APOCALYPSE IS HERE: Matt Lauer Accused of Sexual Harassment by Multiple Women, Garrison Keillor Fired Amidst Allegations

reports: As the co-host of NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.

On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.

He would sometimes quiz female producers about who they’d slept with, offering to trade names. And he loved to engage in a crass quiz game with men and women in the office: “f—, marry, or kill,” in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he’d most like to sleep with.

These accounts of Lauer’s behavior at NBC are the result of a two-month investigation by Variety, with dozens of interviews with current and former staffers. Variety has talked to three women who identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer, and their stories have been corroborated by friends or colleagues that they told at the time. They have asked for now to remain unnamed, fearing professional repercussions.

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On Wednesday, NBC announced that Lauer was fired from “Today.” It was a stunning move for a co-host who was widely considered the crown jewel of the network’s news division, with a $25 million annual salary. The cause of his dismissal, according to sources, was a detailed complaint from another current NBC employee about inappropriate sexual conduct from Lauer that started on a trip at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued for several months.

The employee met with human resources at NBC on Monday night … (read more)

Source: Variety

Minnesota Public Radio said Wednesday that it was severing all business ties with Garrison Keillor, the creator and retired host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” after allegations of “inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.”

Over four decades, Mr. Keillor, 75, had created a financial juggernaut for the radio network with his weekly broadcast of songs, skits and tales of his fictional hometown Lake Wobegon, along with related books, recordings and other products.

In a statement he provided to The New York Times, Mr. Keillor said, “I’ve been fired over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard. Most stories are.”

Effective immediately, MPR said, it will no longer distribute and broadcast Mr. Keillor’s remaining programs, “The Writer’s Almanac” and “The Best of A Prairie Home Companion Hosted by Garrison Keillor.”

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Apple Exploring Original Programming Move, Could Compete with Netflix

Sources indicate the Cupertino, Calif. colossus has held preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood to suss out their interest in spearheading efforts to produce entertainment content. The unit putting out the feelers reports into Eddy Cue, who is Apple’s point man on all content-related matters, from its negotiations with programmers for Apple TV to its recent faceoff with Taylor Swift.

An Apple spokesperson declined comment. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Mad Men’ Memorabilia for Sale: Nearly 1,400 Props, Costumes in Online Auction

mad-men-premiere-don writes: AMC’s “Mad Men” may have driven off into the sunset, but now fans of the retro show will have a chance to buy props, wardrobe pieces and set decorations used in the series — including Don Draper’s suits and his 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville from the final season.

“Mad Men collectibles on offer include Joan’s emerald necklace, Stan Rizzo’s bongos; Bert Cooper’s tea set; plus a wide assortment of vintage barware, ashtrays, briefcases, luggage, lamps, carpets and period toys.”

Nearly 1,400 items from the Lionsgate-produced series will open for online bidding at ScreenBid, starting Friday, July 31, at 12 p.m. PT. Lots will begin closing Aug. 6.

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In addition to the Coupe de Ville (bids start at $1,500), items on the block include Draper’s Brooks Brothers suits, sunglasses and business cards; wardrobe, office accessories and personal effects for every major character including Peggy Olsen, Pete Campbell, Roger Sterling, Betty Draper and Joan Harris; Megan Draper’s wedding ring; and Don Draper’s Manhattan penthouse furnishings. Read the rest of this entry »


Variety Magazine: The Megyn Kelly Cover

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New York Times’ David Carr Holds ‘Page One’ a Final Time

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Mike Huckabee Leaving Fox News to Consider Presidential Run

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Marvel Announces New Wave of Superhero Movies

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She’s Back: Truther O’Donnell Returns

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‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Sequel?

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Robert Downey Jr: No Plans for ‘Iron Man 4’

Say it isn’t so!    Read the rest of this entry »


Brain Drain: Are Feature Films Losing Their Prestige Mojo to Television?

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In the current edition of John Nolte‘s Hollywood Playbook, this item caught my eye: Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. and Variety‘s Peter Bart discuss the state of movies and whether or not films are dealing with a brain drain as talented writers and producers head over to television in the hopes of grabbing their own piece of this new Golden Age.

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Bart thinks it is all cyclical. Fleming is edging towards despair.

Fleming: Working on the Deadline/Awardsline Emmy issues prompted me to binge my way through cable series like True Detective and House Of Cards. It really got me depressed about the movie business.

Bart: Why?

Fleming: Because those series and 10 more like them are better than anything I see on a movie screen. For the 25 years I’ve covered it, film has always been the sexiest, most prestigious part of the business. … But now, it feels like the ecosystem has been damaged. The creative vision on the big films comes from executives who give creativity-stifling one-step screenwriter deals, with emphasis on reaching four quadrant audiences. Producers have been marginalized. Should the authorship of a picture belong to the studio exec? By contrast, some of the best series are generated by feature writers who couldn’t get hired after studios turned away from smart mid-budget dramas in favor of no-budget genre and high-priced tent poles. I remember Tony Gilroy telling me a couple years ago that movies like his superb Michael Clayton would go extinct, but there should be no funeral because all those writers who made them were flocking to TV and wait and see what happens. Man, was he right. Will the next generation growing up in this creative blight be inspired by mediocrity to dream about having the authority to reboot The Hangover?

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First off, “Michael Clayton” sucked. And I don’t think the idea of a “Hangover” reboot will wait for another generation. In five years, “The Hangover” will return with the characters as dads, or something. Read the rest of this entry »


’60 Minutes’ to Air 2006 Interview with Dead Celebrity Philip Seymour Hoffman

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The re-edited story will air on “60 Minutes” Feb. 9 on CBS

For VarietyFrancesca Bacardi  reports:  In the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, “60 Minutes” will rebroadcast a 2006 interview conducted by Steve Kroft in which Hoffman discusses his problems with drug addiction. It will be re-edited to include previously un-broadcast material, including more from the actor about the rehabilitation he underwent as a young man that he credited with saving his life.

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