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Monday
Oct162017

Hollywood continues to sever ties with Harvey Weinstein

Chance Yeh/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hollywood is up in arms over the allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein and the company he co-founded, The Weinstein Company.

The Producers Guild of America's national board of directors and officers voted on Monday to expel Weinstein after numerous women claimed the movie mogul and producer sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them.

"This morning, the PGA’s National Board of Directors and Officers decided by unanimous vote to institute termination proceedings concerning Harvey Weinstein’s membership,” co-presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary said in a statement on behalf of the board. “As required by the PGA’s Constitution, Mr. Weinstein will be given the opportunity to respond before the Guild makes its final determination on November 6, 2017.”

“Sexual harassment of any type is completely unacceptable. This is a systemic and pervasive problem requiring immediate industry-wide action,” the statement continued.

The co-presidents also announced a new task force in the wake of Weinstein’s allegations.

“Today, the PGA’s National Board and Officers – composed of 20 women and 18 men -- created the Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force specifically charged with researching and proposing substantive and effective solutions to sexual harassment in the entertainment industry,” the statement said. “The PGA calls on leaders throughout the entertainment community to work together to ensure that sexual abuse and harassment are eradicated from the industry.”

Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex in a statement to The New Yorker.

However, in addition to the PGA, here are the other organizations and companies that have severed ties with the disgraced producer.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The preeminent organization honoring the best in film said in a statement Saturday that it's voted to expel Weinstein.

It did so "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."

Weinstein and the academy had a pretty long history, dating back to 1990 when he launched an Oscars campaign for an independent film, "My Left Foot." The film went on to win two Oscars for its stars -- Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker -- and began Weinstein's long career in earning the golden trophies.

During his tenure at Miramax and later The Weinstein Company, which he founded in 2005 with his brother, Bob Weinstein, the producer racked up 341 Academy Award nominations, winning 81 of them.

The Weinstein Company

Weinstein's own film company terminated him last week after The New York Times and The New Yorker reported the stories of several women, including actress Ashley Judd, who claimed that the producer had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them.

"In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company -- Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar -- have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately," according to a statement from the company's board.

By Monday, private equity firm Colony Capital announced that it had "entered into a preliminary agreement" with Weinstein's former film company to potentially acquire all or part of it.

Tarak Ben Ammar, a Weinstein Company board member, praised the move, saying in part: "We believe that Colony's investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the Company's current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world."

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

BAFTA announced in a statement last Wednesday that Weinstein's membership had been revoked.

Previously, the producer was a fixture on the BAFTA awards circuit, hosting several events around the awards itself, including a pre-dinner and an after party.

"Whilst BAFTA has previously been a beneficiary of Mr. Weinstein’s support for its charitable work, it considers the reported alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values," the statement from BAFTA said. "This has led to Mr. Weinstein’s suspension, and it will be followed by a formal process as laid out in BAFTA’s constitution."

"We hope this announcement sends a clear message that such behaviour has absolutely no place in our industry," the statement continued. "BAFTA will continue to work with the film, games and television industries to improve access to rewarding and fulfilling careers in safe, professional working environments."

Legion of Honor Award

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he's taken steps to "remove" the Legion of Honor Award from Weinstein, who was presented with the award in 2012. It is the nation's highest honor, established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte.

Other honorees include fashion designer Giorgio Armani, cosmetics mogul Elizabeth Arden, singer Bono and actor Tom Hanks.

Amazon Studios


The streaming company completely cut ties with The Weinstein Company last week following the allegations.

Amazon had been working with the company on two projects -- an untitled mafia drama series Weinstein was producing with David O. Russell, and a series titled "The Romanoffs," an eight-episode series from "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner.

The mafia show, which The Hollywood Reporter noted was a deal estimated at $160 million, had already been greenlit to run for two seasons.

"Amazon Studios no longer plans on moving forward with the David O. Russell project. As for 'The Romanoffs,' Amazon intends to move forward without the involvement of The Weinstein Co.," Amazon Studios told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Friday.

Russell, along with the show's stars Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, agreed with the decision.

"We support Amazon’s decision and in light of recent news and out of respect for all those affected we have decided together that it is best to not move forward with this show," they said in a joint statement.

"In the Heights"


Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara A. Hudes, the creators of the hit Broadway musical, announced they want the musical's movie adaption rights back from The Weinstein Company.

The company snatched up the film's rights after Miranda's other hit musical, "Hamilton," became a Broadway success. Now, the creators don't want anything to do with the disgraced producer's company.

"As a woman, I can no longer do business with The Weinstein Company," Hudes wrote in a lengthy post on Twitter last week. "To those women who suffered directly at Harvey's hands, I extend my sincerest compassion and support. Unfortunately, my musical 'In the Heights' is tied up in the company...I hope The Weinstein Company has enough grace, in the wake of these revelations, to respect my stand as a woman, and allow us to extricate 'In the Heights' from them."

Hudes added, "He thrived on this. He built an empire on this. It's been hard for me to sleep at night. My stomach is in knots."

Miranda threw his support behind Hudes, writing on Twitter, "As usual, Quiara does the prose best. She speaks for us both."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Oct162017

Woman tests the limits of hotel's pet policy by bringing in her horse 

Lindsey Partridge/Harmony Horsemanship(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- One horse lover wanted to test a hotel's pet policy after discovering one receptionist said it didn't discriminate.

Lindsey Partridge, who in 2015 created Harmony Horsemanship, an organization that helps riders better understand their horses, told ABC News she was driving down from Pontypool, Ontario, to Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, when she decided to check into her hotel.

The riding coach was there to compete in Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, in which hundreds of retired racehorses compete in categories such as field hunter, polo, ranch work and trail, among others.

"We left at like 3 in the morning and when we got down there, the hotel is before you get to the horse park," Patridge, 31, recalled. "We figured, we may as well stop and unload our luggage."

That's when she spotted a dog in the lobby of the Supreme 8 in Georgetown, Kentucky. She said she remarked to the receptionist that she didn't realize the hotel had a pet policy and joked she had a few horses outside.

"The receptionist said, 'Oh, I don't care. Sure, bring them in!'"

Astonished, Partridge figured she would, taking a few funny photos that have since earned attention on Facebook with more than 2,000 reactions. She unloaded her 5-year-old thoroughbred named Blizz, noting that "she was the easiest to get off the trailer."

Some hotel guests "were pretty surprised, but they all knew it was fun," the horse owner recalled. "I hope that this shows people that horses really can be quiet, calm and nice."

The owners of Supreme 8 confirmed the incident to ABC News.

Still, they clarified their pet policy in a statement, "We did not know she was going to bring the horse into the facility. We are pet-friendly and it is [for pets] 25 pounds and under. We had no knowledge of it being in the room."

Still, the funny incident seemed to be good luck for Blizz, who earned third place in the trail competition and sixth in the field hunter competition.

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Monday
Oct162017

Inside Johnny Carson's $81.5M Malibu mansion

Mary E. Nichols/TopTenRealEstateDeals.com(MALIBU, Calif.) -- It's no secret the late Johnny Carson loved California, and his beloved Malibu beach home is now on the market for $81.5 million.

The former "Tonight Show" host famously moved the late night series from New York to California in 1972. Soon after, in the mid-1980s, Carson himself made California his home, buying a property overlooking Point Dume Beach, according to Top Ten Real Estate Deals.

Carson lived there until his death in 2005. He was 79.

The home, which also features a guest house and sits on four acres, was designed by architect Ed Niles.

The main two-bedroom home measures at 7,083 square feet. It features an entertaining lounge space that boasts 30-feet-high glass windows along with an indoor arboretum perfect for any nature lover. The home also has an ocean terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The master suite sits on the home's upper level and has his-and-hers bathrooms and closets, complete with onyx fixtures.

Along with a guest home that has two bedrooms of its own, the mansion features a sun deck, pool, waterfall, koi pond, tennis courts, gym and locker room, along with a wine and tasting room.

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Monday
Oct162017

Financials lead US stocks to hit new records 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The major indexes closed at record highs on Monday with large gains in financials.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 85.24 (+0.37 percent) to finish at 22,956.96.

The Nasdaq gained 18.20 (+0.28 percent) to close at 6,624.00, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,557.64, up 4.47 (+0.18 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 0.76 percent higher with prices at about $52 per barrel.

Winners and Losers: Shares of JPMorgan Chase jumped 2.07 percent.  The financial services company announced Monday it would use blockchain technology in a new global payments process.

News of Sears investor Bruce Berkowitz's departure from the board caused shares of Sears Holdings Corp to tumble 11.52 percent.

Apple's stock climbed 1.84 percent after getting an upgrade from KeyBanc Capital.

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Monday
Oct162017

Man builds massive King Kong display in yard for Halloween

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- A Utah man has created a gigantic King Kong statue to sit centerstage in his front yard for Halloween.

Ammon Smith, 33, has impressed his Salt Lake City neighborhood in the past, but this year he expects his 39-foot display to attract thousands of trick-or-treaters.

In 2014, Smith created a pirate ship, followed be a skeleton train in 2015 and a giant dragon prop complete with Viking ship in 2016.

"People thank me a lot for building the community and that's the biggest compliment they can give me," Smith told ABC News.

This year, with help from his wife, Tera, Smith said he decided to go with a monster theme and build King Kong.

"[King Kong] is big, burly and scary but he's not gorey," he said. "We want people to not feel scared when they come and ask us for candy."

Smith said he built the $140 structure in about 100 hours.

The Empire State Building in the piece is made from wood and Styrofoam.

King Kong was built from pool noodles, wood, chicken wire and fabric. King Kong's chest is made from a black trash bag while his teeth were made from wood and egg cartons. His eyes are made from little pumpkins.

A fog machine was added to simulate clouds above the Empire State Building.

Smith's neighbor of six years, Johnny-Mack Barlow, 44, said he helped lift the King Kong up onto the building. In 2016, he helped place the dragon on top of the roof.

"It's really cool to be able to help him out and be a tiny part of it," Barlow told ABC News. "Everybody that walks by is talking about it. It definitely creates a vibrancy for the area."

Smith also said his first 200 or so visitors will receive the large, full-size candy bars before he switches to the smaller, fun-size candy bars.

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Monday
Oct162017

13 'newlydeads' tie the knot in haunted HalloWedding on Friday the 13th 

Six Flags Fright Fest St. Louis(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) -- On Friday the 13th this year, 13 “newlydeads” tied the knot in a haunted HalloWedding event at Six Flags' Fright Fest in St. Louis.

The ghoulish grooms and macabre brides said till death do they part in the Missouri group ceremony that each said meant the “afterworld” to them, for different reasons.

“It meant a lot to us. Her favorite holiday is Halloween,” George Johnson told ABC News of his new wife, Shelby Waid-Johnson. “We never really did anything traditionally anyways, so to get married in such an unorthodox way was very surreal.”

There were also 13 couples renewing their vows —- some of which wed at Fright Fest 15 years ago.

The creepy couples toasted to “love, honor and decay” each other until eternity, and had personalized spiderweb cakes to enjoy as their first tantalizing treat.

They topped off the ghastly night with a spine-chilling roller coaster ride.

Jannea and Alfie Borero of Springfield, Illinois

“It was absolutely amazing,” Jannea Borero, 27, told ABC News of their menacing nuptials. “We’re really into horror movies and we’ve been engaged for almost four years, but it was one of those things where it’s so expensive and we kept putting it off.”

Friday the 13th is Jannea Borero’s birthday, so she decided having a HalloWedding on the same date was “perfect for us,” she said.

The Boreros were dressed as a voodoo priest and priestess, wearing hand-made costumes from materials Alfie Borero’s late mother used in her sewing.

“His mother passed away 11 years ago and we incorporated a lot of her old sewing materials into our outfits,” said the black magic bride. “His vest is completely made out of material she used to use. It was very personal to us.”

She said they always “go full-out for Halloween.”

“We want everything spooky and we always have. That’s how we met, that’s how we bonded,” said Jannea Borero.

Shelby Waid-Johnson and George Johnson of Quincy, Illinois

“We’re getting married the same way my parents got married 15 years ago,” Shelby Waid-Johnson told ABC News of her mom and stepdad, Terra and Jason Heck, who wed at Fright Fest in 2002. “They’re here renewing their vows so it’s nice to share the same experience with them and have the same back story as them.”

Waid-Johnson, 23, said she was “really excited” to share the sinister celebration with her parents.

“It’s really cool we’ll be able to look back and laugh and share those memories together,” she said. “My mom is big on haunted houses and dressing up. She always throws a Halloween party every year. She’s the one who really got me into Halloween.”

Shelby Waid-Johnson and George Johnson dressed up as Jack and Sally from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” for their big day.

“Everyone was treating us like a celebrity. It was great to dress up and be someone else,” she said.

Christina and Michael Pasley of St. Elmo, Illinois

Christina and Michael Pasley were renewing their vows 15 years after they wed at Fright Fest in 2002.

The hair-raising bride said this ceremony was more fun than the first time they got hitched because they were less nervous.

“This one was much more enjoyable. We got to relax and have a fun,” she said. “The costumes have come so far over the years, so it was just better to watch.”

Christina Pasley wore one of her daughter’s old homecoming dresses and Michael Pasley got his suit from a thrift store.

The hauntingly happy couple said their favorite part of the vow renewals was catching up with two other couples who also got married in a ghoulish way with them in 2002.

“We would have not wanted to do our wedding in any way differently. We love it,” said Christina Pasley, 44. “We would do it 10 times again and we hope to be here in 50 years to do it again.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Oct152017

Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to expell Harvey Weinstein, following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against the former movie mogul and producer, the film academy announced on Saturday in a statement.

"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy," the statement read.

"We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues 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," it continued. "What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify."

The 54-member board followed in the footsteps of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, known as BAFTA, which earlier this week also revoked the membership of Weinstein.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie. He was fired Sunday night from The Weinstein Co. he helped to found.

The former movie mogul and producer who has two Oscar nominations personally has had a long history with the Academy. During his tenure first at Miramax and then at The Weinstein Co., the companies' films were nominated for 341 Academy Awards and won 81.

The Academy's rare meeting on Saturday came after Amazon halted a mafia drama series Weinstein was producing with David O. Russell. The show had already won approvals to run for two seasons. Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara A. Hudes publicly announced that they want The Weinstein Co. to release the movie adaptation rights to their hit musical, "In the Heights."

Bob Weinstein, Harvey's younger brother and co-chairman of their company, told ABC News in a statement Friday that the studio will survive the scandal.

"Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company," Weinstein said. "Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead."

A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein told The New Yorker: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

"Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual," according to the full statement from Weinstein's spokesperson. "Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance."

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Saturday
Oct142017

Bob Weinstein says 'sick and depraved' brother Harvey Weinstein abused him 

Mathew Imaging/WireImage via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Bob Weinstein is opening up amid the scandal over sexual misconduct allegations against his brother, claiming he was a victim of abuse by Harvey Weinstein.

"I was also the object of a lot of his verbal abuse — at one time physical abuse," the co-chairman of The Weinstein Co. told The Hollywood Reporter in a wide-ranging interview.

"And I am not looking for one bit of sympathy from anyone," the younger brother of Harvey Weinstein added. "I do not put myself in the category at all of those women that he hurt. But it's a complicated situation when it's your brother doing the abusing to you as well. I saw it and I asked him to get help for many years. And that's the truth. He avoided getting the help. We begged him."

Harvey Weinstein, 65, has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie. He was fired Sunday night by the board of the company he and Bob Weinstein founded in 2005.

Since the scandal broke, The Weinstein Co. has been under increased scrutiny and is expected to undergo a name change, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Bob Weinstein, 62, said that he's barely spoken to his brother in the past five years. He emphasized that he was not aware of his brother's alleged sexual misconduct but instead thought Harvey Weinstein was engaged in adultery with one woman after another.

"I could not take his cheating," he said, referring to Harvey Weinstein's marriage to wife Georgina Chapman, "his lying and also his attitude toward everyone."

With the allegations now made against Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein said, "My brother has caused unconscionable suffering ... I want him to get the justice that he deserves."

The Weinstein Co. fired Harvey Weinstein on Sunday night, and four board members have stepped down in the wake of the scandal.

Bob Weinstein said the board wants to go further and "sever" Harvey Weinstein's ownership interest in the company. "It can't be done that quickly," he said.

Earlier, in a statement Friday, Bob Weinstein told ABC News that the studio will survive the scandal.

"Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company," Weinstein said. "Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead."

A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein told The New Yorker: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

"Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual," according to the full statement from Weinstein's spokesperson. "Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Oct142017

Following criticism, Twitter CEO says 'new rules' on abusive tweets coming soon

Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Twitter has come under fire in recent days for what some critics claim is a permissive attitude toward abusive content on the social media platform.

But on Friday night, CEO Jack Dorsey said change is coming.

In a series of tweets, Dorsey acknowledged that Twitter is "still not doing enough" to restrict abusive or harassing content.

"We’ve been working intensely over the past few months and focused today on making some critical decisions," he tweeted.

"We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them," he wrote. "New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups and tweets that glorifies violence. These changes will start rolling out in the next few weeks. More to share next week."

Twitter was hit Friday with an online boycott, using the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter, after actress Rose McGowan's account was suspended temporarily for posting another person's phone number. Critics drew a correlation between Twitter's silencing of McGowan and her accusing movie producer Harvey Weinstein of alleged sexual misconduct. (A rep for Weinstein has denied that any non-consensual sexual activity took place between him and any of his accusers.)

"We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan’s team," Twitter said in a statement. "We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which violates our Terms of Service. The tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future."


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Friday
Oct132017

Bob Weinstein insists 'business is continuing' amid brother's scandal

Mathew Imaging/WireImage via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, told ABC News in a statement Friday that the studio remains unaffected by the scandal involving his older brother, Harvey Weinstein.

Though the Wall Street Journal reported that the production company was likely to be shuttered or sold, Bob Weinstein insists that that information is false.

Their current focus is on three upcoming films: "Polaroid," which will be released Nov. 22; "Paddington 2," which comes out Jan. 12; and "War With Grandpa," which is scheduled for Feb. 23, he added.

"Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company," Weinstein said. "Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead."

The Weinstein Company has been under increased scrutiny for the past week or so, as numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie, have come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Last weekend, Harvey Weinstein was terminated by the board of his eponymous company, which he and his brother founded in 2005.

"Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein," his spokeswoman told The New Yorker magazine. "Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

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