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Week in Review

By Michael Smith

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Art, Sports, and Media; but first, of universal interest:

Former Partners Sue Chadbourne & Parke for Sex Discrimination

Mary T. Yelenick joined the lawsuit filed by Kerrie L. Cambell, accusing Chadbourne & Park of sex discrimination and pay inequity. The complaint alleges that Chadbourne has "systematically disparately underpaid" its female partners and "systematically shut [them] out of firm leadership, demoted, de-equitized and terminated them."



Jay Z Renews Touring Deal with Live Nation

In a deal Variety reports is worth $200 million, Jay Z and Live Nation renewed their 10-year partnership, pursuant to which Live Nation produces and promotes Jay Z's shows.


Crowdsourced Video Games: Value or Vaporware?

"Star Citizen," a video game announced in 2012, raised $148 million through crowdfunding --a record amount-- but has yet to release the game. Cloud Imperium Games, the developer, says that it keeps pushing the release date back, because more money allows it to develop a better game (Cloud Imperium's founder, Chris Roberts, was hoping to raise $4 million). Some funders have begun demanding their money back.


Hackers Tap Celebrities' Vendors

Some experts estimate that 80% of security breaches occur somewhere in the middle of the supply or distribution chain. Big film and music studios have comprehensive (expensive) security protections, but their various suppliers, vendors and collaborators often do not. Hackers have been targeting those weak links in order to obtain pre-release copies of music, movies, and television shows. One hacker or group of hackers going by the name, TheDarkOverlord, has been demanding ransoms from major studios to prevent them from leaking upcoming content.


Grammys Coming Back to New York

After 15 years in LA, the annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018.




Burglars stole a card on which J.K. Rowling wrote an 800-word prequel to the "Harry Potter" Series. The card's owner bought the card at auction for about $32,000 to raise money for literacy causes.


Canadian Editorial Stirs up Controversy

The Writers Union of Canada apologized for an editorial by Hal Niedzviecki, former editor of the union's magazine, in which he said the "exhaustingly white and middle-class" majority of Canadian authors should be encouraged to "appropriate" from other cultures. Mr. Niedzviecki has resigned.


'Rebecca' Producers Win Small in Legal Battle

On Wednesday, a jury found Mark Thibodeau, a publicist who had sent anonymous emails to a prospective investor warning him that the production of 'Rebecca' Thibodeau was supposed to be promoting was plagued with problems, liable for tortious interference and breach of contract. The jury awarded the plaintiffs, erstwhile producers of the arrested musical, a total of $90,000. They had asked for over $10 million.


Damien Hirst Accused of Misappropriating Nigerian History

Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor accused British artist Damien Hirst of copying a famous ancient Nigerian sculpture known as "Head of Ife." "[F]or the thousands of viewers seeing this for the first time, they won't think Ife, they won't think Nigeria," Ehikhamenor wrote on Instagram after seeing Hirst's work at the Venice Biennale. "Their young ones will grow up to know this work as Damien Hirst's."


Massachusetts Seminary Fumbles with Tribal Artifacts

Two years ago, the Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Massachusetts, proposed selling some of the 158 Native American tribal artifacts it has kept at the Peabody Essex Museum for the past 70 years. The museum notified the U.S. Department of the Interior, who warned the school selling the artifacts would violate federal law. As the Andover school is in the process of joining Yale Divinity School, it is coming under renewed scrutiny, as it has yet to provide the required inventory to the tribes involved.


Met Wants to Charge Bridge & Tunnel Crowd

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) filed a formal proposal with the City of New York to charge mandatory admission to out-of-state visitors. This fact was disclosed at a hearing to approve the Met's settlement with a class of plaintiffs over allegedly misleading signs about the cost of admission.


Coach Pays too Much for Handbags

Luxury handbag maker Coach will pay $2.4 billion to purchase competitor Kate Spade. The New York Times reports that the purchase price represents a 27.5% premium over Kate Spade's share price before rumors of the deal began to circulate.



MMA Fighter Clobbers Tai Chi Master, Runs Away

Mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong dismissed practitioners of traditional Chinese martial arts as frauds. Wei Lei, a practitioner of "thunder style" tai chi, accepted Xiaodong's challenge and, 10 seconds into the match, was having his head repeatedly smashed against the floor. The ensuing outcry has been so intense that Xiaodong has gone into hiding.


FIFA to Replace Ethics Leaders

FIFA is replacing the officials whose ongoing investigations resulted in the suspensions of several FIFA officials. The departing officials said their replacements were "politically motivated" and would "end...reform efforts."


Hernandez Conviction Nullified

On Tuesday, a Massachusetts judge vacated Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction, because Hernandez, who hanged himself in prison last month, died before his appeal was heard.


FIFA Lifts Messi Ban

FIFA will allow Lionel Messi, captain of Argentina's soccer team, to play in the next three World Cup qualifiers. Messi had been banned from four matches after he insulted a referee's assistant. The FIFA disciplinary appeal committee found that Messi's conduct, while "reproachable," did not merit a four-game suspension.


Messi Look-Alike Causes Tumult in Iran

Iranian Reza Parastesh is a dead ringer for Lionel Messi. This weekend, so many people came out to take selfies with him the Iranian city of Hamadan that the police detained him and impounded his car.



FCC Reviewing Colbert Complaints

In his opening monologue on Monday night, Stephen Colbert, host of "The Late Show" on CBS, made a crude remark combining President Trump, Vladimir Putin, and sodomy. Many viewers were offended, and some have said the remark was homophobic. The FCC is evaluating the remark (which was bleeped, and Mr. Colbert's mouth blurred) to determine whether it violates FCC guidelines.


Richard Simmons Sues Tabloids

Fitness celebrity Richard Simmons sued The National Enquirer and Radar Online for defamation, after the two tabloids published stories claiming that Simmons had undergone a sex change.


Cannes Commits to Cinema in le Cinéma

French theater owners are not happy with the Cannes Film Festival. This year's festival will feature two Netflix-produced films, neither of which will be shown in theaters before streaming on Netflix's service. Under pressure from those theater owners, the festival said that it would change its rules to require all future submissions to be distributed in French movie theaters.


Mexico Increasing Protection for Journalists

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has vowed to remove the lead prosecutor responsible for investigating crimes against journalists, and to fund a federal protection program for threatened journalists. 11 Mexican journalists were killed in 2016.


Sinclair to pay $3.9 Billion for Tribune

The Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local television stations in the United States, has agreed to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. The combined entity would cover more than 70% of the market. Some have expressed concern that Sinclair will use its expanded reach to advance a conservative political agenda.


Comcast Joins with Charter in Wireless Service Alliance

Comcast and Charter Communications announced that they will partner to provide wireless voice and data services to consumers.


Facebook Launches "Fake News" Education Campaign Ahead of UK Elections

Facebook has published a series of newspaper ads in the United Kingdom, advising readers how to spot "fake news" online. Facebook also said it had removed tens of thousands of possibly fake accounts in Britain, and adjusted its algorithms in the country to reduce misinformation and spam. Britain's general elections will take place next month, and Facebook faced widespread criticism for its role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 13, 2017 8:57 AM.

The previous post in this blog was NYC Mayor Signs Law Barring Inquiries into an Applicant's Salary History.

The next post in this blog is EASL Section Letter Opposing the De-Funding of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.