Hollywood might be fighting to block Netflix from some things like the Oscars, but the streaming network is showing it’s not afraid to take a stand on controversial issues like women’s reproductive rights. It’s proving to have much more backbone than the big studios.
The Jonas Brothers are cashing in on their coming back together with a memoir to coincide with an upcoming tour and album. Britney Spears was back in court to keep Sam Lufti at bay while Chris Brown did a no-show in Paris causing lawyers for the woman alleging he raped her some consternation.
Netflix Takes A Stand For Women
Though major studios have so far remained quiet on Georgia’s recently passed abortion law , Netflix on Tuesday said it will contest the legislation and “rethink our entire investment” in the state, should the law going into effect.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement that the streaming giant will work with the American Civil Liberties Union and others to fight the law in court.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” said Sarandos in a statement first published by Variety. “Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
Since Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a ban on virtually all abortions, many in the film and television industries have said they would refuse to take their productions to Georgia. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo said they would relocate their Lionsgate film “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.” Reed Morano’s Amazon series “The Power” also uprooted. Producers including Christine Vachon, David Simon and Mark Duplass have said they would bypass Georgia in the future.
Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are continuing to make their HBO show “Lovecraft County” in Georgia, but they said they will donate all of their “episodic fees” to organizations fighting the law, including the ACLU.
But among larger media corporations, the reaction in Hollywood has not as vocal as it was when, in 2016, many companies denounced a law that allowed faith-based refusal of services to LGBTQ persons. That bill was eventually vetoed by then-Gov. Nathan Deal. This time, the Walt Disney Co. and other major studios have not publicly responded to the abortion law.
Thanks to tax credits, Atlanta has in recent years become a major hub of TV and film production. Georgia has been home to productions including Disney’s Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther,” AMC’s smash series “The Walking Dead” and Netflix’s hit sci-fi series “Stranger Things.”
Kemp had been scheduled to last week visit Los Angeles to promote Georgia’s film industry, a trip that was delayed amid backlash to the law.
Georgia’s law bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, except in the case of rape or incest. It’s scheduled to go into effect in January 2020.
Jonas Brothers Blood
The Jonas Brothers will publish a new memoir, Blood, November 12th via Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of the publishing house Macmillan. Blood chronicles the origins of the Jonas Brothers, traces their swift rise from Disney idols to genuine pop stars and delves into the tensions that fueled their break-up in 2013. But the band will also discuss their recent reunion, which will culminate with the release of their new album, Happiness Begins, June 7th.
Musicians Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas have signed a deal with Macmillan to publish their memoir.
The book will delve into the band’s formation, rise to stardom, breakup in 2013 and reconciliation as a music group earlier this year.
In a press release, Joe Jonas says they’re ready to tell the full story of the journey they’ve “had as individuals, as artists, and as a family.”
The Jonas Brothers — Joe, Kevin and Nick — co-wrote Blood with journalist Neil Strauss, who famously co-wrote The Dirt with Mötley Crüe.
“We’re three brothers from New Jersey, and we were not supposed to be successful,” Joe Jonas said in a statement. “From record labels dropping us to our dad losing his job over us, this shouldn’t have happened or lasted as long as it did. Yet here we are, more excited than ever, and we’re so grateful and ready to tell the full story of the journey we’ve had as individuals, as artists, and as family.”
Along with the new album and memoir, the Jonas Brothers will also release a new documentary, Chasing Happiness, June 4th via Amazon Prime. The band will embark on a massive North American tour in support of Happiness Begins August 7th in Miami.
“Blood” will hit stores Nov. 12.
Britney Spears Hearing Cleared
A judge cleared a Los Angeles courtroom of media and other audience members at a Tuesday afternoon hearing on the extension of a restraining order obtained by Britney Spears against a former associate.
Attorneys for Spears and her father argued that media reports of private details that would be revealed would bring emotional harm to the singer in a moment of serious vulnerability.
“The anxiety caused would be great,” said Samuel D. Ingham III, an attorney for Spears who did not appear at the hearing.
Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny strongly agreed and cleared the courtroom for the testimony of three witnesses, including Spears’ father Jamie Spears, who controls most of the 37-year-old singer’s affairs through a court-ordered conservatorship.
The courtroom is commonly cleared for hearings on her conservatorship, when private financial information and details about her minor sons are discussed, but the media was barred Tuesday based almost entirely on the mental effects the airing of the testimony would have on Britney Spears.
Jamie Spears had reportedly been in such poor enough health in recent months that his daughter put her career on hold to be with him, but there were no outward signs of illness as he appeared in court amid a team of lawyers and spoke to the judge before the courtroom was emptied.
The hearing was to seek an extension of a temporary restraining order against Sam Lutfi, a former Britney Spears confidante who has said he once had a contract to be her manager. The family has been in legal fights with him for a decade, including a restraining order taken out in 2009.
The new order issued May 8 demands that Lutfi stay at least 200 yards (183 meters) from Britney Spears, her parents and her two sons, and to refrain from contacting or disparaging them.
Lutfi and his attorney argued in documents opposing the order that the court is violating his First Amendment rights by prohibiting his making comments about Spears and her family.
Lutfi, 44, states in the papers that he had not contacted Britney Spears in 10 years, and that her lawyers had not shown that he did her harm.
“There has been no psychological, or other evidence offered by Ms. Spears that she has actually suffered any distress,” argued Lutfi, who was also set to testify at the cleared hearing.
Lutfi acknowledged in documents that he had sent several text messages to Britney Spears’ mother Lynne and called her once.
He has been critical on social media of the conservatorship that has left the singer under the control of the court and her father for 11 years, adding his voice to a chorus of her fans who want her “freed” from the arrangement.
Jamie Spears last week notified the court that he is seeking to extend the conservatorship from California to Louisiana, Hawaii and Florida.
Conservatorships, known in many states as guardianships, are normally reserved for people in mental and physical conditions far more severe than that of Britney Spears.
But judges have allowed the arrangement to remain in place far longer than was expected when it was first imposed at a moment of crisis.
There have been signs the arrangement may change.
Spears made a rare appearance earlier this month at a court status hearing on the conservatorship, along with her parents.
Chris Brown Rape Case Hits Paris
Lawyers have issued very different takes on a formal meeting in Paris that was supposed to take place Tuesday between an alleged rape victim and American singer-songwriter Chris Brown.
A lawyer for a woman who filed a rape complaint in Paris against Brown, Gloria Allred, claims he “has thumbed his nose at and shown disrespect for the French legal system” after he did not attend the formal meeting. Brown’s French lawyer says he told authorities Brown could not make the meeting and would reschedule it.
Brown was arrested in January then freed to leave France without charge pending further investigation of the woman’s allegations that he and two other men raped her at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris. The Grammy winner called the accusation false.
“His failure to appear today is very unfair to my client, but I assure him that my client will not be deterred from seeking justice,” said Allred, an American lawyer who traveled to Paris judicial police’s headquarters to assist the woman at the meeting.
The woman’s French lawyer, Jean-Marc Descoubes, said Brown was not legally obliged to attend the meeting but it was needed to investigate the case.
“If he does not show up a second time … we will ask the prosecutor to put in place more coercive measures, a warrant to get him to come, because the confrontation requested by our client is key to this case, a sexual abuse case,” he said.
Brown’s French lawyer, Raphael Chiche, told media outlets he had let French authorities know that the artist would not be available because the date was not convenient and he would work to set a new date.
“Chris Brown does not want to escape his responsibilities,” Chiche said. “He wants to confront her infamous and calumnious accusations.”
The two other suspects, both American, did not attend the meeting either. Chiche said one is a friend of Brown’s while the other works as Brown’s bodyguard.
French police detained Brown and the two others in January on potential charges of aggravated rape and drug infractions. The Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday the “preliminary investigation” is still ongoing.
Media does not typically identify people alleging sexual assault unless they agree to be named or come forward publicly. Descoubes told outlets his client does not want to be identified.
Brown burst onto the music scene as a teenager and won a Grammy Award in 2011 for best R&B album for F.A.M.E.” He has had continued legal troubles since he pleaded guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.