» Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Pledge to Match Up to $1 Million in Ukraine Refugee Aid The actors have pledged to match up to $1 million in aid to displaced Ukrainians, Reynolds tweeted Saturday. As of Sunday, roughly 368,000 refugees had arrived in neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. [Deadline]
» Netflix Says it Won’t Carry Russian State Channels The streaming giant has declined to add Russian channels to its service in Russia despite a regulation that would require it to carry several state-run broadcasters. “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a Netflix spokeswoman said Monday. [The Hollywood Reporter]
» Marches and Vigils Held Throughout Los Angeles to Protest Russian Invasion of Ukraine Demonstrations were held throughout Los Angeles over the weekend in response to Russia attacking Ukraine last week. Nearly 1,000 people protested for Russia to “stop bloodshed” in Ukraine, one day after similar demonstrations took place in West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Studio City. [NBC Los Angeles]
» LA County Gas Prices Rise for the 25th Time This Month Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict The average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in Los Angeles County increased Monday for the 25th time in the last 28 days. Some experts say the price of gas could continue to increase in the coming weeks amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [Fox Los Angeles]
» CDC Relaxes Mask Rules with New Guidelines The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday that indoor masking is no longer recommended for counties where 72 percent of Americans live. Students who live in those counties would no longer be instructed to wear face coverings while inside school facilities. [Los Angeles Times]
» L.A. City Hall Lights Up Yellow and Blue in Support of Ukraine Amid Russian Invasion Like many landmark buildings throughout the country, Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday night lit up in yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. “Angelenos stand with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters,” Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted along with a photo of the downtown L.A. building. [KTLA]
» Chris Licht, Producer of ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ Is Set to Run CNN The veteran television producer, who helped create Morning Joe at MSNBC and is currently the executive producer and showrunner of Colbert’s show, has been selected to succeed Jeff Zucker, the CNN president who abruptly resigned this month over an undisclosed romantic relationship with a colleague. [New York Times]
» Nearly Half of Biden’s 500 Million Free COVID Tests Haven’t Been Claimed White House officials say Americans have placed 68 million orders for free COVID tests, which leaves about 46 percent of the stock still unclaimed. [ABC7]
TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG
» Amanda Bynes Wants Out of Her 9-Year Conservatorship The former child star—now 35— suffered a very public meltdown in 2013
» ‘DWTS’ Pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy is Sending ‘Dire’ Dispatches from Ukraine The veteran ’Dancing with the Stars’ instructor is in the capital city Kyiv and he says it’s not safe to leave
» ‘Hank the Tank’ Is Actually Three Bears The burly food criminals remain at large
ONE MORE THING
How The Chinese Put the Squeeze On Hollywood
Hollywood’s fraught relationship with China—once centered on the country’s brazen flouting of intellectual property law—has evolved over the past decade into a more pernicious and pervasive co-dependency in which Western filmmakers self-censor to appease China’s unpredictable cultural taboos in exchange for access to its $3.4 billion film market, which is expected to quadruple by 2026.
So reports the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Schwartzel in his entertaining and impeccably researched new book Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Cultural Supremacy, which debuted to rapturous reviews this month.
Schwartzel, a longtime entertainment industry reporter, detailed the ways in which Hollywood executives routinely bow to the whims of China’s film censors in an era when a $100 million tentpole won’t clear its costs without a theatrical release in the country. The result are Hollywood films that increasingly advance China’s cultural agenda, or at least whitewash the parts the Chinese government wants to suppress. Meanwhile, China’s own burgeoning film industry requires its few international stars, such as Jackie Chan, to appear in propaganda films that constitute the majority of its domestic movie output. Dissenters from the party line are quickly disappeared.
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