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New York City Mayor Says ‘Unusual Factors’ Surrounding Jeff Bezos Derailed Amazon-NYC Deal

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio strongly suggested on Friday that Amazon boss Jeff Bezos pulled out of his plans to build a second corporate headquarters in the Big Apple because of fallout stemming from his relationship with news anchor Lauren Sanchez.

“I think we could all say that unusual things were happening within the Amazon family at that moment in time — and that was said politely,” de Blasio said on “Morning Joe” Friday. “There were clearly some unusual factors happening. We know who the ultimate decision maker is. I only am saying it was an unusual environment.”

On set, several regular guests immediately pounced, demanding to know if the mayor was specifically referring to the Bezos affair with Sanchez. “You think his affair had something to do with that?” Donny Deutsch asked.

Also Read: Amazon Reveals When Its ‘Lord of The Rings’ TV Series Takes Place

“You floated something out that we have to pin you down on,” co-host Willie Geist added moments later. “You believe Jeff Bezos affair is somehow …”

“I didn’t say that. I said an unusual environment,” de Blasio continued.  “A lot of cross-pressures, a lot of things going on.”

“Like what?” Geist demanded.

The mayor declined to elaborate on those “cross-pressures” and instead punted to the show saying it was their responsibility to uncover the truth. Geist kept pressing over what de Blasio meant — to some laugher on set — but the mayor demurred.

Reps for de Blasio’s office and Amazon did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

Also Read: Amazon Cancels Plans for New York City Campus

While the Amazon deal was announced with great, fanfare in November 2018, the company abruptly pulled the plug on the plan after rising opposition from liberal and Democratic Socialist lawmakers in the city.

Though the Amazon deal had faced broad support across all demographics of New Yorkers, critics attacked the billions of dollars in tax abatements the company was offered as an incentive. Others worried about rising costs of living and gentrification issues which also would have accompanied the retailer’s planned move to Long Island City.

Though de Blasio called the Amazon pullout “unquestionably” a big loss for New York City, it was celebrated by a new rising star in his party — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” she tweeted after the company announced the pullout in February.

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HBO Puts 2 Mike Judge Series in Development as Part of New 2-Year Overall Deal

HBO has signed “Silicon Valley” co-creator Mike Judge to a new two-year exclusive deal and has already put two projects in development.

The first is an adaptation of Marc-Uwe Kling’s novel “QualityLand.”

Per HBO, “QualityLand” is in the very near future and is the story of humanity’s struggle against the tyranny of convenience. But it’s funny. Judge is co-writing the script with Josh Lieb, who will executive produce with Michael Rotenberg for 3 Arts Productions. The project is a co-production between HBO and Lionsgate/3Arts.

Also Read: ‘Silicon Valley’: Season 6 Production Delayed to Accommodate Alec Berg’s Work on ‘Barry’

The second project from Judge is a limited series tiled “A5,” which is centered on a bioengineer who discovers the gene that makes a person an a–hole and attempts to answer the questions nagging at all of us: Why do a–holes exist? Why have they come to dominate our culture? And can they be cured? Judge will also co-write “A5” with Etan Cohen; both will executive produce with Rotenberg.

Judge’s “Silicon Valley” is taking a year off and won’t debut its upcoming sixth season until 2020 while showrunner Alec Berg tends to the same duties on “Barry,” which returns for its second season at the end of March.

Mike Judge is represented by WME, 3 Arts, and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman. Lieb is represented by WME, Cinetic Media, and Sloss Eckhouse LawCo. Kling is represented by WME. Etan Cohen is represented by CAA and Mosaic.

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