Willow Bay Named Dean of USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Veteran journalist Willow Bay has been named the Dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, TheWrap has learned.

The former co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America/Sunday” and senior editor of Huffington Post — who is also the wife of Disney CEO Bob Iger — has served as director of the journalism school, where she launched its state-of-the-art Media Center.

Bay (above with Iger) will take on her new role as of July 1, making her the first female dean of USC Annenberg.

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“Willow Bay is exactly the right person to lead USC Annenberg at this important time, given the dramatic changes in communications and journalism,” USC Provost Michael Quick said Monday on behalf of USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “USC is proud to have the foremost school of communication and journalism in the country.

“Our students, faculty and staff will greatly benefit from Willow’s expertise as they grapple with the ever-evolving world of social media, print and broadcast journalism and converged communication. We expect the school to continue on its upward trajectory under her skilled leadership.”

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Bay has been the director of the USC Annenberg School for Journalism since July 2014, leading the school during a critical time.

See her full bio courtesy of USC below.

She launched operation of the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center in Wallis Annenberg Hall, introduced the school’s new Bachelor of Arts in Journalism degree program, welcomed the first cohort of the school’s nine-month Master of Science in Journalism program, forged partnerships with key media industry partners and created new curriculum and fellowships for master’s students.

Last fall, Bay’s work to ensure that current and future communicators are fluent on many digital platforms was recognized with the Award of Honor from the PEN Center USA.

She is an experienced journalist, author, producer, digital news editor and national broadcast and global cable television news anchor.

Bay came to USC Annenberg from her post as senior strategic advisor of The Huffington Post and special correspondent and host for Bloomberg TV. Her prominent broadcast experience includes stints as co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America/Sunday” and CNN’s “Moneyline News Hour.”

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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Cristal Developing Action Movie ‘Twin Blades’ With ‘Logan’ Producer Lauren Shuler Donner

China-backed Cristal Pictures is developing action movie project “Twin Blades” with “Logan” producer Lauren Shuler Donner. Cristal has acquired Ingrid Eskeland-Adetuyi’s original spec script which follows an unlikely pair of alpha females – an American tech entrepreneur who relocates her company to China and a local female bodyguard hired to protect her. When the American’s… Read more »

‘Hidden Figures’ Has Now Made More Money Than the Latest ‘Star Trek,’ ‘X-Men’ and ‘Bourne’ Films

“Hidden Figures” and it’s retelling of the true story of NASA’s black female mathematicians was the big box office success of this year’s awards season, so much so that its domestic box office total has now passed last year’s installments of some long-running blockbuster franchises like “X-Men” and “Star Trek.”

As of this past weekend, “Hidden Figures” has a domestic box office total of $162.8 million, edging it past the $162.4 million that “Jason Bourne” earned back in August. Other 2016 movies “Hidden Figures” has passed in the U.S. include “X-Men: Apocalypse,” which made $155.4 million, and “Star Trek Beyond,” which made $158.8 million.

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While those summer tentpole releases had a much larger worldwide gross than “Hidden Figures” because of their wider overseas releasees, it’s still a major victory for Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s inspirational biopic — and a sign of the growing profitability of movies with diverse casts and perspectives.

“The fact that ‘Hidden Figures’ outgrossed some very high-profile summer franchise films proves that brand recognition can only get you so far, and that it ultimately takes a great movie to generate the kind of sustained interest and momentum to deliver a movie to the box office promised land,” said comScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

A UCLA study released last month showed that the median global box office in 2015 for films with casts that were from 21 percent to 30 percent minority was $105 million, compared to $42 million for films with casts that were 10 percent or less minority.

In another triumph for diverse filmmaking, “Get Out” hit $111 million domestically this weekend and made Jordan Peele the first black writer-director to pass the $100 million milestone with his first movie. “Moonlight,” meanwhile, has set a new box office record for its scrappy indie studio A24, making $27 million domestically while becoming the first movie with an all-black cast to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

David Giuntoli & Poppy Montgomery To Topline CBS Drama Pilot ‘Mission Control’

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Laverne Cox Says She Didn’t Enjoy Male Privilege as Feminist Author Claims

Laverne Cox schooled Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, who told BBC that the experiences of transgender women are different from women whose gender was assigned female at birth.

The “Orange Is the New Black” star kicked up a social media firestorm this weekend, after taking issue with Adichi’s recent comments on Friday in which she, essentially, told the BBC that trans women can’t relate to cisgender women because they enjoyed male privilege before their transition.

It didn’t take long before Adichi was facing a barrage of angry tweets, including one from Laverne Cox about the “privilege” of being bullied as kid.

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Cox never mentions Adichi in her lengthy Twitter rebuttal, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.

“I was talking to my twin brother today about whether he believes I had male privilege growing up,” Cox wrote. “I was a very feminine child though I was assigned male at birth. My gender was constantly policed. I was told I acted like a girl and was bullied and shamed for that. My femininity did not make me feel privileged.”

“Patriarchy and cissexism punished my femininity and gender nonconformity,” Cox went on to say. “The irony of my life is prior to transition I was called a girl and after I am often called a man.”

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During the interview with the BBC on Friday, Adichi, an award-winning Nigerian writer, was asked whether a “trans woman who grew up identifying as a man, who grew up enjoying the privileges of being a man, does that take away from becoming a woman? Are you any less of a real woman?”

Adichi responded: “I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges the world accords to men, and then sort of changed, switched gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning in the world as a woman, and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are.”

On Saturday, Adichi clarified her comments.

“Of course trans women are part of feminism,” the author wrote in a post on Facebook. “I do not believe that the experience of a trans woman is the same as that of a person born female. I do not believe that, say, a person who has lived in the world as a man for 30 years experiences gender in the same way as a person female since birth. Gender matters because of socialization. And our socialization shapes how we occupy our space in the world. To say this is not to exclude trans women from Feminism or to suggest that trans issues are not feminist issues or to diminish the violence they experience — a violence that is pure misogyny.”

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Cox recently landed a co-lead part on ABC’s “The Trustee,” a female buddy cop pilot. The role was not written with a trans character in mind.

Read Cox’s full response to Adichi’s comments below.

1.I was talking to my twin brother today about whether he believes I had male privilege growing up. I was a very feminine child though I was

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 11, 2017

2. Assigned male at birth. My gender was constantly policed. I was told I acted like a girl and was bullied and shamed for that. My

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 11, 2017

Showed academic promise being nurtured in the black community I grew up in in Mobile, Ala. Gender exists on a spectrum & the binary

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 11, 2017

Is constituted differently based on the culture we live in. There’s no universal experience of gender, of womanhood. To suggest that is

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 11, 2017

Approach to feminism. Class, race, sexuality, ability, immigration status, education all influence the ways in which we experience privilege

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 11, 2017

Punished my femininity and gender nonconformity. The irony of my life is prior to transition I was called a girl and after I am often called

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 12, 2017

That’s OK cause it’s complicated.  Intersectionality complicates both male and cis privilege. This is why it is paramount that we continue

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 12, 2017

Jorgensen stepped off the plane from Europe and became the first internationally known trans woman the narrative about trans folks in the

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 12, 2017

Works to reinforce binaries rather than explode them.That explosion is the gender revolution I imagine,one of true gender self determination

Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 12, 2017

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‘Californication’ Alum Will Play Young Hillary Clinton in ‘When I’m a Moth’ (Exclusive)

Heatseeking indie actress and former “Californication” star Addison Timlin will portray young Hillary Rodham Clinton in the upcoming film “When I’m a Moth.”

The just-completed project covers the year Clinton spent traveling Alaska and working odd jobs between college and the start of her law career in 1969, TheWrap exclusively reported on Sunday.

Timlin, whose festival entry “Like Me” is currently screening at SXSW, will play the presidential candidate at age 22, her spokesperson confirmed following an interview with “Moth” directors Magdalena Zyzak and Zachary Cotler.

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Zyzak and Cotler, who also co-wrote the script, described the movie as the second “part of this diptych on female power.”

The first part would be “Critically Endangered Species,” which stars Lena Olin and Rosanna Arquette and is also an entry in this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Cotler insisted “Moth” is “not a biopic” while appearing with Zyzak at TheWrap’s Austin interview studio on Saturday.

“It’s about how politics makes you not real,” he added.

The story of Clinton’s youth in Alaska has long been told  in her stump speeches, one-on-ones with press and in her general biographical narrative — specifically that she spent a year “sliming fish” in an Alaskan cannery, her husband President Bill Clinton said last July.

There has been some dispute about the veracity of Clinton’s time there — as there are no records of her employment at any fish factory in the state, despite the folksy stories of her scooping eggs out of “purple and black and yucky looking” fish.

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