‘Crashing’ Canceled After 3 Seasons at HBO

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

HBO has canceled the Pete Holmes comedy “Crashing” after three seasons, executive producer Judd Apatow said on Thursday.

Apatow broke the news during an appearance on “Conan” Thursday night, and HBO confirmed Friday that it would not move forward with the series.

Created by and starring Pete Holmes, “Crashing” is a semi-autobiographical series which draws on Holmes’ experiences as a man trying to make it in New York City as a stand-up comedian.

Also Read: Pete Holmes on Louis CK: ‘It Would Be Wonderful if He Would Evolve’ (Video)

The show’s third season, which comes to a close on Sunday, centered on Pete as he made his return to New York City after touring with newfound confidence in his comedic abilities, and a new struggle to balance his old and new selves.

Holmes and Apatow served as executive producers on the series alongside Judah Miller and Igor Srubshchik. The cast includes Lauren Lapkus, George Basil, Jamie Lee, Zach Cherry, Dov Davidoff, Jermaine Fowler, Aparna Nancherla and Madeline Wise.

Holmes tweeted the news on Friday, which you can see below.

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know that Crashing has not been picked up for a fourth season. I feel so grateful and so much joy that I got to make this wonderful show with my comedy hero @JuddApatow and the amazing cast, crew and writers. Gratitude and love. Heart emoji!

— Pete Holmes (@peteholmes) March 8, 2019

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‘Crashing’ Star Jamie Lee’s Studio Wrap Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

HBO Renews Pete Holmes’ ‘Crashing’ for Season 2

Hollywood Worries: Will HBO Still Be the Home of Prestige Television After Richard Plepler’s Departure?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hollywood is paying close attention to what HBO’s new owners will do with the network now that Richard Plepler’s long run of hits, awards and acclaim is coming to a close.

“HBO is the gold standard. I hope they stick with quality not quantity,” said Judd Apatow, whose shows “Girls” and “Crashing” are among HBO’s critical darlings. “Their choices over the next few days and weeks will tell us a lot about the direction they are choosing to go in.”

Plelper announced Thursday that he will exit the network where he greenlit successes like “Veep” and “Game of Thrones.” HBO is now the property of AT&T, overseen by WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, who has called on HBO to substantially increase subscriptions and the amount of time that viewers spend watching.

Also Read: David Levy Steps Down From Turner: Read His Internal Memo Here

That sounds like a reversal of Plepler’s strategy, which emphasized elevated, prestige programming with A-list talent that towered over the “Peak TV” rabble.

“Richard was ‘Mr. Prestige.’ And I think it’s hard to duplicate that,” said Sheila Nevins, a 39-year veteran of HBO who ran the company’s documentary division from 2004 to 2018.

“Richard is exceptionally ethical, exceptionally careful and interested in, he always says to me, ‘nudging the world.’ And I’m not so sure that commerce and nudging the world go together,” she told TheWrap. “But we’ll see, won’t we?”

Alec Berg, an executive producer of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and executive producer and co-creator of “Barry,” said Plepler was “an incredible fan and supporter” of both shows from the beginning.

“No showrunner could have asked for more from an executive at their network or studio. I cannot imagine having a better ally or advocate,” Berg said in a statement to TheWrap. “I will miss him dearly and wish him all the best.”

Plepler was part of HBO in the late 1990s when “The Sopranos” dramatically expanded possibilities and expectations for television. He became co-president of HBO in 2007.

“I put him up there with Grant Tinker at NBC in the 1980s, Fred Silverman at CBS and then NBC at the 1970s, as one of the executives that really had a significant impact on some of the best stuff we saw on television in that period,” said Robert Thompson, trustee professor of Television and Popular Culture at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Also Read: With Exit of HBO and Turner Chiefs, AT&T Tries to Fix What Ain’t Broken (Analysis)

Plepler exits in the same year that “Veep” and “Game of Thrones” will end. The shows brought many Emmys to HBO, and “Game of Thrones” drove subscriptions and broke ratings records.

Last month, David Levine, a key Plepler deputy, departed as co-head of drama, landing as the head of TV for Anonymous Content.

Plepler exited soon after news broke that Stankey was talking with former NBC chief Bob Greenblatt about leading HBO and Turner, which would be merged under the plan.

“People have been trickling out,” said Todd Klein, a partner at the venture capital firm Revolution Growth. “That layer of folks have started to look for other places, and when it became clear that Plepler was going to have a boss — a real boss — clearly the writing was on the wall at that point.”

Also Read: Richard Plepler to Exit as HBO Chairman and CEO

AT&T took over Time Warner, which owned HBO and Turner, last year, and HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. came under the umbrella of a conglomerate called WarnerMedia.

Plepler enjoyed a strong amount of autonomy under Time Warner’s ownership, but Stankey’s initial town hall, as reported in the New York Times, included calls for HBO to make more money and get viewers to watch for several hours a day.

Greenblatt’s success at NBC, and his work with Showtime, which launched “Weeds,” “Dexter” and “Nurse Jackie” during his tenure, has inspired hope that HBO won’t turn into a content factory on his watch.

One former colleague of Greenblatt’s told TheWrap that he would seek quality over broad-based shows. Greenblatt signed off, for example, on NBC executive Jen Salke’s support for the critical and ratings hit “This Is Us.”

“He is very niche in his tastes… not mainstream in his tastes,” the person said.

Klein agreed that Greenblatt “going back to his Showtime days, has tremendous impact on increasing the quality and prestige” of programming.

Also Read: David Levy to Exit as Turner President as Part of WarnerMedia Shakeup

Thompson said he has heard speculation that “the age of HBO is over, it’s never going do any more good programs, we should mourn the passing of this great era.” But he doesn’t believe it.

“I don’t think necessarily that the departure of one executive means the complete and total collapse of the artistic integrity — or even that a change in the business model means that,” he said.

Also, he notes, more content doesn’t guarantee less quality.

Though Netflix is known for its high quantity of programs, last year it also broke HBO’s 17-year-long streak of hauling in the most Emmy nominations. The two top platforms tied for first, with 23 wins each.

With $156 billion in market cap, Netflix has a lot of money to spend. But so does AT&T, which is worth $225 billion. Thompson suspects AT&T will open its checkbook to compete with Netflix in both quality and quantity.

Though its always possible, he noted, that everything could fall apart.

“They could get a bunch of clowns in there running it, and it could be the disaster that so many people are predicting,” he said.

Jennifer Maas contributed to this report

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Jussie Smollett Arrest Stuns Hollywood Into Silence and Sorrow

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Stunned silence would be one way to describe how Hollywood is processing the arrest of Jussie Smollett after authorities say he made up a racist and homophobic attack.

The normally active Twitter feeds of leading artist-activists such as Ava DuVernay, Judd Apatow and Matthew Cherry were quiet in the hours after Smollett’s Thursday arrest in Chicago on a felony charge of filing a false police report.

Don Lemon — the outspoken CNN anchor who like Smollett is both gay and African-American — grasped for words on his newscast on Wednesday night. “It’s … terrible,” he managed to say.

Also Read: Cops: ‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Staged Attack Because He Was ‘Dissatisfied With His Salary’

There’s some cognitive dissonance going on: Smollett, that beautiful, sweet young man who comes from a warm, sprawling family with sibling actors, who started out in “The Mighty Ducks” in 1992 and rose to prominence on the edgy Fox show “Empire” — that Jussie is accused of mounting a racist, homophobic attack on himself?

Insiders with whom I’ve spoken were frustrated and saddened. One said that she had already had a difficult conversation with her children about the attack when it was first reported, and now wasn’t sure what to tell them.

The Chicago police chief said on Thursday that Smollett staged the attack because he wanted a pay raise — but that didn’t add up to observers in the business.

I will here pause to point out that we don’t know the truth at this point. Smollett has been charged and arrested, but maintains his innocence. Maybe he is. The evidence we’ve seen — like those two brothers buying a rope and other paraphernalia — doesn’t look good.

For weeks, Fox has been standing behind its star, vouching for his good character, hiring a PR specialist, denying rumors that he was going to be written out of the show. Within hours of his arrest, the studio pivoted from its previous blanket support for its star to say: “We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”

Also Read: Fox Says It Is ‘Considering Our Options’ After Jussie Smollett Arrest

In the last few days, defenders like DuVernay insisted on reserving judgment even as the police said they were moving toward the conclusion that Smollett had written himself a threatening letter, hired two brothers to throw a noose around his neck and fling bleach at him and claim a MAGA connection.

The sight of a visibly indignant Chicago police chief, decrying a waste of precious public resources on the case, does not help matters for Smollett.

Update: According to Chicago police officials, Jussie Smollett wrote a fake letter and paid for the staged attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.” https://t.co/MyPbjMeUKh

— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) February 21, 2019

It’s an awkward moment for Hollywood at a time when this liberal industry is busy decrying the divisive politics of our time both on public platforms like Twitter and in the films and TV shows — including Smollett’s own show “Empire,” which was created by Lee Daniels, another artist who happens to be gay and African American.

And it’s distracting on the eve of an Oscars ceremony that finally has recognized a critical mass of diverse talent and movie themes in its top categories, from “Roma” to “Black Panther” to “Black KKKlansmen” to “Green Book.”

Also Read: Oscars Endgame: What Are ‘Roma,’ ‘Black Panther’ and Other Campaign Ads Really Trying to Say?

It’s a setback for those who want to champion equality and diversity, which is pretty much everyone in Hollywood, let’s be honest. It hands a potent weapon to critics of “Hollywood liberals” that will be wielded for years.

Like the Tawana Brawley case of the 1980s which left a lasting stain on activists like Al Sharpton, it will haunt Smollett and those who chose to ardently defend him.

I will stipulate again that I don’t know what happened in this case. But it’s an important reminder that no one has a monopoly on idiocy, cynicism and egoism. And that we should pay close attention before we judge.

Penthouse Accuses Judd Apatow of ‘Hypocrisy’ for Past Un-PC Jokes About LGBT People, Mass Shootings

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Penthouse debuted its new website Thursday by publishing a 15-minute video that attempts to show that director-comedian Judd Apatow’s past jokes, remarks and statements are at odds with his current, progressive persona.

The video suggests that Apatow is hypocritical to call out sexism, jokes about LGBTQ people and other social ills because he has made similar jokes in the past in standup routines, talk show appearances and in storylines in his hit comedies.

Reps for Apatow did not respond to requests for comment.

The video cites Apatow’s recent criticism of comics’ “punching down” to vulnerable targets in society. “I feel like it’s more important to say to kids, and to trans people, ‘Hey, I care more about you than this,’” he said in a recent interview, with the video jumping to clips from Apatow movies like “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” that include scenes that play on LGBT stereotypes and use derogatory terms like “trannies” and “f-ggot.”

It also takes issue with Apatow’s criticism of Louis CK’s jokes about survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., because Apatow made jokes, decades ago, about mass shootings and suffering children. In a short clip from an old standup routine, stripped of any contextual set-up, a young Apatow joked about how he “would just immediately get in the car, drive to Utah and start killing people” before making gunshot sounds into the microphone.

Also Read: ‘Young Turks’ Founder Cenk Uygur Apologizes for ‘Ugly,’ ‘Insensitive’ Old Blog Posts (Exclusive)

In a 1989 appearance on Comedy Central’s “Comics Only,” Apatow told host Paul Provenza he was “adopting a child” through Sally Struthers’ “Save the Children” campaign in a bit that seemed to play on stereotypes about both Hispanics and third-world countries. He read from a fake letter he said he had written:

“Dear Miguel, Hi. How are you? How are things in your village? Is the drought over yet? … Last week we had a big dinner party in my house. Boy was I stuffed. Hey, how’s that sack of wheat I sent you. Well I have to go, the Dominos pizza guy is here. Hey guess what? His name is Miguel too.”

Penthouse executive editor Mish Barber-Way told TheWrap the Apatow mashup reflects the site’s mission in “attacking the hypocrisy of the culture wars.” “One day a comedian is making sexist jokes, the next he’s attacking his friendemy in the name of trans rights as if he’s never said the word ‘tranny,’” Barber-Way said.

The video was created by former New York Post features reporter Mandy Stadtmiller, who wrote in a short accompanying piece: “To calmly attempt to transition from the man who made his millions off of f-ggot-and-tranny jokes … to his recent reinvention as Mr. Woke Stasi, El Capitan, is pretty badass.”

“I have no beef with Judd,” Barber-Way said. “My beef is with hypocrisy.” 

Founded by legendary pornographer Bob Guccione in 1965, Penthouse has struggled during the digital age and filed for bankruptcy September 2013. The company was ultimately purchased by WGCZ Ltd during a bankruptcy auction last June for $11.2 million.

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Judd Apatow’s Pete Davidson Comedy Set for Summer 2020

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Judd Apatow Calls Louis CK Parkland Routine ‘Hacky, Unfunny, Shallow’

Judd Apatow Calls for Expansion of Tucker Carlson Sponsor Boycott

Billy Eichner to Star in Rom-Com Directed by Nicholas Stoller at Universal

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Billy Eichner is set to star in an untitled romantic comedy that is set up to be developed at Universal, and he’ll co-write the project with Nicholas Stoller (“Neighbors”), who will also direct, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Stoller’s Global Solutions will co-produce the project with Judd Apatow’s Apatow Productions.

The film stars Eichner in a story about two men with commitment problems attempting a relationship.

Also Read: Billy Eichner and Tiffany Haddish Search for More Diverse Witches for ‘Hocus Pocus’ Remake (Video)

Universal also recently announced another untitled romantic comedy directed by Apatow and starring “SNL” star Pete Davidson for a June 19, 2020 release date.

Eichner will soon lend his voice to Disney’s “The Lion King,” and he’ll also be seen in Disney’s holiday-themed “Noelle” opposite Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader, and Shirley MacLaine. Eichner is currently starring in the second season of Netflix’s “Friends From College” and was recently seen in “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.” He’s a three-time Emmy nominee for his work on his namesake show “Billy on the Street.” He’s repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Ziffren Brittenham.

Stoller’s last live-action directed film was “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.” He’s also a director on Eichner’s “Friends From College.” He’s repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham.

Also Read: Judd Apatow’s Pete Davidson Comedy Set for Summer 2020

Apatow is represented by UTA, Mosaic and Ziffren Brittenham.

Deadline was first to report.

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Nick Stoller To Direct Romantic Comedy Starring Billy Eichner, With Judd Apatow Producing

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Three-time Emmy nominee Billy Eichner will write and star in an untitled romantic comedy which is set up at Universal. Neighbors director Nick Stoller will direct and co-produce under his Global Solutions banners with Judd Apatow’s Apa…

Judd Apatow’s Pete Davidson Comedy Set for Summer 2020

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Universal’s untitled comedy directed by Judd Apatow and starring and co-written by “SNL” star Pete Davidson has received a release date of June 19, 2020.

Universal also dated the thriller “The Turning,” based on a Henry James novella, for release on Jan. 24, 2020.

Apatow and Davidson co-wrote the film with Dave Sirus, and the untitled comedy will begin production this summer in New York City.

Also Read: Universal’s ‘The Invisible Man’ Reboot Lands New Director, Johnny Depp No Longer to Star

This is Apatow’s sixth feature and his first since the 2015 Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck.” He’ll also produce for his Apatow Productions alongside Barry Mendel.

“The Turning” is a haunted house thriller from DreamWorks Pictures and is an adaptation of Henry James’ landmark novella. Floria Sigismondi (“The Runaways,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”) stars Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard and “The Florida Project” breakout Brooklynn Prince and Joely Richardson.

“The Turning” takes audiences to a mysterious estate in the Maine countryside, where newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two disturbed orphans, Flora and Miles. Quickly though, she discovers that both the children and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear.

Chad and Carey Hayes (“The Conjuring”) and Jade Bartlett wrote the screenplay. “Turning” is produced by Roy Lee and Scott Bernstein. Universal will release the film wide domestically and in select international territories.

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Universal Dates Judd Apatow-Pete Davidson Comedy & DreamWorks’ ‘The Turning’ For 2020

Read on: Deadline.

Universal will be releasing Judd Apatow’s Pete Davidson comedy on June 19, 2020, and will open DreamWorks’ Henry James-inspired thriller The Turning on Jan. 24, 2020.
As Deadline reported, the Apatow comedy is the filmmaker’s first si…

Ava DuVernay Hosts Day Of Racial Healing Event With Eva Longoria & Judd Apatow

Read on: Deadline.

January 22 will see a lot of Hollywood centering on the Oscar nominations but some A-listers will be focusing on a bigger picture later in the day.
The day after the Martin Luther King Day holiday will see Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY host a National Day of Ra…

Judd Apatow Calls Louis CK Parkland Routine ‘Hacky, Unfunny, Shallow’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Judd Apatow criticized Louis C.K.’s recent stand-up set where he made jokes about Parkland shooting survivors and gender non- binary young people.

“This hacky, unfunny, shallow routine is just a symptom of how people are afraid to feel empathy,” Apatow said of the set in a tweet on Monday morning. “It’s much easier to laugh at our most vulnerable than to look at their pain directly & show them love and concern. Louis CK is all fear and bitterness now. He can’t look inward.”

In audio that comes a December stand-up performance, C.K. can be heard mocking the survivors of the Parkland school shooting and young people who identify as non-binary.

Also Read: Old N-Word Joke Between Chris Rock, Louis CK Draws Criticism (Video)

“#louisck has a leaked set, and it’s the definition of bad writing and punching down,” writer Emma Smith said on Twitter. “The plea for relevance really gives the whole 2 minutes a sour undertone – sorry, dude, but the red light means your time is officially up.

C.K., whose career was derailed as a result of sexual misconduct accusations that he admitted were true, said in 2017 that he would use his time away from the spotlight to “step back and take a long time to listen,” but his recent set being criticized for not making amends.

“Despite his vow, about a year ago, to ‘step back and take a long time to listen,’ seems like he views his (entirely self-inflicted) downfall as license to now behave however he wants,” New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff wrote on Twitter. “Telling moment in the bootleg Louis CK set is when, after a particularly crude bit, he jokingly tells the crowd, “What are you – going to take away my birthday? My life is over. I don’t give a s—.’”

Comedian Paul F. Tompkins satirized the routine as an example of a comic talking about how things were in the past.

Also Read: Louis CK’s Comeback: Jerry Seinfeld Says ‘Court of Public Opinion’ Wants Him to ‘Show a Lot of Pain’

“I’m saying, Come on, the global warming thing? How did the ice melt during the ice ages,” Tompkins wrote on Twitter. “Was the dinosaurs driving SUVs around back then?”

A journalist for Elle suggested that this type of comedy would be the only way that C.K. would be able to make a “comeback,” while a writer for The Daily Beast went further by suggesting that the routine panders to the alt-right.

“I wrote back in August that Louis CK’s only conceivable “comeback” was to become the kind of hacky, s—-y, “what is UP with GENDER PRONOUNS” comic that rapists can see as “their voice” and that his previous career was built on subverting,” Sady Doyle writes.

See some other reactions to the leaked audio below:

This hacky, unfunny, shallow routine is just a symptom of how people are afraid to feel empathy. It’s much easier to laugh at our most vulnerable than to look at their pain directly & show them love and concern. Louis CK is all fear and bitterness now. He can’t look inward. https://t.co/aQVG0rk87y

— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018

despite his vow, about a year ago, to “step back and take a long time to listen,” seems like he views his (entirely self-inflicted) downfall as license to now behave however he wants.

— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) December 31, 2018

“I’m saying, Come on, the global warming thing? How did the ice melt during the ice ages? Was the dinosaurs driving SUVs around back then?” pic.twitter.com/eL4h1Y316L

— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) December 31, 2018

To anyone who knows Louis CK, please deliver this message for me. My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. My wife and I deal with loss everyday. Why don’t you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes? https://t.co/tZI9ThSciR

— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 31, 2018

i mean he’s like a RW comic now. hes milo pic.twitter.com/QYOGI7TrGa

— jack allison (@jackallisonLOL) December 31, 2018

#louisck has a leaked set, and it’s the definition of bad writing and punching down. The plea for relevance really gives the whole 2 minutes a sour undertone – sorry, dude, but the red light means your time is officially up.

— Emma Smith (@CoachHerbie) December 31, 2018

LouisCK even trying for a comeback is crap, but him mocking the Parkland survivors is beyond despicable. There is no comedy there at all.

— David Wilson Brown (@davidwbrown) December 31, 2018

#LouisCK’s new set apparently has a section attacking #nonbinary people. He thinks it’s wrong to use “they” as a singular pronoun. I, on the other hand, think it’s wrong to sexually assault people.

— Emily C. Heath (@emilycheath) December 31, 2018

That Louis CK audio isn’t even edgy, it’s an old conservative ranting about how in his day no one was woke and things were great

— Nathaniel Friedman (@freedarko) December 31, 2018

Live footage of Louis CK pic.twitter.com/QYoAYNPyn0

— Cid ???? (@Cidaghast) December 31, 2018

This is a reminder that the time we spend looking backwards and getting pissed about Louis CK would be better spent falling in love with @DivaDelux and moving into a better, more fabulous future. https://t.co/jhMtSfByEH

— Guy Brannukkah (@guybranum) December 31, 2018

Today’s Twitter mob digital assassination of Louis C.K. for “offensive” jokes (all good comedy is offensive to someone) reminds us once again that millennials have completely ruined comedy.

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) December 31, 2018

Louis C.K.: “I hate these annoying kids who demand to be addressed in nonsensical ways!”

Also Louis C.K.: Insists his last name is two letters.

— Daniel Radosh (@danielradosh) December 31, 2018

Louis C.K. DESTROYS Diabetic Millennial Who Can’t Afford Insulin (Full Video)

— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) December 31, 2018

Somehow the Louis C.K. bootleg is WORSE than the Kevin Spacey video. With the very real risk that they’ve both left it up to Roseanne to have the final move, staying off Twitter tomorrow might be a great idea.

— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) December 31, 2018

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Judd Apatow Calls for Expansion of Tucker Carlson Sponsor Boycott

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Judd Apatow called for an expansion of sponsor boycotts against Tucker Carlson this weekend, calling out advertisers by name on Twitter to his more than 2 million followers after the Fox News host said immigrants made the United States “poorer” and “dirtier.”

“Hey @pfizer – what does it say about your company and your moral positions if you advertise on @tuckercarlson’s show? He and @FoxNews get rich off of dividing our country and spewing lies and hate at immigrant communities who are just trying to survive. Maybe choose another show,” Apatow said in a tweet.

“Hey @subaru_usa – why would you continue to advertise on @TuckerCarlson’s show when he spews so much racism and hate? How does that reflect the values of your company? There must be other shows you can advertise on which are not destructive to our country,” he offered in another.

Also Read: Laura Ingraham Mocks Her Own Fox Nation Show Debut: ‘No One Is Ever Going to Tune Into This Again’

The two tweets generated a combined 5,000 retweets between them — but so far neither advertiser has publicly budged, with both continuing the back the show. A rep for Fox News did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

The weekend push against Carlson was part of a broad assault led by Media Matters and activists like Twitter user Jordan Uhl after insurance giant Pacific Life officially suspended their relationship with Carlson’s show.

“One of our ads appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show last night following a segment where Mr. Carlson made a number of statements regarding immigration,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter Friday afternoon.

“As a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson’s statements. Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we take great pride in. We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson’s show in the coming week as we reevaluate our relationship with his program.”

Since that statement, Carlson’s other advertisers, including Expedia, Capital One and Liberty Mutual, have come under renewed pressure to drop the show. As of Monday morning, the network appears to have held the line with no further defections beyond Pacific Life.

In a statement to TheWrap on Friday, Fox News Channel SVP of Eastern Ad Sales Dom Rossi offered a complete defense of Carlson.

“It is a shame that political pressure groups, under the guise of ‘media watchdogs,’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech. We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions,” he said.

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‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Tops Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Morgan Neville’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” has been named the best documentary of 2018 at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, which were handed out on Saturday evening at Bric in Brooklyn, New York.

The film about “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” star Fred Rogers won in a category whose other nominees were “Crime + Punishment,” “Dark Money,” “Free Solo,” “Hal,” “Hitler’s Hollywood,” “Minding the Gap,” “RBG,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “Wild Wild Country.”

Michael Moore received a lifetime achievement award from Robert De Niro, who called him “an American hero.” Moore new film, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” was not nominated in the Best Documentary category, instead receiving a mention only in Best Political Documentary, where it lost to “RBG.”

Also Read: ‘Minding the Gap’ Leads All Films in Nominations for Cinema Eye Honors

“Quincy” won the award for best music documentary, while “Free Solo” won for best sports documentary and most innovative documentary.

Neville also won the Best Director award for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” while the Best First Time Director category resulted in a tie between Bing Liu for “Minding the Gap” and Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster for “Science Fair.”

In the craft categories, “Free Solo” won for cinematography and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” won for editing.

The two television categories, Best Limited Documentary Series and Best Ongoing Documentary Series, went to Judd Apatow’s “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” and the late Anthony Bourdain’s “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown,” respectively.

Eight different people who served as the subjects of nonfiction films, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John McEnroe, Quincy Jones, Joan Jett, rock climber Alex Honnold and Stanley Kubrick aide Leon Vitali, were honored in the Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary category, which did not bestow a single award but instead paid tribute to everyone in the category.

Stanley Nelson, the director of “Freedom Rider,” “The Murder of Emmett Till” and “Black Panthers: The Vanguard of a Revolution,” received the Critics’ Choice Impact Award.

Television host Bill Nye hosted the ceremony.

In 2016, the first year of the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards’ existence, the top prize went to “O.J.: Made in America,” which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Last year, the CCDA winner was Brett Morgen’s “Jane,” which was not nominated for the Oscar.

The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are voted on by members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, which are made up of film and television critics and journalists for television, radio and online outlets. The organization will present its Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday, Jan. 13.

Also Read: ‘RBG’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Among 166 Documentaries Submitted for Oscars

The complete list of Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards winners:

Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – Director: Morgan Neville

Best Limited Documentary Series: “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling”

Best Ongoing Documentary Series: “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”

Best Director: Morgan Neville – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Best First-Time Director: (TIE) Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, “Science Fair” and Bing Liu – “Minding the Gap”

Best Political Documentary: “RBG” – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West

Best Sports Documentary: “Free Solo” – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Best Music Documentary: “Quincy” – Directors: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones

Most Innovative Documentary: “Free Solo” – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Best Cinematography: “Free Solo” – Cinematographers: Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin, Mikey Schaefer

Best Editing: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – Editors: Jeff Malmberg, Aaron Wickenden

Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary:
(No winner – all subjects were honored at the ceremony)
Scotty Bowers – “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “RBG”
Alex Honnold – “Free Solo”
Joan Jett – “Bad Reputation”
Quincy Jones – “Quincy”
David Kellman and Bobby Shafran – “Three Identical Strangers”
John McEnroe – “John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection”
Leon Vitali – “Filmworker”

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‘Free Solo’ Sets Documentary Record at Indie Box Office

NBCUniversal Pulls Trump Campaign’s ‘Insensitive’ Immigration Ad After Backlash

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

NBCUniversal has decided to pull a controversial immigration-themed ad from the Donald Trump campaign after a wave of criticism.

“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBCU said in a statement. The ad ran during Sunday night’s Green Bay Packers-New England Patriots NFL game, ahead of Tuesday’s midterms elections.

The 30-second spot alluded to the caravan of Central American migrants that is making its way towards the U.S.-Mexico boarder. It also references Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of murdering two sheriff’s deputies in California in 2014, tying him to the thousands of migrants that are fleeing Central America.

Also Read: ‘Morning Joe’ Says Trump Privately Admitted Birther Attacks Were Wrong: ‘Racism in His Mind Works’

The caravan is still hundreds of miles away of the U.S.-Mexico boarder, currently somewhere near Mexico City according to the Washington Post. The ad plays up the “threat” of immigrants coming into the U.S., which Trump has made a major part of his campaign speeches ahead of Tuesday.

Hollywood stars including Judd Apatow and Debra Messing criticized the network’s decision to air the ad.

Messing, who stars on NBC’s “Will & Grace,” wrote: “To our @willandgrace fans–I want you to know that I am ashamed that my network aired this disgusting racist ad. It is the antithesis of everything I personally believe in, and what, I believe, our show is all about. @nbc”

“So @nbc and @Comcast aired that racist Trump caravan commercial during the football game,” wrote Apatow. “Who made that decision? How did they decide it was ok? I am disgusted that you would air that after @cnn refused to air it because it is explicitly racist. Shame on you. @NBCNews”

Also Read: ‘Watergate’ Director Says John McCain Used His Film to Send a Message About Trump

To our @willandgrace fans—I want you to know that I am ashamed that my network aired this disgusting racist ad. It is the antithesis of everything I personally believe in, and what, I believe, our show is all about. @nbc pic.twitter.com/CLinZKHB47

— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) November 5, 2018

So @nbc and @Comcast aired that racist Trump caravan commercial during the football game. Who made that decision? How did they decide it was ok? I am disgusted that you would air that after @cnn refused to air it because it is explicitly racist. Shame on you. @NBCNews

— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) November 5, 2018

Also Read: Michael Cohen: Trump Called Black People ‘Too Stupid’ to Vote for Him During 2016 Campaign

The ad was previously deemed too racist for CNN to air, which the network said on its official public relations Twitter account on Friday. “CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.”

CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts. ????

— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 3, 2018

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