Is Facebook Stuck in a No-Win Position When It Comes to Moderating Content?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

When it comes to moderating content, Mark Zuckerberg probably gets the sense that Facebook is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t.

The social network has been ridiculed in the past for not doing enough to police its platform — which, despite a scandal-filled 2018, still closed the year with 2.3 billion monthly users.

Now, Facebook is once again being skewered by its critics — despite hiring thousands of content moderators in recent years — after The Verge published a harrowing look at what it’s like to spend all day scanning the worst Facebook has to offer: racism; violence; beastiality; self-harm; murder.

For the 1,000 moderators at Cognizant, a Phoenix-based vendor used by Facebook, it’s all part of the job. And unsurprisingly, it inflicts a significant mental toll on its workers. Some current and former employees told The Verge they drink on the job or smoke weed to “numb their emotions.” Others said they’d developed “PTSD-like symptoms.” One former moderator, scared that angry ex-colleagues may return to the office, said he brought a gun to work each day.

Also Read: Facebook’s Top-Secret Content Moderators Smoke Marijuana to ‘Numb Their Emotions,’ Report Says

While this was met with understandable horror by many tech reporters, former Facebook director and current Wired writer Antonio Garcia Martinez argued this is the painful but obvious byproduct of Facebook reluctantly stepping up its moderation.

“The same [Facebook] critics who call on the company to take on responsibility for moderating content (an operational job they don’t want, and had to be pressed to perform), will of course be shocked, shocked at the human cost in reviewing billions of pieces of random content,” Martinez tweeted.

The same FB critics who call on the company to take on responsibility for moderating content (an operational job they don’t want, and had to be pressed to perform), will of course be shocked, shocked at the human cost in reviewing billions of pieces of random content. https://t.co/GSzzA6k2Nt

— Antonio García Martínez (@antoniogm) February 25, 2019

Martinez’s reaction raised a valid point: What do we even expect Facebook to do?

“Social media companies like Facebook are between a rock and a hard place,” tech ethicist David Ryan Polgar told TheWrap. “If they’re more proactive and remove content, the other side says, ‘How dare you? You’re not the government.’ But then if they’re more libertarian and say it’s a marketplace of ideas, then they’re not handling their social responsibility.”

Facebook has beefed up its moderation efforts since it was roundly blamed for letting Russian trolls run bogus political ads during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The company also added several thousand moderators in 2017 in reaction to several videos depicting both murder and teens taking their own lives. Other social platforms like Twitter have followed suit in the last two years. Currently, Facebook employs about 15,000 reviewers around the world.

Also Read: Facebook Shuts Down Data-Collection App Onavo

In a wide-ranging discussion with Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain earlier this month, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg touched on the difficulty of moderating billions of posts each day. Zuckerberg said the company wants to make sure “borderline content,” or content that approaches violating its rules, doesn’t become the most shared content on Facebook. At the same time, he acknowledged that the company doesn’t want to be in the business of determining what is and isn’t true.

“I believe very strongly that people do not want Facebook and that we should not be the arbiters of truth in deciding what is correct for everyone in the society,” Zuckerberg told Zittrain. “I think people already generally think that we have too much power in deciding what content is good.”

The challenge Facebook is “grappling with,” Zuckerberg said, is striking a balance between “free expression” on the one hand, and “safety” on the other, where users “rightfully have an expectation of us that we’re going to do everything we can to stop terrorists from recruiting people or people from exploiting children.”

Like Martinez, Polgar said this was a challenge Zuckerberg only took on to silence the company’s critics.

“Zuckerberg and [Twitter chief] Jack Dorsey, if they could shift away this power, they absolutely would,” Polgar said. “Think about how much time and PR nightmares they’re stuck in because they’re trying to clean up behavior online.”

It’s a responsibility Facebook is likely stuck with, though, now that it’s begun moderating in the first place. And if that’s the case, there are a few options that can be explored to make this undesirable job a bit more palatable.

The first fix, Polgar said, would be to pay its moderators better. As The Verge pointed out, Cognizant reviewers earned less than $29,000 per year — or about eight times less than the average Facebook employee makes. If they’re going to sift through disgusting and depressing content all day, he thinks they should at least be paid decently.

Also Read: Facebook Acted Like ‘Digital Gangsters,’ British Parliament Says

Another option would be to provide more mental health resources for its moderators. A Facebook rep told TheWrap the company was looking to “include even more regular and comprehensive focus groups” with its vendor employees than it currently does, but didn’t elaborate on specific programs it’ll implement.

Still, these changes wouldn’t act as a surefire panacea. Humans would still be taking the mental brunt of it. Artificial intelligence could potentially ease this burden, somewhat.

A person familiar with Facebook’s moderation efforts said the company already depends on AI to target much of the content it’s trying to eradicate, including posts related to terrorism and pornography. AI also helps to prioritize the most important posts for moderators to review, like content related to self-harm. But a future where human moderators are replaced entirely by AI is unlikely.

“There will most likely always be a need for humans as part of this process,” the Facebook employee said, because of the “nuance” needed to review posts.

Also Read: Will Journalists Be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence?

This week has shined a light on the bind Facebook finds itself in. To moderate billions of posts each day is a near-impossible task that comes with a substantial human cost. To improve this effort by paying better or hiring more moderators would be pricey. On the other hand, to abandon it would be a PR catastrophe and allow the ugliest content to float around Facebook. Strictly from a business standpoint, this isn’t feasible, as some users and advertisers would run away.

Zuckerberg made his choice to fight the worst content on Facebook, but the halfhearted attempt has once again provided ammunition for the company’s critics — the same critics Facebook was looking to satiate by focusing on content moderation in the first place.

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Facebook’s Top-Secret Content Moderators Smoke Marijuana to ‘Numb Their Emotions,’ Report Says

Evan Peters, Jon Bernthal Team Up for ‘Snow Ponies’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Evan Peters, Jon Bernthal, Charlie Plummer and Josh Gad will star in Darrin Prescott’s dark comedy “Snow Ponies,” an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

Pat Healy wrote the script that was featured on the 2006 Black List. 87Eleven, Nickel City Pictures and Entertainment One are producing the film. Kelly McCormick is producing via the 87Eleven banner, and Tobias Weymar and Mark Fasano are roducing for Nickel City. Nickel City’s Ankur Rungta and Vishal Rungta, and 87Eleven’s David Leitch and Chad Stahelski are executive producing the film.

In “Snow Ponies,” seven men travel across a vicious landscape to deliver a mysterious package. Along the way, they are met with bandits and brutal obstacles, which makes them face the difficult decision of choosing survival, or honor and loyalty.

Also Read: Evan Peters Wanted a Special Effects Credit on ‘American Animals’ (Exclusive Video)

Sierra/Affinity is re-launching international sales on the film at the 2018 American Film Market after it was first launched in Berlin in 2017, when Gerard Butler was still attached.

Bernthal is currently filming “Ford v. Ferrari” and will next be seen in “Widows” as well as season two of “The Punisher.” His past films include “Wind River,” “Baby Driver” and “The Accountant.” He is represented by WME.

Peters’ most recent film is “American Animals,” and he also recently starred in Ryan Murphy’s “Pose” and “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.” He will next be seen in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and “I Am Woman,” and he is represented by CAA.

Also Read: Jon Bernthal Rips Alt-Right ‘Punisher’ Fans: ‘F– Them’

Gad most recently starred in “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Marshall” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and he will next star in “Frozen 2,” “Artemis Fowl” and “A Dog’s Journey.” He is represented by WME.

Plummer was most recently seen in A24’s “Lean on Pete,” as well as Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World.” His upcoming films include “The Clovehitch Killer,” “Spontaneous” and “Gully.” He is represented by CAA.

Endeavor Content is representing the film’s domestic rights.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘AHS: Apocalypse’: Evan Peters Returns as Tate, Emma Roberts Rises From the Dead (Photos)

Evan Peters Watches Himself Strangle ‘AHS’ Co-Star to Death: ‘Annnd Crack’ (Exclusive Video)

Evan Peters Heist Film ‘American Animals’ Bought by The Orchard and MoviePass

‘Dark Phoenix’ Trailer: Jean Grey Is Death, the Destroyer of Worlds in New ‘X-Men’ Film (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

At last here’s your Marvel Comics mutant destroyer of worlds, courtesy of the first trailer for the latest “X-Men” film, “Dark Phoenix.” Watch it above.
Set a decade after the events of “X-Men: Apocalypse,” in …

Cannes Report, Day 4: Sales Market Heats Up, ‘355’ Sparks Bidding War, Jean-Luc Godard Is Back

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Most thought this would be a slow Cannes Film Festival, but we’re already on day four and movies have been bought, there’s a bidding war going on, and well, Jean-Luc Godard is back to mess with our heads.

Saban Films picked up the rights to two movies in the last two days, while Bleecker Street and Netflix (the latter of which backed out of submitting any films for the competition) have also emerged as players in the market.

Jessica Chastain’s female spy thriller “355” sparked a heated bidding war, with Universal emerging as the victor in an eight-figure deal.

Also Read: Cannes Report, Day 3: Women Rule, ‘Cold War’ Hailed as ‘Best Film’ Yet

Meanwhile, everyone else is still trying to get that one selfie on the red carpet despite a no-selfie policy — or get another glimpse at jury president Cate Blanchett.

See what everyone talked about during the fourth day at Cannes:

Acquisitions, Acquisitions

May 11 saw the acquisitions of quite a heap of films. Neon acquired the troll love story “Border” following its world premiere at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, while Bleecker Street picked up the rights to Mads Mikkelsen’s survival drama “Arctic.” The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday night.

Saban Films bought the rights to Keanu Reeves’ “Siberia,” a thriller by director Matthew Ross in the market that also stars Ana Ularu and Molly Ringwald.

Also Read: Netflix Buys Animated Film ‘Next Gen’ for $30 Million

In what might be the biggest deal so far at Cannes, Netflix picked up the worldwide rights, excluding China, to the animated film “Next Gen” for $30 million.

Netflix pulled out of submitting films to this year’s festival after organizers implemented a new rule that bans any films that don’t have theatrical distribution in France. The streaming company had the option to screen films out of competition — but passed.

Speaking of Saban Films…

Saban Films sure is spending money this year. At the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Saban bought the North American rights to Craig William Macneill’s “Lizzie,” in partnership with Roadside Attractions.

The distributor has been busy at Cannes as well, having bought Gerard Butler’s “Keepers” on Thursday and Reeves’ “Siberia” on Friday. Saban came to conquer Cannes, that’s for sure.

Jessica Chastain’s ‘355’ Bidding War

Everyone wanted a piece of “355,” Jessica Chastain’s female all-star spy thriller that will also star Lupita Nyong’o, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Fan Bingbing. Simon Kinberg (“X-Men; Dark Phoenix”) will direct.

Early Saturday, Universal announced it had acquired U.S. distribution rights to “355” in what the studio said was “a competitive situation” — i.e., a bidding war — believed to be worth eight figures.

Also Read: Cannes Report, Day 2: ‘Rafiki’ Makes History, ‘Don Quixote’ Scores Legal Victory

Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘The Image Book’ Debuts

Jean-Luc Godard’s newest film “The Image Book” debuted on Friday at Cannes, and early reviews are as jumbled and convoluted as the film itself seems to be.

“THE IMAGE BOOK: who f—in’ knows,” wrote one critic, while another said, “What do you want me to say?”

TheWrap’s Steve Pond wrote in his review: “‘The Image Book’ requires stamina, or more accurately surrender. (A section of the Grand Theatre Lumiere balcony devoted to press had at least a dozen walkouts during the film.)”

See some tweets about the film below.

THE IMAGE BOOK: who fuckin knows. But here are some nonverbal reviews from those seated near me!

– girl next to me covered ears for long stretches
-man two over checked phone 50, 60, and 65 minutes in
-guy in front of me buzzsaw snored for full minute before someone woke him up

— Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse) May 11, 2018

THE IMAGE BOOK: Jean-Luc Godard’s collection of images about trains, war, Arab nations & more – from movies & real footage – w/ narration from Godard, sudden bursts of music & long silences. Some will love, some not, I feel like it will work best as the museum exhibit #Cannes2018 pic.twitter.com/H1mfgMIlcB

— Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone) May 11, 2018

THE IMAGE BOOK: Godard lays out all possibilities of cinema on display in 90 minutes. Now please start making your movie ffs. #cannes2018

— Ken Adams (@TaybackX) May 11, 2018

Just saw THE IMAGE BOOK by JLG. More bellowing at crappy resolution footage from 1950s films and of various imperialist atrocities. What do you want me to say? #cannes2018

— ????Donald Clarke???? (@DonaldClarke63) May 11, 2018

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Cannes Confirms ‘Don Quixote’ for Closing Night, Praises Court Win: ‘Cinema Has Regained Its Rights’

‘Rafiki’ Film Review: African Gay Romance Is a First for Cannes

Cannes Report, Day 1: ‘Everybody Knows’ Premieres, Cate Blanchett Shines on the Croisette

‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ Pushed Back to 2019, ‘The New Mutants’ Moves to Next Summer

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Fans will have to wait a lot longer to see Fox’s next movies based on the X-Men franchise as the studio announced Monday that Simon Kinberg’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” would move from November 2, 2018 to February 14, 2019.

As a result, the horror-driven X-Men spinoff “The New Mutants” is also moving, from February 22, 2019 to August 2, 2019.

The studio also bumped “The Force,” James Mangold’s adaptation of a Don Winslow novel about a crooked NYC cop, from its release schedule altogether. It had been booked for March 1, 2019.

Also Read: ‘X-Men’ Star Tye Sheridan Teases ‘Dark Phoenix’: ‘More of a Drama Vs a Superhero Film’ (Exclusive Video)

In addition, Fox announced that Bryan Singer’s eagerly awaited Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” would hit theaters in the midst of Oscar season, on November 2, instead of its previous Christmas Day release.

Joe Cornish’s medieval epic “The Kid Who Would Be King” moves back two weeks, from February 14, 2019 to March 1.

Fox also announced that Roxann Dawson’s faith-based drama “Breakthrough” starring “This Is Us” star Chrissy Metz will land on April 12, 2019 — one week before the animated feature “Spies in Disguise” that had previously been set for January 18, 2019.

Also Read: Jessica Chastain’s Villain Looks Fierce in ‘Dark Phoenix’ First Look (Photo)

With the move of “Dark Phoenix,” which stars “Game of Thrones” alum Sophie Turner as the telepathic mutant Jean Grey, a.k.a. Phoenix, the studio will be releasing only one “X-Men” movie this year: this summer’s R-rated “Deadpool” sequel.

“Dark Phoenix” will also star Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Olivia Munn, James McAvoy, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Alexandra Shipp.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘X-Men’ Star Tye Sheridan Teases ‘Dark Phoenix’: ‘More of a Drama Vs a Superhero Film’ (Exclusive Video)

Jessica Chastain’s Villain Looks Fierce in ‘Dark Phoenix’ First Look (Photo)

Sophie Turner Fires Up First Look of Jean Grey in ‘Dark Phoenix’ (Photos)

FilMart: ‘Phoenix’ to Rise as China-Canada Co-Production

Read on: Variety.

Chinese and Canadian companies are to co-produce “Phoenix,” a biopic of Norman Bethune, a Canadian who served with the Communist Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War and brought modern medicine to rural China. The film will be produced by Canada’s Rare Earth Media and China’s Ray Production, as an adaptation of “Phoenix: The Life of […]

‘X-Men’ Star Tye Sheridan Says ‘Dark Phoenix’ Will Be ‘More of a Drama Versus a Superhero Film’ (Exclusive Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Tye Sheridan, who stars as Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops in the the upcoming “X-Men” film “Dark Phoenix,” teased the movie as “more of a drama versus a superhero film.”

“Jean goes crazy in the movie,” Sheridan told TheWrap at SXSW while discussing his other new film, “Friday’s Child.” “Well, Cyclops doesn’t think she’s going crazy; Cyclops just thinks she’s gotta work some stuff out. It’s interesting, the drama in the movie. We treated this movie as much more of a drama versus a superhero film.”

In an Entertainment Weekly article from December, Jennifer Lawrence, who stars as Raven/Mystique, said she would definitely call “Dark Phoenix” a “drama.”

See Photo: Jessica Chastain’s Villain Looks Fierce in ‘Dark Phoenix’ First Look

“We have really great action scenes and we go to space like within the first five minutes of the movie,” she explained. “So it’s definitely exciting but emotionally all these characters are taking the biggest, most extreme dives than they have in the whole series.”

Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey a.k.a. Phoenix, also promised in a recent interview with Empire that the film was being revolutionized and that they wanted to create a “whole new genre of superhero movie.”

Sheridan took on the role of Cyclops in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and will reprise it in “Dark Phoenix.” The role of Cyclops was previously played by James Marsden in “X-Men,” “X-Men 2,” “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” In “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Tim Pocock played Scott Summers.

Also Read: Evan Peters Returns as Quicksilver in ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

“Dark Phoenix” will also star Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Olivia Munn, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Alexandra Shipp. Simon Kinberg, who also produced three “X-Men” films, directed.

Sheridan was at SXSW Film Festival to promote his film “Friday’s Child,” directed by A.J. Edwards. Both “Friday’s Child” and Sheridan’s upcoming film “Ready Player One,” are having their world premieres on Sunday in Austin.

“Dark Phoenix” hits theaters Nov. 2.

Watch the video above.

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C3 Management Adds Phoenix, Justice, Sylvan Esso to Roster

Read on: Variety.

C3 Management is expanding. Managers Simon White, Matt Sadie and Chris Gentry, whose clients include Phoenix (pictured), Hudson Mohawke and The Lemon Twigs, among others, are joining the company which will also open new offices in Los Angeles and London. In addition, Martin Anderson, manager for Sylvan Esso, Wye Oak and Bowerbirds, has also joined […]

Hulu Releases VR Music Doc About Phoenix (EXCLUSIVE)

Read on: Variety.

Hulu released the third episode of its virtual reality (VR) music documentary “On Stage” Thursday, which takes a closer look at the roots of the French indie pop band Phoenix. Viewers get to visit the band’s hometown Versailles, hear them talk about their childhood and influences, and also describe the idea behind the visuals of […]

Enzo Amore Released by WWE Following Rape Accusation

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Enzo Amore has been released by WWE one day after he was accused of raping a woman last year in Phoenix.

The pro-wrestling promotion’s Cruiserweight Champion and the face of WWE Network’s “205 Live” had been suspended indefinitely on Monday, when Amore’s accuser named him and shared graphic details of her allegation on Twitter. Amore’s real name is Eric Arndt.

“WWE has come to terms on the release of Eric Arndt (Enzo Amore),” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Also Read: ‘Raw 25’: Watch ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin Deliver a Stunner to WWE Boss Vince McMahon (Video)

When we asked Phoenix P.D. Monday about the case, Sgt. Vince Lewis told TheWrap via email: “On Monday, October 23, 2017, at around 2:30 p.m., Phoenix Police responded to a local hospital for a call of a sexual assault that had reportedly occurred on October 19, 2017 at 401 West Clarendon Avenue.”

That address belongs to The Clarendon Hotel and Spa. Amore’s Instagram places him in Phoenix on the day of the assault.

“This case is under investigation,” Lewis said. He declined to confirm Arndt/Amore was a suspect in the case by name.

Also Read: These Wrestling Fans Are Super Angry About Lack of Action at WWE’s ‘Raw 25’ Second Venue (Video)

Amore’s accuser wrote the following Monday on Twitter: “OKAY..it’s been long enough & I have been so so scared to share this. I was raped in mid October by the WWE Enzo Amore (also known as Eric Arden) & Tyler Grosso & TOOPOOR let it happen as accomplices. I was in a mental hospital for 45 days after it. They ARE NOT good people.”

Read more about the allegation here.

“205 Live” airs Tuesday’s at 10 p.m. on WWE Network. The cruiserweights also appear on “Raw,” which airs Monday’s at 8/7c on USA Network.

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Jessica Chastain’s Villain Looks Fierce in ‘Dark Phoenix’ First Look (Photo)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jessica Chastain looks fierce donning a blonde do in a first-look image for “Dark Phoenix.”

Entertainment Weekly published a bunch of new images from the upcoming “X-Men” film, which will be directed by Simon Kinberg, including the one of Chastain. Other images showed off Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique and Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey, and one photograph also teased a mission to space.

In June, it was announced Chastain was in talks to join the cast as a villain. EW described Chastain’s character as an “otherwordly shapeshifter who manipulates Phoenix for her own agenda.”

See Photos: Sophie Turner Fires Up First Look of Jean Grey in ‘Dark Phoenix’

“Simon and I were talking about the character and I said, ‘I keep thinking of the vet who tells you you need to put your dog down,’” the actress said. “There’s something very clinical about it.”

The film will focus on Turner’s Jean Grey as it features the story of the Dark Phoenix saga from the X-Men comics. The Phoenix, in the form of Jean, appeared as the primary antagonist in “X-Men: The Last Stand.” She was portrayed in the film by actress Famke Jansen.

Also Read: Evan Peters Returns as Quicksilver in ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

The film has a release date of Nov. 2, 2018. It will also star James McAvoy, Olivia Munn, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp.

See the image below.

EW

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Simon Kinberg Set to Direct ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix;’ Jessica Chastain in Talks for Villain Role

Sophie Turner Fires Up First Look of Jean Grey in ‘Dark Phoenix’ (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

While “Dark Phoenix” is still almost a year away, here’s a first look at Sophie Turner’s character that will get you excited for the newest “X-Men” installation.

Turner ignited the cover of Entertainment Weekly‘s First Look Issue as Jean Grey this week. Her hair is literally on fire — the last time we saw Jean Grey in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” she was given a new uniform to train in the Danger Room after incinerating En Sabah Nur, officially becoming a new “X-Men” recruit.

EW also revealed the plot of the upcoming film, which is set to bow on Nov. 2, 2018:

Also Read: Evan Peters Returns as Quicksilver in ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

Set in 1992, about 10 years after the events of last year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Dark Phoenix” opens with the X-Men, including Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), in a new, unexpected role: national heroes. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) even lands on the cover of Time magazine. But his growing ego puts the team at risk.

The EW story promises the “most sinister, and somber, chapter in the saga and includes a massive twist halfway through that will irrevocably change the course of the franchise.”

Co-star James McAvoy added, “This is probably the most emotional X-Men we’ve done and the most pathos-driven. There’s a lot of sacrifice and a lot of suffering.”

Also Read: ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix:’ Jessica Chastain in Talks to Play Villain Lilandra

Turner said “It’s about the butterfly effect of this thing happening. What happens when the person you love the most falls into darkness?”

See the first look images of “Dark Phoenix” below.

EW

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Simon Kinberg Set to Direct ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix;’ Jessica Chastain in Talks for Villain Role

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‘Game of Thrones’: Sophie Turner Wishes Joffrey Hadn’t Died

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer Arrives at ‘Monday Night Football’ Wearing Unicorn Costume

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Amid all the serious coverage of the NFL with backlash against President Trump’s negative comments about players, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer added a little fun back to the game.

The former USC Heisman Trophy winner arrived to Monday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys wearing an inflatable unicorn costume.

Yep, that’s a 37-year-old married father of two and pro football player attached to a pink and white fantastical creature, as captured by NFL on ESPN’s Twitter.

Also Read: Pittsburgh Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva Has NFL’s Most Popular Jersey After Standing for Anthem

Carson Palmer arriving to MNF like he lost his fantasy football league ???? pic.twitter.com/jEJb6WSluJ

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 25, 2017

No, Carson isn’t having a moment of madness after the president called players who protest the anthem “sons of b—-h.” He actually lost the Cardinals’ weekly bucket challenge, in which the loser of the throwing competition must dress up in the costume of the winner’s choice, arriving at the stadium and warming up on the field with it on, or traveling on the team flight with it for road games, according to Cards Wire.

Also Read: Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Players Take Knee Before Monday Night Football

When it is Monday Night AND the home opener, you have to arrive in style. pic.twitter.com/yUE14CSSbk

— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 25, 2017

Also Read: ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ to Break With Tradition, Air National Anthem Tonight

Before kickoff of “Monday Night Football” on ESPN, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined his team as they locked arms and took a knee ahead of the national anthem. The Arizona Cardinals also stood in unison with locked arms as Phoenix native and “American Idol” alum Jordin Sparks belted out the national anthem.

ESPN broke with tradition Monday night to air the anthem performance ahead of their coverage of the game following protests from multiple teams on Sunday.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Donald Trump Congratulates Self On Twitter For Phoenix Speech

Read on: Deadline.

Donald Trump tweeted out Part 2 of the Insides Of My Head speech he began Tuesday night in Phoenix.
In Part 1, The President of the United States told his shrinking number of supporters the media hate the United States and are to blame for neo-Nazis and white supremacists. He warned rally goers the media is “trying to take away our history and our heritage.”
He promised to shut down the government if it does not build for him his border wall, making no mention of Mexico…

Donald Trump Says Arpaio “Will Be Fine”; Media Is “Source Of Division In The Country” At Phoenix Re-Election Rally

Read on: Deadline.

Less than 24 hours after his primetime chest-thumping Afghanistan speech, Donald Trump took the podium at a campaign rally in Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona amidst his avid supporters and outspoken protestors. In hopes to change the tide of a after a very rocky week that included his criticized reaction to the events at Charlottesville, Trump gave an uneventful rehash of his usual talking points about immigration control, his “Wall”, Clinton callbacks, North Korea,…

Jeff Zucker ‘Absolutely Not’ In Danger of Losing His Job, CNN Says

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Despite a pending merger and the fallout from a retracted story, CNN chief Jeff Zucker is “absolutely not” in danger of losing his job, a network spokesman told TheWrap.

Three CNN staffers resigned over a retracted story linking Trump and Russia, and the New York Post reported Wednesday that “the specter of a $100 million libel suit” led to the resignations. The story also said there is a “widespread belief” among media executives that Zucker cannot keep his job after AT&T completes its planned acquisition of CNN’s parent company Time Warner.

Asked whether Zucker’s job was in danger in any way, the spokesman told TheWrap: “Absolutely not.”

Also Read: Three CNN Employees Resign Over Retracted Story on Russia Ties

The spokesman declined to comment any further about the other allegations in the Post story, including whether the network fears a lawsuit over the retracted story.

A CNN insider who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter told TheWrap that Zucker “isn’t going anywhere unless he chooses to,” adding that “Jeff is pretty popular.”

The network has been playing defense since Friday, when it retracted a story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund.

Also Read: Trump Renews Attack on ‘Fake News’ CNN After Retracted Russia Story

The snafu was blamed on a breakdown of network protocol, and resulted in the resignation of three veteran CNN reporters, including the head of CNN’s investigative unit, Lex Haris.

The Post reported that all three journalists who quit — Haris, reporter Tom Frank and editor Eric Lichtblau — were “urged to resign.”

“I’m sure it was, ‘resign or you’re fired,’” the CNN insider said. “I don’t think they were given a whole lot of choice.”

Also Read: CNN Producer Says Trump-Russia Story ‘Mostly Bulls– Right Now’ in Leaked Undercover Video

According to the insider, staffers at CNN were surprised to hear that anyone, especially the network’s investigative team, which deals with sensitive stories, would publish anything without adhering to strict protocols.

“I’ve worked in a lot of places and CNN has the strictest and toughest protocols I’ve ever seen,” the insider said. “Not only do you have to get your story approved by a supervisor but you have to also get approval from the editorial board, the Row.”

The Row, which sits in Atlanta, has been described as CNN’s editorial gatekeeper.

Also Read: CNN Claps Back at Trump Over Ratings Diss

“They review every single script,” the insider said. “They will call you and ask you questions and you have to then justify your reporting.”

That’s why, according to the insider, many in the newsroom were shocked to hear that the team did not go through the Row on the Russia story.

“Generally, the feeling in the newsroom is, ‘How could these people not get approval on such a sensitive topic?’” the insider said.

Also Read: Deputy Press Secretary Chewed Out by Reporter: ‘You’re Inflaming Everybody’ (Video)

The debacle was followed this week by right-wing activist James O’Keefe releasing hidden-camera footage of a CNN producer criticizing the network’s coverage of Trump. (The Washington Post reports that the producer is not involved in political coverage.) O’Keefe released another hidden-camera video on Wednesday, featuring CNN political commentator Van Jones saying the network’s coverage of a possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russia officials “is just a big nothingburger.” (Jones has said similar things in public.)

It’s important to note that O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, has been criticized in the past for releasing videos that were selectively edited. And O’Keefe pleaded guilty in 2010 in an attempt to infiltrate a Democratic senator’s office.

Still, Jones became a trending topic soon after  the video was released on Wednesday.

Regardless, the uproar over the story and the videos lead to a sort of victory lap by the president who has bashed CNN repeatedly.

Also Read: Alec Baldwin Says He’ll Return to ‘SNL’ as Trump Next Season

“Wow, CNN had to retract big story on ‘Russia,’ with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!” the president tweeted Tuesday.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Haris resigned over the debacle despite the fact that he was in Phoenix for a journalism conference when his unit published the story.

“Indeed, Haris — the top editor in the unit that produced the story — apparently wasn’t directly involved in its preparation, given that he was away at the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference late last week as the story moved toward publication,” the Post said.

CNN did not explain what specifically was wrong with the story, except to say that it didn’t meet its “editorial standards.” The spokesman for the network declined to elaborate further.

Also Read: Stephen Colbert Defends CNN: Trump Is the One ‘Guilty of Fake News’ (Video)

But according to a second insider familiar with the incident who also asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly, the Post story “took it a little far.”

“Yes, he was traveling but he had some input,” the insider said. “I don’t think he ultimately hit the publish button himself, but I don’t think he was blameless. I know he was aware of the story, though I don’t know if he knew the story was going up.”

Haris did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. But earlier this week he took responsibility for the mistake.

Also Read: Trump Shares Video From Unnamed Source After Aide Blasts Unnamed Sources (Video)

“On Friday, CNN retracted a story published by my team. As Executive Editor of that team, I have resigned,” he said in a statement. “I’ve been with CNN since 2001, and am sure about one thing: This is a news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else. I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go.”

The second insider said that ultimately the network “couldn’t stand behind the vast majority of the story.”

“The source was just not credible enough,” he said. “Believe me if we could have corrected it, Jesus Christ we would have corrected it.”

An editor’s note from CNN https://t.co/5bHxUVnHHt pic.twitter.com/W3IjT5FPN8

— CNN (@CNN) June 24, 2017

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The Evolution of Emma Watson, From ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘The Circle’ (Photos)

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From her “Harry Potter” days to 2017’s “The Circle,” see Emma Watson‘s career as well as her beauty campaigns

Emma Watson was born in Paris, France on April 15, 1990 to English parents. She lived in Paris till she was 5, and when her parents separated, she moved back to England with her mother.

Watson trained at the Oxford branch of the Stagecoach Theatre Arts where she studied singing, dancing and acting.  There, she performed in various productions and school plays.

In 1999, Watson was cast in the part of Hermione Granger in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” after eight auditions. This was her debut screen performance, and the film broke records for opening-day and opening weekend sales and was the highest grossing film of 2001.

A year later, she reprised the role in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

In 2004, Watson starred in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” One year later, she starred in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

In 2006, Watson became the youngest person to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue.

In 2007, the actress starred in the fifth film in the “Harry Potter” franchise, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which set a record worldwide opening-weekend gross of $332.7 million. That year, Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint left their imprints in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Watson was named Hollywood’s highest paid female star in February of 2010, having made more than $30 million in 2009.

In 2007, Watson starred in the BBC film “Ballet Shoes,” ad adaptation of the novel of the same title by Noel Streatfeild.

In 2008, Watson lent her voice to the role of Princess Pea in the animated film “The Tale of Despereaux,” alongside “Harry Potter” costar Robbie Coltrane, who played Rubeus Hagrid.

In 2009, Watson partnered with Burberry as their face of their 2010 Spring/Summer campaign.

The sixth “Harry Potter” film premiered in July 2009. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1” was released in 2010 while the second part was released in 2011.

In 2011, Watson became the face of Lancome.

In her first post-“Potter” role, Watson appeared in 2011’s “My Week with Marilyn.”

In 2012, the actress starred in the film adaptation of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

A year later, Watson starred as Nicki in “The Bling Ring,” a film about the real-life Bling Ring robberies.

Watson also had a supporting role in 2013’s “This Is the End” opposite Seth Rogen and James Franco.

In June 2012, the actress was confirmed to play Ila in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” which was released in March 2014.

Watson was appointed as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014.

In May 2015, Watson graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. It took her five years to graduate due to her acting work.

In 2017, the actress played Belle in Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” which was a critical and commercial hit.

A month later, Watson starred in “The Circle” opposite Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan and the late Bill Paxton.

Liberal Media Bias Explained? 72 Percent of News Jobs Are in Counties Hillary Clinton Won, Study Finds

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Many Americans feel the media industry suffers from liberal bias and a new Politico study might have determined why, as most working members of the media live in areas that voted for Hillary Clinton.

Politico’s Tucker Doherty examined labor statistics and cross-referenced them against voting patterns and Census data. The study was designed to figure out what the American media landscape looks like, and how much it has changed in recent years. The results prove that 72 percent of new jobs in media are in counties that Clinton won on Election Day.

When Donald Trump upset Clinton on Election Day, many Americans were shocked, outraged or simply confused. With the exception of a few conservative pundits, most media members had been projecting that Clinton would defeat Trump.

Also Read: Trevor Noah Rips Trump’s First 100 Days: ‘You Don’t Get to Disregard the Number’ (Video)

Most major media organizations are in New York and Los Angeles. The diminishing newspaper industry is also taking media jobs out of small towns across America.

“The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme,” Politico wrote. “Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county–odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties.”

“Not only is the bubble real, but it’s more extreme than you might realize. And it’s driven by deep industry trends,” the Politico report stated.

Many of the jobs vacated by the newspaper industry are being replaced with Internet jobs, but the study points out that “73 percent of all internet publishing jobs are concentrated in either the Boston-New York-Washington-Richmond corridor or the West Coast crescent that runs from Seattle to San Diego and on to Phoenix.”

According to the study, “Nearly 90 percent of all internet publishing employees work in a county where Clinton won, and 75 percent of them work in a county that she won by more than 30 percentage points.”

The report concludes: “Yet everyone acknowledges that Trump’s election really was a bad miss, and if the media doesn’t figure it out, it will miss the next one, too… If the burning humiliation of missing the biggest political story in a generation won’t change newsrooms, nothing will. More than anything, journalists hate getting beat.”

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The 12 Most Bad-Ass Superhero Scenes of 2016 (Photos)

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2016 kicked off Hollywood’s Heroic age with the release of six Superhero Movies. Here are the year’s best scenes.

Wonder Woman’s silver screen debut in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” when she appeared to fight Doomsday at a key moment of the film electrified audiences.

The Warehouse fight/Martha rescue scene in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” featured Batman at his most ruthless and cemented Ben Affleck as the definitive on screen Batman.

The big airport battle scene in “Captain America: Civil War” delivered the first appearances of both Giant Man and Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is perhaps the best scene in a Superhero movie this year.

Black Panther chasing the Winter Soldier in “Captain America: Civil War” can perhaps be called the best thrilling chase scene of the year that can rival the subway chase in “The French Connection.”

Jean Grey unleashing the power of the Phoenix in “X-Men: Apocalypse” and screaming as she tears villain Apocalypse apart was a surprise highlight of the film and set up perhaps one of the most famous X-Men story lines “Dark Phoenix Saga” for future films.

Quicksilver rescuing scores of students including some goldfish and a dog from a deadly blast in “X-Men: Apocalypse” all while he is listening to Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics was definitely one of the film’s best scenes.

The undestruction of Hong Kong at the climax of “Doctor Strange” took a common trope in Superhero Movies – destruction of major cities – and flipped it  into a refreshing resolution for audiences tired of mass destruction.

The Cloak of Levitation revealing it has a life of it’s own and coming to the Doctor’s rescue at the Sanctum Santorum in “Doctor Strange” provided unexpected comic relief.

The debut of Ezra Miller’s “The Flash” in a flashback sequence in “Suicide Squad” gave audiences their first look at the Scarlet Speedtster in his full costume.

The “Suicide Squad” sitting in a bar and audiences getting backstory on some of the members of the team delivered in the drama department.

The opening credits of “Deadpool” was full of self-aware humor, starring “a hot chick,” a “British villain,” and “the comic relief,” among many other hilarious references set to”Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton set the stage for the surprise Superhero Movie hit of the year.

Wade Wilson uttering “you’re about to be killed by a Zamboni” in “Deadpool” to a bad guy on an ice rink left audiences in stitches and was just another stroke of brilliance by the filmmakers.

If you enjoyed this gallery, check out 14 Biggest Superhero Movies Opening in 2017, From ‘Power Rangers’ to ‘Wonder Woman’