New York Times Critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott Name Best Films of 2018

Both critics named “Roma,” “First Reformed,” “Happy as Lazzaro,” and “BlacKkKlansman” as some of the best offerings of the year, but they diverged on other heavy-hitters.

New York Times film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott have joined the end-of-the-year fray to announce their picks for the best films of 2018, including both a handful of titles the pair agreed on and some interesting deviations that speak to their unique tastes. Both Dargis and Scott singled out Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” Alice Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Lazzaro,” Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” and Frederick Wiseman’s “Monrovia, Indiana” for inclusion, though the duo diverged on exact placement.

For Dargis, Cuarón’s personal black and white Netflix offering was the best film of the year, while Scott opted to cede his top slot to a four-way tie between various documentaries, including “Monrovia, Indiana” alongside Robert Greene’s “Bisbee ’17,” RaMell Ross’ “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” and Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap.” Both lists included a number of foreign-language entries, like Dargis’ picks of “Burning,” “Shoplifters,” and “Zama,” and Scott’s selections of “Capernaum” and “Let the Sunshine In.”

And neither critic seems particularly rattled by the influx of Netflix films this year, as each list includes a variety of features distributed by the streaming giant, from “Roma” to “Private Life” and “Happy as Lazzaro.”

Dargis’ full list is available below:

1. “Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)

2. “Burning” (Lee Chang-dong)

3. “Shoplifters” (Hirokazu Kore-eda)

4. “Zama” (Lucrecia Martel)

5. “Happy as Lazzaro” (Alice Rohrwacher)

6. “BlacKkKlansman” (Spike Lee)

7. “First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)

8. “The Death of Stalin” (Armando Iannucci)

9. “Monrovia, Indiana” (Frederick Wiseman)

10. “Colophon (for the Arboretum Cycle)” (Nathaniel Dorsky)

(L to R) Marco Graf as Pepe, Daniela Demesa as Sofi, Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marina De Tavira as Sofia, Diego Cortina Autrey as Toño, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Photo by Carlos Somonte

“Roma”

Photo by Carlos Somonte

Scott’s full list is available below:

1. “Monrovia, Indiana” (Frederick Wiseman); “Bisbee ’17” (Robert Greene); “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” (RaMell Ross); “Minding the Gap” (Bing Liu)

2. “Happy as Lazzaro” (Alice Rohrwacher)

3. “First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)

4. “Private Life” (Tamara Jenkins)

5. “Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)

6. “Let the Sunshine In” (Claire Denis)

7. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Marielle Heller)

8. “BlacKkKlansman” (Spike Lee)

9. “Capernaum” (Nadine Labaki)

10. “The Favourite” (Yorgos Lanthimos)

You can read the full article over at the New York Times, which also includes Dargis and Scott’s fascinating notes on films that just missed their ten-best cut-off.

Les Moonves Could Lose $120 Million Payout for Obstructing Investigators, Report Says

A report by lawyers for CBS found that the network would be justified in denying former CEO Les Moonves a $120 million severance payout because he destroyed evidence and misled investigators looking into accusations of sexual misconduct, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing a draft of a report prepared for the company’s board.

According to the Times, the report said Moonves “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.”

Andrew J. Levander, Moonves’s lawyer, said Moonves “denies having any nonconsensual sexual relation” and “cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”

Levander did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap on Tuesday. CBS declined to comment.

Also Read: New Les Moonves Accuser Says He Forced Oral Sex During 1995 Meeting

The Times said the report was drafted late in November and could change before it is presented to CBS’s full board ahead of the company’s annual meeting next week.

The newspaper said lawyers who conducted the inquiry said they had spoken with Moonves four times, and found him to be “evasive and untruthful at times” and to have “deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”

Two firms, Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling, investigated in part to determine if Moonves violated his employment agreement, which would allow the company to fire him for cause and not pay his severance.

“Based on the facts developed to date, we believe that the board would have multiple bases upon which to conclude that the company was entitled to terminate Moonves for cause,” the report reads, according to the Times.

Last week, the Times reported on a new accusation against Moonves: That he conspired with the former manager of actress Bobbie Phillips to keep her from coming forward to accuse him of sexual assault. Moonves said last week that the encounter was consensual.

Also Read: Les Moonves Accuser Illeana Douglas Says She Thought of Former CBS Boss ‘As a Father Figure’ (Video)

Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by six women in a July New Yorker article written by Ronan Farrow. Six more women came forward in August. Moonves resigned as CEO of CBS in September following a two-month investigation, but has denied all accusations.

The report also includes previously undisclosed accusations of sexual misconduct, the Times said.

The Times said the report found that Moonves received oral sex from at least four CBS employees “under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity (especially given what we know about his history of more or less forced oral sex with women with whom he has no ongoing relationship).”

Lawyers were not able to speak with the women, the Times said, but concluded that “such a pattern” would violate the company’s sexual harassment policy.

Investigators also said they received “multiple reports” that a CBS employee was “on call” to perform oral sex on Moonves.

“A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,” the lawyers wrote, according to the Times. “Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman, his subordinate, in his office, but described it as consensual.”

Also Read: Alan Dershowitz Says He Has Proof Sexual Misconduct Accuser Lied

The woman did not respond to the investigators’ interview requests.

Moonves lawyer, Levander, told the Times that Moonves had “never put or kept someone on the payroll for the purpose of sex.”

The Times also said the report found that Gil Schwartz, CBS’s communications head, had known since late 2017 about some of accusations against Moonves, according to the report, and learned in August that Moonves once gave his doctor an unwanted kiss, before it became public in a Vanity Fair article.

The Times said the report also contained the detail that after discussing the situation with Moonves, Schwartz wrote him a resignation letter, but Moonves didn’t sign it. Schwartz did not tell the board about the letter, the Times said, citing the report.

The report also said that there was a “bright line” when Moonves’ misconduct stopped, the Times said: When he married Julie Chen, now the host of “Big Brother,” in 2004.

Read the full Times report here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

New Les Moonves Accuser Says He Forced Oral Sex During 1995 Meeting

Les Moonves Accuser Illeana Douglas Says She Thought of Former CBS Boss ‘As a Father Figure’ (Video)

New York DA Subpoenas CBS Over Investigations Into Les Moonves, ‘Cultural Issues’

A report by lawyers for CBS found that the network would be justified in denying former CEO Les Moonves a $120 million severance payout because he destroyed evidence and misled investigators looking into accusations of sexual misconduct, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing a draft of a report prepared for the company’s board.

According to the Times, the report said Moonves “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.”

Andrew J. Levander, Moonves’s lawyer, said Moonves “denies having any nonconsensual sexual relation” and “cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”

Levander did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap on Tuesday. CBS declined to comment.

The Times said the report was drafted late in November and could change before it is presented to CBS’s full board ahead of the company’s annual meeting next week.

The newspaper said lawyers who conducted the inquiry said they had spoken with Moonves four times, and found him to be “evasive and untruthful at times” and to have “deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”

Two firms, Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling, investigated in part to determine if Moonves violated his employment agreement, which would allow the company to fire him for cause and not pay his severance.

“Based on the facts developed to date, we believe that the board would have multiple bases upon which to conclude that the company was entitled to terminate Moonves for cause,” the report reads, according to the Times.

Last week, the Times reported on a new accusation against Moonves: That he conspired with the former manager of actress Bobbie Phillips to keep her from coming forward to accuse him of sexual assault. Moonves said last week that the encounter was consensual.

Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by six women in a July New Yorker article written by Ronan Farrow. Six more women came forward in August. Moonves resigned as CEO of CBS in September following a two-month investigation, but has denied all accusations.

The report also includes previously undisclosed accusations of sexual misconduct, the Times said.

The Times said the report found that Moonves received oral sex from at least four CBS employees “under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity (especially given what we know about his history of more or less forced oral sex with women with whom he has no ongoing relationship).”

Lawyers were not able to speak with the women, the Times said, but concluded that “such a pattern” would violate the company’s sexual harassment policy.

Investigators also said they received “multiple reports” that a CBS employee was “on call” to perform oral sex on Moonves.

“A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,” the lawyers wrote, according to the Times. “Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman, his subordinate, in his office, but described it as consensual.”

The woman did not respond to the investigators’ interview requests.

Moonves lawyer, Levander, told the Times that Moonves had “never put or kept someone on the payroll for the purpose of sex.”

The Times also said the report found that Gil Schwartz, CBS’s communications head, had known since late 2017 about some of accusations against Moonves, according to the report, and learned in August that Moonves once gave his doctor an unwanted kiss, before it became public in a Vanity Fair article.

The Times said the report also contained the detail that after discussing the situation with Moonves, Schwartz wrote him a resignation letter, but Moonves didn’t sign it. Schwartz did not tell the board about the letter, the Times said, citing the report.

The report also said that there was a “bright line” when Moonves’ misconduct stopped, the Times said: When he married Julie Chen, now the host of “Big Brother,” in 2004.

Read the full Times report here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

New Les Moonves Accuser Says He Forced Oral Sex During 1995 Meeting

Les Moonves Accuser Illeana Douglas Says She Thought of Former CBS Boss 'As a Father Figure' (Video)

New York DA Subpoenas CBS Over Investigations Into Les Moonves, 'Cultural Issues'

Apple, Netflix’s Wall Street Pain Continues as Stock Market’s Yearly Gains Are Erased

The U.S. stock market’s pre-Thanksgiving decline continued on Tuesday, with prominent tech and media companies like Netflix and Apple unable to escape the recent downturn that has erased Wall Street’s 2018 gains.
All three major indexes end…

The U.S. stock market’s pre-Thanksgiving decline continued on Tuesday, with prominent tech and media companies like Netflix and Apple unable to escape the recent downturn that has erased Wall Street’s 2018 gains.

All three major indexes ended in the red on Tuesday, with the S&P 500, Down Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq all dropping more than 1.7 percent. The Dow was hit hardest, falling 551 points and dropping 2.2 percent during the day. The tech sector’s swoon, which started about two months ago, has since extended to the rest of the market. The recent pummeling has wiped out the yearly gains for the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq.

Apple, the world’s richest company, wasn’t spared, as shares dropped 4.78 percent to $177 per share after Goldman Sachs lowered its stock price forecast on Tuesday morning. Since posting slightly underwhelming quarterly iPhone sales on Nov. 1, Apple shares have decreased about 20 percent.

Netflix’s rough month didn’t subside, either, with the streaming heavyweight falling another 1.34 percent to $267 per share. It’s been a rollercoaster year for Netflix shareholders: Its shares are down 37 percent from its 52-week high of $423 back in June — but still up 32 percent since the start of the year.

Facebook, after hitting its yearly low on Monday, ticked up slightly, increasing 0.67 percent to $132.43 on Tuesday. The modest gains did little to offset the losses that followed a critical report from The New York Times last week, saying CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg were slow to react to multiple issues, including Russian trolls leveraging its platform, in the past two years. Facebook also used opposition research firms to target its critics and competitors, like Apple chief executive Tim Cook, according to the Times — something Zuckerberg said he “didn’t know” about until reading the report. Facebook shares have decreased 8 percent in the last week and are now down 27 percent on the year.

Facebook — hit by the Cambridge Analytica scandal and now tumbling after The New York Times reported the company’s top executives mishandled several issues — has dropped from $181 on January 1 to $132 per share on Tuesday (via Google)

And Amazon, after — according to CNBC — joining the bidding for Disney’s 22 regional sports networks from its Fox acquisition, dropped 1.11 percent to $1,495 per share.

Several factors have contributed to the market’s overall selloff, including uncertainty over China and U.S. trade relations, lingering fears the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates and uninspiring growth from many U.S. companies. Even fringe investments like cryptocurrency have taken a hit recently; the price of a single bitcoin has nosedived in the last month, falling 35 percent to about $4,200 per coin on Tuesday.

Related stories from TheWrap:

MoviePass Owner Cancels Reverse Stock Split as Nasdaq Delisting Looms

Kiersey Clemons to Produce, Star in Film About Youngest Female NY Stock Exchange Trader

AMC Entertainment Posts $100 Million Q3 Loss, Stock Tanks 9 Percent

Glamour Magazine to End Regular Print Publication

Glamour will end it’s print publication, the women’s magazine’s parent company Condé Nast revealed in an internal memo to staff on Tuesday.
“We’re doubling down on digital — investing in the storytelling, service, an…

Glamour will end it’s print publication, the women’s magazine’s parent company Condé Nast revealed in an internal memo to staff on Tuesday.

“We’re doubling down on digital — investing in the storytelling, service, and fantastic photo shoots we’ve always been known for, bringing it to the platforms our readers frequent most. We’ll be expanding video and social storytelling, with new and ambitious series and projects,” the magazine’s new top editor Samantha Barry said in email to Glamour’s editorial team that was obtained by TheWrap.

“As a result of this investment plan we’re going to move off of a monthly print schedule.”

Condé Nast chief Bob Sauerberg said in an internal memo obtained by TheWrap that, “Glamour has grown and expanded from a successful print brand that connected with readers once a month to an always-on brand that is in constant conversation with its audience on all platforms.”

Barry also noted that the magazine would not abandon print entirely, however, and would roll out new editions for big moments like their “Women of the Year” issue.

News of the Glamour decision was first reported by the New York Times. 

The move is one taken by many publications as print publication sales have declined dramatically in recent years. Even at  Condé Nast, Glamour is not the first title to drop it’s print run. A year ago, the same fate befell Teen Vogue and came with an accompanying 80 jobs slashed across the company.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oren Katzeff Replaces Dawn Ostroff as Condé Nast Entertaiment President

White House Reporter April Ryan on Trump's 'Nasty' Diss: He Has a Problem With Women of Color (Video)

Nat Geo Docuseries 'Inside North Korea's Dynasty' Explores Kim Regime From Within (Exclusive Video)

How Conde Nast Entertainment Is Chasing Oscar Glory

Facebook’s Betrayal of Trust: The Fallout Begins

So let me get this straight.

The wide-eyed billionaires who run Facebook previously claimed they were simply unaware of how their platform was being used by bad people to sway the U.S. presidential election, foment hate and division and contribute to ethnic cleansing abroad.

That’s what they said. But as it turns out, they were delaying. They were denying. They were — what’s the word for it? Oh yes: dishonest.

Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg ‘Didn’t Know’ Facebook Worked With Opposition Research Firm

And they were watching their stock price — no doubt, very very carefully.

The New York Times’ five-byline, 4,000-word investigation, published on Wednesday, brings hard facts and reporting to the charade we’ve been watching for years.

“As evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled,” the investigation concludes, referring to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

“Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view,” the Times wrote. “At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.”

Also Read: Facebook Drops Conservative Consulting Firm That Targeted Critics and Competitors

I’ve been ringing the bell about Facebook for some time, after watching in horrified silence as the platform — which once promised to create a business model to promote and support the creators of news content — turned out to be dishonest about that, too. No financial support was ever forthcoming for those who reported the news and partnered with Facebook to share it. It turned out to be the other way around — publishers have to pay Facebook to access their own subscribers — surprise!

Too bad for newsrooms being decimated quarter by quarter.

Also Read: The Confused Ethics of Mark Zuckerberg – Let’s Definitely Not Judge Those Holocaust Deniers

All this rotten fruit falls from the same poisoned tree.

I always thought — and have written — that manchild-CEO Mark Zuckerberg was tone deaf about the serious responsibilities that come with creating and maintaining a platform used as a tool of mass communication among hundreds of millions of people. This summer I pointed out that his lack of a humanities education as a Harvard drop-out was a real problem. In his heart, it seems, he does not accept that his platform gives him massive responsibility. The lip service he has paid publicly was not convincing before Congress, or in interviews like the one this summer with Kara Swisher in which he defended Holocaust deniers’ right to share their lies on Facebook.

So why should we trust this latest remark? “To suggest that we weren’t interested in knowing the truth, or that we were trying to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations is simply untrue,” he stated today on a press call about Facebook’s latest content standards.

It is also disappointing to learn that Sandberg — beloved for her empathic air, her intellectual polish, her advocacy of women’s leadership — bought into this system.

Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg Is Russia, Trump and Cambridge Analytica’s Useful Idiot

According to the investigation, instead of digging into the alarming revelations of Russian meddling and fake news on the platform in 2016, she chewed out Facebook’s head of security Alex Stamos for embarrassing her in front of the board.

I am particularly offended that we learned in the article that Facebook  — shame! — lobbied “a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic,” and hired hired conservative opposition research experts to launch a counter-information campaign. Definers, the conservative group that reportedly wrote stories slamming Facebook critics, encouraged journalists to look into George Soros’s funding of those groups.

Facebook responded in a blog post: “Definers did encourage members of the press to look into the funding of ‘Freedom from Facebook,’ an anti-Facebook organization. The intention was to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, but supported by a well-known critic of our company. To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue.”

But overall, it turns out that Facebook was more worried about appearances and stock price than fixing how the platform was being misused to undermine democracy. It seemed more worried about appearing pro-Democrat than about whether Russia had burrowed its way into our country: “If Facebook implicated Russia further, [advisor Joel] Kaplan said, Republicans would accuse the company of siding with Democrats.”

I called a Facebook spokesman who said he was offended that I said his company’s behavior and statements suggest a betrayal of public trust.

“You’re conflating things in an unhealthy and unproductive way,” Tom Reynolds, of the company’s policy and communications team, told me. “These are important issues. It’s important to be precise.”

“During the spring and summer of 2016, we found Russian hacking activity, we alerted the government, and campaign committees,” he said. “When we learned things, we tried to disclose it as much as possible. Where we can, we share as much information as we can.”

He pointed to tweets by Facebook security chief Alex Stamos spreading the blame for 2016 around to news outlets who reported on the hacked emails.

I asked: Do you think Facebook has a trust problem?

“That’s for other people to decide on,” he said. “We are working around the clock to do a better job when it comes to content moderation, reducing hate speech, reducing bullying . Reduce the bad, amplify the good.”

An admirable goal, to be sure.

So let me get this straight.

The wide-eyed billionaires who run Facebook previously claimed they were simply unaware of how their platform was being used by bad people to sway the U.S. presidential election, foment hate and division and contribute to ethnic cleansing abroad.

That’s what they said. But as it turns out, they were delaying. They were denying. They were — what’s the word for it? Oh yes: dishonest.

And they were watching their stock price — no doubt, very very carefully.

The New York Times’ five-byline, 4,000-word investigation, published on Wednesday, brings hard facts and reporting to the charade we’ve been watching for years.

“As evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled,” the investigation concludes, referring to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

“Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view,” the Times wrote. “At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.”

I’ve been ringing the bell about Facebook for some time, after watching in horrified silence as the platform — which once promised to create a business model to promote and support the creators of news content — turned out to be dishonest about that, too. No financial support was ever forthcoming for those who reported the news and partnered with Facebook to share it. It turned out to be the other way around — publishers have to pay Facebook to access their own subscribers — surprise!

Too bad for newsrooms being decimated quarter by quarter.

All this rotten fruit falls from the same poisoned tree.

I always thought — and have written — that manchild-CEO Mark Zuckerberg was tone deaf about the serious responsibilities that come with creating and maintaining a platform used as a tool of mass communication among hundreds of millions of people. This summer I pointed out that his lack of a humanities education as a Harvard drop-out was a real problem. In his heart, it seems, he does not accept that his platform gives him massive responsibility. The lip service he has paid publicly was not convincing before Congress, or in interviews like the one this summer with Kara Swisher in which he defended Holocaust deniers’ right to share their lies on Facebook.

So why should we trust this latest remark? “To suggest that we weren’t interested in knowing the truth, or that we were trying to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations is simply untrue,” he stated today on a press call about Facebook’s latest content standards.

It is also disappointing to learn that Sandberg — beloved for her empathic air, her intellectual polish, her advocacy of women’s leadership — bought into this system.

According to the investigation, instead of digging into the alarming revelations of Russian meddling and fake news on the platform in 2016, she chewed out Facebook’s head of security Alex Stamos for embarrassing her in front of the board.

I am particularly offended that we learned in the article that Facebook  — shame! — lobbied “a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic,” and hired hired conservative opposition research experts to launch a counter-information campaign. Definers, the conservative group that reportedly wrote stories slamming Facebook critics, encouraged journalists to look into George Soros’s funding of those groups.

Facebook responded in a blog post: “Definers did encourage members of the press to look into the funding of ‘Freedom from Facebook,’ an anti-Facebook organization. The intention was to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, but supported by a well-known critic of our company. To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue.”

But overall, it turns out that Facebook was more worried about appearances and stock price than fixing how the platform was being misused to undermine democracy. It seemed more worried about appearing pro-Democrat than about whether Russia had burrowed its way into our country: “If Facebook implicated Russia further, [advisor Joel] Kaplan said, Republicans would accuse the company of siding with Democrats.”

I called a Facebook spokesman who said he was offended that I said his company’s behavior and statements suggest a betrayal of public trust.

“You’re conflating things in an unhealthy and unproductive way,” Tom Reynolds, of the company’s policy and communications team, told me. “These are important issues. It’s important to be precise.”

“During the spring and summer of 2016, we found Russian hacking activity, we alerted the government, and campaign committees,” he said. “When we learned things, we tried to disclose it as much as possible. Where we can, we share as much information as we can.”

He pointed to tweets by Facebook security chief Alex Stamos spreading the blame for 2016 around to news outlets who reported on the hacked emails.

I asked: Do you think Facebook has a trust problem?

“That’s for other people to decide on,” he said. “We are working around the clock to do a better job when it comes to content moderation, reducing hate speech, reducing bullying . Reduce the bad, amplify the good.”

An admirable goal, to be sure.

President Trump Blasts ‘Biased Facebook, Google and Twitter’ – on Twitter

President Trump picked an interesting time to go after Facebook, blasting the social network and other “biased” major tech companies on Thursday morning.

“Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats,” Trump wrote … on Twitter.

“That’s the real Collusion!” The comment followed Trump’s skewering “highly conflicted” special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into improper Russian connections, saying the probe was being led by Mueller’s “gang of Democrat thugs.”

The only “Collusion” is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others. Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2018

Also Read: ‘Infuriated’ Mark Zuckerberg Told Facebook Staff to Use Android After Apple CEO’s Diss (Report)

Trump’s Facebook barb comes a day after The New York Times reported the company used Definers, a Republican political consulting firm, to attack its critics and competitors. Definers tied Facebook protestors to financier George Soros, a longtime target of conservatives and anti-Semites for his financial contributions to left-wing causes, according to the Times.

On behalf of Facebook, Definers also posted several disparaging articles about Google and Apple on NTK Network, an outlet that’s routinely picked up by conservative sites like Breitbart. Facebook terminated its relationship with Definers on Thursday without giving a reason.

This wasn’t the first time President Trump has taken on Silicon Valley. Trump criticized Facebook and Twitter in August over their removal of Alex Jones. The online conspiracy theorist had been permanently suspended by Facebook and Google-owned YouTube that same month; Twitter later banned Jones in September for violating its “abusive behavior” policy.

Also Read: Facebook Watch Partners With Fremantle to Send Game Show ‘Confetti’ Global

“I won’t mention names but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow,” Trump told Reuters.

The president also tweeted last September Facebook is “always Anti-Trump.”

Despite his criticism, Trump has remained a prominent advertiser on Facebook. He was the platform’s biggest spender on political ads, a New York University study found in July.

Related stories from TheWrap:

WFAN Host Mike Francesa Has Least-Touching Stan Lee Tribute of the Day: ‘Oh, Who Cares?’ (Video)

Sports Talk Radio Legend Mike Francesa to Launch ‘Mike’s On’ Digital Platform

Mike Francesa Will Reclaim His WFAN Throne on Tuesday

President Trump picked an interesting time to go after Facebook, blasting the social network and other “biased” major tech companies on Thursday morning.

“Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats,” Trump wrote … on Twitter.

“That’s the real Collusion!” The comment followed Trump’s skewering “highly conflicted” special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into improper Russian connections, saying the probe was being led by Mueller’s “gang of Democrat thugs.”

Trump’s Facebook barb comes a day after The New York Times reported the company used Definers, a Republican political consulting firm, to attack its critics and competitors. Definers tied Facebook protestors to financier George Soros, a longtime target of conservatives and anti-Semites for his financial contributions to left-wing causes, according to the Times.

On behalf of Facebook, Definers also posted several disparaging articles about Google and Apple on NTK Network, an outlet that’s routinely picked up by conservative sites like Breitbart. Facebook terminated its relationship with Definers on Thursday without giving a reason.

This wasn’t the first time President Trump has taken on Silicon Valley. Trump criticized Facebook and Twitter in August over their removal of Alex Jones. The online conspiracy theorist had been permanently suspended by Facebook and Google-owned YouTube that same month; Twitter later banned Jones in September for violating its “abusive behavior” policy.

“I won’t mention names but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow,” Trump told Reuters.

The president also tweeted last September Facebook is “always Anti-Trump.”

Despite his criticism, Trump has remained a prominent advertiser on Facebook. He was the platform’s biggest spender on political ads, a New York University study found in July.

Related stories from TheWrap:

WFAN Host Mike Francesa Has Least-Touching Stan Lee Tribute of the Day: 'Oh, Who Cares?' (Video)

Sports Talk Radio Legend Mike Francesa to Launch 'Mike's On' Digital Platform

Mike Francesa Will Reclaim His WFAN Throne on Tuesday

Hollywood, Media Companies Beef Up Security After Bomb Scares

Companies in Hollywood and the media world remained on high alert Friday after the arrest of a man suspected of sending more than a dozen explosive devices to prominent organizations and individuals critical of President Trump.

CNN, which was the target of two separate bomb scares this week, has “beefed up” security dramatically, a network executive told TheWrap Friday. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

“It’s been a hell of a week,” the insider said. “I cried myself to sleep Wednesday night realizing what we had survived after having run out of the [building], then having to cover it.”

Also Read: What We Know About Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr

A dozen packages containing pipe bombs were sent to Democratic politicians and prominent Trump critics over the past week. On Friday, authorities arrested 56-year-old Caesar Sayoc in connection with those incidents. Sayoc has a history of arrests, including a 2002 arrest for making a bomb threat.

The CNN executive would not comment further on the newly implemented safety measures, but said that “security chiefs of the media companies all talk to each other because it is a shared threat we all face.”

The Time Warner Center was evacuated Wednesday as a result of a suspicious package, addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, who actually works for NBC, arrived in the mailroom.

Also Read: Cesar Sayoc Faces 58 Years in Prison for Mail Bombs, Attorney General Says

CNN had its second scare on Friday when another package, addressed to CNN contributor James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, was flagged at a nearby post office.

“Security remains our number one priority,” CNN boss Jeff Zucker wrote in a Friday internal memo, which was obtained by TheWrap. “I have complete confidence in our experts that make up to the moment decisions about security in all of our locations, and I have been in constant contact with them. We are focused on every location, every minute of the day, seven days a week. And that will continue. Earlier today, we sent detailed information about where to call or email if you have any concerns – please use them.”

Another CNN insider from the network’s Los Angeles bureau told TheWrap Friday that all mail sent to CNN staffers has been diverted and is being screened at off-site facilities.

“Security has been hyper vigilant,” the insider said. “The L.A. bureau is not receiving any mail.”

Also Read: Trump Rage Tweets ‘Lowly Rated CNN’ at 3:14 in the Morning

The individual told TheWrap that the bureau also conducted a security sweep of the offices on Wednesday after the first bomb was found in the network’s New York headquarters in Manhattan.

And in Atlanta, the CNN Center installed magnetometers at the entrances, according to the network.

Many companies declined to comment, saying they do not disclose their security practices.

A New York Times spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement: “Ensuring the safety and security of our staff is of critical importance and we’ve taken steps to expand security measures given the current environment, but as a matter of policy, we don’t discuss those measures in more detail.”

Also Read: Robert De Niro Responds to Mail Bomb Threat: ‘Your Vote’ Is ‘More Powerful Than Bombs’

In a note, obtained by TheWrap, the paper told company employees on Wednesday morning that: “As you may have read, suspicious packages have recently been mailed to high-profile individuals and to CNN. Our security team has been in touch with local authorities and with the security people dealing with these unfolding events.”

The memo went on to say that, “all incoming mail, including United States Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, in New York and in the Washington bureau, is sent through an X-ray machine before it is delivered. The mail delivery in New York today is complete and there were no suspicious packages detected.”

The Times is taking the “additional step” of also sending anything delivered directly to the lobby security desk to the X-ray machines before delivery, and “will continue to be hypervigilant in the days ahead,” according to the missive.

Also Read: Here’s Who Anti-Democrat Mail Bomber Has Targeted With Suspicious Packages

The paper’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan has also been protected with concrete blocks along the sidewalk that were installed by the NYPD recently.

New York City Police officers stand outside the office of the The New York Times, October 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Times, which had its own scare this week, told TheWrap in a statement that its “security and facilities teams are being extra careful with mail and packages, as well as with any visitors to the building.”

“On Wednesday, law enforcement and hazardous materials teams thoroughly screened a few pieces of mail and inspected our mail room facility. Both were cleared and no hazardous materials were found. We generally have security on site at the property and in the building 24 hours a day. We also have metal detectors at the building entrance, where all staff and visitors are required to check in. Mail and deliveries are screened and sorted in a separate facility,” the paper said.

Also Read: Kathy Griffin Says She ‘Will Not Be Intimidated’ by Bomb Mailings

Even Hollywood shindigs are taking extra precaution. Bomb-sniffing dogs were on scene for the Wednesday premiere of Amazon’s “Susipria,” starring Dakota Johnson. The afterparty, held at Chateau Marmont, had several checkpoints and an abundance of security guards on hand, according to reporters covering the event. Amazon did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Friday.

The CNN executive told TheWrap he was “grateful to the police and security guards that protect us every day.”

“On my way in and out of the building this week, I smiled and expressed my thanks to our heroes who saved the day,” he said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs Deletes ‘Fake Bombs’ Tweet Questioning Mail Bomb Threats

Trump Lashes Out at ‘Inaccurate Reporting of the Mainstream Media’ After CNN Bomb Threat

‘Morning Joe’: Trump ‘Bears a Lot of Responsibility’ for Attempted Bomb Attacks (Video)

Companies in Hollywood and the media world remained on high alert Friday after the arrest of a man suspected of sending more than a dozen explosive devices to prominent organizations and individuals critical of President Trump.

CNN, which was the target of two separate bomb scares this week, has “beefed up” security dramatically, a network executive told TheWrap Friday. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

“It’s been a hell of a week,” the insider said. “I cried myself to sleep Wednesday night realizing what we had survived after having run out of the [building], then having to cover it.”

A dozen packages containing pipe bombs were sent to Democratic politicians and prominent Trump critics over the past week. On Friday, authorities arrested 56-year-old Caesar Sayoc in connection with those incidents. Sayoc has a history of arrests, including a 2002 arrest for making a bomb threat.

The CNN executive would not comment further on the newly implemented safety measures, but said that “security chiefs of the media companies all talk to each other because it is a shared threat we all face.”

The Time Warner Center was evacuated Wednesday as a result of a suspicious package, addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, who actually works for NBC, arrived in the mailroom.

CNN had its second scare on Friday when another package, addressed to CNN contributor James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, was flagged at a nearby post office.

“Security remains our number one priority,” CNN boss Jeff Zucker wrote in a Friday internal memo, which was obtained by TheWrap. “I have complete confidence in our experts that make up to the moment decisions about security in all of our locations, and I have been in constant contact with them. We are focused on every location, every minute of the day, seven days a week. And that will continue. Earlier today, we sent detailed information about where to call or email if you have any concerns – please use them.”

Another CNN insider from the network’s Los Angeles bureau told TheWrap Friday that all mail sent to CNN staffers has been diverted and is being screened at off-site facilities.

“Security has been hyper vigilant,” the insider said. “The L.A. bureau is not receiving any mail.”

The individual told TheWrap that the bureau also conducted a security sweep of the offices on Wednesday after the first bomb was found in the network’s New York headquarters in Manhattan.

And in Atlanta, the CNN Center installed magnetometers at the entrances, according to the network.

Many companies declined to comment, saying they do not disclose their security practices.

A New York Times spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement: “Ensuring the safety and security of our staff is of critical importance and we’ve taken steps to expand security measures given the current environment, but as a matter of policy, we don’t discuss those measures in more detail.”

In a note, obtained by TheWrap, the paper told company employees on Wednesday morning that: “As you may have read, suspicious packages have recently been mailed to high-profile individuals and to CNN. Our security team has been in touch with local authorities and with the security people dealing with these unfolding events.”

The memo went on to say that, “all incoming mail, including United States Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, in New York and in the Washington bureau, is sent through an X-ray machine before it is delivered. The mail delivery in New York today is complete and there were no suspicious packages detected.”

The Times is taking the “additional step” of also sending anything delivered directly to the lobby security desk to the X-ray machines before delivery, and “will continue to be hypervigilant in the days ahead,” according to the missive.

The paper’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan has also been protected with concrete blocks along the sidewalk that were installed by the NYPD recently.

New York City Police officers stand outside the office of the The New York Times, October 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Times, which had its own scare this week, told TheWrap in a statement that its “security and facilities teams are being extra careful with mail and packages, as well as with any visitors to the building.”

“On Wednesday, law enforcement and hazardous materials teams thoroughly screened a few pieces of mail and inspected our mail room facility. Both were cleared and no hazardous materials were found. We generally have security on site at the property and in the building 24 hours a day. We also have metal detectors at the building entrance, where all staff and visitors are required to check in. Mail and deliveries are screened and sorted in a separate facility,” the paper said.

Even Hollywood shindigs are taking extra precaution. Bomb-sniffing dogs were on scene for the Wednesday premiere of Amazon’s “Susipria,” starring Dakota Johnson. The afterparty, held at Chateau Marmont, had several checkpoints and an abundance of security guards on hand, according to reporters covering the event. Amazon did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Friday.

The CNN executive told TheWrap he was “grateful to the police and security guards that protect us every day.”

“On my way in and out of the building this week, I smiled and expressed my thanks to our heroes who saved the day,” he said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs Deletes 'Fake Bombs' Tweet Questioning Mail Bomb Threats

Trump Lashes Out at 'Inaccurate Reporting of the Mainstream Media' After CNN Bomb Threat

'Morning Joe': Trump 'Bears a Lot of Responsibility' for Attempted Bomb Attacks (Video)

What We Know About Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr

Federal authorities arrested Cesar Sayoc Jr. on Friday in Florida in connection with a series of mail bombs sent to CNN and several prominent Democrats this week.

Here’s what we know about Sayoc Jr. so far:

He’s a 56-year-old Florida resident that’s lived in several other states, including North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and New York, according to NBC News.

Also Read: Robert De Niro Responds to Mail Bomb Threat: ‘Your Vote’ Is ‘More Powerful Than Bombs’

Sayoc Jr. is a registered Republican, according to the New York Times.

He also has a “lengthy criminal history,” according to the Times, dating back more than 25 years. He’s been arrested for felony theft, drug and fraud charges, and for threatening to use a bomb, the NYT reported.

Sayoc Jr. is the manager of Native American Catering & Vending in Hallandale Beach, Florida, according to business records obtained by the Miami Herald. Federal sources told the paper he lived in Aventura, Florida as of Friday.

Sayoc Jr.’s white van was covered with stickers promoting President Trump and other conservatives, according to the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida. It also reports that according to corporate filings, Sayoc Jr. owns or manages two businesses, Native American Catering and Vending and Ver Tech AG.

Also Read: Trump Accuses Twitter of ‘Total Bias’ Over Drop in His Follower Count

Several news outlets, including the New York Daily News, tweeted Sayoc Jr.’s mugshot, seen below:

PICTURED: Cesar Sayoc Jr., the Florida man and ex-Brooklynite arrested for sending pipe-bomb packages to prominent Democrats and Trump critics. https://t.co/D5xTOtY4x1 pic.twitter.com/NgLCwTyFDj

— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 26, 2018

His arrest caps a week-long manhunt after a dozen mail bombs were sent to top Democrats, including former president Barack Obama and ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday, CNN also got a bomb resulting in the total evacuation of their New York headquarters.

“We must never allow political violence to take root in America, and I am committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it now,” President Trump said on Friday.

Sayoc Jr. graduated from Brevard College in North Carolina in 1984, according to his LinkedIn account.

A Twitter account registered in his first and middle name routinely posted memes critical of Democrats.

More to come…

Related stories from TheWrap:

Suspect Named in Connection With Mail-Bomb Threats

Instagram Takes Down Milo Yiannopoulos Post Praising Attempted Bombings, Threatens Suspension

Robert De Niro Responds to Mail Bomb Threat: ‘Your Vote’ Is ‘More Powerful Than Bombs’

Federal authorities arrested Cesar Sayoc Jr. on Friday in Florida in connection with a series of mail bombs sent to CNN and several prominent Democrats this week.

Here’s what we know about Sayoc Jr. so far:

He’s a 56-year-old Florida resident that’s lived in several other states, including North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and New York, according to NBC News.

Sayoc Jr. is a registered Republican, according to the New York Times.

He also has a “lengthy criminal history,” according to the Times, dating back more than 25 years. He’s been arrested for felony theft, drug and fraud charges, and for threatening to use a bomb, the NYT reported.

Sayoc Jr. is the manager of Native American Catering & Vending in Hallandale Beach, Florida, according to business records obtained by the Miami Herald. Federal sources told the paper he lived in Aventura, Florida as of Friday.

Sayoc Jr.’s white van was covered with stickers promoting President Trump and other conservatives, according to the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida. It also reports that according to corporate filings, Sayoc Jr. owns or manages two businesses, Native American Catering and Vending and Ver Tech AG.

Several news outlets, including the New York Daily News, tweeted Sayoc Jr.’s mugshot, seen below:

His arrest caps a week-long manhunt after a dozen mail bombs were sent to top Democrats, including former president Barack Obama and ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday, CNN also got a bomb resulting in the total evacuation of their New York headquarters.

“We must never allow political violence to take root in America, and I am committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it now,” President Trump said on Friday.

Sayoc Jr. graduated from Brevard College in North Carolina in 1984, according to his LinkedIn account.

A Twitter account registered in his first and middle name routinely posted memes critical of Democrats.

More to come…

Related stories from TheWrap:

Suspect Named in Connection With Mail-Bomb Threats

Instagram Takes Down Milo Yiannopoulos Post Praising Attempted Bombings, Threatens Suspension

Robert De Niro Responds to Mail Bomb Threat: 'Your Vote' Is 'More Powerful Than Bombs'

Here’s Who Anti-Democrat Mail Bomber Has Targeted So Far With Suspicious Packages

The list of prominent Democrats, news outlets and celebrities who have received suspected explosives in the mail continued to grow on Thursday, with Robert De Niro and former vice president Joe Biden the latest to be targeted.

Two packages addressed to Biden — one received at a postal facility in New Castle, Delaware, and another discovered at a facility in Wilmington, Delaware — were intercepted by law enforcement officials, according to NBC News. The suspicious packages resembled those sent to other Democratic officials, according to the outlet.

That was followed by the New York Police Department investigating on Thursday morning a package addressed to De Niro at his production company in the city’s Tribeca neighborhood, CNN reported. Two law enforcement officials told the network the package had markings similar to the pipe-bomb packages sent this week to other top Democrats.

Also Read: ‘Morning Joe’: Trump ‘Bears a Lot of Responsibility’ for Attempted Bomb Attacks (Video)

Here’s a complete look at every one else who was been targeted in the last few days:

– Billionaire investor George Soros, a longtime advocate for liberal issues, received the first bomb threat at his home in New York City on Monday. The hand delivered-device was inspected and then detonated by the FBI, according to ABC News.

– Former president Barack Obama was sent a pipe bomb at his home in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

– Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, also received a suspected bomb on Wednesday.

Also Read: Jeff Zucker Condemns Trump White House Following Bomb Scare: ‘Their Words Matter’

– CNN evacuated its staff from its New York City office on Wednesday after receiving a suspected pipe bomb, forcing the outlet to shift to anchors in Washington, D.C. to stay on the air.

– John O. Brennan, a former C.I.A. director, had a package addressed to him at CNN’s office, according to the NYT.

– Former attorney general Eric Holder had a package addressed to him but returned to the address on the package, belonging to …

– Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, who got a package at her office in Florida, according to the NYT.

Also Read: Lara Trump Blasts CNN in Fundraising Email 2 Hours After Bomb Scare

– Rep. Maxine Waters received a package at a South Los Angeles mail facility on Wednesday, the FBI told the Los Angeles Times. The package resembled the manilla envelopes received by politicians on the east coast.

Many of those that were sent suspected bombs have been outspoken critics of President Trump. The president struck a measured tone at a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday night, calling the threats “an attack on our democracy itself.” He added: “Such conduct must be fiercely opposed and prosecuted.” On Thursday morning, though, Trump was more animated, tweeting “a very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News.”

Also Read: Bill Maher: Omarosa’s Official White House Title Was ‘Assistant Secretary for Throwing Shade’ (Video)

A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Republican Congressional Committee Releases Ad Attacking ‘Radical’ George Soros Just 2 Days After Bomb Attempt

How CNN Scrambled to Stay on Air After Bomb Scare Evacuated NY Headquarters

Jim Carrey Says Clinton, Obama Bombs Were Sent by ‘Terrorists’ Who Were ‘Emboldened’ by Trump’s ‘Hate Speech’

The list of prominent Democrats, news outlets and celebrities who have received suspected explosives in the mail continued to grow on Thursday, with Robert De Niro and former vice president Joe Biden the latest to be targeted.

Two packages addressed to Biden — one received at a postal facility in New Castle, Delaware, and another discovered at a facility in Wilmington, Delaware — were intercepted by law enforcement officials, according to NBC News. The suspicious packages resembled those sent to other Democratic officials, according to the outlet.

That was followed by the New York Police Department investigating on Thursday morning a package addressed to De Niro at his production company in the city’s Tribeca neighborhood, CNN reported. Two law enforcement officials told the network the package had markings similar to the pipe-bomb packages sent this week to other top Democrats.

Here’s a complete look at every one else who was been targeted in the last few days:

– Billionaire investor George Soros, a longtime advocate for liberal issues, received the first bomb threat at his home in New York City on Monday. The hand delivered-device was inspected and then detonated by the FBI, according to ABC News.

– Former president Barack Obama was sent a pipe bomb at his home in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

– Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, also received a suspected bomb on Wednesday.

– CNN evacuated its staff from its New York City office on Wednesday after receiving a suspected pipe bomb, forcing the outlet to shift to anchors in Washington, D.C. to stay on the air.

– John O. Brennan, a former C.I.A. director, had a package addressed to him at CNN’s office, according to the NYT.

– Former attorney general Eric Holder had a package addressed to him but returned to the address on the package, belonging to …

– Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, who got a package at her office in Florida, according to the NYT.

– Rep. Maxine Waters received a package at a South Los Angeles mail facility on Wednesday, the FBI told the Los Angeles Times. The package resembled the manilla envelopes received by politicians on the east coast.

Many of those that were sent suspected bombs have been outspoken critics of President Trump. The president struck a measured tone at a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday night, calling the threats “an attack on our democracy itself.” He added: “Such conduct must be fiercely opposed and prosecuted.” On Thursday morning, though, Trump was more animated, tweeting “a very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Republican Congressional Committee Releases Ad Attacking 'Radical' George Soros Just 2 Days After Bomb Attempt

How CNN Scrambled to Stay on Air After Bomb Scare Evacuated NY Headquarters

Jim Carrey Says Clinton, Obama Bombs Were Sent by 'Terrorists' Who Were 'Emboldened' by Trump's 'Hate Speech'

Almost Half of All Men Toppled by #MeToo Have Been Replaced by Women

A year after #MeToo first began to change the power dynamics in entertainment, media and politics, a new analysis by The New York Times shows nearly half of the high-profile men who were toppled by movement have been replaced by women.

According to the report, at least 200 men have been either fired or demoted following accusations of sexual misconduct. Of them, about 122 were replaced and 53 of those replacements were women, or 43 percent.

One-third of these women work in news media, one-fourth in government, and one-fifth in the arts.

Also Read: https://www.thewrap.com/aftermetoo-12-accusers-what-happened-next-firing-more-trauma-harvey-weinstein/

Robin Wright, the analysis noted, replaced actor Kevin Spacey as lead actor on “House of Cards,” after he was accused of sexually assaulting multiple people, including actor Anthony Rapp. Emily Nemens replaced Lorin Stein as editor of “The Paris Review,” and Tina Smith replaced Al Franken as a Minnesota senator.

By contrast, the year before saw fewer than 30 high-profile people resigning or being fired over accusations of sexual misconduct, the Times said. At least 920 people were reportedly subjected to sexual misconduct by someone on the list.

The changes could have significant, wide-ranging implications across industries, the analysis suggests.

For example, Jennifer Salke, who replaced Roy Price as head of Amazon Studios, has already announced deals with the actors Lena Waithe and Nicole Kidman. And Tanzina Vega, who took over from John Hockenberry as host Public Radio International’s “The Takeaway,” has focused some of her work on gender, women’s anger and the intersection of gender and race.

Also Read: How Hollywood’s Sexual Misconduct Policies Have Changed in the Year Since #MeToo

“We’ve never seen something like this before,” Joan Williams, a law professor who studies gender at the University of California, Hastings, told the paper. “Women have always been seen as risky, because they might do something like have a baby. But men are now being seen as more risky hires.”

More than 10 percent of the men who have been toppled have already tried to make a comeback, including Louis C.K., who recently performed at a comedy clubs in New York City, and radio host Garrison Keillor, who, according to the Times, has restarted “The Writer’s Almanac” as a podcast and received $275,000 to allow Minnesota Public Radio to repost archived episodes of his programs. Meanwhile, founder and former owner of the Carolina Panthers Jerry Richardson was fined $2.75 million by the N.F.L. after he was accused of sexual harassment. He sold the team for a record $2.2 billion.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kobe Bryant Kicked Off Jury of LA’s Animation Is Film Festival After #MeToo Outcry

Melania Trump Questions #MeToo Women: ‘Sometimes the Media Goes Too Far’ (Video)

‘The Purge’ Is at Its Scariest, and Most Poignant, Addressing #MeToo

A year after #MeToo first began to change the power dynamics in entertainment, media and politics, a new analysis by The New York Times shows nearly half of the high-profile men who were toppled by movement have been replaced by women.

According to the report, at least 200 men have been either fired or demoted following accusations of sexual misconduct. Of them, about 122 were replaced and 53 of those replacements were women, or 43 percent.

One-third of these women work in news media, one-fourth in government, and one-fifth in the arts.

Robin Wright, the analysis noted, replaced actor Kevin Spacey as lead actor on “House of Cards,” after he was accused of sexually assaulting multiple people, including actor Anthony Rapp. Emily Nemens replaced Lorin Stein as editor of “The Paris Review,” and Tina Smith replaced Al Franken as a Minnesota senator.

By contrast, the year before saw fewer than 30 high-profile people resigning or being fired over accusations of sexual misconduct, the Times said. At least 920 people were reportedly subjected to sexual misconduct by someone on the list.

The changes could have significant, wide-ranging implications across industries, the analysis suggests.

For example, Jennifer Salke, who replaced Roy Price as head of Amazon Studios, has already announced deals with the actors Lena Waithe and Nicole Kidman. And Tanzina Vega, who took over from John Hockenberry as host Public Radio International’s “The Takeaway,” has focused some of her work on gender, women’s anger and the intersection of gender and race.

“We’ve never seen something like this before,” Joan Williams, a law professor who studies gender at the University of California, Hastings, told the paper. “Women have always been seen as risky, because they might do something like have a baby. But men are now being seen as more risky hires.”

More than 10 percent of the men who have been toppled have already tried to make a comeback, including Louis C.K., who recently performed at a comedy clubs in New York City, and radio host Garrison Keillor, who, according to the Times, has restarted “The Writer’s Almanac” as a podcast and received $275,000 to allow Minnesota Public Radio to repost archived episodes of his programs. Meanwhile, founder and former owner of the Carolina Panthers Jerry Richardson was fined $2.75 million by the N.F.L. after he was accused of sexual harassment. He sold the team for a record $2.2 billion.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kobe Bryant Kicked Off Jury of LA's Animation Is Film Festival After #MeToo Outcry

Melania Trump Questions #MeToo Women: 'Sometimes the Media Goes Too Far' (Video)

'The Purge' Is at Its Scariest, and Most Poignant, Addressing #MeToo

Shep Smith Puts Angry Viewer in Place: Trump Is Running on ‘Your Fear of Invasion’ (Video)

Fox News host Shep Smith fired back at an angry viewer on Tuesday, telling a woman on live TV that President Trump was using her “fear of invasion” to whip up votes from his conservative base.

Smith read out loud a tweet from a viewer named “Heidi,” who took issue with Smith’s coverage of the migrant “caravan” slowly making its way to the U.S. border.

“Heidi tweets just now, ‘Sorry, Shep,’” the anchor read. “We are not falling for your fake story. This is an invasion. This is not a caravan of poor migrants seeking a better life. Yes, there may be some of that there. But you’re full of it if you believe what you’re saying. POTUS has intel. You don’t.’”

Also Read: Shepard Smith Rebuts ‘Fox & Friends’ Report of ‘Unknown Middle Easterners’ in Migrant Caravan (Video)

Looking directly at the camera, Smith responded: “No he doesn’t. POTUS has politics. He told us just the other day — so I can report to you with certainty — they’re running on [Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh and caravan. Your fear of an invasion of migrants. We just showed you their pictures.”

Smith, known for reporting on stories that often anger Fox News viewers, opened his Tuesday show with a detailed fact-check of the president’s recent remarks, in which he called the caravan an “assault” on the country.

“A caravan of thousands of migrants, including women and children and babies, some in diapers, and strollers is pressing onward through the very southern part of Mexico in the general direction of the United States border,” Smith said at the beginning of the segment. “The president has called it an assault on the U.S. border. It is absolutely not. It’s nowhere near the U.S. border.”

Also Read: Fox News Food Fight: Sean Hannity Rips ‘Clueless’ Shepard Smith

Smith went on to describe the difficult conditions facing the migrants who have been trekking hundreds of miles in the sweltering heat.

“The heat has been brutal,” Smith told his viewers. “The walkers are reported to be exhausted, many sick, riddled with injuries from the hard journey. There is concern that children could die if they pass out because there aren’t enough ambulances and doctors even to treat them.”

“What would it take for you to walk with your family for more than 1,100 miles in 105 degree feels-like temperature with an entire government telling you, ‘We don’t want you?’” he asked.

Also Read: Associated Press Deletes Tweet Calling Migrant Caravan an ‘Army’

“They’re not coming to get anyone,” Smith said. “They’re seeking relief.”

This isn’t the first time Smith has broken away from the Fox News party line. On Monday, Smith delivered a scathing refute of a claim floated by his own network that ISIS fighters had infiltrated the “caravan” of thousands of migrants en route to the U.S.-Mexican border, an unverified claim that was later echoed by President Trump in a tweet.

“President Trump is calling the caravan a national emergency,” Smith said. “And he’s claiming criminals and unknown alleged Middle Easterners are mixed in with the crowd. An important note: Fox News knows of no evidence to suggest the president is accurate on that matter. And the president has offered no evidence to support what he has said.”

Also Read: Fox News Reporter Appears to Foil Illegal Border Crossing Attempt (Video)

Earlier on Monday, “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth said on air that the president of Guatemala told a local newspaper that “over 100 ISIS fighters” had been caught in Guatemala “trying to use this caravan.”

The reports originated from a recent article in a Guatemala newspaper, which quoted Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales saying that 100 people linked to terrorism, including ISIS, were captured by local authorities.

The story was picked up by right-wing media outlets, including The Gateway Pundit, known for pushing conspiracy theories.

Reporters traveling with the caravan, including those from The New York Times, said they have not seen any Middle Easterners walking with the group and no government agency has so far confirmed the president’s claim.

Watch the full segment above and Smith’s response to the viewer below.

Shep Smith responds to a Fox viewer who said Trump has special intel about the caravan: “No he doesn’t. POTUS has politics.” pic.twitter.com/Nxdfn7HbI2

— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) October 23, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox News’ Shep Smith Tears Up Remembering ‘Complicated’ Roger Ailes (Video)

Fox’s Shep Smith Rejects Trump’s Terror Reporting Take: ‘Assertion Is False’ (Video)

Fox News Reporter Appears to Foil Illegal Border Crossing Attempt (Video)

Fox News host Shep Smith fired back at an angry viewer on Tuesday, telling a woman on live TV that President Trump was using her “fear of invasion” to whip up votes from his conservative base.

Smith read out loud a tweet from a viewer named “Heidi,” who took issue with Smith’s coverage of the migrant “caravan” slowly making its way to the U.S. border.

“Heidi tweets just now, ‘Sorry, Shep,'” the anchor read. “We are not falling for your fake story. This is an invasion. This is not a caravan of poor migrants seeking a better life. Yes, there may be some of that there. But you’re full of it if you believe what you’re saying. POTUS has intel. You don’t.'”

Looking directly at the camera, Smith responded: “No he doesn’t. POTUS has politics. He told us just the other day — so I can report to you with certainty — they’re running on [Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh and caravan. Your fear of an invasion of migrants. We just showed you their pictures.”

Smith, known for reporting on stories that often anger Fox News viewers, opened his Tuesday show with a detailed fact-check of the president’s recent remarks, in which he called the caravan an “assault” on the country.

“A caravan of thousands of migrants, including women and children and babies, some in diapers, and strollers is pressing onward through the very southern part of Mexico in the general direction of the United States border,” Smith said at the beginning of the segment. “The president has called it an assault on the U.S. border. It is absolutely not. It’s nowhere near the U.S. border.”

Smith went on to describe the difficult conditions facing the migrants who have been trekking hundreds of miles in the sweltering heat.

“The heat has been brutal,” Smith told his viewers. “The walkers are reported to be exhausted, many sick, riddled with injuries from the hard journey. There is concern that children could die if they pass out because there aren’t enough ambulances and doctors even to treat them.”

“What would it take for you to walk with your family for more than 1,100 miles in 105 degree feels-like temperature with an entire government telling you, ‘We don’t want you?'” he asked.

“They’re not coming to get anyone,” Smith said. “They’re seeking relief.”

This isn’t the first time Smith has broken away from the Fox News party line. On Monday, Smith delivered a scathing refute of a claim floated by his own network that ISIS fighters had infiltrated the “caravan” of thousands of migrants en route to the U.S.-Mexican border, an unverified claim that was later echoed by President Trump in a tweet.

“President Trump is calling the caravan a national emergency,” Smith said. “And he’s claiming criminals and unknown alleged Middle Easterners are mixed in with the crowd. An important note: Fox News knows of no evidence to suggest the president is accurate on that matter. And the president has offered no evidence to support what he has said.”

Earlier on Monday, “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth said on air that the president of Guatemala told a local newspaper that “over 100 ISIS fighters” had been caught in Guatemala “trying to use this caravan.”

The reports originated from a recent article in a Guatemala newspaper, which quoted Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales saying that 100 people linked to terrorism, including ISIS, were captured by local authorities.

The story was picked up by right-wing media outlets, including The Gateway Pundit, known for pushing conspiracy theories.

Reporters traveling with the caravan, including those from The New York Times, said they have not seen any Middle Easterners walking with the group and no government agency has so far confirmed the president’s claim.

Watch the full segment above and Smith’s response to the viewer below.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox News' Shep Smith Tears Up Remembering 'Complicated' Roger Ailes (Video)

Fox's Shep Smith Rejects Trump's Terror Reporting Take: 'Assertion Is False' (Video)

Fox News Reporter Appears to Foil Illegal Border Crossing Attempt (Video)

CIA Director Gina Haspel Heads to Turkey in Jamal Khashoggi Investigation

CIA Director Gina Haspel traveled to Turkey on Monday as part of the U.S. government’s investigation into the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Reuters and NBC News reported.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, went missing on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He has not been seen since. After weeks of denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, the Saudi government admitted last week that Khashoggi was dead.

Also Read: Jared Kushner Calls on Saudi Crown Prince to Be ‘Fully Transparent’ on Khashoggi Death

According to the Saudi government, Khashoggi was killed during a fight gone wrong inside the consulate. The explanation contradicts reports by Turkish officials, who told The New York Times that it has audio that proves Khashoggi’s body was dismembered by a hit team of Saudi agents after he was tortured shortly after arriving at the consulate.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, as part of a scheduled discussion on fighting terrorism and Iran.

Mnuchin was supposed to also take part in the Future Investment Initiative conference taking place in the Riyadh this week, but he withdrew from the event after public outcry over Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The CIA did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Saudi Officials Admit Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed at Istanbul Consulate

Flashback: Khashoggi Was Banned From Appearing in Saudi Media After Criticizing Trump

Jamal Khashoggi’s Family Joins Twitter, Calls for ‘Impartial’ Investigation Into Disappearance

CIA Director Gina Haspel traveled to Turkey on Monday as part of the U.S. government’s investigation into the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Reuters and NBC News reported.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, went missing on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He has not been seen since. After weeks of denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, the Saudi government admitted last week that Khashoggi was dead.

According to the Saudi government, Khashoggi was killed during a fight gone wrong inside the consulate. The explanation contradicts reports by Turkish officials, who told The New York Times that it has audio that proves Khashoggi’s body was dismembered by a hit team of Saudi agents after he was tortured shortly after arriving at the consulate.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, as part of a scheduled discussion on fighting terrorism and Iran.

Mnuchin was supposed to also take part in the Future Investment Initiative conference taking place in the Riyadh this week, but he withdrew from the event after public outcry over Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The CIA did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Saudi Officials Admit Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed at Istanbul Consulate

Flashback: Khashoggi Was Banned From Appearing in Saudi Media After Criticizing Trump

Jamal Khashoggi's Family Joins Twitter, Calls for 'Impartial' Investigation Into Disappearance

Saudi Twitter Activist Army Quells Criticism, Shapes Images – Report

An army of social media activists is being employed by the Saudi Arabian government to troll dissenters and shape a positive online image of the kingdom, according to an explosive New York Times story.
The investigative piece raises new doubts about th…

An army of social media activists is being employed by the Saudi Arabian government to troll dissenters and shape a positive online image of the kingdom, according to an explosive New York Times story. The investigative piece raises new doubts about the kingdom’s influence and investments in…

Saudi Officials Admit Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed at Istanbul Consulate

After two weeks in which the kingdom has denied any knowledge of his whereabouts, Saudi officials admitted Friday that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
According to a statement released through state-ru…

After two weeks in which the kingdom has denied any knowledge of his whereabouts, Saudi officials admitted Friday that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

According to a statement released through state-run media, the Saudi government is now stating that an argument broke out between Khashoggi and men who met him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, leading to a fistfight that led to his death. The statement says also that 18 Saudis have been arrested and are being investigated in connection with the case.

The kingdom also fired Deputy Chief of General Intelligence Ahmad bin Hassan Asiri and royal court advisor Abdullah Al-Qahtani

.

Citing an unnamed source, The Associated Press reported Friday that investigators there were looking into whether Khashoggi’s remains “may have been taken to a forest in the outskirts of Istanbul or to another city.” The source told the AP that “two vehicles belonging to the consulate left the building” soon after Khashoggi went missing.

The admission directly contradicts the kingdom’s previous assertions about Khosoggi’s disappearance, including from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who personally told Bloomberg on Oct. 5 that the dissident journalist left the Saudi consulate “after a few minutes or one hour.”

It also differs considerably from other reports of how Khashoggi died. On Wednesday, Turkish officials told The New York Times that it had audio evidence proving Khashoggi was tortured, killed and later dismembered by a team of Saudi agents who had flown to Istanbul to meet him on.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who was a permanent U.S. resident, has been a public relations black eye for the country, and has led dozens of participants and media sponsors to withdraw from a business conference later this month. It also prompted WME to axe a $400 million investment deal it struck with Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

Earlier this week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the kingdom. The crown prince promised a “thorough, transparent, and timely investigation that provides answers.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Flashback: Khashoggi Was Banned From Appearing in Saudi Media After Criticizing Trump

Jamal Khashoggi's Family Joins Twitter, Calls for 'Impartial' Investigation Into Disappearance

Washington Post Publishes Last Khashoggi Column: Arab Governments Are 'Silencing the Media'

16 Hollywood and Media Deals With Saudi Arabia – And Where They Now Stand

The Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s charm offensive earlier this year to lure investors and transform his country’s image has all but crumbled in the face of the disappearance and likely murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

A growing number of Hollywood and U.S. media companies are now backing out of business deals with Saudi Arabia and Mohammad bin Salman, known by his initials MBS, after Turkish officials concluded that Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi operatives inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Here is a list of the Hollywood and Media deals with Saudi Arabia – and where they stand now.

Also Read: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Drops out of Saudi Arabia Investment Summit

Richard Branson 

British entrepreneur Richard Branson announced he would freeze ties with the kingdom until more details are known about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“While those investigations are ongoing and Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts are not known, I will suspend my directorships of the two tourism projects,” Branson said in a statement on Oct. 11. “Virgin will also suspend its discussions with the Public Investment Fund over the proposed investment in our space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.”

The Financial Times reported the Saudi government announced Tuesday it was canceling a planned feasibility study for a high-speed transportation system with the company in response to Branson’s statement. But CNBC reports that the negotiations are still underway.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also Read: Flashback: Khashoggi Was Banned From Appearing in Saudi Media After Criticizing Trump

The Harbour Group

Leading D.C. lobbying firm representing the Saudi government’s interests, the Harbour Group, announced on Oct. 11 it was terminating its $80,000-a-month contract with the kingdom.

Endeavor 

WME parent company Endeavor, one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies, said on Oct. 15 it was preparing to withdraw from its $400 million financing deal with the Saudi Arabian government.

An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap Monday the company is in the process of pulling out of its deal, though the logistics have not been resolved.

Gerard Butler 

Actor Gerard Butler pulled out of a trip to Saudi Arabia to promote his new movie “Hunter Killer” following  Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Butler was expected to arrive in Riyadh for interviews with a few news outlets before he attended the premiere for the thriller. His representative told TheWrap that after he learned about news regarding Khashoggi he decided to forego the trip.

Also Read: STX Entertainment CEO Robert Simonds Withdraws From Saudi Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

‘Davos in the Desert’

A large number of companies and individuals pulled out of the high-powered Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, dubbed “Davos in the Desert,” to be hosted by the Crown Prince and the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund later this month.

The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times and Nikkei withdrew as media sponsors, as did the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong. Media executive Arianna Huffington, an advisory board member for the conference, The Economist‘s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes and Viacom CEO Bob Bakish also canceled their appearances.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Thursday that he was “troubled by the reports” and would not attend the conference “unless a substantially different set of facts emerges.”

Just hours after Hollywood movie financier-turned Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pulled out of the conference on Oct. 18, Fox Business Channel, one of the last holdouts, announced it too was withdrawing as an event sponsor.

Meanwhile, Swedish-Swiss technology company ABB said it was “carefully monitoring developments” before making any decisions.

Steven Mnuchin/Getty

AMC

AMC Theaters struck a lucrative deal to build the kingdom’s first-ever movie theater in April. The company has plans to open 40 more theaters in the kingdom within the next five years with the aim to reach 100 locations by 2030.

AMC declined to comment.

Penske Media Corp. 

In February, Penske, which owns Hollywood trades Variety and Deadline among other publications, received a $200 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. But the company declined to comment about whether it will reassess the investment.

Also Read: Penske Media Silent on $200 Million Saudi Investment After Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance

World Wrestling Entertainment 

WWE, which is due to return to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 2 for its “Crown Jewel” wrestling event, told TheWrap in statement that it’s “currently monitoring the situation.”

IMAX 

In May, IMAX announced the signing of a multi-theater deal with Vox Cinemas, as the premium screening format planned to expand into Saudi Arabia. But a person with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap Sunday that plans to build more movie theaters in the kingdom, which have been mired in red tape, will likely be put on “pause” following Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Vox

Vox, a United Arab Emirates-based movie theater chain, often received revenue from rich Saudis who traveled to Dubai on weekends while KSA’s cinema ban was in effect. They, along with AMC, got the inside track on negotiations to build cineplexes in the country and are currently the only two chains with the license from the government to do so. Vox has declined to comment.

Also Read: Washington Post Publishes Last Khashoggi Column: Arab Governments Are ‘Silencing the Media’

Feld Entertainment 

Feld Entertainment, a Florida-based live touring company, entered into discussions with the The Saudi General Entertainment Authority earlier this year to bring international events, including “Disney on Ice,” “Disney Live,” “Marvel Experience,” and “Monster Jam” to the kingdom.

The company told TheWrap Thursday it had not signed any deals with the Saudis but that it was “still in conversation” with the kingdom. The company did not wish to comment further.

iPic

In March, the Florida-based luxury movie theater chain had announced it had partnered with Saudi firm BAS Global Investments Co. to develop cinemas and restaurants throughout the kingdom. An iPic rep told TheWrap Wednesday that it had “no further updates” on the deal.

Nat Geo 

In April, National Geographic announced it was partnering with the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia to develop and launch several locations for its “Ocean Odyssey,” a walk-through virtual-reality zoo focused on marine wildlife starting in 2019.

Reps for Nat Geo media told TheWrap they “don’t have an answer yet” on whether the partnership will continue.

Cirque du Soleil

The iconic live entertainment brand had its first performance in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 23, just before Khashoggi went missing. The production was designed exclusively for Saudi National Day, at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, for a live and televised audience. It is unclear whether the company has any more performances planned in Saudi Arabia. Reps for the company did no immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also Read: Pat Robertson Says Khashoggi Death Isn’t Worth Ruining Saudi Ties, ‘$100 Billion Worth of Arms Sales’

IMG Artists

The performing arts, social media, and festival and events management company, signed a letter of intent to bring large-scale festivals to the kingdom.

A rep for IMG told TheWrap Thursday that the deal went “stale” shortly after it was signed folloing “changes” in the monarchy’s 2030 Vision campaign, the Saudi initiative seeking to make the historically closed kingdom less economically reliant on oil profits.

“That slowed us down,” a spokesman said. “Nothing happened after that letter.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jamal Khashoggi’s Family Joins Twitter, Calls for ‘Impartial’ Investigation Into Disappearance

Audio Proves Gruesome Details of Khashoggi Killing, Turkey Says

Ari Emanuel on Disappearance of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: ‘I Personally Am Really Concerned’

The Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s charm offensive earlier this year to lure investors and transform his country’s image has all but crumbled in the face of the disappearance and likely murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

A growing number of Hollywood and U.S. media companies are now backing out of business deals with Saudi Arabia and Mohammad bin Salman, known by his initials MBS, after Turkish officials concluded that Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi operatives inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Here is a list of the Hollywood and Media deals with Saudi Arabia – and where they stand now.

Richard Branson 

British entrepreneur Richard Branson announced he would freeze ties with the kingdom until more details are known about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“While those investigations are ongoing and Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts are not known, I will suspend my directorships of the two tourism projects,” Branson said in a statement on Oct. 11. “Virgin will also suspend its discussions with the Public Investment Fund over the proposed investment in our space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.”

The Financial Times reported the Saudi government announced Tuesday it was canceling a planned feasibility study for a high-speed transportation system with the company in response to Branson’s statement. But CNBC reports that the negotiations are still underway.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Harbour Group

Leading D.C. lobbying firm representing the Saudi government’s interests, the Harbour Group, announced on Oct. 11 it was terminating its $80,000-a-month contract with the kingdom.

Endeavor 

WME parent company Endeavor, one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies, said on Oct. 15 it was preparing to withdraw from its $400 million financing deal with the Saudi Arabian government.

An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap Monday the company is in the process of pulling out of its deal, though the logistics have not been resolved.

Gerard Butler 

Actor Gerard Butler pulled out of a trip to Saudi Arabia to promote his new movie “Hunter Killer” following  Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Butler was expected to arrive in Riyadh for interviews with a few news outlets before he attended the premiere for the thriller. His representative told TheWrap that after he learned about news regarding Khashoggi he decided to forego the trip.

‘Davos in the Desert’

A large number of companies and individuals pulled out of the high-powered Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, dubbed “Davos in the Desert,” to be hosted by the Crown Prince and the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund later this month.

The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times and Nikkei withdrew as media sponsors, as did the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong. Media executive Arianna Huffington, an advisory board member for the conference, The Economist‘s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes and Viacom CEO Bob Bakish also canceled their appearances.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Thursday that he was “troubled by the reports” and would not attend the conference “unless a substantially different set of facts emerges.”

Just hours after Hollywood movie financier-turned Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pulled out of the conference on Oct. 18, Fox Business Channel, one of the last holdouts, announced it too was withdrawing as an event sponsor.

Meanwhile, Swedish-Swiss technology company ABB said it was “carefully monitoring developments” before making any decisions.

Steven Mnuchin/Getty

AMC

AMC Theaters struck a lucrative deal to build the kingdom’s first-ever movie theater in April. The company has plans to open 40 more theaters in the kingdom within the next five years with the aim to reach 100 locations by 2030.

AMC declined to comment.

Penske Media Corp. 

In February, Penske, which owns Hollywood trades Variety and Deadline among other publications, received a $200 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. But the company declined to comment about whether it will reassess the investment.

World Wrestling Entertainment 

WWE, which is due to return to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 2 for its “Crown Jewel” wrestling event, told TheWrap in statement that it’s “currently monitoring the situation.”

IMAX 

In May, IMAX announced the signing of a multi-theater deal with Vox Cinemas, as the premium screening format planned to expand into Saudi Arabia. But a person with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap Sunday that plans to build more movie theaters in the kingdom, which have been mired in red tape, will likely be put on “pause” following Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Vox

Vox, a United Arab Emirates-based movie theater chain, often received revenue from rich Saudis who traveled to Dubai on weekends while KSA’s cinema ban was in effect. They, along with AMC, got the inside track on negotiations to build cineplexes in the country and are currently the only two chains with the license from the government to do so. Vox has declined to comment.

Feld Entertainment 

Feld Entertainment, a Florida-based live touring company, entered into discussions with the The Saudi General Entertainment Authority earlier this year to bring international events, including “Disney on Ice,” “Disney Live,” “Marvel Experience,” and “Monster Jam” to the kingdom.

The company told TheWrap Thursday it had not signed any deals with the Saudis but that it was “still in conversation” with the kingdom. The company did not wish to comment further.

iPic

In March, the Florida-based luxury movie theater chain had announced it had partnered with Saudi firm BAS Global Investments Co. to develop cinemas and restaurants throughout the kingdom. An iPic rep told TheWrap Wednesday that it had “no further updates” on the deal.

Nat Geo 

In April, National Geographic announced it was partnering with the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia to develop and launch several locations for its “Ocean Odyssey,” a walk-through virtual-reality zoo focused on marine wildlife starting in 2019.

Reps for Nat Geo media told TheWrap they “don’t have an answer yet” on whether the partnership will continue.

Cirque du Soleil

The iconic live entertainment brand had its first performance in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 23, just before Khashoggi went missing. The production was designed exclusively for Saudi National Day, at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, for a live and televised audience. It is unclear whether the company has any more performances planned in Saudi Arabia. Reps for the company did no immediately respond to a request for comment.

IMG Artists

The performing arts, social media, and festival and events management company, signed a letter of intent to bring large-scale festivals to the kingdom.

A rep for IMG told TheWrap Thursday that the deal went “stale” shortly after it was signed folloing “changes” in the monarchy’s 2030 Vision campaign, the Saudi initiative seeking to make the historically closed kingdom less economically reliant on oil profits.

“That slowed us down,” a spokesman said. “Nothing happened after that letter.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jamal Khashoggi's Family Joins Twitter, Calls for 'Impartial' Investigation Into Disappearance

Audio Proves Gruesome Details of Khashoggi Killing, Turkey Says

Ari Emanuel on Disappearance of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: 'I Personally Am Really Concerned'

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Drops out of Saudi Arabia Investment Summit

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Thursday that he won’t be attending the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia, following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Mnuchin tweeted he’s dropping out of the conferenc…

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Thursday that he won’t be attending the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia, following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mnuchin tweeted he’s dropping out of the conference after meeting with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He becomes the latest high-profile speaker to scrap plans for the conference, dubbed “Davos in the Desert,” which is still scheduled to take place next week.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford chairman Bill Ford recently dropped out of the summit in Riyadh, after Khashoggi went missing two weeks ago at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi’s disappearance has strained the Saudi royal family’s relationship with the West, with Turkish officials telling the New York Times on Wednesday it has audio the journalist was beheaded shortly after entering the consulate on Oct. 2.

President Trump has been hesitant to criticize the Saudi regime while pointing to the country’s wealth and close relationship to the U.S.  “That doesn’t help us — not when it comes to jobs and not when it comes to our companies losing out on work,” Trump said last week. Mnuchin’s decision looks to signal the Trump administration’s desire to distance itself from the Saudi royal family.

Media sponsors for the event, including the New York Times and Bloomberg, have also recently dropped out. The string of prominent departures has dampened excitement for the ritzy conference, which is closely tied to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Flashback: Khashoggi Was Banned From Appearing in Saudi Media After Criticizing Trump

Sorry, President Trump: NFL TV Ratings Have Improved Over Last Year So Far

'Melania Trump' Returns to Colbert's 'Late Show' to Clear Up Some of That ABC News Interview (Video)

New York Times Stands by Profile of Far Right Activist Gavin McInnes

The New York Times responded to critics Thursday by defending a profile of far-right activist Gavin McInnes that ran in the paper earlier this week.

“We are always open to criticism, which helps us do better work. In this case, we disagree with the main points of criticism. Our story is an unflinching look at Gavin McInnes that directly addresses his racist, sexist and xenophobic comments as well as violence perpetrated by a group he actively leads,” a spokesperson told TheWrap.

“Some critics have suggested that the subject of this story should not receive any attention. The Times’ mission is to explain what is happening in the world. McInnes and his group were at the center of a news event that gained significant attention last week — a brawl outside a prominent Republican club in Manhattan. It’s our duty to delve into what occurred, and who was involved,” the statement continued.

Also Read: Vice Media Co-Founder Calls Sen. Cory Booker ‘Sambo’: ‘Shucking and Jiving for the White Man’

McInnes, who leads the far-right group “The Proud Boys,” raised eyebrows after being invited to deliver remarks at the Manhattan Republican club Friday evening. Members of his group later scuffled with Antifa protesters outside the venue resulting in a flurry of media coverage. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the Proud Boys as a “hate group.”

McInnes is also a co-founder of Vice Media, though he exited the company in 2008. He did not immediately respond to request for comment about his thoughts on the profile.

The Times piece, which described McInnes’ “egghead glasses, pocket-protector and heavy-drinking, angry-nerd aesthetic” came in for criticism from the usual suspects this week who argued that the Grey Lady was too soft in the profile.

Leading the criticism were journalists at the liberal HuffPost. Writer Andy Campbell attacked the piece as “tone deaf” and accused it “gloss[ing] over” key facts about McInnes’ sordid history.

“In a wildly tone-deaf profile of Gavin McInnes this week, The New York Times went to great lengths to avoid calling the Proud Boys founder a racist, sexist, fascist gang leader, even though he could be accurately described as all of these things,” Campbell wrote.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Twitter Suspends Proud Boys and Gavin McInnes Before ‘Unite the Right’ Rally Begins

Gavin Polone Sues Warner Bros., The CW Over ‘Gilmore Girls’ Money

John Gavin, ‘Psycho’ and ‘Imitation of Life’ Actor, Dies at 86

Fox Executive Gavin Smith’s Killer Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

The New York Times responded to critics Thursday by defending a profile of far-right activist Gavin McInnes that ran in the paper earlier this week.

“We are always open to criticism, which helps us do better work. In this case, we disagree with the main points of criticism. Our story is an unflinching look at Gavin McInnes that directly addresses his racist, sexist and xenophobic comments as well as violence perpetrated by a group he actively leads,” a spokesperson told TheWrap.

“Some critics have suggested that the subject of this story should not receive any attention. The Times’ mission is to explain what is happening in the world. McInnes and his group were at the center of a news event that gained significant attention last week — a brawl outside a prominent Republican club in Manhattan. It’s our duty to delve into what occurred, and who was involved,” the statement continued.

McInnes, who leads the far-right group “The Proud Boys,” raised eyebrows after being invited to deliver remarks at the Manhattan Republican club Friday evening. Members of his group later scuffled with Antifa protesters outside the venue resulting in a flurry of media coverage. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the Proud Boys as a “hate group.”

McInnes is also a co-founder of Vice Media, though he exited the company in 2008. He did not immediately respond to request for comment about his thoughts on the profile.

The Times piece, which described McInnes’ “egghead glasses, pocket-protector and heavy-drinking, angry-nerd aesthetic” came in for criticism from the usual suspects this week who argued that the Grey Lady was too soft in the profile.

Leading the criticism were journalists at the liberal HuffPost. Writer Andy Campbell attacked the piece as “tone deaf” and accused it “gloss[ing] over” key facts about McInnes’ sordid history.

“In a wildly tone-deaf profile of Gavin McInnes this week, The New York Times went to great lengths to avoid calling the Proud Boys founder a racist, sexist, fascist gang leader, even though he could be accurately described as all of these things,” Campbell wrote.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Twitter Suspends Proud Boys and Gavin McInnes Before 'Unite the Right' Rally Begins

Gavin Polone Sues Warner Bros., The CW Over 'Gilmore Girls' Money

John Gavin, 'Psycho' and 'Imitation of Life' Actor, Dies at 86

Fox Executive Gavin Smith's Killer Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

Washington Post Publishes Last Khashoggi Column: Arab Governments Are ‘Silencing the Media’

The Washington Post published its last column from Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday, which fittingly focused on diminishing press freedoms in the Arab world.

“Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate,” he said. “Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives.”

Khashoggi cited Freedom House’s 2018 “Freedom in the World” report which found that most governments in the Arab world were classified as “not free.”

Also Read: Iranian Dissident Journalist Masih Alinejad on Jamal Khashoggi’s Fate: ‘What Is the West Going to Do?’

“The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power,” he said. “The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices.”

The column from Khashoggi was written and submitted shortly before he disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. In a note to readers, the Post’s Global Opinion Editor Karen Attiah said she had decided to run the column amid the growing consensus that Khashoggi was dead.

“I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul,” said Attiah. “The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post.”

Though Saudi Arabia has categorically denied anything to do with Khashoggi’s disappearance, Turkish officials have accused the kingdom of killing the journalist, sending in a 15-man hit squad who then dismembered him with a bone saw. Turkish media has obtained gruesome secretly recorded audio from inside the consulate proving the murder the New York Times reported yesterday.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Penske Media Silent on $200 Million Saudi Investment After Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance

Ari Emanuel on Disappearance of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: ‘I Personally Am Really Concerned’

Iranian Dissident Journalist Masih Alinejad on Jamal Khashoggi’s Fate: ‘What Is the West Going to Do?’

WME Parent Company Endeavor ‘Assessing’ Saudi Partnership After Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance (Exclusive)

The Washington Post published its last column from Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday, which fittingly focused on diminishing press freedoms in the Arab world.

“Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate,” he said. “Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives.”

Khashoggi cited Freedom House’s 2018 “Freedom in the World” report which found that most governments in the Arab world were classified as “not free.”

“The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power,” he said. “The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices.”

The column from Khashoggi was written and submitted shortly before he disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. In a note to readers, the Post’s Global Opinion Editor Karen Attiah said she had decided to run the column amid the growing consensus that Khashoggi was dead.

“I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul,” said Attiah. “The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post.”

Though Saudi Arabia has categorically denied anything to do with Khashoggi’s disappearance, Turkish officials have accused the kingdom of killing the journalist, sending in a 15-man hit squad who then dismembered him with a bone saw. Turkish media has obtained gruesome secretly recorded audio from inside the consulate proving the murder the New York Times reported yesterday.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Penske Media Silent on $200 Million Saudi Investment After Jamal Khashoggi's Disappearance

Ari Emanuel on Disappearance of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: 'I Personally Am Really Concerned'

Iranian Dissident Journalist Masih Alinejad on Jamal Khashoggi's Fate: 'What Is the West Going to Do?'

WME Parent Company Endeavor 'Assessing' Saudi Partnership After Jamal Khashoggi's Disappearance (Exclusive)

Audio Proves Gruesome Details of Khashoggi Killing, Turkey Says

New audio confirms that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. The Times cited Turkish media, which they said obtained the gruesome evidence.

“They severed his fingers during an interrogation and later beheaded and dismembered him,” the paper reported. Turkish officials confirmed details that first appeared in the country’s pro government newspaper Yeni Şafak.

The Times report represents a major new development in the case and blows a hole in more than a week of categorical denials from Saudi Arabia that Khashoggi was murdered on the orders of crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Also Read: Endeavor to Exit $400 Million Saudi Arabia Investment Deal

Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A pro-government newspaper in Turkey listed 15 names and photographs of men they believe were flown to Istanbul from the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Earlier this week, President Trump said that the king of Saudi Arabia had denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, adding that “it sounded to me like maybe these could’ve been rogue killers.”

News of his disappearance and possible murder prompted a growing number of media companies and executives to drop out of the Future Investment Initiative, which will be held Oct. 23-25 in Riyadh. That includes Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin, The Economist editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, and LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong. Similarly, The New York Times announced it would no longer be a media partner of the event.

On Monday, CNN reported that the Saudis were prepared to make a statement surrounding the death.

NEW: According to sources, the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey. @clarissaward @TimListerCNN report

— David P Gelles (@gelles) October 15, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ari Emanuel on Disappearance of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: ‘I Personally Am Really Concerned’

New York Times Cancels Hosted Saudi Arabia Trips After Khashoggi Disappearance

CNN Pulls Out of Saudi Arabia Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

New audio confirms that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. The Times cited Turkish media, which they said obtained the gruesome evidence.

“They severed his fingers during an interrogation and later beheaded and dismembered him,” the paper reported. Turkish officials confirmed details that first appeared in the country’s pro government newspaper Yeni Şafak.

The Times report represents a major new development in the case and blows a hole in more than a week of categorical denials from Saudi Arabia that Khashoggi was murdered on the orders of crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A pro-government newspaper in Turkey listed 15 names and photographs of men they believe were flown to Istanbul from the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Earlier this week, President Trump said that the king of Saudi Arabia had denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, adding that “it sounded to me like maybe these could’ve been rogue killers.”

News of his disappearance and possible murder prompted a growing number of media companies and executives to drop out of the Future Investment Initiative, which will be held Oct. 23-25 in Riyadh. That includes Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin, The Economist editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, and LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong. Similarly, The New York Times announced it would no longer be a media partner of the event.

On Monday, CNN reported that the Saudis were prepared to make a statement surrounding the death.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ari Emanuel on Disappearance of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: 'I Personally Am Really Concerned'

New York Times Cancels Hosted Saudi Arabia Trips After Khashoggi Disappearance

CNN Pulls Out of Saudi Arabia Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

Scribd Bundles New York Times With E-Books, Audio Books for $13 a Month

E-book service Scribd has teamed up with the New York Times for a new joint subscription offering: Subscribers of the new Scribd and New York Times bundle get unlimited access to the Times’ website as well as over one million e-books, magazines a…

E-book service Scribd has teamed up with the New York Times for a new joint subscription offering: Subscribers of the new Scribd and New York Times bundle get unlimited access to the Times’ website as well as over one million e-books, magazines and audio books for $12.99 a month. Included in the bundle is basic […]

Penske Media Silent on $200 Million Saudi Investment After Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance

Penske Media Corp. declined to comment on Monday about whether it will reassess a $200 million investment by a Saudi Arabian public fund earlier this year.
Hollywood has been under mounting pressure to distance itself from the Arab kingdom in the wake …

Penske Media Corp. declined to comment on Monday about whether it will reassess a $200 million investment by a Saudi Arabian public fund earlier this year.

Hollywood has been under mounting pressure to distance itself from the Arab kingdom in the wake of the disappearance and alleged murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

In February, Penske, which owns Hollywood trades Variety and Deadline among other publications, received  a $200 million infusion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

The deal was hailed as a “significant milestone for PMC and its stakeholders” by the company at the time.

“After a decade of growth without raising any outside capital, this minority funding will further amplify our investments in existing PMC properties and provide additional resources for future acquisitions,” Lauren Utecht, vice president of communications for the company, told Penske-owned WWD in February.

Utecht did not respond to repeated requests for comment via email and phone on Monday. An email to Jay Penske, chairman and CEO of PMC, also went unanswered.

Khashoggi has been missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish authorities have accused the Saudi government of murdering Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi government has insisted that Khashoggi left the consulate soon after he arrived and that he was not in its custody. But on Monday, CNN reported that the Saudis were “preparing to admit” that Khashoggi died during an interrogation gone wrong.

News of his possible murder prompted a growing number of media companies and executives to drop out of the Future Investment Initiative, a high-powered international conference scheduled to be held Oct. 23-25 in Riyadh. That includes Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin, The Economist editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong. Similarly, The New York Times announced it would no longer be a media partner of the event.

On Monday, WME’s parent company, Endeavor, signaled that it was preparing to withdraw from its $400 million deal with the Saudis.

An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap Endeavor was in the process of pulling out of its deal, though the logistics have not been resolved.

Penske and Endeavor aren’t the only Hollywood players in business with the Saudis, though they are two of the most prominent to have recently sold major stakes to the sovereign fund. AMC, IMAX, World Wrestling Entertainment and others also have deals with the kingdom. AMC did not respond to multiple requests for comment. A rep for IMAX declined to comment.

In May, IMAX announced the signing of a multi-theater deal with Vox Cinemas, as the premium screening format planned to expand into Saudi Arabia. But a person with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap Sunday that plans to build more movie theaters in the kingdom, which have been mired in red tape, will likely be put on “pause” following Khashoggi’s disappearance.

WWE, which is due to return to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 2 for its “Crown Jewel” wrestling event, told TheWrap in statement that it’s “currently monitoring the situation.”

Khashoggi’s disappearance has cast a long shadow on the Crown Prince, who in April got the royal treatment during a Hollywood charming spree. The visit included a high-profile dinner at Rupert Murdoch’s Bel Air estate. Among attendees were Disney CEO Bob Iger, Universal’s Jeff Shell, Fox TV exec Peter Rice, and actors Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Jeremy Fuster contributed to this report. 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Business and Saudi-Owned Al Arabiya Are Last Media Partners of Saudi Business Conference

STX Entertainment CEO Robert Simonds Withdraws From Saudi Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

Gerard Butler Pulls Out of Saudi Arabian 'Hunter Killer' Premiere Amid Journalist Disappearance