Mark Geragos Dropped by CNN After Being Identified by WSJ as Co-Conspirator in Michael Avenatti Case

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Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was dropped by CNN on Monday after the Wall Street Journal identified him as the unnamed co-conspirator in the criminal case against Michael Avenatti.
A spokesperson for the network told TheWrap that Geragos “is no…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Like what?” Geist demanded.

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

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

Also Read: Amazon Cancels Plans for New York City Campus

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

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

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

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

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‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy IMAX Engagement Sold Out in LA and NYC Almost Immediately (Exclusive)

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Christopher Nolan’s upcoming “The Dark Knight” trilogy IMAX engagement in Los Angeles sold out in less than a minute after tickets went on sale, TheWrap has exclusively learned. AMC Lincoln Square (IMAX) in New York City sold out almo…

Scaramucci Defends Trump ‘Lies,’ Says Most Americans ‘Get the Joke’ (Video)

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Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Monday that President Trump often “lies” to the American public but that it was all part of his broader way of communicating and that Americans were in on the “joke.&#…

Edward Norton, Alan Alda, Mariska Hargitay Join Nat Geo’s 6-City ‘Paris to Pittsburgh’ Screening Blitz (Exclusive)

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Activists and environmentally conscience celebrities, including Edward Norton, Alan Alda and Mariska Hargitay, will join former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg this week for a special nationwide screening blitz of Nat Geo’s environmental documentary “Paris to Pittsburgh,” TheWrap has learned exclusively.

Six U.S. cities will simultaneously screen the film Monday night — many with their mayors introducing the film — in an effort to shine a light on the need for cities, states and citizens to come together to fight climate change. Charleston, Des Moines, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Orlando will get a sneak peek at the doc ahead of its global release on Dec. 12 at 9pm ET/PT on National Geographic, with additional screenings scheduled in Puerto Rico, London and Poland.

“With Washington asleep at the switch, local governments, states, businesses, and citizens from across the political spectrum are taking steps to tackle climate change and build a bright future for our country,” Bloomberg, who produced the movie through his Bloomberg Philanthropies, said in a statement. “We need more leadership from Washington on climate change, but Americans aren’t waiting around for it.”

Also Read: Pittsburgh Mayor Pounds Trump for Climate Claim He Backs ‘Pittsburgh, Not Paris’

Other attendees expected to attend: Peter Hermann, Walt Disney Chairman and NRDC Board Chair Alan Horn, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Zero Hour’s Iris Fen Gillingham and Jamie Margolin, Katherine Oliver, Joe Berlinger, Emmy Award winning directors Michael Bonfiglio and Sidney Beaumont, Radical Media’s Jon Kamen and Frank Scherma, among others.

The announcement comes on the heels of a federal climate change report last month focusing on the dire threat that human-made global warming poses to the United States. It also comes as world leaders are heading to Poland on Dec. 3 for the COP24 to try and salvage the 2015 climate change Paris Accord, after President Trump reneged on the deal last summer.

Also Read: Al Gore and Bill Maher Talk Climate Change and ‘Losing Florida’ – in Both Senses (Video)

“Paris to Pittsburgh” looks at how states, businesses and citizens are taking action and delve into the social and economic impacts of climate change in the wake of the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The premise of the documentary is based on a Twitter response from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to President Trump the moment he pulled out of the Paris Agreement.

In his speech announcing the U.S. would withdrawal from the agreement, President Trump said in a press conference last June that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

“I’m sitting in this room, I’m looking over at my phone and I get an alert,” Peduto says in an exclusive clip of the doc obtained by TheWrap. “Read it twice, went into my chief of staff office and yelled, ‘Pittsburgh?!’”

Peduto said that’s when he composed his now famous response telling the president that Pittsburgh was going to stay in the Paris Agreement.

“On the heels of the recent federal report on climate change, we believe it is more critical than ever to create a global conversation about climate and to provide people with tangible ways they can help make a difference,” Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Networks, said in statement. “For us, it is not enough to just create this type of important, thought-provoking content. We need to be equally committed to ensuring it reaches the widest audience possible.”

Also Read: Elon Musk Quits Trump Advisory Role Over Paris Accord Exit: ‘Climate Change Is Real’

“Paris to Pittsburgh” is produced RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and is co- directed by Emmy Award winners Sidney Beaumont and Michael Bonfiglio. Beaumont also produced the film. Executive Producers are Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger, Jon Kamen and Katherine Oliver. Co-producers are Lindsay Firestone and Katie Dunn. Antha Williams of the Bloomberg Philanthropies environment program served as a consulting producer.

Watch an exclusive clip of the movie above and the trailer below.

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Amazon Names New York City, Northern Virginia as New Headquarters Sites

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Amazon announced on Tuesday that it will split its new second headquarters between New York City and Northern Virginia, capping a yearlong process that had cities falling over themselves to court the e-commerce giant.

The company will invest $5 billion between the two locations and is looking to hire 25,000 employees to fill the new offices in Arlington, Virginia, and the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, Amazon announced. The company will start hiring in 2019. The East Coast had been pegged a favorite landing spot for “HQ2,” with the offices giving Amazon a major presence in the media capital of the world and close to the nation’s capital.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive, said in a statement. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

Also Read: Amazon Studios Hires Debra Birnbaum as Awards Director

Amazon is receiving healthy tax breaks for the split HQ2. The company said it’s getting “performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion” for its Long Island City location, including a refundable tax credit via New York State’s Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion over the next decade. Amazon will also get $573 million in “performance-based direct incentives.”

Average salaries at the new locations will be around $150,000, according to the company. The new offices will cover 4 million square feet, with the potential to double in size in the years ahead. The company estimates its new locations will generate $10 billion in incremental tax revenue in the next 20 years.

The NYC and the near-D.C. offices will employ more workers than anywhere else at Amazon beyond its Seattle home and its offices in the San Francisco Bay Area; the company already had a modest 1,800 people working in New York City and about 2,500 tech employees near Washington, D.C., according to the New York Times.

Also Read: Roger Ailes Painted as Genius and Monster in ‘Divide and Conquer’ Trailer (Video)

The new offices cap a process that started in September 2017.  Amazon narrowed its finalists to a “top 20” in January, with Los Angeles, Austin and Denver, among other cities the company was considering.

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Louis CK’s Latest NYC Stand-Up Show Sparks Angry Protests

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Louis C.K.’s latest performance at the Comedy Cellar in New York City was certainly no secret, as a crowd of protestors gathered outside the Greenwich Village club on Monday night.

Many held signs supporting the #MeToo movement and the five women who have accused the disgraced comedian of sexual misconduct.

“Does this sign make you uncomfortable, Louie?” read one sign, while another said: “When you support Louis C.K., you tell women your laughter is more important than their sexual assaults and loss of their careers.”

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

After performing a number of surprise shows — that even the Comedy Cellar management wasn’t expecting — in recent months, C.K. was on the bill Monday night, marking the first time he had an advertised gig on stage since his public downfall last November.

Also Read: Louis CK Says He Lost ‘$35 Million in an Hour’ Over His Sexual Misconduct (Report)

“Frankly, I was furious,” one protestor told the New York Times from outside the club. “Every female comedian he has harmed deserves a place on the Comedy Cellar stage one hundred times before he should be allowed back on the stage.”

New York Times culture writer Sopan Deb, who attended the stand-up show, tweeted afterward, “Louis started his set with ‘How was your year?’”

A protester outside the Comedy Cellar tonight before Louis CK takes the stage for his second billed show of the night. pic.twitter.com/inNwuog1V3

– Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) October 30, 2018

Also Read: Sarah Silverman Says Louis CK Sometimes Masturbated in Front of Her, With Her Consent

C.K. also told the audience he was there because he needed the money after losing $35 million in one day. “They tell you that when you get in trouble you find out who your real friends are. It’s black people, it turns out. They’ll stick by you,” he added, according to the Times.

Last November, C.K. was accused of sexual misconduct by five women. Among the accusers in the New York Times article were comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, who according to the Times were invited by the comedian to his hotel room after their show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002. According to the report, when they arrived at his room, C.K. asked Goodman and Wolov if he could take out his penis.

C.K. released a statement shortly after the story was published saying, “these stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK because I never showed a woman my d— without asking first, which is also true.”

Shortly after the accusations came to light, The Orchard canceled the release of “I Love You, Daddy,” the film that C.K. directed, wrote and starred in. HBO and Netflix also cut ties with him.

A representative for the Comedy Cellar did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the protests or the show.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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

Sarah Silverman Says Louis CK Sometimes Masturbated in Front of Her, With Her Consent

Louis CK Makes Surprise Appearance at NYC Comedy Club, Again

Louis CK Performs at New York Comedy Club for First Time Since Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Hollywood, Media Companies Beef Up Security After Bomb Scares

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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

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

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

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

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

Joe Scarborough Calls Trump Attacks on Migrant Caravan ‘Anti-American’ and ‘Un-Christlike’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Joe Scarborough condemned President Trump’s fixation on a caravan of migrants slowly moving toward the United States from Central America, telling his audience on “Morning Joe” on Wednesday that the demonization from the White House wasn’t just un-American but un-Christian, too.

“What Donald Trump is doing is not only anti-American,” said Scarborough. “I will just say this as a guy that was raised in the southern Baptist church, at least based on the bible I read, the gospels that I read, the good samaritan story that I read, it’s un-Christ like what’s going on here.”

“History will look back and Americans will look back with shame that we ever had a president like this,” Scarborough lamented. “The statue of liberty, it’s still in New York Harbor. It’s still stands for what makes this country great. Out of many, one. That has been our history for years and years, for over 200 years.”

Also Read: ‘Morning Joe’ Pleads for Cabinet to Invoke 25th Amendment: Trump ‘Not Fit to Lead’

Though Trump — a thrice married New York City real estate billionaire — has never claimed to be a biblical scholar, he made a notable effort to reach out to Christian and evangelical voters who returned the favor by supporting him to the hilt in 2016. During a speech while a candidate, Trump told an audience at Liberty University that he was fond of the bible’s “Two Corinthians” — a mispronunciation of “Second Corinthians,” which drew laugher from the crowd.

The president’s language on the migrant caravan that began in Central America earlier this month has been much clearer. On Twitter, Trump has railed against the migrants, promoting tough Fox News coverage of the event and even warning to send the military to the border if need be.

“For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess! They only wish they had that decision to make over again,” said Trump Wednesday morning in his latest pronouncement on the matter.

For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess! They only wish they had that decision to make over again.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018

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

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

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.

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Drama Teacher Karen Sklaire Accused James Toback of Assault, Now She May Change Her Name

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Karen Sklaire, a drama teacher and playwright, has written a play about her experience with director James Toback, whom she accused last fall of sexually assaulting her in 1997. But the experience has left her so scarred, she’s now considering changing her name.

“This is not the way I wanted my name to get out there,” Sklaire told TheWrap. “I’m a teacher, you know? I need a clean Google search.”

Sklaire was a 27-year-old aspiring actress when she said Toback, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, approached her at a street fair in New York City in 1997, offering her a chance at an upcoming movie. But when she arrived at his West Village office, she said Toback began berating her with personal questions about her sex life. When she asked to leave, he handed her a script and ordered her to, “Just sit there.”

Also Read: #AfterMeToo: 12 Accusers Share What Happened Next, From Firing to More Trauma

“Then, he comes up fully dressed in his track suit and he rubbed up against my leg until he satisfied himself,” Sklaire told TheWrap. “It was humiliating and deeply disturbing to the point where I wiped it out [of my memory].” 

By last count, 395 women have come forward with stories accusing Toback of predatory behavior — turning the “Bugsy” screenwriter’s name into a verb. (Toback has denied the accusations.)

“I found out later that so many friends were ‘Tobacked,’” Skaire said. “That’s how we called it.”

Sklaire said she bonded with the other accusers over their shared experiences. “We were freaking out because so many people came out. Nine turned to 20, 20 turned to 30, and after the [L.A. Times] article came out, it turned into hundreds.”

Also Read: Natasha Leggero Joins Long List of James Toback Accusers: ‘He’s Probably Humping a Tree Somewhere’ (Video)

But the excitement of finding a community soon evaporated. “It was too many people, too much press,” she said. “It started becoming too stressful.” Here, she shares more of her experience.

Why did you decide to come forward?
I came forward because I thought it was really important. But for every action there is a reaction. You have to be ready for a backlash. Sometimes I can handle it and sometimes I can’t. It’s a mixed bag.

What was it like?
It got really overwhelming and I had to get off the Twitter group, there were too many voices and inevitably it got to be too much. It also upset some family members that I went public about it. I think some had wished I hadn’t. Some asked if I was doing it because I wanted to make a name for myself.

What was your biggest challenge these past few months?
It’s hard enough trying to be an artist. I’m trying to raise money for a documentary series on teachers but now I’m not sure if anyone cares… You go from everyone wanting to talk to you to, a week later, no one wanting to hear from you again. They’re off to the next story and you’re left with a Google trail.

Also Read: James Toback, Accused of Sexual Assault, Will Not Be Charged by LA District Attorney

The Asia Argento scandal seems to have thrown the #MeToo movement for a loop. Where do you think the movement is right now?
Part of me doesn’t want to hear the story. She was such a big part of #MeToo. It’s disappointing. It makes me angry. I’m very emotional right now. It’s not just Asia. Louis C.K. got up to do a set at the Comedy Cellar. I’ve performed there and I’m disappointed. Shame on the owner for allowing that to happen. He got a standing ovation? What does that say about the movement? Is Toback going to make a comeback too? It’s not OK.

Nothing has panned out. The only thing that has happened is that Toback has gone underground. He was never arrested and we’re stuck with the whole system of statutes of limitations. It has to change. We were all close through this whole thing and we don’t talk anymore because there is nothing more to say.

What are you doing these days?
I wrote a play about my experience with Toback and I’m planning on finishing it. This has made me only more determined.

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Cicely Tyson, Kathleen Kennedy Among 2018 Honorary Oscar Winners

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Legendary actress Cecily Tyson and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are among this year’s Honorary Oscar winners, the film academy announced Wednesday.

Tyson (“Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Help”), who is 93, will receive the AMPAS prize along with publicist Marvin Levy and composer Lalo Schifrin.  Prolific film producers and husband-and-wife team Kennedy and Frank Marshall will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

For the 10th year, the Academy governors will hold the honorary ceremony prior to the official Oscars telecast, this year on Nov. 18 at Hollywood and Highland’s Dolby Ballroom.

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The award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy,” an announcement said.

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is not an Oscar statue but a bust of the motion picture executive, is presented to creative producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

Read career highlights for this year’s honorees:

Levy began his career in publicity working for MGM in New York City before joining Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, where he guided the advertising for films including “The Deep” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” His work for the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” marked the beginning of a four-decade-long partnership with Steven Spielberg. Levy has held positions at Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Partners, and has worked on publicity campaigns for such films as “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator” and “Lincoln.” Levy is the first publicist to receive an honorary Oscar.

Born and raised in Argentina, Schifrin studied classical music and jazz in France before beginning to compose for film in Buenos Aires in the mid-1950s. He has written scores for more than 100 films, including “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry,” “Enter the Dragon” and “Rush Hour.” His memorable theme for the television series “Mission: Impossible” has been a hallmark of the recent film series. He has received six Oscar® nominations, for the original scores for “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Fox” (1968), “Voyage of the Damned” (1976) and “The Amityville Horror” (1979), the original song “People Alone” from “The Competition” (1980) and the adaptation score for “The Sting II” (1983).

Raised in Harlem, Tyson began her career as a model and a theater actress, appearing both on Broadway and Off-Broadway. After playing small roles in feature films and television, she was cast as Portia in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” in 1968. Four years later, she received an Academy Award® nomination for her leading performance in “Sounder.” Her other notable film credits include “The River Niger,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Alex Cross” and “Last Flag Flying.”

The Kennedy/Marshall producing partnership, formed in 1991, has generated Best Picture nominations for “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Seabiscuit” (2003), “Munich” (2005) and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008). Kennedy/Marshall Company productions also include “Congo,” all five “Bourne” films, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Prior to forming Kennedy/Marshall, the duo co-founded Amblin Productions with Steven Spielberg, sharing a Best Picture nomination for “The Color Purple” (1985). Additionally, Marshall received a Best Picture nomination for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), while Kennedy was nominated in the same category for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “War Horse” (2011) and “Lincoln” (2012). Kennedy is the first woman to receive the Thalberg Award.

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NY Post Op-Ed Editor Calls CNN’s Brian Stelter a ‘Ridiculous Soulless Clown’ in Twitter Spat

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

New York Post op-ed editor Seth Mandel ripped Brian Stelter on Sunday, blasting the CNN anchor over his interview with New York City Mayor — and frequent Post critic — Bill de Blasio.

Mandel accused Stelter of allowing de Blasio to attack his paper and the broader Rupert Murdoch empire without offering sufficient pushback.

“Are you doing a parody of yourself? You brought him on and let him smear all the work we do and you didn’t f—ing challenge him on ANY of it,” said Mandel. “You ridiculous soulless clown.”

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Is that a joke? “Post staffers say it makes me feel unsafe”?? Are you doing a parody of yourself? You brought him on and let him smear all the work we do and you didn’t fucking challenge him on ANY of it. That’s how you feel about local news, Brian? You ridiculous soulless clown.

– Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) August 13, 2018

Stelter was caught by surprise by Mandel’s criticism and attempted to take the high road.

“Your rage is shocking and unbecoming of you,” said Stelter. “I can see that you don’t want to have a real conversation. Have a good night, hope you have a better tomorrow.”

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Your rage is shocking and unbecoming of you. I can see that you don’t want to have a real conversation. Have a good night, hope you have a better tomorrow.

– Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 13, 2018

But that was just the beginning.

“You gave [de Blasio] an unchallenged platform,” Mandel charged. “All because you want to keep the heat on Fox–and the NY Post be damned. I hope it was worth it.”

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You gave him an unchallenged platform. All because you want to keep the heat on Fox–and the NY Post be damned. I hope it was worth it.

– Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) August 13, 2018

“I don’t know what interview you watched. I challenged him over and over again,” Stelter snapped back. “BTW: I would never call anyone a “ridiculous soulless clown,” and I’m astonished that you did.”

I don’t know what interview you watched. I challenged him over and over again. Again, here it is: https://t.co/6DleOhNIAo BTW: I would never call anyone a “ridiculous soulless clown,” and I’m astonished that you did.

– Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 13, 2018

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The spat was over de Blasio, who has increasingly fashioned himself as a media critic. A review of the video does show that the CNN reporter did challenge many of de Blasio’s claims.

“When it comes to Newscorp they have a political mission and we have to be able to talk about it,” said the mayor in once instance.

“But singling out Newscorp. It’s like Trump singling out CNN. Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Stelter hit back.

You can watch the full interview from CNN here.

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‘Blade Runner’ Actress Sean Young Wanted by NYPD for Questioning in Burglary

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Blade Runner” actress Sean Young is a “wanted individual” after officers say she was caught on camera stealing laptops and software from a store in New York City, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department told TheWrap on Friday.

The robbery happened just after midnight on Thursday, according to the NYPD. Surveillance footage shows Young and a man breaking in and grabbing the laptops and software, worth about $12,000 in total, according to the Associated Press, who first to reported the story.

A representative for Young declined to comment when contacted by TheWrap.

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The NYPD has listed “Mary Young” as the woman they’re looking to bring in for questioning, matching the actress’ birth name of Mary Sean Young.

Young is best known for her roles in the ’80s movies “Blade Runner” and “Wall Street.” Her iconic character of Racheal from the original 1982 “Blade Runner” made a brief appearance in Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” last year thanks to the work of cutting-edge visual effects.

The 58-year-old actress has run into issues with the law in the past; she was arrested in 2012 for slapping a security guard at an Oscars after-party.

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