Filmmaker Cynthia Kao Has Concerns Whether Oscar Winning Short “Two Distant Strangers” By Netflix And NowThis News Plagiarized Her Work

Cynthia Kao, producer, filmmaker and comedian, in a TikTok video going viral has pointed out the similarities between a short film she made in 2016 and a short film that recently won an Academy Award.

Without making any direct allegations, Filmmaker Cynthia Kao notes how her film Groundhog Day For A Black Man and Two Distant Strangers, Oscar winner for Best Live Action Short Film, share plot themes while giving her audience an insight into the backstory.

In the aftermath of George Floyd‘s killing and the resultant protests, Kao says she was contacted by publication NowThis News in 2020 for permission to amplify her short film on their platform, owing to its topicality.

‘When a black man lives the same day over and over again, he tries changing his behavior to survive a police interaction,’ reads the description for Kao’s short film Groundhog Day For A Black Man on YouTube.

The permission email, which Kao shows on screen, mentions the channel would give her credit when sharing her film. “They ended up posting it to their Facebook and Twitter page,” Kao says in her TikTok.

“One year after NowThis posts my short, Netflix puts out a short called Two Distant Strangers on April 9, 2021… it’s about a Black man who lives the same day over and over again and tries to survive a police interaction,” she says in her TikTok.

Two Distant Strangers has been directed by Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe, distributed by Netflix and produced in association with companies Dirty Robber, NowThis and Six Feet Over. The film had received critical acclaim upon its release last year November and in April 2021, won an Oscar.

“I don’t know what happened, I’m not making any assumptions,” Kao ends her TikTok video saying.

Kao is a prominent award-winning short film director also known for other titles like If Men Had Periods It Wouldn’t Be Gross and Relationship Status. She currently works for Walt Disney TV Directing Program, as per her website bio.

Ever since her claims went viral, netizens have been outraging against NowThis for allegedly “ripping off” her work and passing it off as an original production. Comments under Two Distant Strangers on YouTube too have amassed multiple allegations against the short’s makers of “stealing” Kao’s idea.

Source: She The People

NASM Certified Personal Trainer Brian Kranz Of Red Fitness (Irvine CA) Follows, Hurls Racist Remarks At Asian Woman; Says Recording Him Won’t Do Anything And ‘Thanks For Bringing COVID To My Country’

A woman shopping in Orange County, California has become the latest target of anti-Asian racism amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The incident, which was caught on video, reportedly occurred outside a Sephora store at The Market Place in Tustin and Irvine.

In the video posted on Instagram and Reddit, a man can be seen hurling anti-Asian racial slurs while a female companion sarcastically says “bye” to the camera.

The man has since reportedly been identified as Brian Kranz, a fitness instructor in Irvine, California who runs Red Fitness. His female partner—who is seen smirking throughout the incident and even smugly taunts the victim with a “bye”—has been identified as Janelle Hinshaw.

The Asian woman reportedly recalled how the incident started inside the store after the staff asked the pair to wear face masks.

“These people were standing after me in the line at Sephora. They didn’t have masks on before the staff requested so. But then [they] refused to keep social distancing from me. Sephora staff was doing a good job directing me to stand in another line,” a Nextdoor user, who claims to be the woman behind the camera, wrote.

The woman eventually finished shopping and returned to her car. That’s when Kranz followed and began making racist remarks.

“Why don’t you stay at home? Are you that dumb? You want to photograph me?” he says before charging toward the woman, who then retreats in her car.

“Exactly! Get in your car, stupid g**k. Go back to f**king [unintelligible].”

Brian Kranz returns to his Jeep and continues his tirade before driving away.

“Are you really that stupid? You know that recording doesn’t do anything,” he tells the woman. “Stay home. And thanks for giving my country COVID. Have a great day.”

Kranz is a trainer licensed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and many on social media called for his license to be revoked. Many also tagged Hinshaw’s current masters’ program at Azusa Pacific University to revoke her license as a psychologist working with teens.

Given both Kranz and Hinshaw’s work requires working with the public at large, it was of concern to many how they would treat their clients of Asian descent. 

The backlash has been immense. After reportedly deactivating their LinkedIn and Instagram pages, they faced backlash on other platforms. 

Source: The Daily Dot, NextShark

Nickelodeon pulls ‘Made By Maddie’ after social media users questioned the animated show’s similarities to Matthew A. Cherry’s Oscar-winning short ‘Hair Love’

Nickelodeon is pulling animated show Made by Maddie off its schedule in response to a controversy about similarities between its characters and those in the Oscar-winning short Hair Love.

The show had been set to premiere Sept. 13 on Nick Jr., the ViacomCBS network’s preschool channel. After Nickelodeon released a teaser for the show earlier in the week, the show drew criticism on social media for its characters’ resemblance to those in Hair Love, the short written and co-directed by Matthew A. Cherry that won the Oscar for best animated short earlier this year.

“Made by Maddie is a show we acquired several years ago from Silvergate Media, a renowned production company we have previously worked with on other series. Since announcing the show’s premiere date this week, we have been listening closely to the commentary, criticism and concern coming from both viewers and members of the creative community,” Nickelodeon said in a statement.

“In response, and out of respect to all voices in the conversation, we are removing the show from our schedule as we garner further insight into the creative journey of the show. We are grateful to Silvergate Media for all of their work. And we hold Matthew A. Cherry and the wonderful and inspiring Hair Love in the highest regard.”

Made by Maddie centers on an 8-year-old Black girl who uses her fashion sense and design skills to solve problems, along with the help of some friends and her parents, Dee and Rashad. Maddie frequently wears a pink headband in her hair, while Dee is depicted with natural hair and Rashad with locs. The families in both projects also have pet cats.

The mom and dad in Hair Love also have natural hair and locs, respectively, and the little girl, Zuri, also wears a pink headband. The similarities sparked a wave of criticism on social media, with users accusing Silvergate Media and Nickelodeon of copying Cherry’s work. Cherry hasn’t spoken on the matter but did retweet or reply to several posts calling out the resemblance, including the one below.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Kobe Bryant: The Life and Legacy of Basketball’s Greatest Mind

In his 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant was the heart of the city and stands as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. For the majority of his life, basketball was the most important thing, but he was so much more than an athlete. Kobe was a husband, a father, a friend, and a mentor. It’s heartbreaking that we’ll never get to see his future dreams realized, but we can know one thing: like every other chapter in his life, it would’ve been great.

Sports Academy retires ‘Mamba’ name out of respect for NBA great Kobe Bryant

The Mamba Sports Academy was launched in 2018 as a joint athletic training business venture with Bryant and Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner. The name will change back to The Sports Academy on Tuesday, with a new website and logo rebranding, Faulkner told The Undefeated.

The name “Mamba” was a part of Bryant’s nickname, “The Black Mamba,” which he gave to himself.

“Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one,” Faulkner told The Undefeated. “And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it’s more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. We will continue to do the work we do.

Source: ESPN