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

Godfrey’s Stand Out Stand Up Featured In Tiffany Haddish’s ‘They Ready’ Netflix Special, Which Shines A Light On Seasoned Comedians

The Gist: A couple of years ago, Haddish flexed her newly-gained star power with Netflix to host and produce a stand-up showcase to feature some of the ladies she performed with in the comedy club trenches. Haddish’s “She Ready” catchphrase begat They ReadySome of Haddish’s handpicked comedians were more ready than others.

For Season 2, Haddish turned to more seasoned professionals, some of whom she looked to when she was on the come-up, some of whom mentored her and offered her sage advice, and all of whom deserve more attention and credits from the industry and fans than they’ve earned so far. They are Godfrey, Tony Woods, Barbara Carlyle, Erin Jackson, Kimberly Clark, and Dean Edwards. Each get about 15 to 20 minutes to perform in individual episodes, with testimonials from Haddish. A seventh episode, “The After Show,” closes out the season with Haddish speaking to the group and asking them about their experiences on the road and in show business.

What Comedy Specials Will It Remind You Of?: If you haven’t already watched They Ready Season 1, then think of this as a throwback to the old Young Comedians shows that ran annually on HBO in the 1980s, or Rodney Dangerfield’s version of the same (only these comedians aren’t that young).

Memorable Jokes: They filmed this series last fall during the pandemic, and the opening episode finds Godfrey addressing the moment immediately, with jokes about how masks and a lack of salons have leveled the playing field for all women, in terms of their looks. He also offers up impersonations of his Nigerian cousins, his Chinese and Italian friends, and presidents Obama and Trump.

Godfrey pointed out how they filmed this showcase on the same stage in Long Beach where the late great Richard Pryor filmed his 1979 concert film, and yet how not much had changed in what they could joke about with regard to Black rights in America.

Perhaps the best part, if not the funniest, comes near the end of the whole season, when Haddish asks each of the comedians who they’d bring up next, as Haddish has done with them. That allows Carlyle to shout out Mugga, Edwards to talk up Harris Stanton, Jackson to wish for Paris Sashay, Godfrey to highlight Marina Franklin and Ian Edwards, Clark to tip her cap to Hugh Moore and Lexie Grace, and Woods to holler at Greer Barnes and Rondell.

Paying it forward, sharing the spotlight, always great things.

Source: Decider

NBCU’s Peacock Pins WWE Network Exclusive U.S. Streaming Rights In Five-Year Deal, Beginning March 18th

NBCUniversal’s Peacock soon will be the only place to watch WWE Network in the U.S.

WWE and NBCU reached a multiyear agreement giving Peacock exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network for American viewers. The over-the-top wrestling entertainment service’s existing U.S. subscribers (about 1.1 million in total) will be migrated over to Peacock Premium, where they’ll continue to get access to WWE Network but will pay 50% less per month while getting full access to the version of the Peacock Premium tier with ads.

Peacock will launch WWE Network on March 18, 2021, when Peacock will begin the rollout of more than 17,000 hours of WWE Network new, original, and library programming (both on-demand and on a new 24-hour channel).

The NBCU streamer will have all WWE live events — for no additional charge — including WrestleMania and SummerSlam, with Fastlane the first event to stream on Peacock on Sunday, March 21. (WWE fans who would prefer to order events via traditional pay-per-view will still have that option.)

WWE Network will be available on Peacock Premium (which includes ads) for $4.99 per month, half the price of WWE Network’s current $9.99/month pricing. The no-commercials Peacock Premium Plus plan, which costs $9.99/month, also will include WWE Network.

The companies plans to share details of how existing WWE Network subscribers in the U.S. will be switched to Peacock (e.g., whether they will be automatically subscribed to Peacock) in the next few weeks. Nothing will change for WWE Network subscribers outside the U.S.

Financial terms of the Peacock-WWE Network pact were not disclosed. “We feel great about the financials. Otherwise we wouldn’t have done the deal,” said Nick Khan, WWE’s president and chief revenue officer, who joined the company last August from CAA. “To have WrestleMania in particular — which is our Super Bowl — available [for no extra cost] on Peacock is quite different from other models you’re seeing.”

For Peacock, the WWE Network is “a transformative addition,” said Rick Cordella, Peacock’s EVP and chief revenue officer. “We have a lot of data that shows live events and sports drives a lot of user acquisition,” he said. “The bet is that there exists a much larger total available audience [for WWE programming] than is on WWE Network today.”

WWE and NBCU (and its predecessors) have been partners for more than 30 years. “Monday Night Raw” on USA, the first regular cable program from the wrestling-entertainment company, debuted in 1993. “WWE has always tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with spectacular live events and larger-than-life characters, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive home for WWE Network and its millions of fans across the country,” said Cordella.

In the third quarter of 2020, WWE Network had average paid subscribers of 1.6 million, down about 60,000 from the prior quarter but an increase of 6% year over year — marking the service’s first annual growth since Q1 of 2019. The entertainment company originally launched WWE Network in February 2014, when it ended its traditional pay-per-view events business.

Starting in 2022, WWE will produce “one signature documentary annually” for the WWE Network on Peacock. Also available on WWE Network are about 100 hours of original series like “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions,” “Undertaker: The Last Ride” and the recently premiered “WWE Icons”; in-ring shows like NXT, NXT UK and WWE 205 Live, as well as replays of “Raw” and “SmackDown”; WWE Network archives, including every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view event in history; and documentaries including “WWE 24,” “WWE Untold” and “WWE 365.”

Peacock, which NBCU launched nationwide in July 2020, attracted nearly 22 million user “sign-ups” in its first six months of wide release, according to the company. Eligible customers of Comcast Xfinity X1 and Flex and Cox’s Contour — a total of about 24 million households — get Peacock Premium included at no additional cost.

Peacock’s content lineup includes a slate of originals, libraries of TV shows — including all episodes of “The Office” and “Yellowstone” — and films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, and other studios. In addition, the OTT service provides news, sports, late-night, Spanish-language, and reality from across NBCUniversal.

Peacock Premium now offers more than 47,000 hours of programming. NBCU also offers a free, ad-supported version of Peacock with a trimmed-down bucket of content.

Source: Variety

AMC renting out theaters for $99 amid pandemic recovery plans (up to 20 people)

AMC locations across the U.S. are renting out entire theaters for moviegoers starting at $99.

Groups up to 20 people can enjoy a private user experience. The price for rental goes upwards to $349 depending on the movie chosen by the group and the theater location, AMC states on their website.

Currently, 34 films are being offered in rental packages. Older releases start at $99 plus tax while newer movies begin at $149.

There are several add-ons that also increase the price for groups, AMC disclosed on their FAQs page. Popcorn and other snacks are not included but can be bought using snack vouchers as the theaters are now cashless.

You can also bring your own food for a catering fee of $250. On condition, AMC doesn’t allow people to bring goodies that they already sell or that require a “heating element.”

Should you want to greet your group with a microphone, that will be another $100 fee.

The newest initiative comes while the theater company tries to recover from the hit it took from shutting down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Fox Business

NBCUniversal’s new streaming service ‘Peacock’ now available on Roku devices — NBC’s biggest projects such as The Office and Parks And Recreation to be pulled from Netflix and Hulu as Peacock exclusives

Peacock is a new streaming service that makes hundreds of NBC TV shows and Universal films available for free. Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, officially launched free and premium versions of Peacock on July 15, though some Comcast internet and cable customers have had early access to the service since April.

Peacock was intended to launch alongside the 2020 Olympics to provide a live stream for the Summer Games in Tokyo, but the linchpin event has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the major disruption, NBCUniversal managed to launch Peacock as scheduled.

Peacock has brokered deals for new original series produced by Tina Fey and Kevin Hart, as well as rights to stream classic series like “Law & Order” and “Will and Grace.” “The Office,” a perennial Netflix favorite and one of  NBC’s most beloved series, will move to Peacock in January 2021. A new original series adapting the book “Brave New World” has already debuted on Peacock, along with original films, like “Psych 2,” and exclusive documentaries, like Dale Earnhard Jr’s “Lost Speedways.”

Peacock’s library is also full of classic Universal movies, and the streaming service has announced that all eight “Harry Potter” movies will be coming to the platform over the next six months. Other franchises, like “Jurassic Park” and “Fast & Furious,” will be available on a rotating basis as well.

Peacock will also feature live sporting events, like the Premier League and the 2021 Olympics. A number of popular sports radio shows, including “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,” and “PFT Live with Mike Florio” will also stream exclusively on Peacock.

Source: Business Insider