Notes

LA Observed Notes: Arellano out, Weinstein expelled, Sarah Polley talks truth

sarah-polley-at-work.jpgSarah Polley, the Canadian actor and director, reveals her Harvey Weinstein story and nails Hollywood in a first-person piece for the New York Times.

Our occasional roundup of news and notes, from media sources and our in-box. As always, between posts you can keep up with LA Observed on Twitter — now with 24,517 followers.


Dodgers walk off 29 years to the day after Kirk Gibson home run

The Cubs went out against the Dodgers in the bottom of the 9th without their closer, Wade Davis, and with the game tied 1-1. Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor got on base to keep the inning alive, allowing Justin Turner to smash a three-run homer to center.

The win gave the Dodgers a sweep of the two games in LA and sends the National League series to Chicago for three games — and a chance for the Dodgers to clinch the pennant before coming home.

The fan who caught the homer on national TV is Keith Hupp, a retired South Gate police captain. It wasn't the first time he caught a Justin Turner home run in the playoffs, if you can believe it. They met outside the clubhouse and came to an agreement on the ball.

Academy expels Harvey Weinstein

The board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted on Saturday to kick disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein out of the club. He's apparently the first expelled academy member since that guy whose screeners turned up on the piracy market. The producers guild is pondering the same move on Monday, while critics are suggesting the film academy should keep going and move against Woody Allen, Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski.


The Weinstein scandal continues to build on multiple fronts, with more actresses adding their names to the list of Weinstein's attempted victims and more details getting out. The NYT on Sunday night has a lot new on the 2015 NYPD sting at Weinstein's recorded meeting with Italian model Ambra Battilana. Janice Min told Brian Stelter on CNN's Reliable Sources that there's a "huge sense of relief" in Hollywood now that the Weinstein stories are finally public. Stelter also talked to Jodi Kantor, the NYT reporter whose story last week finished off Weinstein as a Hollywood titan.

Essential reading: Brother Bob Weinstein tells Matthew Belloni and Gregg Kilday of the Hollywood Reporter that he has been estranged from his brother for five years and thinks he should face justice for his behavior.

My brother has caused unconscionable suffering. As a father of three girls, I say this with every bone in my body — I am heartbroken for the women that he has harmed....I know him on a personal level better than anyone. It’s hard to describe how I feel that he took out the emptiness inside of him in so many sick and depraved ways. It's a sickness but not a sickness that is excusable.


[skip]

I actually was quite aware that Harvey was philandering with every woman he could meet. I was sick and disgusted by his actions. But that's the extent of what [I knew]....Harvey was a bully, Harvey was arrogant, he treated people like shit all the time. That I knew. And I had to clean up for so many of his employee messes.

Violence. Threats. Begging. Harvey Weinstein’s 30-year pattern of abuse in Hollywood - Washington Post
Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood’s Oldest Horror Story - Maureen Dowd/NYT
London Police Investigating 3 Further Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault Claims - THR
Harvey Weinstein's Attorney Exits Without Filing Threatened N.Y. Times Lawsuit - THR
Woody Allen Clarifies Weinstein Comments: ‘He Is a Sad, Sick Man' - Variety
Kate Winslet didn't thank Harvey Weinstein when she won the Oscar - LAT
Twitter to Roll Out New Safety Rules After Rose McGowan-Sparked Protest - THR
Why Rose McGowan is the hero of this Harvey Weinstein horror show - LAT op-ed by Mariel Garza


Kim Masters on covering Hollywood scandals

kim-masters-twitter.jpgKim Masters, the editor at large of the Hollywood Reporter and host of "The Business" on KCRW, had Harvey Weinstein's predatory behavior in her journalistic sights for years. Last week she posted at THR a solid story on allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Amazon's Roy Price. It wasn't her first time in print with this story about Price, which she writes for the Columbia Journalism Review is a story in itself. She tells on the obstacles to investigative reporting on Hollywood. Sample:

I used to joke that I could wallpaper my house with threat letters during a career in which I’ve worked for publications including The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Time, and Esquire. In every case, I’ve relied on the advice of smart lawyers to make the pieces work, and in every case, the story in question eventually was published without incident.


This time was different.

My recent efforts to find a publisher for an article I wrote about allegations involving Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, represents one of the most difficult chapters in my decades-long career in journalism. Not only does it show the lengths to which a deep-pocketed subject will go to shut down a negative story, but it reveals the fear that now permeates news outlets at a challenging time for journalism.

The fact that my story, like the recent investigative pieces about now-disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, centered around allegations of inappropriate sexual comments in an industry dominated by men also shows how hard it still is to convince big organizations to take on stories about misconduct of powerful executives and the abuse of women.

The main villains of her piece are lawyers Charles Harder and Lisa Bloom — sound familiar? Both were representing Harvey Weinstein until last week. Price was suspended after Masters' THR story ran, and now Price's fiancée has called off the wedding.


Sarah Polley op-ed in the New York Times

sarah-polley-crop.jpgIf you read just one more personal piece about the Harvey Weinstein era, let it be actor-director Sarah Polley's op-ed in the New York Times. The Men You Meet Making Movies is drawing so many raves. "Must-read story made me cry," tweeted IndieWire columnist Anne Thompson. "A truly wonderful and painful op-ed," writes actor-director Amber Tamlyn.


When Polley was 19 and taking sexy promotion pics for "Guinevere," she was summoned to Weinstein's hotel suite. The publicist looked over how they had dressed her for the shoot and said she was going in with her and would not leave her side. "I knew everything I needed to know in that moment, and I was grateful," Polley writes. She rebuffed the ogre coming on to her with promises of a great career by telling him that she didn't care that much about being a star. She did finally walk away from acting to go back to Canada and direct.

I haven’t acted for almost 10 years now. Lately I’ve thought of trying to rediscover what once made it seem worthwhile. It’s a beautiful job, after all, built on empathy and human connection, and it seems strange to turn your back on something you did for so long. But for a long time, I felt that it wasn’t worth it to me to open my heart and make myself so vulnerable in an industry that makes its disdain for women evident everywhere I turn...


Harvey Weinstein may be the central-casting version of a Hollywood predator, but he was just one festering pustule in a diseased industry. The only thing that shocked most people in the film industry about the Harvey Weinstein story was that suddenly, for some reason, people seemed to care. That knowledge alone allowed a lot of us to breathe for the first time in ages.


Ellen Barkin on Twitter: "Every woman i know in this industry, young & not, has looked to Sarah Polley for inspiration and strength. Sarah Polley is a giant among women here. I hope she knows that."

Another Canadian actor, Mia Kirshner, wrote for the Globe and Mail that I was not protected from Harvey Weinstein. It’s time for institutional change.

Mayim Bialik of the hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" also wrote a weekend opinion piece for the NYT but it's not getting the same raves as Polley's. She writes in Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World from the perspective of being a sexually conservative woman in Hollywood.

Though I am shocked and disgusted by the scope of his alleged predation, the fact that he may have abused his position of power does not surprise me in the least.


I have always had an uncomfortable relationship with being employed in an industry that profits on the objectification of women. Though pressure to “be like the pretty girls” started long before I entered Hollywood, I quickly learned even as a preteen actress that young girls with doe eyes and pouty lips who spoke in a high register were favored for roles by the powerful men who made those decisions... I was always aware that I was out of step with the expected norm for girls and women in Hollywood.

I don't see it at all in her piece, but some Hollywood figures are accusing Bialik of saying that Weinstein's targets brought it on themselves by how they dressed or acted. Bialik responds: “Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that’s absurd and not at all what this piece was about. It’s so sad how vicious people are being when I basically live to make things better for women.” Wash Post


Gustavo Arellano resigns from OC Weekly

arellano-taco.jpgBig news in SoCal media broke on Friday afternoon. Gustavo Arellano, the longtime editor and multi-subject columnist at the OC Weekly in Orange County, said he stepped down rather than lay off half of the staff. The OC Weekly was acquired in 2016 by an Irvine firm, Duncan McIntosh Co. Arellano broke his news on social media — "It's been fun, gentle cabrones" he tweeted — then gave a fuller explanation to streaming radio host Tom Leykis.


Earlier in the week, Arellano was briefly suspended by Twitter over an exchange with critics but he says that had nothing to do with his departure. Arellano's managing editor, Nick Schou, was elevated to editor-in-chief of OC Weekly. The popular "Ask a Mexican" column that brought a ton of clicks to OC Weekly over the years belongs to the paper, Arellano says. He is the author of “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.” LA Times, OC Register, OC Weekly.

For the record, Gustavo has a weekly segment on KCRW that airs on Mondays, the same day as the LA Observed segment.


Media notes

anita-bennett-twitter.jpgAnita Bennett, recently senior editor at the LA Daily News, joins the British-owned celebrity website, Entertainment Daily US, as executive editor based in Los Angeles. Bennett says she took a voluntary buyout last month from the Daily News "as the Southern California News Group restructures editorial operations at its 11 newspapers."... Will new L.A. Times editor Lewis D'Vorkin transform the paper for better or worse? Hillel Aron at LA Weekly... When the Forbes website was used to spread malware.... Trump’s threats against the press may be toothless. But they’re far from harmless, writes Margaret Sullivan in her WashPost column... Jake Tapper had Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on "State of the Union." Tillerson again did not deny calling Trump a moron... In the New Yorker, Dexter Filkins profiles Tillerson as at his breaking point... Read an excerpt from Katy Tur's book, "Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History," at the Guardian: 'Come here, Katy': how Donald Trump turned me into a target.

New social media guidelines for newsroom staff at the New York Times tells journalists to "take extra care to avoid expressing partisan opinions or editorializing on issues that The Times is covering."... What Facebook did to American democracy and why it was so hard to see it coming, by Alexis C. Madrigal at the Atlantic... No one has ever gone from City Hall to the White House. Could Eric Garcetti be the first? Asked and answered by the LAT's Mark Barabak... PBS says the premiere episode of "The Vietnam War" drew an average audience of 9.6 million viewers and 11.9 million unique viewers. It's the highest ratings on PBS since the finale of "Downton Abbey." Vietnam has also been streamed over two million times, the most ever for a PBS premiere... Jemele Hill's future at ESPN remains unclear after her suspension, SI's Richard Deitsch writes... Mike Sager writes for Esquire that before slashed budgets and pivots to video, Rolling Stone "was a magical place to come of age as a writer." He recounts covering the crack epidemic here in Venice... Competitor Magazine in San Diego is folding as a monthly print publication after 30 years. The website will remain... Some things never change: The public school district in Biloxi, Miss. pulled "To Kill a Mockingbird" from 8th grade reading lists because the book might make people uncomfortable. Oh?... When L.A.'s Newsrooms Were Dominated by Men, Aggie Underwood Was a Baseball Bat-Wielding Pioneer. LA Weekly


LAT film critic Ken Turan: "Horror is a genre I never review and scrupulously avoid even watching...Did I change, or did horror change? The answer, I think, is both."

Also in Hollywood: Five years ago Sunday, Franklin Leonard launched The Black List online.


Media people doing stuff

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian has been finding some tough human stories at the wine country fires. The couple that survived in the pool, geez. Also the Marcus Yam photos.... Amanda Fortini in the New Yorker on the funeral parlor giving families peace after the Las Vegas shooting massacre... Washington D.C. reporter Kelly Cohen posted a Twitter thread Sunday after her ass was slapped while she was leaving the Redskins game. The perp and his friends laughed when she confronted the creep... Amy Nicholson wrote about 5 myths of Hollywood for the Washington Post Outlook section... Andres Martinez, the former editor of the editorial pages at the LA Times, returned to the op-ed page with a piece on the American men's soccer team falling out of the World Cup... Liz Phair and Elizabeth Wurtzel discuss sexism and other topics in Interview magazine. "The truth is, if I had any talent to be a rock star, that’s what I would have pursued. I’d have definitely preferred that," Wurtzel says... Watching a Game With Jerry West - as his Warriors Divorce Unfolds is adapted from "Golden Days: West’s Lakers, Steph’s Warriors, and the California Dreamers Who Reinvented Basketball" by Jack McCallum.


John Ismay, the former military reporter at KPCC who left last year to join Amnesty International, has joined the New York Times as "conflict reporter" and is involved in revival of the NYT's At War feature... Libby Denkman is the newest military and veterans beat reporter at KPCC... And former KPCC reporter Rebecca Plevin is going to work for the Desert Sun in Palm Springs and moving to the high desert, she tweets... A tribute to the late author and book editor Digby Diehl at Pasadena Weekly... "The United States of Absurdity" is a new book from Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, the comedians behind the podcast The Dollop...

During the Dodgers-Cubs game on Saturday, sports talker Steve Mason pleaded on Twitter for a can of gasoline in the Dodger Stadium parking lot: "THIS IS REAL. I have exactly 1-mile's worth of gas in Lot H near the orange 76 Sign. I need enough gas to get to a gas station."... Dick Enberg's new podcast has recently featured Vin Scully and Billie Jean King.


NYT doubles down on 'Journeys'

nyt-journeys-cover.jpgLook what came in the mail — I guess it's going to a bunch of, if not all, New York Times print subscribers. It's a heavy 130-page color booklet cataloging all of the expensive trips you can take next year with NYT journalists. Dozens and dozens of locations, around the country and the world, with travel companions that include reporters, editors, former NYT journalists and even a Sulzberger (Arthur Jr., on the cruise Fjords, Falls and Foreign Affairs, with Maureen Dowd from $5,129.) Los Angeles bureau chief Adam Nagourney is taking a group to Mayan Mexico and Central America (Foreign Affairs Afloat, from $2,994.) Designated traveler-experts on the itineraries include the former Los Angeles Times travel writer Susan Spano and other LAT alums Richard C. Paddock, Doreen Carvajal and Sandra Blakeslee. Too bad for politics junkies: Doesn't look like they're offering any chances to schmooze and talk Trump for 10 days with Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush.


Place

Porter Ranch residents exposed to Aliso Canyon gas leak have uranium, lithium and other chemicals in their bodies, health study shows - Daily News


A remarkable life: Larger-than-life persona a mainstay at storied San Pedro diner - Daily Breeze

100 Years of Changes at Downtown’s Historic Seventh Street Produce Market - LA Weekly

The Echo Park of painter Carlos Almaraz - The Eastsider

Big Sur back in business with opening of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 - San Francisco Chronicle


Selected tweets



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