FROM Patrick Goldstein
Damaged Children, Clueless Adults and Hollywood Ratings Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is releasing the documentary Bully without a rating after Hollywood's Motion Picture Association of America said it would get an "R" rating because the "F---word" is used repeatedly. Weinstein says that would prevent the target audience, teen-age kids, from seeing it and learning important lessons. Bullying is now recognized as the source of long-term emotional damage, aggravated by adults who don't get it. Can a documentary make a difference? Is Weinstein seeking publicity? Should the MPAA update its criteria in the age of the Internet and cable TV? Note: Both Harvey Weinstein and the MPAA have declined our invitation to participate in our discussion.
Hollywood Meets the Internet and Economic Reality Hollywood is waking up to technology and economics. Studios are becoming revolving doors for executives, and the standards for "green-lighting" new projects aren't what they used to be.
Hollywood Meets the Internet and Economic Reality With so much free content on-line, the business model for movies just doesn't work any more. Revenues from DVD's are declining fast, as is backing from wealthy "angels" with big money to spend. And this was a summer of box-office flops. Studios are becoming revolving doors for executives, and are basing productions on comic books, graphic novels, webisodes and video games that can be serialized and "branded" for easy marketing. "Specialty" projects aimed at adults are fewer and farther between. We see how the wide world of entertainment is changing.
Talks Between Writers and Studios Break Down. Why? What’s Next? Thousands of people are going to be out of work for a long time if the producers and writers can’t reach an agreement and at the moment, they’re farther apart than ever. On Friday , the film and TV producers told the writers to put up or shut up. The writers accused them of bad faith. The producers came back with the charge that the writers were “ideological.” In any case, they’re not talking.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.