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Disney+ outages reported as millions tune in to ‘WandaVision’

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Disney+ outages reported as millions tune in to ‘WandaVision’

That’s one kind of cliffhanger. “WandaVision” Episode 7 was put on pause early Friday morning as some Disney+ users experienced outages in the US, Canada and UK. Fans who stayed up late to watch the beloved Marvel sci-fi series were left hanging as error messages played across their screens. Episode 7, which featured a big…

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Golden Globes slammed for lack of black voters in protest

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Golden Globes slammed for lack of black voters in protest

The 2021 Golden Globes is getting the time’s up treatment.

The awards show, set to air Sunday on NBC, has come under fire after a recent exposé found that the Globes’ elusive group, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, does not have a single black member involved.

The organization Time’s Up launched a #TimesUpGlobes protest campaign Friday, calling out the HFPA, which selects nominees and hands out honors, over the lack of diversity.

“A cosmetic fix isn’t enough,” one of the group’s tweets read, a sentiment that was echoed by Shonda Rhimes as well as Kerry Washington, Alyssa Milano, Amy Schumer and more.

Several celebrities joined in to support the movement on Twitter, including Judd Apatow, who wrote: “So many crazy things about the @goldenglobes and the Hollywood Foreign press but this is awful. #timesupglobes.”

Ava DuVernay called it “Old news. New energy,” in her tweet along with the hashtag.

The campaign comes after the Los Angeles Times posted a damning report about the “insular, improbably powerful group” and the mysterious identities of its 87 members, who often keep “low profiles.” While it found that the group has does have some members of color, there are no black members, a fact which the HFPA confirmed. The group also said it’s an issue they’re “committed to addressing.”

For this year’s nominations, there were notable snubs for widely acclaimed films such as Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” and Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” for the top big-screen honors — though “Judas” star Daniel Kaluuya scored a nod for a “supporting role.” HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” was nominated for best TV drama — but the entire cast was overlooked for acting nods.

In an initial statement, the HFPA said it was a choice made by its members.

“We do not control the individual votes of our members,” HFPA said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV and recognize how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation and orientation.”

However, by Thursday, the HFPA pledged to “bring in black members.”

“We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them,” the organization said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”

On Friday, former HFPA president and board chair Meher Tatna told Variety there hasn’t been a black member of the organization since at least 2002, claiming it’s “not been easy” to find an international black journalist.

“As a person of color, it’s important to me,” Tatna said. “It’s just there are nuances, as an organization of immigrants, who write for our home country, that search [for international Black journalists] has not been easy, but that doesn’t mean we will give up. We will keep trying, and we will be part of the solution.”

In 2018, Time’s Up led the charge amid the #MeToo movement, and many actors and actresses wore black on the red carpet as a sign of solidarity and to raise awareness about the campaign.

Similarly, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out Oscars, came under fire in 2015 for lack of diversity when it snubbed actors of color, leading to the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign. Since then, the Oscars has made moves for more inclusivity spurred by the movement.

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Is a ‘GMA’ anchor in line to replace ‘Bachelor’ host Chris Harrison?

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Is a 'GMA' anchor in line to replace 'Bachelor' host Chris Harrison?

Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts are both being considered as replacements for Chris Harrison on “The Bachelor,” The Sun can reveal.

Michael will bring “a level of stability” to “The Bachelor,” a source said, as he is eyed to replace troubled Chris, while Robin “would be an excellent choice to bring some gravitas and seriousness.”

Amid the ongoing backlash to the racism scandal, Chris has been “iced out” of talks at ABC as they discuss who should replace the long-time host.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, a “Bachelor” insider admitted that Michael is being considered as the replacement for Chris, with sources claiming that the “Good Morning America” host is “the right mix of news and show business” to deal with the role of overseeing the ABC series.

OK! originally broke the news of Michael’s potential new gig, but the insider explained there are issues that would need to be ironed out for him to land the role full time.

The Sun understands ABC executives want to make sure that they have the right message and bring a level of stability to the replacement for Chris, who may not return for the next season.

Insiders said while his position as executive producer is safe, there is a “time to wait before knowing whether Chris can come back onscreen.”

Michael, if he got booked, would oversee Matt James’ “After the Final Rose” special, and the next season of “The Bachelorette.”

Decisions will be made in the next few days, sources said, adding Michael’s booking would “need some tricky negotiations” given his Fox commitments and GMA role in New York.

“The Bachelor” usually films around Los Angeles, although due to the pandemic, it has in recent seasons filmed at resorts in Palm Springs and North Carolina.

Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts on the set of ABC's "Good Morning America."
Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts on the set of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
ABC

The Sun previously revealed that since the show has remained under fire for its controversies surrounding race, people of color are being hired “at all levels” to add diversity behind the scenes. 

With 49-year-old Chris’ position on the chopping block as backlash rages on for his comments, a source says it’s a matter of “when, not if” Chris will get the boot. 

The insider exclusively told The Sun: “It’s only a matter of time before an announcement is made that Chris isn’t returning. 

“At this point it’s not if, it’s when. There are still talks of keeping him as an executive producer.

“But unless Chris somehow turns this around, his role on-camera is done.”

"The Bachelor" contestant Matt James with host Chris Harrison.
“The Bachelor” contestant Matt James with host Chris Harrison.
ABC

Fans have called for Chris to be fired after making a series of “unacceptable” comments while chatting with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay – the first Black lead in the show’s history. 

Chris asked fans to show “compassion” for Rachael Kirkconnell, 24, after resurfaced photos showed her attending an “Old South” plantation party with deep ties to the Confederacy in 2018. 

The Matt James frontrunner was also accused of liking controversial social media posts that include the Confederate flag and pro-Trump “MAGA” content. 

The Sun has contacted reps for Michael and Robin for comment.

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Lee Daniels on ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’

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Lee Daniels on 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday'

At the intersection of artistry and addiction, director Lee Daniels found his connection with late blues icon Billie Holiday. 

“I had to tell her story because it lived in me on so many different levels,” Daniels told The Post. “Not just as an artist, but as an artist who also struggled with addiction.”

Daniels, 61, pulls back the curtain on the troubled 1940s jazz singer’s simultaneous battles with substance abuse and the federal government in his new film, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” out Friday on Hulu. The movie stars Andra Day as Billie Holiday, who has already been nominated for two Golden Globes for the performance.

The harrowing tale of Holiday’s traumatic childhood and tumultuous life in the spotlight has been famously recounted in the 1972 classic “Lady Sings the Blues,” starring Diana Ross, and on Broadway in the musical “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” led by Audra McDonald in 2014.

But in his tribute to the legendary songstress, Daniels chose to focus less on Holiday’s troubled past, and more on her ill-fated relationship with federal agent Jimmy Fletcher.

“It’s not a biopic,” Daniels said. “It’s really an espionage love story.”

The affair started when Fletcher was tapped by openly racist Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry Anslinger to take Holiday down for her heroin use. 

But Anslinger’s true motive for targeting Holiday was to stop her from singing her anti-lynching anthem “Strange Fruit.”

‘She called out social injustice when no one else would.’

Lee Daniels

“I get chills thinking about those lyrics,” Daniels said. “They’re so powerful because she called out social injustice when no one else would.”

“Strange Fruit” was originally a poem written by Jewish high school teacher and civil rights activist Abel Meeropol in 1937. The Bronx native penned the verse after seeing a haunting picture of a double lynching, and set the words to music for Holiday to begin performing at racially integrated New York City nightclubs in 1939.

The protest song infamously exposed the violence committed by white people who murdered black Americans by hanging them from trees in the segregated South. 

Amid the spectacle of Holiday’s opioid abuse, extramarital liaisons — including an intimate relationship with actress Tallulah Bankhead — and repeated stints in jail on drug charges, the movie reaches a climax: a lynching scene, in which Holiday stumbles on a terrible crime. 

“[The lynching scene] was the hardest thing I’ve ever shot before in my life.”

Lee Daniels

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever shot before in my life,” said Daniels, who also directed the Hollywood blockbusters “Precious” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

In the scene, Holiday wanders off of her tour bus and sees children crying in front of a burning cross, a signature of the Ku Klux Klan. Their father helplessly tries rescuing their mother as her limp body hangs from a branch. 

At that moment, Holiday vows to continue performing “Strange Fruit,” despite the FBI’s attempts to silence her. 

“She didn’t want to be a hero,” Daniels said. “She would not think of herself as a civil rights leader even though she was one. She just knew she had to sing this song.”

Daniels and Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter Suzan-Lori Parks wrapped the film before the nationwide demand for social justice, spurred by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, in 2020. Daniels said he hopes the movie inspires the Senate to pass the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, legislation that would officially designate lynching a hate crime. 

‘I want this film to open up conversations that promote change.’

Lee Daniels

“I want this film to open up conversations that promote change,” Daniels said. “If we are doing the work to address systemic racism, I think we will have a better America.”

Holiday’s call for change, “Strange Fruit,” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978, declared the “Song of the Century,” by Time in 1999 and added into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2002.

As for Daniels’ homage to the late Lady Day, who died of cirrhosis handcuffed to a hospital bed a few months before he was born in 1959, the filmmaker says she approved of the film. 

“On the last day of shooting, I dreamt I saw Ms. Holiday sitting in a 1950s car,” Daniels said. 

“I asked her, ‘Is it okay that I’m doing your movie?’ 

She said, ‘Are you going to do me right?,’ and I said, ‘I think so.’ Then she smiled.”

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