A group of investors, led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet, announced Tuesday they are backing out of a deal to buy The Weinstein Co., after receiving "disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction."
A person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters the deal was called off after the investors found out the company's debt was $280 million, not $225 million as previously disclosed. Dozens of women have accused co-founder Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and the suits pushed the company close to bankruptcy. Last week, it was announced the investors had reached an agreement to buy The Weinstein Co.'s assets and launch a new studio that would have a majority-female board and set up a fund for women who say they were abused by Weinstein.
The deal was reportedly worth $500 million, and would have secured the jobs of about 130 employees. Catherine Garcia
Roseanne is back, and a short teaser of its highly anticipated return aired during the Oscars, giving viewers a glimpse of the modern-day Conners.
Everything looks almost exactly the same, with that colorful afghan still on the living room couch, but there are now several grandchildren in the mix, and unlike in the finale, where Dan Conner (John Goodman) is dead, he's still alive and kicking in the reboot — although he does need a CPAP to sleep. It's not in the trailer, but Roseanne Barr already revealed earlier this year that art imitates life, and her character will also be a supporter of President Trump. Roseanne returns to ABC on March 27, and in the meantime, watch the teaser below. Catherine Garcia
The Weinstein Co. has agreed to sell its assets to an investment team led by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle, the company's board of directors confirmed Thursday night.
Most of the company's 150 employees will be invited to stay at its new iteration, and the deal should ensure that small businesses owed money by The Weinstein Co. are paid. Contreras-Sweet said they will launch a new studio with a board of directors made up mostly of women and create a $90 million fund to compensate women who were allegedly sexually harassed and abused by the once-powerful producer Harvey Weinstein. Since last fall, when The New York Times published allegations of misconduct against Weinstein, the company has been sued by several women who say the board was complicit in Weinstein's harassment.
Before a deal was reached on Thursday, talks collapsed twice: on Feb. 11, when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office filed a complaint, seeking oversight and conditions on the sale, and on Feb. 25, when The Weinstein Co. said it was backing out of negotiations and eyeing bankruptcy. A name for this new company has not yet been chosen. Catherine Garcia
Bucking tradition, Casey Affleck won't appear at this year's Academy Awards to present the Best Actress award.
Affleck won the Best Actor Oscar in 2017 for his performance in Manchester by the Sea, and typically, the previous year's Best Actor winner presents the current year's Best Actress award. Controversy has surrounded Affleck since his win last year, though, when it resurfaced that in 2010, he was accused by two women of sexual harassment; he denied the charges, and their cases were settled out of court and dismissed.
Now, with the #MeToo and Time's Up movements gaining steam, there had been questions regarding how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would handle Affleck's appearance. In a statement, an academy spokesperson said "we appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and the great work of this year." Catherine Garcia
What's old is new again, and 20 years after its finale aired on CBS, Murphy Brown is coming back to the network.
Deadline reports that CBS has ordered 13 episodes of a Murphy Brown revival, with star Candice Bergen and creator Diane English both on board to return. The series aired from 1988 to 1998, focusing on investigative journalist and TV anchor Brown, and Bergen won five Emmys for the role. Other original cast members are currently in talks to join Bergen on the show, Deadline reports.
Murphy Brown is the latest '90s sitcom to return to television screens — Will & Grace came back to NBC last fall, and a Roseanne revival will start airing on ABC in March. Catherine Garcia
Had actor Mark Wahlberg not received $1.5 million to re-shoot his scenes in All the Money in the World, Christopher Plummer would not have been hired to replace Kevin Spacey in the drama, USA Today reports.
There was outrage earlier this week after it was reported that the movie's star, Michelle Williams, was paid less than 1 percent of what Wahlberg made during the re-shoot — just $80 per day of shooting. Director Ridley Scott decided to replace Spacey with Plummer after several men accused Spacey of sexual misconduct, but two people with knowledge of the situation told USA Today that Wahlberg's contract gave him co-star approval, and he wouldn't sign off on Plummer unless he was paid $1.5 million. "What he said was, 'I will not approve Christopher Plummer unless you pay me,'" one said. "And that's how he [expletive] them."
USA Today was also told that Wahlberg's lawyer sent a letter to the film's financiers saying he was vetoing Plummer unless he received the money. Williams, on the other hand, was pleased with Scott's decision to re-shoot with Plummer; she previously told USA Today she had said "I'd be wherever they needed me, wherever they needed me. And they could have my salary, they could have my holiday, whatever they wanted. Because I appreciated so much that they were making this massive effort." Both Wahlberg and Williams are represented by William Morris Endeavor; the agency and Wahlberg's representative and lawyer declined to comment to USA Today. Catherine Garcia
Director Ridley Scott says that once he heard the accusations of sexual misconduct made against Kevin Spacey, he knew he would have to replace the actor in his new movie, All the Money in the World.
It meant having to get Christopher Plummer on board to replace Spacey and co-stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg to agree to reshoot their scenes, but it worked out, Scott told Entertainment Weekly, and he still plans on hitting the original release date of Dec. 22. "There's no time for pondering," he said. "Sometimes you've got to lay down the law. You have to!" Williams agreed with Scott's decision to replace Spacey with Plummer, saying the move sends "a message to predators — you can't get away with this anymore. Something will be done."
The scenes were redone during Thanksgiving week, reportedly at a cost of $10 million (the original budget is believed to have been around $40 million). The movie is based on the 1973 kidnapping of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty's grandson, with first Spacey, and now Plummer, playing Getty. Scott said he wasn't worried about getting all of the scenes shot again in such a short amount of time and never even dreamt of postponing the release until 2018, because he moves "like lightning." What was most important to him was not letting "one person's action affect the good work of all these other people. It's that simple." Catherine Garcia
Actor Jeffrey Tambor announced Sunday he will be leaving Amazon's Transparent, after two members of the show's crew said he sexually harassed them.
"Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life," he told Deadline. "What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago." Tambor said he apologizes if any of his actions were ever "misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive," but called "the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone ... simply and utterly untrue." Because of the "politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set," he added, "I don't see how I can return to Transparent."
Amazon is investigating the allegations, and prior to Tambor's announcement, there was talk of writing his character out of the show, Deadline reports. Catherine Garcia