ABC News Exec Barbara Fedida Placed on Administrative Leave after Report of racist Comments

In light of the recently published article by Huffington Post, ABC News has placed Barbara Fedida, one of its senior executives, on Administrative leave following disturbing racist statements and insensitive comments brought forward by several unnamed sources.

Barbara Fedida who is currently the network’s Senior Vice President of Talent and Business Affairs is said to have made derogatory remarks about some ABC News staff including claims of a racist comment about Robin Robert’s ”Good Morning America”. The article, which cited 34 sources that comprised of current and former ABC News staff, also reported Fedida had once given derogatory remarks about Sunny Hostin and Kendis Gibson.

Fedida re-joined ABC News after she was brought in by Ben Sherwood, former president of ABC News’ Talent and Business Affairs department. Her position gave her strong say on any appointment ABC News made. Her role also gave her influence over the career paths of various journalists and correspondents on the network. Over the years, many of the staffers have come to see Fedida as the lieutenant of the other senior executives in ABC News.

Following the release of the post by Huffington Post, ABC news immediately placed Fedida on leave and released a statement to address the issue. The statement reads: “There are deeply disturbing allegations in this story that we need to investigate, and we have placed Barbara Fedida on administrative leave while we conduct a thorough and complete investigation. These allegations do not represent the values and culture of ABC News, where we strive to make everyone feel respected in a thriving, diverse, and inclusive workplace”.

Fedida in a statement sent to Huffington Post by her attorney said: “Throughout my career, I have been a champion for increased diversity in network news. Building a news division where everyone can thrive has been my life’s mission. I am proud of my decades of work hiring, supporting, and promoting talented journalists of color. And, unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, the track record is well-documented and undeniable”.

Before rejoining the network in 2011, Barbara Fedida had worked as a producer for a couple of years at ABC News. She also worked as the Vice President of talent and development at CBS News for four years. Fedida has reported and developed specials and stories on trending news while working as a producer and many of the broadcasts have won both Emmy and Peabody Awards.

While investigations are still ongoing, it is safe to say Barbara Fedia is on thin ice right now.

‘No Time to Die’ Release Date Changed AGAIN

No Time to Die, the latest installment in the James Bond franchise is now scheduled to release earlier than expected.

Originally scheduled to release April 2020 but then rescheduled with a new release date of November 25, the long-awaited movie will now be released five days earlier in U.S. theaters.

The new release date was made official last week on the franchise’s official Twitter account. The account tweeted to reveal No Time to Die will premiere on November 20 only in the United States.

The tweet read: ‘The return of old friends in NO TIME TO DIE. In Cinemas 12th November UK, 20th November U.S.’

Asides being the latest movie in the James Bond franchise, the movie will also be Daniel Craig’s last outing as James Bond.

No Time to die is not the only highly anticipated movie whose original release date was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other blockbuster movies like Disney’s Mulan (July 24), Paramount Picture’s ‘A Quiet Place II’ (Sept. 4), Pixar’s ‘Soul’ (Nov. 25), and Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ (Nov. 6) all had summer releases before being forced to reschedule their release dates.

The new release date is as a result of the changes Warner Bros. has been making to several of their upcoming movies. Other Warner Bros. movies have also been moved up and down to give the movies the best possible publicity they can get. Christopher Nolan’s upcoming spy film has been delayed from its initial release date by two weeks and is now scheduled to release July 31. Wonder Woman 1984’s initial release date of August 14 has also jumped to Oct. 2.

Universal Moves Tom Hanks’ Post-Apocalypse Movie ‘Bios’ Back to 2021

Following the different release date changes and adjustment the coronavirus pandemic has forced the entertainment industry to make, Universal Pictures has decided to move Tom Hank’s ‘Bios’ from its initial release date of Oct. 2, 2020, to April 16, 2021.

‘Bios’ starring Tom Hanks and directed by Miguel Sapochnik is a post-apocalypse sci-fi movie written by Craig Luck and Ivor Power. The executive producers are Adams Merims, Craig Luck, Zemeckis, Miguel Sapochnik, and Andy Berman.

The movie follows the journey of an ailing inventor who is one of the remaining survivors on earth after a cataclysmic solar event almost wiped out all of mankind. Whilst living in his underground bunker and with time running out due to his terminal illness, the inventor builds a robot to protect his dog when he dies. The robot, though built to protect his ailing creator’s dog soon learns about friendship, love, and what it means to be human. Caleb Landry Jones plays the robot in the movie.

The new release date was announced shortly after Warner Bros. moved eight of their upcoming movies to new dates with Warner Bros.’s Wonder Woman 1984 now scheduled for release on Oct. 2.

In other news, Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions’ psychological horror movie, ‘You Should Have Left’, is set to release digitally via premium video-on-demand instead of its planned theater release. The release date is set for June 18, 2020 (U.S.). This is not the only Universal Pictures movie set to be released on digital rental services. “The King of Staten Island” directed by Judd Apatow which was originally scheduled for a theatrical rollout, was also dropped for rent via premium video on-demand services.

Other upcoming Universal Picture movies including Fast and Furious’ latest installment, Minions 2, Sing 2 have all been rescheduled to release in 2021.

Los Angeles Sets Strict Rules for TV and Film Production Restart

With many countries now switching from total lockdown to partial lockdown, many activities have now been allowed to resume albeit under strict and extensive regulations.

Film and TV Productions is one such activity set to resume again in some states as early as Friday although with extensive regulations issued by Los Angeles Country. This new extensive regulation is not much of a surprise considering professional football has also restarted behind closed doors.

While productions are allowed to restart Friday, 19th of July, many producers would probably only start filming around July or August.

As would be expected, the first major rule is for cast and crew to maintain social distancing while on sets. The county also sets the use of face masks and coverings as an important detail not to be overlooked by cast and crew members as actors and musicians who cannot perform with face-covering on are expected to be eight feet apart. Furthermore, it mandates that only essential cast crew be present on set at any given time with the directive that actors must wash their hands before shooting any scene.

Also, it discourages all prolonged physical contact that arises from sex and fight scenes and mandates that all actors and crew keep information about any film shooting from the public. The country also directs that all crowd scenes are discouraged.

The rules also direct that makeup artist are only allowed on set when the actors cannot apply makeup to fit the scene. Also, Craft service buffets are temporarily forbidden on all sets.

Talk Shows and Sitcoms also looking to film new scenes in Los Angeles that must follow new rules. The rules now mandate that audience members must sit six feet apart and must not occupy more than 25% of the available space. It also allows paid staff and crew to serve as audience members. And capping it all, the rules set that only the same group of the audience present at the restart of filming are allowed for subsequent productions.

Although the entertainment industry released some rules for crews and cast to follow when production restarts, the rules released by the county are more strict. This is because the entertainment industry task force didn’t mandate many of their rules like the county did.

Following the release of the entertainment industry’s rules and guidelines, Donna Langley – Chairman Universal Film, stated in a statement that the rules, in his words, are “a significant step in getting our industry back to work in Los Angeles County”.

In his statement, the chairman expressed gratitude to the County Board of Supervisors as well as the county’s mayor for their commitment to the region’s economic recovery. He also expressed gratitude to the County’s Public Health Department for their efforts to keep their region safe. He then went ahead to say “Teams across the Studios, production companies, guilds, and unions in every facet of our business have shown and will continue to show innovation and creativity in bringing film, TV and digital production safely back to Los Angeles”.

Though production restart is imminent, there are still several things that will come into play which might delay restart to mid or late August. One of the obstacles production restart faces includes the detailed protocols all guilds and unions are yet to agree to.

Another major obstacle many productions will face pending the restart is whether or not they will be able to obtain insurance. Bob Jellen, the managing director for entertainment at HUB international believes many productions that were underway before the lockdown would be spared from “additional costs that are required to make filming safer for the actors and crew”. In other words, this obstacle is only for new productions that have not yet started filming before COVID-19 lockdown that caused productions to stop. Obtaining insurance is even going to be more difficult for independent filmmakers.

Many in the film making industry have expressed concerns about the difficulty many new productions will face when trying to secure insurance. To this end, Congress has introduced a bill that gives insurance companies the power to sell policies covering the coronavirus shutdown. The bill, however, is yet to pass.