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Highlights from the 2018 People’s Choice Awards

Highlights from the 2018 People’s Choice Awards

And that concludes Sunday’s 44th annual People’s Choice Awards. The show— featuring performances from Rita Ora, Nicki Minaj and Tyga, and John Legend—returned to TV for the first time on E! and broadcasted live from nine to 11pm from Santa Monica. Hollywood A-listers gathered at the viewer-voted ceremony to witness an interesting and memorable group of winners grace the stage. Here are the highlights.

Best movie goes to…

Avengers: Infinity Wars was named best movie of the year. The mega-blockbuster superhero movie also received the Action Movie of 2018 award and saw Scarlett Johansson take home best female movie star for her performance as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.

You go, Danai

Black Panther’s Danai Gurira accepted the award for Action Movie Star of 2018, besting four of the world’s biggest male movie stars (Chris Hemsworth, Ryan Reynolds, Chadwich Boseman and Chris Pratt). Gurira referred to her fellow nominees as “very beautiful men”, a statement that both inverts the patriarchy and elicits no argument from us.

Queen Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj was crowned female artist of the year and her LP, Queen, was also professed album of the year. It was Minaj’s acceptance speeches that made her an even bigger winner in our eyes.

“I wanna dedicate this award to Kim Kardashian’s ass in that dress,” she said, while receiving the Album of 2018 reward.

The 35-year-old later thanked the designer, Donatella Versace for her outfit, as well as Black Panther star, Michael B. Jordan, “because he’s going to be taking it off me tonight.”

Shadowhunters Sweep

It’s clear that fans of Shadowhunters are devastated that the series, which is based on The Mortal Instruments book series, may be ending prematurely. With the show awarded TV show of 2018 and Bingeworthy Show of 2018, and Katherine McNamara and Harry Shum Jr. also claiming big wins, the People’s Choice Awards has surely given the cast a memorable send off.

Melissa McCarthy, A.K.A People’s Icon 

Comedy actress, Melissa McCarthy, was honored with the first-ever People’s Icon award, acknowledged for her television and film work, which includes roles in Mike and Molly (2010), Bridesmaids (2011) and Spy (2015).

“Thank you for making it possible for me to do something I love more than anything else,” she said during her acceptance speech.

Spice up your life

Victoria Beckham referenced the Spice Girls hit song Wannabe during her acceptance speech for the Fashion Icon Award. Coming after her band-mates announced a reunion tour that would not include Beckham, fans can be sure that Posh Spice’s dedication to fashion and “girl power” will still give them what they really, really want.

“I wanted to show that if I can do it then really anyone can do it, and what you achieve really can be limitless,” Beckham said. “If you really, really—I can’t help it—if you really, really want it.”

Touching tributes

The People’s Choice Awards fell on Veterans Day and many stars took time to honour the veterans in their speeches. Scarlett Johansson dedicated her award to “the men and women of the armed forces who put their lives on the line every day so we don’t have to”.

Blake Shelton donned a red, white and blue ribbon on his lapel in honor of his veteran father, and Bryan Stevenson spoke out about recent mass shootings, the #MeToo movement and racial inequality during his speech for the People’s Champion Award.

“It’s Veterans Day, it’s important that we honor all our veterans, but it’s important to remember that black veterans after World War I and World War II were menaced and targeted and lynched because of this narrative of racial difference, and today we’re still burdened by that history,” he said.

Attendees also frequently touched on the devastating Woolsey Fire, raging less than 40 miles away from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Mila Kunis, Melissa McCarthy, and Kim Kardashian West were among many who thanked firefighters for their tireless work.

Accepting a best reality TV show prize for Keeping Up with The Kardashians, West dedicated the award to “all the firefighters, the law enforcement and the first responders, we really truly appreciate what you have done for all of us.”

Winners

With 46 awards lined up and only 22 given out during the red carpet and live telecast, the winner’s list is deliciously long.

The show witnessed Korean boy band, BTS secure multiple awards for their song and video Idol. Shawn Mendes was named male artist of the year, Jim Parsons announced Comedy TV Star of 2018, Chadwick Boseman crowned male movie star of the year, and Taylor Swift and Shane Dawson also claimed wins. When receiving his award for Nighttime Talk Show of 2018, Jimmy Fallon was met with laughs for thanking “my better half, my rock, my soulmate…Justin Timberlake”.

Popular high school drama, Riverdale won best drama show, Fifty Shades Freed: best drama movie, and Incredibles 2: best family movie.

A full list of winners can be found, here.

Further reading: “We Solved it!” Diversity at the Emmys

The 12 Best Netflix Movies to Watch This Halloween

The 12 Best Netflix Movies to Watch This Halloween

A recent survey by Redbox.com found that, after 45 years, The Exorcist (1973) is still the scariest movie that members have ever seen. Hocus Pocus (1993) is also celebrating a milestone anniversary this year, and it’s no surprise to hear that the iconic, 25-year-old classic out-performed all other family-friendly Halloween movies.

Whether you prefer fun or frightening, staying in with Netflix beats trick or treating—just ask the survey. We’re giving you 12 spooky movie options that you can stream for the best October ever.

The survey also showed that 72 percent of responders prefer popcorn to candy, so you should probably watch Children Of The Corn (1984) too. Happy Halloween!

  1. Scooby-Doo (2002)

Anyone who says this isn’t the best film ever made is lying—or just isn’t that nostalgic. The live-action re-imagining of the classic cartoon involves cults, spirits, brainwashing and meddling kids.

  1. It Follows (2014)

This horror film seems to be about an STD—except it takes the form of an evil spirit that sets out to murder its victim. Pass it on to survive.

  1. The Sixth Sense (1999)

This classic psychological thriller follows Bruce Willis as his character tries to help a young boy who is visited by ghosts. If you haven’t already been spoiled on the ending, your Halloween just got 100 times better.

  1. Coraline (2009)

Coraline is based on Neil Gaiman’s slightly disturbing children’s book. It follows a young girl who discovers an exciting parallel universe. Once you get over how creepy the character’s button-eyes are, this movie is awesome.

  1. The Babadook (2014)

On the surface, this monster movie seems like a terrifying horror film. Deep down, it is a terrifying horror film that cleverly explores the stresses of being a single parent and the manifestation of grief and depression.

  1. The Conjuring (2013) 

The Conjuring is inspired by a true story, and it’s petrifying. The movie follows paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, as they attempt to help a family who are being terrorized by a malevolent spirit.

  1. The Boy (2016)

Creepy doll movies are perfect for Halloween, and this one is no exception. When a young nanny breaks the list of rules for looking after a life-size doll, it becomes clear why the parents treat it like a real boy.

  1. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

If you need a break from the horrors, Hotel Transylvania’s monsters-meet-humans adventure is charming and fun. It was also voted as the fifth family-friendly favourite in the Redbox survey.

  1. Would You Rather (2013)

We dare you to tear your eyes away from this gruesome horror. The intense movie follows a group of unfortunate characters at a dinner party. In a merciless twist, the host forces them to play a sadistic game or pay the price.

  1. Curse of Chucky (2012) 

What screams Halloween more than Chucky? Another sequel. This installment is actually one of the most atmospheric and scary Chucky films, and follows a grieving daughter whose niece has a creepy doll.

  1. Van Helsing (2004)

This monster hunter saga is mainly here because it has Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale in, but it’s also a thrilling roller-coaster ride of entertainment.

  1. Raw (2016) 

This one is best viewed on an empty stomach, so put the popcorn down. At school, a vegetarian girl is convinced to eat raw meat for the first time and develops a craving for flesh. This movie is famous for causing audience members to faint at the Toronto International Film Festival. Go on, we dare you.

Further reading: Why Netflix’s Sierra Burgess Is A Loser Is Problematic

Mumford & Sons Debuted New Single “Guiding Light” On The Tonight Show

Mumford & Sons Debuted New Single “Guiding Light” On The Tonight Show

British folk-rock sensation, Mumford & Sons, took to the stage on The Tonight Show to debut their new single, Guiding Light. Monday night’s show also welcomed lead singer, Marcus Mumford, to the couch, where he let slip a hilarious story involving Bruce Springsteen.

Mumford told host, Jimmy Fallon that the band is “still mixing the record” for their upcoming album, Deltaset for release on November 16.

“Is this the first time you’ve promoted an album that’s not finished?” asked Fallon. Mumford laughed as he tried to reassure himself: “Yeah, but this is the modern world. It’s going to be fine!”

Marcus’ bubbly and sweet personality soon had the crowd ‘aw-ing—specifically in response to the singer’s touching words about band mates Ben Lovett, Ted Dwane and Winston Marshall.

“We all write.

“I hope that means we can be a band for a longer time…They’re also my three favorite song writers, like, in the world,” he told Fallon.

Listing work by Miles Davis and Lauryn Hill as two of the first albums he ever bought, Mumford also noted that he grew up listening to Bruce Springsteen. When asked if the band had ever met Springsteen, Mumford informed Fallon that they had met a couple of times, most memorably at a festival in Belgium.

Springsteen invited the band onto the stage with him, during which Mumford was so nervous that he “forgot the lyrics to Hungry Heart.” Mumford’s retelling of the story also touches on a pair of maracas and was followed by an equally entertaining plot that involved one of the bands earliest escapades.

As the interview came to a close, Marcus confirmed that Mumford & Sons would definitely be going on tour for Delta.

The extensive sixty-date worldwide arena tour will begin later this year. Full tour details will be revealed on October 4.

The album was, of course, written collectively by the band and produced by Paul Epworth. It marks 10 years since the band’s formation.

Speaking about Delta to DJ, Annie Mac, Winston Marshall has said: “I think at the beginning [of recording the album] we kind of fell back in love with the old instruments we didn’t play on Wilder Mind like the acoustic stuff and the more folky instruments but [we were] conscious [about] how we can make these instruments sound not like these instruments which opened up a whole new world for us…”

Watch the full interview, here.

Watch Mumford & Son’s performance of “Guiding Light”, here.

Emmys

“We Solved it!” Diversity at the Emmys

The Primetime Emmys televised jokes about diversity, but failed to select a diverse winning pool.

After president Donald Trump called last year’s Emmy ratings “the worst ever”, the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards took things to a new level. A record-low audience of 10.2 million put the Emmys down 11 percent from the past two years.

The declining popularity of live broadcasted television left the much anticipated 70th Emmy ceremony struggling—but the awkwardness didn’t stop there.

Yet again, major diversity issues presented themselves throughout the three-hour show. As the hosts, Michael Che and Colin Jost, made jokes about Christianity, and more and more white actors took to the stage to collect awards, the atmosphere was detectable from the faces of cringing audience members.

Expectations

The 2017 ceremony seemed to signal the start of a progressive movement, away from historic ideologies. All three lead actor awards were given to men from diverse backgrounds and other categories were also more equally distributed than previous ceremonies. Winners included Sterling K. Brown, Riz Ahmed, Lena Waithe and Atlanta.

This year, the promising prospect continued as the nominee pool included a record 36 non-white actors—a 20 percent increase from 2017. Hollywood was quick to make this known before announcing its winners.

What actually happened?

The show began with the musical opening number: “We Solved It!” Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Kristen Bell and RuPaul (to name but a few) mocked the industry with a poignant song about diversity.

The song referenced Sandra Oh—the first Asian woman to ever be nominated for a lead actress Emmy: “There were none, now there’s one. And so we’re done!” It appeared that, whilst the joke seemed slightly awkward, the 2018 ceremony was being set up to include a diverse and inspiring winner’s circle.

Oh didn’t win—“It’s an honor just to be Asian,” she joked.

Instead, this year’s emphasis on diversity served to draw attention to the fact that only three non-white recipients received awards during the main broadcast.

On a pre-recorded clip, Michael Che did present what he called the “Reparation Emmys”.

“As a black comedian, for so many years our TV legends and heroes have gone unrecognized,

“So this year as host, I took it upon myself to finally right some of those wrongs. I present: The Reparation Emmys,” Che said.

The awards credited Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons), Kadeem Hardison (A Different World), Jaleel White (Family Matters), Jimmie Walker (Good Times), Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris), and John Witherspoon (The Wayan Bros). Gibbs had previously been nominated five times and never won.

As the night unfolded, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel became the first streaming show to win an Emmy, and Regina Kind (Seven Seconds) and Thandie Newton (Westworld) also took home trophies. Darren Criss, whose mother is Filipino, also took home Best Actor in a Limited Series for his role in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Game of Thrones, previously criticized for lacking diversity, ended the ceremony by once again winning Outstanding Drama. With the show’s final season coming up, more diverse winners from the production in the near future seem unlikely.

Highlights of the Emmys

In a strange turn of events, Glen Weiss shocked everyone, including girlfriend Jan Svendsen, by proposing to her while accepting his reward for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special.

Jenifer Lewis wore a bedazzled custom-made outfit by Nike, thanking them for supporting the football player and activist Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick famously kneeled during the national anthem to protest against racial injustice.

A host of celebrities also used their outfits to advocate political agendas. Accessories included Planned Parenthood and “I Am a Voter” badges, and ACLU blue ribbons. Sarah Sophie Flicker also arrived with a “Stop Kavanaugh” message drawn onto her arm.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star, Rachel Brosnahan, even urged people to vote in the upcoming midterm elections during her acceptance speech, and comedian Hannah Gadsby infused hers with parody.

“I mean, for somebody like me—a nobody, from nowhere—gets this sweet gig, free suit, new boots, just ’cause I don’t like men? That’s a joke, of course. Just jokes, fellas, calm down.

“Hashtag: NotAllMenButALotOfEm. No, it is just jokes, but what are jokes these days? We don’t know. Nobody knows what jokes are. Especially not men! Am I right, fellas? That’s why I’m presenting alone,” she said.

After a somewhat uncomfortable show, the reality of technical and societal change seems to be placing stress on traditional live network broadcasts. This year, the Emmys used the Primetime awards to force us to recognise that they have become more self-aware, but their enlightenment failed to deliver entertainment and implication.

The Creative Arts Emmys actually showcased a record number of non-white winners, but with much less press than the Primetime awards, a lot of these happened offstage. Clearly, Hollywood still has a long way to go on its road to diversity.

Further reading: The Relevancy of BlacKkKlansman

Allison Mack

Allison Mack Arrested for Alleged Role in Sex Trafficking Case

Smallville actress Allison Mack has been arrested in connection to a high profile sex trafficking case, according to police. Mack, best known for her role as Chloe in the popular TV show, was indicted Friday 20 with charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.

In a statement released by the Justice Department, the United States Attorney Donoghue said, “As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere.

“The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.”

Mack was allegedly second-in-command within a New York-based organization called NXIVM (pronounced Nex-e-um). The group, which markets itself as a ‘self-help’ group, was founded by Keith Raniere (the only male member of the so-called cult) in 1998. Raniere was arrested last month in Mexico for the same charges. Both Mack and Raniere deny all allegations made against them.

According to reports, the organization required thousands of dollars for new recruits to participate in courses, and to rise through the ranks and recruit others to do the same.

According to CNN, Mack apparently co-founded a secret society within the organization called ‘DOS’, in which women recruited other women under false pretences for sexual purposes. New recruits are dubbed ‘slaves’. When they have recruited new women, their position transitioned to that of ‘master’.

In more twisted events, some of the organization’s recruits were purportedly branded with Raniere’s initials on their pubic regions using a cauterizing pen while other women held them down.

Mack had allegedly received payment and other benefits from Raniere in exchange for the women engaging in sexual activities with him.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney said, “As this pyramid scheme continues to unravel, we ask anyone who might have been a victim to reach out to us with information that may further our investigation.”

If convicted, both Mack and Raniere face “mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment.”

Further reading: Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Retrial to Begin

Stranger Things

Stranger Things Creators Sued for Plagiarism

The creators of the hit Netflix TV series Stranger Things (2016) and Stranger Things 2 (2017), Matt and Ross Duffer (known in Hollywood as the “Duffer Brothers”), are being sued by producer Charlie Kessler for plagiarising his short film Montauk (2012). Kessler has said that he originally pitched his short film and a feature script (titled The Montauk Project) to the Duffer Brothers back in 2014.

Stranger Things, which first aired on Netflix in 2016, was originally sold to the major streaming service under the same title, Montauk. As with Kessler’s short film, the show had initially been set in Montauk, Long Island. The show was later named Stranger Things and the location shifted to Indiana.

The original logline of the series after it received the greenlight from Netflix’s executives reads: “Described as a love letter to the 80s classics that captivated a generation, the series is set in 1980 Montauk, Long Island, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.”   

Similarly, Kessler’s narrative involves a young boy that goes missing, a nearby military base conducting experiments on children and a supernatural monster from another dimension.

A spokesperson for Kessler has said of the case: “After the massive success of Stranger Things that is based on the Plaintiff’s concepts that the Plaintiff discussed with the Defendants, Defendants have made huge sums of money by producing the series based on Plaintiff’s concepts without compensating or crediting Plaintiff for his concepts.”

Kessler is suing the Duffer Brothers for breach of implied contract and seeks monetary damages at trial.

The Duffer Brothers have since denied these claims. Alex Kohner, the directors’ lawyer, said in a statement to the Press Association, “Mr Kessler’s claim is completely meritless. He had no connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things. 

“The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him.”

Kohner added: “This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”

Stranger Things is one of the most popular television shows on Netflix. Netflix experienced its most popular streaming day of the year when the first episode of the second season aired in October 2017.

Further reading: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to Support Inclusion Rider