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Appreciation: Larry Kramer, the AIDS activist whose playwriting saved lives too

Larry Kramer was many things -- a firebrand activist, a political gadfly, the loudest voice in any room. He was a founder of Gay Men's Health Crisis and Act Up, two organizations that changed the course of the AIDS epidemic in America.

But what he wanted to be seen as first and foremost was a writer -- the way he understood himself. Writer-...Read more

Gabrielle Union wasn't fired from 'America's Got Talent' for speaking up, says NBC

An external investigation into Gabrielle Union's high-profile exit from "America's Got Talent" found the actress' concerns about the show's workplace had "no bearing" on her dismissal, according to NBC.

A joint statement released Wednesday by the network and production companies Fremantle and Syco summarized the findings of the probe, which ...Read more

Billie Eilish's body is none of your concern in her powerful new short film

Billie Eilish's new short film lifts a big middle finger to body shaming.

On Tuesday, the Grammy-winning "Bad Guy" singer released the powerful short film "Not My Responsibility," which originally debuted during her "Where Do We Go?" world tour before it was postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

In the clip, Eilish wears a black hoodie ...Read more

Larry Kramer, 'Normal Heart' playwright and AIDS activist, dies at 84

A frail man stood outside the Golden Theatre in New York in 2011 when Larry Kramer's scorchingly angry 1985 play about AIDS, "The Normal Heart," finally received its Broadway debut.

As theatergoers emerged from the theater, the man handed them leaflets.

"Please know that this is a plague that need not have happened," it cried out. "Please know...Read more

Instagram will help its stars make more money, taking on YouTube

Instagram will let creators profit directly from their videos, helping popular users generate more revenue during the COVID-19 crisis, while moving into more direct competition with YouTube.

Starting next week, Instagram will show ads before clips that run on its IGTV service for longer-form videos. The company plans to share 55% of the revenue...Read more

Do you need to get HBO Max? Our TV critic weighs in

This week brings us HBO Max, which is HBO, like, to the max. Born of the age of corporate consolidation and intellectual property wars, it is designed, with its deep well of content, as a rival to Disney+ and its Marvel and "Star Wars" franchises, setting against them an agglomeration of series and movies from Warner Bros., DC, New Line, the ...Read more

L.A.'s Greek Theatre cancels season for first time in 90 years due to coronavirus

LOS ANGELES -- A Greek tragedy: The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park has called off its entire 2020 season because of the coronavirus crisis, striking yet another blow to Los Angeles' outdoor summer concert programming.

On Tuesday, the beloved venue announced that all of its forthcoming events have been postponed, rescheduled for 2021 or canceled...Read more

With HBO Max, AT&T has built a streaming service that feels like a Walmart

I'd only been watching HBO Max for a few minutes when one thing became abundantly clear: This didn't look like the old HBO.

It was the premiere of "Craftopia," one of the first original programs to appear on AT&T Inc.'s new streaming platform. The show's host was a peppy YouTube star who has been called the "millennial Martha Stewart." ...Read more

Movie review: Sci-fi throwback 'The Vast of Night' offers fresh style with extraterrestrial story

They just don't make 'em like "The Vast of Night" anymore. This uber-cool throwback '50s sci-fi movie is the directorial debut of Oklahoma-based filmmaker Andrew Patterson. But somehow, this retro, nostalgic film, written by James Montague and Craig W. Sanger, and presented as a hypothetical episode of a "Twilight Zone"-style TV series called "...Read more

How 'Mrs. America' re-created Gloria Steinem's 'major head of hair,' other '70s looks

"Mrs. America," a limited series about the fight over the Equal Rights Amendment, has won acclaim for fantastic performances from some of the finest actresses in the business -- including Cate Blanchett, Margo Martindale, Rose Byrne, Tracey Ullman and Uzo Aduba.

But no one should overlook the show's most valuable supporting players: the wigs.

...Read more

Behind the scenes at ABC's 'Nightline,' whose coronavirus coverage has made it must-see again

When Iran released its American hostages in 1981, 15-year-old Juju Chang hopped on her bike to deliver the breaking news like a town crier while pedaling through her neighborhood.

Today, she has a slightly bigger audience.

As co-anchor of ABC's "Nightline," she's reaching as many as 4 million viewers, more than double the number who tuned in a...Read more

Frank Marshall has hope for the future of filmmaking: 'It's just gonna look different'

LOS ANGELES -- The last time director-producer Frank Marshall remembers one of his movie projects being shut down for this long was in 1983, when Harrison Ford suffered a spinal disc herniation while filming "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." Ford was knocked out of commission for nearly six weeks while he recovered from the painful, stunt-...Read more

Waiting for sauvignon blanc: Pandemic reveals Samuel Beckett as the ultimate realist

The other day while hanging around the house for a shipment of Napa Valley sauvignon blanc to arrive, I found myself starring in a California version of "Waiting for Godot."

A text message assured me that the delivery would happen on Friday. Friday came and went. No wine. Saturday the same thing, but another text assured me that my order would ...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of May 18:

1. The Way Back (2020) -- Warner

2. The Call of The Wild -- Fox

3. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn -- Warner

4. Bloodshot -- Sony

5. Capone -- Redbox Entertainment

6. Blumhouse's Fantasy Island -- Sony

7. Sonic the Hedgehog -- Paramount

8....Read more

Why HBO Max isn't yet worth more than $10 a month

One of the few businesses thriving these days is streaming television. According to JustWatch.com, a service that charts consumer viewing, interest in Netflix has shot up more than 300% during the pandemic, with Disney+, Amazon Prime and Hulu also seeing triple-digit growth.

But newcomers aren't necessarily welcome. Quibi, which specializes in ...Read more

Juliette Lewis reveals the secret to scene-stealing: Risk failure 'on a huge scale'

Juliette Lewis first turned heads when she garnered Golden Globe and Oscar nominations, at age 18, for her role as a naive teen in Martin Scorsese's 1991 film "Cape Fear." Since then, the 46-year-old actress has portrayed a multitude of memorable characters in film and TV, from the stone-cold psychopath of Oliver Stone's 1994 film "Natural Born ...Read more

CBS' 'Criminal Minds' team sued in sexual harassment case

LOS ANGELES -- The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in Los Angeles County on Tuesday against the producers and studios behind the CBS show "Criminal Minds," one of the longest running network dramas.

The lawsuit claims that over 14 years, Gregory St. Johns, director of photography for the ...Read more

Review: 'The High Note' hits all the right beats

There's an easy and addictive groove to "The High Note," a magical music industry movie that wafts over you like a great pop song at a summer jam. Is it the deepest, most profound thing ever? Nah, but damn if it just doesn't feel good, hitting all the right beats in all the right ways, making the air seem warmer, the lights more twinkly. Don't ...Read more

'Quiz' tackles 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' scandal

PASADENA, Calif. -- It was the game show with one of the biggest payoffs of all time. When "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" first dominated British television it was as popular as "Roots" had been in the United States years earlier. It reached as many as 19 million people in the tiny U.K.

Viewers were glued to their cathode rays as a series of ...Read more

J.K. Rowling unearthed an old work for her new children's book that's free online

J.K. Rowling is publishing a new children's book online.

The "Harry Potter" author released the first two chapters of "The Ickabog" on a new website Tuesday, explaining that the story will be released for free over the next seven weeks. Posted every weekday, each installment will be "a chapter (or two or three)."

"I had the idea for 'The ...Read more