Second City owner Andrew Alexander to exit after accusations of institutionalized racism leveled at theater

CHICAGO -- Following a social-media tumult sparked by a series of racially accusatory tweets from a former performer and employee, Second City's co-owner, Andrew Alexander, told staffers on Friday that he was apologizing for his "many failures as a steward of an important cultural institution" and stepping away from one of Chicago's most famous ...Read more

Bill Maher calls coronavirus lockdown a 'reckless experiment' that fomented protests

LOS ANGELES -- Looking for a hot take? Bill Maher arrived to offer his perspective during Friday's installment of his "Real Time" show on HBO.

During a roundtable discussion with Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee, and Georgetown School of Law professor and writer Rosa Brooks, Maher called the stay-at-home and ...Read more

Lynda Hirsh Soap Opera Summaries For This Week

"DAYS OF OUR LIVES": Alone in his CEO office, Brady reveals his real reason for taking over as head of Titan. He plans to ruin the company and destroy Victor. Ciara is suspicious when she shows a proposed program for Titan and later finds the suggestion in the trash. Marlena walks in as Sarah rages at Victor. Taking Sarah aside, Marlena asks ...Read more

Lynda Hirsh On This Week's TV Gossip

Actors who dwell in the world of soaps were getting ready to return to their studios and jobs. Gov. Gavin Newson was planning to lift the shelter-in-place order created to keep the coronavirus from spreading. A day before the opening date, LA (and the country) had to deal with another crisis. Following the murder of George Floyd by a policeman, ...Read more

Billionaire philanthropist Ken Griffin buys Basquiat painting for more than $100 million

Citadel founder and Chicago philanthropist Ken Griffin intends to keep in the public view the Jean-Michel Basquiat painting he recently purchased for more than $100 million, a spokesman said Friday.

The sale to Griffin and the price of Basquiat's large-scale 1982 canvas "Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump" were reported by Bloomberg News, following a ...Read more

Trump supporter Kanye West silently gives to families of Floyd, Taylor and Arbery

Rapper Kanye West has reportedly donated $2 million to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery in their ongoing fight for justice, a marked turn for the pop superstar who most recently generated headlines for his ardent support of Trumpism.

Though the "Jesus Is King" artist has been silent on social media in the wake of ...Read more

'Queer Eye' star Tan France talks about the Netflix show's new filmed-in-Philly season

PHILADELPHIA -- For a few months last year, "Queer Eye" star Tan France and the rest of the Netflix show's Fab Five lived in Philadelphia's Old City, fanning out each day to help the people he calls "heroes" improve their lives with everything from new wardrobes and hairstyles to new ways of thinking about their work and maybe even their places ...Read more

What you didn't see after CNN's historic interview with Minneapolis police chief

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sara Sidner makes sure to never cry at work, not while covering the Libyan civil war, Mumbai terrorist attacks or riots in Ferguson, Mo.

Last Sunday, she broke her rule.

It happened when Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo unexpectedly dropped by the site where George Floyd perished and agreed to chat with the CNN ...Read more

Oscars promise change after Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo say voters sabotaged 'Selma'

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is responding to a recent claim made by actor David Oyelowo and filmmaker Ava DuVernay alleging that Oscars voters refused to support their 2014 film "Selma" after the cast and crew protested the death of Eric Garner.

Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr. in the film, said in an interview ...Read more

Indie music artists unite against racism on 90-track new album

Indie music artists are joining in the chorus of voices decrying police brutality on the black community.

Phantogram, Jesse Malin, Jay Watts, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Bartees Strange, Lonemoon, Rogue Wave, Lateef the Truthspeaker, Crashing Hotels, Nick Andre, Worriers, Sulene, Superchunk and Damon & Naomi are among the acts who have ...Read more

Washington's stacked COVID-19 relief concert postponed to honor ongoing protests

Washington fans will have to wait a little longer for what looks to be the (virtual) concert of the summer.

A star-studded COVID-19 relief concert initially slated to air next week is being postponed in light of countrywide protests following George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Organizers All In WA announced Thursday that ...Read more

Review: ESPN's latest doc 'Be Water' puts Bruce Lee in cultural context

"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless -- like water," said Bruce Lee of a revelation that unlocked a deeper, more spiritual level of martial arts for him. "Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be ...Read more

Gabrielle Union says NBC chairman 'threatened' her when she reported racism

Gabrielle Union has filed a complaint of employment discrimination against production companies Fremantle and Syco, NBC and Simon Cowell after reporting alleged racist behavior on the set of "America's Got Talent."

Using language from NBC's recent statement about Black Lives Matter, a statement released Thursday on Union's behalf claims that ...Read more

Review: Rage, yes, and empathy too on Run the Jewels' cathartic new album

Run the Jewels was supposed to be on the road right now with Rage Against the Machine -- two of music's most politically engaged groups barnstorming the country in the run-up to a presidential election that feels more consequential with every passing day.

Alas, the tour was delayed until 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet America's ...Read more

John Boyega's fiery Black Lives Matter activism wins fans beyond 'Star Wars' galaxy

"Star Wars" actor John Boyega risked professional fallout and delivered a powerful speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London's Hyde Park on Wednesday.

His impassioned remarks about George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis highlighted racism and police brutality in Boyega's native United Kingdom and resonated worldwide.

"I'm speaking to you...Read more

TV responds to George Floyd outrage with special programs

Television networks continue to respond to the anguish and outrage sweeping across the nation in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers with special programming.

Here's the latest:

--Coming Friday night is "Race Matters: America in Crisis" (9 p.m. EDT, PBS).

This hourlong "PBS NewsHour Special" will be ...Read more

Criterion Channel, a refuge for cinephiles, is making much of its black filmmakers' work free online

I write today as a critic, a consumer and a citizen, on the subject of the Criterion Channel. It's one of the bright lights of the streaming universe, with an unerring curatorial eye on where we've been and what we need to bring along with us as a film culture.

When I can afford it, I get my $10.99 monthly membership's worth, no sweat. Plus, ...Read more

Variety Editor Claudia Eller is placed on leave of absence

LOS ANGELES -- Variety Editor in Chief Claudia Eller was placed on administrative leave late Thursday, less than 24 hours after a heated Twitter exchange over the lack of newsroom diversity.

The dust-up came late Wednesday after Variety published an opinion column written by Eller, in which she acknowledged that she and other editors in chief ...Read more

Commentary: Out of '60s chaos, Dirty Harry and Popeye Doyle ruled the streets with impunity. We've been paying for it ever since

By now it's clear our president isn't looking for guidance from statesmen, real or fictional. He's looking instead to the movie tough guys of the early 1970s, born of the chaos and social rebellion of the late 1960s. These guys (always men, almost always white) came equipped with a gun, a badge and a supernaturally accurate sense of righteous ...Read more

After 'bro culture' crisis, 'League of Legends' esports ruler Riot touts new game, new outlook

LOS ANGELES -- For much of 2020, the developers at the Santa Monica-based studio Riot Games have been prepping for the release of "Valorant," a highly competitive video game that seems predestined to become the next esport sensation. After all, over the past decade, Riot's "League of Legends" has been the most popular esport in the world -- its ...Read more