In a move toward correcting Hollywood's diversity problem, the second season of Marvel's Jessica Jones will be completely directed by women.
The show's executive producer and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg talked about the decision during a conference called "Transforming Hollywood 7: Diversifying Entertainment" in California.
During the panel, Rosenberg said it was the idea of someone on the production team, but it still excited her when she heard it and she decided to move forward with it.
Jessica Jones would be following the lead of Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar on OWN, which only had female directors in its first season.
Rosenberg talked more about her commitment to diversity in the writers room, saying:
When I interview a writer, I’m less interested in what you’ve been doing professionally than I am in where you’re from, what your parents do, what’s your life experience, what are you bringing to the table personally? I don’t want a bunch of people who look and sound [like me] and have the experiences I have.
Jeffrey Woodke, an American missionary and aid worker, was kidnapped from his home in Niger on Oct. 14, according to reports.
Woodke worked with a local organization called JEMED, which is a branch of the Christian organization, Youth With a Mission. Armed abductors went into his home, killing two people before reaching Woodke. According to CNN, witnesses say Woodke was forced to take off his clothes, making it harder for him to be tracked. Woodke has lived in Niger since 1992.
The vehicle with Woodke inside of it was reported to be headed for Mali, Niger's neighbor to the west.
Kidnappings in Niger are rarer than they are in Mali where militant groups are more active and often take hostages and hold them for ransom, according to Reuters.
The U.S. State Department has been notified and a representative said the safety of American citizens abroad is one of their highest priorities, but they had no further information to share.
In general, the State Department has an active advisory against travel to Niger because of terrorist groups.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Niger and specifically recommends citizens avoid travel to Niger’s border regions, including the Diffa region and particularly the Lake Chad basin area. ... U.S. citizens currently in or travelling to Niger should evaluate their personal security situation. The U.S. Embassy has very limited capability to assist U.S. citizens in remote and rural areas.
Adnan Syed, the man at the center of the popular true-crime podcast series Serial, could soon be set free on bail. Syed is currently in prison awaiting a new trial, after his murder conviction stemming from the 1999 death of his girlfriend Hae Min Lee was vacated. The podcast uncovered what appeared to be holes in the evidence that originally led to his conviction.
In the motion, his lawyers wrote,
Syed has now served more than 17 years in prison based on an unconstitutional conviction for a crime he did not commit. He has no history of violence other than the state’s allegations in this case, and if released, he would pose no danger to the community. He is also not a flight risk; it makes no sense that he would run from the case he has spent more than half his life trying to disprove.
The Director of Communications at the Maryland Office of the Attorney General released a statement, saying, "We have not received the filing. Once we do, we will review and determine how best to respond.” Discuss
Filmmaker Mel Gibson recently sat down with megachurch pastor and author Joel Osteen and discussed the direction of his upcoming follow-up to The Passion. Osteen asked Gibson if the movie would be about the resurrection, and Gibson replied, “Yeah, I think so … We were talking about it. We're getting into some interesting areas on this that, between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, like, what was going on in there.”
Gibson also said that the challenge of telling this kind of Bible story is approaching it from an angle that will be surprising:
You do it so that it surprises. You do it so that it enlightens. Just some kind of telling, some kind of rendering that suffices is just not good enough. It has to be dug deep for and it has to have, in its image and its sound and its visual, it has to be able to delve to places that people have never even thought before, I think, on a theological level.
The full interview will air on Osteen's SiriusXM channel on Friday. Discuss
Forget humoring your boss or laughing at your father-in-law’s jokes (give it up, he doesn’t even think they’re that funny), a recent study published by The New York Times has broken down laughter to explain why it “can harm as much as help you.”
The article explains how feigned laughter has become a way most people tend to brush off uncomfortable situations, but since laughter is a positive response it can often reinforce those uncomfortable situations as positive experiences. Citing for example that sexual harassment can often cause nervous laughter, but that response can be used against the victims later.
California lawyer, Gina DeVito, backed these claims, telling The Times: “What happens is, somebody makes an inappropriate comment, and the reaction of the person, often laughter, is what the defense uses to allege the conduct wasn’t unwelcome. I hear the same thing when I do sexual harassment training because lots of men say, ‘Hey, she was laughing.’”
Apparently, even mental health professionals have recommended becoming more aware of the reasons you may laugh.
“Laughter is so expected and part of the social norm that when we don’t laugh, it’s a really powerful message," Eden King, associate psychology professor at George Mason University, said. "It’s a way of standing up for yourself, without having to directly confront or call out someone, which is hard to do without straying into stridency. Laughing off bad or strange behavior, on the other hand, tends to invite more of the conduct you’d prefer to avoid.”
So now that laughing is off the table, what are we supposed to do if we find ourselves in an uncomfortable social circumstance? Well, psychoanalyst at the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute, Jane Yates has our answer:
“Dr. Yates recommends instead of laughing, filling the dead air following an unwanted or inept comment with something neutral like, ‘Well, then,’ or maybe just, ‘Hmmm.’ But that takes a good bit of self-awareness to pull off, she said, as many people have become deaf to their own forced merriment.”
Real laughter, however can add “salve to your soul,” and the article suggests that we should “find every opportunity to laugh joyfully, and laugh lavishly. Laughter restrained is as depressing as laughter that is forced.” Discuss