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    BBC Director-General Tony Hall announced Monday that he will step down from the helm of the U.K. broadcaster in six months after seven years in the job. Hall said he was quitting so that a new leader can oversee a mid-term review of the BBC’s funding in 2022, and a renewal of its governing charter, due in 2027. The announcement comes as the publicly funded BBC is facing intense political and public pressure amid a fast-changing media landscape and viewing habits. It has been criticized by both sides of the Brexit debate over its coverage of the U.K.’s impending departure from the European Union, and some in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government have suggested changing the BBC’s funding model. The broadcaster currently is funded largely through a 154 pound a year ($200 a year) fee paid by every household with a television. It is not state-controlled, though the government sets the terms of the broadcaster's charter, renewed once a decade. In a warning to the organization’s critics, Hall said that “in an era of fake news, we remain the gold standard of impartiality and truth. “What the BBC is, and what it stands for, is precious for this country,” Hall said. “We ignore that at our peril.
  • The Rev. Al Sharpton is working on a book that will address what he calls an urgent moment in American history. The longtime civil rights activist's “Rise Up: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads” is coming out Sept. 15, less than two months before the 2020 election, Hanover Square Press announced Monday. Sharpton will look back at the Obama administration, the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the transformation of the Republican Party during Trump's presidency. Sharpton said in a statement that he wanted to “get people to understand the gravity of where we are as a nation; whether we will choose to continue the path of progress towards human rights and to value all people or whether we will choose the path of returning to a value system of where might is right and wealth is the measure of human value.” Sharpton's previous books include “Al On America,” “The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership” and the memoir “Go and Tell Pharaoh.” Hanover Square Press is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
  • After years of doubts about its authenticity, experts in Amsterdam have confirmed that a Vincent van Gogh self-portrait was indeed painted by the Dutch master as he recovered in a French asylum from a mental breakdown. Van Gogh Museum researcher Louis van Tilborgh dispelled the doubts Monday, saying the oil-on-canvas painting of the anguished-looking painter was completed in the late summer of 1889 while Van Gogh was at the Saint-Remy asylum in southern France. Questions about the painting rose in the 1970s. The use of a palette knife to flatten brush strokes on Van Gogh's face and what were then considered to be unusual colors in the painting led to speculation about the authenticity of the work, which was bought as a genuine Van Gogh in 1910 by Norway's National Museum. In an attempt to put those doubts to rest, the museum asked the Van Gogh Museum to analyze the painting in 2014. “It feels really reassuring to know that its genuine,” said Mai Britt Guleng of the Norwegian museum. Van Tilborgh said the use of an unprimed canvas and a muddy green color were, in fact, typical of Van Gogh's time in Saint-Remy in 1889. What sets the work apart is Van Gogh's use of a palette knife. “So he has painted it and during the process he suddenly decides that it has to become flat,” Van Tilborgh said. “We tend to think that it has to do with the fact that it's made during a period of psychosis.” Van Tilborgh said Van Gogh used painting as both a way of portraying his mental breakdown and of helping him to recover. “He wanted to say in this picture that he was an ill person and so it's a kind of therapeutic work we tend to think,' he said. 'He was a Protestant and as a Protestant you have to accept the facts of life — if you suffer, you have to face the suffering.” Norway's most famous artistic son, painter Edvard Munch, whose iconic work, “The Scream,” also is a vivid expression of mental anguish, was fascinated by the Van Gogh painting. “He thought it was one of the best of the collection of the national gallery but he also found it scary, because of the gaze from the self-portrait staring back at him,” Guleng said. The painting will remain on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam before returning to Oslo in 2021, when the National Museum, currently closed for renovation, reopens in a new building. “When we delivered the painting in ‘14 they warned us and said ’You might not like the results and it might be that we will never find out.'” Guleng said. “So we were very happy when we got the news.”
  • When his trial opens in the coming days, Harvey Weinstein’s defense team is expected to go on the offensive against the women who have accused him of rape and sexual assault, in part by questioning if they acted like victims afterward. New York City prosecutors intend to counter with a strategy that’s taken hold since the 2018 retrial of comedian Bill Cosby: calling a sex crimes expert as a witness to dispel assumptions about how rape and sexual assault victims behave after an attack. In fact, Weinstein’s prosecutors are using the very same expert, Dr. Barbara Ziv. She was the first prosecution witness at Cosby’s retrial and is expected to testify early in Weinstein’s trial this month. Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist who has spent decades working with sex offenders and victims, is likely to be an important potential bulwark against Weinstein’s defense that he had consensual relationships with the two women at the center of the case. One of the women, who accuses Weinstein of raping her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013, sent him warm emails in the months after the alleged assault. “Miss you big guy,' said one note. 'There is no one else I would enjoy catching up with that understands me quite like you,' said another. There was similar evidence at Cosby’s trial that he had remained in contact with some of his victims. Ziv testified that victims frequently avoid or delay reporting assaults to police, often keep in contact with the perpetrator, remember more details over time and differ in their emotional responses. Cosby’s jury ultimately returned a guilty verdict in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. Prosecutors are now rethinking how they try sexual assault cases, especially those involving intimate partners, mentors, work friends and other potentially fraught relationships. Through experts like Ziv, they can immediately focus the jury’s attention on victim behavior and frame the way jurors hear later testimony. That approach can help prosecutors bust myths and preemptively weaken defense strategies. “I think that makes sense. It’s basically a quick education for the jury, and it’s true the jury starts to see things through that lens,” said Laurie Levenson, a criminal law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. In addition to the alleged rape, Weinstein, 67, is charged with sexually assaulting another woman, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. Opening statements are expected as soon as this week, following two weeks of jury selection. Weinstein’s lead lawyer, former Chicago prosecutor Donna Rotunno, said in a pretrial interview with Vanity Fair that while some women might have regretted having sex with the former producer, “regret sex is not rape.” She said the email correspondence between Weinstein and both women is evidence that, at the time, neither considered what happened to be a crime. “I think a woman who is a victim of rape is going to look at that and say, ‘That’s not what rape victims do.' If you were really raped, this is not what you do,” she said. Defense attorney Kathleen Bliss took similar aim at Cosby’s accusers in scorching closing arguments in April 2018. She called trial accuser Andrea Constand 'a con artist” and witness Janice Dickerson, one of five other accusers to testify for the prosecution, “a failed starlet” and “aged-out model” who had seemingly “slept with every man on the planet.” Given the cultural moment, some defense lawyers question that strategy. The goal, they say, should be to discredit accusers without eviscerating them. Eviscerating them could turn off a jury. In Weinstein’s case, the task is all the more daunting. News reports about his alleged predation of scores of women — from high-profile actresses to production assistants — launched the #MeToo movement in late 2017. “Of course, a lawyer has to go in there and attack credibility and attack inconsistencies. It’s just how you do it,” said defense lawyer Brian McMonagle, who won a mistrial in the first Cosby trial when the jury deadlocked. “There’s a way to do it without being despicable.” Traditionally, prosecutors call trial experts toward the end of their case to try to repair any damage done to their witnesses. But in sex assault cases, that may be tough to do once jurors form opinions. “One of the big differences (at the Cosby retrial) was using the victim expert early in the trial. I think that served to help educate the jury on rape myths and victim behavior,” said Kevin Steele, the suburban Philadelphia district attorney who oversaw both Cosby prosecutions. The practice isn't limited to the courtroom. Experts and victims are also working with police to help them understand victim behavior. They can have the same misconceptions as juries, said former prosecutor Kristen Feden, who gave closing arguments in Cosby’s retrial and now represents sex assault victims in private practice. The police training, she said, “certainly changes the way they investigate.' Constand, who lives in Toronto, is doing training sessions with law enforcement groups there. She first went to police about Cosby in 2005, a year after the encounter — only to be rebuffed by Steele’s predecessor, who declined to press charges in part because she'd stayed in contact with Cosby and didn't immediately tell law enforcement. “I can't tell them how to prosecute these cases, but I can tell them about the internal experiences, and barriers to reporting,” Constand said in a recent interview. Cosby, 82, who like Weinstein had scores of accusers, is now serving three to 10 years in prison for drugging and molesting Constand. He'd been a friend and mentor to Constand at Temple University, where she worked for the women's basketball team and he, a beloved alumnus and campus icon, served on the Board of Trustees. Rotunno, in Vanity Fair, said the #MeToo movement had gone too far. “Women may rue the day that all of this started when no one asks them out on a date, and no one holds the door open for them, and no one tells them that they look nice,' she said. In Levenson’s view, defense lawyers need to focus on the facts to win #MeToo cases. “If you’re going to attack the witnesses, you better have very good ammunition. You better not be going on stereotypes or assumptions,” she said. “It has to be very specific information that undercuts their credibility. The general smear campaign, I don’t think works anymore.”
  • Prince Harry took aim at the journalists who have dissected his life since the day he was born as he expressed regret for the way he has had to step down from royal duties. In a personal speech that referenced his late mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi, Harry said Sunday he had 'no other option'' but to step away so that he and his wife, Meghan, could seek a more peaceful life. 'When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing,'' Harry said at a dinner in London for Sentebale, his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV. ``You looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force. And my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful, because this is so much bigger than just us.'' The comments were Harry’s first public remarks since Saturday night, when his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, announced the terms under which the prince and his wife will walk away from most royal duties, give up public funding and try to become financially independent. The couple are expected to spend most of their time in Canada while maintaining a home in England near Windsor Castle. Meghan has already returned to Canada, where the couple spent a Christmas break with their 8-month-old son, Archie. Harry, 35, continued in his royal role Monday, attending a U.K.-Africa investment summit in London alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It was not clear how soon Harry will join Meghan, Archie and the couple's dogs in Canada, or where in the country they plan to live. The couple spent the holiday season on Vancouver Island, and Meghan worked for seven years in Toronto as an actress filming the TV series “Suits.” The queen's statement said the agreement, reached after crisis talks among the top royals and their staff, was a “constructive and supportive way forward.” But Harry’s speech made it clear that the couple had not gotten their wish to be able to carry on with some royal duties while still becoming independent. 'Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible,' he said. Under the terms of the deal, Harry and Meghan this spring will no longer use the 'royal highness' titles — although they will formally retain them — or receive public funds for their work. They will no longer represent the queen and Harry must relinquish his honorary military appointments, including his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines. The conditions represent a starker break with the monarchy than Harry and Meghan had envisioned when they announced on Instagram that they planned to “step back” from royal duties. Harry said 'it brings me great sadness that it has come to this.'' ”The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always got it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option,' he said. Harry has made no secret of his disdain for Britain's tabloid media in the past, with both he and Meghan filing lawsuits against press outlets last fall. At the time, Harry gave an interview drawing parallels between the treatment of his wife and the media frenzy that contributed to the death of his mother. Harry praised his grandmother, the queen, and the rest of his family for supporting him and his wife in recent months. He called the decision to change both jobs and continents “a leap of faith” and said he hopes the move will allow him and his family to achieve a “more peaceful life.” Harry opened his speech Sunday by noting that many in the audience had watched him grow up and said he wanted them “to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share, not as a prince, or a duke, but as Harry.” He framed the decision to leave as his own, made on behalf of Meghan and Archie. He spoke of both during his remarks, telling the audience that eight-month-old Archie had seen snow for the first time a few days ago and “thought it was bloody brilliant.” He then turned to his relationship with the queen and other members of his family. “I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother — my commander in chief — and I’m incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months,” he said. ___ Associated Press writer Jill Lawless contributed to this story. ___ Follow all royal coverage by The Associated Press at https://www.apnews.com/PrinceHarry
  • Off-camera and during commercials, the stars at the Screen Actors Guild Awards got to rub shoulders, give congratulatory kisses, and meet for the first or the 50th time. Here are some of the more memorable moments from inside Sunday night's ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. ___ PARTY TIME FOR ‘PARASITE’ The “Parasite” table was one of the happier places in the Shrine ballroom — and that was before its cast won the night's biggest award. Song Kang Ho and the film's other stars got whoops, whistles and a standing ovation from much of the room of mostly American actors early in the show, when they took the stage to present their nominated film. That was followed by a full-blown ovation at the end, when theirs became the first foreign-language film to win the best ensemble SAG Award. In the two hours between, the gleeful cast and director Bong Joon Ho, savored their moment in the Hollywood spotlight, taking group selfies during every commercial break. They greeted a steady stream of fellow-actor fans, including Steve Buscemi. “I'm a little embarrassed,” cast member Lee Sun Kyun said after the show through a translator. “We're feeling a little like the parasites of Hollywood now.' ___ SOME SAG STARS LOOM LARGER THAN OTHERS TV and movie screens tend to obscure actors' heights, but when they're all in a room together it's very clear who looms over whom. The winners of the show's first two awards for actresses, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Laura Dern, both reportedly 5-foot-10, made it seem like the night was going to be dominated by the tallest nominees, but the trend ended there. The win of a much shorter Joaquin Phoenix — for “Joker” — over a reportedly 6-foot-3 Adam Driver for best actor in a film was more typical of the night. And the tallest actor and actress in the crowd, Stephen Merchant of “Jojo Rabbit,' who stands about 6-foot-7, and Gwendoline Christie of “Game of Thrones,” who stands about 6-foot-3, never got to take the stage with their casts, over whom they towered when they stood up during commercial breaks. ___ LITHGOW VISITS DRIVER'S SEAT John Lithgow is even taller than Driver, and is nearly 40 years older, but it was Lithgow doing the looking up when the two met for the first time during a commercial break. Lithgow, nominated along with the rest of the cast of “Bombshell,” smiled and gushed to Driver, nominated for best actor for “Marriage Story,” expressing his admiration for Driver's run of recent performances. “Great to meet you Adam,” Lithgow said with enthusiasm as the SAG Awards telecast returned from commercial and Lithgow rejoined Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and his other cast mates at the neighboring table. ____ SMALL STARS SCRAMBLE FOR SAG SELFIES You could be excused for thinking it was Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day for the professional actors of the SAG Awards. Actually, the wee ones running around the ballroom were acting pros, too, on a night where children abounded among the nominees. The kid actors from “Big Little Lies,' including brothers Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti, were all over the ballroom during commercial breaks, taking photos with stars including their cast mates Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Twelve-year-old Roman Griffin Davis sat proudly at his table like he utterly belonged alongside his fellow “Jojo Rabbit” cast members, who include Scarlett Johansson. Leonardo DiCaprio politely spoke to a steady stream of people excited to meet him during commercial breaks, but he positively beamed when his 10-year-old “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” co-star Julia Butters, in a shiny silver suit, brought three young friends to meet him. He greeted each of them with a huge grin just moments before he lost out on best actor to Phoenix. ___ DE NIRO AND STREEP MAKE SAG CROWD SWOON If anyone inspired more awe in the ballroom than DiCaprio it was Robert De Niro, to whom DiCaprio presented the SAG Life Achievement Award during the ceremony. Many major stars came to pay tribute to De Niro as he sat at a table that included his “The Irishman” co-stars Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel. But when Meryl Streep — his co-star in “The Deer Hunter” more than 40 years ago — stopped by to exchange kisses and kudos, photographers descended in droves and phone cameras came out on all sides to capture the meetup of the pair that many regard as the greatest actor and actress of their generation. ___ TELLING TELEPROMPTERS Virtually the entire ballroom can see the SAG Awards telecast's teleprompters if they look over their shoulder, and can see who's going off-script. When Ray Romano said while introducing the best ensemble nomination for “The Irishman” that he still couldn't believe he played a mob lawyer opposite De Niro and Keitel, Keitel roasted him by responding “I can't believe it either.” Romano replied, “Hey, that's not up there,' pointing at the teleprompter. Romano was right. It wasn't. ___ MR. ROGERS, JUDY GARLAND ARE NEIGHBORS Actors usually sit with their cast mates at SAG Awards tables, but sometimes the seating chart yields more novel pairings, like the adjacent placement of Tom Hanks, nominated for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and Renée Zellweger, nominated for “Judy.” The pairing made theirs a popular table for fans and cameras, and it proved prescient. They met up again onstage late in the show, when Hanks handed Zellweger the trophy for best actress in a film. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.
  • Robert De Niro received the Screen Actors Guild lifetime achievement award Sunday to praise for his illustrious career and thunderous applause from his fellow performers, but spent much of his acceptance speech on politics. “There's right and there's wrong, and there's common sense and there's abuse of power,” said De Niro, who received a standing ovation that lasted nearly a minute after Leonardo DiCaprio presented him with the award. About half of the room stood and applauded when De Niro said it was his responsibility to speak about politics and seemingly took aim at President Donald Trump, whose name he didn't mention. “As a citizen, I have as much right as anybody — an actor, an athlete, anybody else — to voice my opinion,” De Niro said. “And if I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I'm going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power.” De Niro became the 56th recipient of the guild's highest honor during the ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The actor has been a frequent, and occasionally profane, critic of Trump, but kept his criticism Sunday G-rated. He ended the politics portion of his speech by saying, “That’s all I’m going to say.” DiCaprio praised the actor for his authenticity during his introduction, saying he's been watching De Niro since the age of 13. DiCaprio recounted how his his father at the time suggested he pattern his early acting skills after the “Raging Bull” star. “His specificity in detail and his fearless pursuit of authenticity in his work have influenced not only myself, but entire generations,” said DiCaprio, who co-starred with De Niro in “This Boy’s Life” in 1993. The two will co-star in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming “Killers of the Flower Moon.” “He has given us career-long explorations of the human conditions,” DiCaprio said. After accepting the honor, De Niro thanked DiCaprio for his words then said he was ready to get back to work. DiCaprio carried De Niro's award for him while the pair walked off stage, handing it back to his idol once in the wings. “As actors, we don’t take victory laps,” De Niro said. “We’re too worried about what our next job will be. It makes me very happy to know that my next job will be working with you and Marty. At least I know that I have another year of health insurance.” De Niro is a two-time Oscar winner for his supporting role in “The Godfather: Part II” and best actor in “Raging Bull.” In 2011, he was also honored with the Golden Globes' Cecil B. DeMille Award for his impact on the world of entertainment and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom five years later. Through his career, De Niro has worked with some of Hollywood's top directors, but he's best known for his collaborations with Scorsese. The veteran actor had his breakthrough performance in Scorsese’s 1973 film “Mean Streets' before their partnership flourished in other standout projects including “Taxi Driver,” “Goodfellas,' “Casino' and “The Irishman.” Those films helped De Niro become known for tough-minded and dark characters who sometimes displayed a violent nature. DiCaprio called De Niro and Scorsese the “greatest partnership in cinema history.” Later in his career, De Niro had some light-hearted roles, exploring his comedic persona in films such as in the “Meet the Fockers” and “Analyze That” franchises along with “Joker.” “Robert De Niro is elemental,” DiCaprio said Sunday. 'It feels as if he's always been here, and will always be here.' ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31
  • The period costumes of a Julian Fellowes drama can be excruciatingly accurate, as an actress in his new series “Belgravia” discovered. The Epix drama from “Downton Abbey” creator Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame is set in 19th-century London and features Tamsin Greig, who starred in the TV comedy “Episodes,” and Philip Glenister ('Cranford'). Asked if the elaborate outfits were difficult or easy to work in, Greig gave a quick reply. “Do you think that they look easy?’ she said. “I was under the care of an osteopath within a week of filming, and I realized that I should have prepared better by wearing a corset for a few hours each day in the weeks up to beginning shooting.' It’s impossible to get the silhouette of the 1840s without the binding undergarment that women wore, she said. If the limited series’ actresses look like they’re comfortable, Greig added, “it’s really great acting.” Alice Eve ('Bombshell') and Ella Purnell ('Sweetbitter') also star in the series and joined in a presentation to TV critics Saturday. The six-part drama will debut April 12. “Belgravia,” set in the grand London neighborhood of that name, was adapted by Fellowes from his eponymous 2016 novel. Asked to compare the series to “Downton Abbey,” the hit TV drama that unfolded in the early 1900s, Fellowes said the projects reflect the periods in which they’re set. For the Epix limited series, it’s the “rise of the great Victorian era of manufacturing and money and ... the expansion of London,” he said. “Whereas you could say that ‘Downton’ was on the other side of the hill, it was part of the decline, particularly as we follow it through the ‘20s.” “Belgravia” is a “can-do show,” he said. 'It's really about people achieving what they want, despite the difficulties the society places in their path. ... But I hope it is essentially a kind of uplifting tale.” Fellowes was pleased by the reception for last year's big screen version of “Downton Abbey,” which arrived four years after the series ended on PBS, but was noncommittal about the possibility of a second film. He's got another TV series in the works, 'The Gilded Age” for HBO, set in 1880s America.
  • Prince Harry said Sunday that he felt “great sadness” but found “no other option” to cutting almost all of his and his wife Meghan’s royal ties in the hopes of achieving a more peaceful life. The comments were Harry’s first public remarks since his split from the royal family was announced earlier this month. Video of his speech was posted to Harry and Meghan's official Instagram account. Harry said he did not make the decision lightly and praised his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the rest of his family for supporting him and his wife in recent months. He called the decision “a leap of faith” and said he hopes the move will allow him and his family to achieve a “more peaceful life.” During his speech at a charity event, Harry framed the decision as being at least in part because of press scrutiny, saying the “the media is a powerful force.” He said that he and Meghan intend to continue a life of service and that his love and support for the United Kingdom is unwavering, but added that he needed to shed the royal ties he grew up with. “We’re not walking away, and we are certainly not walking away from you,” Harry said. “Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.” Harry and Meghan plan to spend most of their time in Canada. Beginning this spring they will stop using their “royal highness” titles and will lose all access to public funds once they stop carrying out official functions. Harry made the remarks at a dinner to support Sentebale, his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV. He opened his speech noting that many in the audience had watched him grow up and said he wanted them “to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share, not as a prince, or a duke, but as Harry.” Harry framed the decision to leave as his own, made on behalf of Meghan and their young son, Archie. He said that Meghan shares his values and remains “the same woman I fell in love with.” He spoke of both during his remarks, telling the audience that Archie had seen snow for the first time a few days ago and 'thought it was bloody brilliant.” He then turned to his relationship with the queen and other members of his family. “I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother — my commander in chief — and I’m incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months,” he said.
  • When critics and subjects of their criticism meet there can be tense moments — especially when a new streaming service’s high-profile project, “The Morning Show,” is at issue. That was the case when Mimi Leder, executive producer of the Apple TV Plus series, was queried about her comment last November that “Apple haters” were responsible for some of the show’s negative reviews. “Looking out at this sea of MacBooks, do you still think we’re a bunch of Apple haters who want to see Apple fail?” a member of the Television Critics Association said to Leder during a Q&A promotional panel Sunday that included stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Billy Crudup. “No, I don’t,” replied Leder, a veteran, Emmy-winning director whose credits include “The Leftovers' and ” “ER.” “I think we were a new show, I think people didn’t know what to expect,' Leder said. 'There were a lot of expectations on the show, and I’m really glad and happy that people have responded to the show so powerfully, and kind of with great vigor.” When Leder, whose initial remarks about reviewers came during a media conference in Los Angeles, was asked by another critic about them, Witherspoon spoke up. She and Aniston also are executive producers on the series, which follows the upheaval at a network morning show after an anchor, played by Steve Carell, is fired for alleged sexual misconduct. We make projects and then “it is up to you guys, you have to decide how you feel about it. That’s how it works,” Witherspoon said. “I have no problem hearing very real opinions about material. ... I welcome the criticism.” “Especially constructive criticism,” said Aniston, calling character attacks “not constructive.” It was unclear if she meant in general or was referring to any specific reviews. While the show's reviews were mixed, especially for the early episodes, it and its cast have earned awards season recognition. Aniston and Witherspoon received Golden Globe nominations for the awards held earlier this month, with a best drama nod for the series. Aniston, Carell and Crudup got Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations. The drama is returning for a second season. “The Morning Show” was in the vanguard for Apple TV Plus’ debut last November, when it entered the so-called streaming wars that include other new services, such as Disney Plus, jockeying for a slice of the digital sector that’s an increasingly dominant part of the media landscape. The competition includes established services Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Police in Fayetteville, North Carolina, said a man broke into a home and forced a woman and a 1-month-old boy into a car at gunpoint, according to WTVD. The home invasion and kidnapping happened Monday at 1:12 a.m. Wani Thomas broke into a home on Tangerine Drive and forced Jasmine Livermore and the baby boy, Nathaniel Thomas, into a vehicle, police said. Authorities are currently searching for all three. Thomas is considered armed and dangerous and last seen wearing a brown jacket with blue jeans. Livermore, 20, was last seen wearing gray pants, a brown shirt and a camouflage jacket. Anyone with information should call Fayetteville police at (910) 676-2597 or Cumberland County Crimestoppers at (910) 483-8477.
  • The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department rescued a man that was stuck in a tree in Atlantic Beach Sunday afternoon.  Video taken from the scene shows a ladder truck ascending into a large oak tree.   JFRD tweeted that the man was rescued from the tree safely and was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
  • As many as six people were shot in a violent weekend across Jacksonville. And the common thing in all these cases, no arrests. Two of the shootings happened within a block of each other on Justina Road in Arlington.  A man was sitting at a bus stop by when he was shot by someone in a red SUV on Saturday afternoon.  Hours later a person was shot nearby and hospitalized with injuries.  Late Sunday night a man was shot in the leg on Old Kings near Edgewood. The man was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  On Friday night two men in their 20's were injured in a shooting off Kings Road on the northwest side.  One man was hit in the lower leg and the other was struck in the upper torso. Both were taken to a local hospital for treatment.  JSO says the shooting happened in a Shot Spotter area, and the technology system captured three gunshots.  On Friday around 8pm, a man in his 30’s was shot and killed on Brooklyn Road in the Moncrief area. JSO detectives were trying to locate any witnesses or video surveillance. 
  • Coming off a weekend in the 70's, a strong cold front brought drenching rain on Sunday afternoon, followed by a chill. Action News Jax Meteorologist Corey Simma is tracking temps well below average.  “Mostly sunny and cold with temperatures in the 50’s all day. And then clear and cold Monday night and Tuesday morning with some patchy inland frost”, said Simma.   Tuesday looks to be the coldest day this week, as we’ll struggle to reach 50 degrees. A breeze will keep it feeling even colder. We stay below average on Wednesday, with temperatures only in the 50’s.  The mid-60’s return on Thursday, and on Friday we’ll be near 70 but with scattered showers. 
  • The Jacksonville Humane Society and Animal Care and Protective Services announced the city of Jacksonville, once again, earned the no-kill designation for the year of 2019. According to Best Friends Animal Society, “A no-kill community is a city or town in which every brick-and-mortar shelter serving and/or located within that community has reached a 90% save rate or higher and adheres to the no-kill philosophy, saving every animal who can be saved.'  According to a release put out by the JHS, the save rate for APCS was 90 percent and for JHS it was 95 percent, making a citywide save rate of 93 percent.  In total, 16,874 animals entered the JHS shelters in 2019, which is a significant decrease from 19,366 animals in 2018, according to the JHS.  According to JHS, Jacksonville earned the distinction of being the largest city in the United States to earn a no-kill status. The city has maintained that status until last year when ACPS save rate fell to 86 percent.  “Examining the data and trends in 2017 and 2018 resulted in our renewed focus on cats and kittens in 2019,” said Deisler. “As a community, we had to take a look at ourselves ask – what can we do to save those lives? We knew that with the help of our community, a return to no-kill was possible. We are excited about the results from 2019 and even more excited for 2020. Thank you, Jacksonville!”

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