VFX artists and supporters have gathered in Glendale for today’s “Go Green” rally organized around President Obama‘s visit to DreamWorks Animation. (The President is slated to address an audience on the closed DWA campus shortly; look for coverage from Deadline’s Dominic Patten.) Security was in place around DWA as the “Go Green” rally marched down Flower Street:
Power Rangers billionaire and staunch Israel supporter Haim Saban tonight offered strong support to President Obama for his efforts to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his recent initiative in negotiations with Iran. “We’re out of Iraq, we’re out of Afghanistan and the military and intelligence cooperation with Israel — our staunchest ally in the Middle East, arguably in the world, has never been deeper and the president’s commitment to Israel’s security has never been stronger,” Saban said in his introduction to Obama’s remarks tonight at his Beverly Hills home, according to White House pool reports. “And if the Iranians are at the negotiating table today, make no mistake about it, it is only as a result of President Obama’s resolve in striking down the most strict sanctions ever.” The event was the second fundraiser of the night for Obama and the first Saban has hosted for the President directly. (He’d hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton last month.) About 120 people attended tonight’s dinner — including Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson, Warner Bros’ Barry Meyer and wife Wendy, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos — with tickets going for $16,200 each. (Read an edited and condensed version of the White House Pool report and official WH Press Office remarks from both of tonight’s fundraisers below.)
Earlier in the evening, Obama was the headliner at a fundraiser at Magic Johnson’s Beverly Hills house. About 160 people including Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Keaton paid $2,500-$15,000 a ticket hear the commander-in-chief speak at the reception. Tomorrow morning the president will be attending a $32,400-per-guest breakfast event at the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman (take a look at the original invite here). After that, he will visit and give a speech on the economy and the entertainment industry at big donor Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s DreamWorks Animation HQ, as well as meeting with studio bosses. Obama’s Southland visit, his first since August, is partially a makeup for a planned swing in September that was scrapped because of the Syria crisis.
Open Letter To Kathy Bates: Congrats On Skewing-Up NBC By Lisa De Moraes – Dear Kathy Bates: Remember how NBC cancelled your Harry’s Law drama series in spring 2012, at the end of its second season, even though it was then the network’s most-watched drama series — because NBC suits felt its audience skewed too old and Warner Bros, not NBCU, owned the show? Read More »
CNN’s resuscitated Crossfire unveils tonight with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter debating with Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as to whether Congress should approve a military air strike on Syria. The show will premiere as the commercial broadcast networks are airing their interviews with President Obama on the same subject — and CBS airs yet more footage of Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad, in which Assad warns the U.S. to “expect everything” in retaliation if an air strike occurs.
And yet, Crossfire’s Van Jones told reporters on the eve of the show’s return to CNN that Syria is exactly why the U.S. needs Crossfire, “so people can have these debates and we can hear the best from both sides,” he said modestly in a conference call. Jones, a former special adviser to President Obama, gave reporters a taste of his Crossfire style on the phone call, when he was asked why Obama is seeking congressional approval for an air strike on Syria in response to White House claims that Assad used chemical weapons on civilians last month. Read More »
ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all broke into their programming today to cover the commander-in-chief’s speech at 10:50 PT this morning. All of the cable news outlets covered the speech as well. CBS and NBC were carrying … Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA conference on the Sony lot introducing her new daytme talk show, Queen Latifah said she had “already invited the Prez and Mrs.” to be guests on the show during a visit to the White House. Latifah did not say whether POTUS and the first lady had agreed or declined to make an appearance on TheQueen Latifah Show, which makes its debut September 16. The new talk host added bluntly when asked if she could see herself tapping her friends in show biz as guests: “Yes, I can picture myself doing that. I just know this is going to be the place where they want to come.” Read More »
It was a nice stroke of luck for MSNBC today during its coverage of the Supreme Court’s decisions rejecting the federal Defense of Marriage Act and essentially overturning California’s Proposition 8 that prevented same-sex couples from marrying in the state. President Obama interrupted the live interview with a … Read More »
Certainly Roger Ebert will be remembered for many things. Winning an unprecedented Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for film criticism is just one of them. For me, though, beyond that distinction Roger was far more unique in the pantheon of the truly great critics of our time, and all time. Along with Gene Siskel he figured out a way to take film criticism to the masses in a way it never really had been, at least on a national basis. With their patented ’2 Thumbs Up’ and ’2 Thumbs Down’ reviews on their pioneering PBS and later syndicated weekly TV show, this pair not only brought the job of a film critic into the national consciousness, they also made it fun. And accessible. The ‘thumbs’ signature was really the forerunner of a site like Rotten Tomatoes, an instantly recognizable label that moviegoers could use like a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when it appeared in an ad as it did hundreds of times.
Unlike so many critics today Roger Ebert loved movies, even when he hated them, an attribute so many of today’s self-absorbed so-called critics greatly lack. In fact one of my favorite personal Ebert memories happened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival at a mid-day screening of Vincent Gallo’s unwatchable The Brown Bunny. Not only did he call it then the worst movie in the festival’s history, he added, “I have not seen every film in the history of the festival, yet I feel my judgement will stand”. At one excruciating point in the film he even started singing “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” out loud, eliciting laughter from what was left of the audience at that point. I wondered at the time “now who has the chutzpah to do that?” only to find it was Roger. Read More »
Everyone knows that with all of the rampant campaigning going on, Hollywood’s Oscar season can get quite political, but this year it’s literally poliitics. And not as usual. An infusion of real politicians, and political issues, have been characterizing … Read More »
Greeting the Kennedy Center honorees tonight at a pre-ceremony reception at the White House, President Obama entered the East Room to cheers and applause, and said “Welcome to the White House on a night when I am nowhere close to being the main attraction.” The honorees are surviving members of Led Zeppelin John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant; ballerina Natalia Makarova, Dave Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and Buddy Guy. Obama praised the Kennedy Center trustees and recognized President Kennedy’s daughter Caroline who was seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama in the audience. CBS will broadcast a two-hour special covering the Kennedy Center Honors on December 26th. Here is an edited and condensed version of Obama’s remarks tonight from the pool report:
“None of this would be possible without the co-chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities,” the President said, singling out “George Stevens and his son Michael who have produced the Kennedy Center Honors for 35 years now.”
“Tonight, we continue a tradition here at the White House by honoring some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together. We’ve got Buddy Guy sitting next to Dustin Hoffman. We’ve got Dave Letterman alongside one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. I don’t think Dave dances. All three living members of Led Zeppelin in one place — so this is a remarkable evening.”
“Tonight’s honorees didn’t just take up their crafts to make a living. They did it because they couldn’t imagine living any other way. That passion took each of them from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of their profession. Tonight, in the People’s House, we have a chance to say thank you.”
Donald Trump explains to David Letterman his $5 million charitable challenge for President Obama to release his college records and his passport application:
And after the jump, watch Stephen Colbert’s report on Trump’s “October surprise” offer, with Colbert’s $1 million counter-offer to Trump. Plus a clip of Barbara Walters on The View, telling her friend Trump “You’re making a fool of yourself.” Read More »
ABC says President Obama will sit down next week with Diane Sawyer in his first national interview following Wednesday night’s debate. Portions of the interview will air on Wednesday, October 10 on ABC World News, the … Read More »