Workplace harassment not just a Hollywood problem


LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Weinstein revelations have once again shone a light on Hollywood’s seedy underbelly — but rampant sexual harassment in the workplace is hardly confined to the glamorous world of show business.

From the cleaning industry to the corporate world, a common thread is bosses or colleagues who abuse positions of authority to coerce their victims, often safe in the knowledge their behavior can remain hidden.

Show business is particularly vulnerable because of its highly competitive nature and a traditional reliance on personal relations and networking, says Ann Fromholz, a lawyer who specializes in harassment.

“The standards for entry and promotion aren’t strictly on merit, it can be your looks, it may be who you know,” she says, adding: “People who are already in the industry often put up with behavior they hate because, at least until now, it was the price of admission.”

The Harvey Weinstein scandal illustrates the problem at its most extreme: the disgraced Hollywood producer stands accused by around 40 actresses of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault to rape.

But Fromholz says she has encountered “horror stories” from janitors, farm laborers and restaurant workers too — sectors that in the US are heavily-filled by undocumented workers who fear not only losing their jobs but being deported.

“There is sort of a black humor joke among the employment lawyers, we say that workplaces with beds are really a terrible idea, so that’s talking about hotels and hospitals at the very least,” she adds.

Other typical scenarios revolve around powerful men whose misconduct can go unchecked: high-flying lawyers; Silicon Valley investors who can make or break a business; or celebrated TV personalities like Bill O’Reilly, whose long reign at Fox News was recently brought to a close by an avalanche of harassment claims.

A survey of 2,200 women carried out in 2015 by Cosmopolitan magazine found that one in every three had experienced some form of sexual harassment at work, including unwanted physical or verbal advances and demands for sexual favors.

Comic Relief founder: Black people on primetime TV as rare as ‘unicorns’


(AFP) – British comic legend Sir Lenny Henry claimed black and brown people are as rare as “unicorns” on primetime television and called on governments to give tax breaks to improve diversity.

Despite decades of activism, “the number of black and brown people working on primetime British television is so low they can t even publish the data,” the Comic Relief founder told MIPCOM, the world s top TV industry gathering in Cannes on the French Riviera.

“In fact, they are so rare that (BBC wildlife legend) David Attenborough came across three dodos and a unicorn before he found one,” Henry joked, after revealing that broadcasters had refused to give the data to unions because the number was so small.

“Despite all our victories, diversity in TV is in a critical condition,” he insisted, and only a system of tax credits which rewarded productions which had minorities in key roles could turn the situation around.

The actor and comedian said California and New York states were looking at similar legislation modelled on tax breaks the film industry already enjoys.

Canada’s Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie dies at 53


OTTAWA (AFP) – Rock poet and Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, whose evocative lyrics helped define Canada, has died at age 53.

Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer after suffering a seizure during a walk in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario in December 2015.

According to a statement from his bandmates, he passed away on Tuesday evening surrounded by his family.

“Gord knew this day was coming — his response was to spend this precious time as he always had — making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss… on the lips,” said the statement.

“He loved this country with everything he had… He loved every hidden corner, every aspect of this country,” an emotional Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, tears streaming down his face.

“He wanted to make it better. He wanted us to be better than we were,” Trudeau said of the man he called a friend. “We are less a country without Gord Downie in it.”

After decades of making music, Downie s doctors made public his condition in May 2016, saying he had rebounded after undergoing surgery and chemotherapy but that the cancer was “incurable,” prompting an outpouring of support.

On the same day, the Tragically Hip announced a farewell tour. Downey s final concert in August was broadcast live across Canada.

The alternative rock band broke out in the 1990s with hits such as “New Orleans is Sinking,” “Blow at High Dough” and “38 Years Old.”

Its discography sold more than eight million copies, appealing to partiers and intellectuals alike.

Downey s lyrics — steeped in Canadiana — explored the wrongs perpetrated against indigenous peoples, environmental causes and the plight of the wrongfully convicted.

In 2005, The Tragically Hip was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and four years ago was featured on a Canadian stamp.

Finally, Mahira reacts when asked about ‘leaked photos’ with Ranbir Kapoor


(Web Desk) – Talented Pakistani actor Mahira Khan has finally broke silence on the matter of leaked photographs with Bollywood’s heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor. She called it a personal thing and said it is normal for boys and girls to hang out.

The 32-year-old cleared the air with ease and said she is used to being careful while her meetings with friends in the industry. She refuted that the photos didn’t belong to any film shoot and it was a personal meeting with Ranbir.

As soon as the media person asked her to comment on link-up rumours with Ranbir, she responded inquiring what would be the appropriate response. “It was a personal thing. I have learnt from it. Because I am a very careful person otherwise,” she answered.

Mehwish Hayat to continue TV despite success in film


LAHORE (APP): Film star Mehwish Hayat has said that although she has been very successful in film, she will continue working for television.

Talking to APP, Mehwish said that TV dramas and serials could serve as an academy for the film artistes.

She said that her performance on an item song in film “Na-Maloom Afraad” gave her big popularity and her main role in film “Main Punjab Nahi Ja’oon Gi” has brought her unprecedented fame.

Humayun Saeed advises filmmakers to work hard instead of getting envious


KARACHI (Daily Dunya) – Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed has advised filmmakers to work hard instead of getting envious from others.

In a statement, Humayun Saeed said Pakistan dramas and films are being liked by people living across the world. He said that the response which filmmakers get after releasing their movies on Eid is encouraging.

He further announced to release Yeh Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 on next Eid-ul-Azha, continuing that the movie will be a package of entertainment for the viewers.

We have to make movies while keeping in view international standards, Humayun added.

The actor said that every film director and producer is busy in producing best content.

Verna’s trailer is out


The film is helmed by Shoaib Mansoor and stars debutante Haroon Shahid and Naimal Khawarr besides Mahira Khan. Haroon Shahid is a known voice for many from a music band called Symt and his Coke Studio song titled Koi Labda among others.

Well… Let us see if the freakishly goodlooking man can act as well as he sings.

Revered Shoaib Mansoor has been on actors radar for years and Mahira earlier said that she wanted to work with the man for a long time.

Written, directed, produced and not starred by Mansoor, the film is a social-drama to be released on November 17 and made under the banner Shoman Films.

Oscar-winning film Amadeus actor Roy Dotrice dies at 94


(Web Desk) – Famous British actor Roy Dotrice died at the age of 94 in his London residence while with the family. He performed in various movies including Oscar-winning film Amadeus, in which he played the role of Leopold Mozart.

His three daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandson were alongside when he breathed his last. Dotrice was praised for his acting in “A Moon for the Misbegotten revival” and received the iconic Tony award for it.

Dotrice lent his voice to record audiobooks of George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels which was later adapted into Game of Thrones. He held Guinness World Record for the most characters voiced by a single actor in a 33-hour-long audiobook. In the first novel of A Song of Ice and Fire, he voiced 223 characters.

Dotrice had also played a part in the video adaptation, featuring as Wisdom Hallyne the pyromancer in season 2. He performed as John Aubrey in Brief Lives. He had made his debut in 1965 in “The Heroes of Telemark”. Dotrice will also be remembered as a theatre actor.

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