NY attorney general announces $19 million settlement in Weinstein lawsuits; Carl Reiner, comedy pioneer dead at 98 and more

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

New York attorney general announces $19 million settlement in Harvey Weinstein lawsuits

An agreement has been reached to settle for nearly $19 million two sexual misconduct lawsuits on behalf of multiple women against imprisoned former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, attorneys said on Tuesday. But lawyers representing six of the women who have made accusations against Weinstein called the proposed deal a “complete sellout” that did not require the 68-year-old former film producer to accept responsibility or pay out of his own pocket.

Carl Reiner, American comedy pioneer, dead at 98

Carl Reiner, a driving force in American comedy as a writer for television pioneer Sid Caesar, partner of Mel Brooks and creator and co-star of the classic sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” has died at age 98 of natural causes, his assistant said on Tuesday. His career spanned seven decades and every medium from theater and recordings to television and movies, including directing “Oh, God!,” three collaborations with Steve Martin and a role as an elderly con man in the revived “Ocean’s Eleven” series.

Kanye West praised for new single on racism, slammed for ‘billionaire’ tweet

Kanye West received both plaudits and criticism on Tuesday when he released a powerful new single about racism and faith a day after congratulating his wife Kim Kardashian on what he said was her billionaire status. West was slammed on social media for touting his family’s wealth in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has seen more than 36 million Americans lose their jobs.

Mickey Mouse fans ‘over the moon’ as Tokyo Disney reopens

Tokyo Disney Resort welcomed visitors on Wednesday for the first time in four months after being closed due to the coronavirus, with fans practicing social distance as they returned to see Mickey Mouse and other beloved characters. Visitors in face masks queuing on floor marks clapped as the gates of the Magic Kingdom reopened and were encouraged to clean hands, pay without cash and avoid screaming while enjoying one of Japan’s largest theme parks.

Oscars organizers say academy exceeds diversity goal as ‘Parasite’ cast, others join

The organization that awards the Oscars said on Tuesday it had invited 819 new members to join its ranks and exceeded a goal set four years ago to diversify the group’s membership by 2020. Among the new members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are several stars of South Korean drama “Parasite,” the group said in a statement. In February, “Parasite” became the first foreign-language movie to win best picture.

Musical ‘Hamilton’ goes from Broadway to America’s living rooms

Five years after taking Broadway by storm with its multi-racial, hip-hop take on America’s founding fathers, “Hamilton” arrives in millions of homes around the world on Friday as a film. Shot over three days in 2016 at the stage musical featuring the original cast, the film lands on the Disney+ streaming service as America celebrates Independence Day weekend.

Venezuelan music, dance teachers reach kids online amid pandemic

With Venezuela now three months into a coronavirus quarantine that has kept children locked indoors, music and art teachers and storytellers are for the first time moving their classes online. The change is an uphill battle in the South American nation, where blackouts are constant and where almost half of households are not connected to the internet, one of the world’s slowest.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights inspires musical work, ‘Voices’

Composer Max Richter’s new album “Voices” features narrators reading parts of the 70-year-old Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which he believes can stir hope in a world where we “lurch from crisis to crisis”. His piece starts with the voice of Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, who was instrumental in setting up the Declaration in 1948 after World War Two.

Syrian artist’s Silent Demonstration watches over German war crimes trial

Forty-nine faceless figures stand on the lawn outside a German courthouse, facing the windows of a courtroom behind which two suspected members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s security services are standing trial for torture and sexual assault. The figures, part of an art installation called The Muted Demonstration, are wearing jeans, shirts, and jackets that formerly belonged to victims of torture, their creator, Syrian artist Khaled Barakeh, told Reuters on Wednesday.

NBCU’s Peacock strikes deal with ViacomCBS to stream ‘The Godfather’ and others

Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal has struck a deal with ViacomCBS Inc to bring “The Godfather” trilogy, “Undercover Boss” and other hit franchises to the upcoming Peacock streaming video platform, the companies announced on Wednesday. Peacock, set to launch nationally on July 15 on mobile devices, Web and connected television platforms, will compete against Netflix Inc, Amazon.com Inc Prime Video, Walt Disney Co’s Disney+, Hulu, and AT&T Inc’s HBO Max in the fight for paying subscribers.

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