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IT40 Places & Things in the Media for 01/22/2019

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#1 Academy Awards • Nomination • The Favourite • Roma • Academy Award for Best Picture 91st Academy Awards: Best Picture and Best Actress

CNN Replay

The 91st Academy Awards nominations were just announced. CNN's Brian Stelter and Nischelle Turner break down Best Picture and Best Actress categories https://cnn.it/2FIwpIy


2019 Oscar Nominations: The Complete List

“Roma” and “The Favourite” are top Academy Awards contenders with 10 nominations each.
The 2019 Oscars might still be down a host, but at least now they have some nominees.

Netflix’s “Roma,” from writer and director Alfonso Cuarón, and Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark period comedy “The Favourite” led with 10 nominations each for the 91st Academy Awards, announced Tuesday. “Roma” became a game-changer for the streaming service as its first Best Picture nominee.

The nominations were announced by Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross in Los Angeles at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The hit musical melodrama “A Star Is Born,” Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” and the controversial and Best Picture front-runner “Green Book” were represented across major categories ― save for a snub for Cooper for Best Director.

The academy also made history with Marvel’s box office behemoth “Black Panther” after a strong awards campaign, with the Ryan Coogler-directed blockbuster becoming the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture.

It was a good morning for “Bohemian Rhapsody” star Rami Malek, and for Christian Bale of “Vice.” Both gave transformative performances this year and walked away with the top male acting trophies at the Golden Globes.

Glenn Close and Lady Gaga are poised to lead the Best Actress race after sharing the honor at the Critics Choice Awards, unless the two split the votes, which would open the category for “The Favourite” scene-stealer Olivia Colman or Melissa McCarthy from “Can You Forgive Me?”

The awards ceremony is officially charging ahead without a host for the first time in nearly three decades after comedian Kevin Hart stepped down in the wake of controversy over past homophobic tweets.

The 91st Annual Academy Awards will be handed out live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Check out the list of nominees below. 

Best Picture

“Black Panther”

“A Star Is Born”


“The Favourite”


“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“Green Book”



Best Actress

Glenn Close, “The Wife”

Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”

Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”


Best Actor

Christian Bale, “Vice”

Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”

Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”


Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, “Vice”

Marina de Tavira, “Roma”

Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Emma Stone, “The Favourite”

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”

Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”

Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Best Director

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”

Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”

Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Adam McKay, “Vice”

Best Original Screenplay

“First Reformed”

“Green Book”


“The Favourite”


Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”


“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

“A Star Is Born”

Best Cinematography

“Cold War”

“The Favourite”

“Never Look Away”


“A Star Is Born”

Best Animated Film

“Incredibles 2”

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”


“Ralph Breaks the Internet”

“Isle Of Dogs”

Best Animated Short Film

“Animal Behaviour”


“Late Afternoon”

“One Small Step”


Best Live Action Short Film






Best Foreign Language Film


“Cold War”

“Never Look Away”



Best Documentary Feature

“Free Solo”

“Minding The Gap”

“Of Fathers and Sons”


Hale County This Morning, This Evening”

Best Documentary Short Subject

“Black Sheep”

“End Game”


“A Night at the Garden”

“Period. End of Sentence.”

Best Production Design

“Black Panther”

“First Man”

“The Favourite”

“Mary Poppins Returns”


Best Film Editing


“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“Green Book”

“The Favourite”


Best Sound Editing

“A Quiet Place”

“Black Panther”

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“First Man”


Best Sound Mixing

“Black Panther”

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“First Man”


“A Star Is Born”

Best Original Score

“Black Panther”


“If Beale Street Could Talk”

“Isle of Dogs”

“Mary Poppins Returns”

Best Original Song

“All The Stars” ― “Black Panther”

“I’ll Fight” ― “RBG”

“Shallow” ― “A Star Is Born”

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” ― “Mary Poppins Returns”

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” ― “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

Best Costume Design

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

“Black Panther”

“The Favourite”

“Mary Poppins Returns”

“Mary Queen of Scots”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling


“Mary Queen of Scots”


Best Visual Effects

“Avengers: Infinity War”

“Christopher Robin”

“First Man”

“Ready Player One”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

#2 Arconic • NYSE:ARNC • Stock Arconic – Home


Arconic updated their cover photo.


Arconic Plunges After Abandoning Sale as Offers Disappoint

January 22, 2019, 8:26 AM EST Updated on January 22, 2019, 9:58 AM EST
  • Decision scuttles possible $10 billion buyout deal with Apollo
  • Aerospace, auto parts maker still plans to sell building unit
Signage is displayed in the cooling area of the Arconic Inc. manufacturing facility in Alcoa, Tennessee, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Arconic Inc. shocked investors as the board decided not to sell the company, scuttling a highly anticipated deal that would have been one of the biggest leveraged buyouts since the global financial crisis.

The shares plunged the most in eight months after the manufacturer said it “did not receive a proposal for a full-company transaction that we believe would be in the best interests of Arconic’s shareholders and other stakeholders.” Apollo Global Management had been in talks to buy the maker of aerospace and auto parts in a deal valued at more than $10 billion, Bloomberg News had reported.

The surprise decision deepens uncertainty surrounding Arconic, which during the last two years has fought a proxy battle with activist investor Elliott Management Corp., replaced its CEO and drew unwanted attention for its connection to a deadly apartment fire in London. Arconic will now focus on operational improvements and the previously announced sale of the building-systems unit, according to a company statement Tuesday.

The shares plummeted 18 percent to $16.62 at 9:48 a.m. in New York after falling as much as 21 percent, the biggest intraday drop since April 30. Arconic tumbled 38 percent last year, while a Standard & Poor’s index of industrial stocks dropped 15 percent.

Tuesday’s announcement extends Arconic’s brief but tumultuous life as an independent company since splitting with aluminum producer Alcoa a little over two years ago. Chief Executive Officer Chip Blankenship, who took the reins early last year, has been conducting a strategic and portfolio review to address what he has called disappointing execution.

The fallout from the London fire -- a tragedy that killed more than 70 people at Grenfell Tower -- had been a sticking point in the negotiations with Apollo, Bloomberg reported. The firm, which had emerged as the front-runner after topping an offer from rival private-equity investors, was working to protect itself from ongoing liabilities. Apollo had been pursuing an offer of about $22 a share, Bloomberg reported.

For more on how Arconic put options are reaping a 1,992% gain, click here

While reports of private-equity interest had buoyed Arconic, the shares still suffered as the company weathered poor performance and rising aluminum prices.

Blankenship, a former General Electric Co. executive who took the helm early last year, put Arconic’s Building and Construction Systems unit up for sale in July as part of the portfolio review. He also agreed to move the company’s headquarters out of New York to help cut costs.

#3 Green Book • Mahershala Ali • Viggo Mortensen • Academy Awards • Don Shirley • Peter Farrelly • Tony Lip Green Book Trailer 1 – Mahershala Ali Movie


Mahershala Ali & Viggo Mortensen star in the 1st trailer for 'Green Book'. Now Playing in Select Theaters! 🎥 Everywhere Thanksgiving.


'Green Book' Scores 5 Oscar Nominations Following Controversies

By 5:45 AM PST, January 22, 2019
Green Book

DreamWorks Pictures/Universal Pictures

Green Book is still feeling the love from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, despite numerous scandals and controversies that have cropped up around the period dramedy.

The Academy announced its latest slate of Oscar nominees on Tuesday and Green Book picked up a total of five nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor for Viggo Mortensen, Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, Film Editing and Original Screenplay.

While the film has taken home numerous awards on its journey to the Oscars over recent months -- including some surprising wins in a few major categories at this year's Golden Globes and the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards -- it's also been subject to multiple controversies involving the film's stars, its director, its screenwriter and has even faced backlash from the family of one of its main characters.

Set in the 1960s, Green Book tells the story of an unlikely friendship between famed jazz and classical pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Ali) and bouncer Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Mortensen), whom Shirley hires as his bodyguard and driver for an eight-week concert tour through the Deep South.

In November, Mortensen sparked controversy when the 60-year-old actor used the N-word while addressing social progress and the advancement of racial tolerance and acceptance in the U.S. during a panel discussion at a screening of the film in Los Angeles. Mortensen issued a full apology shortly thereafter.

"In making the point that many people casually used the ‘N’ word at the time in which the movie’s story takes place, in 1962, I used the full word. Although my intention was to speak strongly against racism, I have no right to even imagine the hurt that is caused by hearing that word in any context, especially from a white man," the actor said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "I do not use the word in private or in public. I am very sorry that I did use the full word last night, and will not utter it again."

Ali, who was present during the panel discussion, released a statement of his own addressing the incident.

"However well-intended or intellectual the conversation may have been, it wasn’t appropriate for Viggo to say the n-word," Ali said,  "He has made it clear to me that he’s aware of this, and apologized profusely immediately following the Q&A… Knowing his intention was to express that removing the n-word from your vocabulary doesn’t necessarily disqualify a person as a racist or participating in actions or thoughts that are bigoted, I can accept and embrace his apology."

Around the same time, the film itself found itself under fire after NPR and Shadow and Act released interviews with some of the living family members of Dr. Shirley -- including the pianist's brother, Maurice Shirley, who described the film as "a symphony of lies."

According to the musician's nephew, Edwin Shirley III, the film's portrayal of the jazz legend as a man who was estranged from his family and from the black community was "rather jarring."

“That was very hurtful," he told Shadow and Act. "That’s just 100% wrong."

According to family members, not only was Dr. Shirley very present in their lives and in frequent contact with his brothers, he was also closely involved in the growing civil rights movement, was a friend to Martin Luther King, Jr., participated in the march on Selma, and had close friends among other legendary black jazz artists.

When Ali heard about the family's disappointment with the film's portrayal of the celebrated pianist, the Oscar winner reportedly called them personally to apologize.

"I got a call from Mahershala Ali, a very, very respectful phone call, from him personally. He called me and my Uncle Maurice in which he apologized profusely if there had been any offense," Edwin said. "What he said was, ‘If I have offended you, I am so, so terribly sorry. I did the best I could with the material I had. I was not aware that there were close relatives with whom I could have consulted to add some nuance to the character.'"

A rep for the actor later confirmed that he'd apologized for the offense, but not "for the film itself," Huffington Post reported.

Days after the film went on to win three Golden Globes -- including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Ali's performance as Dr. Shirley -- yet another controversy bubbled up when a story surfaced from two decades ago in which colleagues of director Peter Farrelly claimed the filmmaker used to flash people on the set of his films as a joke.

According to an excerpt from a Newsweek article from 1998, recently rediscovered by The Cut, Farrelly and his younger brother, and frequent collaborator, Bobby Farrelly, used to trick cast members, crew members and even studio executives into looking at the elder brother's genitals, under the guise of a prank.

Farrelly issued a statement to ET following the article's publication, admitting that the descriptions of his behavior recounted in the 20-year-old Newsweek articles were "true."

"I was an idiot. I did this decades ago and I thought I was being funny and the truth is I’m embarrassed and it makes me cringe now," the director said in his statement. "I’m deeply sorry."

Among those who were interviewed in the Newsweek article was actress Cameron Diaz -- who worked with the Farrelly brothers on the 1998 comedy There's Something About Mary-- who said at the time, "When a director shows you his penis the first time you meet him, you’ve got to recognize the creative genius."

The Cut also found an article around the same time from The Observer, in which Farrelly estimated that he and his brother had performed the "joke" in question, "Easily 500 times."

ET's Lauren Zima spoke with the veteran filmmaker on the red carpet at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards where he briefly addressed the controversy and how he’s handled the backlash.

"You learn, you grow. You try to become a better person,” he explained "It’s all ultimately about the movie and that’s what we hope people see. I love this movie. I think it’s special."

However, Farrelly wasn't the only one whose past caught up with them in the days following the Golden Globes. Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga -- the real-life son of Mortensen's character, Tony Lip -- had to release an apology after a controversial tweet from 2015 resurfaced, in which he made anti-Muslim remarks.

"I want to apologize. I spent my life trying to bring this story of overcoming differences and finding common ground to the screen, and I am incredibly sorry to everyone associated with Green Book," said Vallelonga in a statement, after he deleted his Twitter account amid the public outcry. "I especially deeply apologize to the brilliant and kind Mahershala Ali, and all members of the Muslim faith, for the hurt I have caused."

"I am also sorry to my late father who changed so much from Dr. Shirley’s friendship and I promise this lesson is not lost on me," Vallelonga continued. "Green Book is a story about love, acceptance and overcoming barriers, and I will do better."

In the offending tweet, posted to the writer's since-deleted account, Vallelonga agreed with an entirely false statement, made by then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who claimed to have seen people, who he implied were Muslim, cheering when the World Trade Center towers collapsed during the 9/11 terror attack.

"100% correct," Vallelonga reportedly replied to Trump. "Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news."

This claim has since been debunked and no factual evidence exists to support it, nor was any such mass cheering ever recorded or aired by any news stations at the time.

With one scandal after another crashing down on the acclaimed project, the film has gone from an Oscars front-runner to something of a long shot, but its nominations mean it's not out of the running just yet.

#4 Supreme Court of the United States • Donald Trump • Transgender people and military service Supreme Court of the United States – Home

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court of the United States updated their cover photo.


Supreme Court allows transgender military ban to go into effect

The U.S. Supreme Court building stands at sunset in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018.

(CNN)The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational.

The Justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but will allow the ban to go forward while the lower courts work through it.
The four liberal justices on the Court objected to allowing the ban to go into effect.
The policy, first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter, and later officially released by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.
The court's move is a victory for the Trump administration. While government lawyers wanted the Court to take up the case, they also fought to allow the ban to go into effect while the case plays out in the lower courts.
By the government's own numbers in 2016, there were approximately 8,980 Service members that identify as transgender. During the Obama administration, 937 members were diagnosed with gender dysphoria and began or completed their transition.
This story is breaking and will be updated.

BREAKING: Supreme Court reinstates Trump’s ban on trans servicemembers in the military

This will end badly.

Retired Army lieutenant colonel Ann Murdoch poses for a photo in Arlington National Cemetery after attending a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on June 8, 2018. - President Donald Trump has made clear his opposition to transgender Americans serving in the military, but that didn't deter several transgender veterans from laying a wreath Friday, June 8, 2018 at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just outside Washington. (Photo by Mandel Ngan / AFP) / With AFP Story by Elodie CUZIN & Michael MATHES: US-military-transgender-politics (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court handed down a pair of orders on Tuesday that effectively reinstate the Trump administration’s ban on trans military service.

The cases are Trump v. Karnoski and Trump v. Stockman. In both cases, a lower court halted the ban. Tuesday’s orders temporarily stay those lower court decisions while the cases make their way through the federal courts. The Supreme Court voted along party lines to stay these decisions, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan in dissent.

While the Republican-controlled Supreme Court was always likely to take up these cases eventually — and always likely to rule in favor of Trump — the Court’s decision to permit the Trump administration to stay these lower court orders suggests that the Court’s majority is especially eager to uphold Trump’s policy.

Even setting aside the fact that the Court’s Republican majority is unlikely to be sympathetic to transgender civil rights under any circumstances, courts are especially likely to defer to the elected branches on questions involving the military or national security.

Indeed, the Court shown such extraordinary deference to policies that were supposedly enacted to advance national security, that it’s even allowed those policies to stand when they violate an explicit provision of the Constitution — most recently in Trump v. Hawaii, the Muslim ban case.

Likewise, in its 1981 decision in Rostker v. Goldberg, the Court held that the Selective Service System may engage in outright gender discrimination. Rostker arose “in the context of Congress’ authority over national defense and military affairs, and perhaps in no other area has the Court accorded Congress greater deference,” Justice William Rehnquist wrote for the Court.

In fairness, there is a strong legal argument that Trump’s transgender service ban should not be entitled to deference because of the slipshod process Trump used to implement the ban. In the alternative universe where Justice Merrick Garland is the Supreme Court’s swing vote, perhaps that argument could prevail. But it is unlikely, to say the least, that this Court will ultimately side against Trump.

#5 eBay • Elliott Management Corporation • Stock eBay – Home


eBay updated their cover photo.

Break up eBay? Activist investor urges StubHub spinoff

Elliott Management also wants eBay to shed its classifieds business to focus on Marketplace

The sign at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif. is photographed on Friday, April 19, 2013. (Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group)
PUBLISHED: January 22, 2019 at 7:43 am | UPDATED: January 22, 2019 at 7:53 am

An activist hedge fund that has amassed a substantial stake in eBay on Tuesday pushed for spinning off StubHub and its classifieds unit, saying it would free up the San Jose company to focus on its core marketplace business.

In a letter to eBay’s board, Elliott Management said it has a $1.4 billion, or 4 percent, stake — making it one of the e-commerce company’s biggest shareholders. The hedge fund presented a plan that it says will boost eBay’s value to $55 to $63 a share, an increase of 75 percent to 100 percent, in the next couple of years.

“Elliott believes that eBay is worth far more – but change is urgently needed to address both public perceptions and real business issues,” wrote Jesse Cohn, a partner at Elliott. Those issues include what it called “prolonged, self-inflicted misexecution” that has caused eBay Marketplace to be “deeply undervalued.”

Shares of eBay rose sharply after news of the letter, up 8.39 percent to $33.60 in early trading. The stock had fallen about 33 percent through Friday since its 52-week high of $42.79 in February 2018.

Because Elliott believes ticket seller StubHub and the classifieds business would be worth more on their own, it wants eBay to shed those businesses. The hedge fund also wants eBay to improve Marketplace’s technology and operations, saying that “despite its remarkable history as one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, eBay as a public-company investment has underperformed both its peers and the market for a prolonged period of time,” mentioning its biggest competitor, Amazon.

“We appreciate Elliott’s recognition of the strength and power of eBay’s business and will carefully review and evaluate Elliott’s proposals,” an eBay spokesman said Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that another activist investor, Starboard Value, also is putting pressure on eBay to make similar changes.

Starboard has not returned a request for comment.

Online auction pioneer eBay is no stranger to activist investors. In 2014, corporate agitator and billionaire investor Carl Icahn successfully pushed for the eBay and PayPal split.

Bloomberg News

Elliott Management pressed online marketplace eBay Inc.  (EBAY - Get Report) to adopt a plan to increase shareholder value, accusing management of "underperforming its peers and the market for a prolonged period of time."

Elliott, which said it controls a 4% stake in eBay, said management should "turn its singular attention to growing and strengthening marketplace", asserting the group is "far from broken, and its future should be bright". Elliott's five-step plan, the activist said, outlines a value creation opportunity that would take the path of Ebay shares to between $55 and $63 each by 2020.

"Despite its remarkable history as one of the world's largest e-commerce platforms, eBay as a public-company investment has underperformed both its peers and the market for a prolonged period of time," Elliott said in a letter to the company's board of directors. "While eBay's core Marketplace continues to enjoy sustained growth and the two other franchises that eBay owns, StubHub and eBay Classifieds Group, are thriving, eBay suffers from a deeply depressed valuation due to its history of misexecution."

"Elliott believes that eBay is worth far more - but change is urgently needed to address both public perceptions and real business issues," the letter added.

eBbay shares were marked 11.3% higher in the opening minutes of trading and changing hands at $34.51 each, a move that takes the stock back to levels last seen in early September and values the San Jose, Calif-based group at just over $33.2 billion.

Elliott, whose stake is now valued at around $1.4 billion, wants eBay to engage in a "full operation review of how it spends and develops its funds", with an aim to increase operating expenses by $250 million from 2018 to 2021.

It also said eBay's event ticketing business, StubHub, has a value of between $3.5 billion and $4.5 billion, compared to a range of $8 billion to $12 billion for the group's classified advertising division.

The Wall Street Journal reported that another activist investor, Starboard Value LP, has built a similarly-sized stake in eBay and may push for the group to spin off StubHub and the classifieds division in order to create more shareholder value.


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