BY GUY PEWSEY
In 2018, Natalie Portman gave a speech on how to be an ally to women. One key points in her manifesto? ‘If a man says to you that a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him, “What bad thing did you do to her?”‘ It’s a valuable point that we should carry with us in everyday life, in work meetings, on dates, when talking with new acquaintances. And it’s also useful when reappraising how we have treated women in the past. So-called difficult women who we consider to be divas, or nightmares to work with, because men in power told us so. We owe a lot of apologies to these women. Perhaps we should start with Megan Fox.
In 2009, the actress discussed Michael Bay – her director in the first two Transformers films – in an article for Wonderland. She said that he was a ‘nightmare to work for’ on set, but ‘vulnerable and fragile’ in real life. Soon after, Bay’s personal website hosted an open letter from the film’s crew, calling her an ‘unfriendly bitch’, ‘dumb as a rock’ and stating that she could find success in the porn industry.
‘We’ve had the unbearable time of watching her try to act on set, and yes, it’s very cringe-able’, the letter read. ‘So maybe, being a porn star in the future might be a good career option. But make-up beware, she has a paragraph tattooed to her backside (probably due her rotten childhood)—easily another 45 minutes in the chair!’
Megan was not present in the third film, and her career has undoubtedly suffered from being depicted as difficult. Would you hire a woman described so cruelly by her peers? It’s basically the reference from hell.
Should Megan have called her boss a tyrant? Probably not. But she was young, and she had been subjected to years of mistreatment. In the last few days, an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live has resurfaced that makes uncomfortable viewing, during which Megan recalls working as an extra on a Bay film.
The World Owes Megan Fox An Apology
‘The first time I ever worked with [Bay], actually, I had just turned 15 and I was an extra in Bad Boys II’, she explains. ‘ They were shooting this club scene, and they brought me in, and I was wearing a stars-and-stripes bikini and a red cowboy hat and, like, six-inch heels. He approved it, and they said, you know, Michael, she’s 15 so you can’t sit her at the bar and she can’t have a drink in her hand, so his solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet. At 15, I was in 10th grade. So that’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.’ The audience’s laughter, and host Jimmy’s strange suggestion that all men’s minds work like that, makes the skin crawl. To use the words from the letter written against Megan, it’s ‘cringe-able.’
Megan is one of the many, many women in Hollywood who have dared to speak out against the men who have mistreated them, or simply disagreed with, and have suffered for it. Whether it’s the Ashley Judds or Mira Sirvinos of the world – who Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson claims he was dissuaded from hiring due to rumours of bad behaviour – or the Katherine Heigls, who dared to critique elements of her role in Knocked Up and was, therefore, presented in the media as ungrateful. Maybe some of these women behave badly on occasion. But unlike their male counterparts, who get chance after chance, they are slated, sacked and blacklisted.
Megan Fox is owed an apology, by those who ignored her voice in favour of the men who spoke for her. Next time a man tells you that a woman is a nightmare to work with, think of Meghan, think of Natalie, and ask what he did to her.
The World Owes Megan Fox An Apology
Oscar-winning Ennio Morricone, Italian composer most famous for Westerns, dies at 91
Ennio Morricone, one of the world’s best-known and most prolific film composers, died in Rome on Monday at the age of 91.
Tributes poured in for the man who composed the music for about 500 films, including his old childhood friend Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” for which he finally won an Oscar in 2016.
Morricone died in hospital where he was being treated for a fractured femur following a fall, according to a statement from lawyer and family friend Giorgio Assuma.
Oscar-winning Ennio Morricone
Morricone “passed away in the early hours of July 6 with the comfort of his faith,” the statement said.
He remained “fully lucid and with great dignity right until the end,” it added.
‘He made us dream’
Tributes began pouring in for the maestro soon after his death was announced.
“We will remember forever and with infinite gratitude the artistic genius of maestro Ennio Morricone,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.
“He made us dream, he moved us and made us think, writing unforgettable notes that will remain forever in the history of music and cinema,” he said on Twitter.
Italian film actress Monica Bellucci said of Morricone that, “there are people who have the ability to make the world better because they know how to create beauty,” while Gilles Jacob, the former head of the Cannes film festival, described him as the “emperor” of film music.
Famed Italian conductor Riccardo Muti called Morricone “a master for whom I nurtured friendship and admiration,” describing him as an “extraordinary musician” who could jump with ease from film scores to classical music.
Born on November 10, 1928, Morricone began composing at the tender age of six, and at just 10 he enrolled in trumpet school at the prestigious Saint-Cecilia conservatory in Rome.
He played in jazz bands throughout the 1940s before beginning to ghost write for film and theater.
In 1961, at the age of 33, he collaborated with director Luciano Salce in “Mission Ultra-secrete” before going on to gain fame with the score for “A Fistful of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood in 1964.
Before winning the elusive Oscar for best film score at age 87 in 2016, the Rome-born son of a trumpeter had been nominated no fewer than five times. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — embarrassed that such a talent had not been recognized sooner — presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2007.
Morricone’s previous nominations were for “Days of Heaven” (1978), “The Mission” (1986), “The Untouchables” (1987), “Bugsy” (1991) and “Malena” (2000).
Although he is most closely associated in the public mind with Leone’s westerns starring Eastwood, Morricone’s composition for Roland Joffe’s Jesuit drama “The Mission” is considered by many critics to be his cinematic masterpiece, an epic and eclectic reflection of South America’s musical melting pot.
Throughout his career, Morricone worked with some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed filmmakers as well as art house directors. After his collaboration with Leone, he worked with Italian screen legends Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini and later with the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone.
Oscar-winning Ennio Morricone
Mike Henry will no longer voice Cleveland on ‘Family Guy’
Mike Henry is exiting his role as Cleveland Brown on “Family Guy.”
Henry made the announcement Friday on Twitter. “It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years,” he wrote. “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”
Henry has been with “Family Guy” since its first season in 1999. In addition to Cleveland, he also voices Consuela, a Latina maid, on the long-running animated series in addition to numerous other minor characters. Henry also voiced Cleveland and his Black stepson, Rallo Tubbs, on the spin-off series “The Cleveland Show,” which aired on Fox for four seasons from 2009 to 2013.
He is now the latest white actor to announce they will no longer voice a character of color on an animated show. Jenny Slate announced on Wednesday that she would no longer play the biracial character Missy on the popular Netflix show “Big Mouth.” Not long after that, Kristen Bell announced she would be stepping down from her role as a biracial character in the upcoming Apple animated series “Central Park.”
Back in January, Hank Azaria said he would no longer voice the Indian character Apu on “The Simpsons.” Calls for Azaria, who like Brown has voiced the character for decades, to stop playing Apu intensified in 2017 after comedian Hari Kondabolu released the documentary “The Problem With Apu.” The doc explored how people of South Asian descent felt about growing up with Apu as one of their only representatives on American television.
Sia Is in Mom ‘Heaven’ with the Two Teen Sons She Adopted Last Year: ‘They Saved Me’
By Jen Juneau
Sia couldn’t be happier or more fulfilled as a new mom of two.
One month after revealing she had adopted two boys who were “aging out of the foster care system,” the singer appeared Friday on Good Morning America, where she gave an update on their lives as of late.
“They both suffered a lot, and I’ve been able to get them the help — I have the resources to get them the help that they needed for their early trauma,” said Sia, 44. “It’s taken a year and we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve never been in a better place than today, in fact.”
“It’s a blessing for me,” added the “Chandelier” hitmaker. “I think they saved me, so I’m in heaven.”
Sia Is in Mom ‘Heaven’
Sia first confirmed that she welcomed two sons into her family last year during a May interview with SiriusXM’s The Morning Mash Up, sharing that she adopted the teenage boys when they were leaving foster care due to their age.
“I actually adopted two sons last year. They were both 18 — they’re both 19 years old now,” she revealed. “They were aging out of the foster-care system. Yeah, and I love them.”
The Australian pop star went on to share how life has been for the family amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, explaining how one of her sons has been having a little bit of difficulty adjusting to life at home as many places are locked down due to the health crisis.
“They are both finding it pretty difficult, one more so than the other,” Sia shared. “But they’re both doing things that are really good for them right now, that are really helpful. They’re really doing a lot of educational stuff that’s good for them.”
Before talking about her upcoming film Music — featuring Maddie Ziegler, Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr., among other stars — Sia turned the attention to the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain and her desire to help “do something about this police brutality.”
“You don’t just have to feel bad — you can actually email the attorney general … if you care about Breonna Taylor’s murder at all,” she said, giving contact information for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for Taylor’s case and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis for McClain’s.
“It just feels more important to me than entertainment right now,” Sia added.
As for the movie, “it’s great,” she said excitedly. “I’m gonna break your heart and put it back together again!”
Sia Is in Mom ‘Heaven’