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Kids movie “Show Dogs” to be re-edited after “touching” controversy

Adrian Rogers/Global Road Entertainment(LOS ANGELES) — Filmmakers behind the new movie Show Dogs have announced that the film will be edited to appease critics who’ve called it inappropriate for younger children.

Amid outrage at dog show-judging scenes which depicted one dog telling another that he should get comfortable with the idea of having his genitals touched, Global Road Entertainment now says those scenes are being removed. The updated version of the PG-rated film will be available this weekend.

“Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organizations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the film Show Dogs that some have deemed not appropriate for children…We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of Show Dogs sent an inappropriate message.”

Parent bloggers began criticizing the film, which stars Will Arnett and features the voices of Ludacrisand Jordin Sparks, shortly after its May 18 release. 

Dawn Hawkins, the executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, issued a statement claiming that Show Dogs, “sends a troubling message.”

“It contains multiple scenes where a dog character must have its private parts inspected, in the course of which the dog is uncomfortable and wants to stop but is told to go to a ‘zen place.’ The dog is rewarded with advancing to the final round of the dog show after passing this barrier,” reads the statement.

It continues, “Disturbingly, these are similar tactics child abusers use when grooming children — telling them to pretend they are somewhere else, and that they will get a reward for withstanding their discomfort.”

“Children’s movies must be held to a higher standard, and must teach children…the ability to say ‘no’ and safety, not confusing messages endorsing unwanted genital touching.”

The producers initially defended the scenes as accurately depicting the judging process at dog shows.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jason Bateman “incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry” for “Times” article about “Arrested Development”

Saeed Adyani/Netflix (NEW YORK) — It didn’t take long for Jason Bateman to respond to criticism he brushed aside Arrested Development co-star Jessica Walter’s comments about poor on-set treatment by Jeffrey Tambor.  Bateman is apologizing online, saying he’s “incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry” for his comments.

In case you missed it: Jessica Walter used a New York Times interview published Wednesday to publicly confirm that Tambor verbally harassed her on the show’s set in the past. “He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize,” Walter said. “In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it’s hard to deal with, but I’m over it now.”

Bateman came to Tambor’s defense, saying, “Not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, ‘difficult.’”  Bateman’s comments drew the ire of Twitter users, calling him out for his “boys club mentality” and chiding him for explaining “how the industry works.”

Bateman quickly responded in a series of tweets, writing in part: “I realize that I was wrong here. I sound like I’m condoning yelling at work. I do not. It sounds like I’m excusing Jeffery. I do not. It sounds like I’m insensitive to Jessica. I am not.”

Bateman says he was “so eager to let Jeffrey know that he was supported in his attempt to learn, grow and apologize that I completely underestimated the feelings of the victim, another person I deeply love – and she was sitting right there!”

I’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica. …I deeply, and sincerely, apologize.”

Tambour was fired from his Amazon series, Transparent, earlier this year for his on-set behavior following sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by his former personal assistant, Van Barnes, and actress Trace Lysette.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” star Alden Ehrenreich promises “Star Wars” fans a fun ride

Lucasfilm(LOS ANGELES) — The wait is just about over — Solo: A Star Wars Story opens with preview screenings on Thursday night before officially hitting theaters nationwide on Friday.

The film stars Alden Ehrenreich in the title role of Han Solo, originally made famous by Harrison Ford, and Ehrenreich tells ABC News that fans will have as much fun watching the movie as much as he had making it.

“I just think it’s so fun. I think it’s so funny and so fun and I loved flying the Millennium Falcon,” he says.

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Falcon. Ron Howard took over as director more than halfway through the film, because of creative differences with the original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but Ehrenreich swears you won’t notice.

“When I watch this movie now, you can’t really tell at all,” he tells ABC. “It’s kind of amazing how much of a single continuous whole it feels like.” 

The film gives the backstory of young Han Solo, including how he met Lando Calrissian, the original owner of the Falcon who lost it to Solo in a card game.

Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jason Bateman “incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry” for ‘NYT’ ‘Arrested Development’ interview comments

L-R: Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor, Lauren Weedman, Will Arnett, David Cross, Jason Bateman; Saeed Adyani/Netflix(LOS ANGELES) — It didn’t take long for Jason Bateman to respond to criticism he brushed aside Arrested Development co-star Jessica Walter’s comments about poor on-set treatment by Jeffrey Tambor.  Bateman is apologizing online, saying he’s “incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry” for his comments.

In case you missed it: Jessica Walter used a New York Times interview published Wednesday to publicly confirm that Tambor verbally harassed her on the show’s set in the past.  “He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize,” Walter said.  “In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it’s hard to deal with, but I’m over it now.”

Bateman came to Tambor’s defense, saying, “Not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, ‘difficult.’”  Bateman’s comments drew the ire of Twitter users, calling him out for his “boys club mentality” and chiding him for explaining “how the industry works.”

Bateman quickly responded in a series of tweets, writing in part: “I realize that I was wrong here. I sound like I’m condoning yelling at work. I do not. It sounds like I’m excusing Jeffery. I do not. It sounds like I’m insensitive to Jessica. I am not.”

Bateman says he was “so eager to let Jeffrey know that he was supported in his attempt to learn, grow and apologize that I completely underestimated the feelings of the victim, another person I deeply love – and she was sitting right there!”

I’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica. …I deeply, and sincerely, apologize.”

Tambour was fired from his Amazon series, Transparent, earlier this year for his on-set behavior following sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by his former personal assistant, Van Barnes, and actress Trace Lysette.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Arrested Development” matriarch Jessica Walter confirms Jeffrey Tambor verbally abused her; Jason Bateman slammed for defending Tambor

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Jessica Walter used a New York Times interview published on Wednesday to publicly confirm that her Arrested Development co-star Jeffrey Tambor verbally harassed her on the show’s set.

During the emotional interview, which also included Tambor and fellow cast members Jason Bateman, David Cross, Tony Hale and Will Arnett, the interviewer mentioned that Tambor alluded to blowing up at Walter in an earlier Hollywood Reporter article.

Tambor said he “profusely apologized” before praising the 77-year-old Walter, who plays his wife in the show, as “a walking acting lesson.”

Bateman immediately came to Tambor’s defense, saying, “Not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, ‘difficult.’”

A tearful Walter then opened up, saying, “Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation, I have to let go of being angry at him. He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize.”

“I have to let it go of being angry at him,” she continued. “In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it’s hard to deal with, but I’m over it now.”

Bateman’s comments drew the ire of Twitter users, calling him out for his “boys club mentality,” and chiding him for explaining “how the industry works.”

In February, Tambor was fired from Amazon’s Transparent following sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by his former personal assistant, Van Barnes, and actress Trace Lysette.

The allegations led to an internal investigation by Amazon and the decision that he would not be returning as Maura Pfefferman for Transparent‘s fifth season.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Recap: “Empire” may be “Unpossess’d,” but who appears to be possessed in the season 4 finale?

Chuck Hodes/Fox Broadcasting Co.(LOS ANGELES) — This week’s episode of Empire, titled “The Empire Unpossess’d,” marked the season 4 finale of the show. Here are some of the shocking highlights: 

— Lucious and Eddie continue their confrontation, with Lucious slapping Eddie and Eddie drawing a gun. Lucious, Thirsty, Andre and Cookie try to formulate a plan to keep Eddie from giving evidence to the police that would prove Lucious murdered Shyne.   

— Lucious and Renee, Cookie’s mother, have a run-in at Empire. Afterwards, Lucious tells Cookie that the only way to save Empire is to turn himself in to the cops. Cookie disagrees and says that they need to come up with another plan to bring Eddie down. Lucious tells Andre that he’s decided to turn himself in for Shyne’s murder. 

— Lucious confesses to Hakeem and Jamal that he killed Shyne. Cookie thwarts Lucious’ plan to give himself up to the police by bidding away Empire to Eddie in exchange for Eddie’s evidence. The Lyons plan to rebuild Empire from scratch. 

— Jamal finds out that Tory suffered a grand mal seizure in the hospital and died. He then tells Cookie that he’s leaving town. 

— Lucious asks Cookie to marry him again. 

— Tiana tells Hakeem that she’s pregnant and that the baby is his. He’s happy with the news. 

— Eddie names Anika as Empire’s CEO. While giving her speech at the podium, Anika begins to hallucinate and sees dead Rhonda in the audience. It’s then revealed in a flashback that Andre previously put drugs in Anika’s champagne. After seeing Rhonda again, Anika falls off of a balcony to her death.   

— Lucious and Cookie get married in court. 

— As Blake, Hakeem and Tiana leave an apartment, Blake’s dad shows up with a gun and fires three shots.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Michael B. Jordan to star and co-produce anime series “gen:LOCK”

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — Black Panther baddie Michael B. Jordan, a self-proclaimed anime super-fan, is getting the chance to live his dream.

Jordan revealed via Instagram that he will voice the role of Julian Chase in an upcoming  animae series called gen:LOCK, from Rooster Teeth, a streaming service for gamers that launched in 2016. 

“Check me out later this year,” he wrote, captioning an gif of his character saluting.

According to Variety, Jordan’s character is a pilot for mecha, a class of “giant, weaponized robots controlled by humans.”

In addition to starring in the series, Jordan’s production company Outlier Society Productions, is set to co-produce the series alongside Roster Teeth.

This is the latest project for Jordan who currently has a busy schedule both on and behind the camera. In addition to his new HBO film,  Fahrenheit 451, which recently debuted, Jordan is also currently shooting Creed II.

Behind the camera, his list includes the animated movie Super Day Care; the black family superhero drama Raising Dion at Netflix; a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair; the WWII drama film The Liberators; and his directorial debut, The Stars Beneath Our Feet.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Disney’s “Star Wars: Galaxy Edge” attraction gets launch date

Disney/Lucasfilm(ORLANDO) — It’s official: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the fully-immersive Star Wars-themed attraction, will open in the summer of 2019 at California’s Disneyland Resort, and late fall next year at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. 

The attraction, the most extensive dive into George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away that Disney has ever built, promises to transport visitors to the Outer Rim planet of Batuu.

According to a press release, Galaxy Edge visitors will find themselves strolling through a, “remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge,” that has, “become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space.”

While Batuu may be new to us, it is clearly already familiar to many characters from the Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures,” says the announcement.

Disney is the parent company of both Lucasfilm and ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ABC cancels “The Chew,” expands “Good Morning America” to three hours

(L-R Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, Michael Symon of The Chew) ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) — ABC is making some changes in the early afternoon.

First, ABC’s long-running food-centric show The Chew is being canceled after seven years, but will air as planned until September.  In a statement, Disney|ABC Television president Ben Sherwood said,  “For seven years The Chew has delighted audiences by delivering innovative food segments in an entertaining atmosphere. We applaud and thank Gordon Elliott, Aimee Householder, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and the entire cast and crew for their great work and amazing run. And we wish them the very best.”

In place of The Chew, ABC’s Good Morning America will now expand to a third hour, airing at 1 p.m. EDT/noon CDT/PDT.  The third hour will feature additional news, interviews, pop culture coverage and live events.  More details about the new hour will be announced in the coming months.

The Emmy-winning GMA has been the most-watched morning newscast in America for six straight years.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Glow” star Sydelle Noel recalls the moment the “Black Panther” cast knew the film was going to be a hit

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) — Sydelle Noel’s role in Black Panther as Xoliswa — one of Wakanda’s royal guard of elite female fighters called the the Dora Milaje — may have been brief, but it was powerful.

With the film’s record breaking success — currently the third highest-grossing film ever in the U.S. — Noel says she and her Black Panther co-stars could almost pinpoint the moment when they realized their film had the potential to change history.

“We all had this, this vision when we were actually shooting,” Noel, who also stars in the Netflix series Glow, tells ABC Radio. “We felt it. We felt this, like, kinetic energy during the waterfall scene. That’s when literally, like everybody was there. Everybody, the whole entire cast was in that waterfall scene.”

She continues, “And we had moments when it was like, ‘Cut!’ And we had people just drumming in the background and we were like dancing having a good time and I remember Angela Bassett was like, ‘Do you just feel this? Like, look around like look what we’re creating right now.” And I was like, ‘Yes.'”

The “waterfall” moment Noel is referring to is the fight scene where T’Challa is challenged for his birthright as king and later faces off with Killamonger for his throne. Noel adds that even Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker felt it.

“And then Forest Whitaker walked over and he was like, ‘I just have a feeling that this is going to be huge,'” she added. “And everybody just looked around and we were just looking at each other and just seeing the moment from the background people, from the stunt people, to just everybody. This might be a big huge deal.” 

Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Letitia Wright, is now available on DVD.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.