Rhimes working on 8 Netflix shows

Netflix is about to look more and more like Shondaland.

According to Entertainment Weekly the mastermind behind “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” Shonda Rhimes has a host of new projects in the works for Netflix. With producer Betsy Beers by her side, EW says the duo and their team will set out to create eight new shows for the streaming service, all of which center on diverse stories.

For instance, EW says that one untitled project is “based on the true story of Anna Delvey, the Manhattan socialite/con-woman, as written about in New York Magazine,” while another — “The Warmth of Other Suns” — will be “an adaptation of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Isabel Wilkerson’s novel about African-Americans feeling the Jim Crow South.”

And for Rhimes, telling a vast array stories isn’t something that just happened; instead, it was her mission.

“I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement,” Rhime said in a statement, according to EW. “Ted and Cindy and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen. This is Shondaland 2.0.”

For a full list of Shondaland 2.0 projects in the works, click here.

Rodriguez uses Emmy money to send undocumented student to college

Gina Rodriguez is using the money that would otherwise be spent on Emmys “For Your Consideration” campaigns and giving to the worthiest of causes: education.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the “Jane the Virgin” star convinced her show’s network, The CW, to use her portion of the “FYC spend toward a college scholarship for an undocumented high school student.”

A member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s board of directors, EW says Rodriguez partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles to “locate a Latinx high school student who plans to attend Princeton University in the fall,” allowing the student to “complete a four-year degree without financial burden.”

For Rodriguez, the attempt to do something for the Latinx community is natural, even one that has been encouraged by showrunners.

Our show has always jumped at any opportunity to help me do something for the Latinx community,” said Rodriguez, EW reports. “So I asked my showrunner, Jennie [Snyder Urman], if we could do something different with the money this year.”

And something different they did.

Rodriguez to star in ‘Carmen Sandiego’ remake

Netflix has found their new Carmen Sandiego — and two times over.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Gina Rodriguez will play the film’s namesake character in a live-action remake, which follows a “fictional thieving villain from the 1990s educational children’s series.”

But Rodriguez’s contributions to the streaming service’s revival of the film don’t end there; in fact, EW reports that she will also lend her voice to Netflix’s original animated series based on the character.

What’s more is that EW says “the live-action version will also be produced by Rodriguez through her I Can and I Will production company, alongside Kevin Misher and Caroline Fraser.”

Way to go, Carmen Sandiego — er, Gina Rodriguez!

Bell, Teigen offer to pay fine for former U.S. gymnast

With over 140 women and girls accusing former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, many of his victims have stood before him in court to share the pain they have carried with them for years. But one victim and former Olympian may face a fine for facing her abuser yet again.

According to Entertainment Weeklybecause gold medal winner McKayla Maroney settled a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics in 2016, she is “unable to publicly discuss Nassar” and could face a $100,000 fine if she does, including if she gave a victim impact statement in his recent court proceedings.

But two of Hollywood’s best and brightest have offered to help Maroney, should she decide to speak up and be hit with a fine; model and author Chrissy Teigen was first to take to Twitter to offer to foot the bill for Maroney, writing that she would be “absolutely honored” to do so.

A few minutes later, EW says Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur and actor Kristen Bell chimed in, offering to split the payment on behalf of the gymnast.

If that’s not women (and men) supporting women, we don’t know what is.

 

Male actors to don black at Globes

With female actors planning on wearing black to the Golden Globes this year to protest sexual misconduct and gender inequality in the entertainment industry, their male counterparts are joining in their support.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Ilaria Urbinanti, a celebrity stylist, “confirmed that at least some of the gents attending the big event will also be donning black in solidarity with their female colleagues.”

Urbinanti took to Instagram to share that some of Hollywood’s leading men will wear all black, says EW, or at least all of the men she styles will be taking part in the movement — men such as The Rock, as well as Tom Hiddleston and Armie Hammer.

With women’s voices finally getting the attention and support they deserve, perhaps Urbinanti summed it up best when she wrote, “Safe to say this may not be the right time to choose to be the odd man out here… just sayin…”

Munn motions for end to sexual assault

With sexual misconduct at the fore of public discussion, Olivia Munn is keeping the conversation going with a brand-new essay she penned for Entertainment Weekly.

Following her own tale of being on the receiving end of sexual harassment, Glamour says the actor wrote an essay identifying the ways in which our culture must shift in order to prevent abuses of power and further sexual misconduct, starting by pointing out the root of such actions:

“In our world today—and it’s not just Hollywood, it’s the same for girls and women all over the world who have survived sexual abuse and/or harassment—abusers don’t usually get in trouble unless the victim is broken first, because the violating act alone is not damaging enough to spark society’s outrage. It’s a marathon towards self-destruction in order to gain credibility and a vicious circle of victim-blaming. When people ask how these men in powerful positions were able to hurt so many people for so many years, I look to the people at the top and ask those questions.”

Calling the issue not a women’s issue but “an abuse-of-power issue,” Glamour says Munn offered that nothing in our culture can be changed until we change the core of our institutions that breed sweeping male hegemony.

“…Until we eradicate the diseased roots of our infrastructure and make foundational, systemic changes, nothing will change,” she wrote. “We should create a zero-tolerance policy with actionable consequences for sexual assault and any other forms of abuse. Heads of studios, bosses, and CEOs should enforce equal pay because continuing to pay us less perpetuates a bias that women are inferior.”

Concluding her essay, Glamour says Munn asked that those in positions of power go against the system and work to create an inclusive and safe environment for women to grow, succeed and thrive, because after all, “We’re strong. We’re not afraid to call each other out—and we’re not afraid to call you out anymore either.”

Amen to that!

Read the full essay here.

Bell becomes first host of SAG Awards

There’s a first for everything, and the first for the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards is about to happen.

According to Entertainment Weeklythe Guild announced that their 24th annual awards show would have its first-ever host, tapping Kristen Bell for the job that also “marks the first time the telecast will air with a live emcee since its inaugural program in 1995.”

To commemorate the occasion, EW says Bell took to social media to share the news — and to poke some fun at herself in the process.

“I’ve been asked to host the SAG Awards this year, which means, to all my friends who’ve been nominated, I get to choose who wins!” she said in the video, according to EW. When someone off-camera tells that’s not the case, she responded, “That’s not how it works? Then what am I doing? Like, Anne Hathaway and James Franco did? I’m doing that? Why, did I lose a bet?”

Looks like Bell is already going to make a great host with her quick supply of jokes! Get ready to catch her in action when the SAG Awards are live at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT and TBS.

Waithe makes history, gives ‘master’ speech at Emmys

The 69th Emmy Awards were filled with political zingers, anticipated wins and emotional acceptance speeches, but no speech was a masterful as the one from Lena Waithe.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the actor and writer on the Netflix comedy Master of None “made history when she won best writing for a comedy series at the Emmys Sunday night,” becoming the first African-American woman to earn the accolade. But after taking the stage to accept the award, Waithe’s speech was a hit parade of touching and inspiring moments.

Winning for the writing on the “Thanksgiving” episode, EW says Waithe first thanked her mother, as well as series creator Aziz Ansari. Once Waithe named girlfriend Alana Mayo, her speech took the most inspiring turn as she also thanked the “LGBTQIA community.”

“I see each and every one of you,” Waithe said, according to EW. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is without us in it.”

Waithe closed her remarks by returning to her roots, says EW, thanking fans for making her dream, as well as that of Ansari, a reality.

“And to everybody out there who showed us so much love with this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.”

And we appreciate Lena more than she knows. Congratulations!

 

Hathaway named Goodwill Ambassador

U.N. Women will be getting a little help in promoting gender equality from one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Anne Hathaway has been appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for U. N. Women, a part of the United Nations that is “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

A press release announcing the news said that Hathaway will be “working internationally to advance the adoption and implementation of policies that will bring measurable change,” which will include advocating for childcare services and shared parental leave, reports Entertainment Weekly.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women executive director, had this to say on Hathaway’s appointment, according to Entertainment Weekly:

“The appointment of Anne is timely because this year U.N. Women is driving hard to foster more positive mindsets and practical arrangements around workplaces that build and support equality for women,” as U.N. Women will be specifically focusing on addressing the “motherhood penalty” — the limitation of pay and opportunities that occurs after a woman becomes a mother.

Hathaway also commented on her new role in a statement, saying that she is excited to work for the organization. “I feel honored and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality. Significant progress has already been made but it is time that we collectively intensify our efforts and ensure that true equality is finally realized,” she said.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Hathaway is not the first successful Hollywood female to take on the position, joining the likes of Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson and Connie Britton in working for U.N. Women.

Chopra not ‘bonded’ to traditional female roles

Quantico‘s Priyanka Chopra is tired of being asked to play the pretty love interest of a film’s hero. She instead wants to be the hero.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Chopra told Complex magazine that although she’s been asked to play a Bond girl in a forthcoming James Bond film, she has no interest in such a role.

On being asked to play the part, Chopra told the magazine, “I get that all the time … But f— that — I wanna be Bond.”

While Chopra wants to play a protagonist, current films lack such roles for females. According to a study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University found that “females comprised a paltry 12 percent of protagonists in the top-grossing films of 2014.”

But the number of such roles for females has only gotten worse: “the latest figures represent a drop of three percentage points from 2013 and a fall of four percentage points from 2002,” says Variety.

Besides mentioning her desire to take on the traditionally male role of James Bond, Chopra  also discussed her current role on the Baywatch movie, in which she plays Victoria Leeds — a “bad guy” role she said was initially written for a man, according to EW.

The film, which debuts May 19, 2017, will allow Chopra to dive into a role that she’s longed to play. “I wanted to play a bad guy for a really long time,” she told EW in a previous interview. “And I’m doing that in Baywatch, so I’m excited.”

 

To read Chopra’s full interview with Complex, click here.