When Oscars speeches get political: the best, worst and most annoying in Academy Award history

Mahershala Ali, seen accepting his Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in "Moonlight. accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

When Vanessa Redgrave unleashed her tirade against “Zionist hoodlums” at the 1978 Academy Awards, she became one of the most notorious examples of how things can go horribly wrong when celebrities talk politics on Hollywood’s big night.

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The “hoodlums” were Jewish groups who protested the acclaimed British actress for helping to make a pro-Palestinian documentary. Her belligerent, self-righteous rant didn’t go over well. After Redgrave left the stage, author and “Network” screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky came out and blasted Redgrave and other celebrities who think it’s OK to get political at the Academy Awards.

He said, “I’m sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal propaganda.”

The crowd broke into thundering applause. But don’t expect that kind of affirmation this year for anyone who says stars shouldn’t make political speeches. That’s because some speeches are likely to get political tonight – very political.

And the tweets and headlines going viral will be less about red-carpet fashion disasters or surprising wins or snubs, but about which left-leaning celebrity delivered the most lacerating takedown of President Donald Trump and his controversial policies.

This awards season has already been marked by viral political speech moments. At the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep drew enthusiastic applause and a presidential hate-tweet when she spoke out against Trump’s derogatory rhetoric against immigrants, people of color and people with disabilities.

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And at the Screen Actors Guild awards, Oakland native and supporting actor nominee Mahershala Ali moved hearts with his subtle but powerful speech about diversity and inclusion. He tied his character in “Moonlight,” a man who takes in a neglected child bullied for his potential homosexuality, with his own experience of being different — notably his decision 17 years ago to convert to Islam.

Mahershala Ali, seen accepting his Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in “Moonlight. accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for “Moonlight” at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The speeches by Streep and Ali, as well as Redgrave’s historic misfire, show why politically-minded celebrities need to take care in how they deliver their messages tonight. That is, if their goal isn’t just …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


Facebook’s Oculus woos virtual reality game makers with millions

Facebook-owned Oculus wants game makers to buy into the future of virtual reality, but for some developers, creating content for a smaller audience is also a gamble.

Despite all the hype surrounding the technology, virtual reality headsets aren’t flying off the shelves as quickly as some analysts expected.

Oculus has been putting its money where its mouth is by funding developers ready to get into the game.

“Developers get so incredibly geeked out by technology that selling them on VR is the easiest part of my job. That leaves only the business,” said Oculus’ Vice President of Content Jason Rubin in an interview.

When the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was released in March 2016, only 30 VR titles were available. Now more than 500 titles have been released.

Over the weekend, Oculus announced that “MARVEL Powers United VR” — a multi-player game that allows users to step into the shoes of popular comic book characters, such as The Hulk and Captain Marvel — would be available in 2018. On Thursday, the tech firm also released Echo Arena and Lone Echo, games that let consumers experience movement in zero gravity.

Those games were fully funded by Oculus. Many developers, though, are willing to invest their own money to create these immersive environments and learn about the technology, Rubin said.

About 70 out of more than 500 titles have some Oculus funding, he said. About a third of the 70 titles are fully funded by Oculus.

“We’re putting money into it, and (developers) stand to make money and also to learn about VR,” Rubin said.

In October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company would commit another $250 million to fund VR content, bringing the total to $500 million.

“We feel really comfortable that now is the time to push VR into second gear and kind of reach a broader audience,” Rubin said.

Beyond funding, developing games in virtual reality also comes with design challenges.

Glen Egan, president and CEO of Sanzaru, which developed “MARVEL Powers United VR,” said that in a traditional game, “the camera and the way it communicates with the player can be constantly controlled.”

But with virtual reality putting the player in a first-person perspective, he or she has more freedom to look around, and designers need to take this into account.

In “MARVEL Powers United VR,” creating a system that maps a player’s motion onto an avatar of a superhero within the game isn’t as simple as it looks.

“This …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


Kevin McHale Comes Out as Gay, Cites Ariana Grande as Inspiration

Kevin McHale the Actor

Kevin McHale has an announcement to make.

And a singer to thank.

The 29-year old actor, best known for having played the role of Artie Abrams throughout the duration of Glee on Fox, took to Twitter on Friday and confirmed his homosexuality.

The star says he’s gay.

And he’s provided an unexpected shout-out to Ariana Grande for giving him the confidence to make this declaration.

“#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I ACCEPT. Ty @ArianaGrande,” McHale Tweeted this afternoon, adding:

“I’d like to request a remix with @JanetJackson. ty for ur time. @ArianaGrande.”

Fans and television viewers have speculated about McHale’s personal life and sexual preference ever since he started sharing pictures of himself with someone on social media.

Someone many presumed to be his boyfriend, that is.

McHale did not reference this individual or this cause for speculation in his post.

But he did express his affection for Grande’s new single on his Instagram Story.

“There goes my life,” he captioned a screenshot of the song.

“No Tears Left to Cry” is the first track released by Grande since the Manchester bombing last year.

The young artist was on stage in May when an explosive was detonated near the exits of Manchester Arena in England, killing over 20 concert attendees.

“Ain’t got no tears in my body/I ran out, but boy, I like it, I like it, I like it,” she sings in the single, adding in the chorus:

Right now, I’m in a state of mind/I wanna be in, like, all the time.

Ain’t got no tears left to cry/ So I’m pickin’ it up, pickin’ it up (oh yeah).

I’m lovin’, I’m livin’, I’m pickin’ it up.

McHale, meanwhile, has been showered with love and praise on social media since the tweet that announced his sexuality.

“Y’all have no clue how much I am living for this coming out if that’s what it is,” one fan tweeted.

Another added: “No heartfelt speeches, just normalcy. Isn’t it refreshing?”

McHale played AIDS activist Bobbi Campbell in the ABC miniseries “When We Rise.”

Prior to Glee, he had appeared on episodes of The Office, True Blood and Zoey 101.

We salute McHale for coming out, as he’s now joined the following celebrities that have made similar announcements over the years:

View Slideshow: 41 Celebrities Who Are Out and Proud!

UPDATE: We’ve learned that McHale’s rumored boyfriend is actor Austin McKenzie.

He also had a role in “When We Rise.”

…read more

Source:: The Hollywood Gossip