The latest coronavirus updates from one of the most trusted and highest-profile voices amid the ongoing pandemic haven’t been particularly encouraging, to put it mildly. White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has been out front since the beginning of the outbreak in the US. He’s given as many interviews as he can which include coronavirus tips for protecting one’s self against the virus, updates about what we’re learning as new insights are revealed over time — and all of that, while also leading an agency at the forefront of the work toward a vaccine.
Ask Fauci, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, when he thinks we can finally get our lives back to normal, for example, and you might not like his answer. “The timetable you suggested of getting into 2021, well into the year,” Fauci told CBS News, “then I can think with a successful vaccine — if we could vaccinate the overwhelming majority of the population.
we could start talking about real normality again. But it is going to be a gradual process.” Depressed yet? Meantime, Fauci also has some bad news for four US states.
Interview Of Dr. Fauci
“It is a sure sign that you have to be very careful,” Fossey said in an interview with ABC Good Morning America. “And when you try to open it, you do it in a way that follows the instructions. Likewise, there have been more than 150,000 reported deaths. Drilling down into the data from the four states Fauci said is specifically concerning, meanwhile, three of them (Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky) are showing 10% increases in coronavirus cases compared to where they were a week ago based on a seven-day average, per CNBC.
Reporting Ominous Trends
So while some states are reporting ominous trends while others are improving, does Fauci think we need some kind of coordinated national strategy to proceed through this?
” We would hope that (states) all now rethink what happens when you don’t adhere to that. We’ve got to get back to a very prudent advance from one stage to another.”
Simpsons Star Harry Shearer Isn’t Necessarily on Board with Apu Decision
Harry Shearer, an Emmy winner for his legendary voice acting work on The Simpsons, does not appear to be on board with the show’s recent decision to pivot away from white actors voicing non-white characters.
“I have a very simple belief about acting. The job of the actor is to play someone who they’re not,” Shearer told Times Radio in an interview on Monday. “That’s the job description.”
The long-time Simpsons cast member gives voice to a number of famous supporting characters on the series, including Dr. Hibbert, who is Black. Under new protocols announced by Fox and the show in June, however, Shearer would no longer voice Hibbert going forward. The decision for The Simpsons to cast according to the character’s racial background came after years of controversy around the fact that Hank Azaria, who is white, voiced Apu, who is of South Asian descent.
For years, Azaria himself has sought to put distance between Apu and himself. “I’ve tried to express this before,” Azaria said to Stephen Colbert in 2018. “You know, the idea that anybody was—young or old, past or present—was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad. It was certainly not my intention; I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character, and the idea that it’s brought pain and suffering in any way, that it was used to marginalize people, it’s upsetting. Genuinely.”
Speaking to the New York Times earlier this year, Azaria said part of the reason he stepped away from voicing Apu had to do with a realization he had about how the character promoted stereotypes and mockery. “I started thinking, if that character were the only representation of Jewish people in American culture for 20 years, which was the case with Apu, I might not love that,” he said.
But ultimately, The Simpsons’ decision to cease having white actors voice non-white actors came after an industry-wide reckoning on race in animation. White actors like Mike Henry from Family Guy, Jenny Slate from Big Mouth, and Kristen Bell from Central Park have all announced they will no longer play their Black animated counterparts going forward.
According to Shearer, however, this push toward representation is anathema to performance.
Heidi Klum Denies Any Connection to Jeffrey Epstein, Wants “Justice to Prevail”
Heidi Klum and her lawyer are setting the record straight about the model’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein after recently unsealed court documents claim Klum flew on the accused sex trafficker’s private jet.
In an exclusive statement to People, a lawyer for Klum said, “Any reference to Heidi Klum in connection with Jeffrey Epstein is totally false. Heidi Klum’s name and initials were absent from all the flight logs which were released. Many high profile people are listed, but Ms. Klum is not one of them. The explanation is simple. She has never been on any of Mr. Epstein’s planes. And that is because she did not know Mr. Epstein and was never on his island.”
As part of the case against alleged Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, a judge allowed documents from a 2015 defamation case filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Maxwell to be unsealed. In the documents, Giuffre names some of the many celebrities she allegedly saw aboard Epstein’s private plane, including Klum.
The model told the magazine, “I have been watching the news and see that I have been mistakenly named as a passenger on one of Mr. Epstein’s flights. I did not know Mr. Epstein and therefore have never been on his planes, at his homes or his island. I am speaking up as I do not want to be falsely associated with Mr. Epstein and the horrific story surrounding him.”
But she added, “I stand with the victims who have so bravely come forward and I too want the truth to come out and for justice to prevail.”
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Richard Ladkani’s “Sea of Shadows” leads Wildscreen Panda Awards nominees
Richard Ladkani’s feature-length wildlife documentary Sea of Shadows, from National Geographic Documentary Films, leads this year’s Wildscreen Panda Award nominees.
The 2020 Panda Awards — which recognize the “human endeavor, commitment and unique skill” needed to tell nature’s stories — are focused on the craft and impact upon audiences.
Ladkani’s 105-minute film (pictured), which held its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival where it took home the Audience Award in the world cinema documentary category, picked up four nominations out of the nine film categories, including the editing, music, producer/director and sound categories.
Sea of Shadows follows environmental activists, the Mexican navy and undercover investigators as they attempt to save the last of the world’s 30 remaining vaquitas – the world’s smallest whale – while fighting back against an international crime syndicate.
Silverback Films, meanwhile, secured five nominations across the board and is the most nominated production company this year. The Bristol-based studio has been nominated in the scripted narrative category for David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, the cinematography category for Our Planet: One Planet, the editing category for Disneynature Penguins, and the music category for Disneynature Penguins and Dancing with the Birds.
The BBC Studios Natural History Unit follows closely behind Silverback with four nods of its own, taking nominations in the production team category (Earth from Space: A New Perspective), series category (Dynasties & Seven Worlds, One Planet) and cinematography category (Dynasties: Chimpanzee).
“Across all categories and juries, a clear message from within the industry emerged – at a time when the natural world and the human race are under pressure from global events, our films and teams need to have purpose beyond entertainment,” said Jeff Wilson, chair of the Panda Awards Nomination Jury, in a statement. “Consistently the juries voted for the films that not only had a creative voice but also that left an indelible impact on audiences. The overwhelming consensus was now, more than ever, our films have to stand above the parapets and be part of the global conversation on the future of our planet.”
Alongside the craft awards, Wildscreen also introduced two new categories this year, recognizing the talent of individuals and teams, with best producer/director and production team.
Nominated in the producer/director field are Richard Ladkani, Walter Köhler and Wolfgang Knöpfler for Sea of Shadows; Craig Foster, Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed for My Octopus Teacher; and Bonné de Bod and Susan Scott for Stroop.
In the production team category, BBC Studios Natural History Unit, PBS and The Open University were nominated for Earth from Space: A New Perspective; GULO Film Productions and Doclights GmbH / NDR Naturfilm were nominated for Lost Kings of Bioko; and Plimsoll Productions was nominated for Night on Earth: Dusk till Dawn.
The winners will be announced on Oct. 22 at the Panda Awards Celebration, during the first-ever virtual edition of the Wildscreen Festival, moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full list of 2020 Wildscreen Panda Award nominees can be accessed here.
Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute
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