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Entertainment Industry Pushes for New COVID-19 Relief Package




A letter to Congress on Monday from the Motion Picture Association, SAG-AFTRA and other groups calls for hiring incentives, changes to the tax code and a new federal insurance program.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise sharply in many states including California, Hollywood is demanding that federal lawmakers step up with new legislation to help save the entertainment business. In a letter that went out on Monday to Congressional leaders, prominent industry groups have outlined policies from hiring incentives to a federal insurance program they’d like to see enacted.

“These policies would help jumpstart domestic film and television production, encourage hiring and ameliorate the higher costs that must be undertaken to protect our industry’s workforce,” states the letter signed by the leaders of the Motion Picture Association, the Directors Guild of America, the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and SAG-AFTRA.

The specific call comes as lawmakers get ready to debate a third major COVID relief package. Previously, the CARES Act provided direct payments to Americans earning below a certain income as well as forgivable loans to small businesses, among other facets.

This time, entertainment groups are supporting broad incentives to employers hiring workers. They say that work opportunity tax credits should also be available to employers who rehire workers who had previously worked for them.

The letter to federal lawmakers, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, also includes directed proposals that would be of particular benefit to the entertainment sector. For example, lawmakers are being called upon to modify an aspect of tax code pertaining to domestic production. Under Section 181, any production that meets certain basic qualifications can deduct the first $15 million of the cost against federal tax obligations. One idea thrown out is that this section be expanded with the cap changing to $15 million or 50 percent of overall production costs, whichever is greatest. Another option deals with Section 168(k), a full expensing allowance for bonus depreciation that is set to be phased out in the coming years. The entertainment industry puts this portion of the tax code on the table with proposed modifications like allowing production costs to be deducted as incurred (instead of when films are exhibited), eliminating a 44-episode limit for television production, and allowing application to acquisition of so-called “used” films.

The goal would be to quickly inject liquidity into the business.

Additionally, SAG-AFTRA and other industry groups have an eye on allowing performing artists to deduct their own unreimbursed employment expenses. At the moment, the tax code permits this only for low-income workers ($16,000 or less), but the letter states, “We ask Congress to pass the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act (HR 3121), which will raise the maximum income cap to $100,000 for individual filers and $200,000 for joint filers.”

Perhaps the biggest proposal pertains to the request for a new federal insurance program to cover pandemic-related losses. Although the letter doesn’t go into detail, it sets up a larger conversation.

“The ability of our industry to return to active production, whether on set or on location, is severely compromised by the inability to purchase insurance to cover losses stemming from communicable diseases amongst cast, crew, and others involved in the production,” states the letter. “This insurance has been available in the past and is essential to the decisions by banks and others to risk investment in a film or program that may be shut down while a single member of the cast recovers from illness or as a result of civil authority order unrelated to the specific production. Without it, production – especially independent production – cannot resume on a significant level. We urge Congress to develop a program of federal insurance (or guarantee to fill this gap) to cover pandemic-related business losses in the future.”

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Max Ehrich: I Learned Demi Lovato Dumped Me From the Internet!




Max Ehrich insists he has no hard feelings.

But the young actor also insists he wsa done wrong by Demi Lovato.

As you likely know by now, Ehrich got engaged to Lovato on July 22, as the pair shared photos of the beach-based engagement and gushed about each other on social media.

They seemed meant to be.

Fewer than two months later, however, multiple outlets confirmed that Lovato and Ehrich were over, with sources citing two key reasons for the split:

  1. Lovato and Ehrich’s work schedules kept them apart.

  2. Ehrich was more focused on leveraging his relationship for fame than he was in actually loving Demi for the amazing woman she is.

We may never know the exact reason behind the break-up.

Max Ehrich and Lovato

But we do know the couple has broken up because Ehrich has come out and talked about it.

On his Instagram Stories Account, Ehrich claimed this week that Lovato was the one who ended the pair’s romance — and that she did not do it to his face.

Or even to his phone via text message.

“I was on the set of my new movie, Southern Gospel, with crew and cast members right next to me who literally watched me open my phone where I then opened a tabloid,” the 29-year-old actor wrote online this weekend.

Max Ehrich and Demi Lovato Throwback

Indeed, Ehrich swears this is how it all went down.

He swears he discovered that he was single by reading it first on a website.

“This is the God’s honest truth of how I found out about the ending of the engagement,” he continued.

“And have people from my film who saw the whole thing go down and helped me get back into character to continue my job.”

max statement

We’ve been enormous fans of Demi Lovato’s for years.

We’ve always admired how open she’s been about her mental health and addiction struggles and we continue to wish her the best.

But if this really transpired? If she really was unable tell her fiance that they were no longer together and Max discovered the news just like we did, by firing up the World Wide Web?

Not cool, Demi.

Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich on the Gram

“I had cast and crew with families relying on me to do my job,” Ehrich continued.

“That being said, please end this narrative and focus on more important issues in the world. I love and forgive everyone involved. Let us be. Let us heal. God bless.”

Just a day earlier, Max alleged he found out about his breakup from the media.

“Imagine finding out to [sic] the status of your relationship through a tabloid,” he wrote on Instagram Stories on Saturday, September26.

“While your [sic] in the middle of filming a biopic movie about a Pastor in a Christian Church whose intention of the film is to help people.”

Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich Picture

At the time of their reported breakup late last week, Lovato and Ehrich was already literally apart, with the former in Los Angeles and the latter filming his movie in Atlanta.

According to a People Magazine source, though, Ehrich is lying.

“Demi made Max aware that the relationship was over and it was going to come out in the press,” this publication reported on Saturday, using some rather careful language.

This makes it sound like, yes, perhaps Demi spoke to Max about their split before he read about it online — but it also makes it sound like Lovato talked to the press about it first.

Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich Together

Lovato, for her part, has only shared a couple photos since the end of her engagement.

Did she shade her ex by doing so? Some believe so.

Whatever happened between the stars, however, each is clearly moving on now.

“They were arguing a lot. There has been a lot of tension and Demi left him to get a clear head,” an insider told E! News a few days ago.

“She didn’t know who Max truly was and didn’t think he had good intentions. There were many red flags she was ignoring and trying to turn a blind eye to.”

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Watch Angel Olsen Cover “I’ll Be Seeing You,” Perform Take Away Show




Last month, Angel Olsen released Whole New Mess, her companion album to last year’s All Mirrors, and she’s been keeping busy during lockdown. Over on Instagram, she’s gotten in the habit of performing some stripped-down covers of songs by artists like George Harrison, Roxy Music, and Tori Amos.

Today, she posted a quick snippet of her singing “I’ll Be Seeing You,” the 1938 track that’s been covered by Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Mildred Bailey, and many more over the years. “Working on some covers, some expected, some not,” Olsen captioned the post. “This one’s been close to the heart lately.” Could we be so lucky as to get a whole album of Olsen covers at some point? Seems like maybe!

Here’s her doing “I’ll Be Seeing You”:

View this post on Instagram

Working on some covers, some expected, some not. This one’s been close to the heart lately. “I’ll be seeing you” Original music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal. Published in 1938, it was inserted into the Broadway musical Right This Way, which closed after fifteen performances. Later made famous by Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and my favorite jazz/ swing/ blues singer Mildred Bailey. – -Speaking of which, if you’re unfamiliar check out some of Mildred Bailey’s work. From Wikipedia: “Mildred Bailey (born Mildred Rinker; February 27, 1907 – December 12, 1951) was a Native American jazz singer[2] during the 1930s, known as “The Queen of Swing”, “The Rockin’ Chair Lady” and “Mrs. Swing”. Some of her best-known hits are “For Sentimental Reasons”, “It’s So Peaceful in the Country”, “Doin’ The Uptown Lowdown”, “Trust in Me”, “Where Are You?”, “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart”, “Small Fry”, “Please Be Kind”, “Darn That Dream”, “Rockin’ Chair”, “Blame It on My Last Affair”, and “Says My Heart”. She had three singles that made number one on the popular charts.[3]”

A post shared by Angel Olsen (@angelolsenmusic) on

In other recent Angel Olsen content, La Blogotheque recently shared one of their Take Away performances featuring Olsen, which was recorded in February before a show in Paris. She did “Waving, Smiling” from Whole New Mess. Watch that below.

Whole New Mess is out now via Jagjaguwar. Read our recent Cover Story on Olsen here.

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Golden Globes 2020: Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Best Actor’ acceptance speech has fans asking — ‘Is he drunk or just rambling?’




Joaquin Phoenix received a standing ovation for his win in Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama — ‘Joker’. Although his speech called for climate change awareness, fans couldn’t help but notice that he sounded a little drunk.

“Joaquin Phoenix’s was like the drunken guy at a wedding who tries to make a speech after the best man gets done with his. #goldenglobes2020,” tweeted a fan. Many hilarious tweets took Twitter by storm during the actor’s speech. “Happy Joaquin Phoenix won but, man, I had to google his age. He looks and sounds like my 75 yo drunk neighbor. #GoldenGlobes,” tweeted another.

A lot of people took to the wedding speech reference, with a user tweeting, “Ya know when the MOH at a wedding reception is super drunk & gives her speech and it’s awkward & uncomfortable and everyone wants to disappear? That’s what it’s like listening to Joaquin Phoenix followed by Renee Zellweger. #goldenglobes.”

Adding into the thread, “Oh, so it’s fine for Joaquin Phoenix to get drunk as a boiled owl on live TV and talk nonsense, but when I do it at my estranged wife’s second wedding *I’m* the bad guy” tweeted another user.

Some, of course, didn’t mind the otherwise quiet actor’s slurry speech. “I’ve never wanted Joaquin Phoenix more than tonight. The bloated/drunk/weird thing was seriously hot. #GoldenGlobes,” tweeted a fan. Others took a more serious approach, deeming the awkward speech as a mental health anxiety ride. “We truly need to destroy this negative stigma and bring awareness about mental illness. Joaquin Phoenix’s acceptance speech was not him on drugs or drunk just a clear example of someone who suffers with anxiety,” tweeted a user.

We don’t know if he was drunk or nervous, but either way, Phoenix deserved the win. “Joaquin Phoenix may be drunk but he is made of brass balls. #goldenglobes2020,” tweeted a fan.

If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515

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