Former Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey dies at 59

Former Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey dies at 59 by Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Posted May 15, 2017 11:06 am MDT Last Updated May 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Brad Grey, an influential Hollywood leader who served as the chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures for 12 years, has died.A family spokeswoman said Monday that Grey, who was battling cancer, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 59.Before exiting Paramount in February, Grey oversaw franchises like “Star Trek,” ”Transformers” and “Mission: Impossible,” prestige properties like “There Will Be Blood,” ”No Country for Old Men,” ”Up in the Air,” ”The Big Short,” ”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Babel,” and multiple films from Martin Scorsese including “The Wolf of Wall Street,” ”Shutter Island” and “Hugo.”Grey also produced Scorsese’s “The Departed,” which won Best Picture in 2007.During his storied career in the entertainment business, Grey founded the management and production company Brillstein-Grey Entertainment with the late Bernie Brillstein, co-founded the production company Plan B Entertainment with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and produced multiple Emmy Award-winning television shows, including “The Sopranos,” ”Real Time with Bill Maher” and “The Larry Sanders Show.”His Hollywood peers and colleagues offered their remembrances on Monday.Director Ava DuVernay, who worked with Grey on “Selma,” wrote on Twitter that she had dinner with him prior to the film’s release.“Fab stories. Good laughs. And shrewd advice that I still use,” DuVernay wrote. “May his soul be at rest.”“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” director John Chu called Grey, “A really good man. Kind & classy and a helluva boss.”“Oh man the world has lost a gentleman,” Chu wrote on Twitter.Current Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos also released a statement Monday.“All of us at Paramount are deeply saddened by the news of Brad Grey’s passing,” Gianopulos said. “I was proud to call Brad a friend, and one I greatly admired. He will be missed by us all, and left his mark on our industry and in our hearts.”Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish said he was, “An extraordinary talent with a passion and gift for storytelling that won’t be forgotten.”Sumner and Shari Redstone, in a joint statement noted how Grey’s “tremendous kindness and talent inspired so many of us in the entertainment industry.”“As a producer and industry leader, Brad brought great storytelling to audiences around the world,” added MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd in a statement. “His contributions to the creative community will be enjoyed for years to come.”Among his achievements at Paramount, Grey was at the helm for the release of the top-grossing film in the studio’s history, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” led the acquisition of DreamWorks SKG, and shepherded the distribution agreement with Marvel, releasing “Iron Man, “Iron Man 2,” ”Thor” and “Captain America” before The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Studios in 2009.Recently, however, the studio had struggled with underwhelming box office receipts for films including “Zoolander 2” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” and counted losses of nearly $450 million last year, leading to his exit in February.Born in New York in 1957, Grey started out in the entertainment business as an assistant to Harvey Weinstein, who was then a concert promoter. His first client was comedian Bob Saget, and his partnership with comics, including the late Garry Shandling, helped make his name in the business.Grey is survived by his wife, Cassandra Grey, their son, Jules, three children from a previous marriage, Sam, Max and Emily, his mother Barbara Schumsky, his brother, Michael Grey, and his sister Robin Grey.The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC. read more

Malaysia Indonesia Muslim groups call for Starbucks boycott

Malaysian Muslim women chat at Starbucks Coffee shop in Rawang outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 6, 2017. Muslim groups in Malaysia and Indonesia have called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the coffee chain’s support for LGBT rights. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan) JAKARTA, Indonesia – Muslim groups in Malaysia and Indonesia have called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the coffee chain’s support for LGBT rights.Malaysian group Perkasa, which supports a hard-line form of Islam and nationalism, this week called on its more than 500,000 members to stay away from Starbucks coffee shops. This week and last, leaders of Indonesia’s second largest mainstream Muslim group, Muhammadiyah, with an estimated 29 million members, denounced the chain.The groups were apparently reacting to comments made several years ago by former CEO Howard Schultz in support of gay rights that drew renewed attention amid an increasingly anti-LGBT climate in both of the predominantly Muslim countries.Perkasa said in a statement that the Malaysian government should revoke the trading license given to Starbucks and other companies such as Microsoft and Apple that support LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.Amini Amir Abdullah, who heads Perkasa’s Islamic affairs bureau, said Muslims should stay away from Starbucks because its pro-gay rights policy is against Islam and Malaysia’s constitution.Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia and punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, but a case before the constitutional Court is seeking to criminalize gay sex and sex outside of marriage.A boycott Starbucks hashtag was briefly popular on Twitter in Indonesia and shares of the company that operates Starbucks in the country fell sharply this week. But its stores in the capital Jakarta appeared as popular as ever.Gavin Bowring, a Malaysia analyst at risk consulting company Eurasia Group, said the boycott was unlikely to amount to much but reflected “a growing tendency toward conservatism and strict adherence to Islamic principles.” Malaysia, Indonesia Muslim groups call for Starbucks boycott by The Associated Press Posted Jul 6, 2017 3:18 am MDT Last Updated Jul 6, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Landmark Dublin bar boycotts CocaCola over Sochi Olympics sponsorship

first_imgThe George accepts that for a multinational company like Coca Cola our refusal to sell its products for two week period will not impact financially on themHowever, it adds:We do hope that our solidarity with the LGBT people of Russia will highlight that multinational corporations have a responsibility to all of their customers and have missed an opportunity to raise global awareness of the human rights abuses taking place in Russia. A DUBLIN BAR has announced that it will stop serving or stocking Coca-Cola, in protest at the brand’s sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics.The George – a landmark on Dublin’s gay scene for 25 years – said the decision was based on Coca-Cola’s continued support for the Olympics “in spite of Russia’s continued crack down on LGBT rights”.It will not serve any Coca-Cola from February 7 to February 23 – the duration of the Olympics.Making the announcement on The George’s Facebook page, management said that Russia’s LGBT community have faced “ever increasing persecution” following the signing of a federal law last year that introduced punishments for anyone promoting ‘homosexual propaganda’. The statement continues: Pantibar – the bar run by performer and activist Panti Bliss, whose powerful speech about the oppression of gay people went around the world last week – has also announced that it will stop selling Coca-Cola products.The George, which was one of the first gay bars in the capital, describes itself as “the lynchpin that holds Dublin’s gay scene together”.Management have also hung posters announcing the boycott inside the bar: Source: FacebookCoca-Cola has faced criticism for its support of the Olympics amid rising controversy, including the revelation that a customisable ‘share a Coke’ function on the company’s website rejected the word ‘Gay’.However, the company also attracted anger from some right-wing commentators in the US with a TV ad that showed a gay couple rollerskating with their daughter. Coca-Cola aired the ad again during US coverage of the Sochi opening ceremony yesterday, Mediaite reports.More: Here’s the Coca-Cola ad that sparked a furious backlash>last_img read more