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How To Submit Music To Blogs (And Start Making Money)
Enjoying music. Handsome young man in headphones working on laptop and smiling while acoustic guitar laying in the background

It’s a great time to be alive for music lovers everywhere. We have access to an infinite library of different artists and genres to choose from thanks to the internet.

However, for those independent artists who are trying to get their name and music out into the world, the competition can be fierce. So, how do developing artists stand out and keep themselves from being drowned in a sea of emails and mixtapes?

Well, it takes hard work and strategic planning, but it’s possible to get the attention you’re seeking through a simple and organized approach. If you are choosing to submit music to blogs with a high traffic rate, below are a few things to keep in mind when you decide to reach out.

Solidify Your Brand

Before you decide to put yourself out there, it’s important to have a full understanding of who you are as an artist. Branding is a crucial piece in making yourself memorable.

Branding yourself is a lot like putting together a puzzle that represents your artistic identity. Putting together certain pieces such as a certain font, color scheme, symbol, sound, style, or personality can cohesively create a theme in your music and artistry.

A solidified brand will show music blogs that you’re serious about making music your career. The confidence you have in knowing who you are and how to professionally represent yourself will help you stay clear of the dreaded email trash bin. And hopefully, you’ll get a positive response.

Research Before You Submit

After you’re confident in how you represent yourself to your audience, it is important to put in some extensive research before you submit music to blogs.

Reaching out to a website that promotes only rappers when you are a wedding band, such as David Rothstein Music, is completely irrational, right? Well, it happens all the time. That’s why it is important to make sure you’re not wasting your time and energy on a website or blog that doesn’t reach out to the same demographic as you.

Before committing to sending your art to someone, you should look for certain things they promote, the most important being genre. Once you’ve decided that the music blog you’re interested in is right for you, then you can move forward with trying to get their undivided attention.

Create a Sales Pitch

After you have decided to submit music to blogs that feel like a right fit for you, it is then time to work on a simple, yet professional email that will help you sell yourself to the reader/listener.

The first thing you will want to focus on is the music, of course. You will want to give a brief introduction to the song(s) with the title, an educated comparison on who/what it sounds like based on your musical inspirations, and the story behind the song(s).

Once the music has been presented, it is a good idea to give a story of yourself as an artist. For instance, you may want to include a little bit about where you came from, your musical background, any amazing opportunities you have had, who inspires you the most, and why you were drawn to music as a career path.

Giving insight into your creative background allows the blog to personify the artist behind the email address and put a personality to the music they’re listening to. The artistry of music is all about the heart, soul, and story. If you have a captivating sales pitch that includes all of those, then you’re sure to stand out from the crowd.

However, when you are writing your sales pitch, be careful to not write a novel. Yes, the reader/listener is interested in who you are as an artist, but they also have a lot of submissions to sift through. Telling them about how you wrote your first song when you were five because your dog died will be completely irrelevant to who you are as an artist today.

Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it unique. Keep it relevant to who you are today.

Sending the Right Format

When you submit music to blogs that may have an interest in promoting you, it’s extremely important to know what kind of format they will accept your music in. You will look pretty foolish and get a first class ticket to the trash bin if you send music in a format that they can’t play or don’t accept.

Depending on the type of website or blog you are reaching out to, there are many different formats that could be accepted. They may have it listed on their website, but if you’re unsure, it would probably be a smart decision to shoot them a quick email asking to clarify the types of formats they accept just to be on the safe side.

Here are some different formats different outlets will accept:

Radio

  • Hardcopy CDs
  • MP3s
  • EPKs with download links

Blogs

  • Embedded music player
  • Videos
  • CDs
  • Digital Press Kits

Festivals

  • Digital press kits
  • CDs
  • Hardcopy press kits

Record Labels/Producers

  • CDs
  • Press kits
  • Videos
  • Streaming links

Taking the Risk

Making the decision to submit music to blogs is a huge step for any aspiring artist. Once you have a solid confidence in your artistry and branding, then the only thing left to do is take the plunge in getting your name out there.

Even if you don’t receive any feedback from the first few times you make a submission, don’t give up! Take each refusal as a chance to improve your approach. Any famous musician you know of today had been turned down many times before the right person found them.

The music industry is all about hard work, making connections, and taking risks. The story you submit in your sales pitch could be the beginning of a much longer fairytale if you play your cards right.

Consider this article as an outline for your success. Take suggestions, take risks, and always stay true to your music. And if you have a music blog yourself, be sure to check out our tips on how to promote it to your fans.

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You Too Can Start an Independent Record Label

It’s no big secret, the trick of how to start a record label definitely involves some cash and most definitely involves some talent. If you want to know the secret to how to start and run your own label then here it is, talent. You have to have something to sell your business pitch with. It doesn’t matter what your particular genre is, you need to get out there and discover your first million. Yep, I am talking about dollars.

If you are just sitting around trying to figure out how to start you own independent record label then you are wasting your time. Get out there and try to find “the” band or “the” person that is worthy of a record deal. Go to clubs, rummage through MySpace, hang out at bars with live music, there is talent all around you so find it.

Do you have friends or a band already in mind? If you do then you are one step ahead of the “how to start a record label” game. Two or three bands would really be optimal when beginning your own record label. For those of you who don’t have someone in mind, then you have some work to do.

A good way to search for talent is to have an idea of what you are looking for. If you are going to learn how to start and run your own record label then you must be able to find the gap. There is a gap somewhere and you need to find it. Keep in mind, you are searching for someone who is marketable, a true money maker.

If you can’t quite pinpoint a gap, then identify a target market you think you can penetrate and go for it. Who would have thought that the Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees would have made it big? Well, the guys from their record label were definitely on to something. Teenage girls were where it was at and boy did those guys stumble on to something big and man did they make a profit! Believe me, that is your first step in how to start a record label.

Just like with any other business, you are going to have to sell your product. And you can’t sell your product until you have your product. So, this is your first lesson in how to start your own independent record label. In this business, you are going to have to think outside the box and when you do that, you will be ready to start your own record label.

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Top 10 Hottest Kenyan DJs of 2018

It’s no doubt that DJs are the highest paid entertainers in Kenya. These are the people who bring life into parties. You really can’t do an event without a DJ can you? 

In a country where every young person wants to be a DJ, there’s great competition to make it out there. We’ve seen young DJs who are taking over from the oldies in the industry and are actually doing quite well.

Below is a list of top 10 Kenyan DJs based on the number of events they host, awards nominations and popularity. Check it out below and let us know what you think.

10. DJ Kaytrixx – In 2013, he was ranked as the best Kenyan DJ and even won several awards. Even in 2015, Kaytrixx is still among the most sought after Kenyan entertainers. Why did he stop singing though?

9. DJ Sadic – 2014 was a big year for the Kenyan gospel industry, however, something seems to have changed in 2015. According to the team, DJ Sadic is currently the most popular Kenyan DJ, judging from his TV/Radio shows and events.

8. DJ Bash – The Homeboyz Radio DJ has gained so much popularity in 2015 and he’s currently giving some of these big cats in the industry a run for their money.

7. DJ Kym – From your TV screens to the streets and Matatus, he’s one of the most popular DJs on the streets and he’s also doing big on mainstream media. He also has a couple of shows outside the country.

6. DJ Bonez – He’s unquestionably the most popular Mombasa-based Kenyan DJ. If you visit coast’s hottest clubs you’ll definitely find DJ Bonez mixing.

5. DJ Xclusive – Just like other top Kenyan DJs, Xclusive also bagged himself a popular brand endorsement deal this year. He’s arguably one of the fastest rising entertainers in the country. He has a radio show and also hosts a number of gigs.

4. DJ Hypnotiq – If you’ve been to some of the biggest events in 2015, then you’ve definitely been entertained by the Live On Blast DJ who also appeared on the popular Coke Studio Africa show.

3. Kriss Darlin – He’s undoubtedly the ultimate Reggae DJ in Kenya. Those who go to K1 on Thursdays and other places where he mixes can attest to that. He’s the brain behind the mighty ‘Dohty Family’.

2. DJ Joe Mfalme – Apart from making most of his parties the top trend in Kenya every day, the Pilsner Mfalme winner is without doubt one of the most sought after Kenyan DJs. This guy plays at almost all events!

1. Crème De La Crème – Despite the scandals, DJ Crème has become one of the most popular Kenyan entertainers more so in the last quarter of 2015.

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The untold truth of Bill Cosb

Phil Archbold
The first time that Bill Cosby was accused of sexual misconduct, the news barely made a ripple. At the time, nobody wanted to accept that America’s most famous dad was a sexual predator capable of such horrific behavior, but times have changed. After becoming a near-constant in our homes with
The Bill Cosby Show (1969-1971), The Cosby Show (1984-1992), and Cosby (1996-2000), the man known for his wholesome family values and colorful sweaters was found guilty on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, making him the first celebrity to fall in court since the MeToo movement took off. What started as a social media hashtag turned into a genuine movement, and as more and more victims came forward, ripples turned into waves and left men such as Cosby with nowhere to hide.
The disgraced comic will be remembered as a sex offender rather than an award winning entertainer, with his contribution to American pop culture forever tarnished. Cosby’s guilty verdict only raises more questions about the man’s past, which may have included some clues about his true nature. This is the untold truth of Bill Cosby.
He served in the military
The son of a maid and a Navy sailor, Bill Cosby was born in Philadelphia in 1937. After dropping out of high school at age 19, Cosby followed in his father’s footsteps and signed up for a life on the seas, though he never went too far. He was part of the medical unit at the Marine base at Quantico, Va. and also served at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he cared for Korean War casualties. He earned his GED through the Navy and planned to become a gym teacher after he was discharged so he could help kids who struggled academically, just like he did.
“I saw this as an opportunity to save, not the world, but save those boys and I pinpointed the seventh and eighth grade boys who might be thinking the way I thought about life,” Cosby told M Live in 2013. “I was going to bring it to their attention the same way they were doing in the Navy. No, I wasn’t going to their house and ripping up their bed and throwing the mattress out. But in school, as a physical education teacher, I knew the combination of sports, academics and behavior and thinking and getting one’s self-esteem up through threats, not of violence, just anger, that I would get them and make them realize what they were messing up.”
He became a star athlete
Cosby became a decorated member of the Navy track team during his service. He toured the country to compete in events, though it wasn’t always the happiest of times for him — when the team visited cafes on the road, he was sometimes forced to eat in the kitchen because of the color of his skin. After Cosby left the Navy in 1960, Temple University in Philadelphia offered him a place, so long as he could pass his SATs.
“I went into that room and I was the dying man,” he told M Live . “I knew I was dying. My whole life was going to go. This SAT exam is to prove how much I know and I really don’t know anything. A dying man sees what? His whole life pass before him … After a while, I just gave up. I said while I’m taking the exam, ‘I don’t know anything so guessing is better than sitting there.'” The future star had heard a rumor that every third answer was C, and that apparently was enough to get him admitted on “remedial everything.”
Cosby excelled athletically. According to Fox Sports , he became a football hall of famer at Temple University, where he played fullback. He was also a member of the track team, competing in the high jump, shot put, low hurdles, javelin, and discus.
In 2014, when sexual misconduct allegations against Cosby gained traction, Temple announced that it was standing by its famous alumni, but the university changed course and stripped Cosby’s honorary degree after his guilty verdict in 2018.
Did he ask a security guard to ‘tuck him in’ at night?
While his plan to become the world’s most motivational gym teacher never came to fruition, Cosby would instead go on to pedal his stay-in-school message through his work in the entertainment industry. He set out to make it in the world of stand-up comedy and was soon noticed by TV producers, impressing execs with his show at the
Hungry I in San Francisco. Over the years, Cosby carved out a reputation as one of TV’s good guys, but those who worked in and around the stand-up scene remembered a man very different than the one preaching family values in his sitcoms.
Comic and former UFC commentator Joe Rogan has never been shy about speaking his mind when it comes to his peers in the stand-up game (in 2005 he got himself
banned from The Comedy Store in Los Angeles after getting onstage during Carlos Mencia’s set to accuse him of stealing jokes,) and he has one story about Cosby that will send a shudder down your spine.
In 2015, Rogan said he did a show at a New York casino where Cosby had once stayed, and the staff told him all about Cosby’s alleged bedtime request. “He asked the security guard to tuck him in at night, and everybody was really weirded out by it,” Rogan said (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal). “Obviously this is second hand, or third hand, but it’s pretty obvious there is something seriously wrong with that dude.”
He allegedly ratted out his own daughter
Bill Cosby is known to have been unfaithful to his wife of more than 50 years, Camille Cosby , on several occasions — his legal team was forced to admit as much in front of the court, claiming that Bill’s alleged sexual offences against Andrea Constand and the rest of his accusers were consensual affairs. What isn’t common knowledge is the lengths that the superstar allegedly went to in order to keep his reputation in tact — including perhaps throwing his own daughter under the bus.
Writing for Page Six , journalist Richard Johnson revealed that a colleague who once worked for the National Enquirer had some solid dirt on the comic back in 1989. Apparently, Bill and late Rat Pack star Sammy Davis Jr. had been caught “swinging with some showgirls in Las Vegas” that summer and the supermarket tabloid was preparing to run the story. Panicked at the thought of his name getting dragged through the mud, Bill allegedly offered up an exclusive about his daughter Erinn’s drinking and drug problems in exchange for killing the story about his behavior. “My editor told me that daddy Cosby was the source,” the reporter (who asked to remain unnamed) told Johnson. “He ratted out his flesh and blood.”
His son was gunned down
One of Cosby’s five children was murdered in January 1997. According to a report in The New York Times, son Ennis was visiting friends in Los Angeles when his car (a dark green Mercedes-Benz sports convertible) got a flat in the wrong part of town. The 27-year-old Columbia University graduate was found “sprawled on the ground in a pool of blood on the passenger side of the car, the door there ajar.” He had been shot in the head.
The Los Angeles Police Department opened a murder investigation, but it was reportedly going nowhere until a tip received by the
National Enquirer (one of several tabloids that offered cash rewards for information) eventually led authorities to the North Hollywood home of Mikhail Markhasev (pictured left). A jury found that the 18-year-old Russian immigrant happened across Ennis changing his car tire and killed him during a robbery gone wrong. Markhasev protested his innocence for many years, but eventually came clean in a letter to Radar .
“Ennis’ only fault was in being in the path of a wicked idiot like myself,” Markhasev wrote from his California prison cell. “The senseless tragedy of his untimely death and the sacred sorrow experienced by his family is something that I hope you will never have to experience, and yet it happens daily in the world.”
Sadly, this wouldn’t be the last time the Cosby family would experience the sorrow of losing a child. Their daughter, Ensa, died at age 44 after a battle with renal disease.
Does he have an illegitimate daughter?
After Ennis was killed in cold blood, the conspiracy theorists got to work. That same year, rumors that Cosby had fathered an illegitimate child began to circulate, and some claimed The Cosby Show star had his own son killed to stop him from blabbing about his half-sister to the press. The man who committed the murder denied these claims, but Cosby himself would have some denying to do when a woman named Autumn Jackson came forward claiming to be the entertainer’s lovechild.
According to CNN, Cosby admitted to an affair with Jackson’s mother, Shawn Thompson Upshaw, but he said he was 100 percent certain he was not the girl’s father. He asked Jackson to take a DNA test, but she refused. Cosby claimed Jackson was trying to blackmail him for millions of dollars to keep the fake story out of the press, and he had the tapes to prove it.
“OK, what I can do is, I can cut it down the middle … take off another five, and bring that to 25 [million],” Jackson could reportedly be heard telling Cosby’s attorney in a secret recording. It was enough to convince a jury of her guilt and (still maintaining that Cosby was her biological father) she was sentenced to 26 months in prison for extortion.
That time he shamed the black working class
Cosby may have spent a good chunk of his life advocating for change in black communities, but his approach to the problems facing African Americans hasn’t always gone down well with the people he was supposedly trying to help.
In 2004, he took to the stage at an NAACP event and delivered what would become known as the “pound cake speech,” shocking many of his fans by suggesting that black communities weren’t working hard enough and needed to stop blaming white people for their problems.
“Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals,” Cosby said (via The Root ). “These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake. Then we all run out and are outraged, ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him!’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
His words cost him a lot of support among African Americans at a time when people were fighting for greater police accountability.
He was first accused of sexual misconduct in 2005
The woman Bill Cosby was eventually found guilty of assaulting in his 2018 retrial is former Temple University basketball employee Andrea Constand, who first came forward about the incident back in 2005. She told authorities she met Cosby at a game in 2002. Then, in 2004, he reportedly invited her to his home to discuss her career. He allegedly offered her what he said were some herbal pills to “take the edge off” after a long day. Constand claimed that after taking the pills she lost control of her body but remained conscious enough to remember Cosby’s assault.
According to the Independent, Constand went to her mother first. After confronting Cosby, the pair contacted police but were left crestfallen when then Pennsylvania District Attorney Bruce Castor announced he would not bring any criminal charges against the entertainer because of “insufficient evidence,” despite the fact that Cosby had reportedly admitted to buying the sedative Quaalude to give to women he wanted to have sex with in the 1970s.
“When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Cosby was asked, according to Time . Even though his answer was, “Yes,” his attorney argued that everybody was taking the “love drug” at the time and that Cosby never gave it without consent. Cosby wound up paying Constand $3.38 million to confidentially settle the matter after she filed a civil suit against him.
A viral video led to his downfall
While other women came forward alleging sexual abuse at the hands of Cosby in the years after Constand accused him, none were taken seriously until 2014, when a video of a comedian calling the veteran a rapist during a show went viral.
“Bill Cosby has the f***ing smuggest old black man public persona that I hate,” Hannibal Buress said during a gig at The Trocadero, a venue in Cosby’s home city of Philadelphia, no less. “He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the ’80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”
Buress went on to joke that he just wanted to ruin reruns of The Cosby Show for the audience, but he also made sure the audience knew that he was 100 percent serious about his allegations. “I’ve done this bit on stage and people … think I’m making it up,” Buress said. “…That s**t is upsetting. If you didn’t know about it, trust me. When you leave here, Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ That shit has more results than ‘Hannibal Buress.'”
People did just that, and before long, the media had latched on to the renewed interest in Cosby’s shady past. The actor soon found himself under investigation as a result.
He’s been accused by at least 60 women
In December 2015, new district attorney Kevin Steele set the tone of his tenure when he announced that Cosby has been arrested and charged with felony indecent assault.
According to the Independent, Cosby actually attempted to sue Constand for speaking to the police after he’d paid her off, but later dropped the case.
The first trial didn’t go as planned as far as Cosby’s opponents were concerned — jurors remained deadlocked after five days of deliberation and a mistrial was declared. The entertainer wasn’t as lucky the second time around. Cosby was found guilty at his 2018 retrial and faces up to 30 years behind bars — and that’s before all of the potential civil suits from the 60 women who have come forward with harrowing accounts of abuse even begin.
One of Cosby’s many alleged victims was Barbara Bowman, who was a 17-year-old model and an aspiring actress when her agent introduced her to Cosby in 1985. “He convinced me that he was going to take care of me like a father, that he loved me like a daughter,” she said (via USA Today). “To wake up half-dressed and raped by the man that said he was going to love me like a father? That’s pretty sick.”
Did he try to ‘Cosby’ Chelsea Handler?
Stand-up comic Chelsea Handler claims to have had a close call with Cosby around the same time that he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand. When fellow comedian Nick Offerman interviewed her for Esquire magazine in 2015, Handler said that she once received an ominous invite from the disgraced comedian.
“He tried to Cosby me,” Handler said. “I was in Atlantic City playing, doing stand-up, and he was doing stand-up in Atlantic City in the same hotel, and at like three o’clock in the afternoon, someone from the hotel came down and said, ‘Oh, you know, Mr. Cosby would really like to meet you up in his hotel suite.'”
Alarm bells started ringing right away for Handler, but she still wanted to meet the man, so she went to his room with three of her male colleagues as company. “I said, ‘That’s really weird. I don’t want to go alone.’ I go, ‘I don’t know him.’ So the three guys I was with — thank God these guys were with me, one was filming and one was like a producer; we were filming something — I brought them up with me to his room and thank God I did, because now I know what would’ve happened if I went up there alone.”
Handler has been an avid supporter of the
MeToo movement since it took root, and she was quick to comment after Cosby’s guilty verdict. “I wonder how long it’s going to take Trump to announce he’s going to pardon Bill Cosby,” she tweeted.
The verdict brings some closure to sufferers
How and where Cosby will serve his time is yet to be decided at the time of this writing, but those that fought for his conviction are taking comfort in the fact that he may spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Former bartender Janice Baker-Kinney was one of five accusers allowed to testify at the retrial; she alleged that the comedian drugged and raped her in 1982 when she was at a house party in Reno, Nev. “I am overwhelmed with joy, relief and gratitude,” she said in a
statement after the guilty verdict. “This may be the end for Mr. Cosby, but this victory is just the beginning for many of us, to fight for justice, to do the right thing and support every person who has ever been shamed and humiliated and blamed.”
Celebrities have also joined the post-verdict chorus of praise. Actress Rose McGowan, who became one of the early catalysts for the MeToo movement after she openly accused movie executive Harvey Weinstein of rape, expressed gratitude about Cosby’s status as a convicted man. “I’m sorry if you loved a lie,” she tweeted. “His victims can now exhale. Thank you judge and jury. Thank you society for waking up.”
Fellow actress Amber Tamblyn chimed in with a similarly themed tweet , telling Cosby that his date with justice was long overdue: “Time’s up, Bill. Time’s BEEN up for you, for years. And now justice. Justice for women I know who you’ve hurt and those I’ve never met. Good riddance.”

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Whatever happened to the kid from Role Models?

In a movie with comedy heavy-hitters such as Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott , there probably should not have been room for a standout performance. Apparently, nobody explained that to Bobb’e J. Thompson, the kid who played Ronnie in 2008’s Role Models, because that young man stole the show so hard that even Roger Ebert noted in his review of the film that “Thompson will have his own show on Comedy Central before he’s 25.”
As of this writing, Thompson hasn’t reached that age — He celebrated his 22nd birthday in 2018 — or that particular accomplishment, but that’s not to say that he won’t. Since Role Models, he’s gone on to star alongside Will Ferrell in Land of the Lost , play Tracy Morgan’s son on 30 Rock , and land recurring roles on two Tyler Perry TV series. And acting isn’t even his primary career goal.
Since 2014, Thompson has focused his creative energy on rapping, but he still takes the occasional TV gig. Though this multi-talented star may not be a household name, we guarantee most people would know you’re not talking about McLovin when you say “the kid from Role Models .” Let’s take a look at whatever happened to him.
Trading the film set for the recording studio
Long before he was the kid from Role Models, one of Bobb’e J. Thompson’s first forays into show business was an appearance on
Showtime at the Apollo when he was just 5 years old. Thompson crushed his version of Bow Wow’s “That’s My Name,” then went on to steady work on TV series such as The Tracy Morgan Show, That’s So Raven, and
Human Giant.
He finally circled back to his true passion,
music, around 2013, when he released “Fade 2 Rap ,” his debut album under the rapper handle King Bobb’e J . From there it was a mixtape in 2014, and more recently, as of this writing, lots of freestyle recordings on his Soundcloud page.
Though he hasn’t reached the kind of mainstream recognition in the rap game as he has in the film and TV world, Thompson says that music is his first love. When asked by
Bossip in 2014 if acting is his biggest passion, Thompson said, “Absolutely not. I still to this day have a divine love for music.” He also promised, “I got a lot of music in the can that I’m gonna hit the people over the head with here soon, but everything is about timing. At this time, acting is where it’s at for me and when it’s time for me to release the music, ya’ll hear it, ya’ll know.”
Pint-sized Pitchman
In addition to film and television, Thompson also had a few big gigs in commercial acting. According to The Skanner , it was hot off of his parts in Role Models, Land of the Lost , and Imagine That when Thompson landed a major Nike basketball campaign in 2009. In it, he voices the puppet Lil Dez (above), the hyperactive thorn in the sides of puppet Kobe and puppet LeBron.
One year later, Thompson took his talents to the gaming world, where he landed the role of Marcus Rivers in an ad campaign that attempted to market Playstations’ PSP handheld device to adolescent gamers. Again, the role seemed tailor-made for the kinetic comic abilities of Thompson, who embodies the campaign’s tagline, “Step your game up,” in a way that perhaps no other pitchman could.
In fact, prior to transforming into Marcus Rivers, Thompson seemed to harness his fictional spirit during a 2009 interview with at The Guy’s Choice Awards when he threw out his personal gamertag, iPurpleRangerX, and claimed he would “whoop” anyone who challenged him in a laundry list of titles. His preferred battleground at the time was XBox Live, but we have a feeling that changed significantly with the receipt of a big fat check from Sony.
His first lead role fizzled
As successful as Thompson was early on in his acting career, he didn’t land a starring role until 2014 in School Dance . He gives all the credit for his leading man status in the raunchy coming-of-age comedy to Nick Cannon, whom he frequently cites as a friend and mentor in the entertainment business.
Speaking with KTLA , Thompson shed light on what it was like to be directed by Cannon, who made his directorial debut with School Dance. “Nick Cannon is an awesome director,” Thompson said. “He knows the business … He studies hard and he’s more of a perfectionist. He don’t like mediocre … He’s gonna make sure it’s the best of the best that he can give.”
Unfortunately, three out of the just four critics who bothered to review the film for Rotten Tomatoes gave it a “rotten” rating, with Brian Orndorff at Blu-Ray.com going so far as to describe it as “awful,” calling Cannon “a network talent show host and Disney personality who’s desperately trying to shed his squeaky clean image.” Oof.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Thompson has yet to book another starring to date.
Bobb’e Says got silenced pretty quickly
During promotion for Role Models , Thompson told KTLA about his next project, a live-action “clip show on Cartoon Network” called Bobb’e Says. “It’s kinda like America’s Funniest Home Videos, but … more for kids” was how Thompson described it. The show was part of Cartoon Network’s CN Real block of programming, which was a shift away from its traditional animated fare. Unfortunately, that change wasn’t particularly well-received by the networks general audience.
The ratings for Bobb’e Says weren’t the best, and neither were the critical reviews. Common Sense Media said the show “will rub parents the wrong way in light of issues like peer pressure and bullying.” Though Thompson teased a second season with the possibility of some “Bobb’e Bloopers” to KTLA , the series was cancelled before round two saw the light of day.
Turning tragedy into activism
In 2010, Thompson became the youth ambassador for The Black AIDS Institute, a think tank dedicated to stopping “the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in unapologetically Black efforts to confront HIV.”
As part of his efforts with the organization, a then-14-year-old Thompson recorded the above PSA in which he reveals the sobering statistic that in 2006, “the majority of youth aged 13 – 24 with AIDS who died were black.”
Thompson also has a personal connection to the AIDS epidemic, as he outlined to No More Down Low in 2010. “I recently just lost my aunt to HIV/AIDS,” he said at the time. “So that’s what made it very important to me. It made me really, really take action, because it affected me and my loved ones, so I’m not only here doing this just for me, I’m doing it for family.”
‘I could have lost my life’
Thompson doesn’t make the news , or even the celebrity tabloids, very often. In fact, he told Bossip that he actively avoids “giving people much to say about [him] that is negative” by trying to only “focus on the positive.” That’s probably why the only tabloid mention we even came across about him was a story from TMZ reported that Thompson and a friend were in a seriously scary car accident in February 2017.
“I could have lost my life,” Thompson said in a video statement to the tab. He was describing how he and Lincoln Heights actor Zachary Williams had to jump out of Williams’ mom’s minivan as it suddenly fell into a 20-foot sinkhole. They even sprang into action to help another motorist whose car had also plunged into the supersized pothole.
“Now that I know that, like, literally the ground will just open up whenever it feel like it … I don’t want to go to sleep,” Thompson joked. “Like I don’t want me and my bed to fall in the middle of the ground.”
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t interested in the audio from the moment that car went into the sinkhole. Obviously, we’re thankful that nobody was injured in the terrifying incident, but we just know a little bit of Thompson’s inner-Ronnie had to have come out on that one.
Big things come in small packages
Though he’s already accomplished much, Thompson shows no signs of slowing. In 2014, interviewer Kam Williams’ asked, “When you look in the mirror, what do you see?” Thompson replied, “I see an ambitious young man who will one day have it all.”
And if “have it all” seemed a bit ambiguous, Thompson clarified by saying, “I think when it’s all said and done, I need 5 Grammys, 6 Oscars, a few Emmys and a couple of NAACP Awards. The whole 9 yards. My dream is to be one of the winningest entertainers ever. I just want my work to be recognized as well as the effort I put in.”
Thompson even compared himself to an artist of similar stature, Will Smith , telling BlackFilm that Smith’s character, Mike Lowrey, in Bad Boys is his “dream role.” At 4’11,” Thompson may not fit the typical mold for such a role, but that never stopped Tom Cruise from becoming one of the most bankable action stars in the world, and it certainly didn’t hold back Kevin Hart , who rose above his peers with bold self-deprecation. So keep dreaming, kid, because we can’t wait to see what you do next!

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What has happened to Music

  

Many people will remember the ‘good old days’ of Jazz, Rock’n’Roll and Pop music of the late 20th century. The large majority of the younger generation listen to the music being created today, mainly electronic dance music (EDM), and of course, Pop music. After talking to a wide range of people from various demographics, I have gathered opinions to assess the direction that music has taken and the direction it is going. 

Pop music is simply popular music at the current time. It is constantly changing, always reflecting and depicting the times in which it is created. For example, during World War 2, all sides, the Allies and the Nazis used music as a propaganda tool. These songs spread all over the world and inspired troops worldwide. Nowadays, music reflects the electronic element that so many people seem to love. EDM is one of the most listened to genres at the moment, and that is why current artists that focus on Electronic music are also being labelled as Pop artists.

After an interview with Mark Scott, Head of Music at Newington College, I understand the effect that Pop music really has on society. Pop music, now more than ever, has been created to be easy to listen to. For non-musically minded people, most music is simply music, no matter whether the chord progression ends in a satisfying cadence or whether or the song has a pleasant counter-melody. Pop music at its core is music that is popular. So, for one to say that Pop music is bad, good or neither good nor bad is an entirely subjective perspective, but the general consensus is that Pop music is just music that people like to listen to. Once an artist releases a hit, the people listening to them become curious. They start to explore their music, and eventually all the music that artist makes are considered popular whether or not they are good songs. 

Chris Paton, Head of Contemporary Music at Newington College, discusses the nostalgic feeling that the older generations feel when they listen to older music. The feeling they experience often causes their opinion lean to the ‘anti-pop’ perspective. Mr. Paton states that ‘What I hate about the large majority of Pop music and EDM these days is that it lacks much of the spirit and sophistication of yesteryear.’ This is a very important point about Pop music. Due to the massive use of electronics to create music, the soul of music is gone, or at least withered so much from where it was in the 20th century that it is almost unrecognisable. 

Furthermore, Pop music is not by far the only music being created today. Besides EDM music, which often crosses over into the Pop category, there are music genres such as Alternative Rock and people are still writing and publishing Jazz songs, Classical pieces, Blues, Soul, Classic Rock etc.. From my point of view, a lot of this music is good music. There are some fantastic Alternative Rock bands, such as Queens of the Stone Age, Violent Soho, Arctic Monkeys, Sticky Fingers, the list goes on. In my opinion, these bands are so good because they are able to mix older Classic Rock with elements of modern electronic music when composing/making songs. 

There are a multitude of reasons that make up music. The raw elements of songs from all time periods are timbre, pitch and dynamics, or volume. These three elements change as the typical characteristics of the music change. For example, dynamics are a lot more straightforward than they were in the past. Nowadays, there isn’t as much of a range, and the range of the dynamics is typically louder. There are also straightforward ‘terraced dynamics’, which are just levels of volume, with no in between. On the contrary, the pitch of songs has increased. With the introduction of machines and software into the creation of music, we have been able to use pitches that weren’t available to artists previously. In regards to timbre, ‘Scientific American’ a renowned article website published a University’s work on timbre. The University collected a database of 50 million songs, and statistically proved that the overall variety in timbre was shrinking. This means a more and more homogenous sound over all songs. This is most likely due to the common structure of songs now and the software that people use. 

Money is another contributing factor to the worsening state of music. During the age of Rock, Jazz and Classical music, many artists were getting paid barely enough to live off. For example, when the classic Australian band AC/DC started they were just getting by with their income from their shows. Other bands often have to have other jobs to support them on their music careers. However, they persisted because they loved what they did, no matter the income they got. Today, on the other hand, many artists are in it for the money. They seem to not care about the art of music, but they just manufacture songs that will make them money, not convey their opinions and views or their feelings on a certain topic. This is a very big factor in the declining quality of music: passion. 

In conclusion, I believe that music has gotten worse with regards to today’s music. This is due to the more and more homogenous sound that has been described from the large database of songs collected by a university in the U.S. However, I think that music will loop back around or at least change in the future, and hopefully be something worth listening to.

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Musicians who stole their biggest hits

When you’re a musician, inspiration can strike at any moment. You can be brushing your teeth, sitting on the john, eating a burrito, or doing all those things at once somehow, when suddenly, BAM! Inspiration jumps out and punches you in the face, forcing you to cut your awesome display of multitasking short to go sit at the keyboard and squeeze out a song. It can come from a half-forgotten dream, an incident on the bus the day before, or even the fact that you’re a thieving thief of the type that thieves.
Depending upon whom you ask, this isn’t even necessarily bad — it’s been said that virtually all
musicians indulge in a little light plagiarism from time to time, as the world’s supply of truly original melodies and lyrics are swiftly dwindling. But these are particularly egregious cases, with strangely different outcomes; some of the original artists were awarded songwriting credit, some settled out of court, and yet others sarcastically remarked “nice tune you’ve got there” while flipping the bird, unable to do much else.
Snap!
The story of how worldwide dance smash “The Power” came to be is as convoluted as it gets, but here are the main beats. In 1989, a pair of German dance music producers known as Snap! put out a “Mega Mix” (a common practice at the time) consisting of the rhythm track from “King of the Beats” by Mantronix, a vocal hook from “Love’s Gonna Get You” by Jocelyn Brown, and two elements (a killer saxophone riff and the entire acapella vocal track) from the single “Let the Words Flow” by Queens rapper Chill Rob G. When Rob and his producer expressed irritation over this, Snap! pulled the vocal and recruited soundalike rapper Durron Butler (Turbo B) to record new verses, and this new version became an international smash hit.
Figuring that turnabout was fair play, Rob proceeded to swipe the entire instrumental track and release his own version of the song on tiny label Wild Pitch. Unfortunately, Snap! had signed a U.S. distribution deal with Arista, so their Frankenstein monster of a track effectively buried Rob’s version. So, just how hard did Rob get screwed? Setting aside the fact that you’ve never heard of him before now, consider that he reaped none of that sweet “The Power” cash, and also this: that instantly recognizable “it’s gettin’ kinda hectic” sample? That’s Rob’s voice, from his original song. Remember also that the Snap! version contains the line, “copywritten lyrics so they can’t be stolen,” which must trigger tiny nuclear explosions inside Rob’s head every time he hears it.
Radiohead
Although “Creep” was Radiohead’s breakout hit, the band has never been particularly fond of the song, even refusing to play it live for years on end . Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t fit very well thematically with the rest of the band’s catalog, or because it’s been covered an insane number of times in agonizingly earnest fashion by the likes of Moby and Korn. Lead singer Thom Yorke has famously referred to the song by the alternate title “Crap,” but perhaps that’s just the shame talking because the song’s composition is a blatant ripoff of an old song by the Hollies, “The Air That I Breathe.”
According to NME , it took Hollies songwriters Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood a while to catch on — but once they did, they were quick to haul the band into court for copyright infringement. It presumably wasn’t a lengthy hearing because the two songs’ chord progressions are obviously identical. Hammond and Hazelwood were awarded a cut of the Radiohead song’s royalties, and future pressings of Pablo Honey — the album on which “Creep” appears — credit them as co-songwriters. It was a cut-and-dried case until just recently, when British crooner Sam Smith decided to muddy the waters by ripping off “Creep” for his song “Midnight Train,” presumably in an attempt to get the Hollies’ and Radiohead’s lawyers to fight to the death.
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash is a legend, and it’s impossible to overstate his contributions to country music. He famously played one of his signature tunes, “Folsom Prison Blues,” for an audience of inmates at the actual Folsom Prison, because he was just that badass. As immortalized in the biopic Walk the Line, “Folsom Prison Blues” is the tune that saw Cash turning away from traditional, gospel-tinged country, taking the genre into totally new territory with bleak lyrics about the hopelessness of prison life — but the flick conveniently left out the part where he ripped off the bulk of the song from an earlier recording.
That recording was Gordon Jenkins’ “Crescent City Blues,” which was released in 1953. The Los Angeles Times reported that Cash once explained to an interviewer that he wrote the song at a time when he “had no idea I would be a professional recording artist,” and that he “wasn’t trying to rip anybody off.” But even though the compositions are quite different, many of the lyrics — including the opening lines of each verse, among others — are identical. Cash went on to say that he eventually worked it out with Jenkins, and “everything was right” — but the reported $100,000 settlement Cash forked over probably helped a lot.
Guns N’ Roses
Former Australian Crawl lead singer James Reyne really doesn’t want to make a big deal about this, but fans have long been of the opinion that the Aussie band’s 1981 track “Unpublished Critics” was—how to put this most delicately—pilfered, plundered and thieved by Guns N’ Roses for their signature tune, “Sweet Child O Mine.” Reyne has claimed to have not been aware of the controversy until recently — “it just didn’t cross my radar because I was listening to other things,” he reportedly said — and Australian Crawl has never so much as threatened any legal action, which is odd. When you compare the tracks side by side, it sure seems like the similarities would be enough to make any lawyer worth their salt drown in a puddle of anticipatory drool.
As reported by VH-1 News, Reyne told an Australian blog that these similarities include “the same chugging chord progression, a similarly sweeping lead break, the verse melody, and the elongated one-syllable vocal in the chorus,” which is exactly right, but he later expressed a disinclination to take on the Guns’ presumed army of lawyers, and that was that. At least there’s now a partial answer to the repeated query of “where do we go now?” which closes the Guns N’ Roses tune, and that answer is “not to court, thankfully.”
Michael Jackson
Everyone’s heard Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and everyone’s heard Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” but unless you’re a musician, it may have escaped you that the two songs’ rhythm sections are … quite similar. Upon the King of Pop’s death and subsequent ascension to Pop Heaven, a gaggle of celebrities told their MJ stories to Rolling Stone, and among the more interesting recollections was one from Daryl Hall, describing an interaction that took place during the recording of the star-studded benefit track “We Are the World.”
“He sort of clung to Diana Ross pretty much,” Hall recalled, “but at one point I was off to the side and he came over to me and said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I stole “Billie Jean” from you.'” Hall has told this story
more than once , and in every version he defers to King, sometimes adding the detail that he played it off by saying he didn’t see the similarity. Like many artists, Hall seems to subscribe to the idea that a certain amount of theft is normal — but at the very least, he’s got to be quietly smug about the fact that a little bass groove he came up with while screwing around in the studio formed the basis for not one, but two monster smash hit songs.
Ray Parker Jr.
If the name Ray Parker Jr. doesn’t immediately ring a bell, then we just have one question for you: Who ya gonna call? That’s right, you’re gonna call the Ghostbusters because Parker told you to in his signature hit from the original 1984 film. But it almost wasn’t to be; according to Rolling Stone, the movie’s producers had originally wanted Huey Lewis and the News to provide the soundtrack’s lead single, but Huey and the boys were already at work on the soundtrack to Back to the Future and had to decline. Fortunately, Parker was on hand to fill the big Huey Lewis-shaped hole in the soundtrack by writing a perfectly catchy tune ripped off nearly wholesale from “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis.
It took Lewis about 10 seconds to file a lawsuit upon hearing Parker’s song, but it took fully 10 years for the case to be resolved. The parties settled out of court in 1995, with a non-disclosure agreement preventing either of them from talking about the case, which Lewis totally ignored. In an episode of Behind the Music , he blabbed, “The offensive part was not so much that Ray Parker Jr. had ripped this song off, it was kind of symbolic of an industry that wants something — they wanted our wave, and they wanted to buy it. … I suppose it was for sale, because, basically, they bought it.” Parker sued, and Lewis probably thought it was totally worth it.
Katy Perry
In May 2013, pop songstress Katy Perry tweeted a supportive message to fellow singer Sara Bareilles: “I heart you,” it read (nice!) above a post of Bareilles new video “Brave” (super-nice for a megastar like Perry to give free publicity to a regular star of the non-mega variety). A few months passed, and in August of that year, Perry released the lead single from her new album Prism. You may have heard it — “Roar” ended up being the sixth-highest-selling single of 2013, and it sounds a whole hell of a lot like “Brave” (not so nice).
The Guardian reported that it took fans no time at all to begin mashing up the two songs, which was presumably about as easy as mashing up some mashed potatoes with more mashed potatoes. To add more thievery to the existing thievery, DJ Dillion Francis took to Twitter to complain loudly about the fact that one of the two videos for “Roar” — in which Perry texts the song’s lyrics throughout the day from a sped-up, first person point of view — took its concept from an earlier clip for one of his songs, ” Messages.” Perry never addressed either complaint, but Bareilles was insanely diplomatic when discussing the controversy with CBS News, saying, “I can’t say that I think that they don’t sound similar. … I’ve known Katy a really long time and we’re friends. And at the end of the day, it was really only good for my song.”
George Harrison
Even artists of the highest stature aren’t immune to the thievery bug, and few statures are higher than “ex-Beatle.” A prolific songwriter who was famously allowed only two songs per Beatles album, Harrison poured his backlog into the massive, three-album release All Things Must Pass after the band’s breakup. In November 1970, his single “My Sweet Lord” became the first solo release from a former Beatle to top the Billboard charts, which — in light of that stupid two-song rule — must have been pretty gratifying for Harrison. That is, until people began pointing out how very, obviously similar the song’s vocal line was to the Chiffons’ hit 1963 single “He’s So Fine.”
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, that tune’s publisher successfully sued Harrison in 1971. Harrison admitted that he was familiar with the song, but stated that any plagiarism was unintentional and was done “subconsciously” — and the judge agreed that this was probably true, while still stating flatly that “it is clear that ‘My Sweet Lord’ is the very same song as ‘He’s So Fine’ with different words.” Despite the clear-cut nature of the case, haggling over damages dragged on for an incredibly stupid 27 years, until 1998 — meaning Harrison’s heartfelt plea for a closer relationship with God instead had the effect of earning him a much, much closer relationship with his lawyers.
Coldplay
Coldplay’s breakthrough 2008 single “Viva La Vida” had only been out for a few months when sharp-eared fans began posting videos to YouTube, noting similarities between its melody and that of “If I Could Fly,” a 2004 instrumental by guitar god Joe Satriani. Satriani, who apparently surfs the hell out of YouTube between bouts of massive shredding, quickly took notice and filed suit.
Coldplay employed the “Gee whiz, beats me” defense, as
reported by MTV News. “If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music,” said the band’s official statement to the press, “they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him.”
Strange, then, that the case was promptly settled out of court with an undisclosed, sealed “stipulation,” which means that money changed hands between the two parties to settle the matter, and it probably wasn’t Satriani doing the paying, according to The Guardian . We’ll probably never know the details unless Satriani pulls a Huey Lewis and blabs about it to somebody, but it appears he might not have gotten that much. In a strange footnote, Yusuf Islam — formerly known as Cat Stevens — had made some noise prior to Satriani’s suit about similarities between “Viva La Vida” and his song “Foreigner Suite.” When asked by Rolling Stone if he was considering a lawsuit of his own, he deadpanned, “It depends on how well Satriani does.” Said lawsuit never materialized, so … apparently not that well.
Rod Stewart
There was a shameful time in our nation’s history when Rod Stewart strutting around in spandex to a disco beat, asking us all if we thought he was sexy, was considered to be an acceptable form of entertainment. Longtime fans of the musician’s more rocking work with the band Faces and as a solo artist collectively projectile-vomited as “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” roared to #1 in late 1979 — a development which was quickly noted by Brazilian singer Jorge Ben Jor, whose answer to the question was “No, but I think I have a pretty solid lawsuit.”
Indeed, the chorus — which, drummer Carmine Appice told Songfacts, is the only part of the song Stewart actually wrote, with his band handling the rest — contains the exact same melody as Jor’s Spanish-language tune “Taj Mahal,” and it wasn’t long until the lesser-known artist got all sue-y about it. Stewart quickly settled, agreeing to give proceeds from the song to children’s charity UNICEF, and claimed the George Harrison defense in his autobiography , saying, “Clearly the melody had lodged itself in my memory and then resurfaced. Unconscious plagiarism, plain and simple. I handed over the royalties … wondering whether ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ was partly cursed.” At least all that sexiness helped to feed needy children , which is a sentence you will almost certainly never read again.
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Morris M.
It sometimes feels like musicians can get away with anything. Justin Bieber can get arrested and still keep cranking out mediocre music. Ozzy Osbourne can bite the head off a bat and still land a mediocre reality show. Johnny Cash can publicly confess to shooting a man in Reno, just to watch him die , and still get to cut a record in Folsom Prison. Man, what would a musician have to do to get in some real trouble?
Depending on the musician in question, maybe not so much. While some can get away with near-murder, other crooners find themselves looking down the barrel of a ruined career just for having the wrong backup dancers. If you’re struggling with a hyper-successful music career and need to take the pressure off, take note. Any one of these could have you on food stamps faster than you can say “career suicide.” nt That Destroyed These Musicians’ Careers

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Awesome uncut versions of movies you didn’t know existed

Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. It’s an engineering philosophy that keeps bicycle horns off helicopters and
The Homer out of our car dealerships.
But what’s good for engineering isn’t necessarily conducive to successfully creating something as subjective as film. There’s a lot that can keep a director’s vision from making it to the big screen. Sometimes it’s studio interference or budgetary restrictions. Sometimes it turns out the director is farther down the eccentric side of the spectrum than the social contract can justify. For receipts on that last one, please see just about everything Orson Welles touched after Citizen Kane.
Luckily for the curious and fans of cinematic completionism, we live in a glorious age. An age when infinite variations of our favorite films can be accessed at the click of a mouse. And honestly, some of them are pretty killer.
Daredevil Director’s Cut
It was August 2013 when Ben Affleck was officially revealed as the new Batman , and the nerds of the world cried out as one. Their beef? Affleck had already had his shot at a beloved superhero franchise, and the results were … less than stellar .
Yes, 2003’s Daredevil came at a time before the worst thing you could say about a Marvel movie was that it was too watchable. It was a mishmash of cartoonishly over-the-top characters and a story without a human element. Oh, and Evanescence. So much Evanescence .
And then along came the director’s cut. It heaps on a pile of new footage. It develops the characters. It fulfills some sort of ancient prophecy by making a film better by adding more Coolio .
Aside from upping the relative grit factor, the unrated cut improves on the original by including a storyline about Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan trying to defend an innocent client in court. Utilizing an everyman character, especially one as charming as Favreau, makes the
movie (conservatively) 80 times better.
T2: Director’s Cut
Who knows why Hollywood took so long to trust James Cameron. Nowadays, he could pitch the heartwarming story of a gentleman pug fighting the kitty cat aristocracy, shoot the whole thing with hand puppets, and still make more money than the island nation of Vanuatu.
Still, there was a time when Cameron wasn’t a sure thing. The first Terminator picture made back five times its budget, but The Abyss underperformed . Combine that with a budget of over $100 million , and you can understand why the studio got skittish when Cameron’s first cut of Terminator 2 came in at over two and a half hours long.
Cameron was (rightly) pretty in love with the scenes he’d shot. He tried a lot of approaches to shorten the film without losing any scenes, at one point even experimenting with cutting one frame per second and hoping audiences wouldn’t notice. In the end, he trimmed half an hour of pretty remarkable stuff. There are sequences that turn the T-1000 into a surprisingly relatable movie monster and one fantastic scene where Sarah Connor performs brain surgery on Schwarzenegger that only gets more impressive when you find out how they did it. Seriously, check out the director’s cut. It’ll knock your socks off. Which is fine, because Arnold needs your clothes (and the keys to your motorcycle) anyway.
Television cut of Superman
The Infinity War memes. The billions in merchandising. The endless pedantic internet debates over whether DC or Marvel has the better cinematic universe. We have 1978’s Superman to thank for all of it.
The granddaddy of modern superhero movies,
Superman was an absolute cinematic milestone. Its special effects were revolutionary, its actors were iconic , and adjust its $55 million budget for inflation , it would be about $210 million today. The picture was epic in scope, especially considering that the comic book genre was relatively untested at the time.
The finished product is an undisputed classic (even with the flying around the world backward scene). But what a lot of fans might not know is just how much of the movie they haven’t actually seen. Back in 1982, ABC aired a three-hour cut of the blockbuster featuring a ton of new footage. It expands on Clark Kent’s upbringing and even shows off a bunch of unused shots of the seriously-you-guys-still-so-cool Krypton sets.
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
You’ve got to hand it to the producers of Superman –
they didn’t just want to make an unprecedented comic book movie. They wanted to make two. When production started on Superman, the plan was to shoot two movies at once: the original and Superman II. More than halfway through shooting the sequel, however, the studio put the film on hiatus, hoping to wrangle the increasingly eye-popping budget and hedge their bets.
Another factor in the decision to halt production? Director Richard Donner’s heated relationship with his producers, who he referred to with a less than polite nickname, according to Empire. They pulled him from the picture and hired Richard Lester to finish work on
Superman II.
The resulting picture was asymmetrical and wonky. Lester’s more comedic sensibilities shone through, detracting from the movie’s dramatic sequences, and fans were left wondering what Donner’s work would have looked like if he’d had the chance to finish.
In 2006, they got their answer: Richard Donner released a DVD cut of his original vision. It used nearly 30-year-old footage that had never seen the outside of the can, plus they used era-specific special effects to recreate action sequences that hadn’t been completed at the time. It’s a killer reexamination of ’80s filmmaking and a way cool look at what could have been.
Highlander 2: Renegade Version
Highlander was about as ’80s as a movie could get without printing its posters in the blood of Ronald Reagan. It had sword fights and an untenable romantic subplot and a soundtrack by Queen and that very specifically cultivated facial stubble that toed the line between style and homelessness. If that was your jam, chances are you were champing at the bit for a sequel.
And then you learned to be careful what you wished for. If Highlander was the cinematic representation of the ’80s, Highlander II: The Quickening was the storytelling equivalent of the hole in the ozone layer. The bad guys are aliens. The story from the first film might as well not have happened. A lot of this could have to do with the fact that production of the film was taken over by the company insuring it . A lot could also be put down to how much more delicious people found cocaine back then.
In 1995, director Richard Mulcahy released the not-at-all broishly named Renegade Cut , editing out some of the lamer aspects of the theatrical release and making
Highlander II (stay with us here) watchable. It’s a lot to try to believe, but give it a shot if you’re jonesing for more of that decapitation-driven storytelling. If you get nothing else out of it, the clip of Sean Connery saying “Just look at my splendid waistcoat!” makes for a solid new ringtone.
Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut
Published from 1986 to 1987, the Watchmen graphic novel was considered by many to be unfilmable . Depending whom you ask about the 2009 adaptation, they may have been right.
Watchmen is one of those properties with such an avid fan base that it would be almost impossible to keep them all happy, but props to Zack Snyder for trying. His movie stays largely faithful to the comics, fitting about as much of a 400-plus page comic as you can into a nearly three-hour film.
But still, the fans cried foul. “More,” they shouted into a thousand comment sections. “Hold your horses,” said Snyder.
And then he put out Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut , a staggering 215-minute compilation of the director’s cut and an animated version of Tales of the Black Freighter, the comic’s famous play-within-a-play sequence. Only then, after countless hours of work and the addition of roughly 30 percent more movie, did Watchmen fans … still have a lot of problems with it . Still, it’s an amazing effort and a great way to spend an afternoon.
Demolition Man: The Pizza Cut
Was it Christopher Marlowe or Sting who first uttered the words “I’m a three-line whip, I’m the sort of thing they ban, I’m a walking disaster, I’m a demolition man”? Either way. Poetry.
Demolition Man is an absurd, beautiful movie that you would be right to go to your grave defending. It’s that perfect combination of surrealist satire and over-the-top action that keeps you off balance the whole time you’re watching it. It’s gold. It’s weird. It’s so weird that it can’t be improved upon.
Except maybe by adding more weird. Fans will remember that a chunk of the bizarre universe’s backstory is devoted to ” The Franchise Wars,” an unseen conflict between fast food chains that only Taco Bell survived. It’s such a good movie.
But when the movie released in Europe, an important point came up: Nobody on the other side of the pond knew what Taco Bell was. The solution? The European cut of the film digitally replaced all mentions of Taco Bell with Pizza Hut. And when the fast food chain was mentioned in dialogue, they redubbed the lines in a sloppy, slapdash fashion. It’s bonkers to watch and it adds +10 to the bananas factor of a movie that’s already stranger than those three seashells.
Waterworld Director’s Cut
Alright, Einstein, you try making Waterworld good. Even harder, try making it good by adding more Waterworld.
Impossible, you say? Yeah, that’s understandable.
Waterworld is pretty objectively unwatchable in its out-of-the-package, vanilla format. Kevin Costner’s dead-eyed performance is a bland totem for the film in general, which is only ever fun when Dennis Hopper shows up to get all outrageous.
And then along comes the extended cut and it rocks your world.
Be as skeptical as you want, but an additional 40 minutes and change of footage makes for a significantly more fun experience. Plot threads are expanded on and fleshed out. Characters have time to become characters. Relationships feel less arbitrary.
Originally broadcast as a two-night ABC television special, the extended version of the movie was released
on DVD in 2008 , and it’s worth checking out if you’ve been holding out hope for a more palatable way to dry land for the last 23 years. It’s not an easy thing to imagine, but it’s true: There’s a good version of
Waterworld. Life’s just crazy like that sometimes.
Nightbreed Director’s Cut
The ’90s weren’t kind to the horror genre, and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed is a testament to that fact. It was
advertised poorly and hamstringed by studio mismanagement. What should have been marketed as a creature feature from the mind behind Hellraiser was instead sold to audiences as a run of the mill generic slasher flick, and the studio demanded that nearly an hour of the original cut be removed. And that’s how you get a bad movie, kids.
Luckily for fans of cult practical effects magic, there’s
the Cabal Cut, an extended edition with scenes compiled not only from the director’s cut, but also footage that was previously only seen in festival showings. The fact that some of the shots are still near-VHS quality adds a just-for-connoisseurs aesthetic to a cult classic. It’s the sort of movie that used to be passed around on a dinged-up video cassette to be watched with friends in blacklight-covered basements, and now you can see it without sitting in your buddy Kevin’s petrified Cheeto dust. It’s a great time to be alive.
R-Rated Supersized Anchorman 2
Anyone who’s watched a gag reel from one of the
Anchorman movies knows the scripts were sort of an afterthought. There was abounding goofiness on set, with the overarching philosophy leaning toward “have fun and we’ll figure it out later.”
Giving that sort of free reign to comedic icons like Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate and David Koechner meant a lot of brilliant stuff wound up on the cutting room floor, but a waste-not want-not attitude and a few dozen extra hours of editing brought us the
Supersized R-Rated Anchorman 2 . Featuring a difficult to verify 763 new jokes , this alternate cut is essentially a whole new movie. Some scenes have been altered, some replaced, and it features enough entirely new footage to keep you laughing 60 percent of the time, every time. Of special significance: Check out Champ’s explanation for why he got fired. It’s a symphony.
Blade Runner
Blade Runner is the Mt. Everest of movies with more than one cut. Its scope is unimaginable, its reputation doubly so, and if you approach it from the wrong direction you’ll pass out.
Ridley Scott’s cyberpunk masterpiece has a long and storied history of being recut and re-released, with each revisiting adding more to the overall experience. The theatrical cut is pretty universally unbeloved, and for good reason. The studio added a voiceover by Harrison Ford to explain the plot, a move so ridiculous even Ford himself hated it . And that was the tip of the iceberg. It wasn’t the Blade Runner we’ve all come to love. It’s
Blade Runner with a happy ending. What kind of a world is that?
Ten years later, the director’s cut became a cult classic, and 2007’s Final Cut is considered a masterpiece. But wait, there’s more.
According to the 2007 documentary Dangerous Days: Making of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott presented a cut of the film to studio executives that was almost four hours long. Tragically, it’s been lost to history here on Earth, but who knows? Maybe there’s a better life waiting for us offworld.

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Appalling Truth Behind Matt Lauer ‘s Firing

On Nov. 29, 2017, Americans woke up to the shocking news that Matt Lauer, a staple of the Today show for more than 20 years, had suddenly been fired by NBC News after the organization received a ” detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace .” The story has since unfolded in real time, leaving millions stunned and many more to wonder what exactly went down.
Here’s what we know so far. e Appalling Truth Behind Matt Lauer ‘s Firing
NBC News moved swiftly
News of Lauer’s firing broke via a memo written by NBC News Chairman Andy Lack, which was read at the top of the show by Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie. In the
statement, Lack said the organization “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” on Nov. 27, 2017. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter said Lauer “was informed of the network’s decision late Tuesday night, before he went to bed.”
It may not have been an isolated incident
Lack noted in his memo that while it was “the first complaint about [Lauer’s] behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News,” the network was “also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender,” the statement said. “We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization–and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”
The staff at NBC found out about it in real time
NBC staffers, even those who had anchored Today alongside Lauer for years, found out about his firing mere hours before they went on the air without him.
“We just learned this moments ago, just this morning,” a tearful Guthrie revealed after reading Lack’s memo (via Twitter ). “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. I will tell you right now: we don’t know more than what I just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we’ll be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you.”
“I’m still trying to process the news,” Al Roker confessed live on the air while trying to read the day’s weather report (via The New York Times. )
Colleagues were heartbroken by the news
The revelation that Lauer had allegedly committed sexually inappropriate behavior understandably left his former co-horts with mixed emotions.
“We are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt–he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved by many, many people here,” Guthrie said after announcing his termination (via Twitter.) “And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”
Hoda Kotb–who filled in for Lauer at the last minute–also chimed in, saying, “It’s hard to reconcile with what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day. We were both woken up with the news, kind of pre-dawn, and we’re trying to process it and trying to make sense of it–and it’ll take some time for that.”
He was allegedly being investigated
According to CNN, Lauer’s quick firing was likely catalyzed not only by the allegation from the unknown staffer but from rumblings that Lauer was being investigated by The New York Times and Variety. “Lack and other NBC News executives have known for weeks that damaging stories could be coming out soon,” CNN’s Stelter reported, mentioning tweets from Variety’s New York bureau chief, Ramin Setoodeh, that revealed the magazine had been investigating Lauer for months and had identified multiple alleged victims.
The news comes at a major turning point for Hollywood
Lauer is just the latest prominent celebrity to see his career crumble following accusations of sexual misconduct. Indeed, things have kicked into high gear ever since The New York Times reported in October 2017 that Hollywood studio mogul Harvey Weinstein had allegedly sexually harassed multiple women over decades, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and others.
Since then, a mountain of allegations have emerged about other famous Hollywood faces, including Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis C.K. For many of the accused, the allegations have brought their careers to a screeching halt. In fact, about a week prior to Lauer’s firing, CBS News fired journalist Charlie Rose after eight women alleged he “had made crude sexual advances” towards them, according to The New York Times.
Lauer has yet to comment on the allegations or his firing, but don’t expect him to be reporting the news again anytime soon.
Even the president has chimed in
One person who has chimed in on the Lauer scandal: none other than avid tweeter and President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, who took it upon himself to once again accuse NBC of “fake news.”
“Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,'” tweeted Trump, who has himself been accused of sexually harassing multiple women. “But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!”
Trump then took it upon himself to go after his other perceived enemies in the press in a separate tweet : “So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!”
Rumors of his cheating were rampant for years
Lauer has been married to wife Annette Roque for almost 20 years. However, sources told People his infidelity was an open secret in the industry.
“He regularly cheated on his wife,” one source said. “Everyone knew. His wife lives in the Hamptons and he lives in the city, but we never heard he made unwanted moves.” A
Today show staffer concurred, “Everyone on staff knew he cheated regularly on his wife. That wasn’t a secret, but sexual [misconduct] is a shock.”
A former producer told Variety , “There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held. He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”
He allegedly targeted women during the Olympics
A source told Page Six that Lauer sexually harassed an NBC intern during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, allegedly sending inappropriate messages of a sexual nature, including a particularly incriminating photo. “There’s at least one picture [sent to her by Lauer] which was a major part of the evidence, which is why the firing came so quickly…my understanding was it was so damning that it was unquestionable whether or not he should be fired,” the source claimed.
Variety reported that this was a pattern for Lauer, who allegedly would invite young female staffers to his hotel rooms late at night during Olympic coverage over the years. The magazine also reported that Lauer’s wife may have joined him at the London Olympics because she didn’t trust him to travel without her.
Did he abuse his power on the set of Today?
Lauer’s alleged misconduct reportedly wasn’t limited to Olympic cities. According to a two-month investigation by Variety, he allegedly exposed himself to a female staffer in his office and chided her when she wouldn’t perform a sex act; he was accused of sending a vulgar gift to another staffer with a note describing how he wanted her to use it; and he played “F**k, Marry, Kill” with his colleagues and underlings. Sources accused him of engaging in sexual banter in the office regularly, making employees uncomfortable.
His office was designed for maximum privacy
Variety reported that Lauer was “paranoid” about tabloid reporters tracking his whereabouts and alleged affairs, so he apparently took matters into his own hands: His office within 30 Rockefeller Center was “in a secluded space,” and he had a button under his desk that he could use to lock his office door without having to get up out of his seat. Two women who Lauer allegedly sexually harassed claimed Lauer used these features to ensure that no one could walk in on him if he was up to no good.
Did everyone at NBC fear him?
Lauer had so much clout at NBC that both women and men allegedly feared him.
“Everybody at NBC knew about Matt Lauer’s sexually inappropriate behavior—and knew not to talk about it,” a former Today staffer told Page Six. “Women did complain about his behavior, and there were a lot of closed-door meetings before it was all brushed under the carpet.”
A current staffer alleged, “Matt’s sexual conquests were general office fodder. There was constant innuendo in the office about which woman had just had sex with Matt and which one would be next.” Another female staffer added, “They feared Matt. The last few years, as well as the many years before, Matt controlled all of the women on the show and had all the men bowing and scraping to him.”
Though NBC insiders told Page Six that past complaints were ignored, network leaders have gone on the record to deny those claims. “We can say unequivocally, that, prior to [Nov. 27, 2017,] current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct,” a
statement said.
The Today musical may have dropped hints
In December 2014, a Today show musical ran on the show . Five minutes into the nearly 15-minute segment, an intern spills coffee on Lauer, who then removes and irons his pants. When female staffers walk in, a boxer shorts-clad Lauer tells them to “drink it in, ladies,” while the staffers reply, “Again Matt? That’s the third time this week!”
Of course, that might have just been an innocent joke at the time, but it now feels like no laughing matter.
He may not have treated his co-anchors respectfully
In 2012, Andy Cohen asked Lauer’s former
Today co-host Katie Couric what his most annoying habit was during their 15 years working together, and she quipped , “He pinches me on the a** a lot.”
In October 2006, when Lauer thought cameras weren’t rolling, he told co-anchor Meredith Vieira–who was bending over at the time–”Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.” That rather awkward soundbite was obtained by TMZ on Nov. 29, 2017.
Did he threaten to ruin women’s careers?
A source told Page Six that Lauer threatened to ruin women’s careers if they spoke out against his alleged sexual misconduct.
“For Matt, some women on the show were just a one-time thing, and he never spoke to them again. Other women he had affairs with. And others he just picked up and disposed of when he felt like it,” the insider told Page Six. “The most horrible thing was that he made it clear that if they ever spoke out or crossed him, they would be fired from the show, negative stories leaked about them, and their careers would be destroyed.”
Ann Curry spoke out
Ann Curry was a co-anchor of Today from 2011 to 2012, but bid a tearful farewell to the show, reportedly due to tensions with Lauer. When Lauer’s allegations made headlines, she did not speak specifically about his firing, but she did tell People: “I’m still processing it.”
Curry also talked about the bigger picture. “The women’s movement got us into the workplace, but it didn’t make us safe once we got there,” she said. “And the battle lines are now clear. We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe. Corporate America is quite clearly failing to do so, and unless it does something to change that, we need to keep doing more ourselves.”
Despite her own rumored issues with Lauer, Curry has maintained a classy composure. An insider told Us Weekly, “She has been very diplomatic when responding to people and isn’t relishing in it as people might think she should be. She has been getting so many phone calls that people can’t even get through.”
Some say his colleagues feigned surprise at his conduct
Some industry insiders claim Lauer’s conduct wasn’t news to anyone who worked with him.
“Our sources say [Lauer’s behavior] wasn’t even considered a secret,” Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh told CNN. “It was known by many employees at the Today show, including some employees that have gone on television and said publicly, ‘We had no idea.'”
A source told Page Six , “All the women on-air knew… Al Roker knew… It is insulting to see the pretend shock on the faces of the people at Today after Lauer was fired. This is just theatrics.”
“I don’t know what everyone is so surprised by,” a high-level industry insider told Vanity Fair. “This has been going on for months and months and everybody knew it and it was just going to be which girl came forward, and who reported it first.”
He didn’t fight his firing
An insider told Page Six that part of why Lauer took his firing so well is because he knew he couldn’t refute the allegations. “The girl had a high-power attorney and so everyone knew if NBC didn’t make a decision and push it out quick, they would have arranged for a sit-down interview with a competitor [and the messages could be made public],” a source said. “Matt took the news well once he realized he was in a corner. He was very apologetic.”
More allegations have surfaced
A former NBC employee, who began working at the network in the late 1990s, told The New York Times that Lauer sexually assaulted her in 2001. The alleged victim claimed Lauer often made inappropriate sexual comments to her, which escalated when he asked her to his office one day. Lauer allegedly told the woman to unbutton her shirt, then proceeded to pull her pants down. The woman claimed she blacked out and that when she woke up, Lauer told his assistant to take her to a nurse. The alleged victim said she didn’t report the incident at the time for fear of losing her job, but that she left NBC on her own a year later.
The New York Times also reported claimed that NBC had received “at least two new complaints” about Lauer since his firing, including the one mentioned above.
He had to be edited out of the Christmas tree lighting
If the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting special that aired on NBC on Nov. 29, 2017, seemed a bit awkward, there’s a reason for that. A source told Page Six that NBC had to edit Lauer out of pre-taped segments of the annual holiday program less than 24 hours before the tree lighting ceremony began.
He spoke out
On Nov. 30, 2017, Lauer released a statement responding to the sexual misconduct allegations that led to his firing.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said (via Variety). “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”
He continued, “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
His ex-wife is standing by him
Lauer’s ex-wife, television producer Nancy Alspaugh, to whom he was married from 1981 to 1988, isn’t turning her back on him despite the allegations.
“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” Alspaugh told Entertainment Tonight . “He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done—that would have been so out of character for him—that would have caused that reaction… I never saw him as a power monger or somebody who would abuse his position in any way.”
Alspaugh said she reached out to Lauer but had not heard back. She also claimed that she contacted him previously when a reporter supposedly contacted her to let her know that a bombshell story about her ex was in the works. “When I called him, he thanked me…and he said of course none of it was true,” she said.
“As time goes on here, people should be aware there’s a family involved here,” Alspaugh said. “There are three children… I think it’s important to be aware that this can destroy a family. Reporting on accusations before they know whether they’re real or not.”
He wants a sweet severance
Lauer, who made $20 million a year hosting
Today, still had a year and a half left on his contract when his was fired. His attorneys are reportedly looking to cash in on that time. Lauer is said to be eyeing a $30 million “golden parachute,” but due to morality clauses in his contract, that may not end well for him.
A source told Page Six , “There is no way Matt is getting paid. There has been an irrevocable breach of Matt’s contract, there is a moral clause that says if he brings the company into disrepute—which he clearly has—NBC can terminate his employment immediately without pay and they do not have to pay out his contract.”
Megyn Kelly may be gunning for his job
Now that Lauer is out, sources told Page Six that Megyn Kelly wants his job.
She’s been quick to call him out for his behavior. Kelly told a crowd at the Business Insider Ignition Conference on Nov. 29, 2017 (via Page Six), “Let me tell you, if a woman came to me at NBC News and said this has happened to me… A.) I would advise her on what to do and B.) I would work it behind the scenes, even if I had to go into the boss’ office and say, ‘Here’s a name, go investigate, you have to do some sort of looking. I’m not going to tell you who reported it. I don’t have to.'”
Kelly added, “I think powerful women need to be there for less powerful women so they can grow into powerful women, so they’re not scared out of the workforce or effectively shoved out.”
Craig Melvin may replace him, but it’s anybody’s game
No one is sure who’s in line to replace Lauer, and some sources claim that’s exactly what Lauer wanted during his tenure at NBC. A source told Entertainment Tonight that there have been whispers that MSNBC Live anchor and Saturday Today host Craig Melvin may be in the running, noting that it would be a “clean slate” for the network.
Insiders told Page Six that they aren’t exactly sure what the backup plan is, because Lauer deliberately left NBC without a Plan B for his exit, driving away talent like David Gregory, Josh Elliott, and Willie Geist who may have been in the running.
“Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up — so there’s nobody to take his place,” a source told Page Six . “And now NBC is paying the price.” An insider
also told the site , “The bigger picture is, how do you have a $500 million franchise with no heir? There were always women lined up to replace women, but all the men disappear? You have no possible successor? Comcast allowed Matt to destroy anyone who came close to success there. [There is] not one male successor.”
He wasn’t the only staffer accused of harassment
Lauer may not have been alone in his bad behavior. Insiders told Variety that Lauer’s favorite talent booker at Today , Matt Zimmerman, was accused of sexual misconduct, with sources alleging that he pushed senior male employees out of the show’s ranks and replaced them with younger women. He is also accused of pursuing relationships with multiple female staffers and of sending inappropriate late night texts. Zimmerman was fired from his position this week.
NBC is having an internal review of how it handled the allegations
After Lauer’s firing, Variety reported that NBC and NBC News are launching internal investigations into their handling of sexual harassment claims.
“A team of the most experienced NBCUniversal Legal and Human Resources leaders have begun a thorough and timely review of what happened and what we can do to build a culture of greater transparency, openness and respect for each other,” Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, said in a memo to staffers (obtained by
Variety). “At the conclusion of the review we will share what we’ve learned, no matter how painful, and act on it … we saw that when an employee comes forward to report misconduct, the system works. The complaint is quickly assessed and meaningful action is taken. But we also learned that we must do a much better job of making people feel empowered to take that crucial first step of reporting bad behavior.”
Ratings are up
Despite the drama behind the scenes at
Today, ratings are better post-Lauer firing than they’ve been in a while. Variety reported that in light of the chaos surrounding Lauer’s exit, Today was the No. 1 morning news show for the first time in three months, beating rival
Good Morning America.
He disappeared from social media
Variety reported that almost immediately after Lauer’s firing, NBC wiped their one-time poster boy off almost all of their online media, including NBCNews.com, Today.com, and all of the network’s social media channels. What’s more, Lauer’s own social media presence has also disappeared: Fox News pointed out that Lauer’s own Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts had all been quietly deactivated after his termination from Today .
His colleagues roasted him about his conduct
Though many of Lauer’s colleagues denied any knowledge of his alleged sexual misconduct, many of them had a good chuckle about it at a private roast of the anchor in 2008. Fox News reported that
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough talked about the roast on air in December 2017, telling the audience, “The whole theme [of the roast] was that he does the show and then he has sex with people, with employees. So was this whispered behind closed doors? No. It was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it.”
The Village Voice reported at the time that many of the jokes at the roast revolved around Lauer’s Lothario reputation, while a media executive in the audience at the event told Fox News, “This was a comedic roast, but there was clearly a vein of truth running through all those jokes. You had Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Jeff Zucker all standing up there joking about his sex in the office, his kinkiness. They all knew.”
Some of his colleagues refuse to believe the allegations
Not all of the women with whom Lauer has worked believe this misconduct accusations levied against him. An anonymous, female former Today show colleague told People, “He is weak and broken and ashamed by his own admission … He is human, and he is flawed. But is he going to use his power to be a predator on women? Until I see solid evidence of that, I just can’t believe it.” The colleague added, “The reason people are so upset and people are crying on our staff, which is like 80 percent women, is because he was really loved and treated people really well, and it’s shocking to think that there could be this side.”
Another colleague told People, “This is the head of the show, and he was doing good deeds behind the doors. People would say, ‘Go to Matt.’ He would pay off people’s bills. His driver passed, and he paid for all his funeral bills so the family wouldn’t have to.” The source added that when a crew member’s wife had a tumor, “They were trying to get a laptop for her so she could do something during chemo. Matt bought the laptop and told them to keep all the money they raised for medical bills.” The source praised Lauer’s work ethic, gushing, “He never stopped prepping and following up and working hard as hard as he climbed. He treated the security guard the same as he would treat a CEO.”
He may have left NBC soon on his own accord
A source told People that Lauer was contemplating retiring from Today long before he was fired. “I think he’ll retire. He should anyway. He had made his money and said all he wanted to do is be with the kids and golf. He wanted to run away and live with the money he had made and be with his family. This is definitely not the way he wanted to go out, but I don’t think he feels the need to be on air like some people, doing specials. I think he’ll have a quiet life and go golfing a ton.”
His marriage is pretty much over
Page Six reported just after Lauer’s scandal broke that he and wife Annette Roque had been living apart for years — and that Roque only withdrew her 2006 divorce petition because Lauer offered her $5 million to stay in the marriage and preserve his squeaky-clean public profile. “Matt needed to stay in the marriage to keep his reputation as America’s nicest dad,” a source said. “He is in fact a great, and very doting dad to his kids, but he is also a terrible husband.”
What’s more, Roque’s father told The Daily Mail, “I have no words for her husband. What he has done is bad. Everybody feels betrayed … She is not going to stay with him and work it out. They are not together trying to work it out.”

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What’s going on between Darlene and David in the new season of Roseanne

After a more than 20-year hiatus, Roseanne returned to our television screens in March 2018. While we were ecstatic to see the entire Conner family back together again — including matriarch Roseanne ( Roseanne Barr), father Dan (John Goodman), and Aunt Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) — many viewers were more fixated on the love story of Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and David (Johnny Galecki ).
After the Season 9 finale aired in 1997, viewers were stunned when Roseanne revealed that Darlene and David’s Season 8 wedding was just a figment of her imagination, and that Darlene was actually married to David’s brother, Mark, while her sister Becky was dating David. But when the
reboot debuted, viewers breathed a sigh of relief when the show’s creator’s ditched the relationship switcheroos and reunited Darlene with her true love.
As gleefully delighted as we were to learn that Darlene and David’s marriage was still chugging along, the revival dropped a bombshell that things were far from picture-perfect for the couple. So what’s really going on between Darlene and David in the new season of Roseanne ? Let’s discuss.
Their romantic backstory
When viewers first met David Healy, he was actually introduced as Kevin , but that’s a story for another day. He was the brother of Mark — Becky’s gritty and rough-around-the-edges boyfriend. David was portrayed as the antithesis of his brother — he was sweet, caring, and had the patience of a saint. Darlene definitely wore the pants in their relationship, thanks to the headstrong and domineering personality she likely acquired from Roseanne. But despite being completely different from one another, Darlene and David’s differences showed that opposites really can attract.
After a few ups and downs in their relationship, including some tough breakups, the couple reconnected and Darlene became pregnant with their daughter, Harris. They decided to solidify their relationship by getting married in a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony that took place in Season 8. The day went off without a hitch — oh, except for Dan keeling over from an apparent heart attack.
Now that we know that their marriage really
did happen and it wasn’t just a chapter in Roseanne’s memoir, how did Darlene go from a blushing bride to a…
Single, unemployed mom
Episode 1 of the Roseanne revival attempts to tie up the loose ends from Season 9 and reintroduce the cast to diehard fans and new viewers. It doesn’t take long to realize that the couple — with two beautiful heads of perfectly untamed hair, might we add — is officially on the outs.
Darlene and her two kids move back into her parents’ home under the guise that she’s there to lend a helping hand, but Roseanne discovers the truth after checking the mail. “Your severance check got forwarded here. You lost your job, right?” Roseanne asks. Darlene is forced to admit she’s unemployed and also divulges some insight about her relationship status. “I got two kids, I’ve got no partner, so I just came home,” she says.
What we love about Roseanne is that it discusses real-life problems that many people can relate to. But Darlene and David’s broken marriage is something we’re having a hard time with and, sadly, there’s a strong possibility a reconciliation won’t be happening in Season 10. We’ll get to that in a bit.
They’ve been separated for years
Darlene is going through some major turmoil as the cracks in her marriage begin to show, and it doesn’t help that David is still reeling from the death of his brother Mark – played by actor Glenn Quinn who died from a possible drug overdose in 2002. This sounds like a ton of emotional baggage for a couple who was once insanely in love with each other, right?
Well, as it turns out, Darlene and David’s marriage is even more jacked up than we could’ve ever imagined. During a March 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter , the program’s showrunner, Bruce Helford, said, “Darlene and David have been separated for six years or so.” Um, excuse us. Did you say six years?!
Not only that, but David has been gone with the wind and relatively MIA from Darlene and their kids’ lives. It really pains us to call him a deadbeat, but…
Is David an absentee father?
Darlene gives birth to their daughter, Harris, in Season 9, and during the time the Conners were away from the camera lens, the couple had another child, Mark, who was named after David’s late brother. Naturally, this leads to questions about David’s relationship with his children.
Showrunner Bruce Helford told The Hollywood Reporter, “[David] has only seen the kids a few times when they were living in Chicago… David comes back into that mix and raises a lot of emotional issues for all of them.”
So what the heck has David been up to? Viewers will be left in the dark until the April 17, 2018 episode. “David unexpectedly shows up for Harris’ birthday after being absent for years, forcing Darlene to re-examine their relationship and the rest of the family,” an ABC show synopsis reads (via UPI ).
Those who hope his appearance will lead to a reconciliation shouldn’t hold their breaths. Galecki had prior commitments on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, so he was only able to film one episode for the Roseanne reboot. And considering what we know about the state of David and Darlene’s marriage, it’s going to take more than one 30-minute episode for them to repair their union.
Season 12 of The Big Bang Theory may be its last, and since Roseanne was renewed for its own Season 11, this potentially frees up Galecki to reprise his role and right his wrongs, which is something he’d be up for, he told Deadline.
They have a ‘gender creative’ child
One surprising twist in the iconic series is David and Darlene’s child, Mark (Ames McNamara ), who identifies as “gender creative.”
“Here’s the thing, you are weird. I’m weird, this whole family’s really weird,” Darlene tells Mark. “So you just got to hang in there until people figure out that weird is cool.”
Mark’s character isn’t without controversy, though. The child has received mixed reactions from the rest of the Conner household and with some viewers who’ve bashed the character’s feminine attire and jewelry. “Mark’s just a normal kid,” McNamara told Good Morning America . “He likes to do art, he likes playing basketball and wearing girls’ clothes is just a small part of Mark.”
As one of many shows that addressed LGBT issues during its heyday, is it really a surprise that one of Roseanne’s cast member’s identifies as non-binary? Not at all. However, Darlene has already displayed how much she loves and accepts Mark, but we’re excited to see if David’s one-episode appearance will also explore his thoughts about Mark’s gender identity.
He’s moved on, and her name is Blue
In Season 10 Episode 5, David finally makes his grand debut after being separated from his wife and kids for six years. After climbing up the Conner’s two-story house and slipping through Darlene’s window, he tells his estranged wife that he’s finally moving back to their hometown of Lanford, Ill.
Darlene’s excitement about David getting an apartment of his own to be closer to their children, Harris and Mark, turns into shock when he reveals that he’s also having a fling with a woman named Blue. Yeah, how dare he.
“I’ve learned so much from her. I realized I was in denial,” he says (via USA Today). “I thought Harris and Mark were better off without me, and then I realized how unfair it is to you, not to give you a divorce, so you could have some closure.”
’80s classic rock band Cinderella said it best: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” because as soon as David reveals that he’s moved on, it charges up Darlene’s emotions. She pounces on her childhood sweetheart and surprises him with a tender smooch.
They end up spending the night together in her old bedroom after deciding to give their marriage another shot. When David asks her, “What am I gonna tell Blue?” Darlene responds, “Tell her she has a stupid name.” Yas, queen.
The grief was too much
It’s odd seeing David as the bad guy, especially since we’ve always known him as Darlene’s rock — a sweet and loving person despite his turbulent upbringing. But time hasn’t been kind to David, and one traumatic event apparently pushed him over the edge, according to Vulture .
After popping back into their lives just in time for their daughter Harris’ birthday, David tries to explain his absence to Darlene. He rattles off a bunch of excuses, such as his gig building houses for poor people in “third-world countries” that kept him away from his family. He then briefly touches on the subject of his deceased brother. Although he doesn’t reveal how Mark passed away, he mentions that the grief was so overwhelming, it caused him to bail on his family obligations.
At this point, David isn’t looking like a good match for Darlene at all, but at least he’s open to being present in his kids’ lives, no?
She’d rather co-parent
After re-consummating their marriage in Season 10 Episode 5, David is all gung-ho about showing up to his daughter’s birthday party. Darlene suggests she speak to her parents first and clear the air about their reconciliation. David agrees and leaves, but he promises to return later that night for the birthday festivities.
After chatting with her sister, Becky, and her mom, Roseanne — who surprisingly has kept in contact with David and even knows about Blue — Darlene decides to pump the brakes on the reconciliation, reported Vulture.
When David returns to the house, complete with a gift in hand for Harris, Darlene gives him the bad news. “We’re delusional if we think we can make each other happy,” she tells him. “We’re gonna fight, you’re gonna run, and we’re gonna break the kids’ hearts.”
David pleads with her to give things another chance. “You’re the first person I loved, and I still love you” he says.
“I love you, too. And if was just us, I swear I would keep doing this over and over again, even if it never worked. But it’s not just us,” Darlene replies.
And just like that, David and his scruffy beard are gone again. Will he keep his plans to move back to Lanford? Will Darlene change her mind? Future episodes will hopefully bring us some more clarity about these two and their strained relationship.

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