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Chris Rock Urges People To Get Vaccinated After Getting COVID-19

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Chris Rock Urges People To Get Vaccinated After Getting COVID-19

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Rock on Sunday said he has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and sent a message to anyone still on the fence: “Get vaccinated.”

The 56-year-old comedian wrote on Twitter: “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get vaccinated.”

“You know, I skipped the line. I didn’t care. I used my celebrity, Jimmy,” he told host Jimmy Fallon. “I was like, ‘Step aside, Betty White. Step aside, old people. … I did ‘Pootie Tang.’ Let me on the front of the line.’”

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Hollywood Workers Secure Deal With Studios, Averting Strike

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Hollywood Workers Secure Deal With Studios, Averting Strike

Workers in Hollywood created thousands of picket signs in recent days, but they may not need them after all.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the major film studios late Saturday. The union had said that 60,000 workers would walk off the job if such an agreement hadn’t been reached by midnight Sunday night.

Jarryd Gonzales, a spokesperson for the the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP, the industry group representing TV and film studios, confirmed the deal to HuffPost. Deadline was first to report there was an agreement.

IATSE said the two sides had agreed to a deal covering industry workers in Hollywood, but had yet to finalize a deal for workers under contract outside Los Angeles. However, IATSE President Matthew Loeb called it a “Hollywood ending” in a statement, suggesting he was confident workers would not end up on the picket line.

The union said the deal for what’s known as the Hollywood “basic agreement” included a living wage for the lowest earners; higher pay for streaming content; 3% annual wage increases; a minimum 10-hour “turnaround” time, guaranteeing workers that much time off between shifts; and at least 54 hours of rest over the weekend, among other provisions. The union did not release a full draft of the agreement.

The union said it was still working on a tentative deal for workers under what’s known as the “area standards” agreement, which mostly covers workers outside Hollywood.

Any tentative contracts would still have to be reviewed and ratified by membership. Had workers been called to strike, it would have been the largest work stoppage in the U.S. private sector since 2007.

IATSE represents film and TV workers known as “below-the-line” crew because they fall beneath the well-known actors, directors and producers on budget sheets. They work as camera technicians, editors, script coordinators and other unseen personnel who are essential to show business.

The strike threat reflected years of frustration over the working conditions in Los Angeles and smaller film hubs around the country.

In recent weeks, IATSE members shared stories of working 14-plus-hour days and not seeing their families. They demanded stronger protections for rest and recuperation. They also wanted to boost the wage scale for work done on streaming projects, since studios have been able to pay workers less for that work compared to traditional film and TV.

Loeb told HuffPost last week that the two sides had made progress in negotiations, but that workers were still determined to win language in the contract discouraging brutally long workdays.

“It’s about family life,” Loeb said. “It’s about rest and health and safety on the job and coming home from the job.”

IATSE had more than 30 bargaining sessions with the AMPTP, which includes Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros., Amazon and other studios.

Earlier this month, IATSE held a strike vote in order to determine whether members were willing to walk off the job if the union’s negotiators felt the studios were not offering a satisfactory deal. Roughly 90% of eligible members cast ballots, and more than 98% voted to authorize a strike.

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Hollywood crew members reach a tentative deal with major studios, averting a strike

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Hollywood crew members reach a tentative deal with major studios, averting a strike


The Hollywood sign above homes in the Hollywood Hills.

Hollywood crew members and major studios have averted a nationwide strike, according to AP. Earlier this month, crew members in the union IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, voted to authorize a strike if they couldn’t reach a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). They’d been negotiating over pay, work schedules and more since May. A strike would have effectively shut down much of the film and TV production in the country. The union announced today that they’ve reached a deal.

At issue were quality of life issues and the health and safety of those who work behind the scenes in the film and television industry. That includes cinematographers, lighting technicians, makeup artists and the food workers who feed the casts and crews.

In recent weeks, many have been sharing their stories on social media, where some have complained of grueling call times that cause sleep deprivation and little time to be with their families. Some were asking to be compensated more for productions that are streamed online and not released theatrically. They’ve been working with lower rates since 2009, when the streamers were just beginning.

The arts and entertainment industries have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. According to a recent report by Americans for the Arts, 63% of artists and creative workers were unemployed at the height of the pandemic in 2020.



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Texas School Official Apologizes For ‘Opposing’ Views On Holocaust Comment

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Texas School Official Apologizes For ‘Opposing’ Views On Holocaust Comment

A north Texas school superintendent has apologized for an administrator’s instruction that students be taught “opposing” views on the Holocaust.

The executive director of curriculum and instruction at the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake was recorded earlier this month suggesting to a group of teachers that a new Texas law requires them to present “opposing” perspectives on events, no matter how horrifying they might be.

“Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has opposing — that has other perspectives,” instructed the official, Gina Peddy, as teachers reacted in stunned surprise

NBC News published a recording of the comments on Thursday.

District Superintendent Lane Ledbetter issued a statement later on Thursday offering his “sincere apology,” and insisting that Peddy’s comments were “in no way to convey the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history.”

He added: “Additionally, we recognize there are not two sides to the Holocaust.”

Peddy was reacting to the state’s hugely controversial new curriculum law, which eliminated a requirement to teach that the Ku Klux Klan is “morally wrong,” among numerous other changes.

The law is a thinly veiled attempt to overwhelm the teaching of critical race theory in schools with requiring “opposing” views.

“The idea is to whitewash American history of any legacy of racism,” state Rep. James Talarico (D) said of the law when it passed. An additional consequence of whitewashing racism appears to be soft-pedaling anti-Semitism.

The law prohibits teachers from discussing “a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs.” If a teacher does engage in such a discussion in the classroom, the educator is required to “explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”

The Holocaust — namely, Nazi Germany’s murder of 6 million Jews — is not a “widely debated” or “currently controversial” issue.

Clay Robison, a spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association union, told The Washington Post that Peddy’s instruction to teachers was “reprehensible.”

“We’re saddened to hear it, but we’re not terribly surprised,” said Robison. “There is enough vagueness and ambiguity in that law that some educators are overreacting to it, as we feared that they would.”

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