Hollywood heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental organization said Thursday it will donate 3 million U.S. dollars to help firefighting efforts in Australia.
The Oscar winner's Earth Alliance said in a statement that the organization launched the Australia Wildfire Fund to respond to the "catastrophic bushfires raging through the country."
The Earth Alliance, co-chaired by DiCaprio, was created in 2019, aiming to fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.
The scale of Australia's ongoing bushfire has left at least 25 human deaths, thousands of homes destroyed and an estimated 480 million animals perished.
Victorian State Control Centre spokesman Luke Heagarty told Xinhua earlier this week that in the lead up to extreme fire conditions the priority is preparing communities and reducing the risk of fire spread where possible.
"It's going to take us a very long time to contain the fires fully, but what we can focus on is prioritizing our efforts so that there's a reduction in the likelihood of impact to communities," Heagarty said.
The list of celebrities that have donated money to combat Australian bushfire disaster is growing. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and English pop singer Elton John each donated 1 million dollars earlier this week.
A Brazilian judge on Wednesday ordered Netflix to stop showing a Christmas special that some called blasphemous for depicting Jesus as a gay man and which prompted a gasoline bomb attack on the satirists behind the program.
The ruling by Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair responded to a petition by a Brazilian Catholic organization that argued the "honor of millions of Catholics" was hurt by the airing of "The First Temptation of Christ." The special was produced by the Rio-based film company Porta dos Fundos, whose headquarters was targeted in the Christmas Eve attack.
Netflix told The Associated Press it would not comment on the ruling.
Porta dos Fundos also declined to comment on the judge's decision, which contradicted an earlier decision rejecting censorship of the program. The ruling is valid until another court orders otherwise.
Abicair said the program's withdrawal "is beneficial not only to the Christian community, but to Brazilian society which is mostly Christian."
The ruling comes at a time when some civil groups say far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is waging a "cultural war," cutting funding for arts projects that challenge "Christian values" and inveighing against flamboyant carnival celebrations.
Early on the day before Christmas, a group of hooded men attacked the headquarters of Porta dos Fundos with Molotov cocktails. No one was hurt. A video circulating days later on social media showed three men claiming responsibility for the attack.
The First Temptation of Christ depicts Jesus returning home on his 30th birthday and insinuates he is gay. Religious groups bristled at the depiction. Creators of the film have defended it as legitimate freedom of expression.
Elton John and Chris Hemsworth are among the celebrities donating big bucks for relief efforts as wildfires engulf Australia.
Hemsworth, the Australian actor who plays Thor in the Marvel movie franchise, took to social media Monday to share that he will donate $1 million and asked his millions of followers to show support as well. He said that "every penny counts."
So far, the wildfires have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland. The blazes have killed 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. The fires, fueled by drought and the country's hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia's annual wildfire season.
John announced during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert in Sydney, Australia, that he will also donate $1 million. The singer said he wanted to bring attention to the devastation that wildfires have caused, saying it has reached a "biblical scale."
Hemsworth and John join a growing list of celebrities who have pledged to donate toward relief efforts, including Nicole Kidman, Pink and Keith Urban.
"I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires," Pink wrote in a recent social media post. "I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz."
At the Golden Globes on Sunday, Phoebe Waller-Bridge said she would auction off her Globe outfit and have the proceeds go to firefighter relief.
Russell Crowe wasn't at the Globes to accept his trophy for best actor in a limited series or TV movie for playing former Fox CEO Roger Ailes in the Showtime miniseries "The Loudest Voice." Instead, the actor was in Australia trying to protect his home from the wildfires, sending a speech that Jennifer Aniston read.
"Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based," Crowe's statement said. "We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future."
Potential jurors in Harvey Weinstein's New York sexual assault trial are expected to fill a courtroom Tuesday as the former movie titan's legal problems deepen with new charges in Los Angeles.
In New York, jury selection is set to start Tuesday and could take weeks as prosecutors, Weinstein's lawyers and the judge find people to serve on a lengthy trial in a high-profile case that has fueled societal pressure for accountability for sexual misconduct.
The trial involves charges that Weinstein raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performed a sex act on another woman in the city in 2006.
Weinstein, 67, has said any sexual activity was consensual.
"In this great country, you are innocent until proven guilty," his lawyer Donna Rotunno said Monday.
Across the street from the courthouse, women who say they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein branded him a villain undeserving of anyone's pity.
"This trial is a cultural reckoning regardless of its legal outcome," said Sarah Ann Masse, a performer and writer who said Weinstein once sexually harassed her in his underwear during a job interview.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly.
Once one of Hollywood's most powerful producers, Weinstein has now been accused of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct by dozens of women, from famous actresses to assistants at his former company. The allegations began surfacing publicly in October 2017 and sparked the #MeToo movement, as well as investigations in multiple places.
Los Angeles prosecutors charged Weinstein Monday with sexually assaulting two women there on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013.
Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the timing of the charges was unrelated to the New York trial. She said the case took more than two years to build because the women were reluctant to provide all the information necessary, and the filing happened on the first business day when all the necessary people could gather.
There is some connection between the cases, though: One of the Los Angeles accusers is expected to testify in the New York case to help prosecutors establish what they say was Weinstein's pattern of forcing himself on young actresses and women trying to break into Hollywood.
Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his New York trial, Lacey said.
Real-life stories ruled the Golden Globe TV honors, as Olivia Colman's portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Williams' turn as Broadway star Gwen Verdon and the nuclear disaster drama "Chernobyl" won top honors.
Real-world issues also found their way into Sunday's ceremony. In accepting the best actress award for the miniseries "Fosse/Verdon," Williams made abortion and women's rights the central theme of her remarks.
The actress said her career would not have been possible without "employing a women's right to choose. To choose when to have my children and with whom," adding, "When it's time to vote, please do so in your own self-interest. It's what men have been doing for years."
Russell Crowe, honored for his portrayal of Fox News architect Roger Ailes in the limited series "The Loudest Voice," drew Australia's disastrous fires into the awards show from thousands of miles away.
Crowe was kept from attending because "he's protecting his family from the devastating bush fires," said presenter Jennifer Aniston, who read a statement from him.
"Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based," Crowe said in part, calling "for respect for our planet for the amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future."
For Colman, it's good to be queen. She won a Golden Globe for her performance as British monarch Elizabeth II in "The Crown" after claiming a 2019 Oscar for playing an 18th-century English ruler, Anne, in "The Favourite."
"I said I had money on this not happening. For the last year, I feel like I've been living someone else's life. Now I feel like I definitely won someone else's award," said Colman, who succeeded Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth in the latest season of the series.
"Chernobyl," which dramatized the devastating nuclear accident in the then-Soviet republic of Ukraine, was honored as best limited series, with cast member Stellan Skarsgard named best actor in a supporting role in a series, limited series or TV movie.
Patricia Arquette won best TV supporting honors for "The Act," based on a true crime.
"Fleabag," which dominated last fall's Emmy Awards, was honored as best comedy series and its star-creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge claimed the best actress award.
She credited her co-star, Andrew Scott aka the show's "Hot Priest," for their much-lauded chemistry.
Former President Barack Obama also got a shout out from Waller-Bridge for putting "Fleabag" on his 2019 best-of list. "As some of you may know, he's always been on mine," she said, playfully, referring curious viewers to season one of her series.
Despite the high praise, Scott didn't convert his nomination into a supporting actor trophy. But he had starry company in the also-ran category, with Aniston and Reese Witherspoon failing to take home awards for newcomer Apple TV Plus' "The Morning Show," Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman losing for "Big Little Lies," and Emmy-winning Billy Porter of "Pose" also overlooked.
The broadcast networks, including Globes network host NBC, didn't have a chance: All of them were shut out of the nominations in an unprecedented sign of the small-screen's shift to cable and streaming in attention and prestige.
The growth in streaming platforms, including Apple and Disney Plus, is a dominant media story. But while streamers performed well at the Globes with Netflix's "The Crown" and Amazon's "Fleabag" they didn't shut out cable contenders including FX's " Fosse/Verdon" and HBO's "Succession."
Ramy Youssef won the best actor trophy for a musical or comedy for "Ramy," a Hulu series about an Arab American and Muslim family in New Jersey.
"I know you guys haven't seen my show," he self-deprecatingly told the celebrity-packed ballroom, adding, "This means a lot to be recognized on this level."
Youssef and "Farewell" star Awkwafina were among the few people of color to win, and the field of mostly white nominees prompted acerbic host Ricky Gervais to label Golden Globes voters as "very racist."
"Succession," about a media empire beset by family infighting, won the best drama series award. Brian Cox, who stars as the patriarch, was honored as best actor.
"I want to apologize to my fellow nominees for winning this. I'm sorry. ... I never thought this would ever happen to me," the veteran actor said.