Rebel Wilson Slams Stereotypes: 'Total Nonsense' in Casting Debate;Charlie Brooker on AI Timing: 'Joan is Awful' and the Surreal Coincidence;Billy Eichner Reflects: 20 Years of 'Billy on the Street' and LGBTQ+ Visibility:TV briefing20240602

Welcome to our TV briefing show! Today, we have an exciting lineup of stories from the world of entertainment. First up, Rebel Wilson has made headlines by calling out the idea that only gay actors should play gay roles and vice versa, deeming it ‘total nonsense.’ She shared her thoughts during a BBC Radio 4 interview and also opened up about her personal life and future plans with her fiancée Ramona Agruma. Next, we dive into the mind of Charlie Brooker, the creator of ‘Black Mirror,’ who discussed the eerie timing of the show’s episode ‘Joan is Awful’ in relation to the rise of AI and industry strikes. Brooker revealed that the episode’s release was a stroke of luck, aligning perfectly with the growing conversation around AI-generated content. Finally, comedian Billy Eichner looks back on two decades of ‘Billy on the Street,’ highlighting how the show has contributed to the visibility of LGBTQ+ voices. Eichner expressed his amazement at the progress made in the industry and the increasing representation of LGBTQ+ performers. Please stay tuned for the full details on these fascinating stories.

Guardian

Australian actor Rebel Wilson has expressed her strong opinion that the idea of restricting actors to roles based on their sexual orientation is “total nonsense.” In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, she discussed the pressures and boundaries comedians face, emphasizing that comedy should flirt with the line of what’s acceptable to truly entertain. Wilson also opened up about her personal life, sharing her journey of proposing to her fiancée Ramona Agruma and their experiences coming out to their families. Despite some challenges, Wilson highlighted the importance of love and acceptance, especially as she navigates motherhood with her daughter Royce, born via surrogate.

Yahoo US

Charlie Brooker, the creator of Netflix’s “Black Mirror,” revealed the uncanny timing of his season 6 premiere episode “Joan Is Awful,” which delves into the implications of generative AI. Written and filmed just before the launch of ChatGPT, the episode became particularly relevant during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which raised concerns about AI’s impact on creative jobs. Brooker noted that the episode’s stars, Annie Murphy and Salma Hayek, were already aware of the issues surrounding AI and fake images, making their involvement even more poignant. The episode added to the broader conversation about the future of creativity and technology.

Billy Eichner, known for his ambush interview show “Billy on the Street,” reflected on his inadvertent activism and the impact of introducing a “gay comedic sensibility” to a wider audience. In an interview with PEOPLE for LGBTQ+ Pride month, Eichner recounted how his show, which began as a segment in his live New York performances, became a viral sensation and a bridge between queer and straight audiences. He discussed the progress in LGBTQ+ representation in comedy, citing the rise of gender-fluid and nonbinary comedians. Eichner’s work continues to inspire, and he is featured in the upcoming Netflix documentary “Outstanding: a Comedy Revolution,” which explores the transformative role of queer stand-up comedy.

South China Morning Post: Jon Batiste is currently basking in the limelight, delivering memorable performances at Coachella alongside artists like Lana Del Rey and Willow Smith, and making waves on red carpets at major awards like the Grammys and Oscars. Known for his musical versatility and stylish fashion sense, Batiste has also become a notable figure in the luxury watch scene. At the Grammy Awards, he wore a Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon with a striking blue dial and a bezel adorned with 60 baguette-cut diamonds. At the Oscars, he sported a J.N. Shapiro Resurgence, an American-made timepiece in 18k rose gold, reflecting his pride in American craftsmanship. During his tenure on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he often wore a chic black and gold Breil Orchestra watch. Batiste also loves Tiffany & Co. jewelry, frequently adorning himself with their opulent HardWear bracelets and rings, adding a touch of extravagance to his already impressive wardrobe.

BBC: Bridgerton actor Banita Sandhu hopes the show’s success will pave the way for more ethnically diverse stories from history to be told. Playing Miss Malhotra in the third season of the Netflix hit, Sandhu praises the inclusive cast as a key reason for its global appeal. She emphasizes that the diverse characters are not merely ornamental but have significant storylines, allowing viewers from all backgrounds to see themselves represented. Sandhu, whose family hails from Punjab, appreciates the “colour blind” casting that makes the set warm and inviting. She highlights the historical accuracy of diverse casting, mentioning the Punjab royals and Queen Victoria’s Indian goddaughter as examples of real historical figures.

BBC: Banita Sandhu, who stars as Miss Malhotra in the third season of Bridgerton, believes the show’s success lies in its ability to resonate with a global audience through its diverse cast. Bridgerton, often described as a “Regency-era Gossip Girl,” features characters of various ethnicities with substantial storylines, reflecting a more inclusive view of history. Sandhu, who grew up in Newport, Wales, and has roots in Punjab, finds the show’s “colour blind” casting refreshing and hopes it will lead to more stories about ethnically diverse figures. She notes that the series has already captivated millions of viewers and looks forward to more historical narratives being unearthed and shared.

Yahoo US reports that thirty years after her tragic murder, Nicole Brown Simpson’s loved ones are honoring her life in an exclusive documentary titled “The Life and Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson,” airing on Lifetime. The documentary, which premieres over two nights, features 50 participants including Nicole’s friends and family, shedding new light on her life and death. With unprecedented access to home videos and interviews, the documentary aims to provide Nicole’s own narrative and voice in one of history’s most notorious crimes. Nicole’s younger sister Tanya Brown shares emotional insights, expressing a desire to remember Nicole’s joyful moments rather than the fear captured in her 911 call. This documentary is part of A+E Networks’ Stop Violence Against Women initiative and offers various streaming options for viewers.

Yahoo US also brings news that Netflix’s science fiction series “3 Body Problem,” based on Liu Cixin’s award-winning book series, will conclude after its third season. Announced at a FYSEE panel, the creators confirmed their intention to adapt all three novels in full. The first season, which debuted in March, takes viewers from 1960s China to a future where scientists and a detective work to prevent a catastrophic event. Executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, known for their work on “Game of Thrones,” are committed to bringing the story to its intended conclusion. The show has been a hit on Netflix, spending seven weeks on the global Top 10 list, and promises to continue its thrilling narrative through its final seasons.

In another report from Yahoo US, Martin Starger, the influential producer behind iconic films and TV shows like “Nashville,” “Mask,” “Roots,” and “Happy Days,” has passed away at 92. Starger’s career began in the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps motion picture division and later flourished at ABC, where he became the first president of ABC Entertainment. He was instrumental in the success of the network’s Movie of the Week franchise and acclaimed miniseries. Starger also made significant contributions to Broadway, earning Tony nominations for his productions. His niece, Ilene Starger, remembers him as a brilliant and elegant man with impeccable taste in projects. Starger’s impact on the entertainment industry is celebrated through his diverse and influential body of work.

South China Morning Post

Fans of Tsui Hark’s classic martial arts films from the 1990s were thrilled when the director released “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” in 2010, marking a triumphant return after a lean period in the early 2000s. This film, set in the seventh century, showcases Tsui’s signature blend of wuxia and kung fu elements, earning praise for its creativity and coherence. The movie’s success led to two prequels, maintaining the series’ unique flavor and providing top-notch entertainment. The character Detective Dee, based on the historical figure Di Renjie, is portrayed as an imperial commissioner with Sherlock Holmes-like sleuthing abilities, though the real Di was a judge and politician, not a martial arts master. Di Renjie rose to prominence in the late 600s, serving as Wu Zetian’s chancellor despite his disapproval of her ruthless methods. Tsui was inspired by various portrayals of Di, including the 1890 Chinese novel “Wu Zetian’s Four Great Cases” and its English translation by Robert van Gulik, which led to a series of detective novels. Tsui’s film adaptation imagines Dee as a martial artist, a creative liberty that Tsui defends as necessary for the character’s credibility as an imperial bodyguard. The film’s plot involves Empress Wu Zetian’s courtiers mysteriously bursting into flames, prompting Detective Dee to investigate. Tsui had been developing the project since 2000, collaborating with producer Chen Kuo-fu. The film’s special effects and action scenes, choreographed by Sammo Hung, combine wirework and SFX to create fluid and captivating martial arts sequences. This feature series explores the legacy of Hong Kong cinema, revisiting classic films and the careers of its stars.

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