MJ Rodriguez Becomes the First Transgender Actor to Win a Golden Globe, NABJ Calls Out BNC After Gender Discrimination Lawsuit, Jacqueline Stewart Collects Proof of Hollywood Racism, Georgia Film and TV Tax Credit Jumps to a Record $1.2 Billion And Issa Rae’s Raedio Creators Program Aims to Uplift Women in Music Industry

By Demi Vitkute

January 20, 2022

Michaela Jaé “Mj” Rodriguez takes home a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama for her role as housemother and nurse Blanca on the FX show Pose, marking the first time in history a transgender actor has won a Golden Globe.

The National Association of Black Journalists is calling for change at the Black News Channel after the network was sued by former and current female employees for gender discrimination.

Jacqueline Stewart, chief artistic and programming officer at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures talks about documenting the history of racism in Hollywood.

Georgia allocates a record $1.2 billion in film and TV tax credits, far surpassing the incentives offered by any other state.

Issa Rae’s Raedio Creators Program aims to uplift women in the ‘abusive’ music industry. The program will support emerging women artists, opening doors and providing opportunities for success.

These are the stories of the week.

MJ Rodriguez Becomes the First Transgender Actor to Win a Golden Globe

MJ Rodriguez Becomes the First Transgender Actor to Win a Golden Globe

Michaela Jaé “Mj” Rodriguez took home a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama for her role as housemother and nurse Blanca on the FX show Pose. It marks the first time in history a transgender actor has won a Golden Globe.

via GIPHY

This is also the first Golden Globe win for Pose, which premiered in 2018.

Rodriguez has made history before. Last summer, she became the first transgender performer to be nominated for a lead acting Emmy, which she did not win.
Rodriguez celebrated her win on Instagram.

“Wow! You talking about sickening birthday present! Thank you! This is the door that is going to open the door for many more young talented individuals,” she wrote on Instagram. “They will see that it is more than possible. They will see that a young Black Latina girl from Newark, New Jersey who had a dream, to change the minds others would WITH LOVE. LOVE WINS. To my young LGBTQAI babies WE ARE HERE the door is now open now reach the stars!!!!!”

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A post shared by Michaela Jaé (@mjrodriguez7)

This year, the Golden Globes had no TV broadcast, host, or even winners to accept the awards. The ceremony took place at the Beverly Hilton in LA and the winners were announced on Twitter.

The awards ceremony came under fire last year after an expose by The Los Angeles Times that revealed “a culture of corruption” and racism.

Here is the full list of winners and nominees.

FILM CATEGORIES

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

“Belfast”
“CODA”
“Dune”
“King Richard”
“The Power of the Dog” *WINNER

BEST MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY

“Cyrano”
“Don’t Look Up”
“Licorice Pizza”
“Tick, Tick … Boom!”
“West Side Story” *WINNER

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Mahershala Ali, “Swan Song”
Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog”
Will Smith, “King Richard” *WINNER
Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter”
Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos” *WINNER
Lady Gaga, “House of Gucci”
Kristen Stewart, “Spencer”

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Don’t Look Up”
Peter Dinklage, “Cyrano”
Andrew Garfield, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” *WINNER
Cooper Hoffman, “Licorice Pizza”
Anthony Ramos, “In the Heights”

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Marion Cotillard, “Annette”
Alana Haim, “Licorice Pizza”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Don’t Look Up”
Emma Stone, “Cruella”
Rachel Zegler, “West Side Story” *WINNER

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

Ben Affleck, “The Tender Bar”
Jamie Dornan, “Belfast”
Ciarán Hinds, “Belfast”
Troy Kotsur, “CODA”
Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog” *WINNER

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

Caitríona Balfe, “Belfast” Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story” *WINNER Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog” Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard” Ruth Negga, “Passing”

BEST DIRECTOR — MOTION PICTURE

Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast”
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog” *WINNER
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Daughter”
Steven Spielberg, “West Side Story”
Denis Villeneuve, “Dune”

BEST SCREENPLAY — MOTION PICTURE

Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza”
Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast” *WINNER
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”
Adam McKay, “Don’t Look Up”
Aaron Sorkin, “Being the Ricardos”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

“The French Dispatch,” Alexandre Desplat
“Encanto,” Germaine Franco
“The Power of the Dog,” Jonny Greenwood
“Parallel Mothers,” Alberto Iglesias
“Dune,” Hans Zimmer *WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SONG — MOTION PICTURE

“Be Alive” from “King Richard” – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Dixson
“Dos Orugitas” from “Encanto” – Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down to Joy” from “Belfast” – Van Morrison
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” from “Respect” – Jamie Alexander Hartman, Jennifer Hudson, Carole King
“No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die” – Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell *WINNER

BEST MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED

“Encanto” *WINNER
“Flee”
“Luca”
“My Sunny Maad”
“Raya and the Last Dragon”

BEST MOTION PICTURE — FOREIGN LANGUAGE

“Compartment No. 6”
“Drive My Car” *WINNER
“The Hand of God”
“A Hero”
“Parallel Mothers”

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

BEST TELEVISION SERIES DRAMA

“Lupin”
“The Morning Show”
“Pose”
“Squid Game”
“Succession” *WINNER

BEST TELEVISION SERIES — MUSICAL OR COMEDY

“The Great”
“Hacks” *WINNER
“Only Murders in the Building”
“Reservation Dogs”
“Ted Lasso”

BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

“Dopesick”
“Impeachment: American Crime Story”
“Maid”
“Mare of Easttown”
“The Underground Railroad” *WINNER

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Brian Cox, “Succession”
Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
Jeremy Strong, “Succession” *WINNER
Omar Sy, “Lupin”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment”
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Fight”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Mj Rodriguez, “Pose” *WINNER

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES — MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”
Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building”
Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” *WINNER

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES — MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Hannah Einbender, “Hacks”
Elle Fanning, “The Great”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
Jean Smart, “Hacks” *WINNER

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Paul Bettany, “WandaVision”
Oscar Isaac, “Scenes From a Marriage”
Michael Keaton, “Dopesick” *WINNER
Ewan McGregor, “Halston”
Tahar Rahim, “The Serpent”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Jessica Chastain, “Scenes From a Marriage”
Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha”
Elizabeth Olsen, “WandaVision”
Margaret Qualley, “Maid”
Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown” *WINNER

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Jennifer Coolidge, “White Lotus”
Kaitlyn Dever, “Dopesick”
Andie MacDowell, “Maid”
Sarah Snook, “Succession” *WINNER
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Mark Duplass, “The Morning Show”
Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”
Oh Yeong-su, “Squid Game” *WINNER

NABJ Calls for ‘Immediate’ Culture Change at Black News Channel After Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

NABJ Calls for ‘Immediate’ Culture Change at Black News Channel After Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The National Association of Black Journalists is calling for change at the Black News Channel after the network was sued by former and current female employees for gender discrimination – The Wrap reported. The allegations point to a sexist workplace where female employees made less than their male counterparts.

In a statement, the NABJ said BNC has agreed to meet with its board. The association said it hopes the network will take immediate steps to “remedy any disparities” at the news organization.

“The National Association of Black Journalists is disgusted by the allegations of harassment, gender discrimination, and gender-based pay disparities detailed in a lawsuit filed by former employees of the Black News Channel (BNC). Our Board members have spoken with current and former employees of BNC who corroborate many of the disturbing claims playing out in the court system. NABJ calls for immediate change within the culture of the organization,” the statement said.

13 women have sued the Florida-based network for gender discrimination, accusing the company of unequal pay for female employees and a workplace culture that forced them “to conform to sexist or misogynistic stereotypes about how women are supposed to behave.”

In a complaint filed in Cook County, Illinois, the 13 plaintiffs allege that the BNC executives disciplined or terminated female employees for being “too vocal, pushy, and aggressive,” creating a hostile work environment for women and paying them thousands of dollars less per year than their male counterparts.

via GIPHY

MacArthur ‘Genius’ Jacqueline Stewart Collects Proof of Hollywood Racism

Jacqueline Stewart, a University of Chicago professor of cinema studies, joined the brand new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles last year as its chief artistic and programming officer – KCRW reported. The same year, she won a MacArthur “Genius” grant, being recognized for her work uncovering and preserving the lost contributions of Black filmmakers and making history more inclusive.

Although she’s currently focused on museum work, Stewart says she’s thinking about how to use the $625,000 she received through the grant.

“Opening up the gallery, starting our programming, doing a civic dedication last week and really formally opening our doors — and then this extraordinary, just totally touching honor of being named a MacArthur Fellow, it's still sinking in,” she tells KCRW.

In her new role at the museum, she oversees daily film screenings, plus teams that create content and focus on public and educational programming.

“I came to the museum because it has a mission that aligns with the goals that I had as a film scholar, which is to make film history as inclusive as possible. We know for too long — the stories about how filmmaking developed have been not paying careful attention to the contributions of women, to the activities of people of color,” she explains.

Stewart says it’s problematic to censor racist films and argues that Gone with The Wind and Breakfast at Tiffany’s should be available because they’re “undeniable evidence of the oppressive and stereotypical treatment of people of color in film.”

She also recalls the racist treatment of Hattie McDaniel (the first Black person to win an Oscar for her role in Gone with the Wind) at the 1940 Academy Awards. After receiving her award, she was escorted to a back table due to the venue’s segregationist policies.

“If we suppress them because they're painful or problematic, then we also can't call Hollywood to task for these histories. … I think that it's really important to have the evidence of Hollywood's mistreatment of Black people both on screen and off screen, and to try to understand what [McDaniel’s] experience was like, and to look at the work that she did in the context of these really humiliating dehumanizing conditions.”

She adds, “I completely respect anyone's decision not to watch these films. But at the same time, I think that it would be more problematic if we tried to hide them away, or if we didn't try to develop the critical tools to understand how they worked, and how they continue to work in our society.”

Georgia Film and TV Tax Credit Jumps to a Record $1.2 Billion

Georgia Film and TV Tax Credit Jumps to a Record $1.2 Billion

Georgia allocated a record $1.2 billion in film and TV tax credits last year, far surpassing the incentives offered by any other state – Variety reported.

The figure is 40% higher than the state’s previous record–$860 million–which was set in 2019, as the generous credit continues to fuel the exponential growth of the industry. It also represents a significant rebound from 2020, when credits dropped to $649 million due to the pandemic.

Georgia’s investment in the entertainment industry represents about 4.5% of its state budget– about the same as what the state spends on mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities issues.

The $1.2 billion figure was announced by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. The figure reflects the 2021 fiscal year, which ended on June 30. In July, the state announced that TV and film productions had spent a record $4 billion in the state the prior fiscal year.

Marie Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, cautioned that the total credit allocation could be reduced if audits uncover expenditures that are not qualified. However, that figure would not become public due to taxpayer privacy laws, she said.

Georgia was among the first locations to reopen for production after the pandemic shut down, helping the growth of the industry.

“Seeing our beautiful state on-screen along with our iconic Georgia peach logo is good for tourism and other marketing efforts, ultimately making an even bigger impact on our economy,” said Pat Wilson, commission of the Department of Economic Development, in a release in July.

New Jersey also made the news as Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation to expand tax credits for digital media production as part of a push to draw new business to the state following his incentives for film and television – Deadline reported.

The new legislation boosts the portion of the tax credit program allocated to digital media content to 30% of qualified spending in state and 35% in specific counties. It also increases the cumulative annual limitation on digital media content production tax credits to $30 million from $10 million.

“Digital media projects are just as important to the entertainment industry and economy as film projects, and deserve the same opportunities to grow and thrive in our state,” said State Senator Gordon Johnson, a sponsor of the legislation. “This law will give New Jersey an even more competitive edge by further establishing our state as an appealing destination for creative projects of all kinds.”

Issa Rae’s Raedio Creators Program Aims to Uplift Women in ‘Abusive’ Music Industry

Raedio, Issa Rae’s “audio everywhere company,” has partnered with Google for the Raedio Creators Program, designed to support emerging artists. Under the program, two female artists will create their own EPs of three to five songs each, with recording fees, producer costs, marketing expenses and a music video entirely funded through Google – The Los Angeles Times reported.

Additionally, two women composers will receive funding to create music for TV, film, commercials, and promotional campaigns. Google will cover all recording costs and artist fees, while Raedio’s music supervision department will work to get the creations placed in various projects.

“This partnership is perfectly aligned with my mission in helping open doors and provide opportunities for women to succeed and flourish in their craft,” Rae said in a statement to Billboard. “I can’t wait to see the impact this program and partnership has on the selectees and the music that is created as a result.”

Artists and composers can apply for the program beginning in February, and recipients will be announced in March.

Rae’s announcement comes right after her interview with The Times in December.

“It’s probably the worst industry that I have ever come across,” she said. “I thought Hollywood was crazy. The music industry, it needs to start over. Conflicts of interest abound. Archaic mentalities. Crooks and criminals! It’s an abusive industry, and I really feel for artists that have to come up in it.”

Rae said the realization came as a bit of a surprise motivated her to change things for the better.

“It was kind of shocking,” she continued. “I don’t want to get too specific, but even in crafting our own deals [for soundtracks] with labels or artists, it would be so convoluted. And finding out how artists were treated at other labels … Being a creator myself and knowing what I want in terms of a relationship with a production company or a producer, I’d like to think that we’re more artist-friendly than a lot of other labels and companies out there. I want to revamp things.”

In Memoriam:

It’s only the first month of the new year but we have already lost many stars, making it seem like the “celebrity death rule of threes” is real.

Bob Saget, the stand-up comic and actor who was known as Danny Tanner on the long-running sitcom Full House and as the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos died on January 9 in Orlando, Fla. He was 65.

Saget’s Full House co-stars took to social media to remember him.

“And now we grieve as a family. Bob made us laugh until we cried. Now our tears flow in sadness, but also with gratitude for all the beautiful memories of our sweet, kind, hilarious, cherished Bob. He was a brother to us guys, a father to us girls and a friend to all of us. Bob, we love you dearly. We ask in Bob’s honor, hug the people you love. No one gave better hugs than Bob.”

André Leon Talley, fashion journalist and industry force, died at 73 on January 18. Called “a creative genius,” he was the rare Black editor at the top of a field mostly helmed by whites and notoriously elitist.

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and longtime friend and colleague to Talley, remembered the fashion giant in the publication's obituary published on January 19.

“The loss of Andre is felt by so many of us today," Wintour wrote. “Yet it’s the loss of Andre as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable. He was magnificent and erudite and wickedly funny—mercurial, too. Like many decades-long relationships, there were complicated moments, but all I want to remember today, all I care about, is the brilliant and compassionate man who was a generous and loving friend to me and to my family for many, many years."

Gaspard Ulliel, a star of French cinema best known outside of France for portraying the young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising and the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in Saint Laurent, died on January 19th, the day after a skiing accident in France. He was 37.

Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival, shared his condolences.

“Gaspard belonged to this new generation of actors who were making tomorrow’s French cinema. He knew how to select his roles and shaped his career which filled every promise,” Fremaux told Variety. “Each appearance on the red carpet, from La Princesse de Montpensier to It’s Only The End of the World illustrated his presence, both discreet and full of kindness. He was equally brilliant and talented. He gave a lot and we’ll always remember him.”

Rest in Peace 🙏🏼

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Demi Vitkute writes the weekly entertainment industry news blog for Productions.com. She’s a journalist who has covered entertainment, fashion, and culture. Demi is a founder of The Urban Watch Magazine and has written for The Washington Post, Inside Hook, and Promo Magazine, among others. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Emerson College.