Church of Scientology Criticizes A&E for Canceling KKK Docuseries While Promoting Leah Remini’s Show

Last week A&E canceled their Ku Klux Klan docuseries, “Escaping the KKK,” after producers admitted that the participants were paid, which according to the network is a “direct violation of A&E’s policies and practices for a documentary.”

Now, the Church of Scientology is criticizing the network for pulling the KKK show but not canceling its Leah Remini anti-Scientology series, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”

In a letter obtained by TMZ, the Church’s lawyer, Gary Soter, stated that the “Church of Scientology understands that two on-air accusers/participants in Leah Remini’s docuseries, ‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’ received substantial cash payments for their participation, in violation of the same standards.”

READ MORE: A&E Cancels Ku Klux Klan Series After It Stumbles with Another Holiday Headache

It then accuses A&E of being hypocrites and partnering and promoting Remini’s show, giving them “free advertising and promotion for anti-Scientology books they have published.”

“It is hypocritical for A&E to proclaim its intent to ‘expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms’ in cancelling the KKK show and at the same time promote Leah Remini’s program which promotes hatred that A&E claims that it wants to stop,” he added.

According to an official at the network, the difference in the projects is that Remini is an executive producer on her show and she’s “not the member of a hate group,” reports TMZ. A source also told Variety, “It’s a different animal. It’s apples and oranges.”

A&E had recently changed the name of the series from “Generation KKK” to “Escaping the KKK” in an effort to ensure that no one mistook the docuseries’ intent and that the title alone didn’t normalize the Klan. After discovering that participants on the show, including Klan members, were paid to participate by production company This Is Just A Test, they scrapped the project.

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Debbie Reynolds, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Actress and Carrie Fisher’s Mother, Dies at 84

Legendary actress, singer and entertainer Debbie Reynolds has passed away after suffering a stroke on Wednesday, December 28. She was 84.

The news comes just a day after Reynolds’ daughter, Carrie Fisher, died from having a heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles. According to TMZ, Reynolds was at her son’s Todd’s house in Beverly Hills on Wednesday afternoon when someone from the house called 911. 

The “Singin’ in the Rain” actress had been distraught since Carrie’s heart attack and death, and according to reports, was discussing funeral plans for her daughter when she suffered a stroke.

Reynolds had last released a statement following Fisher’s death, saying, “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop.”

READ MORE: Carrie Fisher, Who Played Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars,’ Dies at 60

With a career spanning almost 70 decades, Reynolds is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-nominated actress. Born Mary Frances Reynolds on April 1, 1932 in El Paso, Texas, her family moved to Burbank, California in 1939. She later changed her first name to Debbie when she signed a contract with Warner Bros.

Reynolds made her acting debut in 1948 in an uncredited role in “June Bride” and then appeared in “The Daughter of Rose O’Grady” (1950). Her first breakout role was in the 1950 film “Three Little Words,” which earned her a Golden Globe nominee for Most Promising Newcomer. Though, she gained fame at the age of 19 as the female lead in the musical “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952), starring Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor.

She went on to have a successful career, starring in “The Affairs of Dobie Gillis” (1953), “Susan Slept Here” (1954), “Bundle of Joy” (1956), “The Catered Affair” (1956) and “Tammy and the Bachelor.” Additional acting credits include, “Will & Grace,” “The Rat Race” (1960), “How the West Was Won” (1962) and “Charlotte’s Web” (1973) and “The Debbie Reynolds Show” (1969-1970), among many others. For many younger generations she is also known for her role as Aggie Cromwell in Disney Channel’s “Halloweentown” movie series.

READ MORE: Cannes Classics Highlights Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Women of Old Hollywood

As a singer, Reynolds released her first pop album, “Debbie,” in 1959, and went on to release several other LPs. In 1973 she starred in a Broadway revival of “Irene,” earning a Tony nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. 

Last year she received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, which was given to her by daughter Carrie, and was also given the 2016 Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Her upcoming project was her documentary, “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is currently slated to screen at the upcoming Palm Springs Film Festival and air on HBO in March.

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‘Castlevania’ Animated Series May Finally Happen Thanks to the Executive Producer of ‘Adventure Time’

Castlevania” is among the most enduring of all video-game series, with 1997’s “Symphony of the Night” often ranking as one of the greatest games ever made. The franchise may soon make the leap from console to cable, as one of the minds behind “Adventure Time” has hinted that he’s developing a “super violent” animated series on what deductive reasoning suggests might very well be “Castlevania.”

READ MORE: ‘Adventure Time’ Is Ending, But Its Legacy Is Secure

Fred Seibert is working on an “unnamed” project based on “one of the most world-famous video games of the last 30 years” under the banner of his own Frederator Studios, the animation house behind both “Adventure Time” and “The Fairly OddParents” — as well as the company with the adaptation rights to “Castlevania.” He made the vague announcement during an appearance on Nickelodeon’s Nick Animation Podcast, explaining that Frederator has owned the rights for more than a decade but hasn’t been able to do anything with them yet.

READ MORE: Cartoon Network Announces ‘Adventure Time’ Will End After Season 9

“Adventure Time,” meanwhile, will end after its ninth season airs in 2018.

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‘By Sidney Lumet’ Clips: PBS Kicks Off Season 31 of ‘American Masters’ With Film’s Premiere

Film legend Sidney Lumet is one of the most accomplished, influential and revered directors in cinema history, known for films like “12 Angry Men,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Network” and “The Verdict.”

Before his death in 2011, Lumet told his story in a never-before-seen interview for the documentary “By Sidney Lumet.” Directed by Nancy Buirski, Lumet guides viewers through his life and work, describing his Depression-era, working-class Lower East Side beginnings as a child and his transition to becoming a five-time Oscar nominee.

Launching Season 31, “American Masters: By Sidney Lumet” premieres Tuesday, January 3 at 8 p.m. on PBS and also features a new, exclusive interview with Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominated actor Treat Williams, who starred in Lumet’s “Prince of the City.”

Ahead of its debut, the network has released a handful of clips of the special, including the one below which features Lumet describing his motivation for the making “12 Angry Men.”

READ MORE: ‘Tribeca 2016 Women Directors: Meet Nancy Buirski – ‘By Sidney Lumet’

In another video he also discusses the power of live television, especially during the blacklisting period of the 1950s, and his work on “Tragedy in a Temporary Town.”

“By Sidney Lumet” had its world premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and also screened at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The film will be available on digital video on demand and DVD/Blu-ray from FilmRise on January 9 after its PBS debut.

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‘Everything Wrong With ‘Deadpool’’ Picks Apart the Beloved Superhero Movie – Watch

Deadpool” may have been the superhero movie of the year, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated and “X-Men” film of all time. While the Ryan Reynolds-starring action flick may have been a commercial success, that didn’t stop the folks over at CinemaSins from picking the story apart in their latest “Everything Wrong Withvideo

The 19-minute clip begins by quickly jotting down “Deadpool’s” first sin for having Marvel’s 12-second comic book flippy logo. It then continues marking violations for not going “far enough in uglying up Wade Wilson,” criticizing it for how “they couldn’t afford any more X-Men to be at the mansion,” and all the pop culture references it makes.

It also comments on the first fighting sequence by saying, “I see the director learned a thing or two at the Michael Bay-Zack Snyder symposium for the construction of this scene.”

READ MORE: ‘Deadpool’ Honest Trailer Features Ryan Reynolds’ Wickedly Inappropriate Commentary

The video also points out that “Wade Wilson would be amazing at CinemaSins” when the bad-mouth anti-hero has a Liam Neeson “Taken” nightmare then comments, “at one point you have to wonder if he’s just a bad parent.”

The raunchy Marvel comedy, which recently picked up two Golden Globe nominations, eventually racks up a total of 90 sins, with a final sense of “Detriot.”

READ MORE: ‘John Wick’ Director Signs on for ‘Deadpool 2’

Watch the full “Everything Wrong With” video below.

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Carrie Fisher Was About to Announce Stage Show ‘Wishful Drinking Strikes Back: From Star Wars to, uh, Star Wars!’ (Exclusive)

Carrie Fisher was preparing to create a sequel to her “Wishful Drinking” one-woman show, titled “Wishful Drinking Strikes Back: From Star Wars to, uh, Star Wars!”

Geffen Playhouse commissioned the work last Thursday, the day before Fisher suffered a heart attack on a London-Los Angeles flight. Geffen also developed her 2008 one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking,” which later evolved to become a bestselling autobiography.

The new stage work, like the original, was to be a collaboration with Josh Ravetch, with Fisher as writer and Ravetch as director. Fisher and Ravetch had planned to meet today to begin work on the project.

READ MORE: Carrie Fisher, Who Played Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars,’ Dies at 60

While “Wishful Drinking” later moved to Broadway for a brief run in 2009, Ravetch said that the iconic and most remembered moment of “Wishful Drinking” evolved during rehearsals at The Geffen Playhouse.

“We were working on the complexity of the Fisher family tree and we’re trying to come up with a way to make it instantly accessible to the audience,” he said. “Without missing a beat Carrie said, ‘What if we did it on a blackboard like in school and I can teach Hollywood 101?’ That blackboard moment is the moment people always mention from her show. Her mind was the most original I’ve ever encountered. Brilliant insights would pop effortlessly like popcorn, and I was lucky enough to be there to catch the kernels. She loved being able to speak live to an audience and fell in love with the form which we came to call ‘Live Autobiography’ — and the immediacy of the instant audience reaction which she found so gratifying. In fact one of her best and favorite phrases was, ‘Instant gratification – takes too long!'”

Fisher died this morning at UCLA Medial Center. Her one-woman show, which was later adapted into a book of the same name, was an autobiographical performance that earned strong reviews and toured across the country, including a stint on Broadway.

READ MORE: Carrie Fisher’s ‘Star Wars’ Family and More Celebrities Mourn Her Death on Twitter

Though best known for her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” franchise, Fisher was also a prolific writer and script doctor. Among other works, she wrote the semi-autobiographical novel “Postcards from the Edge” in 1987 and, three years later, penned the screenplay for Mike Nichols’ film adaptation.

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Michael Nordine contributed to this report. 

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Iggy Pop and Thurston Moore Reminisce About Their Careers and Jam Out in Docuseries ‘I’ve Nothing But My Name’ – Watch

Iggy Pop and Thurston Moore have teamed up to talk music, their careers and jam out together in a new three-part documentary series, “I’ve Nothing But My Name.”

Produced by Rough Trade, the first installment of the “in conversation” docuseries features the iconic punk rocker and former Sonic Youth singer and guitarist at Iggy’s home in Miami. The name of the project stems from Iggy’s song “American Valhalla,” featured on his latest album “Post Pop Depression.”

READ MORE: ‘Danny Says’ Clip: Iggy Pop and Danny Fields Recall Their Crazy Times in the Punk Scene

The two musicians discuss The Stooges’ experimentation with their sound, their influence on Sonic Youth, and how Iggy once wrote 12 essays on his former sexual partners, which he tried to have published. The video also includes the duo jamming out to Chuck Berry’s famous tune “Johnny B. Good” around the 15:50 mark. Punk rock fans will most certainly enjoy the collaboration, which features the artists having a blast, reminiscing about the past, and how far they’ve come.

Check out the first episode of “I’ve Nothing But My Name” below.

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