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Chris Harrison not returning as host on ‘The Bachelorette’

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Washington [US], March 13 (ANI): Amid his ongoing racial controversy, Chris Harrison will not return as a host on the American reality show ‘The Bachelorette’.
According to Variety, Chris will be replaced by the former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon released an official statement confirming the news. “Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of ‘The Bachelorette’. We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing,” the statement read.
“In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season,” the statement continues.
“As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world,” the statement concluded.
Variety reported that the production of the next season is set to roll out sometime next week in New Mexico.
Adams, the franchise’s most recent Bachelorette, and Bristowe, who led the 2015 season, have been tapped to fill in the hosting duties left vacant by Harrison.
However, neither Adams nor Bristowe have been named as ‘host’ or ‘co-host’, which indicated that the doors might be open for Harrison’s return in the future.
Harrison has been in a raising scandal for sustaining bigotry through his critique protecting disputable ‘Bachelor’ competitor Rachael Kirkconnell, who experienced harsh criticism when old photographs of her re-surfaced on social media, showing her in participation at an Old South ranch themed club party.
She also liked pictures on social media containing the confederate banner and was blamed on TikTok for tormenting a schoolmate for dating a Black man.
As per Variety, Kirkconnell — who remains a frontrunner on the current season of “The Bachelor” — has since apologised, stating, “I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
The discussion hit an edge of boiling point, when Harrison plunked down for a meeting on ‘Extra’ with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, trying really hard to take a stand in opposition to the ‘woke police’ and proposing that Kirkconnell’s photographs were not hostile when they were taken in 2018.
In the midst of the establishment’s aftermath, Lindsay had temporarily deactivated her social media accounts because of extreme internet harassment. In their lone public assertion in the midst of the continuous debate, the executive producers of the Mike Fleiss-created series released an official statement to condemn the hate and support their former star, who was the first Black Bachelorette in 2017.
Variety quoted that the 2020 Bachelorette and 2021 Bachelor seasons likewise appeared to be generally assorted projects, with 25 ladies from the current Bachelor season identifying as BIPOC. In the background, more makers of colour were employed and a variety of team was acquired as an asset for both the talent and crew.
With the production effectively in progress, the franchise gives no indications of easing back down. The impending ‘Bachelorette’ season will follow the outline spread out by the bubble seasons of the 2020 ‘Bachelorette’ and 2021 Bachelor cycles, which each shot securely and with no COVID occurrences in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. A lead for the same is still under the wraps.
Variety reported that ‘The Bachelor’ will wrap on ABC Monday with a two-hour finale to conclude James’ season, followed by a one-hour ‘After the Final Rose’. (ANI)

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

‘THE MAURITANIAN’ IS FAR REMOVED FROM THE RUN-OF-THE-MILL FILMS ABOUT TERRORISM

Murtaza Ali Khan

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When the noted French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim received the script for “The Mauritanian” he was expecting another run-of-the-mill Hollywood script propagating a familiar sense of Islamophobia. For the last decade ever since his breakthrough performance in the celebrated French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s prison drama “A Prophet”, Hollywood had been offering the same kind of roles over and over again. One opening the script when he came across the word “Guantanamo” his apprehensions were more or less confirmed. But to his great surprise, he discovered something very different. The character offered to him, Mohamedou Ould Slahi is a real person who isn’t a terrorist but was simply accused of being one. 

Mohamedou, a Mauritanian man on whose memoir the film is based, was deemed guilty by the US authorities through some vague association. As a result, he was imprisoned for over 14 years without any trial in Guantanamo Bay where he was constantly subjected to torture and abuse by US soldiers. He was finally released in October 2016. In Rahim’s words, “It’s the first time I see a Hollywood movie with a sympathetic Muslim at the centre.” And Rahim, to his credit, plays Mohamedou as a gentle soul who somehow keeps his sanity intact despite years of horrific treatment. The Mauritanian, directed by Kevin Macdonald, stars the legendary Jodie Foster in the role of the no-nonsense defence lawyer who fights for his release with Benedict Cumberbatch essaying the part of the military prosecutor Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch. 

There is no denying that a lot changed after 9/11 as the world became far more paranoid than it had ever been. Soon after the tragic events of September 11, the western world started witnessing a dramatic rise in Islamophobia. Now, according to Wikipedia, “Islamophobia is the fear of, hatred of, or prejudice against the religion of Islam or Muslims in general, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism.” The increase in Islamophobia could be attributed to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda. Hollywood, of course, played its part through its stereotypical portrayal of Muslims and Islam in countless films. And it was until Mira Nair’s 2012 film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” that the issue got properly addressed by Hollywood.  

On the other hand, Bollywood filmmaker Kabir Khan highlighted the issue in his 2009 film “New York” through the character of Sameer Sheikh, essayed by John Abraham, who Sam gets arrested and detained for nine months as a suspected terrorist. Though he is eventually released due to lack of evidence, the impact of being detained and tortured permanently changes him in ways that are difficult to comprehend for those surrounding him. A couple of years before the Kabir Khan film, the noted Pakistani director Shoaib Mansoor made “Khuda Kay Liye” which presents a graphic account of a man getting detained and tortured for a year at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp due to his Islamic background after the US authorities receive a false complaint from his neighbour.

But, in many ways, The Mauritanian stands out in its depiction of the atrocities that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have undergone over the years. For, Mohamedou’s 2015 memoir titled “Guantanamo Diary” is a testament to what he had to experience for 14 years of his life. He wrote the book in 2005 in Guantanamo Bay but each page had to be submitted to military censors. A total of 2,500 redactions were made before releasing the manuscript to his attorneys seven years later. So, the 2015 edition which went on to become an international bestseller was heavily redacted. He was even prohibited from receiving a copy of his published book while imprisoned. It was only in 2017 that it was republished with redactions fully removed. While the Biden administration has declared its intention to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp there is no certainty that it is going to happen any time soon. But, Mohamedou’s story of redemption certainly gives one hope.

The Mauritanian is far removed from the run-of-the-mill Hollywood films we have become accustomed to watching with the theme of global terrorism at its core. Kevin Macdonald and his team of writers offer something refreshingly different. Here is a deeply humanistic film that isn’t afraid to question the dubious role played by the US authorities in destroying the lives of innocent people like Mohamedou. It exposes how both the Bush as well as the Obama administrations kept prolonging Mohamedou’s ordeal at Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps, it’s for this reason the film didn’t find much traction with the members of The Academy despite receiving multiple Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. The performance by Tahar Rahim (who interestingly stars as the con artist and serial killer Charles Sobhraj in the Netflix series “The Serpent”) certainly deserved an Oscar nomination for portraying the part of Mohamedou Ould Slahi with such great conviction. Also, the deeply nuanced performances by Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch deserved more attention.

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PARINEETION BETTER PORTRAYAL OF WOMEN ON-SCREEN

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NEW DELHI: Parineeti Chopra, who is on a roll, recently opened up about female representation on screen and shared that she wants to do her “bit to portray women better”. Parineeti said, “I strongly feel that actresses have to change the narrative of how women are portrayed on screen. Right from my debut, I have tried to do this. I have always taken it on myself to do something out of the ordinary, not portray the quintessential heroine that Bollywood has tried to depict for ages. My last three films – ‘The Girl On The Train’, ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar’ and ‘Saina’ – were also an attempt to give varied, bold, confident, ambitious heroines to audiences. My next film choices will resonate this thought process too as I want to do my bit to portray women better.” She wishes that all the actors in Bollywood should be conscious about how they represent women on screen. Parineeti said, “If all of us are able to change the way women are presented on screen, it will go a long way in changing the perception of girls in our society. Cinema can impact the minds of audiences and so, let us use this medium to affect positive changes in our society.”

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SHAMA SIKANDER’S MUSIC VIDEO ‘HAWA KARDA’ TO BE OUT ON 15 APRIL

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Shama Sikander shot for a song called Hawa Karda, the song is by Afsana Khan and Sahil Sharma also known as Sahil Syndicate. It features Shama and Gaurav Bajaj. The music is by Geet and the lyrics have been done by Raas. Shama spoke to The Sunday Guardian and exclaimed, “It was a fun, peppy and trendy song. I am sure the youngsters are going to love it. We shot it with the utmost respect to all protocols and wrapped up pretty quick. I am excited for the song to come out and the audience’s reaction to it. The song will be out on Koinage Records. I am happy to be able to work during such times where people have no work and are seeing some really difficult days. It’s a blessing and I am grateful to be still entertaining people.”

Shama also opened up about her equation with her co-star, “The moment I heard the song, I decided to do it. I have worked with Gaurav for the first time, it was great and everything was at ease.”

On asking about which medium she enjoys the most, she said, “I enjoy doing everything be it television, movies, or music videos, it depends on the script. The character I play is of a girl who is bold, beautiful and overpowering.” The song, marking a comeback for Shama, will release on 15 April.

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MANDIRA’S STRONG REPLY TO ‘SICKOS’ TROLLING DAUGHTER

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MUMBAI: Mandira Bedi is not among the celebrities who ignore social media bullies, especially when they try to troll her daughter. She recently called out a bunch of haters in her Instagram stories for posting distasteful comments about Tara. Mandira and her husband Raj Kaushal adopted her in July last year. She is just four years old.

In her recent Instagram stories, Mandira revealed she’s been at the receiving end of nasty remarks, crudely suggesting her daughter is a misfit in the family, particularly because she’s adopted. A “prop daughter”, she was told. A furious Mandira singled out one such user and the comment and wrote: “People like this need to be given a special mention. Kudos, you got my attention, you piece of s**t.”

Addressing another troll, who questioned her parenting skills and intentions behind including Tara in the family, she wrote: “Sickos like this, are the biggest cowards too, who only know how to wag their tongues behind the shield of anonymity.”

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WHY ABHISHEK FELT HE WASN’T MADE FOR BOLLYWOOD

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NEW DELHI : Do you know Abhishek Bachchan, who deals with social media trolls in a witty way, wasn’t always okay with handling criticism? His journey in the film industry and words of wisdom from his father Amitabh Bachchan helped him a great deal. In a recent interview with RJ Siddharth Kannan, Abhishek admitted that stepping into Bollywood seemed like a “mistake.” At one point, he even said that he wasn’t “made for this industry.” In the interview, Abhishek said, “To fail on a public platform is very difficult. There was no social media back then but I read via media that some were abusing me while some said that I do not know acting. At one point in time, I felt it was my mistake that I came into the industry as whatsoever I was trying, it was not working. I went to my dad and said maybe I am not made for this industry.”

When the actor started questioning himself, his father helped him to cope up with all the criticism coming his way. Big B told him, “’I never brought you up to be a quitter. Every morning you have to wake up and fight for your place under the sun. As an actor, you are improving with every film.’” Abhishek’s career trajectory has been full of ups and downs. However, post-Manmarziyaan he seems to be on the right track. The actor left an impact on OTT with Breathe: Into the Shadows and  Ludo. He ecently starred in The Big Bull and will next be seen in a film based on Bob Biswas.

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GEAR UP FOR AKSHAYE KHANNA & RAVEENA TANDON AS RIVALS IN ‘LEGACY’

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NEW DELHI: Viewers could be in for a visual treat when Akshaye Khanna and Raveena Tandon will clash as rivals in Vijay Gutte’s ‘Legacy’. Being mounted on a big scale for a global audience, the drama series would be shot across multiple countries. 

Akshaye shares, “It is refreshing to work on the content that challenges our boundaries as an industry as a whole. Given the massive scale of the show, we are cognizant of the immense responsibility to deliver our bests to create a content piece the audience looks forward to. I’m glad ‘Legacy’ is going to be my first web series.”

“‘Legacy’ presents an interesting tale of power struggle with an entertaining amount of drama, which grasped my attention. It is a fine work of content articulated interestingly to resonate with a global audience. I am excited to be associated with the show and looking forward to beginning this journey,” exclaims Raveena .‘Legacy’ marks Vijay’s maiden outing on the OTT space.  He informs, “It is an aspirational project mounted on a large scale reflecting upon the dark realities of the professional world. I am thrilled to be reuniting with Akshaye for this and exhilarated to have Raveena on board. This talent powerhouse is set for an epic rivalry.” 

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