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Lisa Vanderpump Claps Back After Fan Questions ‘Lack Of Diversity’ On ‘Vanderpump Rules’

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Lisa Vanderpump was quick to answer when a fan called out the cast of ‘Vanderpump Rules’ for being ‘mainly straight white people.’ We have her response to the question about the show’s lack of diversity.

While Lisa Vanderpump is focused on her new podcast, fans are wanting to know what the future of Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules is following the firings of four cast members in June over racial issues. On July 30, the restaurateur tweeted, “I have finally started preparing for my own Podcast! I am excited to connect with you guys on business, design, restaurants, cooking, activism, dogs, ponies, marriage, relationships, sex.. or lack thereof lol! Submit your questions if you have them to LVP@kastmedia.com.” Immediately one fan asked her about the lack of diversity on Pump Rules.

User @Cathal_Farrell replied to her tweet by asking, “Question: Why the lack of diversity in the Vanderpump Rules cast? I mean it was mainly straight white people right? And is it coming back after all the firings?” Original cast members Stassi Schroeder, 32, and Kristen Doute, 37, were let go on June 9 following a racial incident coming to light involving one of the show’s only black cast members, Faith Stowers. The pair allegedly called the cops on Faith in 2018 and wrongly reported her as a suspect wanted in connection with a series of robberies. Season eight Pump Rules newcomers Max Boyens, 27, and Brett Caprioni, 31, were fired at the same time over past racial tweets.

One fan came to Lisa’s defense, with @lolabea_perry tweeting, “They have hundreds of staff and are diverse, this particular cast was a group of friends and they were what they were.” That caught LVP’s attention, as she responded how lolabea’s post was accurate, and that not all of her employees want their professional and private lives playing out on TV.

“That is so true…also not everybody wants to be in the eye of the storm,” Lisa responded to her fan’s tweet on July 31. The 59-year-old issued a long response to the VPR firings on June 10, the day after the terminations went down, but without naming names. In a lengthy Instagram post, Lisa wrote, “My hope is for this generation to treat each other with respect and humanity, and realize that actions have; and should have, consequences.”

Lisa Vanderpump
Lisa Vanderpump arrives at ‘Good Morning America’ on Jan. 7, 2019. Photo credit: MEGA

“I love and adore our employees and I am deeply saddened by some of the lack of judgment that has been displayed. As many of you know, after watching me for 10 years, I have always been an equal rights activist and ally – my family, my businesses and I condemn all forms of cruelty, racism, homophobia, bigotry and unequal treatment. We’ve never tolerated it in the workplace or our lives,” LVP continued. Lisa spent nine seasons as an OG cast member on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in addition to her eight seasons on Vanderpump Rules.

“While you only see a fraction of our employees on the show, a specific friend group, across all of our companies, we have always been a very diverse group of people – every color, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Most of our employees have worked for us for over a decade, and we have become a family; one that embraces and celebrates each other’s differences. I am proud of the inclusive company that we’ve created. We will continue to embrace diversity as one of our greatest strengths, and I’m excited to give you deeper look into the multi-faceted fabric of our company in the future,” Lisa added.

The restaurateur’s show follows the group of employees at her West Hollywood hotspot SUR. She also owns the WeHo restaurant Pump and cocktail bar TomTom, and opened up her Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace in March 2019. Lisa and her husband Ken Todd, 62, shut down their flagship Beverly Hills ladies who lunch restaurant Villa Blanca for good in July 2020 after 12 successful years. It had been closed since March 16 following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pair decided to shutter the eatery for good at it’s current location.

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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