Back to the Future for the AT&T-Time Warner Merger

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U.S. District Judge Richard Leon recently greenlighted the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger, while failing to impose any conditions or restrictions upon the massive media consolidation.

The merger, about which reports have circulated since late 2016, was publicly opposed by President Donald Trump as well as by the Department of Justice, which in the fall of 2017 went to court to stop the transaction.

After a six-week trial, Judge Leon ruled that the merger could move ahead, belittling the government’s legal arguments.

In an unusual expression for a jurist, Leon, who also presided over the Comcast-NBC-U mega-merger in 2011, went so far as to urge the government not to appeal the decision.

Antitrust law exists to prevent monopolies that could potentially stifle competition and harm consumers. When the same company owns the means of media production as well as the means of distribution of media content, antitrust issues arise.

This is not the first time that media companies have been met with legal challenges over simultaneous ownership of content and the means by which the content is delivered. In the 1940s, Hollywood studios produced motion pictures while owning the theaters in which the very films were being displayed.

In a 1948 decision, United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled that Hollywood studios would be required to sell off movie theater holdings.

The landmark decision essentially ended the studio system of the “Golden Age” of movies, while fundamentally altering the way in which Hollywood movies were produced, distributed, and exhibited. It also fostered the idea that “vertical integration” should be restrained by courts and, based on antitrust principles, barriers should be put in place between corporate ownership of both distribution and content.

With regard to the AT&T-Time Warner merger, the Trump administration had argued that the resulting conglomerate would create the same vertical integration-dual ownership issue that the old Hollywood studio system faced, and as a negative consequence consumers would end up paying more for their television viewing.

This was the same position with regard to the proposed merger that then-candidate Trump held during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In addition to potential risk to consumers’ pocketbooks, the entertainment business will be significantly affected by the AT&T-Time Warner combination. Allowing the merger to proceed in its present fashion will have profound ramifications for the manner in which entertainment companies compete with one other.

Owners of news, movie, and/or entertainment cable television channels, who wish to be well placed on the AT&T-Time Warner system, will be beholden to a company that has control over the delivery system while simultaneously owning competing channels.

Producers of content that competes with that of AT&T-Time Warner may need to have the content distributed via the merged company’s delivery system.

It is certainly within the realm of possibility that the merged company would advertently or even inadvertently favor channels and content which the enterprise owns.

The court’s decision in approving the merger may also embolden other Hollywood studios to pair up with telecommunications companies in order to effectively deal with the cash-rich tech companies that have invaded the entertainment space of late, e.g., Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix.

One relevant case in point is that of Comcast, which has jumped into the bidding for 21st Century Fox’s assets that Disney had already been in the process of negotiating to purchase.

Consumers generally have very few options when it comes to cable, satellite, and broadband services. AT&T provides broadband and television via a cable media delivery service, U-verse. It also owns a major satellite television provider, DirecTV.

By acquiring Time Warner, the company obtains a major movie and television studio, which includes the DC Comics’ franchises, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, along with television programming on TBS, TNT, CNN, and HBO.

By owning content and delivery, the newly merged company has the same kind of vertical integration that the Court broke up years ago, when it forced movie studios to divest in the Paramount case.

 

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Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and the Death of Late-night Comedy

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With liberals targeting for destruction one cultural institution after another, it was inevitable that late-night comedy was going to have its turn.

Ironically, late-night comic hosts, many of whom were trailblazers in the laugh industry, have slowly but surely morphed into lemmings, substituting smug political claptrap for comedy.

Rather than entertain, the ones who are lucky enough to have actually made it into comedy’s top echelon are now catering to a flimsy fan base of enraged resisters and hate-driven hypocrites.

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” is the latest example. He recently let it be known how bitter leftists view President Donald Trump’s economic track record.

Recognizing the phenomenal economy under President Trump’s leadership, Maher stated that he believes it is critical for the U.S. economy to collapse in order to rid the country of a president with whom he disagrees.

“I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point, and by the way, I’m hoping for it because I think one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy,” Maher said. “So please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people but it’s either root for a recession, or you lose your democracy.”

The left is so steeped in hatred it is willing to let the best interests of the nation take a back seat to spite. And like far too many others in his industry, Maher is more than willing to see his neighbor harmed than to see President Trump succeed.

It is hard to fathom how late-night comedy allowed itself to descend to such a pitiful depth. Late-night television was created and branded by the pioneers of the medium – Jack Paar, Steve Allen, and of course the man who defined the forum, “The King of Late-Night” Johnny Carson.

Carson was the guy who dropped in unannounced but you never wanted him to leave. No matter what had transpired in the course of the day, he could make you forget in a single quip. He was simply a friend that taught you how to smile yourself to sleep.

The current crop of late-night hosts could benefit from the master in more ways than one. A single show of Carson’s could bring in as many as 9 million viewers. By comparison, CBS’s “Late Show,” hosted by Stephen Colbert, is currently the highest-rated late-night program, but a good night for Colbert is typically a third of the viewers that Carson had, in part because Colbert’s program generally consists of Trump trashing and partisan punches.

Viewers today admittedly have a lot more options when it comes to the late-night timeslot. In addition to broadcast networks’ offerings of Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon, there are numerous cable offerings, which include TBS’s Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah, HBO’s John Oliver, and BET’s Robin Thede, along with broadcast networks’ very late-nighters James Corden and Seth Meyers.

Late-night writers generally cater to viewers who use social media to watch highlight video footage from previous programs. Shows with late-night content that stream to viewers include Hulu’s Sarah Silverman and Netlix’s Joel McHale and Michelle Wolf, who is best known for her embarrassingly unfunny performance at the most recent White House Correspondents Dinner. Weekly late-nighters such as Comedy Central’s Jim Jeffries and TBS’s Samantha Bee are also part of the mix.

Virtually all of the shows specialize in targeting the president, and Bee is one of the hosts who clearly illustrates the lowlights of today’s pathetic programming. Referring to the daughter of the president in the crudest of ways, Bee incurred a deserved backlash, which prompted defections by a number of sponsors. Both Bee and TBS later apologized, but the comic was not fired or suspended. In another humorless incident, there was a young man who had attended the Conservative Political Action Conference and was bashed with a comment about “Nazi hair.” It turned out that the young man was actually suffering from Stage 4 brain cancer, and Bee was again forced to apologize.

It is painful to have to say that in this sorry state of late-night comedy, television’s most visible hosts have turned into boring political preachers and in the process have themselves become the joke.

‘Roseanne’ without Roseanne Barr?

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After Disney and ABC gave Roseanne Barr the severest of penalties for her ill-fated tweet by canceling her television show “Roseanne,” sources indicate that the ABC brass are now looking into the idea of continuing the sitcom in some fashion without Barr.

TMZ first reported the following: “The powers that be at ABC are exploring the possibility of re-branding the show and focusing on the character Darlene instead of Roseanne.”

A pitch meeting is set to take place between the producers of “Roseanne” and Disney ABC executives on June 4 to explore a revival of the “Roseanne” reboot with a new name minus the show’s namesake.

The key individuals that have been pursuing the continuation of the sitcom include co-star and executive producer Sara Gilbert, showrunner and executive producer Bruce Helford, and executive producer Tom Werner.

Gilbert was the driving force behind the initial “Roseanne” reboot. Helford was the co-creator and executive producer of “The Drew Carey Show” as well as the executive producer and writer for the original “Roseanne” during season five of the series. Werner co-founded the Carsey-Werner Company and was executive producer of the original “Roseanne,” along with “The Cosby Show,” “A Different World,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” and “That 70s Show.”

Even if ABC greenlights a revival of a reboot, financial and legal obstacles may end up thwarting its plans. Carsey-Werner owns the lion’s share of the rights to “Roseanne.” However, Barr was the co-creator and executive producer of the show and has contractual financial interests in the series.

ABC is aware of the fact that a competing network faced a similar problem when it removed the lead actor from a top sitcom. Charlie Sheen was fired from “Two and a Half Men” in 2011, and Ashton Kutcher became the star of the show. Sheen also possessed contractual financial interests in the show and filed a $100 million lawsuit to pursue those interests, which concluded with a settlement of $25 million.

Barr has indicated via her Twitter account that she is thinking about fighting back against the cancellation of her reboot. Depending on the provisions in her contract, she may be able to legally challenge the attempt to create a spinoff that has the same characters and similar plotlines.

Disney ABC attorneys could even find themselves working overtime to negotiate a buyout of Roseanne’s rights in order to move forward with a project without her.

Another significant challenge involves the cast. Key members may not wish to be associated with the show or may have conflicting projects. Actors need to know that a project is real so that they can reserve time on their calendars.

It would be crucial for the producer to secure co-stars John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf for the new project. Goodman is a sought after character actor, and Metcalf just snagged an Oscar nomination for “Lady Bird” and is additionally doing well on Broadway. The aforementioned Gilbert has her continuing spot on CBS’s “The Talk” to protect.

The writing staff would have to be contracted as well. Ironically, on the very same day that ABC cancelled “Roseanne,” the writers had gathered at the studio lot to begin work on the upcoming season.

Despite the cancellation, ABC and Carsey-Werner reportedly have a contractual obligation to pay key cast members and writers for the upcoming season on a 10-episode guarantee, which provides an incentive to revive the series reboot.

There are other shows that have continued on following the departure of their lead actors. Current streaming programs “House of Cards” and “Transparent” have both made the transition following the removal of their respective stars Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor.

An example often cited by industry experts is one from the 1980s. A successful sitcom, “Valerie,” starred Valerie Harper as a career mother, who along with a somewhat invisible airline pilot husband is raising her three sons. After Harper had a dispute with the show’s producers, she was written out of the series. Sandy Duncan joined the cast as the boys’ aunt, who moved in and became their de facto parent. The series was renamed “Valerie’s Family: The Hogans,” which was later shortened to “The Hogan Family.”

However, the unprecedented success of the “Roseanne” reboot differs from the run-of-the-mill television project. Barr had built a sizable reservoir of conventional fandom during her syndication run of 25 years. What gave the reboot such exceptional impetus was the bond that she shares with millions of people, many of whom voted for President Trump, who were chiefly responsible for the phenomenal ratings of the show and who managed to transform a television debut into a cultural event.

A “Roseanne” series without Roseanne may initially draw the curious. But without the show’s comedic and cultural core cast member, it would likely end up as a shadow of its former self.

Disney Stunned as ‘Solo’ Stumbles at the Box Office

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The “Star Wars” franchise has been a sure winner for Disney, well worth the $4 billion the studio paid for Lucasfilm in 2012.

When a “Star Wars” movie is released, it is nothing short of a spectacular event accompanied by an interstellar performance at the box office, but not this time.

Box-office proceeds of the latest “Star Wars” installment, “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” has hit Disney executives hard, with a lower than expected three-day opening of $84.7 million and a projected four-day opening of $103 million; all this while the movie carried a production budget of over $250 million.

The “Solo” results were 46 percent lower than the previous “Star Wars” release, “Rogue One,” causing

Lucasfilm and Disney to reexamine the management of the “Star Wars” asset.

The overseas performance thus far for “Solo” has been an abysmal $65 million, including a tepid take of $10.1 million in box-office receipts in China. Since foreign box office can be up to 70 percent of a studio release’s overall gross revenue, “Solo” will likely bring in a far lower proportion of overseas money, so Disney has to be concerned that the film will not come close to the more than $1 billion in global gross that “Rogue One” delivered.

“Solo” tells the story of the younger days of iconic character Hans Solo, from the original “Star Wars” movie. The lead character was so deeply defined into the cultural memory by Harrison Ford that it posed an extremely difficult casting job.

Alden Ehrenreich has some very big shoes to fill, and it is safe to say that no actor could recreate the roguish character that the world came to love in the original “Star Wars” trilogy.

Movie experts cite a number of reasons for the latest “Star Wars” film’s lack of box-office energy, including politically correct plotlines, weak directing, poor casting, and “Star Wars” weariness.

As to the fatigue factor, it does not help that “Solo” was released a mere five months after another “Star Wars” movie, “The Last Jedi.”

Disney seems to have learned its lesson on the timing of releases and will probably avoid premiering “Star Wars” sequels, reboots, or spin-offs more than once per year.

The Mouse House is run by some of the most effective business people in the entertainment world. Last year the studio changed the release date of the upcoming “Star Wars” installment, “Episode IX,” from Memorial Day to December of 2019.

When it comes to the “Star Wars” series, year-end releases have been very good for the studio. “Force Awakens,” “Rogue One,” and “The Last Jedi” were all released during the Christmas season. Each movie brought in revenue in the $1 billion range and ended up being the top box-office performers during the year in which the movie release took place.

Disney execs also wisely brought back J.J. Abrams, who directed 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” to co-write and direct the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

Ron Howard had been tapped by the studio at the production’s halfway point to direct “Solo” after Christopher Miller and Phil Lord left the project.

As an enterprise, Disney has so many other film irons in the fire that it will easily weather the “Solo” disappointment. The company’s Marvel franchise offering, “Avengers: Infinity War,” has at the time of this writing accumulated a box-office bonanza of $622 million domestically and $1.9 billion worldwide.

The family friendly “Incredibles 2” will be released June 15, 2018, and is projected to open in the $130 million range.

Most importantly for “Star Wars” fans, the next scheduled release of a “Star Wars” movie is not until December of 2019.

Like the proverbial football coach at the half, Disney will have the time to determine what went wrong with “Solo” and make the necessary adjustments to its strategic thinking regarding its revered “Star Wars” franchise.

The Left’s Attempt to Silence Kanye West

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Author and conservative icon Andrew Breitbart had a phrase that rings true to this day: “Politics is downstream from culture.”

For decades now the left has maneuvered its way into dominating the pop culture as well as the cult of personality itself. Liberal political mantras have engulfed a once vibrant arena in which an exchange of ideas lived and breathed.

Far-left activists, who in many instances amassed their fortunes on fertile Left Coast soil, took to using their positions of prominence to force agenda-ridden content into every facet of the entertainment industry.

Kanye West, one of the most well known celebrities in the entertainment world, recently disrupted the info world order and did so by expressing to his millions of Twitter followers material that is contrary to current liberal doxology.

Kanye’s first tweet made social media heads explode.

I like the way Candace Owens thinks,” the rapper-entrepreneur posted.

Essentially Kanye endorsed Owens, who is a talented African-American woman who speaks out against victim-hood and, in her words, the “Democratic Party plantation.”

The media organs of the left reacted in predictable fashion, attempting to disparage, isolate, and destroy Kanye as well as any other notable individual who would dare traffic in liberal political “heresy.”

The pattern has become all too familiar as has been witnessed with various other celebrities, including Shania Twain, Roseanne, and Tim Allen. However, Kanye’s position in pop culture appears to pose a greater threat to the liberal powers that be, particularly because he is an African-American who is held in high esteem within his own community and an ever widening circle.

West has been known to frequently delve into matters deemed controversial, but in this case the media appear to have placed him on an exile list for having expressed views that differ from the mandated liberal slate.

A highly unusual number of Kanye-bashing headlines have arisen, including the following:

— “You Know You’ve F***ed Up When Donald Trump Thanks You” (Esquire)

— “How Red-Pill Culture Jumped the Fence and Got to Kanye West” (Wired)

— “The bizarre political evolution of Kanye West” (The Washington Post)

The Post was not done yet. It went on to viciously associate Kanye with the Alt-Right in a piece titled “Kanye West, alt-right darling.”

Throughout the Internet and social media, reactions by resistance trolls were filled with vulgar, profanity-laced tirades, including platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other left-of-center websites. Celebrities began to unfollow Kanye on Twitter, including Drake, Justin Bieber, BTS, The Weeknd, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and Kendrick Lamar.

Members of the Kardashian clan, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, apparently also stopped following Kanye. Rosie O’Donnell and Samuel L. Jackson tweeted out highly negative reactions to Kanye’s posts.

John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen are no longer Kanye followers. The reflexively liberal Legend evidently texted Kanye to try and convince him to back off from his recent posts.

I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump,” the singer-songwriter wrote.

In a tweet of a screenshot of a text thread, Kanye made it a point to let Legend and the public know that he takes his pro-Trump expressions seriously. He texted that Legend was using “a tactic based on fear” to undermine Kanye’s political and cultural beliefs.

With a post that read “Black people don’t have to be democrats,” Chance The Rapper tweeted out what appeared to be support for Kanye. However, in a redux of the Shania Twain debacle, after being blasted on social media Chance backtracked and made statements that he is not a Trump supporter.

Despite all of the backlash, Kanye forged ahead with a stream of posts expressing his affection for the president, including a photo of his personal “Make America Great Again” cap, complete with an autograph by the current occupant of the Oval Office.

You don’t have to agree with Trump,” Kanye tweeted, “but the mob can’t make me not love him.”

He referred to President Trump as his “brother” and explained that they both possess “dragon energy.” He even doubled down on his pro-Trump expressions with the release of a new song “Ye vs. the People”

Because Kanye is such a seminal figure within the pop culture, his independent minded thoughts threaten the exclusivity of a territory that the left wing and the Democratic Party have always dominated.

The African-American vote is a significant part of left-of-center constituents. African-American voters typically choose Democrat candidates at a 90 percent level. If there is even a small drop in the African-American Democrat vote, the Party’s candidates are simply going to lose.

Hollywood’s Largest Union Responds to the Sexual Harassment Scandal

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The entertainment industry appears to be engaging in a superficial public relations campaign in response to the systemic sexual harassment crisis, which has severely tarnished the once-golden Hollywood brand.

In the fall of 2017, numerous women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, charges that spanned several decades and dealt with inappropriate and possible criminal behavior ranging from harassment to rape.

What has followed the initial Weinstein related expose is a host of harassment and sexual misconduct allegations involving actors, producers, directors, and other high-profile individuals.

Many of the alleged incidents are said to have taken place in hotel rooms. In a number of instances, women who believed they were attending a business meeting were instead subjected to various levels of improper behavior.

After the earth shattering revelations had come to the public forefront, what the appropriate response on the part of the entertainment community should have been was, at a minimum, to immediately cease the practice of holding meetings in hotel room suites.

Tragically, this did not occur and the practice of conducting private hotel room meetings continues to take place, despite the avalanche of news stories surrounding the biggest scandal in Hollywood history.

Elite decision makers in the industry argue that the private hotel room setting has been used to conduct meetings for those seeking roles in movie productions or television programs since the early days of Hollywood.

The continued use of hotel rooms for meetings has finally led SAG-AFTRA, which is the largest labor union in Hollywood representing actors, performers, broadcast journalists, and other entertainment professionals, to actually do something.

The union had been under fire in the wake of the sexual impropriety scandal for failing to protect its members from potential sexual misconduct. After holding a series of public meetings and forums with its members and industry leaders, the union has released a new set of guidelines regarding the conducting of private meetings in hotel rooms and residences, which calls for an end to the practice.

SAG-AFTRA is urging its members and their respective representatives to refrain from accepting professional meetings in “high-risk locations.”

If for any reason a producer and actor fail to come to an agreement on a meeting location, the SAG-AFTRA guidelines establish the concept of a “support peer,” which is an individual who will be available to accompany a performer to the meeting.

Distressingly, the guidelines may prove to be ineffective in the long run, since they are voluntary rather than mandatory.

To understand the industry’s intrinsic conflict, a cursory examination of a significant segment of the entertainment business is necessary; one that seems to have escaped a cultural airing and public dialogue—the music business.

Male music performers, who have had serious accusations lodged against them, seem to have been permitted to take a brief leave from their public appearances. And when a seemingly adequate amount of time has passed, they are subsequently allowed to go forward with their careers as if nothing ever happened.

–Singer Chris Brown was accused of assaulting then-girlfriend singer-actress Rihanna and additionally had similar problems with another girlfriend in 2017. The subsequent girlfriend was able to obtain a five-year restraining order to address claims of abuse and violent threats.

–Singer R. Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, nevertheless has for decades been trailed by accusations of abuse of women and of having had sexual relationships with minors.

–Epic Records chairman and CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid made a swift exit from Sony Music after having been accused of sexual harassment by a female assistant at Epic Records. Variety reported that “multiple” claims were made against Reid. This year Reid announced that he had formed a new record label, Hitco, which has signed rapper Big Boi.

–Singer Trey Songz was recently arrested for felony domestic assault. The felony charge of hitting a woman while at a Hollywood party was rejected by the Los Angeles District Attorney. Songz’s case is still being reviewed by the L.A. City Attorney to determine whether or not to charge the singer with a lesser charge of misdemeanor domestic violence.

–Rapper XXXTentacion was arrested in 2016 and is awaiting trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering. The rapper is also facing other felony counts relating to the case and was under house arrest from late December 2017 through March 2018. The rapper recently reached number one on the Billboard Artist 100 chart to become the top musical act in the nation.

–Rapper Fabolous was recently charged with third-degree aggravated assault and third-degree terroristic threats. The rapper allegedly punched a female victim in the face with enough force to knock out her front teeth.

The revelations regarding the horrific practices that were going on in all corners of the entertainment industry were a long time in coming. No superficial image repair has the means to restore the integrity of an individual or to address in any meaningful way the wanton exercise of arrogant power.

Perhaps when criminal prosecutions begin to take place, persons in positions of power and influence will be deterred from taking advantage of employee hopefuls, vulnerable subordinates, and would-be stars.

Sexual Harassment Allegations Surface against the President of the Motion Picture Academy

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The last thing Hollywood needs is another high-profile scandal. Unfortunately, this is exactly what recently landed at the doorstep of a once respected institution.

The president of the Motion Picture Academy, who was at the organization’s helm in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct disclosures, is himself now the subject of an investigation involving multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

According to Variety, John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, is under investigation for sexual harassment allegations. The probe was launched after the Academy received three separate claims of impropriety.

For months the entertainment industry has been in deep distress as a result of the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, which were revealed in reports in outlets such as the New York Times and the New Yorker.

As a means of responding, Hollywood set up a sexual harassment commission and embraced the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

The revelation involving the head of the Academy comes right on the heels of the immensely unentertaining 90th Academy Awards ceremony, which is now infamous for garnering the most disastrous ratings in the show’s history.

Bailey, a cinematographer and film director, is best known for collaborating with big-name film directors including Paul Schrader, Lawrence Kasdan, and Michael Apted. His list of film credits includes “The Big Chill,” “Ordinary People,” “American Gigolo,” “As Good As It Gets,” and “Groundhog Day.” In 2015 he was awarded the American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award.

The longtime Academy member was elected to the post of Academy president in August 2017 and had previously been president of the Cinematographers branch. During Bailey’s tenure, the Academy voted to revoke Weinstein’s membership just days after the first reports of sexual misconduct surfaced.

The choice of Bailey raised the eyebrows of some high-profile liberals in the entertainment industry, particularly because vociferous Academy members had been pushing for, among other things, a more inclusive Oscar organization.

Consequently, the then-newly elected 75-year-old Caucasian male president received a substantial degree of disapproval over his age as well as his skin color.

At the time Bailey told Variety, “What you just said is [expletive],” adding, “I was born a white man, and I can’t help it that I’m 75 years old. Is this some sort of limiting factor?”

Under Bailey’s leadership, the Academy established a new code of conduct, which provides for disciplining or expelling members over abuse, harassment, or discrimination and also sets up procedures by which such accusations can be adjudicated administratively.

Such claims are to be forwarded by the Membership Department to the Academy’s Membership and Administration Committee, a committee currently led by David Rubin.

If the allegations are deemed to be credible and serious, the matter is sent to the Board of Governors, which then determines whether to suspend or expel the member, in this case, Bailey.

One of the members of the Board of Governors happens to be Bailey’s wife, Carol Littleton, who presumably would have to recuse herself from the proceedings.

If Bailey were ultimately suspended or removed due to the investigation and adjudication, he would be replaced by Academy first vice president and makeup artist Lois Burwell.

A couple of weeks ago Bailey told the annual luncheon for Oscar nominees that the “fossilized bedrock” of Hollywood would be “jack-hammered into oblivion.”

The claims against the Academy president, the subsequent investigation, and adjudication are occurring at a most inopportune time, especially when one factors in the omnipresence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Any due process Bailey might receive is jeopardized by the profound embarrassment that plagues Hollywood elites over their roles in the ongoing scandal.