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Tag: Controversy (11-20 of 83)

Furor over Orson Scott Card's anti-gay views drives 'Superman' illustrator to leave comic

Celebrated science fiction author Orson Scott Card also happens to be a fervent, outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage — and now the controversy sparked by his unpopular views has affected Card’s upcoming Adventures of Superman project.

Card has been opposed to gay marriage for decades; in 2009, he joined the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group dedicated to “protect[ing] marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.” When DC announced last month that Card would co-write an issue of Adventures of Superman, the news immediately stoked fan ire. A petition urging DC to sever ties with Card has garnered over 16,000 signatures on the LGBT activist site All Out; other supporters of gay rights have called for a boycott of the comic itself.

Yesterday, the brouhaha prompted artist Chris Sprouse to leave the Superman project altogetherREAD FULL STORY

Author Hilary Mantel calls Kate Middleton a 'mannequin'

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In case you hadn’t heard all the noise being made across the pond, author Hilary Mantel gave a lecture at the British Museum earlier this month, sponsored by the London Review of Books. In it, Mantel discusses the centuries-long fascination with royal families, royal women, and — specifically — a royal female’s ability to bear heirs.

At one point, she also describes Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and pregnant wife of the heir to the British throne, as a “shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own.”

It was the quote heard ‘round the empire. Mantel’s line, along with several other sound bites lifted from the talk, have become flash points in the larger, ever-ongoing debate about how anyone should talk about the royals.

READ FULL STORY

Legendary music biz executive Clive Davis opens up about Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson, and his own bisexuality in new memoir

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It is almost easier to list the artists legendary music business executive Clive Davis hasn’t worked with than the ones he has during his half century-long career. Suffice it to say that the founder of Arista and J Records and the current chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment has overseen releases by everyone from voice-of-his-generation Bob Dylan to Milli Vanilli who, as it turned out, weren’t even the voices of themselves.

READ FULL STORY

Five things we learned about the Mariah Carey-Tommy Mottola marriage from record exec's new memoir

The music biz memoir has become one of the hottest trends over the past couple of years — and the boys in the (record label) boardroom are not getting left behind. Today, Grand Central is publishing Tommy Mottola’s autobiography, Hitmaker: The Man and his Music, which he co-penned with Cal Fussman. Formerly the Chairman CEO of Sony Music, Mottola developed an amazing array of talent, including Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, and Mariah Carey. Mottola thought Carey was so amazing that in 1993 he married her, despite being both more than two decades older and the songbird’s technical boss.

READ FULL STORY

Stephen King argues for gun control in strongly worded new Kindle essay

Stephen King has released a new Kindle single titled Guns, in which the horror author — who says he owns three handguns himself — passionately advocates for additional firearm regulation. “In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, gun advocates have to ask themselves if their zeal to protect even the outer limits of gun ownership have anything to do with preserving the Second Amendment as a whole, or if it’s just a stubborn desire to hold onto what they have, and to hell with the collateral damage,” King writes. “If that’s the case, let suggest that f— you, Jack, I’m okay is not a tenable position, morally speaking.”

In the essay, which is available on Amazon for 99 cents, King writes about the first novel he ever wrote, which he penned in high school and was later published as Rage under his Richard Bachman pseudonym. The book is about a kid who shows up at school with a gun, kills a teacher, and takes his class hostage, and after it was published, Rage apparently helped inspire several real-life school shooters. READ FULL STORY

National Book Awards to add more nominees, maybe go 'a little more mainstream'

In order to infuse some excitement into the proceedings, the National Book Awards are going the way of the Oscars and Britain’s splashier Man Booker Prize by announcing a “long list” of ten nominees in the four competitive categories before whittling them down to the usual five finalists in each, according to the AP. More nominees will mean more books getting a boost from the attention, lesser potential for snubs, and perhaps more genre nominees in the fiction category. Another change: The judging panel will include critics, booksellers, and librarians in addition to writers.

National Book Foundation vice president and Grove/Atlantic CEO Morgan Entrekin told the AP that expanding the judging pool beyond writers will perhaps make the picks “a little more mainstream” and less likely to include “a collection of stories by a university press.”

Do you think “more mainstream” finalists make book awards more exciting, or will that defeat the purpose? A similar debate swirled around the Man Booker Prize when Julian Barnes won for A Sense of An Ending in 2011.

Read more:
National Book Critics Circle Award finalists are …
National Book Award winner Katherine Boo on ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’, ‘unsexy’ topics, and ‘American Idol’ recaps
And the 2012 National Book Award winners are …

'Three Cups of Tea' co-author David Oliver Relin dies at age 49

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David Oliver Relin, co-author of the 2006 best-selling inspirational memoir Three Cups of Tea, died on Nov. 14 in Oregon at age 49. Relin had been suffering from depression and committed suicide, according to a family spokesperson.

The book, co-authored with Greg Mortenson, came under fire in 2011 when 60 Minutes and author Jon Krakauer alleged that it misrepresented or fabricated basic facts, particularly passages about Mortenson’s rescue by the citizens of Korphe, Pakistan, and the number of schools built by Mortenson’s charity, the Central Asia Institute. READ FULL STORY

Laters, baby: Woman cites 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in divorce

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Fifty Shades of Grey has inspired many things: jewelry, baby onesies, cookbooks, Christmas ornaments, and now… a divorce?

No, you gasp! It cannot be! No other book screams (literally) undying romance quite like E L James’s erotic trilogy. But alas, dear readers, it is (allegedly) true. According to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail, a British woman cited Fifty Shades of Grey as evidence of her husband’s “unreasonable behavior,” claiming that he maintained a “boring attitude” towards sex and refused to recreate scenes from the steamy book.

“She thought their sex life had hit a rut — he never remembered Valentine’s Day and he never complimented her on her appearance,” the wife’s lawyer Amanda McAlister said. “So she bought sexy underwear in an attempt to get her husband more involved. She said, ‘Let’s make things more interesting.’” But her husband could not be swayed. “He went ballistic when he found out the name of the book she was reading and told her, ‘It’s all because you have been reading that bloody book.’”

READ FULL STORY

Co-writer of 'Spider-Man' musical lands tell-all book deal

Glen Berger, co-writer of the disaster-prone Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, is working on a book.

Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History, will come out next year, Simon & Schuster announced Tuesday. Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp said the book would be, “entomologically speaking,” the “ultimate fly-on-the-wall account” of how a musical is made.

The big budget production became notorious for a series of stunt accidents during previews. The show was eventually revamped and the original director, Julie Taymor, was fired. Taymor later sued the producers, who countersued. A tentative settlement was reached over the summer.

Read more:
Spider-Man stuntman readying (another) ‘Turn Off the Dark’ lawsuit
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ breaks Broadway record
Rebooted ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ still climbing the box office despite bad reviews

Film critic Richard Crouse talks about the controversial film 'The Devils' in his book 'Raising Hell'

The story of 1971′s The Devils is an unpleasant one. Based on Aldous Huxley’s book The Devils of Loudun and a play by John Whiting, the film details an episode of alleged demonic possessions and exorcisms — and the innocent priest who was executed for heresy — in 17th-century France. And that’s just the plot line.

The real story of The Devils took place behind the camera, in the movie’s production process and its reception among censors, critics, and audiences. The intensity of the shoot cost director Ken Russell his marriage and tested the nerves of its stars, British screen legends Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave. Later, after facing numerous cuts from the British Board of Film Censors for material deemed inappropriate (or, according to the Catholic Church, blasphemous), The Devils received an abysmal response from critics, was banned in several countries, and basically vanished for three decades.

In recent years, though, the movie’s seen a bit of a resurgence. Fan sites are popping up and bootleg copies with fewer cuts have surfaced (Russell lamented that a fully uncensored version simply doesn’t exist); critics, for their part, have begun to see the film in a different light, hailing it as a provocative masterpiece in league with A Clockwork Orange.

In light of this renaissance, Canadian film critic Richard Crouse has written a book about The Devils, tracing it from conceptualization to its disastrous wide release to today’s renewed interest. With endorsements from a litany of notable directors — Terry Gilliam, David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro — and first-hand testimony from many of the principal players, Raising Hell offers a comprehensive look into the making of this brutally controversial film. In our conversation, Crouse (who has seen The Devils nearly 200 times) talked about Ken Russell’s blistering visual style and his never-ending battle with Warner Brothers, and why this movie could only have been made in 1971. READ FULL STORY

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