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    From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions. IHEART’S LIVING ROOM CONCERT An Elton John-led, star-studded benefit concert that raised more than $10 million to battle the coronavirus will be re-aired on Fox next week. Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys will be shown performing from their homes on “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” which will air Monday. The money will go to Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation. The hourlong event originally aired Sunday on Fox and iHeartMedia radio stations. Other performers include Tim McGraw, H.E.R. and Sam Smith, who sang “How Do You Sleep” in a cappella form. Dave Grohl sang “My Hero” from his studio in Hawaii, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong strummed his guitar to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” while Camila Cabello sang “My Oh My” from Miami with a guitar assist from beau Shawn Mendes. Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Ellen DeGeneres and Ryan Seacrest paid tribute to those combating the spread of the virus. FILM ACADEMY DONATES $6M TO HELP INDUSTRY EMPLOYEES The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is giving $6 million to help film industry employees out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. The film academy, which puts on the annual Academy Awards, said Friday that it will donate $2 million to the Actors Fund, which supports performers and behind-the-scenes workers; $2 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the long-running nonprofit offering relief to members of the entertainment community in need; and $2 million to the Academy Foundation, its own charitable arm. “As we face a pandemic, it’s incumbent upon us to help those in the motion picture community who are suffering,” said David Rubin, academy president, said in a statement. “The shutting down of productions, businesses and theaters has had devastating consequences. By contributing financially to The Actors Fund, MPTF, and the Academy Foundation’s wonderful grants program, we can help provide our extended family with desperately needed assistance.” SOUTH KOREA ASKS 8,000 THEATERGOERS TO SELF MONITOR The South Korean capital of Seoul says it will ask more than 8,500 theatergoers to self-monitor at home after Canadian and American cast members of “The Phantom of the Opera” were found to have the coronavirus. Seoul City official Na Baek-ju said Friday the musical’s international tour was halted following the positive test of an unidentified Canadian actress, who began experiencing throat pain and dry coughs days after she began performing at the city’s Blue Square theater on March 14. She last appeared on stage on Monday, a day before her test. Officials have since tested 138 of her contacts, including colleagues and guests at the downtown Somerset Palace hotel, and confirmed the infection of an American actor on Thursday. Na said officials were still awaiting test results for 48 people while the other 89 tested negative. He said the hotel was ordered to prevent guests from leaving the property and stop taking new customers. South Korea earlier on Friday reported 86 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its nationwide total to 10,062. While the country’s caseload has slowed from early March when officials reported around 500 new cases per day, there’s concern over a steady rise in infections in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of the country’s 51 million people live. ___ Associated Press entertainment writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. contributed to this report.
  • Anthony Terrell believes an imprisoned man currently serving two life sentences may not have been the person who murdered his brother as part of a killing spree that rocked Atlanta four decades ago. Terrell hopes new light can be shed nationwide on the murders that terrorized the African American community in the city within a two-year time span with the HBO documentary “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children.' The five-part series, which begins Sunday, will explore how the victims’ family members and others remain skeptical about Wayne Williams being the sole killer, despite evidence linking him to those murders and 10 others. “I really want them to find out who did it,” said Terrell, whose 12-year-old brother, Earl, was one of the 29 abducted and killed between 1979 and 1981. “It would be closure to a lot of parents and others who want answers. It’s more than just blaming Wayne Williams. His name was embedded in everybody’s heads. Let us be focused on something else. He was convicted of two adults, but the rest were children. What about them?' Williams was convicted in 1982 in the deaths of two adults, who were thought to be among 29 black children and young adults killed by the same person. After Williams’ conviction, police closed the rest of the cases, blaming them on Williams without formally charging him. The 61-year-old Williams says in the documentary that he never killed anyone. He has appealed his convictions, but they have been denied several times. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Police Chief Erika Shields are leading a charge to reopen the investigation. The series kicks off with Bottoms’ announcing the city’s effort to re-examine evidence. Last year, Bottoms said she was hopeful that technological advancements and newly available genetic databases could turn up new information. Terrell said the reopening of the case is long overdue, but hopes the documentary can show the black community's plight while enduring the tragedies in their neighborhoods in Atlanta. “This documentary could enlighten a lot of curious people,” he said. “I want people to know what happened in Atlanta. Why don't people know? They need to know.' John Legend is one of those interested in the case. The renowned singer said he didn’t know much about the child murders in Atlanta while growing up in Ohio as a kid. “I didn’t hear one thing about it,” said Legend, an executive producer of the project with Mike Jackson through their film company Get Lifted, in association with Roc Nation. “I was born in 1978, so I was very young when all this was happening. But it wasn’t a part of our folklore. It wasn’t a part of the things we talked about. ... I think there’s a lot of folks around the country that this would be new to them.” Filmmaker Sam Pollard said the documentary touches on the racial and political tensions between black locals and the Ku Klux Klan along with the Atlanta Police Department. He said the series will point toward other possible suspects, thanks to an anonymous source who had new evidence connecting members of the KKK to the murders. “We walked into this project thinking Wayne was the killer,” Pollard said. “But as we started to dig into the research, educate people and connect the dots. ... there may have been a rush to judgement in this trial. For me personally, I came to the conclusion that Wayne didn’t kill anybody.” Retired journalist Monica Kaufman, who reported on the murders, said the case was mishandled by officials at a time when Atlanta was on the rise after Maynard Jackson was elected as the city’s first black mayor in 1973. The city has had a black mayor ever since then, becoming known for its thriving black business ownership, hip-hop and film scene, and having one of the largest airports in the world. Kaufman said the rise of Atlanta would have been “sullied” if the cases were solved 40 years ago. “The city was up and coming, and we didn’t want anything to tarnish that image,” she said. “I think that if those cases had been solved in some ways, if there had been more than one murderer, it would have changed the political structure. It would have affected the business in Atlanta. It would have changed this city forever.” ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31
  • CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin has tested positive for the coronavirus, the second on-air personality at the news network to come down with the disease. In an Instagram post Friday, Baldwin said that her symptoms — a fever, chills and aches — came on suddenly Thursday afternoon. She said she'd been social distancing and doing all of the things that medical experts have said to do. “Still — it got me,” she said. CNN prime-time host Chris Cuomo also has COVID-19, and twice this week did shows remotely from the basement of his home. Most people who get the coronavirus suffer mild to moderate symptoms and recover. But for some, mostly the elderly and those with underlying conditions, it can be fatal.
  • The Walt Disney Co. on Friday overhauled its release schedule by moving the dates of half a dozen Marvel movies, announcing a new one for the live-action adaption of “Mulan” and pushing one movie, “Artemis Fowl,” to Disney Plus, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “Black Widow,” the Marvel entry starring Scarlett Johansson, had been set to kick off the summer movie season. Instead, Disney said it will now open Nov. 6. Such delays have unique ramifications for Marvel movies because of their interconnection. With “Black Widow” on the move, that meant a domino effect, pushing most all upcoming Marvel releases back at least three months. “Black Widow” took the release date of “The Eternals,” which now moves to February 21 next year. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' departs that February date for May 7, 2021. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” shifts from next May to Nov. 5, 2021. And “Thor: Love and Thunder” is pushed three months, to Feb. 18, 2022. Disney isn't abandoning the summer completely. “Mulan,” which been scheduled for March and already had its red carpet premiere, will now open July 24. The company also didn't move the Pixar release “Soul” from its June 19 release date. Those plans, of course, are subject to movie theaters being reopened by then and the pandemic subsiding. While Disney shifted nearly all of its big-budget movies, it's going to send one to its streaming service. The Kenneth Branagh-directed science fiction adventure adaptation “Artemis Fowl' will go to Disney Plus instead of opening in theaters. The movie had originally been slate for release last August but had been rescheduled for May of this year. With the exception of Universal's “Trolls World Tour,” the major studios have chosen to delay their top releases rather than push them to digital release and sacrifice box-office revenue. “Jungle Cruise,” with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, is being pushed back a full year to July 30, 2021. The release of the fifth “Indiana Jones” movie, which Steven Spielberg last month departed as director with James Mangold replacing him, is also being delayed a full year, to July 2022. Harrison Ford will be 80 years old by then. Wes Anderson's “The French Dispatch” is also postponed from July to Oct. 16. On Thursday, the Walt Disney Co. announced they will start furloughing some workers in two weeks at its theme parks resorts in Florida and California.
  • David Driskell, one of the nation's most influential African American artists and a leading authority on black art, has died. He was 88. Driskell was a multimedia artist who used the trees around his Falmouth, Maine, cabin home as a feature in his work. A spokeswoman for the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland said he died on Wednesday. The cause of his death, in a hospital near his home in Hyattsville, Maryland, was not disclosed. Driskell went to Maine in the 1950s to study at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He was part of a wave of artists who came to the state from New York, the Portland Press Herald reported. He would go on to become the author of several books and more than 40 catalogs, and curated ”Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the 1970s. The show was pivotal in paving the way for the study of African American art history. Driskell once said of Maine: 'I dream about it when I’m not there.” The spokeswoman for the Driskell Center said services are not planned at this time due to concerns about coronavirus, which has disrupted funeral services around the country.
  • The Tribeca Film Festival, postponed by the pandemic, is moving some elements of its annual New York event online. Tribeca organizers said Friday that much of its programming will be available either to the public or to the film industry over roughly the same days that the festival would have taken place in April. That maintains a showcase for the filmmakers and artists who were relying on Tribeca's platform for exposure. Film festivals give not only upcoming films an opportunity to make a splash but exhibit many smaller movies that are seeking distribution deals. Of the largest festivals canceled by the pandemic — Cannes, SXSW, Tribeca — each has taken a different approach to the crisis. France's Cannes Film Festival, scheduled for May, is aiming to postpone to June or July. South by Southwest, in Texas, was closed by the city of Austin just a week before its mid-March opening. On Thursday, it announced plans to stream participating films for a 10-day period later this month on Amazon Prime. Tribeca is still hoping to hold a festival in the fall, but Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca's co-founder and chief executive, acknowledged that would be a smaller scale event taking place over fewer days. The 19th Tribeca had been scheduled for April 15-26. “What we do later in the year would clearly be a differently programmed festival than what we would have done in April,” Rosenthal said in a phone interview Thursday. Those plans are in flux. For now, Tribeca will make available participating films from its competition categories — those that are judged by juries for awards — on an online hub for those in the industry and press. SXSW is making its movies available to the public, and offering a screening fee to each participating film's makers. But that approach also risks giving away, for a brief period, what many films most want — distribution. Tribeca is instead aiming to connect movies with buyers and media while preserving a movie's public launch. Tribeca will also, as SXSW has done, announce awards for it competition categories. 'There’s still more we want to do in addition to what we’re releasing,' said Rosenthal. “There are certain programs we’d like to be able to do at a later time this year when that’s safe. But this right now serves the filmmakers and the industry for what they need at this time. Getting those films seen by industry and sales people is vital to those creators.” Some elements of Tribeca will go straight to viewers, including the festival's virtual reality and immersive storytelling entries (available via Oculus) and the advertising exhibition, Tribeca's X Awards (on tribecafilm.com). The festival has already been hosting “A Short Film a Day Keeps Anxiety Away,” with shorts from the festival and Tribeca alumni. “It’s been hard mostly just to keep up the morale of our team. We’re a festival that started because of 9/11 and our instinct is always to reach out to community and here is a time when you can’t gather, you can’t do things that filmmakers and entertainment people do,' said Rosenthal. 'So how do you do that in a new way?
  • Saying they don't know when they'll be able to re-open many of their businesses with the coronavirus spreading, Walt Disney Co. officials announced they will start furloughing some workers in two weeks at its theme parks resorts in Florida and California. The statement released late Thursday from The Walt Disney Co. said the first wave of furloughs will start April 19 and involve workers whose jobs aren't necessary at this time. Anyone who is furloughed will remain a Disney employee, the company said. “Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses,' the statement said. The statement did not say how many of Walt Disney World's more than 75,000 employees or Disneyland's 31,000 workers would be furloughed, but it would involve executive, salaried and hourly non-union employees. Disney World has the largest number of workers at a single location in the U.S. More than half of its workers are covered by a union contract. The company has been paying workers and providing health care benefits at its theme park resorts since the parks closed in mid-March due to coronavirus concerns and that will continue through April 18, the company said. Furloughed workers will continue to receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney. Employees enrolled in a program in which Disney pays tuition for further education can still continue to take classes, the statement said. Employees can also apply paid vacation time to the start of their furlough if they desire, the company said. In a message sent out to Disney World annual pass-holders this week, the company said reservations at the Florida resort were only being accepted for June 1 and later, offering an indication of when Disney officials think they might be able to reopen. Late last week, SeaWorld Entertainment said it was furloughing 90% of its workers because the novel coronavirus had forced the company to close its 12 theme parks. The company had 4,700 full-time employees, approximately 12,000 part-time employees and the company hires more than 4,000 additional seasonal workers, according to its annual report. Universal's Florida and California parks plan to stay closed at least through April 19, company officials said late last month. A spokesman said Friday the closures likely would be extended. ___ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.
  • Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “ Lean on Me, ” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to The Associated Press. He was 81. The three-time Grammy Award winner, who withdrew from making music in the mid-1980s, died on Monday in Los Angeles, the statement said. His death comes as the public has drawn inspiration from his music during the coronavirus pandemic, with health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions on “Lean on Me” to help get through the difficult times. “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other,” the family statement read. “As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.” Withers’ songs during his brief career have become the soundtracks of countless engagements, weddings and backyard parties. They have powerful melodies and perfect grooves melded with a smooth voice that conveys honesty and complex emotions without vocal acrobatics. “Lean on Me,” a paean to friendship, was performed at the inaugurations of both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me” are among Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. “He’s the last African-American Everyman,” musician and band leader Questlove told Rolling Stone in 2015. “Bill Withers is the closest thing black people have to a Bruce Springsteen.” His death caused a torrent of appreciation on social media, including from former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who said Withers' music has been a cherished part of her life. “It added to my joy in the good times, and also gave me comfort and inspiration when I needed it most,” she tweeted. Billy Dee Williams tweeted “your music cheered my heart and soothed my soul” and Chance the Rapper said Withers' songs are “some of the best songs of all time” and “my heart really hurts for him.” Lenny Kravitz said “My soul always has and always will be full of your music.” “We lost a giant of songwriting today,' ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams said in a statement. 'Bill Withers’ songs are among the most treasured and profound in the American songbook — universal in the way they touch people all over the world, transcending genre and generation. He was a beautiful man with a stunning sense of humor and a gift for truth.” Withers, who overcame a childhood stutter, was born the last of six children in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. After his parents divorced when he was 3, Withers was raised by his mother’s family in nearby Beckley. He joined the Navy at 17 and spent nine years in the service as an aircraft mechanic installing toilets. After his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles, worked at an aircraft parts factory, bought a guitar at a pawn shop and recorded demos of his tunes in hopes of landing a recording contract. In 1971, signed to Sussex Records, he put out his first album, “Just As I Am,” with the legendary Booker T. Jones at the helm. It had the hits “Grandma’s Hands” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which was inspired by the Jack Lemmon film “Days of Wine and Roses.” He was photographed on the cover, smiling and holding his lunch pail. “Ain’t No Sunshine” was originally released as the B-side of his debut single, “Harlem.” But radio DJs flipped the disc and the song climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard charts and spent a total of 16 weeks in the top 40. Withers went on to generate more hits a year later with the inspirational “Lean on Me,” the menacing “Who Is He (and What Is He to You)” and the slinky “Use Me” on his second album, “Still Bill.” Later would come the striking “ Lovely Day,” co-written with Skip Scarborough and featuring Withers holding the word “day” for almost 19 seconds, and “Just the Two Of Us,” co-written with Ralph MacDonald and William Salter. His “Live at Carnegie Hall” in 1973 made Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time. “The hardest thing in songwriting is to be simple and yet profound. And Bill seemed to understand, intrinsically and instinctively, how to do that,” Sting said in “Still Bill,” a 2010 documentary of Withers. But Withers’ career stalled when Sussex Records went bankrupt and he was scooped up by Columbia Records. He no longer had complete control over his music and chafed when it was suggested he do an Elvis cover. His new executives found Withers difficult. None of his Columbia albums reached the Top 40 except for 1977’s “Menagerie,” which produced “Lovely Day.” (His hit duet with Grover Washington Jr. “Just the Two of Us” was on Washington’s label). Withers’ last album was 1985′s “Watching You Watching Me.” Though his songs often dealt with relationships, Withers also wrote ones with social commentary, including “Better Off Dead” about an alcoholic’s suicide, and “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” about an injured Vietnam War veteran. He was awarded Grammys as a songwriter for “Ain’t No Sunshine” in 1971 and for “Just the Two Of Us” in 1981. In 1987, Bill received his ninth Grammy nomination and third Grammy as a songwriter for the re-recording of the 1972 hit “ Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 by Stevie Wonder. Withers thanked his wife as well as the R&B pioneers who helped his career like Ray Jackson, Al Bell and Booker T. Jones. He also got in a few jabs at the record industry, saying A&R stood for “antagonistic and redundant.” Withers also was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. His music has been covered by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Linda Ronstadt, Paul McCartney, Sting, Johnny Mathis, Aaron Neville, Al Jarreau, Mick Jagger, Nancy Wilson, Diana Ross. His music has been sampled for BlackStreet’s “No Diggity,” Will Smith’s version of “ Just the Two Of Us, ” Black Eyed Peas’ “Bridging the Gap” and Twista’s “Sunshine.” The song “Lean on Me” was the title theme of a 1989 movie starring Morgan Freeman. His songs are often used on the big screen, including “The Hangover,” “28 Days,” “American Beauty,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Crooklyn,” “Flight,” “Beauty Shop,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Flight.” “I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia,” Withers told Rolling Stone in 2015. He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori. ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
  • A member of a popular folk music group that is banned in Turkey died on the 288th day of a hunger strike she and a colleague started while imprisoned to protest the government's treatment of their band, according to a post on the group's Twitter account. Grup Yorum said singer Helin Bolek, 28, died Friday at a home in Istanbul where she had been staging the hunger strike in an attempt to pressure the government into reversing its position on the band and its members. Grup Yorum, known for its protest songs, is a folk collective with rotating band members. It has been prohibited from performing in Turkey since 2016, and authorities have jailed some of its members. The government accuses Grup Yorum of links to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP/C. The militant group is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Bolek and fellow band member, Ibrahim Gokcek, had embarked on a the hunger strike while in prison to press the government to lift the ban and free detained band members. They were released in November. The two were demanding that Grup Yorum be allowed to resume concerts, that jailed band members be released and that lawsuits against the group be dropped. Two Grup Yorum band members, including Gokcek’s wife, remain in prison. Bolek and Gokcek were forcibly hospitalized on March 11 but discharged a week later after they refused treatment, the Ankara-based Human Rights Association, or IHD, said. IHD said a delegation of human rights activists met with Turkey's deputy interior minister last month to seek a solution that would end the hunger strike. The government refused to “assess' the demands until the protest was called off, the association said. Zulfu Livanelli, a popular Turkish singer and songwriter who sang with Grup Yorum during one of their 2012 concerts, expressed sadness over Bolek's death on Twitter, saying “ the struggle to prevent hunger strikes from not resulting in death has unfortunately failed.' Hunger strikers in Turkey traditionally refuse food but consume liquids that prolong their protests.
  • Circus Renz Berlin’s fleet of blue, red and yellow trucks have had a fresh lick of paint over the winter. But now, as coronavirus measures shut down the entertainment industry across Europe, they have no place to go. 'It's catastrophic for everybody,' said Sarina Renz, of the family circus that has been in existence since 1842. For the foreseeable future, the circus is parked up behind an equestrian center in a northern Dutch town, waiting and hoping for an end to the crisis. The German circus’ animals, including eight Siberian steppe camels, 15 horses and a llama, are spending their time in sandy fields munching their way through the circus’ supply of food and supplies donated by locals. 'We have food, but not for long. We're already nearly through our reserves. Now other people have helped by bringing things for the coming weeks. We've got supplies from people, that's really fantastic.' There are 18 members of the extended Renz family on hand to look after the animals, other performers have already been sent home, Sarina said. Children from the family pass the time playing around the trucks and animals and get home schooling -- that’s new for most children in the Netherlands but not for the Renz family, who usually are moving from one show location to the next too often to attend a regular school. For now, the family has to get used to a more stationary way of life, but one without the lifeblood of the circus: The public. 'We're just used to performing our shows. That's our life,” says Sarina. “We live to make other people happy with our shows, our attractions.