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Here’s Why Many Movie Theaters Won’t Reopen Soon, Even If States Say They Can

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  • The National Association of Theater Owners warned that despite authorization for cinemas to reopen in certain states, many will not feasibly be able to. In Georgia, theaters can reopen as early as Monday, but local owners have refused and are simply not prepared to.
  • Many theaters still need time to reassess finances, rehire staff, ramp-up cleaning measures, and rethink seating arrangements to maintain social distancing. 
  • New film releases are also still several weeks away and theaters aren’t likely to release those projects if they can’t fill seats.  
  • Morning Consult survey found that a third of U.S. adults say they won’t be comfortable going to out of home entertainment for another 3-6 months.

Theater Owners Warn Against Reopening Too Soon 

While some states are moving to reopen businesses, The National Association of Theatre Owners warned Wednesday that most cinemas won’t be opening right away, even if they’re legally permitted to do so.

“Until the majority of markets in the U.S. are open, and major markets in particular, new wide release movies are unlikely to be available,” the group said in a statement. “As a result, some theaters in some areas that are authorized to open may be able economically to reopen with repertory product; however, many theaters will not be able to feasibly open.”

The statement from theater owners came in response to news that a handful of Southern states are teaming up to lift some restrictions currently in place amid the coronavirus pandemic. This includes places like Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who has approved the broadest rollback of orders in a state so far, plans to reopen restaurants and movie theaters as early as Monday. Businesses like gyms, bowling alleys, and hair salons, are permitting to reopen in the state Friday. 

Kemp’s decision was met with backlash from local mayors who are urging people to continue to stay home and business owners who have vowed to remain closed. It even faced criticism from celebrities like rapper Cardi B, who urged fans to prioritize “HEALTH OVER CAPITALISM!”

On Tuesday, President Trump also expressed concerns about Kemp’s plans, telling reporters, “I told the governor of Georgia Brian Kemp that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia.”

Still, the president said he wants Kemp to “do what he thinks is right” but warned that if he sees “something totally egregious,” he will step in. The President’s remarks came as a surprise to some given the support he’s shown protestors in other states pushing to reopen their local economies. 

Why Theaters Cant Reopen Quickly 

According to Deadline, big chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark, confirmed that they won’t be opening up anytime soon. AMC is reportedly eyeing early June openings, Cinemark is considering early July, and Regal hasn’t officially landed on a date yet. 

So then you’re probably wondering: what theaters are reopening in Georgia? Well, it will likely only be drive-ins and independent theater owners who own their own properties. For many exhibitors who have abatements in their rental leases, it’s just not in their best financial interest to reopen if there isn’t a new supply of products from major studios.

And studios won’t want to release their newest projects if they can’t fill seats. As of now, there aren’t any new movie releases slated until mid-June, when films like The King of Staten Island and Fatale are set to drop. Even more people have their eyes on films dropping in July, like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s Mulan. 

Some indie studios have already said they won’t allow their films to be exhibited in Georgia theaters that open next week. “We will not be participating in that,” said Tom Quinn, CEO of Neon, the distributor of Oscar-winner “Parasite” and “I, Tonya.”

“I hope people do the sensible thing and self-isolate,” he continued. 

Chris Escobar, the owner of the Plaza Theater in Atlanta, told Variety, “You have to have movies to show.”

“Second, you have to have people willing to come in,” he added before stressing that there was no reassurance from public health authorities that it is safe to reopen. “I don’t want to be that movie theater, where the outbreak in Atlanta is all related to the f–king Plaza Theatre,” he said. “I don’t think anybody does.”

Reopening theaters also isn’t something that can just be done quickly since it means theaters will have to reassess their workforce and finances. 

“We are not going to open on Monday, and we don’t have any plans as to when we would,”  Brandt Gully, the owner of The Springs Cinema & Taphouse near Atlanta said to Variety.Even if we wanted to, we wouldn’t be ready. It just doesn’t feel socially responsible to me to go out there to try to grab a few bucks.”

Theaters have been closed since about mid-March, so reopening means they’ll need to rehire or find new staff. However, at this time it’s really unclear how many workers are needed and what the demand for movies will be like. 

According to a Morning Consult survey, about a third of U.S. adults say they won’t be comfortable going to out of home entertainment for another 3-6 months, and about a quarter say they wouldn’t go for at least another six months.

On top of that, theaters will also have to rethink ticket practices, additional cleaning measures, and seating arrangements to maintain social distancing. 

For some theater owners, reopening right now just doesn’t feel like the right move. “No one is demanding this,” Escobar told Variety. “Even the people saying, ‘I need a haircut,’ they’re not saying, ‘I need to go see a movie.’” 

Though theaters can reopen in Georgia soon, film productions are still on hold as of now. Marvel movies, show like “The Walking Dead,” and hundreds of other projects are filmed in Georgia thanks to the state’s generous 30% tax credit.

But in a statement provided to Variety, the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office said the state was “cautiously working on plans” for a return to normal operations, which could include a testing system. 

“We will continue to work with studios to make decisions based on what is best for public health and the safety of our terrific crews here, not what is happening in other states,” Lee Thomas, the director of the state film office, said.

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Hollywood Reporter) (Variety) 

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Andrew Tate to Remain in Romanian Detention After Losing Appeal

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The controversial influencer, accused of sex trafficking and organized crime, has maintained his innocence. 


Appeal Rejected

A Romanian court on Wednesday upheld a judge’s decision to extend influencer Andrew Tate’s arrest another 30 days.

The judge initially tacked the extra time onto his detention on Jan. 20. According to BBC News, the judge cited “the capacity…of the defendants to exercise permanent psychological control over the victims, including by resorting to constant acts of violence”.

Tate appealed that decision alongside his brother and two others, all of whom were arrested as part of an ongoing sex trafficking and organized crime investigation. The court’s Wednesday decision rejected that appeal, meaning Tate and the other accused individuals will remain in custody until at least Feb. 27. 

Investigators claim that Tate lured victims under the guise of a romantic relationship, only to place them under surveillance and force them to make pornographic content. Tate has denied the accusations. 

“You know I’m innocent,” Tate said to reporters Wednesday morning while walking into the courtroom.

“Ask them for evidence and they will give you none,” he added while leaving court. “Because it doesn’t exist. You’ll find out the truth of this case soon.” 

Tate’s Controversial Online Presence

Ever since December his arrest, Tate’s Twitter account has continued to post sometimes cryptic messages about the investigation into him. 

“Would your life be fine without you?” he tweeted on Tuesday, one day before his appeal was rejected. “In Romania. They can steal your life without a trial. They do not need evidence, In this system, innocent men return to ruined lives. My life outside is fine. But for most men, 6 months detained and their whole life will crumble.”

Tate is a controversial online figure famous for spreading violent misogyny to his often young male followers. He has been banned by a number of social media platforms for his drastic remarks, including one where he said rape victims should “bear responsibility” for the assault they endured. 

Tate and his brother recently added high-profile lawyer Tina Glandian to their defense team. Glandian has previously represented celebrities like Chris Brown, Jussie Smollett, and Kesha. 

On Wednesday, she said there is a “lack of evidence against the Tate brothers.”

“So far the system has failed,” she said, via the Associated Press.

See what others are saying: (BBC News) (The Associated Press) (Rolling Stone)

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QTCinderalla Vows to Sue Deepfake Website: “Constant Objectification” is “Exhausting”

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The streamer said that anyone who chooses to view nonconsensual deepfake porn is “the problem.”


QTCinderella Plans Legal Action

Twitch streamer QTCinderalla said during a Monday stream that she is going to sue the maker of a website that hosts explicit deepfake images of herself and other content creators. 

“I promise you, with every part of my fucking soul, I am going to sue you,” QTCinderella, whose real name is Blaire, said through tears. 

Blaire went live after fellow streamer Atrioc accidentally revealed on Twitch that he had an open tab to a website that hosts deepfake porn. Graphic images of high-profile female streamers were visible his browser, and the website also includes deepfakes of more creators, including Blaire. 

Atrioc apologized for accessing deepfake images on a website that promotes explicit content of his female streaming colleagues. He claimed that he got “morbidly curious” and “clicked something” after falling down an artificial intelligence rabbit hole online. 

“It’s gross,” he said. “It’s gross and I’m sorry.” 

In the past, Blaire has talked about having to pay services thousands of dollars to remove graphic deepfake content that has been posted without her consent. Despite those efforts, it is an issue she still has to deal with on a regular basis. 

“Fuck the fucking Internet,” she said during her Monday stream. “Fuck the constant objectification and exploitation of women, it’s exhausting.”

“Fuck Atrioc for showing it to thousands of people,” she continued. “Fuck the people DMing me pictures of myself from that website.” 

The Objectification of Female Streamers

Blaire said that it “should not be a part of [her] job” to constantly fight for this content to be removed from the Internet, nor should it be her job to deal with the onslaught of harassment that comes with the dissemination of these fabricated images. 

“If you are able to look at women who are not selling themselves or benefiting off of being seen sexually — they’re not benefiting, they’re not selling it, they’re not platforming it themselves — if you are able to look at that, you are the problem,” she said. “You see women as an object.” 

On Twitter, she explained that the repercussions of these deepfakes go far beyond exploitation and violation. 

“The amount of body dysmorphia I’ve experienced since seeing those photos has ruined me,” she said. 

She was far from the only person to call out how invasive it is to post or consume deepfake content of people who did not consent to being depicted in a sexual manner. 

“Stop sexualizing people without their consent,” Pokimane, who is also among the female streamers featured on the site, said. “That’s it, that’s the tweet.”

No one should have themselves be put on a deepfake porn website w/o their consent and it’s fucking disgusting at the men who are making light of this shit. fucking despicable,” another person wrote.

See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (Metro) (The Gamer)

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Britney Spears Asks For Privacy After Fans Called Cops to Conduct a Wellness Check on Her

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Fans said they were concerned after the singer deleted her Instagram account.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated to include a statement from Britney Spears


Fans Call 911

Britney Spears said her fans “went a little too far” after some called the police to conduct a wellness check on her. 

The fans, many fueled by online conspiracy theories, were concerned about Spears because she deleted her Instagram account. While this is something the singer has done multiple times in the past, her fans thought she had left secret signals in her last post suggesting she needed help.

Some even posted videos of them calling emergency services on TikTok, a platform that is full of conspiracy videos about Spears. 

“I love and adore my fans but this time things went a little too far and my privacy was invaded,” Spears wrote in a statement on Thursday, citing “prank phone calls” that were made to police.

According to Spears, officers did not enter her home because once they got to her gate, they “quickly realized there was no issue and left immediately.”

“This felt like I was being gaslit and bullied once the incident made it to the news and being portrayed once again in a poor and unfair light by the media,” Spears continued. “During this time in my life, I truly hope the public and my fans who I care so much about can respect my privacy moving forward.”

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Ventura County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Page Six that the department “did get calls into our dispatch” but added there was no reason to believe that Spears was “in any kind of harm or any kind of danger.”

That spokesperson declined to say if officials contacted Spears or conducted a wellness check, citing privacy and public trust issues.

The Prominence of Britney Spears Conspiracies 

Just over a year has passed since Spears was freed from a highly restrictive conservatorship that controlled her life and finances for 13 years. Throughout the conservatorship, fans tried to use the pop icon’s social media to pick up clues that she was secretly struggling. She did not publicly speak about the conservatorship until the summer of 2021. 

Now that she has her freedom, fans are still reading heavily into her posts. Some believe there are hidden messages in her captions and in the gestures she does while dancing. Others think she is dead, missing, or hiding and that a body double is being used in her posts. Some are so concerned that they are coordinating a mass effort to pressure the Los Angeles Times into investigating Spears’ whereabouts and safety. 

In the last several years, many have reflected on Spears’ early days in the spotlight and the cruel ways she was harassed and targeted by paparazzi, news outlets, and culture at large. Often the punchline to a joke throughout the 2000s, many now sympathize with Spears, who was forced to endure heavy public scrutiny at a young age. Documentaries like “Framing Britney Spears” prompted many to see Spears as a victim of abusive media tactics, not the “crazy” woman tabloids painted her to be. 

Many are now concerned that fans are only going to subject Spears to a new onslaught of harassment by calling the police to her house. Even if the conspiracy theories are technically well-intentioned and often come from a place of concern, some believe they will jumpstart a media frenzy that could harm Spears’ mental well-being.

See what others are saying: (Page Six) (Jezebel) (TMZ)

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