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What Robert Pattinson’s COVID- 19 Test Could Mean for the Film Industry



  • Production for “The Batman” was paused last week, just two days after filming restarted in the U.K. 
  • Warner Bros. explained that a member of production tested positive for COVID-19, and several outlets later named the film’s star, Robert Pattinson, as the infected crew member.
  • Pattison and those who came in contact with him are under quarantine and it’s unclear if filming will need to be delayed for more than two weeks at this point. 
  • Figures in the British film industry have expressed confidence in existing safety protocols, but if the case is not contained, it could serve as a cautionary tale as the industry works to convince talent and crew that filming can be done safely. 
  • The case also underscores why insurers are refusing to cover costs related to COVID-19 in any new policies.

Crew Member Tests Positive 

For months now, the entertainment industry has been intensely focused on how to safely restart productions amid the coronavirus pandemic. By July and August, a handful of projects begin filming with strict quarantine procedures, limits to crew size, PPE requirements, regular testing schedules, and other safety measures. 

That appears to have been working well since there have been few reports of positive tests and no production halts due to outbreaks that we know of. With all of that looking good, it seemed like more production houses could be ready to move projects down the pipeline as well. 

That was at least until reports surfaced that Robert Pattison had tested positive for Coronavirus in the U.K. just two days after resuming production for “The Batman.”

Warner Bros. didn’t name Pattinson in its announcement last week. Instead, it said: “A member of The Batman production has tested positive for Covid-19, and is isolating in accordance with established protocols. Filming is temporarily paused.”

However, several outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, and Vanity Fair, later cited sources that named Pattinson as the infected individual. That’s huge news since he’s the star of the film, but right now, there aren’t a lot of details about how he’s doing or how he was exposed to the virus. 

What This Delay Could Mean for the Industry 

Filming previously shut down in March when the coronavirus forced sets to close, but with this positive case, this film will definitely be delayed even longer. 

A source familiar with U.K. filming protocols told Variety that anyone with a positive coronavirus test needs to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. After that, they can be cleared for work if a subsequent test comes back negative and they show no symptoms. Other productions have required at least two negative tests, and no COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Right now, its unknown exactly how long Pattison’s absence will last, especially since we don’t know anything about how he’s doing. On top of that, anyone who came within six feet of him for more than 15 minutes needs to isolate, regardless of whether or not they test positive.

That could mean any number of actors, stunt performers, or any other crew members that support him through the shoot, including the film’s director Matt Reeves, depending on how close he came to Pattison during filming. If any of those people test positive, that means more have to quarantine, which means the situation could get worse for the film pretty quickly.

It’s unclear how strict the film was with its procedures, but there’s a good chance this could be well contained.

Some figures in the British film industry expressing confidence in existing protocols, like Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London. He told Variety, “We know that productions in the U.K. are rigorously following British Film Commission guidance with robust health and safety procedures in place, including stringent testing regimes, which is why any case of coronavirus can be rapidly identified and appropriate self-isolating procedures implemented.” 

However, if the virus is not contained, the movie could serve as a cautionary tale for other sets, and it’s already underscoring major issues that the industry faces as it tries to get productions rolling. 

For example, now more than ever, production houses need to convince their talent and crew that filming can be done safely. On top of that, they’re dealing with insurers who don’t want to be held liable for COVID related delays. 

Since “The Batman” started filming before the pandemic forced shutdowns, there’s a chance this might not be a big problem for them. Still, according to some reports, more insurers are updating their wording to exclude COVID coverage in new policies because no insurer wants to be responsible for millions of dollars for overrun productions when the likelihood of that happening seems high. 

Pattinson’s case could have more far-reaching effects depending on how it plays out because if there turns out to be an outbreak, it pretty much becomes the worst-case scenario for everyone involved. 

As far as “The Batman,” there have been some rumors floating around that filming continued after the positive test. Those rumors stem from a DailyMail report, but the claims have since been rejected by a source close to the filmmakers. According to Variety, crew members are still doing construction work on sets and props, but people who were in contact with Pattison are quarantining and contract tracing was underway as of last week. As it stands, it’s pretty unlikely that any shooting will happen for at least the next two weeks. 

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Vanity Fair) (The New York Times)


Andrew Tate to Remain in Romanian Detention After Losing Appeal



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”



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



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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