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Paramount Sues Insurer Over COVID-19 Shutdown Costs During “Mission: Impossible 7”

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The studio claims Federal Insurance Company has refused to cover the majority of the project’s pandemic-related losses.


Paramount Sues Insurer

Paramount is suing Federal Insurance Company, alleging that the group has refused to cover the majority of the losses the studio suffered due to production delays with “Mission: Impossible 7.”

According to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in California, production for the Tom Cruise-led flick has halted seven times, with almost every pause stemming from local COVID-19 shutdowns or outbreaks on set. In at least one of these instances, a “covered person” within Paramount’s cast coverage policy became sick. This policy is meant to cover up to $100 million in losses in the event a person deemed “necessary to complete the production” cannot film due to a multitude of reasons, including injury or illness. 

Paramount claims that between the several shutdowns, its “aggregate losses are well within the $100+ million limit for each single loss.” According to the lawsuit, though, the studio has only received roughly $5 million. 

The complaint states that FIC does not believe that most of Paramount’s losses are covered by the cast coverage policy, and instead are only covered by a smaller civil authority policy meant to compensate $1 million in losses for events like government shutdowns. 

“Federal stated that the $100,000,000 Cast coverage was not available for most of the remaining portions of Paramount’s losses,” the lawsuit reads. “Federal claimed that Paramount’s losses arising from the pandemic, orders of civil authorities, and the need to mitigate could only be covered under the Policy’s Civil Authority coverage, and then that all the losses would be subject to a single $1,000,000 limit of liability.”

Paramount argues the cast coverage policy should apply to its losses. The studio also cited other instances where FIC was disagreeable when it came to COVID coverage, claiming the company refused to pay for losses after members of the cast and crew tested positive for the virus. According to Paramount, FIC argued “that there was no evidence that those cast and crew members could not continue their duties” despite clearly “posing an undeniable risk to other individuals involved with the production.”

Paramount did not specify how much it is seeking in damages from the lawsuit but made it clear it feels it was initially owed the nine figures promised by the cast coverage policy. 

COVID Disputes on Film Sets

This lawsuit is far from the first of its kind. Last year, the production company behind a Ben Affleck film also sued its insurer for refusing to extend coverage amid COVID-19. As production delays continue to be an issue on Hollywood sets, rifts between studios and insurance companies will likely only grow. 

Because “Mission: Impossible 7” is filming on location in Europe, the shoot has faced no shortage of issues amid traveling during the pandemic. Those issues made national headlines in December when Cruise went on an expletive-laden rant after spotting two crew members allegedly violating one of the social distancing guidelines on set. 

“We are not shutting this fucking movie down,” the Academy Award nominee is heard shouting in the clip. “If I see it again you’re fucking gone — and you are — so you’re going to cost him his job.”

“I’m on the phone with every fucking studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies,” he added. “We are creating thousands of jobs you motherfuckers.” 

“You can tell it to the people that are losing their fucking homes because our industry is shut down. It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education.” 

Currently, “Mission: Impossible 7” is not expected to come out until May 2022.

See what others are saying: (The Wrap) (Variety) (The Guardian)

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Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”

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The church has been accused of having anti-LGBTQ ties, something Pratt has taken a hit for. 


Pratt Addresses Hillsong Controversy 

After several years of facing criticism for his alleged ties to the controversial Hillsong Church, actor Chris Pratt said he has “never actually been” to the church and is “not a religious person.”

The Hillsong Church has been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. The issue received increased attention in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.” 

“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides,” he continued.

At the time, Pratt responded to the allegations by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” and that he believes “everyone is entitled to love who they want.” He doubled down on his denial in a profile published Tuesday in Men’s Health.

 “I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong,” he told the outlet. “I don’t know anyone from that church.”

Instead, Pratt said he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively. According to Men’s Health, Zoe Church is not without its issues. The church was founded by a pastor who produced a film that equated “sexual brokeness” to “same-sex attraction.” Other outlets have also described it as a Hillsong affiliate. 

Pratt faced his biggest wave of backlash in 2020 when Internet memes declared him the “worst” Chris compared to other actors with the same first name, including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine. A slew of celebrities quickly came to Pratt’s defense, arguing the criticism was unjustifiably mean. Their speedy responses only heightened the online conversation and many of the celebrities who spoke out were eventually mocked for doing so. 

Pratt Says He is Not Religious

As for why the Internet has become increasingly anti-Pratt, his alleged association to Hillsong was a major factor. Some also speculated he was a supporter of Donald Trump as he did not join his “Avengers” co-stars for a Joe Biden fundraiser, though Pratt is not usually politically outspoken in either direction.

Pratt believes the backlash against him started when he gave a speech at the MTV Movie Awards in 2018 where he said, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He understands why those remarks may have rubbed people the wrong way. 

“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he told Men’s Health. “Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time. I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”

He went on to explain that in his eyes, there is a difference between adhering to certain customs and believing in God versus using God to control and harm people and justify hatred.

“The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride,” he said.

See what others are saying: (Men’s Health) (The AV Club) (People)

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Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”

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“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.


Actress Pushed at Protest

After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights. 

Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”

Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.

Sweetin Addresses Incident

Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over. 

“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”

Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.

“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.

According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter. 

“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)

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Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him

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“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.


Theater Named Announced

Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title. 

The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. 

A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”

Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.

The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”

Chappelle Defends Controversial Special 

According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students. 

“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.

Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda. 

“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said. 

“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special. 

According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready. 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)

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