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Lawsuits Filed Following Deadly Crowd Surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival

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People who were injured during the tragedy on Friday have filed suits directly against Scott and other event organizers.


Lawsuits Filed Amid Astroworld Tragedy

Rapper Travis Scott is facing multiple lawsuits after eight people died and 300 more were injured in a crowd surge at his Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday.

At least two lawsuits have been filed by people who were allegedly injured in the tragedy. According to Variety, the first comes from Manuel Souza who is suing Scott, promotor groups Live Nation and Scoremore Holdings, as well as people affiliated with the venue, NRG Park.

“As proud residents of Houston, we are sickened by the devastating tragedy that took place on Friday night,” one of Souza’s attorneys, Ryan S. MacLeod, told Variety.

“Travis Scott has a history of inciting violence and creating dangerous conditions for concertgoers. In fact, he tweeted that he would let the wild ones in after the show sold out. He and those who promoted and supported this concert must take responsibility for their heinous actions. We intend to hold them fully accountable by showing that this behavior will not be tolerated in our great city.”

The lawsuit claims that “the injuries were the inevitable and predictable result of defendants’ conscious disregard of the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers that had been escalating since hours earlier.”

According to Billboard, Souza is seeking $1 million in damages.

A second lawsuit accused rapper Drake, who joined Scott on stage during a portion of the performance, of likewise inciting chaos. That lawsuit comes from Kristian Paredes, who claims to have suffered severe and in some cases, permanent, injuries. 

“As Drake came onstage alongside of Travis Scott he helped incite the crowd even though he knew of Travis Scott’s prior conduct,” the lawsuit states. 

It added that people “begged security guards” for help during the stampede “but were ignored.” It continued with claims that the defendants were “not only aware of the hectic crowd but also that injuries and potential deaths may have occurred.”

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump tweeted on Sunday that he is representing another set of victims from the Astroworld tragedy, including 21-year-old Noah Gutierrez. Gutierrez allegedly “described a scene of chaos and desperation, in which he and other concertgoers in the VIP section worked to lift people screaming for help from the floor,” according to his attorney.

Crump will likely be involved in more suits throughout the week. 

What Happened During Travis Scott’s Astroworld Set

Houston authorities are still investigating what caused the crowd to surge to such a dangerous degree. 

“The crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña​​ told reporters during a press conference. “They were unable to escape that situation.”

Those who attended the show have shared horrifying accounts of what they witnessed. Some have described being forced to run over piles of bodies, while others have said they screamed for security to help but their requests fell on deaf ears. 

Scott said on Instagram Saturday that he was praying for the lives lost during Astroworld.

“My fans really mean the world to me and I always just want to leave them with a positive experience,” he said. “Any time I could make out, you know, anything that’s going on, you know, I just stopped my show and, you know, helped them get the help they need.” 

“I’m honestly just devastated. I could never imagine anything like this just happening.” 

Scott has promised to cover the funeral costs for those who died. He has also dropped out of an upcoming performance in Las Vegas and is facing pressure to bow out of other high-profile gigs, including Coachella.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Billboard) (NPR)

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Gucci Family Slams “House of Gucci” as “Far From Accurate”

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The heirs to the designer legacy said they were not consulted during the production of the Ridley Scott picture.


Gucci Family Addresses “House of Gucci”

Members of the Gucci family released a statement Monday condemning their “far from accurate” portrayal in Ridley Scott’s latest film “House of Gucci.”

The film stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted for hiring a hitman to carry out the murder of her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver. Other members of the designer dynasty are played by Academy Award-winning actors Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Jared Leto. 

“House of Gucci” has received mixed reviews from critics, but the Gucci family has made it clear they are not fans of the picture. They first released their scathing statement to Italian news agency ANSA. Variety published a full English translation of the release.

“The production of the film did not bother to consult the heirs before describing Aldo Gucci – president of the company for 30 years – and the members of the Gucci family as thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them, attributing to the protagonists, events, a tone and an attitude that never belonged to them,” the statement said. “This is extremely painful from a human point of view and an insult to the legacy on which the brand is built today.”

The Gucci heirs specifically slammed the depiction of Reggiani. The family argued that the film crossed a line by “suggesting an indulgent tone towards a woman who [was] definitively convicted of having been the instigator of the murder of Maurizio Gucci.”

“[She] is painted not only in the film, but also in the statements made by cast members, as a victim who was trying to survive in a masculine and macho corporate culture,” the statement continues. “This couldn’t be further from the truth.” 

It closes by saying the Gucci family “does not deserve to be disturbed to stage a film that is not true and that does not do justice to its protagonists.”

“The members of the Gucci family reserves every right to protect the name, image and the dignity of their loved ones.”

Other Inside Criticisms of The Film

This is not the first time the family has criticized “House of Gucci.” Back in April, Patrizia Gucci, one of Mauricio’s second cousins, told the Associated Press that the production was “stealing the identity of a family to make a profit.”

Scott dismissed the criticisms in an interview with BBC

“I don’t engage with that,” he told the outlet. “You have to remember that one Gucci was murdered and another went to jail for tax evasion so you can’t be talking to me about making a profit. As soon as you do that you become part of the public domain.”

Designer Tom Ford, who is briefly played by Reeve Carney in the film, also slammed “House of Gucci” in an essay for Air Mail. He compared some scenes to a “Saturday Night Live” parody and said he felt as though he “had lived through a hurricane” when the film ended. Ford’s largest issue, though, was how the film treated a real-life death. 

“It was hard for me to see the humor and camp in something that was so bloody,” he wrote. “In real life, none of it was camp. It was at times absurd, but ultimately it was tragic.”

See what others are saying: (Variety) (BBC News) (New York Times)

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Recording Academy CEO Defends Nominations After Controversial Nods to Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K.

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CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the Academy is not “in the business of restricting people” from getting nominated.


Recording Academy CEO Defends Nominations

Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. defended Tuesday’s Grammy nominations after artists like Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K. received nods for their work. 

Manson was nominated for his appearance on Kanye West’s album “Donda,” which landed in the Album of The Year category. Earlier this year, Manson was accused of sexual assault, rape, and psychological abuse by multiple victims.

C.K., who previously admitted to sexual misconduct, was nominated for Best Comedy Album. 

While speaking to The Wrap, Mason argued that the Recording Academy should not consider an artist’s personal life in its nomination process. 

“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,” he told the outlet when specifically asked about Manson’s nomination. “We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration.”

Even though Mason believes artists with serious accusations levied against them should not be excluded from nominations, he did say the Academy will consider those factors when it comes to performances and other on-camera appearances. 

“What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,” he explained. “We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.”

Other Controversial Nods

Manson and C.K. were not the only controversial figures who received nominations. Comedian Dave Chappelle was nominated in Best Spoken Word Album for his special “8:46.” Last month, he faced severe backlash for transphobic comments he made in a separate special titled “The Closer.” Chappelle was slammed by several major LGBTQ+ organizations over the special but has defended himself against criticisms. 

Rapper DaBaby was also condemned by LGBTQ+ groups this summer after he made homophobic remarks during her performance at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami. He received Grammy recognition for his work on “Donda” and Justin Bieber’s “Justice.”

The Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2022.

See what others are saying: (The Wrap) (Pitchfork) (Rolling Stone)

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Kevin Spacey Ordered To Pay “House of Cards” Studio $31 Million for Losses After Sexual Misconduct Claims

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The studio argued that Spacey cost it millions after multiple sexual harassment and abuse claims against the actor forced it to suspend production, fire him, and shorten the show’s final season.


Arbitration Between MRC and Spacey Becomes Public

Actor Kevin Spacey and his production companies have been ordered to pay nearly $31 million dollars for breach of contract to MRC, the studio behind the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

The ruling was actually made by an arbitrator more than a year ago but was only made public Monday when MRC’s lawyers petition a California court to confirm the award.

Spacey was a centerpiece of the hit series and also served as one of its executive producers. However, during filming for its final season in 2017, an actor named Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when Rapp was 14 in 1986.

Netflix suspected production in the wake of Rapp’s claims, but soon after, others came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Spacey, including several former and then-current crew members of “House of Cards.”

Netflix eventually fired Spacey, whose list of accusers grew to at least 15 people.

MRC Blames Spacey for Production Losses

In the secret arbitration last year, MRC argued that Spacey “repeatedly breached his contractual obligations.” It added that he and his companies are liable for his behavior, which allegedly caused the studio to lose millions given what it had already invested in developing, writing, and shooting the final season.

MRC also said the Emmy-winning series brought in less revenue when it finally aired because it had to be shortened from 13 to 8 episodes to write out Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood.

According to Variety, Spacey filed a counterclaim, alleging that he was owed money after he was dropped from the series and did not breach his contract. That claim was later rejected and the arbitrator ultimately agreed with MRC, issuing the massive reward, which includes compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees.

Spacey and his team have not commented on the news as of Tuesday, though the studio has since issued a statement saying, “The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability.”

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

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