Alex Ben Block

The Importance of Spotlight’s Win at the Politically Charged Oscars

Smashing Hollywood’s resistance to facing social and political issues at the Academy Awards, Spotlight’s win shows the power of investigative journalism at a time when newspapers are fighting to survive. The show also took on racism in Hollywood, sexual assault, gay and transgender rights, and even climate change. Welcome to the new mindset of old Hollywood Spotlight team accepts Best Picture Oscar At the heart of what was arguably the most politically charged Academy Awards show of all time was the surprising best picture Oscar win by Spotlight. The movie is an intense drama, based on the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered a child molestation scandal within the local Catholic Arch

Oscar Viewing Party Tug of War?

Roger Neal’s new Oscar Party has begun a tug of war with Norby Walter’s long established Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party over attracting “name” stars. However, Neal insists, “there’s enough stars to go around,” while Walters says he could care less about competitors. Lou Ferrigno (who starred on TV as The Hulk '77-'82) with Roger Neal at the publicist/manager's gifting suite. Ferringo has RSVP'd to attend The Night of 100 Stars on Sunday. This week, Hollywood publicist Roger Neal held his 20th annual Academy Awards gifting suite, or “beauty and couture suite,” as he calls it. The two-day event, held at an upscale hotel in Beverly Hills, attracted award nominees, A-to-Z li

Pressure Is On Chris Rock to Attract Oscar Viewers - But I’m Watching To See What Quincy Jones Does

Jones’ role in at the awards could indicate how the movie Academy has worked to extinguish the flames lit by the Hollywood diversity “crisis.” Jones said he wouldn’t be a presenter if he couldn’t talk about the need for diversity... In the wake of near panic over the lack of diversity among acting nominees for the second year in a row at the Oscars, I will be avidly watching on Sunday to see what musical great Quincy Jones does on the awards show. After this year’s nomination announcements, a “diversity crisis” was ignited by Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and a few others. It suggested a boycott of the Oscars, shaking the staid movie Academy to its roots. When the controversy erupted, Jones

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Road To The Academy Awards

Oscar Night 1977: Director John Avildsen & producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler surrounding the star When he won a Golden Globe, the veteran performer spun yet another lie about the 1976 movie that made him a star. Will he do it again at the Oscars? Will you be able to tell? Read the true story about the origins of the myth As a fellow baby boomer, I’ll be rooting for Sylvester “Sly” Stallone to win the Best Actor Oscar he should have won thirty-nine years ago. However, I am hoping that Sly will not lie again in his acceptance speech as he did at the Golden Globes when praising the producers of the movie that made him a star and began his career odyssey to Creed. Sly said before a glo

Will Smith should’ve been Oscar nominated for "Concussion" but racism is not the real reas

Blame it on a change of management at Sony, pressure from the NFL, the holiday season and a completely inept release plan for the movie. Will Smith isn’t planning to attend the Academy Awards this year after his extraordinary performance in Concussion was overlooked - but I don’t believe racism is the real reason. Smith’s hopes weren’t tackled by an overly Caucasian movie Academy, which over the years has happily rewarded many fine black performers and pictures. In this case, it was the ineptitude, cowardice, and bad luck of Sony Pictures Entertainment, back room pressure from pro football bosses, and to a lesser extent, the general public’s preference for spectacle and overly uncomfortable

Why BLOCK & Tackle?

Why BLOCK & Tackle? The world of media, communications, marketing and journalism have all undergone enormous changes driven by the relentless advance of technology that has produced one game changer after another at a dizzying pace. These changes have brought a reordering of business priorities for journalists and everybody else. There are more ways to gather and deliver information and more opinions than ever, but the great journalism factories that have crumbled have not been replaced by others of equal stature. Today there are fewer opportunities to be both a business and do good for the community. Just as there are no more video stores, record stores and soon book stores, there are a lo

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