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Oscars move to honor ‘popular’ movies sparks swift backlash

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The Oscars will introduce a new award for popular films and the annual ceremony will be limited to three hours, organizers said on Wednesday, in a bid to stave off slumping audiences for the movie industry’s most prestigious honors.

The decision to create a special category for popular films sparked an immediate backlash, with one critic saying it smacked of desperation.

The sweeping changes also include handing out some of the 24 Academy Awards during commercial breaks in the Feb. 24 broadcast on Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) ABC network.

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“We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide,” the board of governors at the Academy of Motion Pictures said in a letter to members.

The U.S. television audience for the almost four-hour Oscar ceremony in March 2018 was 26.5 million viewers, the smallest in awards’ 90-year history. The telecast is an important showcase for the film industry, and nominated movies typically attract a new wave of ticket buyers.

“The accidental implication is here’s the award for popular film, and here’s the unpopular films,” said Alison Willmore, critic and culture writer for Buzzfeed News.

The changes are the biggest since the Academy in 2016 pledged to double its female and minority membership by 2020 in response to the #OscarsSoWhite criticism of its nominees.

In 2009, it expanded the number of best picture nominees from five to 10 in a bid to open up the competition.

Yet in recent years, the Oscars have tended to honor art house fare and performers, like best picture winners “Moonlight” and “The Shape of Water,” for its biggest prizes rather than box office hits like the “Star Wars” franchise or superhero movies such as 2017 blockbuster “Wonder Woman.”

Fans of this year’s superhero sensation “Black Panther,” from Disney’s Marvel Studios, have been arguing that it deserves a best picture nomination.

Wednesday’s letter did not give details of the new category recognizing “achievement in popular film,” saying those would come later, but critics on Twitter said it seemed to create a second-tier honor and mocked it as “the Black Panther award.”

“This is desperation,” wrote Kristopher Tapley, awards editor for Hollywood trade publication Variety. “Here comes the Academy, establishing a corner to which voters can banish (Black Panther) and other films like it with a pat on the head and a “‘thanks for playing.’”

The Academy could have waited to see the impact on the best picture race from its push to diversify its membership, Willmore said.

“There’s a lot of reasons to believe that would have shaken up the hidebound ideas of what an Oscar movie is,” she said.

The Academy said it will trim the duration of the Oscars ceremony by handing out some awards during commercial breaks. Organizers did not say which of the 24 awards, which honor everything from acting to sound editing and short films, would be shifted.

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What Rich Middle Eastern Princes Spend Money On

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This list is surely going to blow your mind. Here are the awesome, are they awesome? No.. Let me take that again. Here are the extremely, out-of-the-world things Saudi princes have spent money on.

When money is just a footnote

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When money is just a footnote

“Money can’t buy you love” but it can surely buy a royal life.

Well, some people take luxury to a whole new level.

Take a look

It's a gold car
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It’s a gold car

Buying a Lamborghini is itself a big deal, but what about a gold plated beast in your garage?

Saudi billionaire Turki Bin Abdullah has a fleet of cars – Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, Mercedes jeep, Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce and gold Bentley.

All of the exotic motors are wrapped in gold vinyl, with a model for every occasion.

Flight for falcons
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Flight for falcons

What is the weirdest check-in baggage you have ever heard?

Recently Saudi prince was in the news as he booked individual seats for each of his 80 falcons. You read it right.

He was flying in United Arab Emirates and the airlines took special care of the prince’s priced possessions.

Golden toilet as a wedding gift
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Golden toilet as a wedding gift

Bizzaro alert! Saudi Arabia’s king Abdullah gifted a golden toilet on his daughters wedding.

The toilet was completely fitted with gold furnishings including this golden commode and the golden bidet in the background.

Diamond ring? No, car
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Diamond ring? No, car

Buying a luxurious Mercedes Benz is not enough for Prince Al Talal bin Abdulaziz, so he crusted some diamond all over the car for his 38th birthday.

You read it right, that’s a diamond studded car.

Exotic pets

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Exotic pets

Having a cat or dog as a pet is too mainstream, no? So, this guy has a pet cheetah.

Exotic animals such as lions, cheetahs and tigers are regulars. Don’t be sacred if you see a lion peeking through car window in Dubai.

Gold from ATM
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Gold from ATM

While you have to stand in a queue for hours to get a Rs 500 note, there is an ATM machine in Dubai which expenses gold bar.

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Radio station stops playing Kodak Black Songs over insensitive comments after Nipsey’s Longtime Partner

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Reports say that an LA-based radio station would no longer bump Kodak Black songs after he made a highly insensitive comment about Lauren London, Nipsey Hussle’s longtime partner.

He said he wanted to begin a relationship with her when she moved on from Nipsey Hussle in a video that started circulating on Saturday. These were his words.

“Lauren London that’s baby, though. She about to be out here single. She’s finna be a whole widow out here,”. “I’ll be the best man I can be for her. I’ll give her a whole year. She might need a whole year to be crying and (expletive) for (Nipsey).”

“I ain’t trying to shoot (my shot) at her.” he added. “I’m saying, listen. She can do two, three years. I’ll try to be like the friend if you need to holla or a shoulder to lean on. She can call my line.”

Hussle was shot and killed at his Los Angeles clothing store March 31. The rapper was well-known and celebrated for his humanitarian efforts. He and Lauren shared a son together in addition to creating a blended family with their children from past relationships.

The suspected gunman, Eric Holder, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday. He also pleaded not guilty to two attempted murder charges.

In response to Black’s Instagram Live comments, Power 106 FM DJ Justin Credible said his station will not play his music.

“We stand with the family of Nipsey Hussle and are appalled by the disrespectful and poor comments made by Kodak Black,” Credible tweeted Saturday. “With that, Power 106 will not support Kodak Black’s music.”

Justin Credible

@J_Credible

We stand with the family of Nipsey Hussle and are appalled by the disrespectful and poor comments made by Kodak Black. With that, Power 106 will not support Kodak Black’s music. #LongLiveNip 🏁🏁🏁

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Rappers The Game and T.I. also called out Black for his comments.

The Shade Room reported The Game told Black and others who had negative things to say about Hussle to keep his name and London’s name out their mouths.

“Hey, Kodak Black: You outta pocket. … Fix that (expletive). Quickly, expeditiously,” T.I. said in an Instagram video. “You outta pocket. Ain’t nobody else gon say it. … If I see you, I’ma say it to your face. You outta pocket… Get your (expletive) self together.”

Black made another Instagram Live video in response, saying, “Man, listen. I said what I said. Y’all tryin’ to misconstrue what I said (…) don’t give a (expletive) what y’all talkin’ about,” he said. “T.I., man, I don’t care. I’m in Georgia right now. I don’t care.”

The Shade Room reported Black ended up apologizing early Sunday.

“If I disrespected you Lauren London, in any shape or form, I’m sorry, even though I didn’t,” he said. “And rest in peace to dude. Y’all already know what I said. I said dude encouraged me to do (expletive) for the community. But, anyhow, my bad to them two. But, like, for all you other people like trying to fake act like y’all little boy-ing me on the internet or checking me on the internet, if that’s how y’all feel, that’s how y’all wanna feel, I got a whole tour … I’m in Georgia right now and tomorrow I’ll be in Norfolk, Virginia, like wherever y’all see me, if that’s how y’all feel, that’s how y’all feel.”

Black has his own things to be concerned about. The Associated Press reported that he is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a woman claimed he raped her after a concert in 2016.

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