Well, that happened...

The crisis in Syria gets to its worst, a bunch of diversity controversy, and more awards nominations...

Well, that happened...

The main news of the week, your regular news guru Tom is off this week shirking his responsibilities to receive his Masters degree in Journalism. He will now actually be qualified to write about the news. Hanging onto his coattails is me, Bhav, Voice's Media and Arts Award Editor.

More seriously, this week, the international reaction to the Syrian civil war has reached fever pitch. Mass 'evacuation' of civilians out of the city of Aleppo left many dead and everyone else fearing for their lives - now the evacuation has broken down.

Elsewhere in the news, more nominations for awards season are churned out as La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea, Westworld, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Stranger Things all pick up major nominations at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards. Also, the job listing charity, Creative Access, has had its funding withdrawn by the Government. CA aims to placed people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds into entry level jobs in the media, journalism, PR and publishing. This is to redress the vast imbalance of representation by BAME people in these industries. At the same time, we have learnt, once again, that Southern Rail is an inept train service. That is all.

Years after it ended, legen-dary US sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, is getting a spin-off series, not by its original creators, but by the creators of current mega-hit, teary, US drama, This Is Us. On top of that, it's been quite a week of rankings as Margaret Thatcher has been ranked atop the seven women who've most changed women's lives in the last 70 years by BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour and Andy Murray is ranked the best British sportsperson ever to have lived by the Telegraph Sport readers.

Finally, a staple of Voice's Weekly News, we have fun new trailers. Let us all eeek in unison.



Evacuation of civilians out of Aleppo stopped


Innocent civilians were being evacuated out of Aleppo. Now that evacuation has failed and the city is being barricaded by Government forces after peace deals broke down. Those lucky enough to have escaped are living in dire straits in camps out in the open during a bitter winter. We have heard from many activists, bloggers, and journalists posting updates on the situation on social media, unanimously expressing the the fear for the ends of their lives. We owe the innocents to learn about what is happening and why. Who is doing what and, most importantly, what can we possibly do to help. Hand for Hand in Syria is a relief charity whose work is impeccable. To save you doing the research, you may take my word that they are worth their weight.

Source: CNN

Nominations for the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards announced


The Golden Globes awards both film and film and television for a whole host of categories whereas SAG does so just for acting. At the Globes, the writer-director of Whiplash has hit awards season gold with his musical, La La Land, getting seven nominations and daring indie drama, Moonlight, getting six. Over on the silver screen, The People v. O.J. Simpson, tops the list with five nominations and the BBC mega-hit, The Night Manager, just behind with four. The biggest surprise comes in the joint most important TV category, Best Drama Series, where last year's winner, Mr. Robot, hasn't even been nominated, being shunted out by four newcomers: The Crown, Stranger Things, Westworld, and This Is Us rubbing shoulders with Game of Thrones. Denzel Washington is nominated for Best Actor but been shirked for Best Director of Fences. At SAG, indie American drama by Matt Damon, Manchester By The Sea takes the most nominations with four and The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Stranger Things with three.

Source: Voice | Screen Actors Guild awards

Creative Access, media job listing agency for BAME people loses funding

It's a charity that helps minority ethnic interns with opportunities and training, and something that has helped hundreds and thousands depend on and are grateful for. Unfortunately the government have now withdrawn over £2 million of funding essentially closing the charity down unless they can secure alternative funding before Christmas. The charity and its remit has attracted controversy and been accused of positive racism and the subject of a condescending and narrow-minded attack by Katie Hopkins of the Daily Mail. It came to the fore when Creative Access managed to secure their highest profile internship yet with BBC Current Affairs earlier this year. The 700+ former interns have been busy sharing their experiences of getting employment and their experiences in struggling for work before encountering Creative Access.

Source: The Guardian

How I Met Your Mother spin-off series in development over at Fox

The popular CBS American sitcom is creating a spin-off including a whole new cast. Script writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (from This Is Us) will be looking to follow similar plotlines of characters referring to flashbacks. However, this time the story will be told from a woman's perspective! The creators of the original are going to act as Executive Producers on the new series but due to still being under contract over at CBS, where HIMYM ran from 2009-2014, they cannot input into the production so expect the new series to be a markedly and riskily different. Bring on How I Met Your Father!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Trailer for Christopher Nolan's wartime epic, Dunkirk, released

Harry Styles has noticeably appeared in this forthcoming war film by 2014's Interstellar director. Other stars include Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance, but this former One Direction star has taken the promotional limelight attracting 1D and Harry fans from all four corners. Dunkirk looks at the evacuation of allied soldiers from the city of Dunkirk in 1940, almost eight decades ago - a chilling, modern re-enactment that could become our generation's next most memorable war film.

Source: Facebook/IMDb | YouTube

Trailer for the first Studio Ponoc film, Mary and the Witch's Flower, released

A new Japanese animation company has been formed by a former director and former producer from Studio Ghibli, Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura. Their first feature film will be Mary and the Witch's Flower, based on The Littlest Broomstick by Mary Stewart. Following a period of uncertainty with regards to Studio Ghibli, Ponoc was formed to carry on the now legendary production company's award-winning content. The trailer shows us classic Ghibli otherworldly animation and a compelling storyline as it asks us what we would do if we were given a special power just for one night. It's been slated for a 2017 release.

Source: YouTube | Variety

Five former FA chiefs claim the Football Association is being held back 'elderly, white men'

The last five chiefs of the FA, David Bernstein, David Davies, Greg Dyke, Alex Horne and David Triesman have alleged to the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) that the FA is unable to discuss anything with the Premier League because they are being ruled by the perspectives held by 'elderly, white men' who are not representative of the game and its players now. The five say that this has resulted in English football being populated by barely any English players and the dire performance of the England team. Instead of promising to give the FA time to fix the problem, the DCMS Secretary, Damian Collins MP, has said that "We no longer have any confidence that the FA can or will reform itself." What the FA does going forward to makes itself accessible is yet to be seen. All this comes following fresh controversy surrounding historical allegations of sexual abuse of footballers at the hands of their coaches as children.

Source: BBC News

Andy Murray named UK's greatest sportsperson person ever

After clinching the Wimbledon trophy and Olympic Gold earlier this year, Andy Murray has been nominated the UK's Greatest Ever Sportsperson. Sportsmen and women from different eras were included in the contestants, but the Scot triumphed over all 20 impressive nominees. He fought off competition from more popular sports such as rugby and football, but seized the title just after becoming World No. 1. Included on the specialised judging panel were Sir Ian McGeechan and Olympic Sprinter Darren Campbell. However this is unlikely to be the end of the Great Scot's accomplishments. He commented: "There are improvements I can make and I'm looking forward to getting back on court in 2017."

Source: The Telegraph

Margaret Thatcher named the woman to most change women's lives in 70 years

BBC Radio4's Women's Hour has released their list of the seven women who have most changed the lives of women in the last 70 years. Topping it is Margaret Thatcher, the 70s Conservative Prime Minister - the country's first woman to hold the position. Karren Brady, Ayesha Hazarika, Abi Morgan, Jill Burridge, Julia Hobsbawm and chair Emma Barnett were on the panel to pick the winners list. Rubbing shoulders with ol' Maggie, but with no ranking among themselves, are Helen Brook who is responsible for making contraception available to unmarried women, Germaine Greer who is a writer and women's equal rights activist considered a modern day Suffragette. Jayaben Desai who led a huge strike against poor working conditions for a massive factory populated by many women of colour fifty years ago, Barbara Castle who led the Equal Pay movement, the character Bridget Jones, and Beyonce.

Source: BBC

Trailer released for new Adventure Time series that will answer the show's biggest question

Cartoon Network will be producing a miniseries called Adventure Time: Islands that explores Finn's mysterious and seldom addressed past. It will see him, BMO and Susan leave Ooo on a voyage of discovery. In the eight episode exploration the programme will aim to answer what the fans have always asked: what happened to all the other humans? Luckily, you won't have to wait very long for Adventure Time's second miniseries - after Adventure Time: Stakes - because it will broadcast on Cartoon Network over four nights from January 30, 2017.

Source: Polygon

Tessa Waters chooses seven young artists across the world to mentor

Voice favourites, Zach and Viggo, are among seven artists chosen to be mentored by Melbourne-based comedian and clown, Tessa Waters. In her own words:

" Together we will build a unique program based on; where they are in their careers, what they want to achieve and where they want to go in the future. The program is FREE for the artists involved and I hold no creative ownership over what they create. I want to support them in finding their creative voice, becoming more savvy and confident and in finding a balance between self-care and a successful and sustainable artistic career."

The project is using Patreon to crowdfund itself and, after being lucky enough to have been mentored by many artists herself, Waters plans to take all of that and pass it on to the next generation of entertainers.

Source: Patreon

Hip-hop icons, J. Cole and Kid Cudi release impressive new albums

After a quiet period due to mental health worries, Kid Cudi is back with an experimental record, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'. The massive 19-track album features the likes of Pharrell Williams - obviously because whose album isn't he on these days - Andre Benjamin and Willow Smith. In one way, it's classic Kudi, flashy, all production, and an unpredictably sensory feast. In another, it's more futuristic than ever, though less upbeat, perhaps on account of his recent struggles. It's more than worth a listen. Make sure you do nothing else let it fully pour into your ears.

J. Cole has cranked out another classic sounding hip-hop album, 4 Your Eyez Only, filled with the influences he pulls from the rappers of his childhood. The lyrics are more novel and there is a clear shift towards synthetic sounds and modern electronic bass beats. The album addresses all the domestic issues you'd expect from Cole, relationships and family and such as well as being the latest artist to address the race relations in America and crimes against Black people. It feels nostalgic and regretful as well as hopeful and more fun than previous albums. Listen to the most clever songwriting he's ever come out with and be impressed.


With all the talk of diversity at the moment, I personally feel it is worth mentioning people who feel like the push for diversity of ethnic minorities happens at the detriment of mobility for White people. It is difficult, if not impossible, for White people to grasp the difficulties that people of colour face simply by looking a certain way or having parents from a certain place. Experiencing the intimidation for being from a minority as well as for attempts to redress the imbalance is infuriating but, indeed, it doesn't excuse what is being referred to as 'positive racism'.

However, the assumption of people who feel like their skills are being sidetracked for the sake of recruiting or highlighting diversity at the expense of qualification is pernicious. We are as qualified as you. Some of us have managed to break into spheres populated by graduates and postgraduates, interns at powerful companies and the otherwise professional. And so, it is worth sitting on the thought that the value of increased diversity makes the successful candidate of colour with as much, slightly less, or, perish the thought, more experience worth more than hiring someone who looks like everyone else in these industries.

There is a great deal more to say on this issue, there are issues on either side, and it is absolutely more than black and white, pun intended. However, have a watch of Variety's Actors on Actors webisode, Kerry Washington and Aziz Ansari, it features two of the highest profile actors on television, both ethnic minorities, who addresses their own experiences on the matter. After that, watch the rest of the Actors and Actors for enlightening takes on acting, the industry, the things the actors are in and a lot of topics beside.

Isis Sky and Sienna James contributed to this bulletin

Cover image courtesy of Flickr/theklan


Bhavesh Jadva

Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team

Former Media Editor on Voice and former Arts Award Editor on AAoV covering film, TV, music and comedy.

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