Witherspoon reveals Hollywood assault; Lawrence talks abuse

Reese Witherspoon. (Getty Images for ELLE/AFP)
Updated 17 October 2017
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Witherspoon reveals Hollywood assault; Lawrence talks abuse

Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence used their speeches at a Hollywood event honoring women to detail experiences of assault and harassment at the hands of directors and producers and pledged to do more to stop such situations from happening.
Witherspoon told the audience at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards on Monday night that the recent revelation of decades of sexual misconduct allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein has prompted her own experiences to come back “very vividly.”
Witherspoon said she had “true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.”
Witherspoon didn’t name the director. Her publicist didn’t immediately respond to a request Tuesday for further comment.
Lawrence detailed what she called a “degrading and humiliating” experience of being asked early on in her career to lose 15 pounds in two weeks for a role. She was then forced to pose nude alongside thinner women for photos that she says a female producer told her would serve as inspiration for her diet, she said.
When she tried to speak up about the demands, Lawrence said she couldn’t find a sympathetic ear from those in power.
“I was trapped and I can see that now,” Lawrence added. “I didn’t want to be a whistle-blower. I didn’t want these embarrassing stories talked about in a magazine. I just wanted a career.”
Lawrence said it wasn’t until she was an A-list star that she had the power to say no.
Witherspoon expressed similar regret for not being more vocal about her experience, saying she has felt anxiety about being honest and guilt for not speaking out earlier or taking action.
For her part, Lawrence pledged to be an advocate for “anyone who has ever felt threatened in this industry.”
“We will stop this kind of behavior from happening,” she said as she concluded her speech. “We will stop normalizing these horrific situations. We will change this narrative and make a difference for all of those individuals pursuing their dreams.”


Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

Saudi Arabia is expected to become a significant box office market. (AFP)
Updated 43 min 54 sec ago
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Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

  • Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion)

DUBAI: The big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be a billion-dollar industry by 2030, according to experts, as regional and global movie operators queue up for a ticket into the Kingdom’s hugely profitable movie market.
Saudi Arabia is expected to amass the largest share of the cinema business in the Arabian Gulf region by 2030, with hundred of cinemas and thousands of screens set to open across the Kingdom over the next 12 years.
Within months of Saudi Arabia formally ending a 35-year-long ban on cinemas, three cinema operation licenses were awarded to operate in the Kingdom, the first was to AMC Theaters, an American chain owned and operated by Wanda Group. It opened the Kingdom’s first modern cinema on April 18 and plans to open around 40 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and between 50 to 100 cinemas in about 25 cities by 2030.
Shortly after, the second license was awarded to VOX Cinemas, now one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest movie operators. It plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia in the next five years, the same number of screens as the company’s regional footprint combined.
In July, it was announced the the third license had been awarded to the Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema — which plans to build 30 theaters in the country over the next three years. And last month, a fourth license was awarded to Lux Entertainment Co., which plans to open 300 cinemas across the Kingdom within five years.
VOX, which plans to open 80 new screens over the next 12 months, says the Kingdom will form half of its overall revenues in the Middle East over the next five years.
“Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion),” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary.
He said the Kingdom’s box-office market is expected to become “one of the largest” in the world, with a majority of its 32-million population under the age of 30. “The market is massive and full of opportunities as the population is young and enthusiastic about cinema.”
Will Saudi Arabia ever host the world premiere of a Hollywood movie? No one’s saying right now, but with such a covetable box-office market, it may only be a matter of time.