Actresses, shows about women win big at Critics’ Choice

Gal Gadot reacts in the audience as ‘Wonder Woman’ wins for best action movie at the 23rd annual Critics’ Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Thursday in Santa Monica. (AP)
Updated 12 January 2018
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Actresses, shows about women win big at Critics’ Choice

SANTA MONICA: It was a good night for women at the Critics’ Choice Awards, which honored women-centered stories like “Big Little Lies,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” “Wonder Woman” was named best action movie and star Gal Gadot accepted a special award for challenging gender stereotypes.
Yet the industry’s ongoing sexual misconduct crisis remained an element of the ceremony as James Franco won an acting award early in the evening, hours after a report detailed new misconduct allegations against “The Disaster Artist” star and director. Franco did not attend Thursday’s presentation at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, and his award was presented during a pre-telecast section broadcast only online.
Franco won a similar award at the Golden Globes earlier in the week, where most women dressed in black to protest sexual harassment. More women dressed in color on Thursday, but their determination to end gender discrimination remained just as fierce.
“I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand for what’s right, standing for those who can’t stand or speak for themselves,” Gadot said as she accepted the second annual #SeeHer award.
“My promise to you is: I will never be silenced. We will continue to band together to make strides, uniting for equality.”
Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance, “The Shape of Water,” was the top film winner with four awards. Del Toro, who was also named best director, closed the show Thursday night by shouting that he’s always believed in the equality of women.
“Let me tell you one thing, if you don’t do that, you don’t know what you’re missing,” he said.
“The Shape of Water,” which led all nominees with 14 bids, also claimed the best picture prize, along with score and production design honors.
Olivia Munn hosted the dinner ceremony, which was broadcast live on the CW network. The actress, who has spoken publicly about her own experiences with sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry, led the audience in a toast. Joined by actress Niecey Nash, they raised a glass “to all the good guys in Hollywood,” who held meetings in conference rooms rather than hotel rooms.
“Congratulations for doing what you’re supposed to do!” Nash said.


Meghan Markle’s father appeals to British queen over rift with daughter

Updated 17 December 2018
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Meghan Markle’s father appeals to British queen over rift with daughter

  • Meghan’s father said he had not had contact with his daughter for months and repeated text messages to Meghan had gone unanswered
  • Kensington Palace did not immediately comment on the interview

LONDON: Meghan Markle’s father directly appealed to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on Monday to intercede and end his estrangement from his daughter, the wife of Prince Harry.
Former US actress Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, married Harry, the queen’s grandson and sixth-in-line to the throne, in a glittering ceremony at Windsor Castle in May.
But the immediate build-up to the wedding was overshadowed by her father, Thomas, a former lighting director for US TV soaps and sitcoms, who pulled out days beforehand after undergoing heart surgery.
Meghan’s father said he had not had contact with his daughter for months and repeated text messages to Meghan had gone unanswered.
When asked what message he had for Queen Elizabeth, 92, Thomas Markle said: “I would appreciate anything she can do and I would think that she would want to resolve the family problems.”
“All families, royal or otherwise, are the same and they should all be together certainly around the holidays,” Markle added.
Markle said that Meghan, 37, had not sent him a Christmas card but that he was hopeful that they could at some time build their relationship.
“Please reach out to me,” he said of Meghan. “I love my daughter very much and she has to know that... Just send me a text.”
“All I can say is that I’m here she knows it and I’ve reached out to her and I need her to reach back to me. I love her very much,” Markle said. “This can’t continue forever.”
Harry, 34, and Meghan are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019.
“I am certainly hoping that everything goes well and that they produce a beautiful baby and I’ll get to see a little Meghan or a little Harry — that would be very nice and I look forward to that happening,” Markle said.
“I think she’ll make a great Mom.”
Markle dismissed reports that Meghan could at times be rude. She was, he said, very polite as she had been raised on Hollywood stages.
When asked if she was a social climber, her father said: “She’s always been a very controlling person and that’s part of her nature but she has never been rude.”
Kensington Palace did not immediately comment on the interview.