Art can be a tool to heal and educate, say Saudi psychologists

Saudi mental health professionals are exploring creative ways to help people with mental health issues. (Shutterstock)
Saudi mental health professionals are exploring creative ways to help people with mental health issues. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 02 August 2021

Art can be a tool to heal and educate, say Saudi psychologists

Saudi mental health professionals are exploring creative ways to help people with mental health issues. (Shutterstock)
  • Art therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy where practitioners use the creative art process and output to help the client learn about themselves and to heal them

JEDDAH: Saudi mental health professionals are exploring creative ways to help people with mental health issues.
Art can be a calming activity that some take on as a hobby or make a living, while it can also be part of a therapeutic approach used by mental health professionals to heal and treat those in need.
The stigma of seeking professional help has declined in the past few years in the Kingdom and psychologists, specialized in their own distinct approaches in their therapy, are finding different ways to educate the public. Many are finding that art therapy is gaining popularity.
Art therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy where practitioners use the creative art process and output to help the client learn about themselves and to heal them.

Anybody who experiences art therapy can readily feel the effect of it, even as lightly as a stress relief technique or to treat more serious mental illnesses.

Rawan Bajsair, Art therapist

Rawan Bajsair, a registered and board-certified art therapist in Jeddah, described it as a playful, non-threatening and non-invasive approach to tap into someone’s psyche.
“Art therapy is super effective. It’s a field that’s very hard to explain in words how effective it is, but I think anybody who experiences art therapy can readily feel the effect of it, even as lightly as a stress relief technique or to treat more serious mental illnesses,” she told Arab News.
She spoke of two cases she helped to treat while in the US early in her career. One of her earliest clients in art therapy was a 55-year-old woman who was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder.

HIGHLIGHT

Psychologists, specialized in their own distinct approaches in their therapy, are finding different ways to educate the public. Many are finding that art therapy is gaining popularity.

“She’d been hospitalized a number of times and went through different kinds of therapy until she landed on art therapy, which she continued practicing for 12 years. She truly showed me the therapeutic power of creativity and art through her work and experience with this form of therapy,” she said, adding that the success lay in how the client felt protected while having the freedom to express herself.
One of the most significant cases she worked on was with a 19-year-old male, who chose to be called Felix, who she treated in rehab.
She said clients that come to the clinic are usually defensive due to their court mandate. “When Felix first joined my art therapy group he was like most of the clients — none of them really wanted to make art, they thought it was childish.”
After offering some tools and explaining the process of experimenting without any expectation of the product, “some people would just play around with the tools and not actually make anything out of it, and that on its own is therapeutic.”
In the case of Felix, one of the things she offered him was a rubber stamp that printed out jars.
“I just demonstrated how he could use it and I noticed week by week he would place a print on more jars and he would experiment on different kinds of paper and it was really therapeutic at the time for him because when you think about printmaking, you really put the weight of your body into it, and there’s some kind of release that comes with painting that can be really healing, especially for past traumas.”
Felix printed jars that stayed empty for weeks and then would add something little inside the jar every week using different art materials.
“As the weeks went by, I looked at his artwork and I would see him putting his materials in these jars and he’d put some of his graffiti tag names onto them,” she said.
“Towards the end he looked at me and said: ‘So this is a safe space?’ He was talking about the jars and that’s when I got the idea of a whole book chapter that I wrote (Art Therapy Practices for Resilient Youth) about how clients can find safe spaces within these jars, whether its substance use patients or those who suffered trauma, a safe space is one of the biggest and most important component of psychotherapy.”
Educating the public through art is another aspect of using art as a medium.
Shahad Al-Sonare, 27, a clinical psychologist, believes that art is a tool to relay information and get your message across. “I usually draw to express my own feelings, so I decided to express the feelings of my patients. I convey their pain through my art to educate the world on these cases. I’ll be their medium,” she told Arab News.
Over the past two years she has drawn six pieces of art that embody her patients’ experiences, and said she will use the art as a means of education.
For issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and learning disabilities, she has found that by incorporating it into her work she is able to embody her patients struggles in a way that can be understood without the need for words.
In 2020 and 2021, Al-Sonare’s experience of teaching an autistic child in a classroom full of non-autistic children motivated her to raise awareness about autism.
“The school and other teachers didn’t understand his condition; he is actually very smart. It was sad to witness that I was the only one (teacher) who knew that there is nothing wrong with the child’s learning ability.”
“I was his eyes, ears and tongue. I was trying to educate all teachers, admins and principals on such cases. I experienced his pain through this experience and when I drew the autism piece, I wrote, ‘I’m not different, I’m just unique,’” Al-Sonare said.
“I feel like the best way someone could explain psychological cases is through pictures. Just like the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ it’s more descriptive and opens the viewer’s heart to the case,’ she said.


Luxury label Jean Paul Gaultier celebrates Saudi National Day with new film

Luxury label Jean Paul Gaultier celebrates Saudi National Day with new film
Updated 26 sec ago

Luxury label Jean Paul Gaultier celebrates Saudi National Day with new film

Luxury label Jean Paul Gaultier celebrates Saudi National Day with new film

DUBAI: French luxury fashion label Jean Paul Gaultier is celebrating Saudi Arabia’s 91st National Day, which falls on Sept. 23, in its first-ever launch dedicated to a Middle Eastern country.

The brand has brought to life the traditional card game of baloot through a film shot by an all-Saudi production team in Riyadh. 

The brand is also celebrating the country’s heritage and culture with the baloot box. (Supplied)

The film features a host of Saudi personalities, including actress Sarah Taibah, emerging fashion model Domie Alsalim, fashion and beauty multi-hyphenates Yara Alnamlah and Faisal Alghazzawi, as they compete in the game. 

The brand is also celebrating the country’s heritage and culture with the baloot box — a luxe green reimagination of its signature perfume case which comes in velvet stamped with gold details.

The celebrity-loved fashion house created a deck of cards exquisitely designed by Saudi artist Raghad Al-Ahmad. 

Al-Ahmad merged Jean Paul Gaultier’s signature iconography with cultural motifs rooted in the identity of Saudi Arabia through the art form of collage. The queen, king and jack of the deck are reimagined to represent the regions and cities in the Kingdom. 

The queen, king and jack of the deck are reimagined to represent the regions and cities in the Kingdom. (Supplied)

The baloot box is packed in a green bag with gold-embroidered straps, patterned after the intricate gold trimming of the traditional Saudi bisht.

The bag was designed and created by traditional Saudi tailor Salman Alhamad and Atharna, a social enterprise dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Saudi crafts and culture.


Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 

Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 
Updated 8 min 4 sec ago

Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 

Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay to star in Netflix drama 

DUBAI: Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay is set to star in Netflix’s upcoming heist action drama “Jigsaw” alongside US actor Giancarlo Esposito, she revealed this week. 

The series centers around a large heist that is loosely based on the $70 billion in bonds that went missing in New York’s downtown Manhattan when Hurricane Sandy struck the city in 2012.

Elbay, who is also a writer, will play the role of Judy Goodwin, the crew’s demolitions specialist who is clever, talented and independent.

The eight-episode series, which ranges from 24 years before the heist to one year after, also casts Spanish actress Paz Vega, British star Rufus Sewell, US actors Tati Gabrielle and Peter Mark Kendall, Australian talent Jai Courtney and Iranian actress Niousha Noor.

Elbay is famous for her role as Amani in Hulu’s award-winning series “Ramy,” which stars US-Egyptian Golden Globe winner Ramy Youssef. 


Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival

Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival
Updated 12 min 34 sec ago

Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival

Director Mounia Akl’s ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’ wins award at Toronto Film Festival

 

DUBAI: Lebanese director Mounia Akl this week won the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) award at the 46th Toronto International Film Festival for her feature “Costa Brava, Lebanon.”

Her impassioned debut is an eerie family drama set amid a raging climate crisis in near-future Lebanon.

The film stars actors Saleh Bakri and Nadine Labaki. 

Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri plays Walid and Lebanese star Nadine Labaki plays his wife, Souraya. (Supplied)

“Costa Brava, Lebanon – an exquisite intergenerational family story – is an ode to sustainable futures by visionary new talent, Mounia Akl from her precious and troubled country,” said the NETPAC jury, that included Spanish filmmaker Gemma Cubero del Barrio, Beijing based film producer Isabelle Glachant and BAFTA-nominated producer Elhum Shakerifar, in a statement published in Deadline.

The 32-year-old filmmaker’s haunting and upsetting feature was originally meant to depict a dystopian Lebanon in 2030 at its worst.

“I tried to imagine this dystopian future where none of our problems had been solved and the country was an extreme version of itself,” she told Arab News at the festival.

“It was somehow a way for me to imagine the worst for myself in the same way you sometimes want to explore your trauma in a cathartic way. It was a way for me to imagine the worst in my mind as a way of avoiding the worst happening in my mind and in life.”

The film follows a family who move out of Beirut. (Supplied)

But Lebanon’s crisis deepened as Akl and her team got closer to shooting the movie. “The reality of Lebanon became more tragic and more dystopian than even the dystopia that I imagined in 2030,” she said.

In the film, the now trash-filled surroundings of Lebanon’s “Costa Brava” had meant to be the free-spirited Badri family’s getaway utopia from the pollution and social unrest of Beirut. But their dreams were trashed when construction of a landfill site started next door to the family’s home.

Costa Brava is an actual landfill in Lebanon that opened in April 2016 as one of two sites advertised by the Lebanese government as a solution to the eight-month trash crisis the country had experienced the year before. However, within two weeks of its opening, residents and activists launched protests at the site demanding its closure.


Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out

Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out
Updated 20 September 2021

Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out

Fashion highs from the Emmys: From Dior to Zuhair Murad, TV's finest go all out

DUBAI: From actress Yara Shahidi stunning in a forest green Dior look, to plenty of gowns from Middle Eastern designers, Sunday’s 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles was a night to remember.

US-Iranian Shahidi, who currently serves as a global ambassador for Dior’s fashion and beauty segments, showed off an off-the-shoulder, tea-length dress by the storied French fashion house.

Yara Shahidi wore an off-the-shoulder, tea-length dress. (AFP)

With a thin belt at the waist and gentle tulle gathered on the bodice, it was a standout look on the red carpet. The actress and Harvard student was dressed by celebrity stylist Jason Bolden, who finished off his client’s look with chunky Cartier jewelry.

There was no shortage of glamour from the Middle East at the awards ceremony, with a number of stars opting for Arab designs.

US athlete Allyson Felix chose a simple look by Lebanese designer Reem Acra. (AFP)

“Kate” actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead showed off an evening gown by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad, complete with dramatic floor-grazing epaulettes. For her part, US athlete Allyson Felix chose a simple look by Lebanese designer Reem Acra, with a peek-a-boo cutout on the waist.

Dancer Kylie Marie Jefferson wore a structured grey ensemble by Beirut-based Azzi & Osta. (AFP)

Other standout outfits included TV actress Nicolette Robinson in a deep blue gown by Lebanon’s Tony Ward, which featured a sheer skirt and ruffled neckline; dancer Kylie Marie Jefferson in a structured grey ensemble by Beirut-based Azzi & Osta and actress Allison Janney in yet another structured look by the same duo, this time an all-white gown from their Fall/Winter 2019 collection.

Other standout outfits included TV actress Nicolette Robinson in a deep blue gown by Lebanon’s Tony Ward. (AFP)

Special mention should go to Lebanon’s Rani Zakhem, who is a relative newcomer to Hollywood red carpets. Zakhem’s gowns adorned not one but two celebrities at the Emmys, with the executive producer of hit show “WandaVision” Jac Schaeffer opting for a dark and moody floral gown, and TV news personality Zuri Hall showing off an icy grey jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and split legs.

On to the international looks and Anya Taylor-Joy, the star of acclaimed chess drama “The Queen’s Gambit,” stunned in a backless slinky butter-colored Dior gown paired with a dramatic bright yellow shawl that descended in a long train.

“The Crown” star Emma Corrin also wore butter yellow — she attended the London satellite watch party in a strapless floor-length Miu Miu gown, long fingerless gloves and bonnet, according to AFP.



Meanwhile, Kate Winslet, the Emmy winner for best actress in a limited series for “Mare of Easttown,” went for basic black, donning an Armani gown with a plunging neckline and airy sheer sleeves.


Emmys 2021: Who won what on TV’s biggest night

Evan Peters, left, and Julianne Nicholson pose for a photo with the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for
Evan Peters, left, and Julianne Nicholson pose for a photo with the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for "Mare of Easttown" on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP)
Updated 20 September 2021

Emmys 2021: Who won what on TV’s biggest night

Evan Peters, left, and Julianne Nicholson pose for a photo with the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for "Mare of Easttown" on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP)
  • “The Crown” looked set for its first best drama series Emmy after a season that focused on the unhappy marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana

LOS ANGELES: TV comedy “Ted Lasso” and the drama “The Crown” clinched multiple Emmy Awards on Sunday for the heart-warming tale of a struggling English soccer team and the lavish saga of the British royal family.
Jason Sudeikis, the star and co-creator of “Ted Lasso,” was named best comedy actor and the show also brought statuettes for Britons Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein for their supporting roles as the club owner and aging star player.
“This show is about family. This show’s about mentors and teachers and this show’s about teammates. And I wouldn’t be here without those three things in my life,” Sudeikis said on accepting the award.

In this video grab issued Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, by the Television Academy, Kate Winslet accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for "Mare of Easttown" during the Primetime Emmy Awards. (AP)

But it wasn’t all plain sailing. “Ted Lasso” lost the comedy writing and directing awards to “Hacks,” about a fading stand-up female comedian played by Jean Smart, who got a standing ovation when she was named best comedy actress.
The early wins poised “Ted Lasso” to take one of the top prizes — best comedy series — at the end of the ceremony after winning over audiences with its optimism and folksy humor during the dark days of the coronavirus pandemic.

John Oliver poses for a photo with the awards for outstanding writing for a variety series and outstanding variety talk series for "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (AP)

“The Crown” also looked set for its first best drama series Emmy after a season that focused on the unhappy marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. “The Crown” brought wins for supporting actors Gillian Anderson (as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) and Tobias Menzies (the late Prince Philip), as well as for writing and directing.
“We’re all thrilled. I am very proud. I’m very grateful. We’re going to party,” said Peter Morgan, creator of “The Crown,” at a gathering in London for the cast and crew.
A best drama series win for “The Crown” would mark a milestone for Netflix, while Apple TV+ would enter streaming’s big league with a comedy series win for “Ted Lasso.”
Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer got Sunday’s ceremony off to a rousing start with a musical rap, helped by the likes of Billy Porter, LL Cool J and Billy Porter on the theme of “TV — you got what I need.”

Brett Goldstein, left, and Hannah Waddingham, winners of the awards for outstanding supporting actor and actress in a comedy series for "Ted Lasso" pose at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (AP)

Concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus forced Sunday’s ceremony to move to an outdoor tent in downtown Los Angeles, with a reduced guest list and mandatory vaccinations and testing.
But the Los Angeles red carpet looked much like pre-pandemic days, with stars posing maskless in plunging gowns and bold colors.
In the closely contested limited series category, Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters won for supporting roles as a housewife and detective in “Mare of Easttown” about a murder in a small Philadelphia town.
“Mare of Easttown” is also nominated for best limited series in a closely contested category that includes harrowing British rape drama “I May Destroy You,” innovative superhero dramedy “WandaVision,” and chess drama “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Gillian Anderson poses with her Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, backstage at the Netflix UK Primetime Emmy for "The Crown", in London, Britain, September 20, 2021. (REUTERS)

The popular and satirical “Saturday Night Live” won for best variety sketch series
One of television’s most popular shows — 1990s comedy “Friends” — could make an Emmys comeback. The “Friends” reunion special that saw the six main actors reminisce earlier this year about their days playing 20Something New Yorkers is competing against the filmed version of Broadway musical “Hamilton” for best variety special.
******************************************

The Latest on The Emmy Awards in Los Angeles (all times local):
6:50 p.m.
Ted Lasso has roped himself an Emmy.
Jason Sudeikis, who plays the title character in the Apple TV+ show about a happy-go-lucky American football coach hired to head a British soccer team, won the Emmy Award for best actor in a comedy series on Sunday night.
It’s the first career acting Emmy for Sudeikis, and the third Emmy of the night for “Ted Lasso.”
The former “Saturday Night Live” actor tried to thank that show’s mastermind Lorne Michaels, but found he was missing from his seat.
“I want to thank Lorne, who went to go take a dump, now, perfect.” Sudeikis joked.
___
MORE ON THE EMMYS:
— MJ Rodriguez wore teal, Billy Porter winged black at Emmys
— List of Emmy winners includes ‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Mare of Easttown’ actors
— Emmys vow a ‘good time’ after bleak year; ‘Crown’ may rule
See AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/emmy-awards
___
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
6:40 p.m.
Jean Smart has an Emmy to mark a remarkable career renaissance.
Smart won best actress in a comedy series Sunday night for her role in HBO Max’s “Hacks.”
It’s her fourth career Emmy and her first in 12 years. She got a standing ovation from the Emmy audience.
She teared up as she thanked her husband of more than 30 years, actor Richard Gilliland, who died six months ago yesterday.
“I would not be here without him, and without his kind of putting his career on the back burner so that I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I’ve had,” Smart said.
The 70-year-old actor, previously best known for her role on “Designing Women,” has been a staple of elite TV the past few years, with nominated roles on “Fargo,” “Watchmen” and “Mare of Easttown.”
___
6:15 p.m.
Last week, tonight, or for half-a-dozen years, John Oliver can’t stop winning Emmys.
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” won the Emmy Award for best variety talk series for the sixth straight year on Sunday night.
It was the second award the show won Sunday. It also won for best writing.
From the stage, Oliver praised fellow nominee Conan O’Brien, whose show recently ended its late-night run on TBS.
“Like many of us in this room, I was kind of rooting for ‘Conan,’ so this is bittersweet. Thank you so much, Conan, for inspiring 30 years of comedy writers,” Oliver said.
He also paid tribute to comic Norm Macdonald, who died on Tuesday.
Oliver said “no one was funnier in the last 20 years than Norm Macdonald on late-night comedy, so if you have any time in the next week, just do what I did and just spend time YouTubing clips of Norm and Conan, because it just doesn’t get better than that.” ___
5: 55 p.m.
The Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama series goes to Tobias Menzies for “The Crown.”
Menzies won for playing Prince Phillip opposite Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth in the fourth season of the Netflix series, which has already taken four Emmys on Sunday night.
Menzies, a 47-year-old London-born actor, is also known for his roles on “Outlander” and “Game of Thrones.”
He beat out fellow nominees Giancarlo Esposito, O-T Fagbenle, John Lithgow, Max Minghella, Chris Sullivan, Bradley Whitford and Michael K. Williams.
___
5: 50 p.m.
Gillian Anderson has turned the Iron Lady into Emmy gold.
Anderson won best supporting actress in a drama series on Sunday night for playing British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of “The Crown.”
It was already the third Emmy of the night for the Netflix show, whose winners are accepting their awards at a viewing party in London.
And it was the second career Emmy for Anderson, who won her first 24 years ago for “The X-Files.”
She beat out her “The Crown” castmates Helena Bonham Carter and Emerald Fennell, along with Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, Aunjanue Ellis, Yvonne Strahovski and Samira Wiley.
___
5:30 p.m.
The sidekick and best friend of Easttown have each won an Emmy.
Evan Peters won best supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie for HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” on Sunday night, and Julianne Nicholson won best supporting actress for the show.
Nicholson won for playing the best friend of Kate Winslet’s title character, a Pennsylvania detective trying to solve a murder amid struggles with family and friends.
Peters won for playing Winslet’s partner.
Both praised the show’s star from the stage.
“Man, you’re good at acting,” Nicholson said to Winslet.
It was the first Emmy, and first nomination, for both Peters and Nicholson.
___
5:20 p.m.
Brett Goldstein topped his teammates at the Emmys.
Goldstein won best supporting actor in a comedy series for his role in “Ted Lasso,” which had four nominees in the category.
“This cast made me sick they’re so good,” Goldstein said.
With his win, “Ted Lasso” took the first two Emmys of the night, with Hannah Waddingham taking best supporting actress in a comedy.
It’s the first Emmy for Goldstein, and comes for his first nomination.
He beat out castmates Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed and Jeremy Swift along with Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Bowen Yang, Kenan Thompson and Paul Reiser.
___
5:15 p.m.
Hannah Waddingham, and “Ted Lasso,” have won the first Emmy of the night.
Waddingham won best supporting actress in a comedy series Sunday for the Apple TV+ series, which could be in for a big night.
Waddingham screamed with delight when she reached the stage.
“Jason, you’ve changed my life with this,” she said to the show’s star and co-creator Jason Sudeikis.
Waddingham plays the owner of an English soccer team who hires the American title character to run it into the ground on “Ted Lasso.”
She beat her castmate Juno Temple, along with Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Hannah Einbinder and Rosie Perez.
___
5: 10 p.m.
Host Cedric the Entertainer, LL Cool J, and a bunch of audience members opened the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards with a hip-hop tribute to television.
Cedric introduced the CBS telecast Sunday night by saying it would be anything but subdued, and began a rollicking declaration of his love for TV to the tune of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.”
“TV, you got what I need, would you say he’s just a friend,” the host sang.
The show looks a lot more like a traditional awards ceremony than last year’s audience-free “Pandemmies,” but is still seriously scaled back, held in a tent in downtown Los Angeles.
The night’s favorites include Netflix’s drama “The Crown” and Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso.”
___
1 p.m.
Emmy Awards host Cedric the Entertainer and the show’s producers promise it will be a celebration for all. But it could be much more rewarding, even historic, for some.
That includes Netflix’s drama “The Crown” and Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso.” Each is considered a frontrunner Sunday for top series honors in their respective categories, and their casts received armloads of nominations.
More than the shows would benefit. Victories in both the best drama and comedy series categories would mark a first for streaming services and reinforce their growing dominance, to the dismay of competitors.