Week In Review

By Elissa Hecker posted 07-17-2023 10:41 AM


By Jessie Schuster

Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Actors Join Writers on Strike, Bringing Hollywood to a Standstill

Hollywood is now experiencing an industrywide shutdown as SAG-AFTRA has made the move to join the WGA in their demonstrations to demand fair wages for writers. This move could be a risky one, as writers fear the longer the strike continues, they are at greater risk of being replaced by AI.

Hollywood Actors Strike TV and Movie Actors Vote for Biggest Walkout in Four Decades

As 160,000 actors join in solidarity with WGA, Hollywood is already seeing the wrath of this joint-power as upcoming movie “Oppenheimer” was left without its stars at the film's premier.

Strike Prevents Actors from Promoting Films at Premieres or Festivals

The joint-effort of WGA and SAG-AFTRA will be felt not only in picket lines, but also in theaters and at festivals as actors will not be promoting or publicizing their major studio projects as part of their strike.

Sarah Silverman Sues OPENAI and Meta Over Alleged Copyright Infringement in AI Training

In a lawsuit against ChatGPT and OpenAI, comedian Sarah Silverman claims the AI technology has infringed on copyright laws by “training itself” on information from her memoir “The Bedwetter” without the comedian’s consent.

Jury Finds That Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Will Found in Couch Cushions (Not the One in the Cabinet) is Valid

Two written documents were found representing music icon Aretha Franklin’s will. Franklin’s sons found themselves in a legal dispute to determine which was legitimate and a jury found that the 2014 will, found in the late singer’s couch cushions, was valid.

DaBaby Dropped from Copyright Lawsuit Against Dua Lipa Over ‘Levitating’

Following a lawsuit brought against Dua Lipa and DaBaby, claiming the 2020 hit ‘Levitating’ infringed on the 1980 song ‘Don Diablo’, a Manhattan judge dismissed rapper DaBaby from the case.

As Strike Continues, Writers Turn Focus to Ryan Murphy’s Productions

Despite the ongoing writers’ strike, producer Ryan Murphy is not giving in to the pressure as he continues production on “American Horror Story,” however members of WGA are not in support of Murphy’s choice as he himself is part of the Writers’ Guild.

Conservative Group Withdraws Lawsuit Against Left-Wing Podcast

Podcast hosts Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell from “Know Your Enemy” are no longer facing a lawsuit previously brought against them by a conservative youth organization that filed a trademark infringement against the podcast for using the phrase “Young Americans for Freedom.”

Renée Rapp Hires ‘Top Hollywood Attorney’ as She Quits Mindy Kaling’s Sex Lives of College Girls Show – Ahead of Starring Role in Mean Girls Musical

Triple threat Renée Rapp plans to get out of her contract for HBO Max’s “Sex Lives of College Girls” with the help of entertainment attorney Bryan Freedman, as the actress and musician embarks on her second tour.

A 10% Stake in Led Zeppelin’s Music is for Sale. Here’s How it Ended Up on the Market

Following David Bowie’s and Bruce Springsteen’s sales of their masters to major music groups, the rights to Led Zeppelin’s catalog is now up for sale as well, as the daughter of Peter Grant, the band's manager, has been approached by a number of music groups interested in her share of the music.


Shein Steals Artists’ Designs, a Federal Racketeering Lawsuit Says

The disgraced online fast-fashion company has found itself in trouble as accusations are being made regarding the violation of the federal anti-racketeering act in a lawsuit brought by three artists who claim that the company, which previously was shamed for selling a swastika necklace and keeping an unsafe workplace environment, has been copying their works.,Shein%20violated%20the%20RICO%20Act%20by%20stealing%20people's%20designs%2C%20a,has%20faced%20similar%20accusations%20before

At New York Actors Strike Picket Lines, Artificial Intelligence and Residuals Are Top of Mind

As SAG-AFTRA and WGA join forces in their ongoing strike, AI has become a top issue next to fair pay and streaming residuals.

‘Not for Machines to Harvest’: Data Revolts Break Out Against A.I.

Online creators are fed up as they find themselves in a position where they can no longer share their work online for free because AI technology is able to use the data to copy the work and create new work without their permission.

Picasso’s Daughter Appointed Administrator of the Late Artist’s Estate

Following their mother’s death, Pablo Picasso’s works, in addition to the rest of his estate, will transfer from Claude Picasso to his sister, Paloma Ruiz-Picasso.

After a Year of Climate Protests, the Toll Rises for Museums and Activists

Climate activists have been targeting famous artwork around the world to get their message heard, and while the artwork has thus far been protected by glass, museums are being left with no choice but to sue the activists for damages, including the cost of increased security, cleanup, and handling of the artwork.

New York’s Public Theater Lays Off 19% of Staff, Citing Audiences and Rising Costs

Over three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater is still struggling to make a full comeback as audiences, donations, and cost of labor and materials have all drastically changed, leaving NY’s Public Theater with little choice but to lay off 19% of its staff.

Artifacts Stolen from Kenya Decades Ago Are Returned                      

Artifacts stolen from Kenya in the 1980’s and sold to are dealers are finally being returned to the National Museums of Kenya with the combined effort of museums and universities that have held the stolen work.

Vandal Burns Major Public Artwork by One of Italy’s Top Living Artists

Michelangelo’s “Venus of the Rags” was vandalized in Naples by being burned down, causing outrage, anger, fear amongst Italians and aesthetes alike. Authorities detained a man in connection with the damage.

On the Front Line of a War Over Bullfighting Traditions

Comedic bullfighting shows, a Spanish tradition, are beloved by some and disgraced by others, but are in some cases found to be illegal when they include smaller, younger bulls going up against performers with achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism. The law states that shows or leisure activities that provoke public mockery of disabilities are prohibited. The performers, however, say that this law is taking away their right to work as bullfighters.


Moises Jimenez el al. v. New York City Department of Education (Sports Equity Case): Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement

A class action lawsuit is being brought against the NYC Department of Education and the Public Schools Athletic League by Black and Latinx students who have been treated unfairly by the DOE in regards to availability of opportunities to play sports at public schools.

World Athletics Insists DSD Rules to Remain in Place Despite Ruling at European Court of Human Rights

DSD rules that cap women’s testosterone levels at 400m for athletic events will remain, despite the European Court of Human Rights ruling in a 4-3 decision that the rule should be overturned, since the case was not against World Athletics, but instead against the Swiss Government.

Inside the N.B.A.’s Version of Comic-Con

N.B.A. Con, the N.B.A.’s new three day convention celebrating its culture, was deemed a success as over 25,000 fans experienced all things basketball, music, and fashion. and the association was able show the world how it views itself as a business.

NCAA Suffered from Nearly 200 Betting Infractions Since 2018

Following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, there have been around 200 cases in the NCAA involving breach of betting rules, according to a brief from NCAA’s President Charlie Baker.

Larry Nassar Stabbed Multiple Times in Attack at Florida Federal Prison

Sports doctor and sexual abuser of his many female gymnast patients, Larry Nassar was stabbed 10 times in Florida federal prison, leaving him in critical condition.

Media & Technology

Social Media Restrictions on Biden Officials are Paused in Appeal

A previous order set forth by a judge that had blocked the Biden administration from contacting social media platforms regarding content has been temporarily paused by a Fifth Circuit Appeals Court, as there is a potential significant First Amendment issue at play.

Judge Rejects F.T.C. Delay of $70 Billion Microsoft-Activision Deal

The F.T.C. attempted to delay the merger of Microsoft and video game publisher Activision Blizzard; however, a federal judge ruled against the FTC for failure to show that the merger would be harmful to consumers due to reduction in competition.

F.T.C.’s Court Loss Raises Fresh Questions About Its Chair’s Strategy

Lina Khan, F.T.C.’s Chair, is being questioned two years into her term as critics are being vocal regarding her approach in the courts following a rejection by a federal judge of F.T.C.’s attack and attempt to stop the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.

Presidency Doesn’t Shield Trump from Carroll’s Suit, Justice Dept. Says

The Justice Department reversed a previous decision, now stating that former President Trump’s statements made about E. Jean Carroll were not part of his official presidential duties. The reversal is a huge win for the journalist’s pending defamation lawsuit against Trump.

The Case That Could Be Fox’s Next Dominion

Prior to leaving Fox News, Tucker Carlson repeatedly reported on a conspiracy theory involving an Arizona man, Ray Epps, who may sue Fox for defamation, an issue the media company knows well following the multimillion-dollar Dominion lawsuit.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads Poses a Conundrum for Regulators

Meta’s new Twitter competitor, Threads, became an overnight sensation as the most rapidly downloaded social media app, however, two weeks after its release, questions are being raised regarding how this affects antitrust regulations.

Amazon Challenges EU’s New Digital Rules

New rules are set to be put in place at the end of August that would classify Amazon as a “very large online platform,” in order to protect European content users from harmful online content. The trillion dollar company, however, is challenging this rule, as Amazon claims it is unfair.

Texas TikTok Ban Challenged by Lawsuit from University Faculty

Texas governor Greg Abbott is being sued by the Knight First Amendment Institute representing TX public university professors for banning TikTok, which the claimants argue will put professors at a deficit, as they will not be able to use the app for teaching and research purposes.

Founder of Bankrupt Crypto Firm Celsius is Arrested on Fraud Charges 

Another founder and CEO of a crypto currency network has been arrested for defrauding customers, wire fraud, commodities fraud, and manipulation of securities. Alex Mashinsky of Celsius joins FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and a list of others who are facing charges following last year’s market crash.

F.T.C. Opens Investigation into ChatGPT Maker Over Technology’s Potential Harms

OpenAI, creator of ChaptGPT, has received a letter from the F.T.C. informing the AI giant that the agency has opened an investigation into the company regarding consumer harm via data collection.

Texas A&M Celebrated a New Journalism Director. Then Came the Complaints

Despite her resumé, which includes serving as director of the school of journalism at UT, Dr. Kathleen McElroy’s recent appointment for the same position at her alma mater Texas A&M, lasted only a few weeks. The school was concerned about political pushback regarding the scholar’s background as a Black woman who worked for the New York Times and who embraced diversity and equity.

The BBC Aired Saturation Coverage of Anchor’s Behavior. Was It Too Much?

The BBC, in attempts to show its journalistic integrity, spent time reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct done by one of its own reporters; however, the broadcaster may have gone overboard, as the BBC had to determine how to balance the reporter’s privacy rights and what should be shared with the public.

As Iraq Tries to Chill Critics, Its Newest Target is Social Media

Iraq has put new Interior Ministry Rules into place that target “indecent or immoral” social media content, as the country has been putting in immense effort to silence anyone who speaks against or questions the government. This new rule has put social media users behind bars in Iraq’s already overcrowded prisons. 

General News

Democrats Try a Novel Tactic to Revive the Equal Rights Amendment

As Congress continues to learn how to navigate a post-Roe country, Democrats are using a creative legal theory and a 100-year-old tactic to ensure that women remain protected by attempting to advance the Equal Rights Amendment.

F.D.A. Approves First U.S. Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill

The F.D.A. has announced a game-changing approval for women’s health and contraception as an over-the-counter birth control pills that could be found on shelves as soon as early 2024.

Biden’s New Plan to Forgive $39 Billion in Student Loans, Explained                                                 

Borrowers that have made the equivalent of 20 or 25 years of qualifying payments may be eligible for the cancelation of almost $40B in student loans following President Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness.

New York is Ordered by Appeals Court to Redraw House Map

New York’s congressional map has been ordered to be redrawn by NY Court of Appeals, a decision that could allow for a more left-leaning House of Representatives.

Schumer Asks Judicial Policymakers to End Single-Judge Divisions in Texas

Senator Chuck Schumer, along with 18 other senators, is asking to amend single-judge divisions in a letter that argues that the current system may allow plaintiffs to be heard by one specific judge.

Bannon Owes $500,000 to Lawyers Who Won His Pardon, Judge Rules

Bannon, one of many who was pardoned by the former president after facing a federal charge for conspiracy, is now being sued by the law firm who represented him two years ago for failure to pay over half of his bill to them, leaving him with still $500,000 owed in legal fees.