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Week In Review

By Donyale Y. Reavis Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into: Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Technology/Media:


Scarlett Johansson and Disney Settle Suit Over 'Black Widow' Pay

In her lawsuit, Scarlett Johansson claimed that Disney breached her contract when it released "Black Widow" simultaneously in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service. The suit said that Disney had promised that "Black Widow" would receive an exclusive release in theaters for 90 to 120 days and that Johansson's compensation -- based largely on bonuses tied to ticket sales -- had been gutted due to the hybrid release. Pay for actors is a contentious issue, as Hollywood movies are released for streaming at the same time they hit theaters.

Britney Spears' Conservatorship Hearing: What To Know

A hearing on September 29th is set to be a turning point for the pop star, who is trying to remove her father from a conservatorship that has ruled her personal life and finances for 13 years.

R. Kelly's Lawyers Attacked His Accusers. It Backfired

Legal experts said that R. Kelly's defense team focused on undermining the credibility of his many accusers -- a strategy doomed to fail as attitudes about sexual abuse shift.

After R. Kelly's Conviction, Can the Music Industry Change?

The R&B musician's guilty verdicts met a muted response in the music business that made him a star, and survivors and activists say the field has a responsibility to do more.

Opinion: With R. Kelly's Conviction, Black Women Were Finally Heard

The conviction is the first high-profile prosecution in the #MeToo era in which the victims were mainly women of color. It would not have happened but for the determination of Black women -- who organized a campaign to get stations to stop playing Kelly's music and who produced the riveting docuseries that finally prompted serious investigations, who told their painful stories.

Fashion Mogul Peter Nygard Agrees to Extradition to U.S. to Face Sex Charges

The 80-year-old Canadian citizen was arrested in December after being indicted by Manhattan prosecutors for sex trafficking and racketeering.

'Fire' Brings a Black Composer to the Met, Finally

For the first time in its 138-year history, and on the heels of an 18-month closure, the Metropolitan Opera presented a work by a Black composer: Terence Blanchard's "Fire Shut Up in My Bones."

Women Enslaved by ISIS Say They Did Not Consent to a Film About Them

The acclaimed documentary "Sabaya" portrays the rescue of Yazidi women sexually enslaved by the Islamic State terrorist group. However, many of the traumatized women said that they never agreed to be in the film.


Judge Denies Sotheby's Effort to Dismiss a Lawsuit Claiming That the Auction House 'Fleeced' New York Taxpayers Out of Millions

The complaint alleges that certain Sotheby's employees recommended the use of and 'even partially completed' resale certificates for their clients and requested that Client Accounting 'zero out' sales tax from all invoices associated with the purchases with these false resale certificates. Further, the complaint alleges that Sotheby's taxable sales were falsely stated because they excluded sales with the false resale certificates.

An Erotica Pioneer Goes From Hero to Villain for Dozens of Authors

Bethany Burke, according to revelations shared by a dozen authors an former employees, frequently threatened the authors with lower royalties and defamation lawsuits if they defected. Some writers were not being paid for books that Burke's company, Blushing Books was selling, while others were locked into contracts that gave Blushing "permanent and exclusive" rights to their books and pen names, which publishing experts called onerous and outside of industry standards.

He Taught Ancient Texts at Oxford. Now He Is Accused of Stealing Some

Hobby Lobby, the craft chain that helped build a collection for the Museum of the Bible, has sued a former Oxford lecturer, asserting that he sold it stolen artifacts.

Francis Bacon's Friend Has Been Accused of Donating Fake Artworks to the Tate

An archivist connected to Bacon's estate said many of the donated drawings were made with charcoal, casting doubt over their authorship.

For $84,000, An Artist Returned Two Blank Canvasses Titled 'Take The Money And Run'

The money was supposed to be used to create modern art; and it was -- but not in the way a Danish museum expected when it gave an artist the equivalent of $84,000. In return, it received 2 empty canvases. Was this a breach of contract?

French Court Convicts Magazine Over Racist Portrayal of Black Lawmaker

A Parisian court found conservative French magazine Valeurs Actuelles guilty under French hate speech laws of making racist insults over a fictional narrative that it published last year. Prompting a national outcry, the piece depicted French legislator Danièle Obono as an enslaved African who was put up for auction in the 18th century, accompanied by images, including one of with chains around her neck.


Judge Rules that Student Athletes Can Plausibly Allege National Collegiate Athletic Association as Employer

A federal judge permitted student athlete claims against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), saying the athletes "plausibly alleged the regulatory body is their joint employer under the Third Circuit's four-factor 'Enterprise test'". The term "Enterprise test" was coined after the Third Circuit's 2012 ruling in Re: Enterprise Rent-A-Car Wage & Hour Employment Practices Litigation and is used to determine whether a person or entity can be classified as an employer.

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo Issues Memo on Employee Status of Players at Academic Institutions

The memo providing updated guidance regarding her position that certain college "players" are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, and, as such, are afforded all statutory protections. The memo further advises that to misclassify such employees as mere "student-athletes" and leading them to believe that they are not entitled to the Act's protection has a chilling effect on Section 7 activity and is an independent violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the Act.

The NCAA's 'March Madness' Basketball Brand Will Now Include Women

The NCAA had reserved the popular marketing slogan for the men, but inequities at the 2021 women's tournament spurred outrage and change. Starting with 2022, the term will be used with both genders' tournaments.

U.S.A. Bobsled and Skeleton Is Sued Over Brain Injuries

William Person, who competed from 1999 to 2007, wants to lead a class of plaintiffs seeking compensation for health problems that he says were caused by years of sledding.

Former U.S. Olympian Klete Keller Pleads Guilty to Capitol Riot Charge

Former U.S. Olympic medalist Klete Keller has pled guilty to several federal charges stemming from his participation in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, including a guilty plea to a felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

National Women's Soccer League Cancels Weekend Games After Investigation into Coach

The National Women's Soccer League cancelled games last weekend following player protests concerning the now-former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley who was accused by multiple players of coercing them into sex or risk losing his approval and place on his team. The players also alleged that Riley hopped from team to team, repeating his behavior, first reported to the League 6 years ago.

Most National Basketball Association Players Are Vaccinated, but Skeptics Speak Out

More than 90% of National Basketball Association (NBA) players have been vaccinated against Covid-19, and all referees and key team personnel without exemptions will be, too, by the season's start. However, a few high-profile players, including the Nets star guard Kyrie Irving, have expressed skepticism about vaccines or been evasive about their vaccination status.

The National Basketball Association Denies Andrew Wiggins's Request for a Religious Exemption From the Vaccine

The ruling means that Andrew Wiggins will be barred from attending home games in San Francisco, where his team is based, unless he gets inoculated. The city mandated last month that people show they are vaccinated to attend large indoor events. A negative coronavirus test will not suffice.

UEFA Seeks to Remove Judge From Madrid Court Case Related to European Super League

UEFA began a legal action to remove a judge from a Madrid court case related to its attempts to punish Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus for their involvement in the breakaway European Super League (ESL), after confirming that it suspended legal action against the trio.

New Limits Give Chinese Video Gamers Whiplash

China has a complex relationship with video games. New government rules for minors have made it even more so.


Ozy Media, Once a Darling of Investors, Shuts Down in a Swift Unraveling

The digital media start-up has shuttered after coming under scrutiny for its business practices.

Whistle-Blower to Accuse Facebook of Contributing to January 6th Riot

The whistle-blower, whose identity has not been publicly disclosed, planned to accuse the company of relaxing its security safeguards for the 2020 election too soon after Election Day, which then led it to be used in the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Facebook Puts Instagram Kids On Hold Amid Criticism of Planned App

Instagram Kids had been touted as requiring parental permission to join, and was supposed to provide ad-free, age-appropriate content, but U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups have urged the social media giant to drop its launch plans, citing safety concerns.

Facebook's Effort to Attract PreTeens Goes Beyond Instagram Kids, Documents Show

Internal Facebook documents show the company formed a team to study preteens, set a 3-year goal to create more products for them, and commissioned strategy papers about the long-term business opportunities presented by these potential users.

Facebook's Efforts to Attract Young Users Come Under Senate Scrutiny

During a 3-hour Senate hearing, lawmakers relentlessly pressed a Facebook executive to explain internal documents disclosed by The Wall Street Journal showing that Instagram makes body image issues worse for a substantial minority of teen girls and is blamed by teens for increases in anxiety and depression.

YouTube Bans All Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

In a blog post, YouTube said that it would remove videos claiming that vaccines do not reduce rates of transmission or that includes misinformation on the makeup of the vaccines. Claims that vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that the vaccines contain trackers, will also be removed.

'Stalkerware' Apps Are Proliferating. Protect Yourself

These spyware apps record your conversations, location and everything you type, all while camouflaged as a calculator or calendar.

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