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HollyWeird: Russia Lashes Out at Schwarzenegger

Donald Trump, Jr.’s new news app, and what do Ukrainians and Bon Jovi have in common?

Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their wacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.

Russia Lashes Out at Schwarzenegger

[articlepoll align=”right”]In last week’s column, I wrote about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s video message to the Russians and how they shouldn’t believe the lie their government is telling them. This week, the Russians fired back with some scathing words for the actor.

Vadim Gigin, host for Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, said, “[t]hat face is the cover page of American imperialism and colonialism. Not the caricature image of Uncle Sam, but this Schwarz, in a Hollywood production.”

Schwarzenegger, who spoke of his love for the Russian people, then compared America’s Jan. 6 riot to what is happening with the Russian-Ukraine war, saying, “[t]here are moments like this that are so wrong and then we have to speak up. It is exactly the same with your government.” Gigin especially took insult to this and exclaimed: “He, in California, will tell us, who live here … the truth?! That is their approach toward us.”

Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, who ironically is wanted by Ukrainian security forces for allegedly having ties to a terrorist organization, also lashed out at Schwarzenegger, using his movies as reference points:

“In his video message, Schwarzenegger, who killed three million Russians in his films, told the Russian people how much he loves us and how wrong we are about Ukraine … This Austrian, the son of his father, who served in the SS and was wounded near Leningrad, is trying to act as the good cop.”

And powerlifter Maryana Naumova attacked the Terminator with this:

“Do you remember how in the second part of the Terminator your hero goes back in time to prevent the creation of Skynet, which would bring the death of all mankind? Russia’s special military operation does not aim to destroy the Ukrainian people. It is aimed at the neo-Nazi Skynet, which over the years has completely subjugated Ukraine and was about to turn into an uncontrollable monster, dangerous for all of its neighbor, not only for us … Don’t side with Skynet, Terminator.”

Prilepin also said that the US is “pumping Ukraine full of weapons to massacre the Russians,” and “Arnie, you are a predator and an enemy.” The predator comment, of course, is yet another movie pun – but then the writer made this very uncomfortable statement:

“If they’re seriously afraid of the conflict with Russia, of WWIII, of nuclear war or the escalation of the conflict, we should be convincing them that we’re ready for it, that we love it, that we like to make war.”

GettyImages-1239199020 Marina Ovsyannikova

Marina Ovsyannikova (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Movie references and metaphors seem to be the way the Russian media likes to convince their viewers of their narrative. Last week, journalist Marina Ovsyannikova from the government-run public television network Channel One interrupted a live broadcast, shouting, “Stop the war!” while holding up a sign that read: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”

Of course, she was taken to court and received a fine for her outburst, which she claims was not planned, but that didn’t stop the network from using other tactics to discredit her.

Max Seddon, chief of the Financial Times’ bureau in Moscow, tweeted on his account that the network accused Ovsyannikova of being a British spy, claiming she “betrayed [her] country and all of us … coldly, duplicitously, for a bonus.”

And then, deciding to add a Biblical reference, he added:

“Treason is always someone’s personal choice … But you need to call things like they are … If they had called the well-known deed in exchange for 30 pieces of silver an act of passion, world history would have gone very differently.”

Cheers and Jeers

Sometimes, HollyWeird players make headlines for silly or bizarre happenings, so here is a collection of newsworthy doings — honorable and dishonorable — by the tenants of Tinseltown.

Donald Trump, Jr.’s New News App

GettyImages-1340149895 Donald Trump Jr

Donald Trump Jr Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

According to an exclusive Axios article, Trump, Jr. and partners have spearheaded MxM News, which they hope will take the place of The Drudge Report. According to the outlet, “MxM News is looking to disrupt the mobile news space similar to how Drudge disrupted web publishing and Fox News disrupted cable television in the 1990s.”

MxM stands for “minute by minute” and is slated to be a free mobile news aggregation app that will gather stories from a variety of publishers. During its startup, there is a team of only around eight people, and so far, there isn’t a plan to hire journalists for original works.

“As I travel around the country, the complaint I hear more than almost anything else is that people don’t know what media outlets, journalists or stories they can actually trust,” Jr. said. MxM News will be available when it launches on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems and will be compatible with both tablets and smartphones.

Ukrainians Rock Out to Bon Jovi

The Ukrainian people have shown the world how patriotic, courageous, and dedicated they are when it comes to defending their homeland. Recently, Bon Jovi posted on Twitter a video of Ukrainians in Odessa rocking out to his song “It’s My Life.”  The people were filling and loading sandbags into trucks, preparing to defend their sea town. “This is for the ones who stood their ground … Odessa, Ukraine. #SlavaUkraini,” the tweet read.

Cort Theatre Renamed in Honor of James Earl Jones

Keeping with the pledge to improve diversity in Broadway, the Shubert Organization will rename Cort Theatre after three-time Tony Award winner James Earl Jones. It’s a shame his race should even be brought up with this recognition. Shouldn’t his career, which started in 1957, be enough to earn the 91-year-old actor such honor?

GettyImages-694962508 James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

However, Shubert, along with Nederlander and Jujamcyn organizations, promised to name at least one of their theaters after a black artist. In 2005, the Jujamcyn already renamed one after playwright August Wilson, who is considered “theater’s poet of Black America.”

Jones, whose Tony Award winning plays include The Great White Hope (1969) and Fences by August Wilson (1987) is excited about the honor. “For me standing in this very building 64 years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today,” the actor said in a statement. “Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors.”

The Cort Theatre has been closed for renovation during the pandemic. When the work is completed later this year, there will be a formal renaming ceremony.

Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.

~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.

Read More From Kelli Ballard

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