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Posts Tagged ‘Erin Aubry Kaplan’

Leimert Park Grandmother Gives LA Times Writer a Piece of Her Mind

Although the topic of LA Times op-ed contributing editor Erin Aubry Kaplan‘s (pictured) first KCET blog post of the new year is serious, there are a couple of funny undercurrents to the story of concerned reader Ann.

First off, the 74-year-old Leimert Park grandmother did not Google or tweet Kaplan, but rather called her after finding her home number in the phone book. Secondly, what she told Kaplan is apparently part of a larger ongoing campaign that has her kids and grandchildren “puzzled over why she won’t rest and enjoy her twilight years.” Ha ha.

The retired teacher called Kaplan to complain about the paucity of coverage in the LA Times of African-American residents and issues. She made her point succinctly and clearly, to which Kaplan promised to do all she could in 2013 to address the coverage gap.

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LAANE Launches New Economic Justice Blog ‘The Frying Pan’

The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) just launched a new daily blog devoted to labor and social justice issues it’s calling “The Frying Pan.” Longtime LA Weekly staffer Steven Mikulan is the site’s editor.

From the new site:

The concept for The Frying Pan originated at LAANE, but this is not a LAANE blog – it is a platform for those who share our belief that we can and must build an economy that works for all of us. We hope you’ll join the conversation.

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Deborah Gregory’s Bad Deal with Disney–Black History Month in LA Times


In an allegedly heart-tugging Column One piece, Josh Gitlin writes a classic victim story. The author of the Cheetah Girls books, Deborah Gregory, got screwed by Disney. Have the editors at the paper have been sitting on this story, waiting for Black History month? Black Enterprise ran nearly the exact same story,written by Nicole Marie Richardson, in Dec. 2006.

Gregory was a free-lance journalist who got a $40,000 advance from Hyperion Books to write a series aimed a urban kids. She dreamed up the Cheetah Girls. Producer Cheryl Hill brought the idea to BrownHouse Productions. Disney Channel went for it in a big way.

Flanked by her entertainment attorney, Lita Richardson, she signed a 2001 contract giving Disney approval to make a movie or TV series based on the books, as well as additional projects such as DVDs, CDs and other merchandising. In return she would get 4% of the net profits.

Gregory wrote a total of 16 novels, got $180,000 in advances and was co-producer on the films, but no “creative input”. Welcome to showbiz. And while she did make a lousy deal with a company run by raptors, her lawyer didn’t do her any favors. Lita Richardson is a former vice-president for Magic Johnson Enterprises and now a movie and television producer.

Richardson didn’t talk to Getlin:

Asked to explain what happened to her former client, Richardson declined to comment, even though Gregory gave her permission to talk about the case. The attorney said she represented the author long ago and that the files were in storage.

Blaming Disney for this lousy deal is like blaming a coyote for eating Fluffy–that’s what they do. Gregory has a new book and a new attorney, Lisa Davis, who’s presumably a better advocate for her client, but then again, Gregory’s not a first-time author. The book comes out in June. So, if the deal is old news and the book’s not out yet, why is the LAT reporting on this now?

A blog by Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, a front page story about an African-American woman as victim–the LA Times is really on a roll. Why not let Erin Aubry Kaplan be guest editor for the whole month?

Make/Shift Makes Way For Issue No. 2

dAllEdsPhotocrop.jpgLA-based feminist mag make/shift is gearing up for issue number 2, with a focus on stories about the media.

When the magazine launched in March 2007, it sold out of its 1,000 print-run within weeks. A second printing did so well, that two distributors picked up the title, and now the editor grrrls (Stephanie Abraham, Jessica Hoffmann, and Daria Yudacufski) are gearing up for issue 2 is due out September 18.

Hoffman tells FBLA the long lag time is due to the volunteer nature of the magazine.

“We’re biannual because this is a volunteer project that we’re all doing on top of already-full schedules (day jobs, freelance writing and editing work, and more),” Hoffman says. “So, in order to stay sane and healthy, we decided to go with a biannual schedule.”

Contributors include L.A. Times op-ed writer Erin Aubry Kaplan, KPFK radio host Sonali Kolhatkar and emerging fiction writer Myriam Gurba.

Come celebrate the launch on Oct. 10 at Skylight Books with readings featuring Gurba, Kaplan, Dean Spade, and others.

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LA Feminist Create A make/shift Magazine, Tell FBLA All About It

AllEdsPhotocrop.jpgMake/shift a magazine “representing contemporary feminist culture and action around the world,” is launching here in LA. It’ll include fiction, interviews with activists, photo essays an analysis. And, did we mention it’s launching here?

Jessica Hoffmann, one of make/shift’s three editor/publishers (along with Stephanie Abraham and Daria Yudacufski)tells FBLA, “While we aim to represent a variety of feminisms (plural), we do see ourselves as specifically representing feminist work that is consciously antiracist, informed by queer theory and its challenge to binary gender norms, and rooted in an intersectional analysis that sees the connections between feminism and, say, environmental justice, economic justice, imperialism, and more.”

Hoffman, clearly, is smarter than us. So we asked her to dumb it down — way down. Down to the East Coast-West Coast culture war. With magazine editors as smart as her, why doesn’t LA have a better rep in the literary world?

“There’s an exceptional group of LA-based contributors: Erin Aubry Kaplan, who is also a columnist at the LA Times, is doing a regular column for make/shift called ‘Centrally Located.’ Staff writer Irina Contreras is a brilliant local activist/artist/writer who has contributed a photo essay and interviews of hotel workers near LAX for Issue 1. Local writer/performance artist Raquel Gutierrez (who performs with Butchlalis de Panochtitlan) wrote a smart, funny piece about children of immigrants’ love for Ugly Betty. There are so many smart and talented writers in LA; it’s really a silly myth that they’re not here,” Hoffmann said. “And when we’re talking feminist writers and artists, there’s a thriving community — several of them, really, that overlap and do different things. You should see the list of events planned to happen in this city around the huge feminist art retrospective that will open at MOCA in March (WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution) — wonderfully exciting work is being done here by very talented feminist artists, writers, and thinkers.”

Who knew?