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Entertainment

Marvel Targets Women With Goddess Thor

thorThe Thor that we’ve all come to know — the manly blond man throwing a hammer — has undergone quite the makeover. Marvel has announced that the god Thor is now a goddess.

“While details are scarce, we now know that this new Thor was saved by her predecessor, the former male Thor, who is no longer worthy to wield Mjolnir,” writes iO9. “The only other details we have is that this #1 issue will premiere in October under the supervision of Jason Aaron and Russell Dautermann.”

Thor is one of the “big three” characters for Marvel (the other two are Iron Man and Captain America), so this is huge for the company and for the comic book world.

The move also says a lot about how Marvel is trying to grow its audience.

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Mediabistro Course

Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

Someone Fooled Nikki Finke

Nikki Finke, the least favorite blogger of many Hollywood publicists, took a small hit to her credibility this week via the revelation that she received several fake tips regarding a recent “scoop” but published the story anyway.

Someone with a vendetta used Finke’s tipline to send several emails from separate sources claiming that screenwriter Mike Landis (son of Ghostbusters director Jon Landis) was reworking the script for the perpetually pending sequel. Not true.

Here’s the media relations angle:

“Dangling the carrot further, one ‘tipster’ claimed Deadline was running the Landis story the next day. Another begged Finke not to run the story as it was promised exclusively to Variety.”

Crafty. Finke claims that a Sony studio executive “mistakenly confirmed it”, but Sony unsurprisingly told Page Six that she doesn’t check with studios on stories like these.

Two questions: Are fake stories relatively easy to place on blogs? And do we really need a Ghostbusters 3?

Two answers: Yes and hell no.

George Clooney Uses the Media to Respond to the Lies in the Media

george clooneyWe’ve written recently about how much entertainment PR has changed because of the Internet. But it’s not just digital channels prompting these dramatic changes.

George Clooney, his fiancée and her family became the center of a tabloid story published in The Daily Mail that alleged the mother of Amal Alamuddin was so unhappy with her daughter’s choice for a husband that she’s joking about traditions in the Druze religion that would result in the death of the bride.

These days, when a celebrity wants to refute a rumor, they tend to take to a Facebook page or a Twitter account. In this case, Clooney went straight to traditional media with a full column. USA Today is online, but it’s the colorful newspaper that appears at your hotel room door that we probably most associate with the title.

That Clooney chose that paper to publish his column is certainly a big get for them. But it also speaks to the ways in which the relationship between celebrities and the media continues to change.

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BET Awards to Lionel Richie: ‘Say You, Say… Who?!’

lionel richie good

ICYMI (and by the look of the national ratings, you did), the BET Awards have come and gone. At the annual affair, the once-all-music channel gave a Lifetime Achievement Award to the inimitable Lionel Richie.

To the kids in PRNewser-ville, the guy is so much more than the father of that girl who was BFF to a hotel heiress. This is a man that has been sangin’ his tail off since he was the lead vocalist of The Commodores in the 70s.

“Easy,” “Still,” “Brick House,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Zoom,” and so much more to make your mix tape the bomb (dot) com. Lionel is a legend in music. Seriously fabled if you consider the hits he has written. And to honor that amazing career, BET did this… 

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The Academy Shakes Things Up With More Diverse Oscar Membership

oscar awardThe Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences — the “Academy” that everyone thanks when they’re accepting their Oscar award — has named its list of potential new members and it’s clear they’re trying to be more diverse. This includes racial diversity, age diversity, diversity of style and diversity of national origin.

Seeming to finally take the persistent criticism that the Academy is just a group of out-of-touch, old white American men to heart, the list of actors that have been invited to join spans across all sorts of boundaries. Some famous names are Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who The Hollywood Reporter notes ticks off the “middle-aged” box at 53 years old; June Squibb, the 84-year-old actress who was nominated last year for her performance in Nebraska; Michael Fassbender; Lupita Nyong’o; Chris Rock; and Pharrell.

It will be interesting to see how the new line up changes who is handed an Oscar on the big night.

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Cobain’s Daughter to Lana Del Rey: ‘Death of Young Musicians Isn’t Something to Romanticize’

Ifrances600-1403529625n a recent interview with The Guardian, Lana Del Rey discussed her heroes like Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse, and when asked whether she felt their early deaths were glamorous, answered, “Ummm, yeah,” and then stated that “I wish I was dead already…I do! I don’t want to have to keep doing this. But I am.”

While these comments may have stirred up emotion for many, one person in particular — Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean -- took it upon herself to reach out to Del Rey, and send a message that “the death of young musicians isn’t something to romanticize.”

In a series of tweets, Bean called out Del Rey, reminding her that Cobain was not just a glamorous musician, but her father — one she will never get to know because of his 1994 suicide. She went on to encourage Del Rey to embrace her life, saying that the singer is far too talented to waste her life the way her heroes did. Read more

Buzzfeed + Cats = Perfect Recipe for a Viral Video

Cat food brand Friskies has figured out the perfect, deliciously simple formula for a viral video: Buzzfeed + cats, proving once and for all that the internet was, in fact, created for the sole purpose of sharing adorable/hilarious videos of our feline friends.  

The below ad for Purina’s Friskies brand, which depicts an older and wiser cat grudgingly bestowing sage advice unto a kitten, was published by Buzzfeed on June 5 (less than two weeks ago), and has already been viewed well over 10 million times. The spot has even spawned a popular Twitter hashtag #DearKitten, without either the brand or Buzfeed attempting to spread it.

Ah, to be a promoter of cat products and have the whole of the interwebs just waiting to do the heavy lifting for you. Sometimes all it takes is a fuzzy face, a couple of tugs at the heartstrings, a few laughs, and some seriously smart advice about the dreaded monster they call “Vacuum.”

No Joke: ‘The Colbert Report’ Voted ‘Most Informative U.S. News Source’

colbert better than news

Hey national news, you think your ratings are bad now?

I haven’t seen a survey but I would be willing to bet that most journos and PR peeps watch Comedy Central … for news.

Why? How much drive-by shootings, domestic disturbances, child abuse cases, political scandals, and weather reports can one person take in a day? We need some levity so we read blogs with a tinge of snark and watch TV with a bit more.

Thank you Comedy Central for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

While they joke wonderfully about the world around us, they educate America by giving a no-nonsense approach to what “breaking news” obfuscates on a minute-by-minute basis. And now, there’s proof: Stephen Colbert has been voted the “most informative U.S. news source.”

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George R. R. Martin’s Epic Charity Campaign Going Strong

Win A Wolf Sanctuary Tour and Helicopter Ride with George R.R. Martin - YouTubeWho better to raise money for a wolf sanctuary than the resurrector of direwolves himself, George R. R. Martin? And what better way to encourage donations than to offer fans a chance to die at the author’s hands like so many of their beloved characters (not to mention the dozens of extras who died during last night’s half-hour battle)?

So far, over $300,000 has been raised by Martin’s four-day-old campaign to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, and two people have already won the highest honor (their very own grisly deaths being written into the next book) by each donating $20,000 to the cause. But if you couldn’t quite afford such a hefty sum, fret not!

With just over $150,000 to go before Martin’s $500,000 goal is met, there are still some epic prizes up for grabs as of this writing, including a hand-written thank-you note ($1,200 donation), a signed and dedicated Game of Thrones book ($600 donation), and T-shirts and other memorabilia for smaller donations. Plus, each donor is automatically entered to win the grand prize: a helicopter ride to the wolf sanctuary with the famed author himself. Martin describes the future excursion this way: Read more

Disney to Make Princess Leia Toys Thanks to #WeWantLeia Hashtag

leiaBack in May, Disney announced it would be rolling out a new line of Star Wars themed toys, which will be available for purchase in Disney stores. As excited customers browsed through the soon-to-be-collectibles, they quickly noticed the lack of products featuring female characters — Sure, Luke and R2 and Han and Vader were all represented, but where was the no-nonsense heroine Princess Leia?

A mother shopping for her daughter asked Disney that exact question via Twitter, to which the brand responded:

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