Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Baby Yoda powers Disney streaming subscriptions to fast start
Walt Disney Co's new streaming service Disney+ reached 28.6 million paying subscribers this week, the company said on Tuesday as it reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts. Shares of Disney were flat following the results after bouncing between positive and negative territory.
New York jurors shown naked photos of Harvey Weinstein
Jurors in Harvey Weinstein's New York rape trial were shown naked photographs of the former Hollywood producer on Tuesday over his lawyers' objections. A sketch artist hired by Reuters saw a couple of the naked photos when they were passed to the jury and produced a drawing for the news agency. In the courtroom, prosecutors did not say why the photographs were introduced or how many were presented.
Drawing inspiration: Video marks Marley's Redemption Song, 40 years on
Forty years after Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" was released, two French artists have created an intricate animation to one of the Jamaican reggae artist's most celebrated recordings. Released on Wednesday on the official YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/bobmarley for Marley, the animation by Octave Marsal and Theo De Gueltz features 2,747 original drawings.
Model takes stand, expected to testify Weinstein masturbated in front of her
A woman who has accused Harvey Weinstein of trapping her in a hotel bathroom and masturbating in front of her took the stand on Wednesday in the New York rape trial of the former Hollywood producer. Lauren Young, a 30-year-old model and actress, is the last of six accusers who are scheduled to testify against Weinstein. She told jurors on Wednesday morning that she met Weinstein in 2012 at an Oscar dinner, where she also hit it off with actress Claudia Salinas.
Justin Bieber on drug abuse: 'It was legit crazy scary'
Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber has opened up about his past heavy drug abuse, calling it an escape from the pressures of fame that he decided to stop only when he felt he was dying. Bieber, 25, has written on social media in the past year about his struggles with depression, drugs and fame, but he went into detail on camera for the first time in a documentary series about his life.
Even with 'Irishman' nominations, could Netflix wind up an Oscars bridesmaid again?
Netflix Inc will storm into Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony boasting more nominations than any other movie distributor, but can the streaming service finally take home the film industry's most coveted prize? Netflix's Mafia epic "The Irishman" has a shot at the best picture Oscar, according to awards experts, but faces tough competition from Warner Bros' World War One drama "1917," Sony Corp's Quentin Tarantino film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and South Korean genre-bending movie "Parasite" from privately held company Neon.
Oscars 2020 red carpet: Stylist predicts return to 'extravagance'
A return to "extravagance" is what one fashion stylist is predicting when Hollywood stars parade the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday. "There were years where it was minimal. And, you know, people were wearing tuxedos, suits and blacks and that's always a classic," said New York-based stylist Katie Keim.
UK government hints BBC licence fee could be scrapped
Culture minister Nicky Morgan hinted on Wednesday that the annual BBC licence fee on Britain's television-watching households could be scrapped after the next review of its royal charter, as crunch funding talks with the broadcaster near. The possibility of losing guaranteed licence fee money comes at a time when the 100-year-old BBC is under attack on several fronts ranging from accusations of extravagant spending to political bias.
Disney's weapon against Netflix and Amazon in India: Hotstar
When Walt Disney Co's Disney+ streaming service makes its debut in India on March 29, it will enjoy the luxury of home-court advantage: Hotstar. Disney's control of Hotstar, which it acquired through the $71 billion purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox in 2019, gives Disney+'s entrance into the Indian market in partnership with Hotstar hundreds of millions of potential subscribers it can attract.
Barbadian poet Kamau, who exalted Caribbean's Afro roots, dies
Internationally acclaimed Barbadian poet, essayist and historian Edward Kamau Brathwaite, whose prolific writings sought to assert the identity of Caribbean peoples and their African roots, died at his home in Barbados on Tuesday. He was 89.Born Lawson Edward Brathwaite in 1930 in the Barbadian capital Bridgetown when the nation was still under British colonial rule, he later adopted the Kenyan name Kamau, by which he was often simply known.A jazz lover, Brathwaite was known for writing in and exalting the English spoken in the Caribbean with its African rhythms and timbre which he coined "nation language," considering the term "dialect" pejorative.Among his most celebrated works are the poetry volumes "The Arrivants: A New World Trilogy," "Ancestors," "Born to Slow Horses," and "Elegguas," as well as scholarly books like "History of the Voice: The Development of Nation Language in Anglophone Caribbean Poetry."Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley praised Brathwaite as "easily one of the titans of post-colonial literature and the arts" in a statement to the press on Tuesday."His chronicling of our past through his magnificent works shone a powerful light on the realities of our present and, in turn, guided our sense of self and national identity."Educated at the British universities Cambridge and Sussex, he spent the early years of his career working as an education officer on the British colony of the Gold Coast, staying after it became independent as Ghana."Brathwaite familiarized himself with Ghanaian traditional verse and pre-colonial African myths, which would be influential to his own writing," according to the jury of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which he won in 1994, edging out other finalists including Nobel laureates Toni Morrison, Seamus Heaney and Svetlana Alexievich.He later returned to the Caribbean, working in Jamaica and Barbados, eventually taking up the position in 1992 of professor of comparative literature at New York University.Brathwaite was the recipient of numerous international awards during his life, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the gold Musgrave Medal for Literature from the Institute of Jamaica, and Cuba's Casa de las Americas Prize.Many critics, however, felt he was robbed of the Nobel Prize in Literature, given his rich and singular contribution to Caribbean writing.