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January 16, 2017

January 13th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

This town is in the throes of awards season and last weekend's Golden Globes generated headlines in Los Angeles and around the world. You're no doubt aware that a speech that evening by actress Meryl Streep caused much controversy and I reference it because the fallout it generated seems to be the latest chapter in an epidemic of soul-searching that has gripped Hollywood since Donald Trump's election win back in November.

The Los Angeles Times this week announced with great fanfare that it would make it a priority throughout 2017 to examine whether Hollywood represents all Americans or if Hollywood values are out of sync with American values. The link below takes you to the initial story announcing the ongoing examination - the article also includes a number of links to individual stories looking at the issue from a number of angles.

I've linked and included text for a select few of those articles below, but I encourage you to browse through others on your own: the shifting winds of public opinion have always been influenced by the screen-based industries and vice versa, but this feels like a time during which industry stakeholders need to be especially well informed about how current affairs can impact content.

This article from the Times series, examines whether on-screen depictions of the working class have become stereotypical and outdated.

And this editorial from the series posits that the election results were Hollywood's fault. As detailed below, the author argues that the archetypes movies have infused so deeply into our culture and our way of thinking were "key in creating the cultural forces that made voting for Donald Trump seem like a fine idea".

It's been nearly a year and a half since FX chief John Landgraf declared we were at "Peak TV" but numbers released this week indicate that we're not there yet. As detailed in the Times below, the estimated number of scripted original programs in production during 2016 was 454, up 8% from 420 in 2015 and a far cry from 2009 when there was reportedly only 210 scripted shows overall.

It appears that Apple is about to contribute to those numbers: Deadline Hollywood reported this week that, in an effort to distinguish itself from other music streaming services including Spotify, Pandora, and Google Music, Apple Music is preparing to join the pack of companies that buy and promote original TV and film productions.

Finally this week, Chinese investment in Hollywood has been a major story the last few years, but now it appears a different chapter may be written. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, tighter regulatory scrutiny and rising protectionism in the U.S. and China now have the industry questioning whether the deal flow could dry up in 2017.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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