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JoJo Siwa to Replace Nigel Lythgoe on ‘SYTYCD’ After Sexual Assault Claims on January 27, 2024 at 1:37 am Us Weekly

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JoJo Siwa is set to replace Nigel Lythgoe as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance after Lythgoe was accused of sexual assault.

Fox issued a press release on Friday, January 26, announcing Siwa, 20, would return for season 18 of the dance competition series, which premieres on Monday, March 4, after previously appearing as a judge on season 17. Allison Holker and Maksim Chmerkovskiy will complete the panel. Cat Deeley, who has hosted the show since 2006, will return as emcee.

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The addition of Siwa to the season 18 lineup comes shortly after Lythgoe, 74, exited the series in the wake of multiple sexual assault lawsuits. Us Weekly confirmed in December 2023 that Lythgoe, who served as a judge and executive producer on SYTYCD since its premiere in 2005, was being sued by Paula Abdul.

In court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Abdul, 61, claimed that Lythgoe assaulted her multiple times over the years while the pair worked together on American Idol and SYTYCD.

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Related: Hollywood’s Sexual Misconduct Scandals

While Hollywood may appear to be all glitz and glam on the surface, the industry has seen its fair share of scandals through the years. The New York Times and the New Yorker first published investigative pieces in 2017 that accused disgruntled movie producer Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual assault and harassment. Soon after, Weinstein stood trial and was […]

Abdul’s suit alleges that Lythgoe “verbally insulted and belittled” her prior to taking her American Idol gig and that he continued to bully her during her time on the singing competition series. It also claims that he sexually assaulted her in a hotel elevator while traveling for Idol auditions. (She did not specify when the alleged incident took place.)

“Abdul attempted to push Lythgoe away from her. When the doors to the elevator for her door opened, Abdul ran out of the elevator and to her hotel room,” the court documents read. “Abdul quickly called one of her representatives in tears to inform them of the assault.”

Following her time on Idol, Abdul briefly joined the judging panel of So You Think You Can Dance. Elsewhere in the lawsuit, it claims that she witnessed Lythgoe sexually assault one of her assistants without consent.

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Lythgoe has denied the allegations. “To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement,” he said in a statement to Us last month. “For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear — and entirely platonic — friends and colleagues. Yesterday, however, out of the blue, I learned of these claims in the press and I want to be clear: not only are they false, they are deeply offensive to me and to everything I stand for.”

Related: ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges Through the Years: Who Left and Why

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When So You Think You Can Dance debuted on FOX in 2005, a panel of dance experts were tapped to discover the best up-and-coming performers. Nigel Lythgoe, who cocreated the competition series alongside Simon Fuller, served as one of the longtime judges since the season 1 premiere. However, after cueing the audition music and marveling […]

He continued, “While Paula’s history of erratic behavior is well known, I can’t pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue. But I can promise that I will fight this appalling smear with everything I have.”

Earlier this month, a second lawsuit was filed against Lythgoe by two contestants on the 2003 competition series All American Girl. The two women accused him of forcibly trying to kiss them after a wrap party in 2003.

Getty Images (2) JoJo Siwa is set to replace Nigel Lythgoe as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance after Lythgoe was accused of sexual assault. Fox issued a press release on Friday, January 26, announcing Siwa, 20, would return for season 18 of the dance competition series, which premieres on Monday, March 

​   Us Weekly Read More 

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Rosie Maddox: Rom-Com Wins with Best Screenplay!

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Get ready to applaud because Rosie Maddox, the creative genius behind “Wishing on Stars,” is making waves with her latest triumph as the winner of the Best Romantic Comedy Screenplay Award! Her captivating storytelling has earned her a well-deserved spotlight at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, where her heartwarming screenplay stole hearts and tickled funny bones.

From the bustling streets of Washington to the vibrant cityscape of Seattle, Rosie’s narrative prowess shines as she crafts a tale of serendipitous reunions and unexpected love. With “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie invites audiences on an enchanting journey of rediscovery, friendship, and the magic of second chances.

This isn’t just any rom-com—it’s a testament to Rosie’s innate ability to infuse depth and authenticity into her characters, making them leap off the page and into our hearts. As we eagerly await the cinematic adaptation of “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie continues to captivate audiences with her unique brand of storytelling, proving that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of film.

Join us in celebrating Rosie Maddox’s remarkable achievement and stay tuned for more updates as she continues to enchant us with her magical tales of laughter, love, and the endless possibilities of the human heart. Congratulations, Rosie—you’ve truly earned your place among the stars!

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Please feel free to check out on online store here.

 

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Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

“Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!”

 

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“Changing Spots”: A Heartwarming Family Journey

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In “Changing Spots,” Lauren L. Owen masterfully weaves a heartwarming tale centered around Lizzie Jennings, a black anthropology student in her mid-30s, and her aging father, Walter. As Walter grapples with the challenges of living independently for the first time, Lizzie steps in to assist him, embarking on a dual mission to help her father become self-sustainable while documenting their progress for her thesis. Through candid interviews and her own camera footage, the story unfolds in a captivating mockumentary style, offering a glimpse into the tender moments and humorous mishaps that define their journey.

Owen, a trailblazing talent in the industry and the first Black or African American graduate of NYU’s MBA/MFA dual master’s degree program, brings her unique perspective to “Changing Spots.” With a remarkable background in producing, writing, and directing, including collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee and notable projects like “BlacKkKlansman” and “See You Yesterday,” Owen’s work is deeply rooted in promoting diversity both on and off the screen. Through her storytelling, she celebrates the bond between black women and their fathers, shedding light on the often overlooked narratives that resonate with audiences on a profound level.

Fun fact: Lauren Owen is also an Associate Producer for the Netflix Original Film, “See You Yesterday,” further showcasing her versatility and impact in the industry.

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As Owen shares her personal connection to the story, drawing inspiration from her own experiences and her playful sense of humor inherited from her father, she invites viewers to embrace the complexities of familial relationships and the importance of staying connected despite life’s challenges. “Changing Spots” serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of love, laughter, and shared moments, resonating with audiences of all backgrounds and generations.

Moreover, Owen’s exceptional talent as a writer shines through as she clinched the prestigious Best Comedy Short Screenplay Award at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, further cementing her status as a rising star in the industry. This accolade not only recognizes Owen’s remarkable storytelling skills but also underscores the universal appeal and relatability of “Changing Spots.” As audiences continue to embrace this heartwarming tale, Owen’s win serves as a testament to the enduring impact of stories that celebrate the beauty of family bonds and the journey of self-discovery.

Please feel free to check out on online store here.

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

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Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

 

Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

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“A Messy Divorce” Named Finalist for Best Dark Comedy Film Award

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Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev

Phil Grishayev, a talented filmmaker based in Los Angeles, is making waves in the comedy film scene with his uproarious short film, “A Messy Divorce.” Born and raised in Poland, Grishayev relocated to the United States in his early twenties, where his passion for storytelling and visual arts blossomed. Despite being relatively new to directing and producing, Grishayev’s creative vision and dedication have propelled him into the spotlight of the entertainment industry.

“A Messy Divorce” is not only Grishayev’s directorial debut but also a testament to his ability to breathe life into captivating narratives. The film, originally conceived as a screenplay by Grishayev’s friend Lenar Kamalov, follows the misadventures of a newly divorced couple who accidentally run over a man on the road and hilariously attempt to cover up their tracks. With its clever twists and comedic timing, “A Messy Divorce” has earned critical acclaim and audience praise alike.

Despite its humble beginnings, “A Messy Divorce” has already achieved notable success in the film festival circuit. Grishayev’s screenplay won a prestigious award at SWN, and the film was selected as an Official Entry at the Houston Comedy Festival in 2021. Now, as a finalist for the Best Dark Comedy Film Award at the esteemed Houston Comedy Film Festival, “A Messy Divorce” continues to captivate audiences with its unique blend of humor and wit.

Looking ahead, Grishayev has ambitious plans to expand “A Messy Divorce” into a full-length feature film, showcasing his commitment to storytelling and filmmaking. With his innovative approach and creative flair, Grishayev is poised to make a lasting impact on the comedy genre and beyond.

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As the anticipation builds for the Houston Comedy Film Festival, all eyes are on Phil Grishayev and “A Messy Divorce,” eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners. In the meantime, audiences can experience the comedic brilliance of Grishayev’s work and witness the rise of a promising filmmaker in the entertainment industry.

He is an incredible Experiential Designer for major Paramount movie premiere sets with films apart of the Barbie franchise and Batman. Check him out here. grishayev.com

Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev, and Hollywood Executive Producer and Houston Comedy Film Festival Director, Roselyn Omaka

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

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