English actor and founder of the Reclaim party Laurence Fox has announced that he will be playing (alleged) President Joe Biden’s son Hunter in an upcoming independent film titled My Son Hunter.
Produced by conservative Irish filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, who announced the film in March of this year, My Son Hunter aims to “tell the story of the Biden Family corruption.”
Sharing a clip on his personal Twitter account, Fox explained why he’s excited to play Hunter Biden in the upcoming independent project.
“I am so pleased to have been temporarily un-cancelled and asked to don my acting shoes once again to play #HunterBiden,” wrote the actor-turned-political leader on Twitter. “It is in no way a source of great pleasure to me that filmmakers are fighting back against the woke lecture that is modern drama.”
The actor then proceeded to explain that My Son Hunter is “a brilliant, surreal, and funny script,” adding that the reason why the film’s script will be so compelling is “mostly because it is true.”
Fox also reassured members of his political party that his role in the film did not mean he would be stepping back from his duties as party leader. For the time being, Deputy Leader of the Reclaim party Martin Daubney will be doing most of the work.
“But don’t worry, friends and foes, I’m not stepping back from my day job as leader of the Reclaim party,” Fox stated. “In fact, we will be making some exciting announcements in the next few weeks. But for the next few weeks I will be juggling two jobs at the same time and, therefore, the ever-valiant Martin Daubney will be keeping the ship steady until I return.”
Laurence Fox then detailed how he took the role because “The Hunter Biden story fascinates me so much, especially the vigour with which the mainstream media continues to try and suppress it.”
“I couldn’t resist the offer to enter his world and tell his truth. So on one level, we are both being un-cancelled. Hunter’s story and Hunter’s truth can finally be told.”
“I wonder if I can still act,” Fox then jokingly noted, before adding that he’s “about to find out.”
In regards to his repeated mentioned that he was previously cancelled, Fox is likely making allusion to an event that took place in November of last year.
According to The Independent, the Artists Rights Group, the agency that represented the English actor, came to the decision to drop Fox amid controversies stemming from alleged racist comments.
“I want to thank my acting agent who let me go on the phone just now for reaffirming exactly why I am doing what I’m doing,” Fox wrote on Twitter at the time. “Still waiting for a single example of anything I’ve ever said or done that could ever be deemed racist. We will reclaim freedom, fairness and common sense.”
The cancellation attempts against him also may have stemmed from a January 2020 episode of BBC’s Question Time, wherein Fox was rebuked by a university lecturer and race ethnicity researcher for “refuting claims that the media’s treatment of [Duchess of Sussex] Meghan Markle was racially motivated.”
A YouTuber who has a channel dedicated to fishing and has made the money he earns from it his main source of income has been demonetized, with animal cruelty cited as the reason by Google’s video platform.
Gideon Mettam’s “Gido’s Fishing Adventures” channel with some 100K subscribers that’s been on YouTube since 2014 has now been demonetized for a month.
The case once again highlights YouTube’s volatility in interpreting its own rules and a lack of clarity or interest in explaining decisions to ban or demonetize content.
YouTube’s lengthy violent or graphic content policy section of the Community Guidelines also deals with animal abuse, distinguishing between videos of animals suffering made maliciously for the purpose to shock and disgust, but note that the platform “may” make exceptions when it comes to following activities: hunting, trapping, pest abatement, food preparation, medical treatment, or animal slaughter.
In its hallmark vague fashion, the guidelines add that the list of what is and isn’t allowed “isn’t complete” – clearly leaving space not only to add new forms of animal abuse, but also effectively new ways to interpret them. The rules do explicitly say that videos of dog fighting and similar are prohibited, while showing animals fighting in the wild are not, etc; when it comes to hunting, illegal practices like bombing and poison in order to catch prey are mentioned.
Mettam, who is known for going to great lengths and putting himself in dangerous situations such as descending down steep cliffs to catch fish, as well as for documenting camping in the wilderness on his own, disagrees that what he does means he is “doing nasty stuff” to animals simply to cause shock or disgust, as YouTube defines animal cruelty.
Instead, he said, “I just dispatch fish for feed and do it humanely.”
RSPCA Australia was asked to comment on the case by local media, and said that the amount of content on Mettam’s channel made it hard to assess if any of it crossed the line, advising instead anglers to avoid practices that would unnecessarily inflict pain.
At the same time, more YouTubers whose focus is on hunting and fishing are reporting they are experiencing difficulties on the platform, including 30 day demonetizations.
This was revealed by a YouTube creator behind one such channel, “BeefCake FLAIR,” who said he had been impacted with demonetization for four or five years already, and has now set up another channel, that already has 250K subscribers, in a bid to protect the main one whose following goes into millions.
This YouTuber also revealed that others who publish this kind of content are receiving emails from YouTube informing them about the decision to demonetize their channels.
And while he claims these channels did not actually violate YouTube rules since the platform allows hunting videos, many have started removing content that shows hunting, trapping, guns, catching and cooking animals, etc, in a bid to avoid having their revenue streams cut off.
He echoes the Australian angler’s complaint that YouTube is not making it clear what they are doing wrong, leaving them unable to better comply, or even know what argument to make in their favor when reapplying for monetization. And the timing also doesn’t seem like a coincidence to him, since YouTube started going after hunting channels just at the start of the hunting season.
The video mentions several affected channels, such as MinnDak Outdoors, señor bassfishing, Yappy, Mullet Man, all with subscriber numbers going into the hundreds of thousands.
Meanwhile, the creator behind “BeefCake FLAIR” (whose original channel, “FLAIR”, has 2.4 million subscribers) says he is being left without income just as he has a child on the way – and although he has launched a second channel, “the end goal is to find another platform.”
But he’s still unclear about “what’s actually going on” on YouTube.
“Just give some answers. We need some freakin’ answers YouTube. It’s not okay what’s going on,” he says.
Walt Disney World employees announced that they would join together to march in protest of the company’s recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which requires cast members to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.
Revealing that many cast members have shown legitimate concern about what will happen once the new mandate goes into effect, event organiser Nick Caturano told Fox 35,, “We understand that COVID-19 is a very real health concern that we all have to take seriously, but many cast members have a legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.”
“So many cast members felt alone and felt like they were the only ones who thought this was wrong,” Caturano continued. “I think we were made to feel that way on purpose. But we have connected now, and we are pushing back.”
According to the information provided via a press release, the march was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at 12151 S. Apopka Vineland Rd, where protestors were expected to “walk up and down Lake Buena Vista Boulevard through the middle of Disney World.”
The Orlando Sentinel’s Katie Rice shared a photo of the employees’ protest to Twitter.
She wrote, “Around 25 people are walking down Apopka-Vineland Road toward Disney to protest Disney’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for cast members. The protest was organized by a current cast member who said he distrusts the vaccine in its current form.”
Another protest has reportedly been scheduled in Anaheim, California as well.
Last month, the company’s largest union of employees agreed to adopt a COVID-19 vaccination mandate that would require proof of vaccination for all cast members at the Florida theme park.
The agreement itself, shared by the Service Trades Council Union, stipulated that Disney World “will require all active Employees whose duties include working on-site to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.”
According to the information revealed within the agreement, the union agreed to make this decision based on “recommendations of scientists, local, state and federal health officials and the Company’s own medical professionals that COVID-19 vaccines provide the best protection against severe COVID-19 infection.”
It is also worth mentioning that not all cast members at the Florida theme park would be required to show proof, since some of them could be exempted from this new near-draconian mandate for medical or religious reasons.
Employees who do not fall into the categories mentioned above would be let go by Walt Disney World, although they will still retain a positive rehire status until they “comply with the Company policy on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination.”
Gina Carano, who played Cara Dune in The Mandalorian, recently warned about surrendering freedoms following (alleged) President Joe Biden’s new vaccine mandate.
(Alleged) President Joe Biden addressed the nation on September 9th where he announced his plan for new vaccine mandates.
In his speech he stated, “Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated. Even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free.”
He would later add, “What makes it incredibly more frustrating is that we have the tools to combat COVID-19, and a distinct minority of Americans supported by a distinct minority of elected officials are keeping us from turning the corner. These pandemic politics, I refer to, are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die.”
Then in utilitarian fashion he declared, “We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal.”
Biden then announced his new mandate, “As your President, I’m announcing tonight a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated to combat those blocking public health.”
He then declared what his plan entailed, “First, we must increase vaccinations among the unvaccinated with new vaccination requirements…This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you. The people you work with. The people you care about. The people you love.”
“The Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 millions workers to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week,” he added.
Biden then listed off a number of companies that are already using the policy, “Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this: United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Foods, and even Fox News.”
The (alleged) President then claimed, “We are going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We are going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”
On top of mandating that businesses with over 100 employees will have to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested once a week, Biden also announced, I will sign an executive order that will require all Executive Branch federal employees to be vaccinated.”
“And I’ll sign another executive order that will require federal contractors to do the same. If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated. If you want to do business with the federal government, vaccinate your workforce,” he added.
Carano appeared to respond to this speech by posting an image that reads, “The freedoms you surrender today are the freedoms your grandchildren will never know existed.”
Carano has spoken against government lockdowns in response to the pandemic in the past. Towards the end of June she tweeted, “The best time to have spoken up about these draconian lockdowns would have been when they locked us down.”
She continued, “The second best time wouldn’t been ANYTIME since they locked us down.”
“The third best time would be… NOW. Don’t let this go on,” she concluded.
In October 2020, she also spoke out against lockdowns preventing family from visiting their relatives in Nevada hospitals.
She wrote, “I request to restore the freedom to visit our loved ones during their stay at the #Nevada hospitals. We will abide by new regulations but patients MUST be allowed a family member with them during these times.”
“Governor Sisolak, Respect life, choice & freedom. Let families be together,” Carano declared.
Former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden has stated his grim fears of the industry being unsustainable; with inflated budgets, prices, and endless sequels and imitators.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the former President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America explained more about why he had stepped down in 2019. In short, Layden explains he was burned out after launching six consoles. “It’s a young person’s activity,” Layden explained. “I felt: This is a good time to put the pin in my legacy.”
Layden did not directly address the rumors of their being a power-struggle between him and current Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan. “I think I took my time at the moment I saw best to take it, and I couldn’t be happier.”
He is currently on the advisory board at Streamline Media Group, a game services company. There Layden and the CEO have discussed promoting diversity in recruitment via remote work around the world, and pursuing the “metaverse” between videos games and other media.
However, Layden had also expressed his concerns to the CEO and Bloomberg about the sustainability of the video game industry. He noted development “seems to double in cost every platform,” and how recent major PlayStation 4 titles had budgets of $100 million USD.
“If we can’t stop the cost curve from going up,” Layden explained, “all we can do is try to de-risk it. That puts you in a place where you’re incentivized toward sequels.” He also predicted that PlayStation 5 games could rise to $200 million USD budgets, and in turn prices would grow exponentially.
Bloomerg highlights how the outcome of higher budgets have included “stale annual releases in ubiquitous series like Call of Duty and Madden,” and publishers chasing profitable trends. Layden explains that “you end up with 3-4 silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out.”
Bloomberg had previously reported on Sony’s dogged focus on blockbuster titles. They highlight how Layden was “instrumental in the video game industry’s Sisyphean quest for increasingly larger worlds and more beautiful graphics.” When asked about his own responsibility for sustainability issues, Layden said that he thought he “contributed a part into showing the world what amazing gameplay can look like.”
Nonetheless, Layden’s hopes with Streamline are focus them on aiding game development, for more diverse games, and (in Bloomberg’s words) “help balance out the heavyweights at the top.” However, Layden’s final comments would seem to suggest this is not a diversity of game genres, mechanics, artstyles, or budgets.
“We are now the largest entertainment medium in the world, except on a social impact level we punch below our weight. My goal in the last act of my career is really to bring more people into gaming creation, more people from all over the world, [and] bring more people into the enjoyment of gaming.”
Bloomberg previously reported of an “industry-wide effort” by publishers to raise the standard price of a AAA game to $70 USD. “Inside publishing houses,” their sources claim, “a price hike has been plotted and dissected by executives for years.”
The report also features the damning claim “At one point, Sony discussed going even higher before settling on $70.” While SIE’s Jim Ryan stated that $70 USD for PlayStation 5 games is fair, the reports of higher price discussion were “categorically false.” Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick also voiced his support for the $70 price, and that gamers were “ready.”
The chip shortage may also mean more desire to reduce cost with hardware. Both Sony and Microsoft have made moves towards cloud gaming without consoles.
Sony patented their cloud technology, promising an “elimination of piracy” and an alternative to consoles. Meanwhile, Microsoft are working with smart TV manufacturers to “embed the Xbox experience directly;” for cloud gaming and Xbox Game Pass. Both services would also further reduce the need of physical copies- much to the chagrin of those who wish to own the games they buy.
The belt may also be tightening sooner than expected. Sony announced they would no longer be offering free upgrades from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 for first-party games. Instead, titles such as the God of War sequel and Gran Turismo 7will have a $10 USD fee.
Shifting markets may also change what sort of games are developed (which in turn can alter where their budget is spent). Chinese tech giant Tencent recently lost almost $60 billion USD in stock value; after Chinese state media’s Economic Information Daily described online games as “spiritual opium.”
The Chinese government recently announced a ban on children playing online video games during the week. Further, they were only granted an hour a day on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Could this change how often Sony and Microsoft greenlight multiplayer games with a “live-service” business model? Will budgets be curtailed? Will realistic graphics be abandoned for less-pressing art-styles? Will indies be given more of a spotlight? Or will we see another video game industry crash as the executives bounce with golden parachutes? Sound off in the comments below.
Writers and artists focusing more of their efforts on creator-owned series could spell big trouble for publishers like DC Comics and Marvel Comics. There is an ongoing trend that has been building to a crescendo recently, one which has been led by the digital publisher, Substack. It started out as a subscription-based platform where writers could send out newsletters to their fans. However, now Substack is getting into the comics game by allowing creators to directly create content that fans pay for.
Described as a way to “make it simple for writers to start a subscription publication,” Substack is an enticing way for writers and artists to release comic books as it acts under a very similar model to how comic books are published by DC and Marvel. It’s all heavily reliant on reader interest. However, with Substack fans subscribe on a monthly model, like streaming services, rather than having readers make the choice of buying an issue or not. It’s a rather simple, but effective model that guarantees a certain amount of money generated each month.
However, with times changing, some big creators have finally decided to jump ship from publishers like DC and Marvel. And it has the potential to be a very smart move on their behalf. The big name that kicked off this recent trend was James Tynion IV, who recently announced that he will be leaving Batman to write creator-owned comics. He is leaving his presumably very reasonable paycheck over at DC for Substack, which has offered him something far more enticing.: an opportunity to write comics and retain complete control over every choice that happens during the writing process and afterwards. Many other creators like Chip Zdarsky, Scott Snyder, Ram V, and Brian Michael Bendis have also announced new deals to focus on creator-owned comics. All of them will have much less time to focus on their efforts at DC and Marvel if their ventures into the creator-owned world are successful.
Moving To Substack Is Enticing For Comics Creators
The jump to creator-owned series means that writers and artists are able to retain the copyright to their creations, reaping heavy rewards for successful series. Alternatively, being a creator at DC or Marvel only allows for a certain level of monitored creativity. All creators at the Big Two operate on a work-for-hire basis where they have to fit their ideas into the editorial mandates of those in charge. There have been many stories about DC’s editorial team blocking things from playing out how creators intended them to. For instance, Birds of Prey writer Gail Simone had wanted to give Batgirl a Batcave during her New 52 run but was denied, despite characters like Green Arrow getting cool hideouts akin to the Batcave.
Over at DC and Marvel, creators get paid a certain amount of money to write, draw, letter or color series’. However, they don’t retain any residual rights for what they’ve created, meaning that they barely ever earn anything other than the initial paycheck given to them. If a movie based on their characters and stories makes $1 billion at the box office, they don’t get a cut. Tynion’s choice to transition over to Substack was a no-brainer for him as “there is nobody you need to get permission from to do what you want to do. Make the books you most want to make, the books you think should exist, the ones that it has driven you crazy that nobody is making. Make them yourself.”
Will Comics Fans Follow Their Favorite Creators?
It’s clear that the future of comics lies with creator-owned services like Substack. It’s just a matter of time before other companies offer lucrative and enticing deals like Tynion and other creators have received. It follows suit with the rise of streaming platforms in the world of film and television, which gives filmmakers more freedom to explore more out-there ideas that major studios might reject due to fear of audiences not responding.
Obviously, those who have the most success with their creator-owned comics, at least at first, will be the creators who are already established. As services like Substack rely on fan subscriptions, a creator like Tynion will draw in a larger crowd of fans who are more willing to sign up for any book he publishes. That’s what makes it worth it for a company like Substack because they can be assured that big creators will garner big followings. It’s less likely that up-and-coming creators will be offered lucrative contracts similar to people like James Tynion IV. This is because they are yet to establish a following that will guarantee people coming over and subscribing.
The rise in creator-owned comics could have a bright side for the Big Two publishers. It could lead to more up-and-coming writers and artists getting drawn into DC and Marvel as those publishers lose their already-established creators. This would allow lots of new talent will finally get their shot at some of the world’s most established characters with built-in fan bases. They will be able to make a name for themselves among readers, which could lead to some new creative choices that the past generation was unable to achieve. However, there is a big downside for DC and Marvel as they could become more desperate to retain creators and readers. Likewise, there is a major risk that fans of certain creators will drop the series that they are reading. They will be searching for the next series by their favorite artist or writer where they are guaranteed to get the same quality that they used to get at those publishers but in their rawest, unfiltered form.
The ramifications for the comic book industry could be huge, depending on how readers respond to online publishing platforms like Substack. It seems like it’s the future, but don’t count out DC and Marvel just yet as it also opens up new avenues for creative storytelling from new creators. However, there is the potential for a loop, whereby new creators become established and then leave like Tynion to be able to write their own creator-owned books, abandoning the big publishers and the cycle begins again. DC and Marvel will have to adapt, but it seems pretty clear that platforms like Substack are shaking things up.