Each year is distinguishable by the events that occurred, and 2014 is no different. The entertainment industry was rocked by an unprecedented decision. The U.S. President announced an agreement to normalize relations and ease economic and travel restrictions on Cuba. A little-known movie made a big impact, and a "life-long bachelor" got hitched. These are just a few of the fascinating stories from 2014.
14 Fascinating Stories from 2014
14 Never Say Never
Actor George Clooney Weds
George Clooney was the quintessential bachelor who would never marry. Well, that's what he always said in public. In reality, the silver-haired actor was not a bachelor, but a divorcee who claimed he would not marry (again). Turns out he didn't mean it. Clooney, who often had a beautiful woman on his arm, always rebuffed marriage questions during public appearances. But as the saying goes, "never say never," Clooney married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on September 27, 2014. Some said that he married up.
George Clooney and Barbara Walters
YouTube by Rosario Arijon
13 Real Life Orange is the New Black
Reality Stars Sentenced to Prison
Three reality stars from Bravo TV's hit show The Real Housewives will be moving out of the neighborhood temporarily. Teresa Giudice, a star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to financial and tax fraud. Teresa's husband Joe, also on the show, was sentenced to 41 months. Additionally, Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Apollo Nida was convicted, and is serving an 8-year prison sentence for fraud and identity theft.
Bravo appears to be capitalizing on the ill fate of its three jail-bird stars. Their stories have been woven into the reality show plot lines, and fans can read all about them on Bravo's web page, The Daily Dish. As the saying goes, "Any publicity is good publicity."
12 Peter Pan Live
Captain Hook Steals the Show
In an attempt to capitalize on the success of The Sound of Music Live! NBC aired Peter Pan Live! The production, appearing like a Broadway musical, was broadcast live (for the East Coast) on television, December 4th. The story of a boy who never grew up featured several talented performers, but one stood out – actor Christopher Walken. The 71-year-old was unrecognizable as Captain Hook. The stage veteran seemed to forget some lines while swaying and prancing around, but quickly recovered. He appeared to become winded while singing and dancing with his younger cast mates, and he moved slowly. His sword fight scene with Peter Pan, played by 26-year-old Allison Williams, looked more like a slow dance. But, the flaws and glitches made Walken empathetic and engaging to watch, and made Captain Hook the star of the show.
Peter Pan Live! - First Look
YouTube by NBC
11 Damage Control
GOP Takes Senate and Keeps Control Over House in Midterm Elections
The Grand Old Party felt grand once again November 4th with their midterm election victory. Republicans retained the majority (adding seats) in the House and took control of the Senate. The voters sent yet another message to Washington: fighting and gridlock does nothing to help the country.
10 Happy Birthday
Facebook Turns 10
In celebration of their 10th birthday, social media giant Facebook gave its customers a gift. Facebook users found a video clip titled "A Look Back" which included a slideshow of photos and videos from a user's profile, paired with music.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg released a statement in conjunction with the site's milestone birthday. He said, in part, "It’s been amazing to see how all of you have used our tools to build a real community. You've shared the happy moments and the painful ones. You’ve started new families, and kept spread out families connected. You've created new services and built small businesses. You've helped each other in so many ways."
'Likes,' 'pokes' and more: Facebook
YouTube by CNN
Celebrity Nude Photo Scandal
A number of celebrities were shocked to discover their iCloud accounts had been hacked. Personal nude photos of celebrities such as Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, actress Kate Upton, and singer Ariana Grande were leaked on the web. Will anyone learn a lesson by this invasion of privacy and stop taking nude photos with their phone? We’ll just have to wait until the next round of hacked photos are leaked.
08 Little-Known Movie Makes Big Impact
God's Not Dead
The 2014 film "God's Not Dead" tells the story of Josh Wheaton, a Christian college freshman, whose faith is put to the test. Wheaton refuses to complete a class assignment requiring students write the infamous Friedrich Nietzsche quote "God is Dead" on a piece of paper.
Although critics offered harsh and bitter reviews, the public embraced the film with over 84% of audience members giving God's Not Dead positive or extremely positive reviews. Several movie goers returned to the theater to watch God’s Not Dead more than once, inviting family and friends. Released by a small independent distributor initially in 780 screens, God's Not Dead earned over $8.6 million in its first week.
God's Not Dead | Official Full Movie Trailer
YouTube by GodsNotDeadTheMovie
07 Words Hurt - Financially
Donald Sterling Pays for His Words
Free speech may cost millions if you’re a professional sports team owner – just ask former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. His racist rant, secretly taped by his much younger female “friend” V. Stiviano, was leaked to the media. Sterling appeared to be upset about a photo of Stiviano and Basketball Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson posted on Instagram. The male voice on the tape, purported to be Sterling’s, can be heard saying, "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. . . . You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in; you can do whatever you want. . . . The little I ask you is not to bring them to my games."
The NBA took swift and severe action, requiring Sterling sell the team, fining him $2.5 million, and banning the former owner from any association with the league or the Clippers.
06 "Can We Talk?" Will Never Sound Quite the Same
Caustic Comedian Dies After Undergoing Medical Procedure
Joan Rivers made a career poking fun at others. Her brand of abrasive humor was not for the faint-hearted; she took taboo topics head-on, making wisecracks about molestation, abortion, miscarriage, and the dearly departed. Although her banter was often shocking, Rivers never apologized. Like the majority of comedians, Rivers reminded everyone that her offensive statements were merely jokes – and that was supposed to make them acceptable. Rivers' most famous lines were "Who are you wearing" and "Can we talk?" She was the oldest contestant to win the television reality show Celebrity Apprentice.
Rivers died September 4, one week after suffering complications during an outpatient endoscopy procedure. Joan Rivers was 81.
Joan Rivers on her catchphrase "Can We Talk?"
YouTube by TVLEGENDS
05 Actor Who Played TV Pastor Accused of Misconduct
Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) - Sexual Abuse Allegations
The family-friendly television series 7th Heaven was centered around the Camden family. The church-going household consisted of seven children, a loving mother, and a dad who was a church pastor. The father, played by actor Stephen Collins, seemed perfect. He was generous, selfless, giving, humble, a good father and a faithful husband. Reverend Eric Camden was everything a pastor should be -- unfortunately, the actor who played him was not.
Actor Stephen Collins publicly apologized two months after an unauthorized recording made during a therapy session surfaced of him admitting to inappropriately touching a minor female. "I Did Something Terribly Wrong That I Deeply Regret," the 67-year-old actor stated. He also claimed the recording was made by his former wife during a confidential marriage therapy session without the knowledge or consent of the therapist or himself. Perhaps Collins should have an extended conversation with Camden’s "Boss."
04 What Would Cliff Huxtable Say
Actor Bill Cosby Faces Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
The lovable but stern Dr. Cliff Huxtable displayed a high moral standard. His wise words vigorously nudged his children to stay on the straight and narrow. He was a pillar of the community and stood for what was right. But, Dr. Huxtable was a character.
For many years the public confused Cliff Huxtable with the actor who played him, Bill Cosby, and considered them one-in-the-same. They are not. The honorable doctor is not accused of drugging and sexually assaulting young women -- Cosby is. Over twenty women have come forward to claim they were sexually assaulted by Cosby. He has denied the allegations.
03 Cuban Cigars Now OK in U.S.
Shift in U.S./Cuba Relations
After more than a year of high-level and secret talks between the U.S. and Cuba, President Obama and Fidel Castro agreed to a “new approach” in U.S. and Cuba relations. The decision was made after an appeal by and discussions with Pope Francis. The agreement opens the door for high-level visits between U.S. and Cuban Governments, re-opening the U.S. Embassy in Havana, easement of some economic sanctions, including the longstanding ban on Cuban Cigars. Travelers to Cuba can now bring home $100 in tobacco. The agreement also included the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, convicted of espionage in Cuba.
"These fifty years have shown that isolation has not worked. It's time for a new approach," said President Obama in a speech on December 17. In addition, the president also said, "We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed . . . that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born."
But not everyone is in agreement with the president. Author, filmmaker, and political commentator, Dinesh D'Souza tweeted, "Re. Cuba, Obama says that we should get over things that happened before we were born--does this also apply to slavery and segregation?"
Florida Senator and Cuban-American Marco Rubio also disagreed with President Obama, saying, "The Cuban people aren't any more free today than they were yesterday."
Sen. Rubio SLAMS President Obama
Worst Negotiator in Modern U.S. History' - YouTube by YourPoliticsNews
02 Breaking Under Pressure
Sony Pulls Plug on Controversial Movie
One of the most talked about motion pictures of the holiday season will never make it to theaters because of threats from North Korea. In an unprecedented move, Sony canceled the release of their movie The Interview after the Nation’s five largest movie chains decided not to show it. Hackers targeted Sony and the film for its depicted assignation plot of North Korea’s leader. The hackers threatened “9/11” type violence against movie goers. The FBI confirmed that North Korea engaged in the cyber-attack and threats.
Sony explained their decision to shelf the movie that cost an estimated $45 million to make. The statement, in part, read: "In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public . . ."
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin made a scathing commentary on the entertainment industry saying, "Let's also talk about the cowardice of the American entertainment companies who are not standing by Sony. Where is Disney, where is Warner Brothers? When there was a death threat against Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses, all the publishers came together and said we’re gonna publish this book because we care about this. The cowardice of these American media companies is appalling in these circumstances."
Donald Trump said the following on The Wendy Williams Show: "I hear the movie is terrible. . . . It seems very ‘extortionary’ to me. As far as Sony is concerned, the way they’ve handled it is terrible. . . ."
Others voiced their opinions on Twitter:
- Rob Lowe: "Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow."
- Judd Apatow: "I think it's disgraceful that these theaters are not showing The Interview. Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?"
- Jimmy Kimmel: "Judd Apatow, I agree wholeheartedly. An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."
- Kevin Smith:"Keep hoping all this lunacy over THE INTERVIEW is just gonzo marketing but Sony canceling release is sadly real. I feel for you."
Sony did an about-face, releasing The Interview in a select number of theaters on Christmas Day. The movie grossed almost a million dollars, but that was a far cry from the box office's number one film, Unbroken, which grossed nearly $15.6 million.
01 The Funny Man Leaves Folks Crying
Robin Williams Commits Suicide
The actor who made millions laugh made them cry on August 11 when he was found dead of an apparent suicide at his Northern California home. The official preliminary cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging. Williams was 63.
Williams’ career has left the public with a list brimming with memorable and lovable characters. Mrs. Doubtfire, Genie from Aladdin, Popeye, and Mork are just a few of the delightful personalities the public has had the pleasure of meeting thanks to Williams. The talented actor was nominated for an Academy Award four times, winning once. He was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2005 Golden Globes and was the recipient of a number of other awards.
"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world" -Robin Williams
Never Had a Friend Like Me
YouTube by Warhead
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