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Why TCM Fans Are Glitching About David Zaslav

Why TCM Fans Are Glitching About David Zaslav

Who’s Behind TCM’s Glitches? Cue David Zaslav’s Evil Laugh

In recent weeks, the biggest mystery on TCM has been … what the heck is wrong with TCM? The classic movie channel has lately been plagued with what might generously be called technical difficulties. It started on May 3, when a showing of the 1982 Steve Martin satire Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid failed to air, leaving viewers with several minutes of black screen. When the channel finally crackled back to life, it was suddenly showing a different film, the 1954 Anne Baxter romance Carnival Story. Then, on May 18, the 1957 Barbara Stanwyck Western Forty Guns also went MIA, leaving screens blank for nine full minutes, only to be replaced by the 1932 William Powell gem Jewel Robbery. That Stanwyck flick, by the way, was supposed to be followed by a Steven Spielberg commentary, but that also didn’t make it on the air. TCM tells Rambling Reporter that the problems were caused by “a technical server error during a routine updating of our broadcasting services.” But TCM fans shared some of their own theories for the snafus on social media, many of them revolving around David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, TCM’s parent company, and the B movie-like villain behind last year’s much-criticized cutbacks at the network. “Instead of paying Zaslav his unearned bonus,” one fan posted, referring to the reported $50 million compensation package the chief received in 2023, “that money needs to be put into upgrading the equipment at TCM.” — LAURIE BROOKINS

Norton’s Utilities: Edward’s New Startup

Edward Norton has been nominated for three Oscars, two BAFTAs, two Golden Globes and an Emmy. But now, after 30 years onscreen, the 54-year-old actor has finally figured out what he really wants to do with his life: make corporate board governance software. “It’s nice when you’re doing something as boring as business software and you’re actually getting some sort of emotional gratitude back from people because they’re so appreciative of how it’s helping solve a very unpleasant problem,” Norton says of his latest startup, Zeck, which uses Open AI’s GPT-4 to help streamline meeting preparation and arrange board materials for less boring presentations. Of course, Norton is no stranger to tech startups — he previously launched the fundraising platform CrowdRise and the advertising tech firm EDO — but this latest one, which has closed a $7.5 million funding round and already has Salesforce and Khosla Ventures as backers, seems especially personal. “I mean, nobody sets out in life with the aspiration to build great slide decks,” Norton tells THR. “It’s drudge work. But if you have a solution that looks good and helps people do it quicker, they’re pretty grateful.” — ALEX WEPRIN

The Show Must Go On … at the Israeli Film Festival

Film festivals aren’t exactly clamoring for Israeli titles these days. Take Cannes: Out of 115 features this year, not one came from Israel. It’s a different story, of course, at the 12th annual Israel Film Center Festival, held from June 4 to 10 at the Meyerson Jewish Cultural Center on New York’s Upper West Side, just a few subways stops from where this spring’s student protests against the Gaza war roiled the Columbia campus. “We’ve been really thoughtful about how to proceed,” says Isaac Zablocki, director of programming at the JCC festival, which this year includes a mix of comedy (Josh Pais in the espionage romp Checkout), Biblical history (Legend of Destruction, an animated film voiced by Oscar Isaac) and a family dramedy (The Road to Eilat). “Even calling it a ‘festival’ is weird. How do we celebrate when so many are suffering?” says Zablocki. The organizers are “prepared for anything,” he adds, noting that “art is the last thing that should be disrupted.” — J.S.

Japanese “Delinquent Girls” Wrestle in DTLA

With Lakers season over, what could possibly draw crowds to downtown Los Angeles? The answer might just be women’s Japanese wrestling, at least judging by the 2,000 people who flocked to the Trinity Auditorium on May 30 to watch the L.A. debut of Sukeban, a new all-female league that launched last year in New York. Among the attendees: Diplo, Beef star Steven Yeun, Past Lives‘ Greta Lee and Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith. The wrestlers wore elaborate costumes and had their own anime avatars, while matches were a blend of acrobatics and arch theatrics. In one bout, blue-haired Lady Antoinette used a metal trash can to beat down her opponent, Atomic Banshee, who wore white face paint and black fishnet tights. “The audience has been welcoming,” notes retired wrestler Bull Nakano, now commissioner of Sukeban (which means “delinquent girls” in Japanese). “But I can’t tell how big this is going to be.” — NATALIE JARVEY

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This story first appeared in the June 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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