July 12, 2018: Sexism Has Been a Big Problem at the World Cup, Live Sports Event Attendance Is Dropping, How the Oscars Board Chose Its 928 New Members


1. SEXISM HAS BEEN A BIG PROBLEM AT THE WORLD CUP: FIFA has told World Cup broadcasters to show fewer images of attractive women. According to anti-discrimination experts advising FIFA, sexism has been a big issue at the games. Associated Press: “Fans harassing female broadcasters while they worked are among about 30 cases of ‘sexism on the streets’ reported to FIFA by the Fare network. Analyzing the World Cup’s issues at a briefing Wednesday, the head of FIFA’s diversity program also acknowledged wanting fewer images of attractive women in stadiums to be shown on future broadcasts. Federico Addiechi said FIFA plans to talk with national broadcasters and its own TV production team about the issue. Racism was predicted to be the main World Cup problem because of longstanding issues in Russian soccer and other European fan bases. ‘There haven’t been a great deal of incidents of the type we expected,’ Fare director Piara Powar said, praising Russian people who ‘played a magnificent role making people feel welcome.’ Instead, soccer’s treatment of female media workers and fans provoked debate. Powar said about half of those reported incidents involved female broadcasters being ‘accosted while on air.’ He estimated up to 10 times more unreported cases where Russian women were targeted. … FIFA worked with Fare to ensure three expert monitors attend each of 64 World Cup games. At future tournaments, FIFA hopes hundreds of millions of television viewers worldwide will get a more respectful view of women at games. Addiechi said FIFA’s stance was “a normal evolution,” and broadcasts in Russia have already improved from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. FIFA has already intervened with broadcasters ‘on a case-by-case basis when some cases arose, and they were pretty evident,’ Addiechi said. Taking lessons from the World Cup in Russia, Powar said he hoped for more coordination between FIFA and its six continental governing bodies to ensure a consistency of monitoring and punishing discrimination cases.” https://bit.ly/2NKQjU5

2. LIVE SPORTS EVENT ATTENDANCE IS DROPPING: Major League Baseball saw a 10 percent drop in attendance during the season’s first two months this year compared to 2017—and the statistic isn’t that abnormal based on the attendance numbers for other live professional sporting events recently. Experts have suspected bad weather, high ticket prices, and the convenience of watching events at home as some of the reasons for the drop in spectators. New York magazine: “Part of this, of course, is for all the talk of baseball’s supposed cultural irrelevance, the game remains popular, still the second-most popular sport in the United States (even among millennials!) and, when you account for total eyeballs in regional markets (rather than the crude national Nielsen ratings for ‘event’ programming the NFL prefers), is probably being watched by more people right now than at any other time in human history. And part of this is because attendance (like TV ratings, for that matter) is down for most sports, from the NFL to the NHL to, in particular, major college athletics. (NBA attendance was actually up last year, for the fourth straight year.) Part of this is because this downward swing was rather easy to see coming and, all told, is still not that dramatic; attendance is still up by more than 17 million fans a year from 1992. But the main reason attendance is down, in Major League Baseball as well as most of the other major professional sports, and the main reason owners and commissioners aren’t sweating it too much, I’d argue, is because it can be. Teams don’t really care anymore about bringing fans to the stadium—at least not as much as they used to—because they no longer need people in the seats to make money. Last year, the NFL brought in revenues of more than $17 billion, and Major League Baseball earned more than $10 billion, records for both sports. An increasingly small percentage of all that revenue came from attendance. The NFL attributes most of its 2017 improvement to a new Thursday Night Football television package and increased media payments from other properties. MLB’s numbers, which grew even more the year before (when its Advanced Media arm spun off into its own company and was sold for $2.58 billion to Disney), came from expanded partnerships, local television ratings, and its own media-rights deals. Attendance has been down each of last seven years in MLB, and MLB’s revenue has been up every single season. Knowing that, how much would you sweat attendance numbers?” https://nym.ag/2JgpnrZ

3. HOW THE OSCARS BOARD CHOSE ITS 928 NEW MEMBERS: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chose a record 928 new members to join last month—and the process involved new diversity initiatives. The Hollywood Reporter: “In the past, the Academy largely relied on existing members to nominate new ones. Identifying new members has now become a much more aggressive process. Eligibility requirements vary from branch to branch—directors demand at least two credits, while actors insist on at least three. Anyone who’s nominated for an Oscar also automatically merits consideration, and, though most are then invited, there are no guarantees. Five of this year’s winners, including Bryan Fogel, director of best documentary feature Icarus, were omitted. At the same time, to allow for greater flexibility, most of the branches also have language that allows for new members who may not have any credits at all. For example, the documentary branch stipulates a prospective member must have a minimum of two directing or producing credits or an Oscar nom or ‘otherwise achieved unique distinction, earned special merit and made an outstanding contribution to theatrical documentary filmmaking.’ That clause explains how African Film Festival chief Mahen Bonetti, Film Quarterly editor B. Ruby Rich and film festival curator turned Ford Foundation grant maker Chi-hui Yang made the cut without credits. … While finding diverse invitees may have been challenging for some of the crafts branches, the Academy’s numbers got a big boost from the actors division. Already the organization’s largest branch at 1,377 members, it extended more invitations than any other, 168—including many to people who’ve worked primarily in TV (Alison Brie and Lena Headey), theater (Eileen Atkins and Audra McDonald) or stand-up comedy (Hannibal Buress and George Lopez). Still, the whole process has left some questioning whether the Academy’s standards have become entirely too flexible. And some are now asking for more uniform membership requirements across the organization—such as a minimum number of credits or an agreement that an Oscar nomination or victory should automatically ensure admission. https://bit.ly/2N8CMVl

* INDUSTRY NEWS *

Event scheduling and workflow management platform Lasso has established its first-ever Top Women in the Event Production Industry awards. Tinslee Poor, co-owner and operator of the Grayscale Agency, was awarded Top Woman Entrepreneur in Event Production; Melanie Reed, vice president of operations for Alford Media Serves, was awarded Top Executive in Event Production; and Alexis Sturgess, art director for On Point Creative, was awarded Top Woman in Event Production. 

* LOCAL NEWS *

BOLOGNA, ITALY:  The 36th edition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishing show Cersaie will take place September 24-28 at the Bologna Exhibition Center. More than 800 companies are slated to exhibit products. 

CHICAGO:  Sophy Hyde Park hotel, which is slated to open this fall, has announced details for its restaurant Mesler. Helmed by chef Bradford Shovlin, the restaurant will serve American fare and seat 60 guests in the main dining room and 40 guests in a lounge. An outdoor lounge area will hold 24 guests for receptions, and a private dining rom with a personal patio and fire pit will seat 14 guests. 

LOS ANGELES:  The 20th annual DesignCare Gala, a fund-raiser produced by actress Holly Robinson-Peete and her husband Rodney Peete, will take place July 14 at a private estate in Malibu. The event raises money for nonprofit the HollyRod Foundation, which benefits those with Parkinson’s disease and autism. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

NEW YORK:  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will screen James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice at Metrograph on August 1, as a part of its Academy at Metrograph series. The New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman will present the film.

Edible East End’s seventh annual Food Truck Derby will take place August 10 in Bridgehampton. Blondie’s Bake Shop, Hampton Coffee company, Pizza Luca, and Whole Le Crepe will participate. 

This year’s Eat N.Y.C. the Bronx Food and Wine Festival will take place August 22 at Split Rock Golf Course. The event will be hosted by Baron Ambrosia. 

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, will receive the Director’s Award at Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards, which will take place October 18 at the Arhtur Ross Terrace and Garden at Cooper Hewitt. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

PHILADELPHIA:  The Philadelphia Museum of Art will open new restaurant Stir in October. The 76-seat restaurant will be designed by Frank Gehry and operated by Starr Catering Group.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Contra Costa Event Park, the venue that was supposed to host the inaugural XO Music Festival, has canceled the event following controversy with the event’s promoters. SFGate: https://bit.ly/2L2y4uY

TORONTO:  The 19th annual Toronto International BuskerFest for Epilepsy has partnered with the fourth annual Mac and Cheese Festival for their first-ever joint event, taking place August 31-September 3 at Woodbine Park. BuskerFest will feature more than 100 street performers from across the globe, while the Mac and Cheese Festival will serve more than 50 dishes from notable chefs. 

Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Toronto Marlies, has rebranded as the Coca-Cola Coliseum. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Ian Zelaya, and Kristine Liao in New York.

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