Facebook ends forced arbitration of sexual misconduct claims

ICMD, Nov 10, 2018 Facebook is dropping a requirement for mandatory arbitration of sexual misconduct allegations, acceding to a demand recently pressed by other Silicon Valley tech workers. Google made a similar change on Thursday, a week after thousands of employees briefly walked off their jobs to protest how the company handled sexual-misconduct allegations against prominent executives. CEO Sundar Pichai spelled out the concessions in an email sent to Google employees. The move at Facebook, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, means that employees no longer have to submit to private arbitration, which kept misconduct allegations secret and sometimes allowed abusers to continue their behaviour. Employees can now press their claims in court instead. Other tech companies such as Microsoft and Uber have previously dropped mandatory arbitration. Facebook will now also require executives at director level and above to disclose any dating relationships with company employees. -- Courtesy AP/TH

Niharika mentions ex-boyfriend Nawazuddin, Sajid Khan, Bhushan in a long post about MeToo in India

ICMD, Nov 10, 2018 Former Miss India and actor Niharika Singh has penned a long post about #MeToo movement in India and written her own experiences in the glamour industry. In a series of tweets shared by journalist Sandhya Menon, Niharika wrote that she was writing the piece to “expand my own understanding of what constitutes abuse, who we choose to punish and whom we are willing to forgive”. Niharika wrote of her experiences as a model, becoming a beauty queen and then struggling as an actor in the glamour industry. Mentioning how her first film came after T-Series head Bhushan Kumar stepped in, she writes, “Bhushan Kumar called me to his office to sign ‘A New Love Ishtory’ where he gave me an envelope as a signing amount for the film. It contained two 500 Rupee notes (less than 14$). I got a text from him later that night- ‘I would love to know you more. Let’s get together sometime.’ I wrote back saying- ‘Absolutely! Lets go on a double date. You bring your wife. I’ll bring my boyfriend.’ He never wrote to me again.” Kumar is yet to comment on Niharika’s account. She also mentions her former boyfriend and actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui whom she met on the sets of the film, Miss Lovely. “One morning, when I was home and he had been shooting all night, Nowaz sent me a text saying he was near my building. I invited him over and asked him to come and have breakfast with me. When I opened the door, he grabbed me. I tried to push him away but he wouldn’t let go. After a little coercion, I finally gave in. I wasn’t sure what to make of this relationship. He told me it was his dream to have a Miss India or an actress wife, just like Paresh Rawal and Manoj Bajpayee. I found his little confession funny but endearing,” she writes. She claims she ended the relationship after she found he was lying to her. “In the next couple of months, I began to discover one lie after another. Nowaz had engaged multiple women, giving each one a different story; one of them even called me from his phone and started yelling at me. I also found out about a woman he’d married in Haldwani, whose family had sued him for making dowry demands. I told him to clean up his mess, be honest with himself and everyone around him; also that I did not want to see him again.” Earlier, Nawazuddin retracted his memoirs after Niharika and Sunita Rajawat rubbished the claims made by the actor in the book.

Thugs of Hindostan makes a history; Earns Rs 50.75 cr, as a record

ICMD, Nov 10, 2018 Thugs of Hindostan, the big budget film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh, has reportedly recorded the highest single-day sales for a Hindi movie with collections of around Rs 52.25 crore (all languages). A report in Boxofficeindia.com suggests that it has surpassed the previous record of Rs 39.32 crore set by Salman Khan’s 2015 Diwali release Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Rs 40.73 crore nett achieved by magnum opus Bahubali - The Conclusion (Hindi). Its record-breaking advance tickets sale have had a huge role in the film’s performance on the day of its release. The film is also the best-ever Diwali release ever. However, the film received a big thumbs down from the film critics. Reviewers have panned it for being boring and forgettable. The second day collections for the film will be pivotal in determining the film’s success with the audience as most of the collections made on day one are from advance bookings. Thugs of Hindostan has also recorded the third highest pre-sales of all time with around Rs 27.50 crore nett, as reported by Boxofficeindia.com. It is the first Bollywood film with such an advance tickets’ sale as only SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali –The Conclusion and Hollywood film Avengers: Infinity War have recorded higher advance sales. According to Yash Raj Films, the first-day box office figures of the film are around Rs 50.75 crore (Hindi version) and Rs 1.50 crore from Tamil + Telugu dubs. The makers have claimed that the film has shattered seven box office records: 1. The highest all time opening, 2. The first film to cross 50 crore, 3. The biggest single day collection ever, 4. The biggest Diwali opener of all time, 5. Biggest opening day for Aamir and Amitabh, 6. The biggest ever opening for a non sequel and 7. YRF’s highest ever opening. Expressing his happiness on the feat, director Vijay Krishna Acharya said, “Thugs of Hindostan is the quintessential Hindi movie that we love to watch with our friends and families. We were lucky to get two of the biggest stars of our generation to come together for an out and out masala Diwali entertainer and we are humbled and ecstatic with the love and appreciation that audiences have showered on Thugs to help the film create box office history on day one. We are thrilled to see that audiences across age groups, across India are loving Thugs of Hindostan and have made our film a part of their Diwali plans. We made Thugs with a vision to provide a pure festive entertainer for the entire family and this result is extremely gratifying for all of us at YRF.” For the record, the ticket prices of the film were hiked against the usual practice. Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi had earlier told Hindustantimes.com, “The ticket price that the movie would be fetching will be among the highest that has ever been for any Hindi movie. That will eventually give the film a spike in the figures to come. By Saturday, it will easily run past the Rs 100 crore mark.” -- HT

Alec Baldwin arrested for ‘punching’ man

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin was arrested by police in New York on Friday for allegedly punching a 49-year-old man in the face during a quarrel. The 60-year-old, who has famously impersonated President Donald Trump and who lives in downtown Manhattan with his second wife and their four young children, was arrested in Greenwich Village, a police spokesperson told AFP. “Police got a call around 1:30 pm (1730 GMT) regarding an assault in progress. When we got there, we discovered that it looked like two individuals were fighting over a parking spot,” the spokesperson said. The younger man had already parked his vehicle and was attempting to purchase a parking ticket, when he got into a dispute with Baldwin, “who then punched him in the face,” the officer said. She said the unnamed man was taken to hospital in ‘stable’ condition, while Baldwin was in custody awaiting charges. Baldwin is well known for his hot temper and for impersonating Trump on satirical US television show “Saturday Night Live.” The Oscar nominee recently launched a Sunday night talk show on ABC television. In 2014, he was detained by New York police for riding his bicycle the wrong way down a street. In late 2013, NBC scrapped his late-night chat show after he allegedly subjected a photographer to a homophobic slur outside his apartment on the day that a Canadian actress convicted of stalking him was jailed. In a subsequent profanity-laden article in New York Magazine, the actor said he was finished with public life and that the Big Apple no longer offered his then baby daughter a ‘normal’ life. The nearly 5,300-word rant denied allegations that he insulted gays and lashed out furiously against the media, the city where he has lived since 1979, and US public life in general. Despite that February 2014 article, the actor still lives in Manhattan with second wife Hilaria. The couple now share four young children. His anger made headlines as long ago as 2007, when he left a notorious message for his then 11-year-old daughter with first wife Kim Basinger, calling her a “rude, thoughtless little pig.”

Aamir Khan appears on ‘KBC’ to promote ‘Thugs of Hindostan’

ICMD, Nov 3, 2018 Bollywood bigwigs Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan are all set for the release of their film ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ on Diwali. This is the first time the duo has worked with each other and it seems that they enjoy each other’s company. All the more reason why seeing the two of them in the latest episode of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ was interesting. Aamir was there to promote their upcoming film. On Friday, Aamir was on the hot seat with a participant from the Sunderbans called Jalaluddin Gazi, taking questions from Amitabh. The actor appeared on the hot seat in a segment of the show called ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati Karmaveer’. Jalaluddin, for the uninitiated, runs schools for underprivileged children. The story of Jalaluddin is an inspirational one; a man who can’t read and write himself and coming from poverty, the man has been instrumental in sending children to school. A taxi driver today, Jalaluddin could not complete his studies and had to beg for a living. Later, he became a rickshaw puller to make ends meet. A chance meeting led him to learn how to drive and he became a taxi driver. His ambition now is to start a college and see students become doctors and engineers. Aamir and Jalaluddin played the game together and fielded many questions such as ‘Who is currently the first citizen of India?’ and ‘What is the bowling style of the spinner Kuldeep Yadav also known as?’ and ‘According to the Census of 2011, which is the second most spoken language, as a mother tongue, in India?’ During the course of the show, Amitabh revealed some interesting facts of Aamir’s life and ways. The veteran actor revealed how Aamir was in the habit of writing down his dialogues by hand. Explaining his process, Aamir said that it helps him remember his lines better. Aamir spoke about his fan boy moment of working with Amitabh. “I was a big fan of him when I entered the industry. It was my dream to work with him. I was so elated when I got to work with him.” Ahead of the telecast, when Aamir had finished shooting the episode, he had taken to social media to express his feelings. He posted a picture of them together, and wrote, “What an exciting day I have had! Just finished shooting for KBC with Mr.Bachchan. Had so much fun. Sir, sorry for all my requests! Couldn’t control myself!” In the picture, Aamir can be seen wearing a checked red jacket and specs. Amitabh, meanwhile, is dressed in a classic blue suit. -- Monitoring Desk