News Nuggets: Looking back at the Oscar legacy of Nora Ephron

The Motion Picture Academy increases diversity with 2012 invitees: “Earlier this year, when I wrote a story about the under-the-radar success of producer Will Packer, who’s had a string of hit movies, notably ‘Think Like a Man,’ I said that Packer, who is African American, was still waiting for someone to invite him to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His wait is over … In addition to Packer, the academy invited several other African Americans to the club, including ‘Eve’s Bayou’ filmmaker Kasi Lemmons, ‘Ray’ costar Kerry Washington and Octavia Spencer, who won the best supporting actress Oscar this year for her role as Minnie in ‘The Help‘ … It’s not exactly a coincidence that the academy made strides on diversity just months after the L.A. Times did a lengthy investigation of the academy’s membership that revealed that its nearly 5,800 voting members were largely old, white and male.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

After winning a special award at the Daytime Emmys, “Kids React To” sets its sights on TV: “The Fine Brothers won … best viral video series over the weekend for the popular ‘Kids React To’ YouTube series, and now the creative duo are looking to reach a much wider audience globally and on TV. ‘Kids React To’ features children and teens who express how they feel while watching funny trending videos or clips of serious topics like bullying and current events such as Osama bin Laden’s death and Kony 2012 … ‘We’d love for a TV version to bring people of all ages together to watch a show that is meaningful and will get people talking and embracing having opinions and communication with one another, which we feel is important in entertainment today,’ [Rafi Fine] said Wednesday.” MASHABLE

Sasha Stone looks back at the Oscar legacy of late writer-director Nora Ephron: “Nora Ephron’s career was never the stuff that Oscars are made of. For one thing, the Oscars don’t support women who create their own genres, as Ephron did. Hollywood barely opened the door that let her in. Three Oscar nominations for Ephron don’t hardly say it. When you deconstruct what it takes to win an Oscar for, say, writing or directing, you know you are dwelling in not only a man’s world, but a group of people whose idea of a narrative pathway is usually centered around a man. This is especially true lately, because there was a time in Oscar/Hollywood history when that wasn’t necessarily true. But it is true now, and it was mostly true during the time Nora Ephron became one of the only ‘bankable’ female writer/directors.” AWARDS DAILY

Beyonce and Jay-Z face off tonight at the BET Awards: “Things may get a little dicey around the house for Beyonce and Jay-Z this week. Beyonce will battle her husband for video of the year at the BET Awards on Sunday, and now both performers are confirmed to attend. Beyonce is the second most nominated act. She’s up for six awards. Jay-Z is nominated for five. Kanye West leads the pack with seven, though his household is still four behind is buddy Jay-Z’s. Two of West and Jay-Z’s collaborative songs are up for video of the year. Beyonce is also nominated twice in the category. The final nominee is Usher.” CONTRA COSTA TIMES

Christian Borle leaves his Tony-winning role in “Peter and the Starcatcher“: “Christian Borle, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his role as ‘Black Stache’ in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher,’ [departed] his role as ‘Black Stache’ for the filming of season two of NBC’s ‘Smash‘ [last night], and taking over the role from [today] will be Matt Saldivar. Matthew Saldivar has been seen on Broadway as Steve in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ Sammy in ‘The Wedding Singer’ and Kenickie in ‘Grease.’ Tickets for ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ can now be purchased through September 30, 2012, via Ticketmaster and in person at the box office of the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47 Street).” BROADWAY WORLD

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