Welcome back to the "Spotlight!" As some of you may have noticed, smartphones are everywhere. They have the power to entertain insomniac authors (who shall remain nameless) suffering from writer’s block. They have the power to bring the eyes of the whole world (or close to it), to the vantage point of the person holding the device with a few taps of the finger. The results of that capability have been mixed. They have exposed injustice and sparked global movements for change (the George Floyd murder being a prime example). They have captured humorous and bizarre moments — this week, an unsuspecting spectator at a Yankees-Mets Subway Series game (that the Yankees swept, by the way) showed millions that a hot dog could be hollowed out and used as a straw for drinking beer. But they have also been used for nefarious and callous purposes – including by law enforcement officials in Los Angeles to share photos of Kobe Bryant’s and other victims’ corpses in the rubble of a tragic January 26, 2020 helicopter crash that killed all passengers on board. Yesterday, ironically on Kobe Bryant Day (8/24), a Los Angeles jury awarded $31 million in damages for violation of the right to privacy and infliction of emotional distress to the victims’ families (including Bryant’s), as if to send a message to all smartphone users that such behavior should not be tolerated. The subjects of their videos and photos are people with families and dignities that take precedent over sharing tasteless photos to impress drinking buddies. So the next time you raise your smartphone to record or photograph, think about your motivations for doing so, and that the people in front of the lens are just that. People with families and dignities who may deserve not to have that content in the Spotlight.
- Earlier this summer, Capitol Records made headlines by signing virtual recording artist, “FN Meka” to its label. Now, Capitol Records is making headlines for terminating the FN Meka project due to blowback at the racially-charged stereotypes that FN Meka embodied. Hopefully those at Sony Music Japan are taking notes on what not to do for its newly launched virtual talent development and management project. The lesson?: Even virtual reality bytes.
- In an effort to engage a broader audience, while battling the competition from LIV Golf, the PGA Tour announced enhanced prizes, more star participation and most notably a partnership with Tiger Woods’ and Rory McIlroy’s TMRW Sports in the creation of the TGL golf league that will feature teams of players competing on a virtual golf course in front of a live audience. Time will tell whether this is the right approach for hitting the “green.”
- A new drama called “The Good Lawyer” is in development at ABC. These television show titles just keep getting more and more outlandish…