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Ricky Gervais Responds to Allegations Against After Life Producer

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Ricky Gervais has responded to misconduct allegations against “After Life” producer Charlie Hanson, a long-time collaborator on numerous projects by the British comedian.

“I am shocked and appalled to learn of the historical allegations made by a number of women against Charlie Hanson. The decision was made to immediately remove him from production and I am confident the matter is being handled thoroughly,” said Gervais in a statement on Saturday.

Hanson produced two seasons of Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s BBC and HBO comedy “Extras” as well as the pair’s film “Cemetery Junction.” He was also behind Gervais and Merchant’s series “Life’s Too Short” and “Derek,” which starred Gervais.

Hanson was revealed as the male producer removed from a Netflix production after the streaming giant received an anonymous email detailing historical allegations about the executive. News of the producer’s removal was first reported by industry outlet Broadcast, though a name was withheld.

On Saturday, U.K. newspaper The Times revealed the producer was Hanson. Netflix later confirmed that the production in question was season 3 of “After Life.” According to the outlet, 11 women have complained about Hanson’s conduct.

“Charlie Hanson is a predator who uses his reputation, connections and standing in order to groom far younger, impressionable and sometimes vulnerable women into trusting him,” the women alleged in an email addressed to Netflix and BAFTA, excerpted in The Times.

“At times he will promise them a starry career under his wing, and then exploits that trust in creepy and illegal ways,” continued the letter. “He then tries to diminish the seriousness of what he’s done by telling these young women — us — that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, that it was somehow blameless. He does his best to convince himself — and others — that this method of operating is fine. But we know it is not fine.”

Variety understands that Hanson and his lawyers haven’t yet been sent a copy of this letter.

Hanson has denied all allegations through his lawyer, who released a statement: “Our client is shocked and appalled by these historical and false allegations of improper conduct towards women. He maintains that he has never acted inappropriately on any production, or at all, and has never had any complaints made about his conduct over the course of many decades in the media industry.”

Hanson said as part of the statement: “I have been made aware of allegations made against me concerning improper conduct towards women dating back many years. Based on the summaries that have been provided to me, I understand that many of these accusations are made anonymously and are demonstrably false. I have not had one complaint in decades of work in the media industry. I categorically reject any wrongdoing on my part, and strongly refute the allegations that have been levelled at me. I have worked with and supported hundreds of men and women during my working life and will do what is necessary to protect and/or restore my reputation. I will also cooperate with any formal inquiries. The matter is now in the hands of my solicitors.”

Hanson is the latest British media figure to face misconduct allegations following bombshell revelations in late April about actor-producer Noel Clarke, who was accused by at least 20 women of an array of claims, including sexual harassment and bullying.

Clarke’s production company Unstoppable is still being investigated by super-indie All3Media. His show, “Bulletproof,” was canceled by Sky, as revealed by Variety.

Naman Ramachandran contributed to this report.

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Release Date, Cast, And More

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“Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night” arrives in theaters across North America on December 3, 2021. For those in Japan, the film has been available for a couple of months, having debuted back in late October. Funimation teamed up with Sony’s distribution company, Aniplex of America, to bring the movie to fans across the world, including the approaching North American release, plus a theatrical release in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand on December 9. The film will be available both in its original Japanese with English subtitles, and in English dub.

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NBA 2K22 update 1.08 patch notes and Season 3 release date confirmed | Gaming | Entertainment

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A new NBA 2K22 update is available to download today ahead of the game’s Season 3 launch.

While we don’t have a rundown of everything that’s included in the new patch, we do know what will be added to the game later this week.

That’s because Visual Concepts has confirmed that NBA 2K22 Season 3 will release on Friday, December 3, across PlayStation, Xbox and PC platforms.

The development team behind the hit Basketball sim has confirmed that Season 3 will be called Iced Out and will bring a festive feel to the game’s social hubs.

A new deal with Def Jam Records also means the introduction of fresh music and tracks, as well as the headlining Clutch Time mode in MyTEAM.

As mentioned above, Season 3: ‘Iced Out’ focuses on the clutch gene, showcasing Damian Lillard’s ability to bury the competition with some of the coldest game-winning shots in NBA history.

A message from NBA 2K adds: “Being a clutch player means you need to have ice in your veins, and the ability to be unfazed by any situation. Portland Trail Blazers star point guard, Damian Lillard, has made a habit of freezing the competition and burying them with some of the coldest game-winning shots in NBA history.

“For NBA 2K22 Season 3, we’re calling upon all players undeterred by the elements to channel their inner Damian Lillard and showcase their clutch gene in what will be NBA 2K22’s coldest season yet.

“Decorated from top to bottom with garlands and wreaths, the City and the Cancha Del Mar will be your home away from home this holiday season. For six weeks, beginning December 3, joy and cheer will blanket the courts like a fresh snowfall, and you’ll swear you can smell hot cocoa and chestnuts in the air.

“From new rewards to chilly pickup games on the rooftops of the City, Season 3 will celebrate the Holiday season and ring in the New Year with fresh, festive content.”

At the heart of the City, gamers will find a full Holiday tree laced with ornaments, twinkling strands of lights, and presents abound sitting at its base.

And on the morning of December 25, everyone will be able to head to its base to claim a present on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, or directly to account on Xbox One and PS4.

Other features coming during NBA 2K22 Season 3 include the following:

ALL-NEW SINGLE-PLAYER GAME MODE: ROOFTOPS

NBA 2K22 features some of the most scenic courts in the history of the franchise, and starting in Season 3, we’ll be taking things to the next level by introducing the City Slam. On PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, battle in a series of 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 competition against players that take place exclusively on City rooftops, all orchestrated by the great Jackson Ellis. Convince sceptical streetballers to join your team by beating them on their own turf, then bring your custom-built roster into the final City Slam tournament, where you’ll compete in a variety of challenges against increasingly elite opponents. Playing in the City Slam will earn you some fantastic rewards, including a championship belt for winning the whole thing.

2XP COIN UPDATE

We want to address a change we’re making to the way 2XP Coins work in NBA 2K22 Seasons. Starting at the beginning of Season 3, your previous 2XP Coins will not transfer over from Season 2. While we’re changing the format from Season 1, we believe this will improve the Season-to-Season experience and competitive balance. Going forward, 2XP coins will now remain tied to the Season they were acquired in, so make sure to use those 2XP Coins as you’re leveling up in this Season and beyond.

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Donald Trump now senses his opportunity to win back the White House

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I’m back at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Florida. This is home to many of America’s richest and most famous citizens, but the best known of all of them is, of course, Donald Trump. Since my last visit here at the end of April, little has changed. Everything from the perfectly manicured lawns to the beautifully painted buildings is impeccable.

Over the coming months, this part of America will effectively be the headquarters of the Republican Party movement. Just as those seeking the blessing of Europe’s monarchs centuries ago would pay homage to kings and queens, so a never-ending stream of potential candidates come to meet Trump seeking his backing. They know that his personal endorsement will make a huge difference in the primary elections coming up.

Yes, some of the old guard, country club Republicans like Senator Mitt Romney may still be around, but there is no doubt that this is Donald Trump’s Republican Party now.

Apart from having a good time here, the purpose of my visit is to conduct a sit-down interview for GB News with America’s 45th President. It is the first interview with an overseas organisation that he has given since long before the 2020 presidential election, making it a genuine exclusive outside of America. 

Trump is the man whose every move and comment once dominated global news. But now that Twitter, his primary means of communication, has banned him, he has effectively been silenced. Ahead of the interview, I reflect privately on how astonishing — and deeply worrying — it is that the leadership of the Taliban is still allowed to use Twitter but Trump is not.

He appears to be noticeably lighter than he was when he occupied the White House. Living primarily at Mar-a-Lago certainly seems to be having a positive impact on him, yet burdens remain on his shoulders. The Democratic Party is pursuing a modern day Spanish Inquisition into the storming of the Capitol by a group of his supporters. The Democrats believe that the attack was an attempted coup and are busy indicting many of Trump’s former aides. 

To make matters worse, rumours continue to swirl that the New York tax authorities intend to go after Trump’s children. I have known Trump for long enough to see that he is living under considerable strain.

Whether you like him or loathe him, however, one thing is beyond doubt. He is a fighter who never gives up. Not only is he handpicking candidates at all levels for the party, but I can see that he wants to put himself at the centre of the campaign for the midterm elections in November 2022, when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be contested, together with 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate.

Perhaps the most illuminating part of our conversation comes when I ask him why, once again, he would give up his enviable life in Florida to go back into the sewer of politics. “Well, if you love your country, you have no choice,” he answers, adding: “I think you will be very pleased.” 

As he utters those words, all signs of the burden lift. The mischievous Trump, the heavyweight fighter relishing the chance to win back his crown, is back. But can he succeed?

The narrative pushed by some that the 2020 election was stolen from him is, I would say, harming his chances. Admittedly, we in the UK know from our own experience of postal voting that this system is open to fraud and intimidation, whichever country it’s used in. But I have seen private polling illustrating that 20 per cent of potential Republican voters are demotivated by the “stolen election” message. 

My sense is that Trump must very quickly turn this around into a positive campaign for electoral reform, state by state. His voter base adores him, and he has made great inroads into the black and Latino vote, but he still has much work to do to secure white voters who lead comfortable lives in middle class suburbs. They find Trump’s style difficult to take. When I put this to him in the interview, he denies it, but I would urge him to think again.

Aside from this section of the electorate, I remember a dinner I had some years ago with John Howard, the former Australian prime minister who won four general elections for Australia’s centre-right Liberal Party. Howard told me that no conservative in the Western world can win a majority without a large blue collar vote. 

The Red Wall in the north of England is testament to this statement. Looking at the other Republican figures who could run in 2024, including the excellent Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, I do not believe any of them can reach those voters living in the eight states that make up the Great Lakes region in the way that Trump can.

As the Democratic Party makes the same mistake that the British Labour Party did by moving to the hard Left, the opportunity for Trump to appeal to these voters is enormous. Yes, three years is a long time and a lot may happen between now and the next presidential election. But after this encounter, I genuinely believe that my friend will be back in the White House in January 2025.

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