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How Studio Ghibli films can help us rediscover the childlike wonder of our connection with nature

<p>Films with powerful environmentally centred narratives can <a href="https://time.com/5889324/movies-climate-change/">transform our thinking</a> and connect us with nature in ways that scientific papers cannot. For example, <a href="https://ghiblicollection.com/">Studio Ghibli</a>, a renowned Japanese film studio co-founded by animator <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/t-magazine/hayao-miyazaki-studio-ghibli.html">Hayao Miyazaki</a>, creates complex visual stories about human-nature relationships that transcend barriers of culture or age. A key message of Miyazaki’s work is that we must respect nature – or face our own destruction.</p> <p>Miyazaki’s films offer viewers moments of escape into fantastical worlds that nonetheless echo problems of modernity, demonstrating that it’s possible to portray complex environmental issues through animation in a way that retains mainstream appeal.</p> <p>As a conservation scientist and Studio Ghibli enthusiast, I’ve <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/10/2/35">analysed</a> the environmental themes in three of its most well-known films: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), My Neighbour Totoro (1988) and Princess Mononoke (1997).</p> <h2>Nausicaä</h2> <p>Nausicaä, released with a special recommendation from the <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/">World Wildlife Fund</a> for Nature, tells the story of an apocalyptic event that wreaks havoc on global ecosystems. Surviving humans must coexist alongside the <a href="https://ghibli.fandom.com/wiki/Toxic_Jungle">Toxic Jungle</a>, a dangerous landscape filled with poisonous fungal spores. Most humans fear the Toxic Jungle and seek to destroy it. But what they don’t understand is that it’s cleansing the environment for their benefit.</p> <p>Miyazaki designed the film to mirror our society, where <a href="https://cusp.ac.uk/themes/s1/blog-np-goals-for-good/">prioritising</a> short-term materialistic growth over long-term environmental sustainability is predicted to lead to collapse. The film reminds us that being at war with nature ultimately ends in our <a href="https://theconversation.com/humanity-and-nature-are-not-separate-we-must-see-them-as-one-to-fix-the-climate-crisis-122110">demise</a>. To create a sustainable future, we must <a href="https://www.apu.ac.jp/rcaps/uploads/fckeditor/publications/journal/RJAPS33_6_Akimoto2.pdf">work with nature</a> rather than against it.</p> <h2>My Neighbour Totoro</h2> <p>In <a href="https://ghibli.fandom.com/wiki/My_Neighbor_Totoro">My Neighbour Totoro</a>, a pair of young sisters move to a house in the countryside with their father as their mother recovers from illness. The girls explore their new house and the surrounding forest, forming a friendship with a large forest spirit named Totoro.</p> <p>During <a href="https://theconversation.com/did-the-covid-lockdowns-work-heres-what-we-know-two-years-on-176623">UK lockdowns</a>, local green spaces became a <a href="https://theconversation.com/parks-and-green-spaces-helped-us-get-through-lockdown-but-not-everyone-has-equal-access-157308">haven</a> supporting my mental health and reminding me of my intrinsic connection to nature and to other humans. As I saw children spending more time playing on the grass or climbing trees, I realised the importance of <a href="https://activeforlife.com/unstructured-nature-play">unstructured playtime</a> in nature. Indeed, a growing body of <a href="http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003638">research</a> suggests that children’s interactions with the natural world are invaluable for their wellbeing.</p> <p>In Miyazaki’s film, the young sisters become friends with Totoro, explore their surroundings, and discover their affinity for their environment. Totoro is depicted as a warm and nurturing mother figure, representing and encouraging the <a href="https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing">healing effects</a> of communing with nature: which have been <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/14/wild-ideas-how-nature-cures-are-shaping-our-literary-landscape">well-documented</a> in research and culture.</p> <h2>Princess Mononoke</h2> <p>Princess Mononoke is set in <a href="https://www.japan-experience.com/plan-your-trip/to-know/japanese-movies/japan-from-princess-mononoke-1997">14th-century Japan</a>, a world where the constant battle between humans and <a href="https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/kami">forest kami</a> (spirits) leads to casualties on both sides. In <a href="https://theconversation.com/japans-shinto-religion-is-going-global-and-attracting-online-followers-174924">Shinto</a>, a traditional Japanese religion, these kami are part of nature – but they’re not soft-natured entities. When humans refuse to respect their environment, they can seek revenge.</p> <p>The film’s most powerful kami is the Forest Spirit (<a href="https://ashleykress.tripod.com/princessmononoke/id10.html">Shishigami</a>), who is neither good nor evil but represents the pure power of nature. During the day, Shishigami appears as a deer. At night, it transforms into the eerie Night Walker. This transformation represents the duality of nature as a bringer of life and death, echoing how the natural world has the ability to both <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/02/beware-gaia-theory-climate-crisis-earth">support and destroy</a> humankind.</p> <p>Similarly, the antagonist of the film, Lady Eboshi, isn’t in fact a clear-cut villain. Although she wants to cut down the forest to feed iron mines, she’s also the kind, generous leader of Iron Town, providing a haven for social outcasts and espousing gender equality. Yet despite her wish to build a better society, her actions – however well-intentioned – will destroy the forest and the homes of the kami.</p> <p>This situation is a microcosm of ongoing <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-a-justice-issue-these-6-charts-show-why-170072">environmental justice</a> issues across the world, where poor and marginalised groups, including <a href="https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/01/World-Social-Report-2020-FullReport.pdf">Indigenous people and women</a>, suffer for the actions of the wealthy. In particular, although wealthy countries contribute the most to climate change, it’s poorer countries that must carry the greatest <a href="https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-climate-change-global-warming-part-2-story.html">climate-related burdens</a>.</p> <p>As viewers of Princess Mononoke, we’re being encouraged to move beyond dichotomies of “us versus them”, thinking which allows groups with more power to distance themselves from those without: or even to <a href="https://unevenearth.org/2020/05/planet-of-the-dehumanized/">dehumanise</a> them altogether. Miyazaki’s work is a lesson in seeking intrinsic commonalities – what connects us rather than what divides – and using these to imagine fairer, more equal societies that live in harmony with nature.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on<a href="https://theconversation.com/how-studio-ghibli-films-can-help-us-rediscover-the-childlike-wonder-of-our-connection-with-nature-176612" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> The Conversation. </a></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Ellen’s surprise confession

<p>Ellen DeGeneres has announced that she will end her talk show after almost 20 years on air. </p> <p>The 64-year-old announced in May last year that she would end her show after her reputation took a hit following reports of pay reduction, racism and intimidation toward crew members.  </p> <p>On Thursday, she surprised guests that that would be the last episode to air before sharing how different her first episode was 19 years ago until today. </p> <p>“Twenty years ago, when we were trying to sell the show, no one thought that this would work. Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different," she said.</p> <p>"When we started this show, I couldn't say 'gay' on the show. I was not allowed to say 'gay.' I said it at home a lot. 'What are we having for gay breakfast?'"</p> <p>"We couldn't say 'gay.' I couldn't say 'we,' because that implied that I was with someone.</p> <p>"I sure couldn't say 'wife,' and that's because it wasn't legal for gay people to get married, and now I say 'wife' all the time.</p> <p>"Twenty-five years ago, they cancelled my sitcom because they didn't want a lesbian to be in primetime once a week. I said, 'Okay, then I'll be on daytime every day. How about that?'"</p> <p>Ellen then asked her DJ, Stephen Boss aka tWitch, for one final dance where the pair boogied in between the audience to Best of My Love by The Emotions. </p> <p>The host was also joined by Friends star Jennifer Aniston, singer Billie Eilish and Pink who shared memories from their first show. </p> <p>Ellen then ended the show by thanking her camera crew and audience saying that she hoped she inspired them through her shows.</p> <p>"If I've done anything in the past 19 years, I hope I've inspired you to be yourself. Your true, authentic self,” she said.</p> <p>“And if someone is brave enough to tell you who they are, be brave enough to support them, even if you don't understand. They're showing you who they are and that is the biggest gift anybody can ever give you. </p> <p>“And by opening your heart and your mind, you're gonna be that much more compassionate. And compassion is what makes the world a better place. </p> <p>“Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I feel the love and I send it back to you. Bye."</p> <p><em>Image: YouTube</em></p>

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Sunrise hosts left stunned by controversial take on Texas shooting

<p>David ‘Kochie’ Koch and Natalie Barr have been stunned by a guest’s take on how to solve America’s mass shooting crisis.</p> <p>The Sunrise hosts spoke to FBI veteran and active shooter expert Greg Shaffer on Wednesday after the news broke that there had been another massacre, this time at a <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/21-dead-at-primary-school-shooting" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Texas primary school</a>.</p> <p>At least 18 students, one teacher, and two other adults were killed when 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos stormed Robb Elementary school.</p> <p>When asked for his opinion on how to end their constant string of shootings at US schools, Shaffer shocked the audiance with his response.</p> <p>“We need to put armed police officers in every school in America, no questions asked,” he said.</p> <p>“Secondly, we need to get better at realising the pre-indicators to violence so we can prevent these attacks from happening before they do."</p> <p>“We’re doing a pretty good job at how to respond to these, but we need to stop them before they start.”</p> <p>Kochie questioned how someone with Shaffer’s credentials could have formed such an opinion.</p> <p>“So, Greg Shaffer, FBI veteran and expert on active shooter situations, you’re saying the way to fight this is with more guns? Is to actually put armed police in every school?"</p> <p>“Australians would shake their head at that and say, ‘Why don’t you tighten gun laws?’ Is that unrealistic in the US now? Has it got beyond the point of no return?”</p> <p>Shaffer responded by saying the “ship has sailed” on gun control in the United States before claiming the country doesn’t have a “gun violence problem,” it has an “evil person problem”.</p> <p>“These people are sick, they’re violent by nature and that’s what causing this,” he claimed.</p> <p>“You can’t confiscate all of the weapons in America and with our second amendment, you lawfully can’t do it.”</p> <p>Barr then asked: ”The fact that Americans don’t admit that there’s a problem, isn’t that a problem?”</p> <p>Following the interview, Kochie said Shaffer’s response gave viewers “an insight into the horrific psyche of Americans in this situation”.</p> <p><em>Image: Sunrise</em></p>

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"I was upset": Karl confirms snub to Sam Armytage

<p dir="ltr">Karl Stefanovic has confirmed he was passed over as the host of Channel 9’s election coverage over the weekend.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 47-year-old told former Sunrise host Samantha Armytage that he was “upset” about the snub during his appearance on her podcast <em><a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/something-to-talk-about-with-samantha-armytage/id1553858670" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Something to Talk About With Samantha Armytage</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though Stefanovic and his Today co-star Allison Langdon reportedly presented a strong pitch to host the bulletin, Nine opted for long-time presenter Peter Overton and Melbourne newsreader Alicia Loxley.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stefanovic admitted to Armytage that the snub was disappointing.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I was upset that I didn’t host the election … It’s kind of like doing all the preliminary games for two years and then missing out on the Super Bowl,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But it’s not something you need to articulate in a particularly public fashion: ‘I was really shitty.’ No, no.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When you’ve been in broadcasting as long as I have, you’re going to get some gigs, you’re not going to get them all.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You think about it for a while and you go, other people make those decisions … I’ll just stay at home and [shrug it off].”</p> <p dir="ltr">Langdon was reportedly particularly “aggrieved” about the snub, with <em><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/annette-sharp-allison-langdon-not-happy-to-be-overlooked-for-election-night-duties/news-story/0b563a64b91f98ea1aa2a0b496446778" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Daily Telegraph</a></em> reporting that sources said she was “bristling” over the choice and took her complaint to Darren Wick, Nine’s director of news.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Armytage’s podcast, Stefanovic said the pair had done “an enormous amount of work” prior to the election, including interviewing political figures every day during the campaign, with Stefanovic even pulling off major interviews with Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese for 60 Minutes.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m very proud of what we did day in, day out. And while I might be upset, you’ve got to put your big boy pants on and go to work the next day and get on with it,” he added. </p> <p dir="ltr">The snub comes after Stefanovic was nominated for the Gold Logie at this year’s awards, having been nominated twice previously and winning the Gold Logie in 2011.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-f6e665f1-7fff-f3fb-7b6b-f93c2543eb6c"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @karlstefanovic (Instagram)</em></p>

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Kylie's emotional walk down memory lane

<p>Kylie Minogue said it was like "stepping back in time" when she returned to the set of Neighbours to reprise her iconic role of Charlene Robinson.</p> <p>The queen of pop spoke about her decision to return for the Australian soap's final season and said it just made sense to revisit that part of her life now.</p> <p>"For so long I was like 'well maybe, hmm, I don't know if that makes any sense,'" Kylie said.</p> <p>"But I'm still in touch with Jason (Donovan) and Guy (Pearce) and Jason said 'this could be a nice opportunity to buckle the buckle' as an ex-boyfriend of mine used to say, or to circle the circle and say thankyou."</p> <p>Kylie said it was emotional driving back into "Ramsay Street" and all the memories came flooding back for her.</p> <p>"Firstly where has all that time gone? Secondly everything looks exactly the same. Thirdly, Scott, Charlene, Jayne, Harold, it all just came flooding back.</p> <p>"There was a lot of talking about memories and going back in time."</p> <p>Kylie played Charlene Robinson from 1986 to 1988 and the role catapulted her onto the international stage and in the 34 years since she left the show, Kylie has continued to star on TV and in film and has had hit after hit top the music charts.</p> <p>"It's crazy. I didn't know I would have this impact on people's lives for a long time. It's amazing and very touching."</p> <p>One of Kylie's many number ones is dance hit 'Can't Get You Outta My Head' which is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a remix by DJ Peggie Gou.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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"Excited" Rove reveals new TV gig

<p dir="ltr">Aussie TV presenter Rove McManus has announced he will be hosting the first Australian series to debut on Disney Plus.</p> <p dir="ltr">McManus took to Instagram to reveal that he will be the host of a new reality competition where teams of adults and kids are tasked with bringing their own toy stories to life.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m very excited to announce that my new show ‘What’s Your Toy Story?’ is coming to Disney Plus - it will be a celebration of imagination and the creative joy that comes from playing with toys (like I need a reason),” he shared with fans.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-aad28cee-7fff-7f56-1da0-034c21c3facc"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Just an hour prior, McManus teased fans with a snap of the Disney logo with the Sydney Harbour Bridge pictured in the background and the caption: “Exciting day today…”.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdpRRmZvDiH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdpRRmZvDiH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Rove McManus (@rovemcmanus)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Colleagues and fellow comedians quickly congratulated McManus, with <em>Project </em>co-host Peter Helliar writing: “This will have all the feels!! Congrats mate.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Fantastic news mate .. I have a toy story but it’s not very ‘Disney’ x,” <em>Morning Show</em> host Larry Emdur joked.</p> <p dir="ltr">The comedian’s latest gig comes two years after his show <em>Saturday Night Live</em> was dropped by Network Ten after just two episodes due to disappointing ratings.</p> <p dir="ltr">His new show is one of several announced by the streaming giant, with Mirando Otto, Guy Pearce, Teresa Palmer and Deborah Hay among the high-profile Australian talent signing on to a variety of shows about Australian cults, Christmas, and space history.</p> <p dir="ltr">Disney also announced new documentaries that will follow the likes of the Matildas and the AFLW.</p> <p dir="ltr">The company has also hinted that more titles are in development, including opportunities in young adult, rom-com and comedy genres.</p> <p dir="ltr">The investment in new programming comes as the pressure ramps up to impose a government-mandated quota for international streaming services to spend a percentage of Australian revenue on local productions.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-216e569d-7fff-a6e2-5a2d-6573d4e56e72"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Previously, industry advocates including Simon Baker, Screen Producers Australia and Bryan Brown have argued for a 20 percent quota.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdpJMFbPXrJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdpJMFbPXrJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Rove McManus (@rovemcmanus)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">In 2021, Baker advocated for a “richer, stronger, more potent Australian voice” during an appearance at federal parliament amid the influx of Hollywood productions using local actors and sets but telling stories set elsewhere.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s very good that foreign companies are coming in and studios are spending a lot of money here,” Baker said. “It’s great for our crews, it’s great for our economy. But it’s a sugar hit.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Disney’s senior vice president and managing director of the Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand, specifically said the upcoming titles were a reason why a quota isn’t needed.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The commitment we’re showing through our local commissioning underpins the strong foundation of a long-term relationship we’re building with Australian and New Zealand content creators and the industry as a whole, without the need for quotas or other regulatory intervention,” she said during a showcase event in Sydney.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-23e0bd82-7fff-beab-1df0-6de5e9168ff1"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @rovemcmanus (Instagram)</em></p>

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Nat Barr loses it at Tanya Plibersek and Barnaby Joyce live on air

<p>Natalie Barr has lost her patience with the federal election campaign, as she slammed Tanya Plibersek and Barnaby Joyce in a fiery Sunrise segment.</p> <p>In the on-air debate on Monday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce asked Ms Plibersek on if Labor's policy to help first homebuyers, by buying a stake in their properties, applied to voters' taxable or gross income.</p> <p>Tanya was unable to answer the question directly, leading Joyce to erupt "Which one is it Tanya?!" and Barr to say she felt sorry for Australian voters.</p> <p>The two senior politicians were each grilled about their party's policies on helping first homebuyers, after the Coalition proposed a plan to allow Aussie families to withdraw up to $50,000 from their superannuation to buy their first property. </p> <p>Labor is proposing the Federal government would contribute up to 40 per cent of the purchase price of a first home. </p> <p>The plan would be only be accessible to voters on a taxable income of up to $90,000 per annum for singles, or $120,000 for couples, but the figures are unclear if they are gross or net payments. </p> <p>"Which one is it Tanya?! It's your policy," an exasperated Mr Joyce asked. "Can you explain your policy? It's the last week of the election!"</p> <p>"How do you not understand your own policy?"</p> <p>Barr piled onto Ms Plibersek, asking, "Can you answer the question?"</p> <p>Ms Plibersek eventually confirmed Labor's policy was based on taxable income, to which Mr Joyce implied she was told the figure by an off-camera staffer. </p> <p>Natalie Barr then wrapped up the segment before it could delve further into an on-air screaming match.</p> <p>"Can anyone feel sorry for the people of Australia this morning, trying to work out what on earth we are voting on this Saturday," Barr said.</p> <p>Ms Plibersek added "I feel embarrassed the deputy Prime Minister carries on like that, I really do."</p> <p>Barr fired back, "I feel sorry for us, because we've got to walk into those polling booths and we have to try and work out what on earth we're voting on!"</p> <p>Earlier in the segment, Tanya Plibersek slammed the Coalition's housing affordability scheme, citing why such measures had not worked in the past as housing prices would skyrocket. </p> <p>"There is a reason why John Howard, Peter Costello… and Malcolm Turnbull rejected this policy," Ms Plibersek said.</p> <p>"All the Liberals in the past have rejected it because you shouldn't have to choose between housing today and poverty in old age."</p> <p>"Scott Morrison and his government have been around for almost a decade. It's harder to buy a home, it's harder to rent and it's more expensive and there's more homelessness than ever."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Sunrise</em></p>

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Tommy Little reveals a wild side to co-host Lisa Wilkinson

<p dir="ltr"><em>The Project</em>’s Tommy Little has revealed that his co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, has a wild side not many people know about.</p> <p dir="ltr">Little, who is known for his X-rated jokes on the show, shared the revelation with <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/tommy-littles-surprisingly-racy-lisa-wilkinson-confession/news-story/a15990784840c831713d45b151c6be3e" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a></em> in an interview for their upcoming podcast, <em>I’ve Got News For You</em>, which is due to be released in full on Monday.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I don’t think Wilko is actually offended, I think she has to appear to be not on-board with the many c**k jokes,” Little began, with podcast host Andrew Bucklow pressing for more details about Wilkinson.</p> <p dir="ltr">Little then claimed the former Today host “loves the strippers”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That is not something I was expecting when I started to work with her,” the 37-year-old said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’ve been out for dinner a few times, and she’s a great host. I’ve been over [to her house] for dinner, and it always gets to a certain point when Lisa gets a sparkle in her eye and says, ‘Should we go to the strippers?’</p> <p dir="ltr">“I say, ‘Wilko, no, this has clearly been a problem for you in the past and tonight, no, you’ve gotta rein it in’.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Elsewhere in the interview, Little revealed he was the “most complained about cast member” on the show and that he was “told off all the time”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I assume they have to, if they get enough complaints I guess they have to tell me at some point.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-3f6b7739-7fff-831e-3fca-7fe04deda94d"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: news.com.au</em></p>

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Richard Wilkins all but confirms long-standing TV rumour

<p>Richard Wilkins has quite abruptly revealed and all but confirmed a long-standing TV rumour while speaking on Nova’s Fitzy &amp; Wippa on Tuesday morning – and that is that there appears to be a largely celebrity version of Married At First Sight in the works.</p> <p>The veteran Today showbiz reporter confirmed that Nine has been workshopping a celebrity iteration of the show when he said, "[Former Nine CEO] David Gyngell once said to me, ‘Mate, I’ll give you … I won’t mention the amount of money, but a lot of zeros ... if you do Celebrity Married At First Sight.”</p> <p>While Wilkins did not elaborate further, it remains unknown when he was offered the lucrative opportunity. Nine is yet to confirm plans for a star-studded version of the smash hit dating series, however leaked texts from MAFS expert John Aiken from 2020 sent the rumour mill into overdrive.</p> <p>The Instagram DMs showed Aiken messaging a mystery contestant named ‘Reece’, in which he wrote: “Hi Reece. As you know by now from our email conversation you will not be the only celebrity on MAFS 2021. We are currently trying to figure out if we want celebrity marrying a celebrity for the season or celebrities paired up with strangers on the outside.”</p> <p>This year’s season, which won the 7:30 pm slot every night, absolutely blitzed ratings, recording a national average audience of 1.9 million viewers per episode.</p> <p>It only makes sense that Nine wants to expand the franchise after the finale which aired last month became the highest rating non-sports program, with a national average audience of 2.3 million.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Prince Harry stars in comedy skit to promote "green" travel venture

<p>Prince Harry has flexed his acting muscles as he stars in a comedy skit promoting his new "green" travel venture in New Zealand. </p> <p>The Duke of Sussex's eco-tourism venture Travalyst, which he founded in 2019, has launched a new initiative to rate holidayers on their environmental credentials. </p> <p>Travellers will also be able to choose their hotel based on how "green" the hotels and resorts are. </p> <p>In the hilarious ad promoting the new move, Prince Harry is seen jogging through a park, wearing a t-shirt that says "Girl Dad", in honour of his daughter Lilibet. </p> <p>The clip also features New Zealand actors Rhys Darby, Dave Fane and Rena Owen.</p> <p>In the video, Harry is accosted by Darby, who plays a "rating agent", who accuses him of littering on a beach in Auckland during his and Meghan's royal tour in October 2018. </p> <p>Darby explains that the country is trialling a system in which holiday destinations rate their visitors, giving Harry three stars out of five.</p> <p>He gives the royal a positive review for only using one out of 12 provided towels, buying honey from local vendors and turning off the tap when he brushed his teeth.</p> <p>When asked about his experience in the country, Harry says, "It was an incredible time. We had an amazing time in New Zealand. It's beautiful".</p> <p>The Duke of Sussex made the announcement on Māori Television's Te Ao with Moana on Monday night.</p> <p>Harry told viewers he had always felt a deep connection and respect towards the Maori people.</p> <p>"Tena Koutou katoa. I've been to Aotearoa a number of times throughout my life and I've always felt a deep connection and respect towards the Māori people who make me feel so welcome every time," Harry said.</p> <p>You can check out the video below. </p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V_sUwhZhTTY" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Travalyst</em></p>

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More than just MasterChef: a brief history of Australian cookery competitions

<p>Australians were involved in competitive cookery long before MasterChef.</p> <p>The earliest of Australia’s cooking competitions were at agricultural shows. In 1910, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW hosted its first competition for “perishable foods” at the Royal Easter Show.</p> <p>Along with pastry and pickles, competitors could also be judged on their calf’s foot jelly.</p> <p>By the 1920s, the cookery category at the Easter Show had been firmly established. It was purely the preserve of women. Men were prohibited from entering and wouldn’t be allowed to enter until after the second world war.</p> <p>Women living in NSW and the ACT also entered their wares in the Country Women’s Association’s <a href="https://cwaofnsw.org.au/Web/Committees/The-Land-Cookery/Web/Committees/The-Land-Cookery.aspx?hkey=0892996d-3e2d-40e4-9738-68b313192c77">The Land Cookery Competition</a>. Starting in 1949, the competition judged women on their ability to bake classics such as fruit cake, butter cake and lamingtons, offering modest prize money to the winners. It is still running today.</p> <p>These competitions are grounded in a history of cooking which saw women as “cooks” and men as “chefs”. Women were amateurs working in the home, while men worked in professional kitchens. This phenomenon <a href="https://theconversation.com/macho-kitchens-sludge-eating-techies-and-miracle-diets-how-did-food-get-so-tricky-54332">continues today</a>.</p> <p>Cookery competitions allowed women to receive recognition for their often-overlooked hard work and skill. Contestants were encouraged to break out of their comfort zones, to be creative, innovate and impress.</p> <h2>Magazine cookery competitions</h2> <p>With women as their key demographic, it is little wonder that, by the 1960s, women’s magazines such as the <a href="https://trove.nla.gov.au/collection/womensweekly/browse">Australian Women’s Weekly</a> began hosting large-scale cookery competitions open to readers around the country.</p> <p>Perhaps the most extravagant of these competitions was the Butter-White Wings Bake-Off, which ran from 1963 to 1970. The competition pitted Australia’s best home bakers against each other in a variety of categories, including cakes, desserts, main courses and “busy lady recipes”.</p> <p>Entering their written recipes, contestants competed at state level for a chance to win a trip to the national final where they would cook for illustrious judges.</p> <p>Thousands competed at the state level of these competitions, and one from each state and territory would go on to the final. These were held in either Sydney or Melbourne in front of live audiences, usually in the middle of a department store.</p> <p>The 1970 final was televised, with the Weekly estimating <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45652547">two million viewers</a> would watch the proceedings.</p> <p>It was Australia’s first televised cooking competition.</p> <h2>Marketing and celebrities</h2> <p>Just as MasterChef is sponsored by advertisers, the cookery competitions hosted in the Weekly proved to be lucrative marketing opportunities for a variety of sponsors. The prizes, provided by sponsors such as Breville and QANTAS, included cash, fur coats, appliances, cars and overseas holidays.</p> <p>The choice of judges also offers us a glimpse of the glamour associated with the competitions as well as the continued gendered expectations surrounding cookery. A slew of early “celebrity chefs” were flown in from exotic, international destinations to judge the competition – including the Galloping Gourmet himself, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Kerr">Graham Kerr</a>.</p> <p>These celebrity chefs judged the main course section; the overtly feminine baking sections were judged primarily by women.</p> <p>It was in the cake section that contestants really went above and beyond, both in the recipes themselves and in their names. In 1968, <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46186768">prize-winning recipes</a> included “Golden Crown Dessert”, “Marshmallow-Cherry Cake”, “Chocolate Gold Layer Cake” and “Peach <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuchen">Kuchen</a>”.</p> <p>Peach Kuchen, which won the “Busy Lady” section, was made with a packet of White Wings cake mix, a tin of peaches and some sour cream. The Bake-Off helped to popularise (and sell!) boxed cake mixes: even the “busy woman” could create delicious cakes deserving of accolades.</p> <h2>A dizzying progression</h2> <p>The last Butter-White Wings Bake-Off was held in 1970, but the magazine kept hosting cooking competitions. In 1980, Elizabeth Love was crowned “Best Cook in Australia.”</p> <p>Her <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44795690">prize-winning menu</a> included oysters in pastry cases, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballotine">ballotine</a> of duckling with baby vegetables and a red wine jus, mango sorbet and almond petits fours.</p> <p>In a recent <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/remembering-the-womens-weekly-cookbooks/13440234">interview</a>, Love reflected that her menu drew on the concepts of nouvelle cuisine, which was popular at the time. It was an ambitious menu for a home cook – however Love declared that she didn’t think it would do very well if she went on MasterChef today.</p> <p>Her menu demonstrates the dizzying progression of Australian food over the past 40 years.</p> <p>Cookery competitions like those held in the Weekly gradually disappeared, replaced instead by competitions on television, which have grown in popularity over the last two decades.</p> <p>Like the magazine cookery competitions of the past, where contestants were inventive and used new and exciting ingredients, television competitions have also proved important for introducing the Australian palate to innovative cooking techniques and exotic ingredients.</p> <p>Our ongoing fascination with cooking competition shows such as MasterChef reflects the prestige still on offer for those ambitious contestants who enter them, as well as the cultural importance of food.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/more-than-just-masterchef-a-brief-history-of-australian-cookery-competitions-169840" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</p>

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Home and Away star announces shock departure

<p>Lukas Radovich, of long-running show Home and Away, has announced his departure from the Channel Seven show.</p> <p>The 27-year-old actor revealed on Instagram he will be leaving the soap after five long years. 'What an incredible ride. I can't really express how the last 5 years has felt or impacted my life so I'll keep it short. I'll miss the job, but most importantly I'll miss the people,' Lukas wrote.</p> <p>'A special mention to @tony_gardiner for directing my final block with empathy. And thanks to the FANS OF THE SHOW who've made the experience unforgettable.'</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdIE8vApkG3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdIE8vApkG3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Luke (@lukas.radovich)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>‘Also having my parents and @liamforcadilla appear as extras in my final episodes fills my heart. Until the next thing - catch you on the flipside.'</p> <p>Lukas has played the role of Ryder Jackson on Home and Away since 2017.</p> <p>In January, Lukas revealed the most challenging scene to film was last year's season finale which saw Ryder buried alive in a coffin for a video challenge.</p> <p>In the episode, Ryder was buried alive by his friend Theo, played by actor Matt Evans.</p> <p>'When I saw that the call sheet just had my name on it for the entire day, I knew it was going to be big,' he said.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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“You’re twins!”: Kate Middleton look-alike goes viral

<p dir="ltr">An Australian woman has gone viral on social media, thanks to her eerie resemblance to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brittany Dixon, an artist from Queensland, took to TikTok with a series of side-by-side photos of herself and the Duchess after a deluge of fans urged her to answer Netflix’s recent casting call for Middleton lookalikes for <em>The Crown</em>’s upcoming season, per the <em><a href="https://nypost.com/2022/05/02/kate-middletons-twin-applies-to-play-her-in-the-crown/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a></em>.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-4c7445aa-7fff-9b6a-4b92-87b7b9fee909">“Okay you are all bullying me into actually doing this,” she captioned <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@brittanydixonart/video/7091536687943257345?_t=8RycV3L7Mcd&amp;_r=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the clip</a>, which came as a response to another user who tagged her in a clip from Monica Riviera, the casting director for <em>The Crown</em>.</span></p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/05/middle2.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: TikTok</em></p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re looking for a young Kate Middleton, 18 years old, to play her in Netflix’s series <em>The Crown</em>,” Riviera said in the clip, which included a screenshot of the role’s requirements.</p> <p dir="ltr">Other users on the social media platform quickly flooded Dixon’s comments, insisting she’d be a shoo-in for the role.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know exactly who you’re applying for no backstory needed - you’re twins!” one supporter said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If you, her identical twin, [do] not get the part … I give up,” another joked.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Please remember me when you’re rich and famous on ‘The Crown’ @Netflix,” a third wrote.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-27fbe912-7fff-d767-c9c3-ef1b48e32656"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">With all of this support, Dixon created a follow-up video confirming she did apply for the part.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/05/middle1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: TikTok</em></p> <p dir="ltr">“They just wanted a selfie, some general information and a 30-second video of me talking about something I love - obviously I talked about painting,” she explained in <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@brittanydixonart/video/7092218076527168770?_t=8RycbFx3TeE&amp;_r=1https://www.tiktok.com/@brittanydixonart/video/7092218076527168770?_t=8RycbFx3TeE&amp;_r=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the clip</a>, which has since garnered over 612,000 views.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see if [the Netflix casting directors] even see it,” she added, thanking her followers for encouraging her to do it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Thanks guys for being so nice.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Back to painting.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-e8108066-7fff-ed94-a842-956386788027"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

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Netflix's massive loss of subscribers is a big deal

<p>Netflix’s recently released first quarter earnings for 2022 reported <a href="https://s22.q4cdn.com/959853165/files/doc_financials/2022/q1/FINAL-Q1-22-Shareholder-Letter.pdf">a shocking loss of 200,000 subscribers</a> – a worrying shift for a business that had previously only seen sustained growth since 2011.</p> <p>The New York Times headline: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/19/business/netflix-earnings-q1.html">Netflix loses subscribers for the first time in a decade</a> was catchy – however, a little bit of nuance is required. The company’s withdrawal from Russia as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and related sanctions saw a loss of 700,000 subscribers attributed to the quarter.</p> <p>The net result, taking into account the Russian loss, was a growth of 500,000 subscribers – a number still short of the <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/19/netflix-shares-down-more-than-20-after-losing-200000-subscribers-in-first-quarter/">expected growth of 2.5 million subscribers</a>.</p> <p>Far worse in the report was Netflix’s estimation of a further 2 million subscribers to be lost by the second quarter.</p> <p>As a result, Netflix signalled cutbacks in content expenditure, <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/streaming/netflix-cancels-inproduction-titles-after-subscriber-loss-and-stock-price-plunge/news-story/6cdebf691e2c64f9366f311ab3fd4695">cancelling the Bright sequel and comic adaptation Bone</a>, and flagged potential cuts to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-04-24/netflix-losing-subscribers-may-also-cost-it-star-employees">employee numbers and discretionary spending</a>.</p> <p>So what has caused this loss and where does Netflix go next?</p> <h2>Platform proliferation</h2> <p>Netflix is increasingly challenged by a streaming landscape populated with a growing number of platforms – a fact the company recognised in their letter to shareholders. Referring to the robust competition from other players, the company <a href="https://s22.q4cdn.com/959853165/files/doc_financials/2022/q1/FINAL-Q1-22-Shareholder-Letter.pdf">noted</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>over the last three years, as traditional entertainment companies realized streaming is the future, many new streaming services have also launched.</p> </blockquote> <p>The launches of Disney+ in 2019, HBO Max in 2020, and Paramount+ in 2021 has seen these US-based entertainment companies step into streaming. There are a growing number of players in the market. Every major studio that launches a platform means less content Netflix can distribute – when the major studios launch they remove their content from Netflix.</p> <p>The Netflix license for Friends – <a href="https://people.com/tv/the-office-beats-friends-most-watched-licensed-show-netflix/">once one of Netflix’s top watched shows</a> – was not renewed by rights holder Warner Brothers Television in 2020. As a result, Friends is disappearing from Netflix markets around the world, instead streaming on Warner Brothers’ Discovery platform, HBO Max.</p> <p>Global streaming platforms have also made inroads with popular originals. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/feb/18/severance-review-ben-stillers-workplace-fantasy-might-make-your-mind-explode">Severance</a> on Apple TV+, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/mar/24/halo-review-hit-sci-fi-game-tv-series">Halo</a> on Paramount+, and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/17/arts/television/raised-by-wolves-hbo-max.html">Raised by Wolves</a> on HBO Max have all been popular with audiences. This success is no doubt forcing a more savvy approach from consumers increasingly hit with the reality of high monthly bills when paying for all services.</p> <p>Netflix and others are also competing for attention with local Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services, like <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1749602018798158">Stan in Australia and Blim in Mexico</a>, and regional services, like Viaplay in Northern Europe and VIU in Asia.</p> <p>These services hold unique value propositions in their markets and often trade upon pre-existing relationships in local media ecosystems. Viaplay has a long history as a satellite television network in Sweden while Stan is a venture of local Australian free-to-air broadcaster Nine Network.</p> <p>It is becoming increasingly difficult for global streaming companies like Netflix to compete against not just other global media companies, but also compete with local and regional services as well that have deeper ingrained relationships with audiences.</p> <h2>Why Netflix needs subscriptions</h2> <p>How can a drop of only 200,000 subscribers from a total of 220 million subscribers <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-stock-price-plunges-premarket-after-subscriber-loss-11650449002?mod=hp_lead_pos1">crash a share price by 35%</a> and instil fear across the broader streaming sector?</p> <p>Netflix is a <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/pureplay.asp">pureplay</a> SVOD service and they are relatively unique in the marketplace. They focus on a single product and delivery method – subscription television. <a href="https://s22.q4cdn.com/959853165/files/doc_financials/2021/q4/da27d24b-9358-4b5c-a424-6da061d91836.pdf">In their 2021 annual report</a>, Netflix said 99.4% of all revenues came from subscription fees (a paltry 0.6% came from the dying DVD business).</p> <p>Given the uniqueness in the market of this pureplay focus, streaming scholar Amanda D Lotz termed Netflix <a href="https://research.qut.edu.au/dmrc/2020/09/14/media-release-netflix-a-zebra-among-horses-qut-researcher/">“a zebra amongst horses”</a> to describe the company’s relationship to other SVOD services.</p> <p>Almost every competitor of Netflix has another aspect to their business. <a href="https://www.amandalotz.com/netflix-and-streaming-video-the-business-of-subscriberfunded-video-on-demand">In her 2022 book</a> Netflix and Streaming Video, Lotz refers to the SVOD component of Disney for example as a “corporate extension” of the underlying media business and of Apple TV+ as a “corporate complement” to their technology business.</p> <p>For companies like Disney, the SVOD service can leverage and cross-subsidise the broader business. Apple TV+ itself is under little to no pressure to turn a profit, as Apple’s major growth driver is the iPhone.</p> <p>But for Netflix, all of the eggs are in the same basket. Even small changes to subscriber numbers, and certainly a negative growth outlook, forces a conceptualisation of their future, without other business areas that can offset these losses.</p> <p>Indeed, that is partly why Netflix has been making inroads into other businesses, through the acquisitions of <a href="https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/netflix-acquires-scanline-vfx-stranger-things-1235116974/">Scanline VFX</a>, a visual effects company in 2021, and <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/24/22995286/netflix-games-boss-fight-entertainment-acquisition">Boss Fight Entertainment</a>, a gaming company in 2022. We can expect some greater urgency across these acquisitions.</p> <h2>What’s next for Netflix?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/streaming/what-netflix-advertising-and-password-sharing-crackdown-means-for-customers/news-story/67ea3f314f0ceb417912b0a8bc02ea0a">Netflix is proposing two key measures</a> to alter the negative subscriber trajectory – a lower cost, ad-supported subscription tier and a crackdown on password sharing between households.</p> <p>Neither of these suggestions does anything to offer a reason to stay subscribed. There is no promise enjoyable original series won’t be cancelled too soon, like Sense8, Altered Carbon, or The OA for example. Rather than adding new features or content, the Netflix answer is removing key cornerstones of the service.</p> <p>For Netflix, its recent subscriber loss could warn of a less promising future.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/in-a-market-swamped-with-streaming-services-netflixs-massive-loss-of-subscribers-is-a-big-deal-181780" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Replacement for Leigh Sales revealed

<p>Two months after veteran journalist Leigh Sales announced she would be leaving the ABC, her replacement has been announced. </p> <p>Taking over the current affairs show <em>7.30</em> will be Sarah Ferguson, current host of <em>Four Corners</em>.</p> <p>The 56-year-old multi-award-winning journalist will take over the program when Leigh Sales steps down in June after the federal election. </p> <p>“I’m delighted to take on the presenter role at <em>7.30</em>,” Ferguson said in a statement.</p> <p>She added, “Led by Leigh Sales and chief political correspondent Laura Tingle, the <em>7.30</em> team has created a powerhouse program, making superb current affairs journalism on the cutting edge of the genre. Working in collaboration with the inimitable Laura is irresistible. Adding myself into that mix sounds tremendously rewarding at a time when scrutiny of power is essential, when our social structures are undergoing profound change."</p> <p>“On Leigh’s departure, I’d like to say that her diligence and skill have made an enormous contribution to Australian journalism. What you don’t see in her calm studio presence is the huge amount of work she does in preparation. It will be a pleasure to take over from such a pro.'</p> <p>“Public service journalism has to deliver for the Australian audience, all day, every day. No one in Australia should ever feel they have no voice. It‘s our job to show how public broadcasting can create a place for everyone to come and debate, think deeply, be thrilled, entertained and sometimes provoked. This is the opposite of seeking to polarise in ways we are seeing in media worldwide.”</p> <p>Leigh Sales announced she would be leaving <em>7.30</em> in <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/leigh-sales-emotional-on-air-announcement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">February</a> to spend more time with her family, and feeling drawn to "pass the baton to the next runner in the race".</p> <p>Sarah Ferguson will move back to Australia from Washington, and will be in the <em>7.30</em> presenter’s chair from July 4th.</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC</em></p>

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Karl claps back at "stepping down" rumours

<p>Karl Stefanovic has hit back at rumours that he is planning to "step down" from his role on the <em>Today Show</em>, branding them "absolute bulls***".</p> <p>A Nine spokesperson told <a href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/karl-stefanovic-hits-back-at-today-rumours-absolute-bullst-221130033.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Yahoo Lifestyle</a> that the rumours were untrue with Karl himself responding to them during a chat with<a href="https://www.3aw.com.au/absolutely-bullshit-karl-stefanovic-quashes-today-rumour/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" data-ylk="slk:3AW's" data-rapid_p="10" data-v9y="1"> 3AW's </a>Neil Mitchell.</p> <p>When asked if the rumours were true, Karl quickly responded, "No way, absolutely bulls**t."</p> <p>Woman's Day reported earlier this week that the presenter would be <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/karl-stefanovic-s-exciting-new-role" target="_blank" rel="noopener">taking a step back</a> from his time on-air in order to spend more time with his family. </p> <p>The publication said the host is considered to be Nine’s “secret weapon”, with the network calling him “seal-the-deal Karl” and hoping he will be able to help negotiate major broadcasting rights for the NRL.</p> <p>The source went on to tell Woman's Day that the 47-year-old presenter was rumoured to be swapping the bright lights of morning television for Australia's powerful boardrooms. </p> <p>"He's committed to getting people back into regional Australia – last week he was in country Victoria and NSW with the charity Gotcha4Life's Mateship Miles Roadshow – he's passionate about this sort of stuff," and insider source told the publication. </p> <p>As the presenter debunked the rumours, he assured loyal viewers that he would be sticking around on morning television for a while longer. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Karl Stefanovic's exciting new role

<p>Just two years after returning to <em>The Today Show</em>, Karl Stefanovic is preparing to step into a new role. </p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/celebrity/tv/karl-stefanovic-leave-today-show-71879" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Woman's Day</a>, the 47-year-old presenter is rumoured to be swapping the bright lights of morning television for Australia's powerful boardrooms. </p> <p>"He's committed to getting people back into regional Australia – last week he was in country Victoria and NSW with the charity Gotcha4Life's Mateship Miles Roadshow – he's passionate about this sort of stuff," and insider source told the publication. </p> <p>Despite this pivot in his career, Karl will still continue to report on the big stories for <em>Today</em>, much like he did during the recent floods and bushfires.</p> <p>However, his regular co-hosting duties are rumoured wound back so he can spend more time with his beloved family. </p> <p>"After more than two decades at Nine, he remains their number one, and they're doing everything to keep their star recruit happy for at least another 10 years," says the insider.</p> <p>"He'll also be doing a lot more at <em>60 Minutes</em> now travel is back on the cards," said the source, who noted he has impressed Channel Nine executives with his recent sit-downs with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese.</p> <p>It is also rumoured that the network will heavily rely on Karl and his media connections to work his magic when it comes to negotiating major broadcasting rights like the NRL. </p> <p>"They're already calling him "seal-the-deal Karl", quips the source, who explains it's clear the TV anchor has become Nine's new "secret weapon" when it comes to winning over important advertisers and investors. </p> <p>The change of pace for Karl comes as he wishes to spend more time off screen and invest in valuable family time. </p> <p>"He's reinvented himself and has never been more content. He's loving life with Jas and their little girl Harper, who is a real character, like her dad," says the insider. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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“Turn the cameras off!”: Trump storms out on Piers Morgan

<p>Former US President Donald Trump has erupted at Piers Morgan before storming off the set of an interview that touched on the “stolen” US presidential election.</p> <p>After Morgan lay the blame for last year’s deadly riots at the Capitol squarely at Trump’s feet – largely for his refusal to concede that he had lost the 2020 presidential election – Trump had had enough, and began screaming that Morgan was “dishonest” and “a fool”, before demanding that the shocked TV crew “turn the cameras off!”</p> <p>Trump appears to have been deeply angered by a slew of barbs that Morgan has directed towards him during his time at the White House, despite being friends for at least 15 years. But in this instance, the pair appeared to clash heavily even before the interview had gotten underway – but while the cameras were rolling. </p> <p>Morgan detailed the behind-the-scenes incident to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/donald-trump-piers-morgan-interview-former-president-explodes-at-disloyal-fool/news-story/35a81812a4d93cb3751a60957fcaa424" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a>, saying that Trump stared at him with “undisguised fury” and was “almost foaming at the mouth”.</p> <p>At one point, the Trump hissed at Morgan: “What the f**k is this?”</p> <p>You’re not real. You’re a fake.” To which Piers replied: “No, I’m just brutally honest.”</p> <p>Morgan revealed further details from the encounter:</p> <p>“Normally, he’d greet me with a cheery smile and the words ‘How’s my champ?’ because I was his first Celebrity Apprentice on the series that made him a TV superstar. But this time, there were no such welcoming niceties.</p> <p>“He was staring at me across his desk with undisguised fury, clutching the document entitled ‘Piers Morgan Comments About President Trump’. “What the f**k IS this?” he snarled. Then he began slowly reading out some of the quotes. “Trump’s a supreme narcissist….” Pause. “His pathetic antics in the past few weeks since losing the election in November have been utterly contemptible.” Pause. “Trump’s now too dangerous, he’s morphed into a monster that I no longer recognise as someone I considered to be a friend and thought I knew.”</p> <p>“Each time he paused, he peered over the document at me, with mounting rage in his eyes.</p> <p>“I’d never seen him so livid or felt so uncomfortable in his presence as I did right now in his office.</p> <p>“He was almost foaming at the mouth and kept shaking his head slowly and menacingly at me, like Don Corleone when he felt he’d been disrespected.”</p> <p>Morgan then went on to detail the moment Trump truly took issue with his questions: </p> <p>“Things took a dramatic downward turn when I finally brought up his refusal to accept defeat in 2020 and the appalling scenes on January 6.</p> <p>“I told him I believe he lost the supposedly “rigged, stolen” election, I repeatedly pointed out his failure to produce any evidence of the widespread voter fraud he insists occurred to rob him of his presidency, and I blamed his refusal to admit defeat for the deadly riots at the Capitol.</p> <p>“Then you’re a fool!” he sneered. “And you haven’t studied!...”</p> <p>“Now abandoning any pretence at cordiality, Trump ranted that he was far more honest than me, and again sneered that I wasn’t ‘real’ before haranguing me for exceeding our 20 minutes which was particularly disingenuous given that during all our previous interviews, he’d invariably decided exactly how long he wanted to keep talking.</p> <p>“Incensed Trump tried to end things by declaring “That’s it!” before I reminded him that we hadn’t discussed his hole-in-one, which he then sat down again and did – briefly – before abruptly jumping to his feet, looking hateful, and barking at the shocked crew: “Turn the cameras off!”</p> <p>“Then he turned on his heels, and sloped angrily off through a side door, loudly muttering “So dishonest…”</p> <p>The world exclusive interview is due to air as the launch piece for Morgan’s new show Piers Uncensored on Sky News on Tuesday night at 9pm AEST.</p> <p><em>Image: Piers Uncensored</em></p>

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