Entertainment News Roundup: Top auction houses cancel Russian art sales in London; Jussie Smollett to be released from jail while appealing conviction and more

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

Top auction houses cancel Russian art sales in London

Auction houses Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Bonhams have canceled sales of Russian art in London in June, part of the art market’s response to Western sanctions on Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine. The auction houses hold sales of Russian art in June and November in a period known as “Russian Art Week”, attracting wealthy Russian buyers.

Jussie Smollett to be released from jail while appealing conviction

An Illinois appeals court on Wednesday ordered the release of actor Jussie Smollett from jail while the one-time star of the TV drama “Empire” appeals his conviction for staging a hate crime against himself. The 2-1 ruling by a three-judge panel noted that Smollett’s conviction was for a non-violent offense and said he could be released upon posting a $150,000 recognizance bond. It was unclear when Smollett might walk free.

Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway tell the story of WeWork’s descent

The rise and fall of office-sharing company WeWork have been turned into a television series with Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto at the helm. “WeCrashed,” an eight-part limited series about founders Rebekah and Adam Neumann, will begin streaming on Apple TV + on Friday. The show details the couple’s love story, successes, and mistakes.

Amazon wins EU antitrust nod for $8.5 billion MGM deal

Amazon on Tuesday gained unconditional EU antitrust approval for its proposed $8.5 billion acquisition of U.S. movie studio MGM to help it to compete with streaming rivals Netflix and Disney+. The European Commission said the deal would not pose competition concerns in Europe, confirming a Reuters story on March 9.

U.S. implements new rules requiring broadcasters to identify foreign-government material

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Tuesday that new requirements mandating broadcasters disclose when foreign governments or their representative’s lease time on their airwaves take effect today. The FCC unanimously adopted the new rules in April 2021. The commission said the new rules are effective immediately for new leasing agreements and need to be implemented within about six months for existing agreements.

Movie theater operator AMC invests in troubled miner Hycroft

Movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it agreed to buy a large stake in Hycroft Mining Holding Corp for $27.9 million, capitalizing on its popularity with retail investors to provide a financial lifeline to the troubled gold and silver mine operator. Hycroft, which owns a mine in Northern Nevada, was on the verge of bankruptcy before AMC’s investment. Now, it plans to raise up to $500 million by selling shares in the open market over time, Hycroft said on Tuesday. Such a large capital raise is not typically accessible to a small company in dire financial straits.

Eurovision favourites, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra join war effort

Topping the Eurovision leaderboard is a dream for many international music acts but for Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, the glitz of the song contest seems a long way off. Operating out of western Ukraine, lead singer Oleh Psiuk has traded the stage to run a 20-strong volunteer group, supplying medicines and helping people flee the war. One of his band members is serving in the territorial defense unit.

Blue Origin to fly ‘SNL’ star Pete Davidson to space next week

“Saturday Night Live” comic Pete Davidson has been confirmed as the next celebrity in line for a ride to the edge of space courtesy of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Astro-tourism company, with his suborbital flight set for next week. The 28-year-old comedian and boyfriend of socialite and reality TV star Kim Kardashian was announced by Blue Origin on Monday as an “honorary guest” joining five paying customers for the company’s fourth commercial flight since last summer.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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