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Hollywood producers speak out against Fox over immigration stance

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Some powerful Hollywood producers and directors have criticized Twenty-First Century Fox Inc over its news commentators’ support for the U.S. immigration crackdown that separates children from their parents, with one award-winning producer threatening to take his work elsewhere.

Steve Levitan, the co-creator of Emmy-winning comedy “Modern Family,” said on Twitter he was “disgusted” to work for the Fox television studio because it is owned by the same company as Fox News. He tweeted on Tuesday that he would be “setting up shop elsewhere” after his contract with Fox for one more season of the series expires next year.

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Levitan later backtracked, expressing respect for senior Fox group executives Peter Rice, Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “For now, I will take some time to see where those people land, and at that point, make a decision about my future,” he said in a statement.

Levitan’s criticism of Fox News was echoed by three other influential television and movie producers and creators amid a growing outcry in the United States and abroad over a policy to separate immigrant children from their parents who cross the U.S. border illegally.

Conservative commentators on Fox News have spoken in support of the policy. Laura Ingraham on Monday described the detention centers being used to house the separated children “as essentially summer camps.”

On Sunday, Fox News contributor Ann Coulter described the detained migrant children as “child actors weeping and crying” and urged U.S. President Donald Trump, “Do not fall for it, Mr. President.”

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Representatives for Fox News and the Fox television studio declined to comment. The 20th Century Fox film studio did not respond to requests for comment.

“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, and prolific filmmaker Judd Apatow, the producer behind movies and TV shows such as “Girls” and “Trainwreck,” have all weighed in.

Apatow called on more of those who work with or for Fox to speak out.

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“Imagine if it was your kids. Who has a movie, TV show, sporting event, news show at Fox? How can you remain silent when they promote these policies?,” Apatow tweeted on Monday.

Feig wrote on Twitter that while he loved those working in the movie and TV divisions of Fox, “I too cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children.”

MacFarlane, whose animated “Family Guy” is broadcast on Fox TV, tweeted on Saturday that he was “embarrassed to work for this company,” referring specifically to its connection with Fox News. On Tuesday, MacFarlane donated $2.5 million to the National Public Radio news organization.

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Fox News and its entertainment divisions may be operated by separate companies in the future.

In December 2017, Fox struck a deal to sell most of its film and television businesses to Walt Disney Co and spin off Fox News and other assets to a new company. Comcast Corp, however, has made a rival bid for the parts of Fox that Disney had planned to buy. .

Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine; editing by Bill Berkrot

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There’s evidence that climate activism could be swaying public opinion in the US

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Climate activists walked out of classrooms and workplaces in more than 150 countries on Friday, Sept. 20 to demand stronger action on climate change. Mass mobilizations like this have become increasingly common in recent years.

I’m a scholar of environmental communication who examines how people become engaged with solving dilemmas such as climate change, and how activism motivates others to take action. A new study I worked on suggests that large rallies, such as this youth-led Climate Strike, could be influencing public opinion.

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‘I’ve seen smarter cabinets at IKEA’: See the most memorable signs from the global climate strike

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"Why should we go to class if you won't listen to the educated?" one homemade sign asked.

With millions marching to demand bold climate action in more than 150 countries around the world on Friday, a number of sentiments expressed on homemade signs and through other demonstrations captured the world's attention.

An estimated 400,000 people attended strikes across Australia to start off the day of action. The Australian Conservation Foundation shared a video of some of the young people, including one marcher who proclaimed, "You'll die of old age, we'll die of climate change," addressing the world leaders who climate scientists say are not working nearly fast enough to end fossil fuel extraction and the resulting carbon emissions which are causing global warming, rising sea levels, droughts, and other extreme weather events.

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Trump felt free to ask for Ukraine election interference after Mueller let him off the hook: Wired reporter Garrett Graff

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On CNN's "New Day Weekend," author and commentator Garrett Graff noted that President Donald Trump's attempt to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden came right after former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in 2016 ended — and suggested the two were related.

"You know, Garrett, there may be some people thinking 'Gosh, we just got out of the whole scenario with the Mueller report. Now we have this again,'" said anchor Christi Paul. "Do you get a sense that there are people looking at this saying 'I think I have confidence in the 2020 election?'"

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