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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.”

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.

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“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.

“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.

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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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Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Ex-cops indicted in fatal shooting of Black woman and ‘public torture’ of Black man in separate incidents

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Two former Mississippi police officers were indicted in the brutal beating of a Black motorist, and one of them was also charged in an unrelated fatal shooting.

Wade Robertson, 28, and Bryce Gilbert, 27, were charged with aggravated assault in the 2018 beating of James Barnett, and Robertson was also charged with manslaughter in the 2019 shooting death of Dominique Henry, reported The Laurel Leader-Call.

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Quarantine, racial strife, Trump have Michelle Obama feeling down

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama said she is suffering from "low-grade depression" from coronavirus quarantine, racial strife in the United States and the "hypocrisy" of the Trump administration.

Obama made the remarks in the latest episode of "The Michelle Obama Podcast" released on Spotify on Wednesday.

"I'm waking up in the middle of the night because I'm worrying about something or there's a heaviness," the 56-year-old former First Lady said.

"I try to make sure I get a workout in, although there have been periods throughout this quarantine, where I just have felt too low," she said.

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Another watchdog at US State Department abruptly gone

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The internal watchdog looking into accusations against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly quit Wednesday, just months after his predecessor was fired.

The State Department's acting inspector general, Stephen Akard, is a longtime aide to Vice President Mike Pence and his installation in May had widely been seen as a way to keep a friendly figure in the role.

Akard informed colleagues that he is "returning to the private sector after years of public service," a State Department spokesperson said.

"We appreciate his dedication to the Department and to our country."

But Akard's departure comes just as his office finalizes a report on Pompeo's controversial decision to bypass Congress to sell $8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies.

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