Atria Books to Publish Danny Trejo’s Memoir, “Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood”

Danny Trejo is o-penning up about his life…

The 76-year-old Mexican American actor, whose credits include Desperado, Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn and Con Air, will publish his memoir with Atria Books, according to the publisher. Titled Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood will be released on July 6.

Danny Trejo

The book will detail Trejo’s path from crime to prison, addiction, loss and unexpected Hollywood fame. With appearances in more than 300 films, the 76-year-old actor continues to book 10-20 roles a year. A 2020 Pete Davidson tribute to Trejo went viral.

“Danny Trejo is more than an actor for the millions of Mexican Americans, like me, who love him,” says Michelle Herrera Mulligan, senior editor at Atria Books. “He is a legend. A role model. The first Chicano action star. Someone we can always hold up as a hero who made it. One of my proudest acquisitions to date, this book shows us the difficult path it took to get him there, in unforgettable, literary detail.”

Trejo first used heroin at age 12, learning that loyalty only came through violence and peace was found in oblivion. For a period of time, he did stints in some of America’s most notorious prisons including San Quentin, Folsom and Soledad. Then he was offered a part as a boxer in Runaway Train, giving him the opportunity to choose a new path.

In Trejo, he describes how the difficult lessons he learned in childhood both saved his professional life and hindered his personal one, offering an inspirational and brutally honest look at his fascinating life. He shares how he rebuilt his life after finding sobriety and spirituality in solitary confinement and went on to become a success, hobnobbing with A-list celebrities and using his memories of his adrenaline-fueled robbing heists to inspire him as an actor.

“At 76,” Trejo says, “this memoir was an opportunity for me to be fearlessly honest for the first time about the terrifying brutality of my experiences in the hardest prisons in the world, the family secrets that tore lives apart, my personal bottom while I was in the hole in Soledad facing a possible death penalty charge, the role God played in turning my life around, my acting career that started at the age of 40 by simply showing up to a set to help another addict in need and how all of it shaped the person I am.”

Trejo is co-writing his memoir with his best friend of 20 years, actor Donal LogueTrejo will be published simultaneously in both English and Spanish and later will be adapted for a young-readers edition. The book also will be published simultaneously as an audiobook from Simon & Schuster Audio.

Atria Books is an imprint of Simon and Schuster.

Javier Bardem In Talks to Portray Desi Arnaz in Amazon & Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos”

Javier Bardem may soon be saying, “Lucy, I’m Home!”

The 51-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor is in talks to play Desi Arnaz opposite Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Amazon and Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos.

Javier Bardem

The film centers on the relationship between the I Love Lucy stars. Having penned the screenplay, Academy Award winner Sorkin also will direct the film from Amazon Studios and Escape Artists.

The film is set during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience filming— when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

Sorkin originally was going to pen the script only, when Cate Blanchett was circling, but after enjoying himself on the drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, he decided to attach himself as a director as well over the summer.

After The Trial of the Chicago 7 bowed on Netflix in October, Being the Ricardos began to gain momentum with Kidman and Bardem quickly interested in the couple behind television’s first family. Deals still need to close for both actors, but even if and when they do, when production will start is still up in the air as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push productions throughout the country.

After years as one of Hollywood’s most prolific screenwriters with such classics as A Few Good Men, Moneyball and his Oscar-winning The Social NetworkSorkin has found himself more and more behind the camera as well. His directing debut was the drama Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, and he followed that up with The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Bardem most recently starred in The Roads Not Taken and can next be seen in Legendary’s DuneHe also is set to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid.

Roku Acquires Quibi’s Programming, Including Nicole Richie’s “Nikki Fre$h” Series

Nicole Richie is freshening up Roku

Roku has acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to the portfolio of Quibi’s programs, including the 39-year-old part-Mexican American actress & television personality’s series Nikki Fre$h.

Nicole Richie

In its biggest original programming foray to date, Roku’s acquisition covers most of the recently shuttered mobile-only streaming venture’s library, while some daily news shows aren’t part of the package.

A key draw for Roku is the talent, a roster including Richie, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe.

The lineup includes titles like Most Dangerous Game, Dummy, Murder House Flip and the Reno 911 reboot, starring Carlos Alazraqui.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, though the valuation is said to be less than $100 million, according to insiders. Roku shares rose 5% to $398.60 on the news. At one point early in the trading day, they reached $402.81, an all-time high.

The programming will be available for free starting later this year. Shows will have advertising, as they did on the $5-a-month Quibi service, and they’ll be housed on the Roku Channel. The hub for free and premium streaming channels, including 150-plus free live, linear offerings, has become a mainstay of the company’s strategy since Roku launched it in 2017. By the fourth quarter of 2020, it was being viewed by households representing an estimated 61.8 million people, the company said, double its reach at the end of 2019.

“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” said Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”

Demi Lovato Taking Part in YouTube’s Global Celebration Video “Hello 2021”

Demi Lovato is gearing up to ring in the New Year online…

YouTube will launch the New Year alongside a number of Hollywood names, including the 28-year-old half-Mexican singer/actress, with its global celebration video Hello 2021.

Demi Lovato

In addition to Lovato, the video will feature appearances by Matthew McConaugheyRuPaul and Storm Reid, Dua Lipa, J Balvin and more.

The video will premiere in the Americas, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan and India.

“With the world ready to move past an extremely challenging year, YouTube will use its global reach to celebrate the hope and promise of 2021,” said Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s Global Head of Original Content. “We look forward to closing the book on 2020 and throwing a worldwide celebration that our YouTube community can safely enjoy from home.”

Set to feature speeches, musical performances and dance parties, Hello 2021 has a lineup of five different shows and will celebrate the year’s most notable videos across the globe, from the David Blaine Ascension to HBCU Homecoming.

The Hello 2021 announcement comes nearly a month after YouTube announced that it would not go forward with its annual Rewind video.

Rewind was always meant to be a celebration of you. But 2020 has been different,” an official YouTube statement said. “And it doesn’t feel right to carry on as if it weren’t. So, we’re taking a break from Rewind this year.”

The global countdown spectacular is produced by Fremantle and will air at various times on Decemnber 31. See the details for each showing below.

“Hello 2021: Americas” – It’s a virtual New Year’s Eve bash across the Americas only YouTube can throw. Hosts Juanpa Zurita and Storm Reid welcome celebrity guests including Matthew McConaughey, Demi Lovato, RuPaul, Emma Chamberlain and the D’Amelio Family; one-of-a-kind musical performances from Dua Lipa, J Balvin, YG, Karol G and Kane Brown; YouTube stars Larray, Marques Brownlee, Dude Perfect, Brad Mondo, ZHC and the Dolan Twins; and more as the clock runs out on a year we’ll never forget, and we say “Hello 2021.” More names to be announced soon. The celebration premieres Thursday, December 31 at 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm PT on the YouTube Originals channel.

“Hello 2021: UK” – At 10:30pm GMT on December 31 on the YouTube Originals Channel, make sure and join the UK’s favorite YouTube creators, artists and comedians for a party worth staying in for. The guest list includes Behzinga, Big Narstie, Katherine Ryan, Michael Coel, Kurupt FM, Yammy, WillNE, Holly H, Natasia Demetriou and many more. The event will also feature the biggest tunes of 2020 performed live as musical guests Dua Lipa, Anne-Marie, MNEK w/ Joel Corry and Aitch & AJ Tracey get the party started with some exclusive live performances.

“Hello 2021: Korea” – At 11:00pm KST on December 31 on YouTube Korea Spotlight Channel, YouTube creators and artists in South Korea will join their hosts Sechan Yang and Jesung Hwang in an intimate celebration to recognize and thank creators and artists who helped Korean audiences to stay happy and healthy during the unprecedented year. Lineup includes top and rising creators and artists, including GGILGGIL Market, Tester Hoon, Balming Tiger, and more.

“Hello 2021: Japan” – At 11:45pm JST on December 31, tune into never-before-seen special edition quiz show from Japan to test your knowledge on 2020 YouTube trends and trivias, joining top creators Tokai On Air, Puritto Channel, Emirin, Paparapys, Skypeace, Vamyun, Dekakin, Hanaodengan, M.S.S Project, along with hosts Orutana Channel and Mochizuki Rie on YouTube Japan Spotlight Channel.

Hello 2021: India” – Starting at 11pm IST on December 3 on YouTube India Spotlight Channel,  “Hello 2021: India” will bring together the biggest and most buzzworthy music, comedy and Bollywood talent as part of the 60-minute countdown to the New Year, including a performance from Dua Lipa. Some of India’s biggest names including Tiger Shroff, Badshah, Zakir Khan, Jonita Gandhi, Benny Dayal, Aastha Gill and more will bring together a fun-filled New Year’s Eve party.

Christina Aguilera’s Randi Rahm Archive 2007 Pre-Grammy Party Dress Among Gowns Headed to Auction

Here’s your chance to own a little bit of Christina Aguilera fashion history…

Property from the Randi Rahm Archive, an exclusive collection of iconic couture gowns worn by Hollywood‘s elite, including the 39-year-old half-Ecuadorian American Grammy-winning singer, will be up for auction next month.

Christina Aguilera

Julien’s Auctions has announced that the Rahm signature styles that have graced the covers of magazines and waltzed down red carpets will be available for bidding December 2-3, both live from Beverly Hills and online.

The top items featured in the auction include Aguilera’s black satin crepe gown from the 2007 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Awards party (estimated $2,000 to $4,000), Beyoncé‘s nude fringe embellished dress she wore to first lady Michelle Obama‘s 50th birthday bash in 2014 (estimated $3,000 to $5,000), and Mariah Carey‘s orchid and gray twisted halter silk dress from her 2005 “We Belong Together” music video.

Christina Aguilera

Three more items from Beyoncé’s wardrobe, Carrie Underwood‘s one-shoulder purple satin silk gown from her 2010 CMA Awards performance (estimated $2,000 to $4,000), Katy Perry‘s tie-dye aqua-blue cocktail dress from her 2012 “Katy Perry: Part of Me” Tokyo meet-and-greet (estimated $2,000 to $4,000) and more are also included in Rahm’s collection.

The collection will be available to both bidders and collectors, who must register either in-person at the exhibition or online before the sale here.

The public exhibition at Julien’s Auction is free to the public and open until November 27 (closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26) at 257 N. Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The auction will take place from Wednesday, December 2, to Thursday, December 3. Interested parties can place their bids in person, online and on their iPhone app, over the phone with an auction house representative, or in advance via absentee bid. Absentee bid forms are available by calling Julien’s Auctions, checking their website and seeing the back of each catalog.

Lin Manuel Miranda Challenges TV Industry to Create All-Inclusive Environment in New #SeeAll PSA

Lin Manuel Miranda is stressing the importance of diversity on the small screen…

During Sunday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards, a powerful PSA that challenges the television industry to do more to create an all-inclusive environment will air, featuring the 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, actor, singer, rapper, producer, and playwright.

See All,

Miranda, who created the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton, appears alongside Billy Porter, Isis King, Daniel Dae Kim, Jamie Chung and others, in the 60-second PSA, titled “See All.”

The PSA, created by the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), a division of the New York-based Association of National Advertisers, features the actors alternating lines of the script, which opens with the appeal, “We appreciate the dialogue. We see the effort from Hollywood. But we need more.”

In the spot’s midsection, the voices raise important questions. “Do you see me in this industry? You act as if bias doesn’t exist. Would you rather breathe life into stereotypes or stand up against them? Because what I know of my culture isn’t who you portray me to be.”

The comments become more pointed as the spot progresses. “We are more than a splash of color on your white canvas. We’re not your quota. We are quotable. So show me — me. Not your me. Me.”

A social movement to #SEEALL will follow.

The actors epitomize the success in recent years of more diverse performers. Miranda, who has Puerto Rican roots, is just an Oscar away from becoming an EGOT. Porter, the star of Poseand Kinky Boots, is among today’s most high-profile LGBTQ performers. King, the first trans woman to compete on America’s Next Top Model, is one of the most visible transgender people on television. Kim, who was born in South Korea, has appeared in Lost, Hawaii Five-O and Angel. Chung, a second-generation Korean-American, has appeared in the films The Hangover Part IISucker Punch and Big Hero 6.

AIMM describes itself as “a coalition of entities from the entire marketing ecosystem, representing the Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and LGBTQ+ markets. AIMM members are focused on re-prioritizing multicultural and inclusive marketing to help companies maximize their growth potential. AIMM has been the catalyst for unprecedented industry research examining multicultural marketing opportunities and the obstacles that stand in the way of optimal growth.”

“First Family of Comedy” Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball to Be Focus of Amy Poehler-Directed Documentary Feature

Desi Arnaz’s life will be getting a closer look…

The remarkable personal and professional partnership between the late Cuban actor, musician, bandleader, comedian and film/television producer and his comedian wife Lucille Ball will be highlighted in the documentary feature Lucy & Desi.

Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball

Amy Poehler will make her documentary feature directing debut for the Imagine Documentaries and White Horse Pictures project.

It’s the biggest documentary to be fully financed by Imagine Documentaries and the film will benefit from the full cooperation and support of the Ball & Arnaz estate and their family.

Mark Monroe will serve as a writer on the porject.

The film will tell the story of Ball, the groundbreaking comedian who changed the landscape, and possibilities for what funny, ambitious women might achieve in Hollywood.

Research is getting underway on the film, but the estate has supplied previously unseen archival film still photos and writings that will be a guidepost to Lucy’s trailblazing journey as a performer and a smart businesswoman, whose decision to use Desi Lu’s clout to back Gene Roddenberry’s vision is the only reason Star Trek made it on the air and stayed there. He said their insistence on quality production values not possible in early days of television led them to stumble into what is still the format for syndicated television that exists today.

“I am so excited to work with Imagine Docs to help present the incredible life and work

of the brave and hilarious Lucille Ball, and her husband Desi,” said Poehler.

Said Imagine Documentaries president Wilkes: “As television’s long-reigning ‘First Family’, Lucy and Desi blazed a revolutionary trail through the cultural landscape that laid the groundwork for so much of the entertainment industry as we now know it. They created so many television firsts – not only in their portrayal of a multi-ethnic marriage or Lucy’s on-air pregnancy but as the first woman to head a studio and the creators of television syndication. It’s such an incredibly rich, inspiring and entertaining story and we’re honored to bring it to the screen.”

Ball’s childhood was defined by financial and emotional hardship but she was determined to pursue a career in show business. She met future husband Arnaz on the set of the 1940 musical Too Many Girls and in 1951 they used their own money to produce and film the pilot for I Love Lucy, which was then bought by CBS.

During the height of I Love Lucy, two-thirds of the nation tuned in to watch Ball and her husband Arnaz every Monday night. The show was known not only for its broadened view of what comedy could be, but also for tackling subjects many deemed too risqué for broadcast – the most prominent being the marriage of a multi-ethnic couple, and Ball’s real life pregnancy.

Ball’s pregnancy became a story arc in the series, and when Ball went into labor on the show, which aired the same day she gave birth in real life to her second child, Desi Jr, it drew 44 million viewers, 15 million more than President Eisenhower’s inaugural speech from earlier in the day.

Joaquin Castro & Congressional Hispanic Caucus Urge Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to Update Diversity in the Media Report

Joaquin Castro is calling for a more diverse media…

In a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – chaired by the 45-year-old Mexican American politician and U.S. Representative for Texas’ 20th congressional district – is urging the commission to update its “Diversity in the Media: A Chart Book for Selected Industries” report, which hasn’t been updated since 2004.

Joaquin Castro

The call to action furthers Castro and the CHC’s efforts to increase diversity in media and entertainment and to have a baseline of data for transparency and ultimately greater accountability in the industry.

The letter is addressed to EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon, as well as EEOC Commissioners Victoria A. Lipnic and Charlotte A. Burrows and discusses the importance of having a baseline of data for transparency and ultimately greater accountability.

The 2004 report lays out data on the diversity in media in three major categories: broadcasting, publishing and cable.

With the advent of streaming and the surge of digital content, the CHC points out that the media industry has “drastically changed” since the report was released over 16 years ago and it’s time that revisions be made.

Castro and the CHC requested the EEOC update the report no more than 60 days from the receipt of the letter. They also are looking for updates every 30 days until the final report is released.

The CHC broke it down and requested that the new report include:

  1.  Disaggregated data on race, ethnicity and gender by individual industry rather than the grouping format used in 2004.
  2.  New industries such as digital content and streaming provider
  3.  Updated data for all positions in each industry from entry level up to and including Executive level positi
  4.  When possible, data on salaries and wages disaggregated by race, ethnicity and gender for each of the employee categories, including Executive level positions for each industry.

“While discrimination and lack of equal opportunity for underrepresented groups is present in many fields, the media industry is unique in its ability to influence the broader culture and shape the perception of entire groups,” the letter stated. “When Latinos do not have the opportunity to shape the media’s depiction of our communities, it ultimately emboldens a misunderstanding of our communities that weakens the social fabric of American society. The CHC views greater transparency around employment data through publicly available information as critical to increasing representation for Latinos and other underrepresented communities.”

An updated report would hopefully help move the needle further as Hollywood tries to become more inclusive when it comes to talent in front of and behind the camera — specifically in a time when the country is seeing a social and civic reckoning.

It also comes after a blatant lack of Latinx representation when it came to Emmy award nominations, even though the television landscape was filled with Latinx-led shows like Vida, One Day At A Time and Gentefied.

Pose has been an Emmy favorite and although star Billy Porter was nominated, there was no love for show co-creator Steven Canals or series stars Mj Rodriguez and Indya Moore, who’ve delivered stellar work on the FX drama.

The new ABC comedy United We Fall features Latinx characters but with the cancellation of The Baker and the Beauty, there’s a glaring absence of shows with a majority Latinx cast on a major network.

Last fall, Castro led a congressional delegation to Los Angeles where the CHC met with several studios and streamers, talent agencies, as well as union and guilds. Congress has worked to include this language in almost all of the major funding bills during the Appropriations process and in the National Defense Authorization Act. The CHC has regular conversations with stakeholders regarding the state of the industry. Most recently the CHC had meetings with Amazon Studios and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as they develop their new 2025 diversity initiatives to ensure that Latinos are included in these goals on diversity.

The letter was signed by Castro, Robert Menendez (Co-Chair, Diversity Taskforce), Tony Cárdenas (Co-Chair, Diversity Taskforce) as well as members of Congress José E. SerranoRuben GallegoGilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.Juan Vargas and Nydia M. Velázquez.

Eva Longoria to Speak on Opening Night of the Democratic National Convention

Eva Longoria is taking the national stage once again…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress, former Desperate Housewives star and activist has been added to the lineup of speakers for this week’s Democratic National Convention.

Eva Longoria

Longoria, who gave a spirited speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, joins a lineup of new additions to the roster that includes three other Hollywood figures who’ve long been active in party politics: Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Longoria, who also appeared at the 2012 DNC and later served on the Presidential Inaugural Committee, will appear on Monday. Ross will speak on Tuesday, Washington on Wednesday and Louis-Dreyfus on Thursday.

Monday’s lineup includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former First Lady Michelle Obama. The convention will run from 9:00 – 11:00 pm ET each night.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak on Tuesday.

The convention also will feature performances from Leon Bridges, The Chicks, Common, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Billy Porter, Maggie Rogers, Prince Royce and Stephen Stills.

In addition to the lineup of speakers, Democrats plan to feature testimonials from everyday Americans who will appear from locations across the country.

Convention organizers also announced that the keynote address, traditionally delivered by one up-and-coming party figure, will instead feature 17 different speakers.

Dany Garcia Among the New Owners of the XFL

It’s game on for Dany Garcia

The 51-year-old Cuban American businesswoman and producer, her former husband Dwayne Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners have bought the XFL, a twice-unsuccessful professional football alternative to the NFL fronted by WWE chief Vince McMahon, for $15 million.

Dany Garcia

Garcia and her business partners were selected as the winning bidder for the assets controlled by Alpha Entertainment, the parent company of the XFL.

The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing this Friday. Assuming that closing conditions are satisfied, the acquisition is expected to close on or shortly after August 21.

In announcing the deal, Garcia and her fellow projected new owners said they have secured “the ability to option live entertainment intellectual property for further expansion across sports, live events and original entertainment programming.”

The XFL, which had two single-season attempts to go up against the NFL, one in 2000 and the second this year, was fronted by McMahon and the WWE, which owned a 23.5% stake in the league. After starting its season in February, the XFL was forced to shut down due to COVID-19 in March. It filed for bankruptcy in April.

“For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. It is the confluence of great passion, tradition and possibility” Garcia said. “Sports and entertainment are the foundations of the businesses I have built. Melding our expertise combined with our commitment to deliver exciting and inspiring unique content, has us all focused on developing the XFL brand into a multi-media experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love.”

Johnson has a connection to the sport, having played college football at Miami.

“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things – my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans,” Johnson said. “With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”

Jeffrey Pollack, president and COO of the XFL, called it a “Hollywood ending” to the process of seeking a sale.

Garcia and Johnson are co-founders of Seven Bucks Companies, a multi-platform enterprise pioneering original content for television, film, emerging technologies and digital networks.

RedBird was founded by former Goldman Sachs partner Cardinale. He has orchestrated a range of major sports deals over the past 20 years involving his clients and teams like the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys as well as leagues like the NFL.

The XFL was the latest in a long line of failed attempts to dislodge the NFL from its perch as the No. 1 sports league in America. Football fans haven’t tuned in en masse for leagues like the Alliance of American Football, the United States Football League or the World Football League.

The first XFL season, in 2000, provided a brief summertime splash in the ratings for NBC, which was a part-owner of the league at the time, before quickly fading.

The latest iteration of the XFL differed from the first attempt in that it didn’t try to amp up the violence or present more scantily clad cheerleaders. Kickoffs, a routine feature of games that experts have linked to high rates of concussions, underwent a dramatic change in the XFL, with teams lining up close to each other so as to eliminate running-start collisions. Other innovations included microphones on the sidelines, enabling fans to follow the game in more detail.