He made a fortune from his trademarked Bikram yoga, but now his empire is in tatters

A new documentary chronicles Bikram Choudhurys downfall after allegations of rape and sexual assault Like many communities, yoga is grappling with its own #MeToo reckoning. Theres the issue of abuses of power and violence. But has there been a bigger fall from grace than that of Bikram Choudhury? From his base in Los Angeles, Choudhury made a fortune from a trademarked yoga routine, only to have his empire in tatters following multiple civil suits and allegations of rape and sexual assault. And in common with the stories of the girls in the Jeffrey Epstein case, there is also the depressing state of the Californian legal system that is not fleet-footed or motivated enough to bring sexual predators to justice. The …

Selfies, influencers and a Twitter president: the decade of the social media celebrity

From Gyneth Paltrow to Trump, todays stars speak directly to their fans. But are they really controlling their message? I have a friend, Adam, who is an autograph seller a niche profession, and one that is getting more niche by the day. When we met for breakfast last month he was looking despondent. Everyone takes selfies these days, he said sadly, picking at his scrambled eggs. Its never autographs any more. They just want photos of themselves with celebrities. Anyone who has attended a red carpet event or watched one on TV, knows that selfies have firmly supplanted autographs, with fans lurching desperately towards celebrities with outstretched phones instead of pens and paper. Celebrities have adapted accordingly. In 2017, a …

Hugh Grant hits back after being called ‘incredibly rude’ by Sajid Javid

The actor has said he refused to shake the chancellors hand because of Javids treatment of victims of phone hacking while he was culture secretary The actor Hugh Grant has hit back at an attack on his character by Sajid Javid, the chancellor of the exchequer. In an interview in this weeks ES magazine, Javid said the pair had met at the London premiere of Martin Scorseses The Irishman. He clarify the encounter to the Press Association, saying that when offered a handshake, Grants words were: If you dont mind, I wont shake your hand because you were rude and dismissive to the victims of press abuse when you met them as culture secretary. Hugh would like to point out …

The rights use of trolling is so predictable, why do we keep falling for it? | Richard Seymour

Wilfully provocative posts by your political opponents are hard to resist. But dont react, it only helps spread the message, says political activist and author Richard Seymour On Tuesday, the official Conservative Twitter account made what looked like a classic design error: Boriss Brexit deal passed by parliament. As Channel 4s Krishnan Guru-Murthy pointed out, this was 15% more coverage than Clinton did. Public discussion of trolling strategies has focused on the use of Trump may have gone there. But there is a more banal sense in which trolling broadly defined as communication intended to annoy and derail conversation has just become ubiquitous. Nor is it particular to digital media. Nigel Farages notorious breaking point billboard during the Brexit referendum. …

Looking back, and looking forward, one month into the Trump impeachment probe

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. The Atlantic’s David A. Graham made this point on Wednesday: “As the past month demonstrates, a lot can change in a few short weeks. One month ago, it wasn’t clear there’d even be an impeachment inquiry. Today, impeachment itself is a near-certainty.” Most of the chatter now is about what will happen when the Senate holds a trial… One month from now… “House Democrats are preparing to move their largely private impeachment inquiry onto a more public stage as soon as mid-November and are already grappling with how best to present the complex Ukraine saga to the …

The journalist as influencer: how we sell ourselves on social media

After the summer of Caroline Calloways Instagram infamy and Jia Tolentinos huge book launch, where is the line between author and lifestyle celebrity? This piece originally appeared inCaroline Calloway likes to be identified as a writer. She makes this abundantly clear in a post directed at Grace Spelman, formerly a content producer at BuzzFeed, during one of Calloways many forgettable spats with media workers whose criticisms she has found chafing. FYI I prefer writer, like you, Grace, Calloway noted in a parenthetical within a wall of text (Spelman had called her an Instagram blogger, which, for my money, is pretty apt). Elsewhere on her Instagram, Calloway document her life in real time on a platform best known for sharing selfies, …

Ronan Farrow on investigating Harvey Weinstein: When family issues are thrown at me, its a dirty move

Farrows investigation into the allegations against the producer won him a Pulitzer prize. He talks about the personal cost In the story behind the story of Mia Farrow and sexual abuse allegations made by Dylan, Farrows older sister, against their father. During the course of the investigation, Weinstein would weaponise all of this to try to unnerve him. If Farrow was intimidated, it isnt his style to show it: he is amused, sardonic, diminutive, in a way that invites comparisons to Matt Lauer, the former NBC host accused of sexual harassment, about whom the book contains explosive new allegations Farrow forgot to eat, go out except when following leads, or call his boyfriend in LA. For a while, he says, …

Rebekah Vardy ‘hires IT experts’ over Coleen Rooney leak claims

Vardy suggests someone else with access to her Instagram account could have leaked stories to the Sun Rebekah Vardy has said she is calling in forensic computer experts to examine who had access to her Instagram account following an extraordinary dispute with fellow footballers wife Coleen Rooney over the being sued by Prince Harry for alleged phone-hacking offences. It also highlights how celebrities are increasingly able and willing to circumvent traditional media outlets and take them on directly. Rooney, the wife of footballer Wayne, has been dubbed WAGatha Christie for her role in the investigation, after the wives and girlfriends moniker that was given to the partners of England footballers at the 2006 World Cup. She published a series of …

Coleen Rooney accuses Rebekah Vardy of leaking stories to Sun

Wife of Wayne Rooney claims fellow footballers wife passed on her private Instagram posts Coleen Rooney has claimed to have caught another footballers wife passing her private information to the Sun, after apparently running an elaborate sting operation that involved placing false stories in the tabloid newspaper. Rooney, an online influencer who is married to the former England international Wayne Rooney, said she was forced to act after a series of posts on her private social media account appeared in the media. She has publicly accused Rebekah Vardy, the wife of fellow England footballer Jamie Vardy, of being the individual who was leaking the private information. Vardy, a former contestant on Im a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!, has …

The muzzling of Michael Winterbottom: how Sony censored Greed

His fashion tycoon send-up, starring Steve Coogan with alarming teeth, was meant to end with shocking figures about workers pay. But the studio said no. The director relives a six-month spat Every year for the past three decades, Ingmar Bergman. (Bergman only agreed to the documentary because he was so tickled by the then 25-year-olds surname. Its the one time its been a help, says Winterbottom. As a child, it wasnt the easiest.) Now, abruptly, that routine has changed. Winterbottom is on sabbatical. To recover, it turns out, from the past six months, spent unsuccessfully haggling over the final cut of his latest film. Philip Green. David Mitchell plays a journalist roped into writing his biography, who travels to the …

With the greatest disrespect: how Her Majesty’s Press offers its candid friendship

The Duchess of Sussex may think she has a good case in her legal battle with the media. But just look at how these other royals fared Has there ever been a more cruelly miscast candid friend to the royal family than Her Majestys Press, who are neither truly candid, nor remotely the sort of people one knows socially? And, yes, I obviously include myself in that. In any case, the ONLY acceptable way to look at the royal family is that practised by Princess Michael of Kent, of whom the Queen is once said to have remarked: Shes rather grand for us. (Remember: the couple have decided to launch a legal action. There is, as we know, no snowflake …

Prominent Britons of colour condemn BBC over Naga Munchetty complaint

Corporation accused of racial discrimination after presenter reprimanded for Trump remarks More than 40 prominent broadcasters, celebrities and actors of colour have condemned the BBC, demanding it reconsider a decision partially upholding a complaint against the presenter Naga Munchetty, calling it deeply flawed, illegal and contrary to the spirit and purpose of public broadcasting. In a letter Original Article : HERE ;

Why cant we agree on whats true any more?

The long read: Its not about foreign trolls, filter bubbles or fake news. Technology encourages us to believe we can all have first-hand access to the real facts and now we cant stop fighting about it We live in a time of political fury and hardening cultural divides. But if there is one thing on which virtually everyone is agreed, it is that the news and information we receive is biased. Every second of every day, someone is complaining about bias, in everything from the latest movie reviews to sports commentary to the BBCs coverage of BBC and civil service as institutions that twist our basic understanding of reality to their own ends. Everyone can point to evidence that justifies …

Racist African stereotypes are as prevalent as ever on TV | Afua Hirsch

Too many entertainment shows are still rooted firmly in the colonial past, says Guardian columnist Afua Hirsch I have an idea for a British TV series. It involves finding an African society with a history of regarding Europeans as a profoundly inferior race tricky, admittedly. Then find a small-town family, from County Durham, say, to perform stereotypically English culture to entertain them. Describe this as an exchange it sounds more equal but make sure the African characters are equipped with various gadgets and a familiar value system. Well follow their love lives, clothing preferences and personality quirks in minute detail on social media. By contrast, the County Durham people can just be lumped into one collective personality, a series of …

No Logo at 20: have we lost the battle against the total branding of our lives?

Twenty years on from the book that analysed the growing political power of superbrands Some political books capture the zeitgeist with such precision that they seem to blur the lines between the page and the real world and become part of the urgent, rapidly unfolding changes they are describing. On 30 November 1999, mere days before the publication of Naomi Kleins debut, No Logo, the epochal Campaign marking the tenth anniversary of the 1997 general election, was perhaps the most brand-savvy political project in British history. No Logo had a global impact far beyond anything Naomi Klein only 29 at the time and unknown outside her native Canada had expected. It became a bestseller in the UK (among numerous other …

FaceApp: Netherlands police backtrack over calls to delete it

Forces had warned that Russian ageing app was not bound by EU privacy legislation Police forces in the Netherlands have backtracked on calls for users to delete the popular age-filtering FaceApp, over which some critics have voiced privacy fears. In a series of posts on Facebook, it was erroneously claimed by forces across the country that the Russian app, which predicts how people will look as they get older, was not safe as it Original Article : HERE ;