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GulfNews Entertainment

Ellen DeGeneres makes on-air apology, vows a ‘new chapter’

TV|: Ellen DeGeneres used her opening monologue of the new season of her daytime talk show to address allegations of a toxic work environment, apologising for things “that never should have happened.” “I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she said in a video posted Monday. See also Can Japan's ancient Noh theatre survive COVID-19? 10 films and shows to stream in the UAE in September All the cool, fun activities you’ve missed in the UAE in the last 6 months Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao turns 36: Little-known facts about the actor DeGeneres smiled frequently but appeared strained during her remarks. She included several quips that lightened the tone but didn’t match the seriousness of the allegations. ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ started its 18th season in Los Angeles with the host on stage for the first time in months after taping from DeGeneres’s home during quarantine. There wasn’t a studio audience but a virtual one, with faces beamed in on monitors put in the audience seats. “We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace, and what we want for the future,” she said. “We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.” Three of the show’s producers exited over the summer amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harboured misbehaviour, including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks. In her monologue, DeGeneres drily joked that her summer was “super-terrific.” The host also addressed the allegations that the off-camera DeGeneres is very different than her sunny on-air persona. ‘The truth is I am that person that you see on TV,’ she said. “I am also a lot of other things,” she said. “I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that.” The comedian, who is gay, noted that she’s played a straight woman on screen and considers herself “a pretty good actress,” but not good enough to “come out here every day for 17 years and fool you. This is me.” An internal company investigation of work conditions was prompted by a BuzzFeed News report in July based on 36 interviews with ex-staffers, who complained about or said they witnessed improper and unfair treatment. The people making the claims were not identified. “I learnt that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected,” DeGeneres said in her monologue. She was joined later by guest Tiffany Haddish. The comedian and host had sent a memo to her staff after the BuzzFeed report, recalling her early promise of ensuring a workplace where “everyone would be treated with respect.” Something changed, she said, “and for that, I am sorry.” In a July statement, Warner Bros said parent company WarnerMedia’s investigation revealed what it called “some flaws in the show’s daily management.” Although not all of the allegations were corroborated, the studio said it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”

GulfNews Business

Expat Indians must think of a second source of income with property

Analysis|: As the world moves to take stock of COVID-19 impact and its aftermath, we can’t help but stress on the importance of securing alternate sources of income. Every industry is feeling the challenges thrown up by the pandemic. Revenues and cashflows have stuttered and this has unfortunately resulted in job losses, furloughs and pay cuts. In this crisis, it is interesting to note that investors have carefully deployed their funds across multitude of products. The wise ones are using rock-bottom prices to buy into products that had earlier been beyond their investment appetite. See More Race to rescue animals as Brazilian wetlands burn COVID-19: Taj Mahal reopens even as India coronavirus cases soar Photos: Rescue under way to save 180 stranded whales in Australia Photos: Plant hunters race to collect rare species before they're gone This is in line with our belief that the best way to make money is to invest when the markets are down or recovering. A bullish market significantly reduces the quantum of return you can make on your investment. However, in the earlier case, investors stand to make disproportionate returns on their returns once markets recover from the turmoil. Signalling a partial uptick We have seen a revival of demand in Indian real estate. The products we offered were from the top tier, and we had developers offering assured rental guarantee up to 60 months on residential properties and up to 20 years on commercial. These are in addition to the schemes where the major chunk of liquidity outflow for investors happens only at possession. However, the underlying trend beyond these transactions highlighted a unique perspective - NRI investors are looking at securing a second source of income. COVID-19 has forced NRIs to relook at real estate investments. The earlier demand for a home in India has changed to the tune of acquiring an asset offering similar lifestyle and amenities as seen abroad. The end-user who was looking at buying a one-bedroom apartment is now looking at 1.5/2 options because of the possible flexibility required in work/learn from home environments. The investors sitting on the fence have sprung into action to take advantage of multiple factors like rock-bottom prices, regulatory benefits on stamp duty, and depreciating currency, among others. Prepare for Plan B One of the harsh learnings for NRIs from COVID-19 has been recognizing the fact that life in a foreign country comes with an expiry date. The virus brought in a lot of uncertainty in terms of this date. It could be tomorrow... or it could be 15 years from now. A relocation always comes with its own set of problem. NRIs have shown a dedicated effort to mitigate at least one of those challenges – finding an income source after returning to India. The equity markets are unpredictable and any returns made here comes with a high-risk premium. Gold has reached sky-high levels and a lot of support will be required to keep it there, let alone move upwards in future. With Indian banks reducing interest rates on deposits, keeping your money in the bank is approaching points of negative return after factoring in inflation. An informed decision to purchase real estate at this moment guarantees the investor of making significant return on their investment. Commercial properties can yield 10-12 per cent return on the capital invested while Grade A residential projects will generate up to 4 per cent rental return. All this comes with the security of owning a tangible asset. The manner and speed in which the ecosystem of real estate is evolving to tackle the effects of COVID-19 is proof that the road to recovery is approaching sooner than expected. The fact that new launches have reduced significantly has caused demand to match up with supply. In the near future, this demand is predicted to eclipse supply and leading to a rise in prices. To book profits when that happens, you need to invest now. Like the famous phrase goes, “The object in the mirror is closer than it appears”, the real estate uptick is just around the corner. NRIs would do well to use this opportunity to play the sector and secure a much needed second source of income in the process. - Shajai Jacob is CEO - GCC, ANAROCK Property Consultants.

GulfNews Entertainment

‘Pandemmys’ sees another record low in viewership

HollyWood|: The novelty of television stars getting Emmy Awards delivered to their homes wasn’t enough to keep the annual show from slipping further in popularity. The Nielsen company said 6.1 million people watched the Emmys on Sunday night, down from 6.9 million in 2019 and the third straight year of record low viewership. See also Photos: A preview of the world's first 'Rolling Stones' store Photos: Bollywood actress Sunny Leone heats up Los Angeles Bengaluru drug case: Who is arrested actor Sanjjanaa Galrani? Sara Ali Khan to Ananya Panday: See how Bollywood star kids are spending summer The Emmys faced competition from both NFL football and the NBA Western Conference finals. The coronavirus pandemic eliminated any chance fans had of seeing stars on a red carpet, although host Jimmy Kimmel gamely tried to make do in a mostly empty auditorium with actors accepting awards remotely. Still, it illustrated how the Emmy Awards are becoming a boutique event. Last year was the first time viewership slipped under 10 million people. As recently as 2013, the Emmys had 17.6 million viewers. The Emmys were once a celebration of all things television timed for the beginning of a new fall season. Yet the pandemic has delayed the return of many favourite shows. Viewership is also fragmented across many different networks and streaming services, and several shows don’t have a wide audience. Of the 128 Emmys awarded before and during Sunday’s show, 18 went to the Big Four broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. HBO dominated with 30 awards and Netflix had 21. Reginald Hudlin, an executive producer of the Emmys telecast, said Monday that it has been hard for all of the major awards shows to get the audiences that they had been used to. “We’re not three networks anymore,” Hudlin said. “We went from three networks to 60 with cable, and with streaming services there’s just endless choice. “So people are now used to watching a show that’s specifically for them,” Hudlin told a webinar organised by the law firm Fox Rothschild on Monday. “No matter how narrow that audience is, there’s a show that speaks to, ‘I’m a left-handed person who loves fishing’ ... And the challenge is there’s not a thing that connects to everybody.” The Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ which was once shown on Netflix but has since been airing on the little-known Pop TV network, swept the comedy awards. It won seven trophies during Sunday’s show and 10 overall. Since the show was structured to front-load the comedy awards, the Emmys were on the air for an hour Sunday before any show other than ‘Schitt’s Creek’ won an award. ABC and Kimmel, mindful of being accused of airing an obscenity, flashed the show’s name on the screen every time the title was mentioned.