April 27, 2018: Most of Team USA Will Skip White House Visit, Michael Che and Colin Jost to Host Emmys, a Postponed Crowdfunded Comic Con Leads to Community-Organized Celebration

By Ian Zelaya April 27, 2018, 8:37 AM EDT

1. MOST OF TEAM USA WILL SKIP WHITE HOUSE VISIT: The 2018 U.S. Winter Olympic and Paralympic teams are slated to visit the White House this morning, but many of the athletes who competed in February’s games won’t be in attendance to take photos with President Trump. USA Today: “Lindsey Vonn won’t be there. Neither will opening ceremony flag bearer Erin Hamlin, or Adam Rippon, or almost all of his figure skating colleagues, or Chloe Kim, or Gus Kenworthy, or Jessie Diggins, or David Wise. Some, like Vonn, Rippon and Kenworthy in particular, have made it clear they are skipping the U.S. Olympic Committee’s White House visit because they do not want to stand with the controversial Trump, who, among other things, bragged about sexually assaulting women in a video released during the 2016 presidential campaign, mocked a disabled person during the campaign and called some white supremacists ‘very fine people’ after the deadly Charlottesville rally. Others have just said they are going to be, um, busy. For Rippon, it’s actually a combination of the two. He already has had a very full week, being honored at the Time 100 Gala in New York City Tuesday while he practices for his upcoming appearance on Dancing with the Stars and continues to be one of the headliners on the 22-city ‘Stars on Ice’ skating tour with a Friday night show in Pittsburgh. … But what of the others? The entire gold-medal-winning U.S. women’s ice hockey team is expected to be at the White House, according to Brant Feldman, the agent for team captain Meghan Duggan. ‘Everyone wanted to go,’ he said. ‘It’s not about liking Trump or not liking Trump. They all wanted to be together again.’ The week of the White House visit and related events does serve as a reunion of sorts, especially for Olympians in a team sport.”

2. MICHAEL CHE AND COLIN JOST TO HOST EMMYS: Michael Che and Colin Jost, the anchors of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment, will host the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC. SNL creator Lorne Michaels will produce the telecast. Variety: “The 2018 Emmys will be the first with Michaels as exec producer since the 1988 telecast hosted by John Forsythe. Michaels’ return is indicative of the value that the prolific producer and his “Saturday Night Live” franchise have at NBC. At 73 years old, Michaels has successfully expanded his reach beyond his Saturday perch to nearly every night of the week and multiple dayparts. Over the last decade, his portfolio as a producer has grown to include NBC’s other two late-night comedy franchises, ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers,’ both hosted by ‘Saturday Night Live’ alums. He and Meyers also serve as exec producers on the Peacock’s freshman primetime comedy ‘A.P. Bio.’ Che and Jost have emerged as two of the most recognizable cast members of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ anchoring the long-running ‘Weekend Update’ segment. Jost became a cast member and co-anchor of ‘Weekend Update’ in 2014, and was joined by Che in 2015. The two were named co-head writers of ‘Saturday Night Live’ last year. Although still an effective driver of live viewing, the Emmys telecast has experienced ratings declines in recent years, as have most awards shows. Last year’s show on CBS, hosted by Stephen Colbert, drew a 2.5 live-plus-same day Nielsen rating in the demo, down 14% from a year earlier. In total viewers, the telecast held steady at 11.394 million, but was still down significantly from recent highs in 2013 and 2014.”

3. A POSTPONED CROWDFUNDED COMIC CON LEADS TO COMMUNITY ORGANIZED CELEBRATION: Universal FanCon, a crowdfunded celebration of diversity and fandom, was supposed to take place at the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend. But after organizers suddenly postponed the event a week ago, the local community decided to replace the event with a pop-up celebration. “It was billed as a celebration of diversity and inclusion in fandom. But a week before the event, organizers abruptly called it off, citing a 'financial deficit.' It led to lots of frustration and confusion, as word initially got out by way of canceled hotel stays and many vendors already had items shipped to Baltimore. And there were questions about refunds that continue to linger, as organizers claimed it was not a full cancellation. Even as that’s happening, a group from the fan community and Baltimore recognizes that lots of attendees will still be coming to Baltimore. So they banded together, and created a one-day pop-up event. It will be held Saturday, April 28, at the Wicomico building in Pigtown. WICOMICON, named after the building that has an intriguing history of its own, will have exhibitors, panels and cosplay contests, according to organizers. There will also guest appearances by cast members of SYFY TV shows The Magicians and Killjoys. Among the organizers is Uraeus, a Baltimore-based comic book writer and creator who graduated Morgan State University. He created Black Heroes Matter to champion diversity in pop culture, and the movement went viral after he brought just a dozen T-shirts to San Diego Comic-Con in 2016. For Universal FanCon, Uraeus was planning a Black Heroes Matter panel to talk about what he said is a 'Renassiance' for Black Heroes Matter taking place in pop culture, as well as a booth."


BOSTON:  MGM Springfield is slated to open August 24. The resort and casino will have 250 guest rooms and 42,500 square feet of meeting and event space, which includes the 8,000-seat MassMutual Center. 

Raffles Hotels & Resorts, which is part of AccorHotels, will debut Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences—the company’s first North American mixed-use property—in 2021. The property is slated to have 147 guest rooms and 146 branded residences in a 33-story building. 

CHICAGO:  The eighth annual Pilsen Fest will take place August 18-19. 

LOS ANGELES:  The 2018 NBA Awards Presented by Kia will take place on June 25 at the Barker Hangar. Fan voting for the NBA Cares Community Assist Award runs through May 6.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

NEW YORK:  The 2018 Folio: Show will take place October 9-10 at the Hilton Midtown. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  The Dora Mavor Moore Awards—the city’s theater, opera, and dance awards—will go gender-neutral for its 40th anniversary in 2019. The Globe and Mail:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will speak at a special program for Law Day May 1 at the Newseum. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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