Today in Events: Next 2020 Presidential Debate Stage Could Be Empty, Geena Davis and Audra McDonald to be Honored by Casting Society Of America, Tokyo Inches Closer to Ready for 2020 Summer Olympics
1. NEXT 2020 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE STAGE COULD BE EMPTY: Following Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Friday statement that she would boycott the next debate, which is set for Thursday at Loyola Marymount College in Los Angeles, if a labor dispute between the school and its employees hasn’t been settled, every other presidential candidate slated to take part in the debate echoed Warren’s pledge. Vox: “Unite Here Local 11, a union which represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers, and servers on LMU’s campus, who work for food services company Sodexo—plans to picket at the debate next Thursday to express their disapproval of Sodexo’s handling of negotiations with the union.... In a tweet, Warren called on the Democratic National Committee, which organizes the debates, to ‘find a solution’ to the problem. Senator Bernie Sanders made the same pledge; all of the other candidates who qualified for the next debate soon followed.”
2. GEENA DAVIS AND AUDRA MCDONALD TO BE HONORED BY CASTING SOCIETY OF AMERICA: The Casting Society of America plans to honor Academy Award-winner and advocate Geena Davis and Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony-winner Audra McDonald on January 20 at its 35th annual Artios Awards in Los Angeles, New York, and London. At the L.A. ceremony, Davis will receive the Lynn Stalmaster Award for Career Achievement, named for the American casting director who cast the actress in Tootsie, her feature film debut. Meanwhile, McDonald will receive the Marion Dougherty New York Apple Award, named after the casting director. The annual recognition is given to those who have significantly contributed to the entertainment industry in New York. The Hollywood Reporter: “‘Geena has shaped a remarkable career for herself, not only as an award-winning actress, but also as a leading voice in the critical topic of women and diversity in the entertainment industry. We are proud to be honoring her contributions,’ said CSA president Russell Boast.... Because she [McDonald] has worked so extensively in every medium—musicals, plays, television, film—practically every casting director in town has been lucky enough to work with her. She's the true embodiment of the type of actor that Marion Dougherty loved: versatile, smart and talented beyond words."
3. TOKYO INCHES CLOSER TO READY FOR 2020 SUMMER OLYMPICS: Preparations in Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will begin on July 24, reached a new milestone Sunday. City and national officials unveiled the new national stadium, which also will house track and field events, as well as some soccer. Created by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the approximately $1.43 billion venue is slated to be the centerpiece of the games. Time: “‘It blends with its surroundings and the natural environment,’ said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. ‘This stadium uses a lot of trees in its structure,’ added Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, speaking of the greenery that is everywhere. Although Tokyo is densely urban, it is also dotted with many parks and green areas. The stadium works off that theme, making sure it is functional and linked to nature.”