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November 8, 2017: Emmys Board Expels Harvey Weinstein, Hotels Are Offering Programs for Guests to Learn Local Languages, Blind Activist Sues Ultra Music Festival Over Accessibility

1. EMMYS BOARD EXPELS HARVEY WEINSTEIN: The Television Academy has expelled Harvey Weinstein for life, following multiple accusations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape against the producer. Variety: “’After a hearing today, the Television Academy’s governance has voted to expel Harvey Weinstein from the Academy for life,’ said the Academy in a statement to Variety. ‘The Academy supports those speaking out against harassment in all forms and stands behind those who have been affected by this issue. The unfolding and widespread examples of this horrific behavior are deeply disturbing to the Academy’s leadership. We have been in contact with leaders across the industry and share with them a deep sense of responsibility to provide clear workplace benchmarks reflecting decency and respect.  As a result, we are expediting an already-begun detailed review and revision of our Television Academy membership codes of conduct. We are determined to play a role in protecting all television professionals from predatory harassment, ensuring they are able to practice their craft in a safe environment.’ The Academy will also be reviewing the organization’s code of conduct, a process that was launched before the Weinstein scandal broke. At a meeting last month, the Academy had overwhelmingly decided to pursue disciplinary action against Weinstein."

2. HOTELS ARE OFFERING PROGRAMS FOR GUESTS TO LEARN LOCAL LANGUAGES: Certain hotels are offering tourists a chance to learn the local language with programs that involve a variety of activities. The New York Times: "There’s no better way to learn a new language than in a relaxed vacation setting, according to Kristen Korey Pike, a travel adviser and owner of KK Travels Worldwide in Atlanta. 'It’s a hands-on way to get to know the place you’re visiting, and it’s such a cool thing to do,' she said. Nayara Springs and Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens in Costa Rica have a new Spanish immersion package for $300: Guests who sign up receive a selection of Spanish books upon check-in, along with a Spanish/English dictionary, a private bird-watching tour in Spanish, a one-hour Spanish lesson focusing on Costa Rican culture and a Spanish lunch with a resort host. In addition, the staff at the properties communicates with these guests only in Spanish. Guests at the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, can brush up on their Spanish or learn it anew: Those interested are given a bracelet; the resort staff knows that anyone wearing it wishes to communicate in Spanish. The property also offers a tequila tasting in Spanish. The bracelet and tequila tasting are $65 a person each. ... And at Royal Mansour in Marrakesh, Morocco, children can partake in free treasure hunts and chocolate-making classes in Arabic, while adults have the choice of an Arabic tour of the property’s gardens."

3. BLIND ACTIVIST SUES ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL OVER ACCESSIBILITY: Juan Carlos Gil, a blind activist and Paralympic athlete, is suing Ultra Music Festival, an annual Miami-based electronic dance music festival. Gil claims that the festival's website and events aren't accessible to the visually impaired. Miami New Times: "Ultra has faced lawsuits before, including one for $10 million after a security guard was trampled. But Gil, who has filed more than 70 suits against organizations that offer public services and events, is more than confident his case will succeed, even if only to inspire a public conversation. Scott R. Dinin is Gil's lawyer. He has partnered with the activist in many of these suits. ... Ultra Music Festival declined to comment on the suit. Dinin hopes the festival will feel pressure to adopt measures more sensitive to people with disabilities. He cites Colorado and California concerts he's attended, which often have sign-language interpreters and other accommodations. He adds that the visually impaired can enjoy music like anyone else."


The International Live Events Association has renewed its partnership with Catersource, which first formed in 2015. Through the partnership, I.L.E.A. and Catersource will continue to offer ideas, resources, and products to industry professionals for their catered events. 


BOSTON:  The Innovation and Design Building in the Seaport District will open IDBeach, a beach-inspired event space, to host a series of Saturday afternoon events from November 11-December 16. Events will include cruise-inspired party, a ‘90s-style beach party, and a double-feature film brunch.  

CHICAGO:  Catholic Charities will host the 28th annual Spirit of Saint Nicholas Ball December 1 at Hilton Chicago. The event will feature entertainment by the Ken Arlen Orchestra, and guests are invited to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to the Celebration of Giving Toy Drive. 

LAS VEGAS:  The Vegas Strong Benefit Concert, which will benefit the Las Vegas Victims Fund, will take place December 1 at T-Mobile Arena. Headliners will include Boyz II Men, Cirque du Soleil, David Copperfield, The Killers, and Imagine Dragons.

The Neon Museum will host its annual Boneyard Ball fund-raiser on February 10 at the Enclave. 

LONDON:  The inaugural Proud Experiences LGBTQ+ Travel Expo will take place June 6-8, 2018, at the Saatchi Gallery. The event will be produced by Reed Exhibitions. 

LOS ANGELES:  The 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards will air live on the CW Network on January 11. The show will take place at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. 

Designer Tom Ford and singer Kristin Chenoweth will be honored at the Trevor Project’s signature fund-raising gala, TrevorLive, on December 3. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami New Times will host the inaugural Tacolandia, a taco culinary event, on November 18 at SoHo Studios. Presented by Goya, the event will offer taco samples from 30 local restaurants and raise money for Feeding South Florida. 

The private launch party of Restoration Hardware’s flagship location in West Palm Beach will take place November 18. The event will benefit the Norton Museum of Art. 

NEW YORK:  The Root 100 gala, presented by 2018 Toyota Camry, will take place Thursday at Gustavino’s. The event will be hosted by Angela Rye and A.J. Calloway, and guest speakers will include the Root co-founder Henry Louis Gates Jr, The New York Times journalist Yamiche Alcindor, and comedian and actress Franchesca Ramsey. 

The Grand Central Holiday Fair will run November 13-December 24 in Vanderbilt Hall. The event will feature holiday-theme items, toys, bath and body products, art, home goods, and clothing from 40 artisans. 

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Central Florida hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen has partnered with Rollins College to offer full college scholarships to three students annually from the Tangelo Park and Parramore neighborhoods. Rollins College is a private liberal arts college in Winter Park, and the first recipients will enroll in Fall 2018.

TAMPA:  The Epicurean Hotel located in the Hyde Park historic district of South Tampa recently announced promotions of four employees: Shawn Routten to director of operations, Genevieve Wojick to front office manager, Teresa Riccardi to front desk supervisor, and Ellen Macleish to sous chef.

TORONTO:  The Broadview Hotel’s main restaurant, the Civic, will open this month. The restaurant, helmed by restaurateur Erik Joyal and executive chef John Sinopoli, will offer modern twists on old-time dishes such as braised leg of rabbit, mushroom toast, and cod croquettes. 

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

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