This song seeks to bring about certain conversations: to talk about what is really happening in our society.” Brazen, bold, and defiant even, Blood Money hits deep and achieves just that. From the start, Protoje’s ethos has always been one of unforgiving honesty and transparency that has helped establish his music with every listener, new and old. Protoje’s Blood Money Begs No Pardons

by Shana-Kay Hart
Every now and then, there comes a song that helps make sense of the world around us. The tune comes almost a year after the release of his Royalty Free project and the artist hints that more is to be expected. After being away from Jamaica for some time, the singer & songwriter came back with an adjusted understanding of the state of the country and uses this song as a way to address particular matters. SHARE / Feb 2, 2017 05:40 pm

As one of the world’s modern-day “soothsayer” or teller of truth, Protoje’s newest song Blood Money shines a glaring and inescapable light on masked issues plaguing Jamaica. A clear and clever work of social commentary himself, Protoje reminds us of the inherent need to be heard and speak out on injustices especially in today’s society. “This is unfair, hypocritical, and widely inaccurate. Even if just for a minute, the song transports its listeners into the depths of an artiste’s mind and soul, giving a voice to far too frequently unspoken, muffled or suppressed thoughts and beliefs. As expected, he begs for no pardons in doing so.With Blood Money, Protoje does what he is best at: mixing melodies and meaningful messages aimed at unearthing the truth. “The most I can say is Blood Money” needs a home, it will be lonely out there all by itself.”
Listen to Blood Money below: “People who have less, are made to seem like the problem in society,” he says.

Billy Crystal from Funny Or Die However, Mitch has been going off his loop, and Stubbs is determined to find out why.It’s fun to see Mitch and Phil’s dynamic in a new context. The security head finds their bickering hard to take and decides “their core friendship parameters have to be realigned.”See how the duo fares in the hilarious video below.City Slickers in Westworld feat. As hosts, Mitch feels he has license to shoot his friend all the time, no matter what adjustments Stubbs makes. With some background from Stubbs, we learn that Mitch (Crystal) and Phil (Stern) are actually hosts. Their narrative — “dissasisfied city slicker rides out West with his friends to herd cattle and try to find his smile again” — was once one of the best-selling ones, in fact. Posted February 2, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio Long”City Slickers” and “Westworld” aren’t an obvious pairing, but they go surprisingly well together.A new Funny or Die video takes the stars of the classic ’90s western comedy, Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern, and has them reprise their roles alongside “Westworld” stars Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs) and Ptolemy Slocum (Sylvester).

2″ is here, featuring closer looks at familiar heroes like Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), as well as new characters like Mantis (Pom Klementieff).The images, debuted by USA Today, also include some behind the scenes details about our rag-tag group of Guardians, including outlining the importance of the search for Peter’s dad (played by Kurt Russell) in the flick. He’s pictured among this new crop of photos alongside Rocket, and we imagine the former Ravager and the acerbic raccoon will almost certainly butt heads as they attempt to work together.Check out some of the images above, and the rest over at USA Today. USA Today also notes that the relationship between Rocket and Groot has changed quite a bit now that the latter is a kid again (and freaking adorable, we must say).Other hints promise that Drax takes an immediate liking to new crew member Mantis (USA Today says she turns him into “a big ol’ softie”). “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” hits theaters on May 5. Posted February 2, 2017 by Katie RobertsA new batch of photos from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Also new to join the Guardians is Yondu (Michael Rooker), who’s formed an alliance with his onetime foes in the second flick.

Then he did a film called “Hush” for Netflix that I guess Stephen King saw, loved, and Tweeted about. She said, “Even when you go up on the satellite, I was gone for a week, and I couldn’t remember — you lose time in space to such an extent, so quickly within a matter of days, that looking down, I was like, which way is Earth? So I find it fascinating, but not personally something I would want to do.Did you learn anything where you were, like, “Astronauts have to do THIS?” Was there any research aspect that surprised you?One thing that I found out that was really fascinating to me, when I was speaking to this female astronaut — she was really interesting, and I was asking her about it being predominantly men. Also, because just physically, I’m in handcuffs for half of it. We had 23 days, I think, to shoot the movie. I so appreciate that. How soon would you lose memory of things? So your body is going through this trauma over and over and over again, and that one did. I’ve always been so impressed and fascinated by people who would choose to do that on our behalf. I think it gives the movie this sense of urgency as well.Like Hitchcock — the lean and mean way he shot “Psycho.”Exactly. Where are my kids? But I never have had an inkling to want to do it, and I don’t even think playing this character made me feel differently, but I really love seeing the world through her eyes.I think in this particular case, and the majesty of it I guess was something. It’s true. None of that really phased her. That one did really stick.”Gerald’s Game” sounds like it could be a very intense, something you’d have to shake off before you go home.That was incredibly intense. It’s such a noble profession. Posted February 2, 2017 by Scott HuverExactly when Carla Gugino sleeps, we have no idea.A professional actress since childhood, Gugino has long been vying for the title of the hardest working actor in Hollywood, or at least one of the most employed. It was a physically and emotionally extremely difficult experience, but also in a profound way and a way that appropriate for the material. I thought “Roadies,” which got some rough reviews, was well worth the trip by the end.Thank you. I think it was because I did it for so long. I think in this particular case it did. That’s not true: “Webster” was my very first job. I really do love it. I have bruises all over my back from the headboard of the bed. So she said, “If you were really on Mars for this period of time, it would be really foreign coming back,” and I just thought that was really interesting.Has it ever happened to you as an actor? So I felt like, “Boy, we have to have somebody who really has that delicate touch and understanding of the material, and of the genre.” So when I actually spoke to Mike, I really felt like ‘This is the guy. “The Wonder Years,” “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” and “ALF.” You were on “ALF!” I know — “ALF” was my very first job! So I will hopefully be able to continue doing that. Obviously, the reason you exercise up there is to keep your muscles and everything like that. And what time is it for them?”She said it almost seems like a fake life you’re thinking about. But yes, there was one time that it was more than I have ever experienced. And it’s a real Greek tragedy, in the sense that she murders her child. So those were also kind of nice ways to dip my toe into the water.I love that you still come back to TV. Then, I was able to shed that pretty quickly, but I think part of that was also because we shot in sequence for the most part, and that was really helpful.There were some things we had to shoot out of sequence, but really a large portion of it we shot in sequence, so I was able to have that kind of natural process, I guess. But no, that was one of the most challenging — in all the right ways — roles that I’ve ever played.Was it tough material for you to sit with?It was very tough material. She said, “I was in science class from when I was a little kid with all boys. This is the guy to do it, and he feels so passionately about it.” I think it’s going to be really good. Would it be completely foreign to me? I’m really excited about it.And I play two versions of myself of this character, and that was also really bizarre and surreal, especially with how quick we were shooting it. It was amazing because those were the big shows at that time. And they connected through that experience.And Mike said, “I’ve been wanting to make ‘Gerald’s Game’ for this period of time, but it’s always been considered unfilmable because it is such a tricky story.” And Stephen King said, “If you give me a script, if you give me something that could work, I’d love for you to do it.” So Mike wrote this script.It’s so interesting because this obviously is a thriller with some horror elements, but then also is dealing with child abuse, and that kind of childhood trauma. The people who love “Roadies” really love “Roadies.” I don’t know quite why people are so harsh on Cameron [Crowe], because he’s so extraordinary, and he has this amazing innocent heart, and I almost feel like that’s part of what people go for or something, because we’re in a time that’s a bit more jaded, or I don’t know, self-referential or something, kind of meta. Would it be like riding a bike? And I loved working with Bruce Greenwood. I think also, with a play, it’s eight shows a week, so it’s this strange kind of repeat, and your body doesn’t really realize that it’s false. [filmmaker] Mike Flanagan had been wanting to make that movie since he was 19. So when I was in it, I was in it. And where on Earth is my family? What was it like to drop in on some of those now-classic sitcoms? Were you interested in space exploration?Carla Gugino: Not a big space nerd. Gary Oldman’s character in this, too, I find to be influenced obviously by like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, those kind of guys, who have that really forward-thinking attitude and the wherewithal to be able to actually execute it. Everybody that I worked with on it, I felt so blessed to be doing that with them.So it was all worth it, but I agree with you that if that had been a four-month shoot, that would have been a different thing, and a different thing for the movie. So for me, it’s about how all three mediums teach you different things, are different experiences, and it’s always about the role and the people. Her long list of film credits include high-profile movies such as “Spy Kids,” “Sin City,” “Watchmen,” “Night at the Museum,” and “San Andreas,” while her TV resume has recently been filled with distinctive series like “Entourage,” “Californication,” “Wayward Pines,” and “Roadies.”Gugino’s back on the big screen in the near-future fusion of sci-fi and YA, “The Space Between Us,” playing a maternal-minded astronaut trying to ensure the safety of a teenager born and raised on Mars (Asa Butterfield) as he makes his way to Earth to meet the girl (Britt Robertson) he’s fallen for from very afar. So as a young actress, I had one line on “Who’s the Boss?” I had a bigger role on “The Wonder Years.” “Doogie Howser” — they were exciting to get.It was funny because I had considered, the reason that I wanted to act was because of Meryl Streep in “Silkwood” and “Sophie’s Choice.” I had seen them both in the same year, and I was so blown away by these two completely different women, and women who I felt that I therefore somehow understood, even though as a 12-year-old, I had had no experiences like either of these women. And it really made me think, “Oh my gosh, acting can teach you empathy,” and I want to get inside people that are different than me and see life through their eyes.So those sitcoms weren’t the kind of work I thought I would be doing, but I also was a working actor who was getting jobs. Or “Rope.” Yeah.I was looking at some of your old credits from when you first started out as a child actor. I remember when I did “Spin City,” I went from “Spin City” to doing “Snake Eyes” with Brian De Palma and Nicolas Cage, and I do the theater. Do you know the story? And, tonally, it’s really challenging. But I love that show, and I love doing that show.And I’ve always felt … It’s a very, very intense role.That was one that I have to say, because I’m not a Method actor, really stuck with me for a good period of time after in a very intense and slightly concerning way, where I really thought, “God, will I be able to get out of this?”And I didn’t, for a little while, do a play of that nature. You know what was interesting about that is that I went in so full force, and we shot six-day weeks in Alabama. Like you really lose any kind of just those tentpole things, markers of where you are, and who you are, and what your life is made up of. Have you stepped into a world so deeply that going back to your own world felt a little strange?There’s always a little transitional period into and out of projects in that way. And they were all very helpful to me because the thing is the only way to learn anything is to actually start doing it. Yeah. And she’s already completed the much-anticipated Netflix film adaptation of novelist Stephen King’s harrowing, S&M-tinged psychological thriller “Gerald’s Game,” a role she admits sorely tested her own psyche and physique.And, as she chatted with Moviefone about her always-in-motion career, Gugino also took a rare look back at some of her earliest TV acting roles, which found her cast opposite the likes of Tony Danza, Neil Patrick Harris, Fred Savage, and ALF.Moviefone: How much of a space nerd were you before taking on this movie? I did a Eugene O’Neill play called “Desire Under the Elms,” and I started it in Chicago, did it with Pablo Schreiber and Brian Dennehy, and then we moved it to Broadway. “ALF” was my second job. 24, maybe.I bet that helps.Yeah. It was always the case for me.”But what is really interesting, because I was really intrigued about like, if I had lived on Mars for this period of time, what would it be like coming back to Earth?

Filming is currently taking place in Bulgaria, and will also include shoots in England, Australia, and other nations, which will all be beset by the titular shark-infested storm system.Back to save the day yet again will be Fin and April, with Ian Ziering and Tara Reid reprising their roles. And this time, the absurd weather pattern is going global.Production has already begun on the sequel, which will be set in a bunch of different countries around the globe. Posted February 2, 2017 by Katie RobertsThose pesky sharknadoes are at it again, with Syfy gearing up for a fifth installment in its schlocky, silly “Sharknado” series. Also returning for more will be Cassie Scerbo, who played bartender Nova in the original “Sharkado” back in 2013, and reprised her role in “Sharknado 3” in 2015.There’s no title yet (originally, the film was set to be called “Sharknado 5… Earth 0,” but right now producers are just going with “Sharknado 5”), though it will certainly be hard to top the name of last year’s offering, “Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens.” If producers are aiming to ape other offerings in the “Star Wars” universe, we’d suggest mimicking the recently revealed title of “Episode VIII” and going with “Sharknado 5: The Last Sharknado.” The world could probably use a break from sharks raining down from the sky.[via: Entertainment Weekly]

That’s gotta be worth more than a sportscar, right? Paul, by virtue of being the only actual contestant in the studio, easily makes it up onto the stage, where Corden invites him to spin the wheel to make it into the Showcase.The pair get a begrudging assist from “Price” host Drew Carey, who seems none too pleased that the duo has invaded the set, but decides to run the Showdown anyway. Posted February 2, 2017 by Katie RobertsIt’s always a bummer when a “Price Is Right” contestant loses the Showcase Showdown with an over-bid, and that was especially true for actor Aaron Paul when he appeared on the game show way back in 2000. Naturally, the actor thought it was time for some redemption.In a bit for “The Late Late Show,” Paul and host James Corden broke into the “Price Is Right” studios to try to get Paul a re-do, recreating his previous appearance down to Paul’s excited fist pumps, screams, and air kicks as he is called down to contestants’ row. Paul, in his pre-“Breaking Bad” fame days, was just a babyfaced kid when he over-bid his sportscar showcase by a measly $132. We won’t spoil exactly what happens for you, but it involves the same car — and we mean the exact same car — that Paul over-bid on the first time around, and some creative calculations on Corden’s part.At least Paul can take solace in the fact that he’s a famous, award-winning actor.

It’s clear that fans are eager to see the film’s stars, including Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, take on the iconic “tale as old as time.”Expect crowded theaters when “Beauty and the Beast” opens on March 17.[via: Deadline] Posted February 2, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongWith all the hype surrounding Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” it should come as no surprise that the film’s advance ticket sales are blowing up.Tickets only went on sale on Monday, Jan. Fandango described its early pre-sales as “unstoppable” and compared them to the numbers the online ticket-seller usually see for superhero flicks, Deadline reports. 30, but Fandango reports they’re on pace to surpass the pre-sales of “Finding Dory.” That would be quite a feat. The “Finding Nemo” sequel opened to $135 million, according to Box Office Mojo, making it the highest-grossing North American debut of all time for an animated film.”Beauty and the Beast” might not qualify in the same category as “Finding Dory,” but the sales are impressive nonetheless.

After the president made his numbers the butt of yet another joke — this time, while appearing at Thursday morning’s National Prayer Breakfast, of all events — Schwarzenegger tweeted out a video in response. He clearly didn’t appreciate the most recent dig.”Hey Donald, I have a great idea: Why don’t we switch jobs?” Schwarzenegger said in the video. “You take over TV because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job. Then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”The National Prayer Breakfast?
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 2, 2017While the American public will have mixed reactions to the message, it’s safe to say that Trump won’t take kindly to it. Don’t expect this feud to end anytime soon. It has been going on since the election, when Schwarzenegger endorsed Trump’s primary opponent John Kasich and later announced he wouldn’t vote for Trump in the general.At the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump called the show’s ratings “a total disaster” and encouraged attendees to “pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.”President Trump cracks joke at National Prayer Breakfast: Let’s pray for @Schwarzenegger’s ‘Apprentice’ ratings
— CNN (@CNN) February 2, 2017Ah, the important issues.[h/t: Variety] Posted February 2, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongAnother day, another ongoing feud.Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to be getting a little tired of Donald Trump bringing up his “New Celebrity Apprentice” ratings.

In a new promo for her Feb. With the only lyric being “Beck,” it gets a little awkward.Let’s be real: It’s not Stewart’s best musical performance. She did much better while playing Joan Jett in the 2010 film “The Runaways,” for example. Posted February 2, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongYou have to be multi-talented to host “Saturday Night Live.”Preparing for the gig forced Kristen Stewart to practice her singing skills with “SNL” cast member Beck Bennett. Still, it’s a cute promo, even with its fedora shortage. 4 episode, the actress watches as Bennett performs a song for her, and then she attempts to return the favor with an impromptu song about him. She’ll have a chance to really wow us with the live episode.The real musical entertainment of the night will be handled by Alessia Cara, but watch Stewart and Bennett take a crack at it below.”Saturday Night Live” airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

It’s really fun. It’s hard. She’s really big into capitalizing on the success that makes you happy and thrive. Yeah, it’s cool to see the opposite sides of things.Are you still absorbing stuff from the more mature actors, like somebody as legendary as Gary Oldman? So I didn’t think that I was capable of it, until I read the script and I was like, “Oh God — this is so funny. I don’t even know.” I’ve retained a lot of the information, but much like my early childhood years, I’ve dropped all of it out and don’t remember a thing.It’s cool, I’m interested. I kind of thought it was good, but then, when they called me and told me that I got the role, I was just like, “What?! He would never take control over the set, but if he needed something and he realized that things were falling apart, or we were losing time — you get to these points where it can be really challenging; you’ve got like 150 people all trying to do the same thing — the way he would go about being the leader was really impressive, and so sweet.He’s a really compassionate guy. He’s so calm. I tried to convince them not to let me ride a motorcycle. But also, I think it would be cool to direct, but I don’t think that I deserve it. Robertson tells Moviefone about taking charge of her own career — and knowing when to let the stuntwoman come in.Moviefone: Were you ever, or are you currently, a space exploration nerd? It was really hard, but it’s so fun.Tell me about going from this level of production, or something like this film or “Tomorrowland,” where it’s often you, a lot of special effects, and a lot of technical things to you playing a character were the effects are funny lines?Oh God, is it refreshing. Asa is such a dream. I think there’s a lot of people who would be better, and deserve it more, and have worked harder. I’ve done some, but never to this extent. My feet don’t even touch the ground. For the most part, I just like to be good at what I know, and those are the things I don’t know very well. Is it like, “Oh, I think I can try to do that?” Or are you like, “Is there someone else ready to step in here?”You always think it’s going to be much simpler than it is. I love watching him. Did you find that?Yes! He’s just the most delightful. Asa and I are truly opposites. But there’s something really awesome about that, like complimenting each other in that way. I had such a ball on that set. People do it all the time. A lot of people talk to me about space and sci-fi, just because of some of the films that I’ve been in, and I’m always like, “What’s happening? I’m sure you read it.I did.Aside from the little character notes that you took for yourself, what was the interesting thing that you got out of the book? Posted February 2, 2017 by Scott HuverEven though she’s starring in the young adult, sci-fi-flavored romance “The Space Between Us,” Britt Robertson admits she’s more of a girlboss than an astronaut.The more down-to-earth ambition suits her role: in the film, Robertson plays Tulsa, a high school student who makes online contact with Gardner (Asa Butterfield), a teenage boy who, through a twist of fate, was born and raised on a space exploration outpost on Mars, and their emotional connection is tested when Gardner finally makes his way to Earth and the two embark on a journey for him to see as many of the planet’s wonders as possible.The actress also gets a little more earthbound in her next project, “Girlboss,” the Netflix sitcom based on young, self-made entrepreneur Sophie Amoruso’s bestselling autobiography, written by “Pitch Perfect” screenwriter Kay Cannon and produced by Charlize Theron, debuting in April. I was a big fan of the story, and I love the characters of Gardner and Tulsa, and their relationship, and where that goes, and what it brings out of both of the characters.Then I also love the idea of the whole Gardner story and trying to find his father, and then finding family within the love that he has around him. He really is. It inspired me to be better at being an actor, and also work harder, and to make the chemistry come alive that much more. Then I was like, OK fine. What’s most fun about it is that he’s a nice guy, and he’s one of the most peaceful people I’ve ever been around in my life. I remember being on set every day and was just like … But I’m not so intrigued that I’m, like, going out and trying to get everybody on a SpaceX jet and travel up to Mars.What was the thing about this that did catch your eye as an actress?I think it’s a really well-written script. Are you going to be that actor who segues into producing, and directing, and writing, and developing? He cares about everybody. But I never even thought I could do it necessarily. I’m into, “Give me a part and I will try to nail it.” I’m into that. If people want to talk to me about it, I love to get more knowledge. Not just as an employee, but to really own what you have to offer this world, and offer it to people, and make something out of it. I know this girl. Or are you primarily the actor that shows up and says, “Give me a part and I’m going to nail it?”I don’t know. You figure it out.What was fun about creating the right chemistry with Asa?What was fun? He’s always building people up. So I thought that was an important takeaway.How much of your own girlboss do you want to be? Other than that, there was no convincing.How do those stunts hit you? Are you still watching them with one eye and asking, “What can I learn from this guy?”I love Gary Oldman. Down to just the science of being an actor and taking control over a set. I’m so excited about it. I enjoyed being around him. So I think he’s just a really good guy, and he also happens to be a phenomenal actor. We’ve done interviews before, like the “would you rather?” interviews, and almost every time we have the opposite answers, to everything. He would never hurt anyone or break them down. I wanted to do it for him, I wanted to do it for the movie, and ultimately myself. It’s gratifying to know that you can bounce around and do it all if you want, if you try hard.The book was huge. It was the coolest shoot ever. You’ve just got to do it over and over and over again. Were you fascinated with any of that world at any point?Britt Robertson: No — never. Maybe producing I could dabble in a little bit. Why? When they were like, we want you to actually drive the motorcycle, I was like, what? I could do this. He’s a dream.That inspired me. That is what fascinates me about these types of stories.Did you try to convince them to let you fly the biplane?No. Was there some element of it that really appealed to you?Yeah, I think the whole idea of just taking ownership of your life, and being your own boss, like in the world. But it’s just a really cool journey to go on.And, also, I had the coolest boss ever: Kay Cannon’s so funny, and she writes the best stuff, and it was just so much fun to play. You get comfortable with someone and then you act.Your characters’ energies are very different, and it seems like, as actors, you kind of come at things in a different way, too. I see motorcyclists everywhere. Just the journeys that we all take on this Earth, and what they bring to us, and what they bring out of us. I’ve done television, like that sort of style of production, which is the “Girlboss” format, but I’d never done really a comedy in film or TV. No way!” I didn’t even think they wanted to see me for this thing. I could do this really funny take on this. I can play this girl.”I went into the audition. It’s almost impossible for me to drive that thing. We did 13 episodes, half-hour comedy, about this disaster of a chick who’s, like, jumping into garbage dumpsters so she can get food and bagels, and she can’t pay her rent, and she doesn’t want to commit to anything, she doesn’t want a nine-to-five job, but she feels really entitled to have all of these things in life.Then she stumbles on this idea to resell this badass jacket that she found, and she becomes very successful to the point where she builds her own website, and then it becomes an online empire, and she ends up making billions of dollars. So I’ll take tips from him any day.Tell me about “Girlboss,” because that sounds like a pretty exciting project.It’s so exciting! Then you get there and you’re like, this thing is heavier than I am, it’s like three times my size.

They gave the Best Actress trophy to Emma Stone, who cemented her place as the Oscar front-runner.And even Stone, whose movie doesn’t carry a weighty message about what life is like for marginalized people in America, felt compelled to mention contemporary politics in her SAG speech. From the speeches made by many of the winners, it’s apparent that much of Hollywood is worked up over POTUS’ actions, particularly his travel ban. There’s still a lot that can happen between now and February 13, the day Academy members receive their final ballots. Over the years, the SAGs have had a success rate above 70 percent for picking individual acting winners at the Oscars. Three of the four SAG acting winners were African-Americans (Mahershala Ali of “Moonlight” and Viola Davis and Denzel Washington of “Fences”). Academy voters could grant the frothy musical romance a sweep in its nominated categories, and they still might not be able to avoid having the winners complain about politics.Will that make a difference to Oscar voters? And Ali and Davis were already the oddsmakers’ favorites for Supporting Acting Oscars.With Washington’s surprise victory over Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) for the SAG Best Actor prize, the SAGs have now made the Academy’s Best Actor slot a real competition, the toughest call among the major categories.But the Oscars are unlikely to echo the SAG preference for “Hidden Figures.” For one thing, the SAG membership goes for female-driven ensembles a lot more often than the Academy does; for instance, they picked “Little Miss Sunshine” over eventual Oscar-winner “The Departed” and “The Help” over “The Artist.” (For all the talk about racial parity among this year’s Academy Award nominees, few have mentioned that Best Picture and most behind-the-camera categories remain overwhelmingly male-dominated.)Don’t count “La La Land” out for Best Picture — it still won all the other important precursor awards. The evening’s top prize, Best Ensemble (the SAG equivalent of Best Picture), was an upset victory for the predominantly African-American cast of historical drama “Hidden Figures,” while Oscar front-runner “La La Land” wasn’t even nominated (guess the actors didn’t consider the Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone vehicle an ensemble piece).It’s true, there’s some overlap between the Guild membership and the Academy, where actors make up the largest voting branch. Even if such sentiments don’t directly influence the way Academy members vote, there are sure to be similar fiery speeches throughout Oscar night, no matter who wins.If Academy voters followed the example of the Screen Actors Guild members, not just with their speechmaking but also with their awards picks, we might have a very different race from the one pundits are predicting. Posted February 2, 2017 by Gary SusmanRemember this column’s hope, expressed last week, that the sheer excellence of this year’s nominees might keep the Oscar race from getting ugly and political? Over the weekend, it won the Producers Guild prize, which, like the Oscars, uses a preferential ballot, and which has correctly predicted the eventual Best Picture trophy winner more than two-thirds of the time.”La La Land” also won the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie award for Best Edited Comedy or Musical. This week alone, guilds representing the directors, cinematographers, animators, and visual effects artists will hand out their prizes. (Like the Golden Globes, the ACE Eddies have separate categories for comedy/musical and drama; the drama prize went to Best Picture Oscar nominee “Arrival”). By the way, Oscar pool pickers, the cartoon feature prize at both the PGA and ACE awards went to tolerance parable “Zootopia,” so pencil that one in for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.Even SAG voters weren’t immune from “La La” mania. Still, the inevitability of political speeches from the Dolby Theatre podium could free up Academy members to decide they don’t have to make political statements with their votes, since the winners will make them no matter who they are.Maybe we’re still being naive, but couldn’t that mean that voters will be free to pick favorites based on merit alone? Well, that was awfully naive.After watching Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, it’s clear that there’s no keeping politics out of this year’s Oscars.