#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | The High Highs (and Lower Lows) of Hollywood in 2021 – The Hollywood Reporter


From surprise hits (Squid Game) and blockbuster deals (Hello Sunshine) to scandals (remember Armie Hammer?) and outright tragedies (the Rust shooting), it’s been a roller-coaster 12 months even by industry standards. The Hollywood Reporter charts the ups and downs of the stars, companies and trends that defined the year — and no doubt will shape 2022.

Marvel Studios/Disney+, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic, Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

January WandaVision (and later The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki) powerfully relaunch “Marvel TV” on Disney+.

February After gaining 21.2M signups in 2020 Q4, the Disney+ service hits 95M subscribers.

March Stock breaks 200 for all-time high.

July Scarlett Johansson files a breach-of-contract suit for the Black Widow Disney+ release. Disney publicly slams the suit as “callous” amid COVID-19.

September Scarlett Johansson and Disney settle.

November The Eternals opens to a mediocre $71M, whilethe  Black Panther sequel shuts down due to Letitia Wright’s injury.

December Flagging streamer subs and theme park dollars lead to a stock slide to a year-low.

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January Streamer surpasses 200M subs, stock soars.

April Streamer wins the most Oscars but loses best picture, again.

June Company inks sweeping deal with former hater Steven Spielberg.

September The Crown wins a long-coveted drama Emmy, sweeping the category.

September The Squid Game frenzy hits its peak with 571M hours viewed globally in one week.

October Dave Chappelle’s The Closer sparks an LGBTQ backlash and employee walkout. Ted Sarandos: “I screwed up.”

December The Rock and Ryan Reynolds’ Red Notice, Netflix’s biggest movie (or so it says) notches a fourth week on company’s top 10 chart.

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January After eliminating the 2021 theatrical window without looping in talent, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar begins the year with an apology tour.

March #TheSnyderCut version of Justice League is released on HBO Max: Fans rejoice, subs rise, execs exhale.

April Mare of Easttown proves HBO can still produce shows buzzy enough to earn parodies on SNL.

May AT&T drops the $43B bombshell that WarnerMedia will merge with Discovery, a deal that’ll take a year to close and leaves much in limbo (including Kilar). AT&T stock begins six-month slide.

July Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav tours ranks, who are relieved he’s not John Stankey.

November HBO oral history Tinderbox offers nostalgia for better days, plus 40 years of dirty laundry.

December CNN’s Chris Cuomo is fired for helping his brother dodge #MeToo allegations.

December Et tu, Tom? Succession is media’s must-watch show.

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January Bob Dylan and Jimmy Iovine unload back catalogs to investors.

February Kevin Mayer (left) and Tom Staggs raise $2B from private-equity giant Blackstone to buy out A-list creators.

August Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine sells to Staggs and Mayer at a valuation of $900M.

September Will Smith’s Overbrook and Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat both put up “for sale” signs, only to pull them back.

October LeBron James’ SpringHill Co. sells a minority stake at $725M valuation.

November Moonbug, which produces Cocomelon and Blippi, is acquired by Mayer and Staggs for $3B.

December Channing Tatum backs Manscaped’s $1B SPAC deal.

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January Armie Hammer is accused of abuse (and cannibalism). Projects and reps vanish.

June In the Heights fails to make Anthony Ramos a bona fide box office star.

August After many, many delays, Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy performs.

September Dune turns Timothée Chalamet (right) into a bona fide box office star. Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings shatters records.

October After many, many delays, Daniel Craig’s final Bond film underperforms in the U.S. (it makes up for it overseas).

October Matt Damon/Ben Affleck’s The Last Duel bombs.

November Will Smith’s King Richard generates big buzz, meh box office. But his book tour is a hit.

December The Rock and Ryan Reynolds’ Red Notice, Netflix’s biggest movie (or so it says) notches a fourth week on company’s top 10 chart.

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February Britney Spears’ conservatorship drama is revealed in a New York Times doc; #FreeBritney explodes.

February The L.A. Times publishes a scathing exposé about HFPA’s lack of diversity.

March Meghan Markle and Prince Harry detail royal family dirt in bombshell Oprah interview.

May Chrissy Teigen is engulfed in a cyberbullying saga; retailers pull out of her deals.

June Chris Harrison exits the Bachelor franchise following a racism controversy.

August Mike Richards, Alex Trebek’s Jeopardy! successor, sees his past come back to bite him; loses gig.

October Alec Baldwin’s prop gun discharges on Rust set, tragically killing DP Halyna Hutchins.

November Travis Scott’s Astroworld stampede results in 10 dead, hundreds injured.

This story first appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.



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